Introducing “If” and Noting Notices and Wonders of the First Stanza | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M2A:U2:L2

Introducing “If” and Noting Notices and Wonders of the First Stanza

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can analyze how a particular sentence, stanza, scene, or chapter fits in and contributes to the development of a literary text. (RL6.5)

Supporting Targets

  • I can describe the structure of the poem "If."
  • I can identify the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from the context.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Notices and wonders of the first stanza on the Analyzing "If" graphic organizer
  • Exit Ticket: What does Bud mean?

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A. Engaging the Reader: Chapter 14 of Bud, Not Buddy (8 minutes)

     B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

    A.  Reading and Listening to Audio Recording of "If" (10 minutes)

     B. Notices and Wonders of First Stanza (15 minutes)

     C. Digging Deeper into the First Stanza: Vocabulary (5 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

     A. Exit Ticket: What Does Bud Mean? (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A. Read Chapter 15 of Bud, Not Buddy. Complete the Tracking Bud's Rules graphic organizer for any rules you encounter in Chapter 15.

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to "If," a poem by Rudyard Kipling. This lesson is the first in a two-lesson cycle that will be repeated until students have read each stanza of the poem closely. In the first lesson of the cycle, they listen to an audio version of the poem while following along with their own text and then they discuss the differences between poetry and prose. They then focus in on a stanza, recording notices and wonders about structure, punctuation, and word choice.
  • Students are given the first three stanzas of "If" to work with in this cycle of lessons.  Be sure not to preview the fourth stanza with them; the fourth stanza is part of the mid-unit assessment. 
  • In the second lesson of the cycle they will dig deeper into the meaning of phrases in the stanza.
  • In advance: Read the poem "If," focusing on what the poem is mostly about.
  • Prepare equipment to play the audio version of the poem. If this equipment is unavailable, you can read aloud the poem to students.
  • Review several of the audio versions of "If" available at the Internet Archive site. Choose the version you would like to use with your class.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

stanza, make allowance

Materials

  • "If" by Rudyard Kipling, excluding the fourth stanza (one per student and one for display)
  • "If" audio recording (several versions can be found at the Internet Archive site)
  • Technology to play audio recording
  • Document camera
  • Equity sticks
  • Analyzing "If " graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Word-catcher (from Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Exit ticket: What Does Bud Mean? (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Chapter 14 of Bud, Not Buddy (8 minutes)

  • Invite students to get into triads. Remind them that for homework they were to use evidence flags to identify three moments in Chapter 14 that showed Bud's life changing from surviving to thriving.
  • Tell students to share the three pieces of evidence they marked with their triad and to justify why they chose each piece of evidence.
  • Circulate to listen in on triads to ensure all students are participating in the discussion.
  • Cold call students to share the evidence they selected with the whole group.
  • Discussing the homework task from the previous lesson at the beginning of the lesson holds students accountable for doing their homework. It also gives you an opportunity to assess who is reading the novel at home and who isn't.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

* "I can describe the structure of the poem 'If.'"

* "I can identify the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from the context."

  • Ask students to turn and talk with a partner about what they will be doing today. 
  • Address any clarifying questions.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Posting learning targets for students allows them to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.
  • Discussing and clarifying the language of learning targets helps build academic vocabulary.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading and Listening to Audio Recording of "If" (10 minutes)

  • Distribute "If" and display it using a document camera. Tell students that this is most of a poem written by a famous author named Rudyard Kipling, who lived from 1865 to 1936. Explain that there is another stanza, which they will see later on in the unit.
  • Tell students that the poem has been recorded as an audio version, so they are going to begin by reading along as they listen to it.
  • Play the audio recording of Stanzas 1-3 of the "If" poem.
  • Ask students to discuss in their triads:

* "So what is this poem mostly about?"

  • Select volunteers to share their triad discussion with the whole group. Students will not have a precise understanding of the poem's meaning or themes. You are listening for students' initial ideas.

* "Now that you have read a poem, what makes a poem different from a story?"

  • Cold call on students to share their triad discussion with the whole group. Listen for students to explain that poetry has a rhythm to it--it doesn't always follow the way someone would speak. In poetry, ideas are organized into stanzas rather than paragraphs, and the language in poetry tends to be more descriptive than the language in prose.
  • Students may not know what a stanza is. Tell them that it is like a verse in a song and point out each of the stanzas on the displayed "If" poem.
  • Ask students to discuss in their triads:

* "Now that you have heard poetry read aloud, how is it read differently from a story? Why?"

  • Select volunteers to share their triad discussion with the whole group. Listen for students to explain that the poem is read in a rhythm, almost like a song without music, because the rhythm helps to convey the meaning. Also, there is more emphasis on certain words, and there are perhaps longer pauses between lines or stanzas of poetry than there would be when reading a story aloud to emphasize the meaning in particular lines.
  • Ask students to discuss in their triads:

* "Why is it important to read poetry closely?"

  • Select volunteers to share their triad discussion with the whole group. Listen for students to explain that in poetry every word counts--each one has been chosen carefully to convey meaning--so they need to read poetry very carefully and analyze the word choice carefully to understand the meaning that the author was trying to convey. 
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression, and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.

B. Notices and Wonders of First Stanza (15 minutes)

  • Focus students on the first stanza. Invite them to follow along as you read it aloud.
  • Pair students up. Display and distribute the Analyzing "If" graphic organizer. Tell students they are going to work in pairs to discuss what they notice and what they wonder about the first stanza. Then they are going to record their notices and wonders about the first stanza of "If" on this organizer.
  • Tell students to ignore the rows of the organizer containing the other stanzas, as they will do the same thing with those in later lessons. They are also to ignore the Paraphrased column for now. They will work on this in the next lesson.
  • Ask students:

* "What do you notice and wonder about the structure (the way it is organized) of the first stanza?"

  • Tell students to record their notices and wonders about the structure of the first stanza in the appropriate columns on their organizer.
  • Refocus the group. Use equity sticks to call on students to share their notices and wonders with the whole group.
  • Ask students:

* "What do you notice and wonder about punctuation?"

  • Tell students to record their notices and wonders about punctuation in the appropriate columns on their organizer.
  • Refocus the group. Use the equity sticks to call on students to share their notices and wonders with the whole group.
  • Explain that punctuation in poems is like traffic lights. Red lights might be colons, semicolons, exclamation marks, or question marks that tell you to stop and understand the idea being shared. These types of punctuation most often signal that one idea is ending and a new idea or theme is beginning. Yellow lights are commas; we pause to make connections but do not stop. Often either side of the comma connects lines that should be read as one idea. Green lights happen when there is no punctuation and you read without stopping or pausing.
  • Direct students to look at Stanza 1, lines 1-4 and discuss the following questions with their neighbor. Invite them to think about the traffic light metaphor if it helps them examine how punctuation helps them read the poem.
  • Ask students:

* "How does the punctuation help guide your reading of the stanza?"

  • Think aloud for students about lines 1 and 2 so they can hear how you use the punctuation to help you read the poem. Consider saying that you notice there is not a comma at the end of line 1 but there is a semicolon at the end of line 2. This means the reader has to read all of lines 1 and 2 as whole idea (green light). The two lines make sense together.
  • Ask students for a thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways, or thumbs-down on their understanding of how punctuation helps them to read the poem.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

* "Read lines 3 and 4. How does the punctuation help you read the poem?"

  • Listen for students to explain that the comma at the end of line 3 slows you down like a yellow light. But you keep reading until the colon at the end of line 4, which means to stop at the red light for a minute and figure out what the last two lines mean as one main idea.
  • Ask students:

* "What do you notice and wonder about the word choice? Are there any words or phrases that stand out to you? Why?"

  • Tell students to record their notices and wonders about the words on their organizer.
  • Refocus the group. Use equity sticks again to call on students to share their notices and wonders with the whole group. If students have wonders about the meaning of vocabulary words or what phrases mean, explain that they will address those next as they zoom in closer on the stanza.
  • Invite students to pair up with someone else to share their notices and wonders. Encourage students to record any new learning about notices and wonders on their graphic organizers.
  • When discussion of complex content is required, consider partnering ELL students who speak the same home language. This can allow students to have more meaningful discussions and clarify points in their native language.
  • Using equity sticks to select students to share responses encourages students to participate in discussions, as they don't know whether they will be the ones selected to share their responses. 

C. Digging Deeper into the First Stanza: Vocabulary (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they are going to dig even deeper into the poem by identifying vocabulary they are not familiar with.
  • Give students 2 minutes to reread the first stanza and to circle the words they are not familiar with.
  • Tell students that poems have fewer context clues, which makes it more challenging to determine word meanings. Encourage the class to examine how the word relates to other details within the same punctuated sections of the stanza. Select volunteers to share the words they have circled with the class. Invite students to help out if they know what the word means. If none of the students know what the word means and it isn't possible to figure it out from the context, tell them what it means or invite a student to look it up in the dictionary to keep the lesson moving forward.
  • Words students may struggle with in the first stanza (and may not understand through the context) include: make allowance.
  • Remind students to record new vocabulary on their word-catcher.
  • Asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps them to monitor their understanding of a complex text. When students annotate the text by circling these words, it can also provide a formative assessment for the teacher.
  • ELLs may be unfamiliar with more vocabulary words than are mentioned in this lesson. Check for comprehension of general words (e.g., lawpeace, etc.) that most students would know.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket: What Does Bud Mean? (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the exit ticket: What Does Bud Mean?
  • Invite students to read the excerpt and the question at the top of the exit ticket with you.
  • Ask students to write their answer to the question on their exit ticket. 
  • Using exit tickets allows you to get a quick check for understanding of the learning target so that instruction can be adjusted or tailored to students' needs during the lesson or before the next lesson. 

Homework

Homework
  • Read Chapter 15 of Bud, Not Buddy. Complete the Tracking Bud's Rules graphic organizer for any rules you encounter in Chapter 15. 

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