Speaking and Listening: How Different People Enjoy Trees | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:M4:U1:L1

Speaking and Listening: How Different People Enjoy Trees

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.K.4: Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
  • RL.K.6: With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.
  • W.K.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • SL.K.2: Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.
  • LK.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • LK.1.b: Use frequently occurring nouns and verbs.
  • L.K.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.K.2a: Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
  • L.K.2b: Recognize and name end punctuation.
  • L.K.4a: Identify new meanings for familiar words and apply them accurately (e.g., knowing duck is a bird and learning the verb to duck).

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can observe how people and characters enjoy trees. (RL.K.4, RL.K.6, SL.K.2) 
  • I can describe how people and characters enjoy trees. (W.K.8, SL.K.2)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the read-aloud in the Opening, use the Reading Literature Checklist to track students' progress toward RL.K.6 and RL.K.4 and the Speaking and Listening Checklist to track students' progress toward SL.K.2 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Collect the Enjoying Trees Brainstorm note-catchers to track student progress toward W.K.8.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reading Aloud: Gus Is a Tree (15 minutes)

2. Work Time 

A. Engaging the Learner: Observation, Exploration, and Introduction of the Module Guiding Question (25 minutes)

B. Language Dive: Gus Is a Tree (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment 

A. Shared Reading and Writing: Introducing Unit 1 Guiding Question (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • Continue to nurture an inquiry-rich classroom environment by inviting students to ask questions and wonder about how others enjoy trees. The purpose of this first lesson is to begin building an understanding of how students and the community use and enjoy trees in order to cultivate continued appreciation for trees. To achieve this, students engage in a read-aloud to observe how characters enjoy trees and participate in an outdoor activity to observe how they, as a classroom community, enjoy trees.
  • This lesson introduces both the module guiding question ("How and why are trees important to us and our community?") and the unit guiding question ("How are trees important to others?"). In general, the module invites students to continue their study of trees, begun in Module 3, through a different lens: one of appreciating trees and the benefits they offer a community. 
  • In the Opening, students participate in a read-aloud of Gus Is a Tree. The pages of Gus Is a Tree are not numbered. For instructional purposes, the page that begins with "In the schoolyard, children ..." should be considered page 2 and all pages thereafter numbered accordingly.
  • In Work Time A, students go outside to observe how people use and enjoy trees by using and enjoying trees themselves. Recall that observation is a type of research. Before going outside, students generate ideas of how to enjoy and use trees to help them focus their time. They return inside to reflect on how they and their friends used and enjoyed trees. 
  • In Work Time A, while students are brainstorming how people in their class might enjoy trees, it is likely that they may think of ideas that are not possible or safe to do at school, like climbing trees, swinging from trees, or breaking branches off of trees. Take time to honor their ideas but also reinforce any school or classroom rules before students leave the whole group area. 
  • Students generate detailed observations about how they interact with the world around them. They use their observations as evidence when describing their ideas. Students will continue to connect the observations they make in this lesson with the information they learn in subsequent lessons.
  • If it is not possible to take students outside, provide alternative means to view people enjoying and using trees, such as a video or pictures. 
  • In Work Time B, students participate in a Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from Gus Is a Tree. The focus of this Language Dive is identifying new meanings for familiar words (L.K.4.A). Students then apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence throughout the unit when discussing how people enjoy trees. Refer to the Tools page for additional information regarding a consistent Language Dive routine.

How this lesson builds on previous work: 

  • Recall that in Module 3, students built deep knowledge about trees, their needs, and what they provide to other living things through the Next Generation Science Standards. In this module, students apply this knowledge to make a meaningful contribution to their community. In Unit 1 in particular, students learn about other uses for and applications of trees in a community to develop an appreciation of trees and the important things they provide people.
  • Continue to use Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. 

Areas in which students may need additional support: 

  • During the Opening, students listen to the text Gus Is a Tree read aloud. Students may find the language and structure of this text challenging. Depending on the needs of your students, consider stopping to define words in context that will support their general understanding that the character enjoys trees in a variety of ways.
  • During Work Time A, students use drawings and sentences to record a plan of how they will enjoy trees. They may need additional support identifying an idea or recording an idea in writing. 

Down the road: 

  • Throughout the rest of the unit, students will gather information to support answering the Unit 1 guiding question through listening to read-alouds and studying photographs of people enjoying trees. As they research, write, and discuss, they will add their ideas to the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart.

In Advance

  • The Living Things Word Wall from Module 3 will continue to be used throughout this module. Leave the Word Wall posted in the room and accessible to students. 
  • Review the Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart as needed (begun in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 5).
  • Preview the Language Dive Guide and consider how to invite conversation among students to address the language goals suggested under each sentence strip chunk (see supporting materials). Select from the language goals provided to best meet your students' needs.
  • Prepare:
    • Trees Are Important Word Wall.
    • Trees Are Important Word Wall cards for relax and smell. 
    • Enjoying Trees Brainstorm note-catcher by placing one on each clipboard for Work Time A. 
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-3 to create anchor charts to share with families; to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families; and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.1.A.3, K.1.B.6, and K.1.B.8

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to activate prior knowledge, develop new conceptual understandings, and build syntax and vocabulary through interacting with the natural world and complex text. Observation, discussion, and a Language Dive support academic knowledge acquisition.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to comprehend, internalize, and produce new vocabulary that they encounter in the text Gus Is a Tree. Throughout the lesson, provide multiple opportunities for students to turn and talk with personalized sentence frames as well as interact in mixed language-level pairs. 

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During the read-aloud of Gus Is a Tree, consider infusing the language with dramatic intonation and gestures to convey the wonder and magic that Gus experiences. Invite students to mimic your gestures or repeat key vocabulary words. (Examples: Shiver and wiggle your fingers when you read, "Gus feels ticklish all over." Lower your voice and look around as you read, "Night has fallen ..." Open your eyes widely in awe and slowly build up momentum as you read, "Gus is dazzled!" Tell students to repeat "dazzled" as they shimmy their hands.) This is meant to excite students' imaginations in a way that complements their understanding of the text and illustrations. 

For heavier support:

  • Before students observe trees in Work Time A, encourage them to share helpful sentence starters for conversations outside. (Examples: "I observe ____." "I notice _____." "I wonder _____.") Invite them to share ways we ask questions, both in language and tone. (Examples: "What do you observe?" "What do you notice?" "What do you wonder?") If students are unsure, provide the examples above, model their use, and invite students to practice with a partner.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Recall that some students may need additional support with visual perception. During the read-aloud, offer options for perception by displaying the text on a document camera or displaying an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page as they follow along. Pausing for clarification of new vocabulary also supports students who may need additional support with comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to support students in setting appropriate goals for their effort and the level of difficulty expected. 
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Continue to support students in linking the information presented in the text back to the learning target by explicitly highlighting the utility and relevance of the text to the learning target. (Example: Provide an index card with the unpacked learning target for students to reference throughout the lesson.) Continue to include opportunities to refocus students' attention on the learning target throughout the lesson and invite students to share how each learning activity is supporting their instructional goal.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

New:

  • relax, smell, fresh, drifts, strikes, oddly (T) 
  • appreciate, enjoy (L)

Review:

  • bark, leaves, wood, twigs, birches, oaks, beeches, branches, roots (L)

Materials

  • Trees Are Important Word Wall cards (new; teacher-created; two)
  • Trees Are Important Word Wall (new; teacher-created; see Teaching Notes)
  • Gus Is a Tree (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Module 4 Guiding Question anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Module 4 Guiding Question anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Enjoying Trees Brainstorm note-catcher (one per student and one to display)
  • Clipboards (one per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Living Things Word Wall (from Module 3)
  • Language Dive Guide: Gus Is a Tree (for teacher reference)
    • Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart (begun in Module 3, Unit 1, Lesson 5)
    • Chunk Chart: Gus Is a Tree (for teacher reference)
    • Sentence Strip Chunks: Gus Is a Tree (one to display)
  • Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart (new; co-created with students during the Closing; see supporting materials)
  • Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading Aloud: Gus Is a Tree (15 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group. 
  • Remind students that they have just finished researching what trees need and what trees provide to other living things. They now know lots of reasons why trees are important.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"When you know something is important, how do you treat it?" (Responses will vary, but may include: you take care of it, you don't mess it up, etc.)

  • With some urgency, tell students that because they know trees are important, they appreciate (feel the value of) trees, and once you appreciate something, you can start to really enjoy it ... BUT how do people enjoy trees?
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:

"I can observe how people and characters enjoy trees."

  • Show students the Trees Are Important Word Wall card for enjoy (to find pleasure or happiness in something) and follow the same process established in Modules 1-3: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture for it on the Trees Are Important Word Wall.
  • Display Gus Is a Tree and read the title, author, and illustrator aloud.
  • Remind students that the author writes the words in a text, and the illustrator creates the pictures in a text. 
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How does the illustrator show the child, Gus, enjoying a tree on the front cover?" (Gus is playing with leaves.)

Conversation Cue: "Who can explain why your classmate came up with that response? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students that they will continue to read this storybook and find other ways that the character, Gus, enjoys trees. 
  • Read the story aloud fluently. As you read, stop at the designated pages to quickly act out how Gus enjoys trees. 
  • Pause after reading page 2. Reread:
    • "He is sitting peacefully under a tree, relaxing." 
  • Show students the Trees Are Important Word Wall card for relax (to feel restful and calm) and follow the same process established in Modules 1-3: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture for it on the Trees Are Important Word Wall.
  • Invite students to quickly act out how Gus is enjoying the tree. Reinforce that people enjoy trees by relaxing underneath them.
  • While still displaying the text, begin reading slowly and fluently through page 6.
  • Pause after reading page 6. 
  • Focus students on the illustration on pages 5-6, particularly Gus and his father walking through trees.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Look at the illustration. How does the illustrator show Gus enjoying trees?" (The picture shows Gus walking in the forest with his dad.)

  • Invite students to quickly act out how Gus is enjoying the tree. 
  • Continue reading slowly and fluently through page 16. Reread the last sentence.
  • Show students the Trees Are Important Word Wall card for smell (to sense something through the nose) and follow the same process established in Modules 1-3: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture for it on the Trees Are Important Word Wall.
  • Quickly define fresh (just made, cleaned, or experienced).
  • Using a total participation technique, ask:

"The author wrote that the rain makes the forest smell fresh. How does this line of the text tell us that Gus enjoys trees?" (Gus smells the tree, and it smells good.)

  • Invite students to act out how Gus is enjoying trees. 
  • Continue reading slowly and fluently to the end of the story.
  • Invite students to stand up and silently act out one way they remember Gus enjoying trees in the story.
  • As students pantomime Gus enjoying trees, name the actions you see and list aloud the ways Gus enjoys trees: relaxing under a tree, going for a walk around trees, smelling trees. 
  • Offer specific, positive feedback about how students discovered many different ways that Gus enjoyed trees.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: (Visuals: Learning Target) For this learning target and subsequent new targets introduced, consider sketching a few icons above keywords (observe: eyes; describe: talking; enjoy: a heart; trees: trees) to reinforce their meaning and lower affective filter so the students have a clear idea of their task and goal. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: (Interactive Word Puzzle: Learning Target) Consider writing each word of the learning target on an index card and mixing them up. Encourage students to put them in the correct order. Consider asking students to explain which parts can change order and still make sense (characters and people). 
  • For ELLs: (Home Language Connection: Contributing to the Word Wall) In this and subsequent lessons, encourage students to post the translations of new vocabulary in their home languages on the Word Wall. 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Observation, Exploration, and Introduction of the Module Guiding Question (25 minutes)

  • Refocus whole group.
  • Direct students' attention to the Module 4 Guiding Question anchor chart and read it aloud. Refer to the Module 4 Guiding Question anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary: 
    • "How are trees important to us and our community?" 
  • Tell students that they will be learning and thinking about how trees are important to different people for the next several weeks.
  • Turn and Talk:

"Why are trees important to us?" (Responses will vary, but may include: They give people and animals food.)

  • As students talk, listen in and be ready to repeat one to two ideas that you hear them share. 
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How can our classroom community use and enjoy trees like Gus does in Gus Is a Tree?" (Responses will vary, but may include: relaxing under trees, hiding behind a tree during hide and seek.)

Conversation Cue: "Do you agree or disagree with what your classmate said? Why? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

"I can describe how people and characters enjoy trees." 

  • Tell students that in a couple of minutes, they will go outside to observe how their classroom community enjoys trees like Gus does. 
  • Display the Enjoying Trees Brainstorm note-catcher.
  • Tell students that before they go outside, they will use the note-catcher to record some ideas about how they could enjoy trees like Gus. 
  • Distribute the prepared clipboards, with the Enjoying Trees Brainstorm note-catcher attached, and pencils.
  • Direct students' attention to the Living Things Word Wall from Module 3 as well as the new Trees Are Important Word Wall and remind them to use the words to help with their writing. 
  • Tell students that they may begin drawing, labeling, and writing to describe how they plan to go outside and enjoy trees. 
  • Circulate as students write, providing support as needed by helping them reference the Trees Are Important Word Wall or using phonetic spelling.
  • Once students begin to finish their note-catcher, Turn and Talk:

"What is your idea?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group: 

"Once you are outside, how will you enjoy trees?" (Responses will vary.)

Conversation Cue: "How is what _____ said the same as/different from what _____ said? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Review any important school and classroom rules that relate to playing with trees, while honoring student ideas. Forbidden activities might include climbing trees, picking their leaves, and breaking their branches.
    • Example: "Although many people do enjoy climbing trees, it is not an option for us at school because there are so many students here, and we have to make sure everyone stays safe." 
  • Transition students outside. Remind them to notice how they and their friends are using trees for enjoyment. Allow them to play and enjoy trees for several minutes.
  • After about 10 minutes, gather students whole group.
  • Invite students to look at their note-catcher to see if the idea they recorded about how to enjoy trees is the same or different from how they enjoyed trees when they were outside. 
  • Using a total participation technique, invite a couple of students to share their ideas:

"How did you enjoy trees when you were outside?" (Responses will vary.)

"Did you enjoy trees in the same way that you recorded on your brainstorm note-catcher, or in a different way?" (Responses will vary.)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support in organizing ideas for verbal expression: (Sentence Starters) Before students share their ideas with a partner, encourage them to practice responding in full sentences and provide sentence starters (e.g., "I believe ____" or "I think ____" or "My opinion is ____.") (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with verbal expression: (Modeling a Response) If students need additional support to generate or share ideas, consider offering one or two examples to get them started. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: (Partner Share) Invite students to share what their partner said, reminding them to use the third person. (Example: "My partner said she thinks trees are important to us because ____.")

B. Language Dive: Gus Is a Tree (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group and offer specific feedback on how they found different ways that their classroom community could enjoy trees. 
  • Tell students they will now participate in a Language Dive.
  • Focus students' attention on the Questions We Can Ask during a Language Dive anchor chart.
  • Think-Pair-Share:

"What is one question you can ask during a Language Dive?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Reread page 4 of Gus Is a Tree, starting with the sentence, "Gus loves trees."
  • Focus on this sentence: "The smell of wood and earth that drifts up from the ground strikes him as oddly pleasant."
  • Tell students they will learn more about the words drifts (is carried away by wind or water) strikes (has a strong effect on your mind or feelings) and oddly (different from what is usual; strange) in the Language Dive. 
  • Use the Language Dive Guide: Gus Is a Tree and Chunk Chart: Gus Is a Tree to guide students through a Language Dive of the sentence. Distribute and display the Sentence Strip Chunks: Gus Is a Tree. 
  • For students who may need additional support with oral language and processing: Allow ample wait time after asking questions during the Language Dive. (MME, MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Shared Reading and Writing: Introducing Unit 1 Guiding Question (10 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Offer specific, positive feedback on their careful work with the Language Dive from Gus Is a Tree.
  • Point out that students have been exploring trees in a whole new way. For a long time, they were exploring the different things trees need to survive and how trees help other living things survive too, but today they have started to think about trees in a new way: how the community enjoys trees. 
  • Direct students' attention to the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart and read it aloud: 
    • "How are trees important to others?"
  • Display Gus Is a Tree. 
  • Invite students to think of some of the ways Gus enjoys trees in the story. Give students 30 seconds of think time. Ask:

"What are some of the ways we saw the character Gus enjoy trees?" (He relaxed under a tree. He went for a walk under trees.)

Conversation Cue: "Who can add on to what your classmate said? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Using a total participation technique, call on a few students to share out. As students share out, capture their responses on the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart. Refer to the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students to think about the ways they and their classroom community enjoyed trees. Give them 30 seconds of think time. Ask:

"What are some of the ways that we enjoyed trees outside today?" (Responses will vary, but may include: We relaxed under a tree, went for a walk under trees, etc.)

Conversation Cue: "Who can add on to what your classmate said? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Using a total participation technique, call on a few students. As students share out, capture their ideas on the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart.
  • If time permits, invite students to reread the ideas recorded on the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart. 
  • Tell students that they have already found many reasons why trees are important to their community! They will continue to learn new and different ways that communities use and appreciate trees. 
  • For ELLs: (Metacognition: Learning Target) Invite students to explain how they met the learning target. 
  • For students who may need additional support with auditory processing: Offer options for perception by displaying the discussion questions visually. (MMR)

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