Mystery Word | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:S1:C4:L23

Mystery Word

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can identify the name and sound for the letters "m" and "r."
    • I can identify the name of each lowercase letter.
    • I can identify the name of each uppercase letter.
    • I can look at each consonant and say its sound.
  • Work Time A: I can search in a text (poem) and find a word with two letters in it.
    • I can count the number of letters in a word.
  • Work Time B: I can use clues from the text (poem) to identify a mystery word.
    • I can count the number of letters in a word.
    • I can count the number of words in the poem.
    • I can point to words in the poem.
    • I can recognize and read many high-frequency words in a text and in isolation (alone).

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during Opening.
    • Determine whether they can say the sounds for each letter correctly. Refer to the Articulatory Gestures chart as needed.
    • Also determine whether they demonstrate one-to-one correspondence with words.
  • Record students' progress on the Snapshot Assessment.

Agenda

Agenda

1. Opening (5 minutes)

A. Poem: Articulatory Gestures

B. Clues to the Mystery Word

2. Work Time (10-15 minutes)

A. Mystery Word: "in"

3. Closing and Assessment (2 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction and Rotations (40-45 minutes)

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Enlarged poem: "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack" (or write on chart paper/poster)
    • Poetry notebooks: Each student needs a spiral or composition book with a copy of the poem glued or taped inside, or else a loose copy of the poem in a plastic sleeve
    • Hand mirrors (optional; one per student or pair to see mouth movements)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Gather materials for differentiated small group instruction (see Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher).

Vocabulary

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

  • clues, mystery word (L)

Materials

  • Enlarged poem: "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack" (or handwritten on chart paper; to display; from Lesson 21)
  • Large pointer (optional; for teacher to point to words in poem as the class recites)
  • Articulatory Gestures chart (enlarged version to post; from Lesson 16)
  • Poetry notebooks (one per student; see Teaching Notes)
  • Poem: "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack" (one per student in poetry notebooks)
  • Hand mirrors (optional; one per student or pair to see mouth movements)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poem: Articulatory Gestures

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"):

"Now let's say the letters that we know. Think of the sounds and go, go, go. Open up your mouth big and wide. Sometimes your breath comes from deep inside. As we say the letters we will know. Our letter sound skills will grow, grow, grow!"

  • Begin the Poem: Articulatory Gestures instructional practice:

1. Teacher reads the Enlarged poem: "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack" once or twice, pointing to each word as he or she reads it (with a finger or a pointer).

2. Teacher says: "We've been practicing saying and writing the letters 'm' and 'r.' Today, we will concentrate on the way our mouths look when we say the letter sounds."

3. Teacher says: "Watch my mouth as I say the sound /m/ for mountain."

4. Teacher models the articulatory gesture for /m/ (referencing the Articulatory Gestures chart).

5. Teacher asks:

"What do you notice about the way my mouth looks when I say the sound /m/?" (lips are closed together.)

6. Teacher says: "Great! Now it's your turn to try making the /m/ sound with your mouth." (/m/)

7. Teacher asks:

"What did you notice when you said the /m/ sound?" (My lips were closed and I hummed with my lips together. I kept my lips together for the /m/ sound.)

8. Repeat steps 3-8 with /r/ for "rabbit."

  • To provide support or practice with left-to-right directionality and one-to-one matching, consider inviting individual students to approach the enlarged poem and point to the words as the class chorally recites.
  • Consider providing students with hand mirrors to watch their mouths as they make each sound.
  • Invite students to notice how the /m/ sound stops with the lips closed.
  • Invite students to notice how the /r/ sound stops with the lips curved and chin forward.
  • Observe students as they make each articulatory gesture. Provide feedback to help shape their mouths correctly if needed.

B. Clues to the Mystery Word

  • Begin the Clues to the Mystery Word instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: "Yesterday, we learned that high-frequency words are words that authors use a lot in their writing. We don't know which word it is, so we called it a 'mystery word.' Today, we will use clues to try to figure out the mystery word. Listen for each clue so we can work together to figure out the word."

2. Teacher says: "The mystery word has two letters in it. I see 'he' has two letters."

3. Teacher points underneath each "he" in the poem and counts the number of letters aloud.

4. Teacher asks:

"Can you find any other words with two letters?"

5. Students refer to their poetry notebooks to search their copy of the poem: "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack" individually or with a partner. Students point to a word they think has two letters.

6. Teacher chooses a student volunteer to say or point to which word has two letters.

7. Teacher reads the poem again.

8. Teacher says: "Clap your hands each time I say a word with two letters."

9. Teacher reads the poem as students clap.

10. Teacher says: "Wow! You clapped 25 times! There are many two-letter words in our poem. I wonder which word is the mystery word. Now we will find out."

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mystery Word: "in"

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of "Three Blind Mice"):

"Let's solve the mystery, let's solve the mystery. Clue by clue, clue by clue. The clues will tell you what to do to make the word become clearer to you. We'll know the word; we'll figure it out. Clue by clue, clue by clue."

  • Begin the Mystery Word instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: "We have been trying to figure out what the mystery word in this poem is. So far, we know it's a two-letter word."

2. Teacher says: "Now we are going to use more clues to find out what the mystery word is. The mystery word has one vowel in it."

3. Teacher asks:

"Can you see any two-letter words with one vowel?"

4. Students read their copy of the poem individually or with a partner. They turn to an elbow partner and point to the word they think is the mystery word.

5. Teacher calls on a student to share an idea.

6. Teacher says: "I am hearing good guesses about our mystery word! Here is your next clue: The vowel in our mystery word is 'i.' Now look at the poem again and share your guess with your elbow partner. Your guess might change, or it might stay the same after our last clue."

7. Teacher says: "Here is your last clue: The mystery word rhymes with 'pin.'"

8. Teacher asks:

"Who can share their guess at the mystery word?" (Responses will vary.)

9. Teacher says: "I think you might be right. Let's check the word 'in' and see if it is our mystery word."

10. Teacher asks:

"Does it have two letters?" (yes)

"Does it have one vowel?" (yes)

"Is the vowel an 'i'?" (yes)

"Does it rhyme with 'pin'?" (yes)

11. Teacher says: "Yes! 'in' is the mystery word, because it has two letters, one vowel, the letter 'i,' and it rhymes with 'pin'!"

12. Teacher asks:

"Does any other word in our poem match all of those clues?" (no)

13. Teacher says: "Great! Then that means that we were right and now we know our mystery word is 'in'!"

14. Teacher says: "This is an important word. You will practice and remember when we see it in our poem or in other places. I'm so glad we were able to solve that mystery together!"

  • Observe students as they search the poem. Make sure they practice the left-to-right sweep. Encourage them to use their pointer finger to underline words as they search.
  • If students are not yet familiar with the vowel "i" consider writing the letter for them to see and sharing that they will be learning more about that vowel in the next few weeks.
  • Encourage the students to count the number of times "in" appears in the poem (four times, twice beginning with an upper case "I" and twice with a lower case "i").

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that successful learners think about what they've learned and why it's important. Consider using a metaphor, such as a baseball player learning to keep his or her eye on the ball to know exactly when to hit it.
  • Ask:

"When we see the word 'in,' how can we remember what it says?" (because it was our mystery word)

"How will that help us with reading?" (Responses will vary.)

  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • "When I made the sounds for the letters _____, I _____."
    • "When I guessed the mystery word, I _____."

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with the Pre-Alphabetic and Early Partial Alphabetic groups. Teacher may meet briefly with the Late Partial and Early Full Alphabetic groups to get them started on independent work.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work guidance document (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual) for more details.

Pre-Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher leads students in a Letter-Picture Sound Identification Matching Memory game.
    • Teacher cuts apart Letter-Picture Match Cards.
    • Teacher places all cards facedown on a flat surface.
    • Students turn over two cards at a time, looking for a match (letter matching a picture with that beginning sound).
    • Teacher encourages student to say the name of the letter each time and the name of the picture, identifying the first sound.
    • Student tells the teacher if the picture and letter match. If they match, the student keeps the pair of cards.
    • Repeat until all cards have been matched.
  • Alternative practice activity: Teacher leads students in a Letter-Name Matching activity.
    • Students are given a stack of Student Name Cards with their classmates' names and Alphabet Cards.
    • Students match the beginning letter of each name to the matching Letter Card. Repeat until all names and letters are matched.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Letter-Picture Match Cards
    • Student Name Cards (teacher-created)

Early Partial Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher guides students in a Mystery Word Search and Rainbow Write.
    • Students find the word "in" in their copy of the poem "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack."
    • Students circle the word every time they see it.
    • Students practice writing the word with different-colored markers, crayons, or colored pencils.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Poetry notebook or copy of poem "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack"
    • Writing tools (for Rainbow Write; colored pencils, crayons, markers)
    • Lined writing paper (for Rainbow Write)

Late Partial and Early Full Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Students complete a Mystery Word Write.
    • Students count all instances of the word "in" they find and record.
    • Students write a story using the word "in" as many times as they can, reinforcing the idea that "in" is a high-frequency word used often by authors to communicate ideas.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Poetry notebook or copy of poem "Mouse and Rabbit Share a Snack"
    • Lined writing paper and writing utensil

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