Mystery Words | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA GK:S4:C25:L127

Mystery Words

You are here:

Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can follow along in a shared text (poem). (RF.K.1)
    • I can count the number of words in a sentence.
    • I can point to the first word in a sentence.
    • I can point to the last word in a sentence.
    • I can point to words in a text.
    • I can move my finger under words as I read them on a page, left to right and top to bottom.
  • Work Time A: I can read the mystery words "she," "her," and "like" in text. (RF.K.3)
    • I can look at each consonant and say its sound.
    • I can identify the short sound for each vowel.
    • I can recognize and read many high-frequency words by sight.
    • I can count the number of letters in a word.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during the Opening and Work Time. Determine whether they demonstrate one-to-one correspondence with words.
  • Observe students during Work Time. Determine whether they can identify the sounds in the mystery words.
  • Record students' progress on the Snapshot Assessment.

Agenda

Agenda

1. Opening (5 minutes)

A. Poem Launch: "Carly"

2. Work Time (10-15 minutes)

A. Clues to the Mystery Words

B. Mystery Words: "she," "her," "like"

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: "Carly" (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
    • 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)

  • mystery word, clues, frequently (L)

Materials

  • Enlarged poem: "Carly" (or handwritten on chart paper to display)
  • Poetry notebooks (one per student; see Teaching Notes)
  • Poem: "Carly" (one per student in poetry notebooks)
  • Large pointer (optional; for teacher to point to words in poem as the class recites)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poem Launch: "Carly"

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

"Now let's read the poem, line by line. We'll figure out the words used all the time. When we read together, we sound like one. Start with me to have a lot of fun!"

  • Begin the Poem Launch instructional practice:

1. Teacher facilitates the familiar Poem Launch instructional practice (see prior lessons if needed) using the enlarged poem: "Carly."

  • To provide support or practice with left-to-right directionality and one-to-one matching, consider inviting individual students to come up to the enlarged poem and point to the words as the class chorally recites.
  • Consider modeling how to count the words in each line for students who may struggle with this skill.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Clues to the Mystery Words

  • Begin the Clues to the Mystery Words instructional practice:

1. Teacher facilitates the Clues to the Mystery Word instructional practice with the words "she," "her," "like."

2. Students refer to their poetry notebooks to search for the word in the poem: "Carly."

  • Observe students as they search the poem. Make sure they practice the left-to-right sweep. Encourage them to use their pointer fingers to underline words as they search.

B. Mystery Words: "she," "her," "like"

  • (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 Words instructional practice:

1. Teacher facilitates the Mystery Words instructional practice with the words "she," "her," "like."

  • To deepen the level of word analysis, consider saying the words with bossy "r" endings aloud and asking students to identify what is similar and different about words with "-ir," "-ur," and "-er" endings (for example, words that share the same "r" sound ending).

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:

"How can we practice learning our mystery words?" (Look for them in the poem and in other texts.)

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

  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Example:
    • "When I said the word 'she,' I _____."

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with the Pre-Alphabetic and Partial Alphabetic groups. At this point in the year, the teacher may be ready to meet with three rather than just two groups per day. If so, the teacher should work with students in the Full and Consolidated Alphabetic phases at least once per week. The teacher may choose to guide students through the suggested independent activity or refer to the possible practice activities.

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.

All Groups

The Reader's Toolbox routine should be used with every group today or another day this week. Teacher may also choose to use a flex day to teach the routine in whole group. See Lesson 97 or Independent and Small Group Work guidance document for full routine and see supporting materials for Reader's Toolbox Planning and Recording Template.

Pre-Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher leads students in a Letter-Picture Sound Identification Matching Memory game to identify vowel sounds.
    • Teacher cuts apart Letter-Picture Match Cards.
    • Teacher places all cards face down on a flat surface.
    • Students turn over two cards at a time, looking for a match (letter matching a picture with that vowel sound).
    • Teacher encourages students to say the name of the letter each time and the name of the picture, identifying the vowel sound.
    • Students tell 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)

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Teacher guides students in a Mystery Word Search and Rainbow Write.
    • Students find the words "she," "her," and "like" in their copy of the poem: "Carly."
    • Students circle the mystery words in poem.
    • Students practice writing the words with different-colored markers, crayons, or colored pencils.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Poetry notebook or copy of poem: "Carly"
    • Writing tools (for Rainbow Write; colored pencils, crayons, markers)
    • Lined writing paper (for Rainbow Write)

Full and Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Practice activity: Students complete a Mystery Word Write.
    • Students count all of the mystery words "her," "like," and "she" they find in their copy of the poem: "Carly."
    • Students write a story using the words "she," "like," and "her" as many times as they can, reinforcing the idea these are high-frequency words used often by authors to communicate ideas.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Poetry notebook or copy of poem: "Carly"
    • Lined writing paper and writing utensil

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up