Today, we begin a series of posts with back-to-school lesson ideas built around picture books that connect to each standard. As these are back-to-school lessons, in addition to addressing the standards, the text selected for each lesson lends itself to discussions that can support a new class as it learns to work together. The titles explore topics such as community, learning to read, loving books, the importance of print, and identity.
Today’s focus is on literary text standard 1 and offers a connected lesson idea for grade levels K-1, 2-3, and 4-5. As you consider our suggestions, keep in mind that the way the CCSS are written, any book with complexity can teach almost any standard. While the lessons below specifically address standard 1, if you analyze the lessons you will find they also connect to a number of other standards.
It is our plan to spend a day on each reading standard (1-9). We aren’t planning separate lesson ideas for standard ten, which is about teaching children to read and understand complex informational and literary text independently and proficiently, because we feel like all of these lesson ideas address lesson ten and all of these texts have complexity.
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Kindergarten and First Grade Lesson Idea
ELA.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
ELA.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
Suggested Title: No, David! by David Shannon
David is always doing things that get him in trouble. From walking over the carpet with muddy shoes to climbing a chair to reach a cookie jar, David is always hearing things like, “Settle down!” and “Come back here!” and “No, David!” In spite of constant scoldings and naughty behavior, in the end, David’s mom shows David how much she loves him with a with a reassuring hug and words of love,
Before beginning to read aloud, ask students to look carefully at the cover. What clues give them an idea of what this book will be about? Explain that David gets into a lot of trouble and as you continue to read aloud, ask students to carefully study the illustrations to find clues that reveal why David’s mom is always saying, “No, David!” For the beginning of the school year, have a conversation about school and classroom rules. Let each child think of a school rule and write a corresponding page and illustration for a school version of, “No, David!” Follow-up the next day by reading David Goes to School. Compare the classroom book with this David sequel.
Second and Third Grade Lesson Idea
ELA.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
ELA.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Suggested Title: Hooray for Reading Day by Margery Cuyler
Jessica is just learning to read and when she is asked to read aloud in class, she stumbles and everyone laughs. When the teacher announces “Reader’s Theater Day” is coming up, Jessica begins to worry more than ever–what if she makes a mistake in front of all the parents? With the help of her family, and some practice with her dog, Jessica faces her reading worries and finds that reading aloud isn’t as hard as she thought.
Begin by asking students to take a deep breath and feel their chest expand. Explain that when this happens, they are using their respiratory system. Then ask students to look at their arms and notice their veins. Explain that this is part of their circulatory system. Explain to students that like our bodies that have different systems to keep it healthy, reading also has different systems: the “word” system that involves noticing and using print to be able to say what is written on the page and the “meaning” system which involves thinking about what those words mean. As you read aloud Hooray for Reading Day, ask students to identify places in the text where Jessica is using her “word” system and places in the text where she is using her “meaning” system. Are there places in the text where Jessica seems to be using both? How do they know? Be sure to have students talk with their peers to make a case for which pieces of evidence fit the “word” category and which fits the “meaning” category.
Fourth and Fifth Grade Lesson Idea
ELA.RL.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
ELA.RL.5.1 Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Suggested Title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Mr. Morris Lessmore loves books and is hard at work writing his own story when one day, a terrible wind comes blows it all way. This event sends Morris on a quest to find the pages of his story and as he looks, he happens upon an untended library. He cautiously enters and then begins to discover the amazing stories housed in this extraordinary place. He comes to care deeply for the stories and goes to work helping others find the stories that will color their lives the way that stories have colored his.
After having read this book aloud once simply to enjoy the story and the illustrations, reread it, stopping to note quotes from the text that invite readers to really think deeply about what the author implies. Some of our favorite stopping points for this lesson are:
“Morris wondered if his book could fly. But it couldn’t. It would only fall to the ground with a depressing thud.”
“The book led him to an extraordinary building where many books apparently nested.”
“Now his old friends took care of him the he had once cared for them, and they read themselves to him each night.”
“I guess it’s time for me to move on.”
Ask students to discuss with a partner or small group what they think the author means by these lines. As they formulate their ideas, encourage students to use additional evidence from the text to support their opinions and ideas.
As a beginning of the year extension, talk about your classroom library, the ways they will take turns tending it, and the ways you will all learn to choose books for each other as a community of readers.