Monday, October 6, 2014

Sequencing and Summarizing in a Folktale

Gosh, I miss having a class of my own. As a literacy coach, the teachers are my students...and the students are our students, but they're not MY students. I have to share them with their teachers. It's hard, sometimes.... and then sometimes, when I see a teacher filling out an office referral, or submitting grades, or doing anything else I don't like to do, I don't miss it so much. But most of the time, I do.

Anyway, this past week, I've been a modeling fool. My modeling career is really taking off in fourth grade, where I'm modeling reading and writing lessons for a teacher who just had to close her kindergarten section and move to fourth grade three weeks after school started.

Don't ask.

She's been great, and I've been loving modeling in her room! This week, we worked on sequencing and summarizing the plot's events in a folktale. Some folktales are great sources for this kind of plot teaching because there's a clear lesson supported by the problem and the solution. To teach this, we chose The Little Ant, by Joe Hayes. He's kind of a local favorite.

We read The Little Ant to students and gave them little cards with the main events of the story.

After the reading, during which students each had a copy, the students used the text evidence to sequence the events in the story. We had them identify the important elements: the main character, her motivation, the problem, solution, outcome, and lesson.

After students sequenced the events, we checked them together using the text evidence from the story. 

Then, we gave each pair of students a fiction story map. They decided on the elements and glued them on.

 From there, we gave each team a blank sentence strip and told them the element they were responsible for. Students in the group wrote a sentence describing their element from the story. They created them in complete sentences. We put them together on our five summary elements of fiction pocket chart to create a super summary of the story.

This scaffolding has really supported students in summarizing and thinking about the important elements in most fiction stories. By generalizing the learning, I'm hoping we've helped them make connections to their own reading!

To help kids practice the work we've done during Reader's Workshop to students' independent reading, I created this Fiction Lapbook. It includes folded flap books for students to use when reading their own stories or novels. The skills included are the five fiction summary elements, different types of questions, character analysis, character relationships, cause-effect relationships, and comparing characters! I'm so excited to use it with our kids!

You can get it at TPT!
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  1. I really like the sentence strip idea. I am definitely going to be taking that back to my room with me!

    Teaching in Room 6

    1. Yay! I'm so glad you like it- our kids really love the way it's interactive and so easy to revise visually.

  2. I love plot graphs! I like the idea of summarizing after sequencing with the sentence strips. There is so much to think about even with the simplest of stories. It's a great lesson on reviewing story elements at the beginning of the year.

  3. Wonderful ideas!! Where could I found the story you used?