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Posted on April 24th, 2014, by

TEACHER: ____________________

            SCHOOL: _____________________

            GRADE LEVEL: Grade 1

            SUBJECT AREA: Shared Reading

            SKILLS: The literacy block represented in this paper will help children

  • to develop rich vocabulary and deep understanding of the major concepts and language structures;
  • to develop creative thinking and reasoning;
  • to develop word study skills;
  • to develop listening skills (Trehearne 3).
  • to learn more about Antarctica and its inhabitants;
  • to love and save Mother nature and take care of animals;
  • to improve personal relation to environment;
  • to critically evaluate the behavior of men in Antarctica;
  • to improve motivation in reading literature.

TITLE: The Discussion of Antarctica by Helen Cowcher

 

DESCRIPTION: Reading aloud, word study and writing

OBJECTIVES:

  1. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the text, fluent reading, discussion and the ability to write words, word combinations and simple sentences on the topic Antarctica.
  2. Students will know the vocabulary related to the topic Antarctica, have an opportunity to develop communication and listening skills, and describe pictures form the book using their imagination and vocabulary of the lesson.

            MATERIAL: the book Antarctica written by Helen Cowcher, the song Penguin March, map and globe, several pictures of Antarctica and penguins.

            CLASS TIME: 90 minutes

The literacy block can be divided into 3 parts: reading aloud, word study and writing. Each activity takes 30 minutes or less. It will be better to include introduction section in order to get students interested in the lesson’s topic.

            ACTIVITIES:

  1. Introduction to the lesson (10 minutes)

Listening to the song Penguin March. Singing songs helps children to hear different sounds of language (Cultivating Readers: Making Reading Active and Fun!)

All children in the group are marching and repeating the military chant. Children should repeat each line of the song after the teacher. This song can help to develop phonological awareness, because in this song, phonemic patterns such as rhyme and alliteration are present (Sherman & Tatum-Carter 2).

 

I’m a penguin black and white

I can’t fly but that’s all right

I’ve got feathers that’s not fur

and I lay eggs like other birds

 

Chorus:

Penguins, 1, 2

Penguins, 3, 4

Penguins, 5, 6, 7, 8

They’re great!

 

I just swim to get my meals

But I watch out for leopard seals.

I’m from the south as you may know

And now it’s time for me to go.

Children repeat chorus two times

  1. Reading aloud (30 minutes)

The book Antarctica by Helen Cowcher is an informational book. It does not follow a storyline, but represents much information on the topic.  Informational books included in the shared reading activity give an opportunity to teach children the structure of a book, including table of contents, number of pages, information about the publishers, etc. (Swartz et al. 23).  The book can be effectively used as part of a lesson involving reading aloud that demonstrates fluent reading, word study and writing techniques (Guzman).

The text talk strategy that will be used in this case includes the following elements:

  • Reading and discussing the story with students. It is necessary to ask questions during the book reading, in order to focus children’s attention on understanding of the story (What is this book about? Where do the penguins live? Where is Antarctica on the map/globe? What do you know about the life of penguins in Antarctica? What are their problems? etc.).
  • Children are engaged in discussion. They ask each other about the main events of the story, express their relation to the main characters of the book.  They describe life of emperor and Adelie penguins and Weddell seals during the severe Antarctic winter and spring when the inhabitants of Antarctica nest and give birth, and then raise their young. The teacher explains that harsh weather conditions make survival rather difficult. However, the true enemies for penguins are the men who have arranged a base camp near the nesting area. Their helicopter often frightens the penguins and they have to leave their nests, giving an opportunity to the predatory skuas to have access to their eggs.
  1. Word study (30 minutes)

In this section, the teacher pays special attention to word study, including spelling, phonics, phonemic awareness, and vocabulary development. It is necessary to differentiate strategy based instruction according to the students’ developmental needs (Bear et al. 11).

The teacher introduces the target words, asks children to repeat each word several times in order to have a clear phonological representation of each word, explains the meaning of the words, and uses these words in complete sentences (Lane & Wright, 2007, p.671). These words are: Antarctica, south, north, penguins, seals, continent, frozen, fragile, arrival, to raise, creature, safely, etc.

Children practice spelling of the words and are involved in activities with sounds and syllables. They find plural forms and singular forms, suffixes and prefixes, long vowels and silent letters. It is known that children learn best when they are having fun (Cultivating Readers: Making Reading Active and Fun! ). The teacher uses the game PlAyInG wItH wOrDs when one student says the meaning of the word and the rest of the group try to choose the appropriate word from the text of the book (Denaro 38). One more activity is crossword activity when students try to make a crossword puzzle using the words from the text of the book.  This task will be given to the students as a home assignment. The last activity is a picture game when children describe the pictures from the book.

  1. Writing (20 minutes)

In this section, students write the words used in the book with and without looking. They use writing worksheets in order to learn how to write new words form the book and improve their handwriting (Fisher & Medvic 27).

ASSESSMENT:

It is very important to assess students’ learning. The teacher should understand what students will know and understand by the end of the lesson (Tileston 3).

In addition, the teacher should assess his or her work during the lesson. The questions to be answered include:

What worked well?

What should be changed?

Was the amount of time adequate?

Was my lesson a success? (Thompson 12).

This information can improve the curriculum (Hewlitt 3). The objectives of the lesson as well as the assessment section can help to avoid the problems of curriculum construction (Olivia 422). In this lesson, the teacher shows knowledge of the requirements of multi-level instruction with attention to word level and meaning level instruction that allows for reading, writing, listening/viewing and speaking opportunities. The lesson demonstrates teachers’ ability to develop literacy skills in an integrated manner with word-level instruction being featured on its own and in reading and writing tasks, and with reading informing writing instruction.

 

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