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Balanced Literacy Lesson Plan

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					                    BALANCED LITERACY UNIT PLAN




                  THE EMPEROR AND THE KITE
                                     By Jane Yolen (Trophies)




QUESTIONS:
DOK 1: What is figurative language? Can you identify specific examples of figurative language
       in the folktales we have read?

DOK 2: In each folktale we read, what type of lesson is learned and how is it learned?

DOK 3: After reading several folktales, what story elements/characteristics are common to most
       folktales? What do folktales tell us about human nature in general?


NEVADA POWER STANDARDS/ 4TH GRADE
3.4.5 Identify and explain hyperboles, similes, and personification in text.
3.4.3 Make inferences and draw conclusions to explain the main idea supported by evidence;
      identify a lesson learned based on events and/or a character’s action.




                                                                  Anne Williams
                                                                  EDRL 443(A01)/ Norton
                                                                  February 15, 2011
                     BALANCED LITERACY LESSON PLANS

Day: 1
Goal: Students will be able to identify and explain similes in the text and be able
      to use similes in their writing.

Standard: 3.4.5 Identify and explain hyperboles, similes, and personification in text.

Stage One -- Pre-Reading – Direct Lesson:
Introduction:
The class will meet on the floor in the class meeting area. Students will bring their white boards,
erasers, markers, and Trophies textbook.
Teacher: During this week we are going to be reading several different folktales. Folktales are
stories that originated or started among the common, everyday people within a community.
These stories were passed around the community orally. As we read each folktale this week, we
will be looking at some story elements or characteristics that are commonly found in many
folktales. Our next story in our Trophies book is The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen. This
folktale takes place in China during the days when China had an Emperor. [Teacher elicits from
students what an emperor is.]

Demonstration/model:
Teacher: Today, before we even start to read The Emperor and the Kite, we are going to begin by
looking at a very important literary devise or tool that many folktale writers use in their stories.
This writing tool is called figurative language.” [Teacher will write “Figurative Language” at
the top of a piece of chart paper.] “Figurative language is where the author describes something
by comparing it to something else that is totally different. For example, I would be using
figurative language if I said, Jose is as fearless as a lion.” [Teacher writes this on chart.] I want
you to write on your white board the two things I am comparing in this sentence.” [Students
write Jose and Lion and hold up their boards.] “Great! Jose and a lion. [Teacher highlights both
words on chart paper.] Is Jose really a lion? [Students: NO!] I could have just said that Jose is
fearless and that would be fine. But I want you to take a couple of minutes to Think/Pair/ Share
and write down with your buddy: How does saying, Jose is as fearless as a lion help the reader
more than just saying Jose is fearless? [Buddies work together and write down their answers on
their white board.] Teacher calls on pairs to share their ideas. Teacher: “Yes, by using figurative
language, it helps the reader picture the character more vividly. There are several different types
of figurative language, but this type [points to example on chart paper and writes “simile”] is call
a “simile”.
Teacher: “Instead of saying that Jose is as fearless as a lion, [Teacher underlines as___as.] I
could have just said Jose is like a lion. [Teacher writes this on chart paper, highlights comparison
words, and underlines like.] Think/Pair/Share with your buddy and write down how this sentence
would also help the reader picture Jose.” [Students work together, make their list, then share
their ideas whole group.]
Teacher: “In both of these cases: Jose is as fearless as a lion” and “Jose is like a lion”, we are
using the type of figurative language called a simile. Similes are used to make the descriptions
more vivid and more interesting.
Guided Lesson:
Teacher: “Please open your Trophies book to The Emperor and the Kite story. I will read the
first two pages, and I want you to follow along in your book looking for similes. Remember,
similes will compare two unlike things using the words like or as. When you see a simile, mark it
with a Post-it strip.” [Teacher hands our several Post-it strips to each student.] After reading the
first two pages, the teacher stops and records on the chart paper examples of similes the students
found in the reading. The teacher will then point out and highlight the two unlike things in each
simile that are being compared. The teacher will also underline the words like and as used in
each simile.

Guided Practice:
Teacher will then assign one recorded story simile from the chart paper to each small group. In
small groups students will discuss how that simile helps the reader picture the character more
vividly (What do we learn about the character from that simile?). When finished, share ideas
whole group. Teacher records simile meaning next to each simile already written on the chart
paper.

Share, Review, Closure:
Once again, a simile is a type of figurative language that compares two unlike things by using the
words like or as.” [Teacher writes this on chart paper and writes several examples using like in
some and as____ as in others.] You are now going to buddy read The Emperor and the Kite, and
record the similes and their meanings in your Reading Journals. When you are finished, you will
read the simile picture book Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood. Then using the book as a
model, you will each write a similar version describing yourself.

Stage Two – During Reading – Independent Work (Small Group, Seat, Center):
Students will buddy read The Emperor and the Kite (Trophies) and record in their Reading
Journals all the similes they find. They will highlight the two unlike things that are being
compared, underline like or as, and then write how each simile helps the reader picture/
understand the character or event more vividly. When finished the students will individually read
the short picture book Quick as a Cricket, then write their own personal version. [The teacher
will pull two guided reading groups while the rest of the students work on their Trophies reading
and their simile descriptions.]

Stage Three – After Reading – Reflection:
Students will return to the meeting area and in small groups share their personal similes. The
teacher will review the simile items previously recorded on the chart paper. Students will then
turn to a neighbor and share something they learned today about figurative language and similes.
[Teacher will check students’ responses in their Reading Journals – informal assessment.]

Materials/Resources Needed:
Chart paper / markers / highlighter                          Student white boards and markers
Copy of 4th grade Trophies book for each student             Student highlighters
Copies of Quick as a Cricket for each student                Post-it strips
Reading Journal for each student
Day: 2
Goal: Students will be able to infer the lessons learned in two folktale based on the events and
      the characters’ actions in those folktales (The Emperor and the Kite and Tiger Woman).

Standard: 3.4.3 Make inferences and draw conclusions to explain the main idea supported by
                evidence; identify a lesson learned based on events and/or a character’s
                action.


Stage One -- Pre-Reading – Direct Lesson:

Review/ Introduction:
Students will meet on floor in meeting area bringing their white boards, erasers, markers, and
Trophies books with them.
Teacher: Yesterday I told you that many folktales use figurative language. There are several
kinds of figurative language that authors use, but we looked at one type: similes. I’d like you to
turn to your partner, answer the two following questions, and write your definitions on your
white boards:
    1. What is a good definition for “figurative language”?
    2. What is a good definition for a “simile”?
[When finished teacher asks for definitions and writes them down on the chart paper.]

Teacher: Figurative language is common in many folktales. Today we are going to look at
another element that is in folktales: Lessons learned. Folktales were often told within a
community in order to teach a lesson. The story helped people remember the lesson and
understand why the lesson was important to learn. Often the lesson learned by the character is
not specifically stated in the folktale, so we have to infer, or figure it out, by looking at the events
in the story and by looking at how the character changes.

Demonstration/model:
Teacher: A good way to help us infer what lesson is learned in a story is to make a story map
layered booklet. [Teacher will show a colored layered booklet on the elmo, pointing out the
titles on the different layers: 1. Title of Folktale, Author/ Illustrator, Student’s name, 2. Main
character(s) and Setting, 3. Problem, 4. Events that lead to change, 5. Lesson learned. 6. How the
lesson applies to me.]

In a moment we are going to listen to The Emperor and the Kite story on tape as we follow along
in our Trophies book. We will stop every few pages to discuss the story so far and fill out what
we can in our layered booklet.

Guided Lesson:
Students listen to story while following along in their books. Every so often the teacher will stop
the tape, discuss some of the comprehension questions in the Teacher’s Manuel, and have the
students help fill in aspects of the layered booklet shown on the elmo.
Guided Practice:
At the end of the tape, the teacher will review what was written in the layered booklet so far.
Students will then form small groups and discuss what lesson they think was learned and how
that lesson applies to them today (last two flaps in the booklet). They will write their answers on
their white board.


Share, Review, Closure:
The groups will then share their ideas with the whole group.
Teacher: Today we’ve learned that folktales were often written/told to teach a lesson. Thus
when you read another folktale, the first thing you should think is, “I wonder what lesson this
folktale wants me to learn?” Then, in order to find out what that lesson is, think through the
layers in our booklet. You are now going to buddy read another Chinese folktale titled Tiger
Woman by Laurence Yep. This folktale is based on a Chinese folk song. As you read, I want
you and your partner to fill out your own layered booklet and also note any similes you find.

Stage Two – During Reading – Independent Work (Small Group, Seat, Center):
Teacher will hand out colored paper to each student and, using the elmo, show them how to fold
and staple their own layered booklet.
Students will then buddy read Tiger Woman, stopping along the way to discuss ideas and fill in
their layered booklets, as well as note any similes they find on the back of their booklets. When
finished each student will find another student to share their booklet with, discussing similarities
and differences in their findings. When finished the students may go to their assigned center.
[Teacher will pull two guided reading groups while the rest of the students work with their
buddies on Tiger Woman.]

Stage Three – After Reading – Reflection:
The class will meet on the floor in the meeting area. The students will bring their layered
booklets with them. The teacher will ask students to share the similes they found. Next she will
ask students what they thought was the lesson of Tiger Woman, what events helped them figure
out the lesson, and how the lesson applied to them.
Teacher: Tomorrow we are going to look at the figurative language in another folktale. Before
you leave, please turn to your neighbor and tell them two things folktales around the world often
have in common.
[Teacher will check students’ responses in their layered booklets – informal assessment.]

Materials/ Resources Needed:
Student white boards, erasers, and markers
Trophies book for each student
Chart paper from yesterday’s lesson
Cassette tape of The Emperor and the Kite
One layered booklet made up for class demo.
Elmo
Colored paper and stapler for student layered booklets
Buddy copies of Tiger Woman by Laurence Yep
Day: 3
Goal: Students will be able to identify and explain similes in the text and be able
      to use similes in their writing.

Standard: 3.4.5 Identify and explain hyperboles, similes, and personification in text.

Stage One -- Pre-Reading – Direct Lesson:

Introduction:
Students will meet on floor in meeting area bringing their white boards, erasers, and markers.
Teacher: Over the last two days we’ve been looking at similes in Folktales, as well as reading
folktales to understand the lessons they teach. We learned that similes are a type of figurative
language writers use to make their descriptions more vivid. We also learned that similes use the
words like and as. Often times similes are also used in everyday expressions to describe a thing,
a person, or their actions. Here is a list of very common similes using as that you might hear
people use. [Teacher puts the list on the elmo.] As I read each simile, put your thumb up if you
have ever heard it used before.

as busy as a bee                      as flat as a pancake          as thin as a rail
as proud as a peacock                 as big as saucers             as mad as a hatter
as clear as a bell                    as blind as a bat             as hard as a rock
as cute as a button                   as busy as a beaver           as red as a beet
as easy as pie                        as free as a bird             as light as a feather
as good as gold                       as sly as a fox               as fit as a fiddle
as quick as a wink                    as strong as an ox            as sick as a dog
as cold as ice                        as wise as an owl             as smart as a whip
as stubborn as a mule                 as slow as a snail            as snug as a bug in a rug
as brave as a lion                    as poor as a church mouse     as fresh as a daisy

Teacher and students quickly discuss how the adjective is like the noun in the above similes and
what the simile means.

Demonstration/model:
Teacher: All of the similes we have looked at in the folktales so far have used the word as.
Today we will look at another folktale that uses similes with the word like. There are also many
everyday expressions that use similes with the word like. Here are just a few:

She ran like the wind.
He eats like a pig.
I slept like a log.
My sister eats like a bird.
She stood like a statue
Teacher: These are all very common expressions, and it is important to understand what they
mean. However, writers want to think up new similes to really catch their readers’ attention.
They want their readers to stop at the simile and really picture the comparison in their mind.

Guided Lesson:
Today you are going to read the folktale The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy.
[Teacher holds up book.] Each of these seven brothers looks exactly alike, but each has a very
special gift. [Teacher does a quick picture walk of the book. Teacher has the following written
on chart paper.]

The first brother could hear like ________________________
The second brother could see like _______________________
The third brother was strong like_________________________
The fourth brother had bones like________________________
The fifth brother had legs like ___________________________
The sixth brother loved heat like ______________________________
The seventh brother could cry so much that his tears were like___________________

Teacher: Let’s predict what word or words will fit in the blanks. Let’s try to find comparisons
that will make the reader really stop and picture the comparison.
[Teacher writes down several students’ suggestion for each one on the board and the class
decides which description is the most vivid. The most vivid description is then put in the blank
on the chart paper. Teacher then highlights the two things being compared and underlines the
word like.

Guided Practice:
Teacher: This folktale The Seven Chinese Brothers also has an emperor in it. In this story the
author uses several similes using like to describe things about the emperor. I am going to give
you the first half of several sentences in the book about the emperor, and I want you to fill in
what you think the second half might say. You will work together in small groups. Each person
in your small group will give a suggestion and then you will decided which suggestion is the
most vivid and write it down.

The emperor’s whisper was like___________________________
The emperor’s glance was like____________________________
The emperor’s frown was like ____________________________
[Small groups will work to find the most vivid simile.]

Share, Review, Closure:
Groups will share their similes for the emperor. Teacher uses students’ suggestions to fill in
blank on chart, highlights the two things being compared and underlines the word like.
Remember, good writers are always looking for vivid, interesting similes to make their writing
come alive for the reader.
Teacher: I now want you to buddy read The Seven Chinese Brothers. As you are reading I want
you to do the following in your Reading Journal [on elmo]:
    1. Look for any similes using like or as and write them down.
  2. Highlight the two things being compared in each simile.
  3. Underline the simile word like or as.
  4. Write down how the simile really helped you picture what was being described.
  5. Draw a picture of the comparison next to each simile.
When you are finished you may go to your center for today.

Stage Two – During Reading – Independent Work (Small Group, Seat, Center):

Students buddy read The Seven Chinese Brothers. While reading they do the following in their
Reading Journal:
   1. Look for any similes using like or as and write them down.
   2. Highlight the two things being compared in each simile.
   3. Underline the simile word like or as.
   4. Write down how the simile really helped them picture what was being described.
   5. Draw a picture of the comparison next to each simile.
When finished the students go to their center for today.
[Teacher will pull two guided reading groups while the rest of the students work with their
buddies and at their centers.]

Stage Three – After Reading – Reflection:
The students will meet in the meeting area again bringing their Reading Journals with them.
Students will share whole group the similes they found in the story. Teacher and students will
compare their prediction similes about the emperor on the chart paper with those the author
actually wrote and discuss how the use of different similes paints slightly different pictures of
what the emperor is like.
Teacher: Tomorrow we are going to be looking at this folktale a second time to try to infer what
lesson the folktale is trying to teach us.
[Teacher will check students’ responses in their Reading Journals – informal assessment.]

Materials/ Resources Needed:
Students’ white boards, erasers, and markers
List of common similes using as and like [elmo]
Copy of book The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy for each pair
Chart paper with seven brothers listed and space for simile / also emperor’s similes
List of directions for Reading Journals [elmo]
Day: 4
Goal: Students will be able to infer the lesson in the folktale The Seven Chinese Brothers based
      on the events and actions of the characters .

Standard: 3.4.3 Make inferences and draw conclusions to explain the main idea supported by
                evidence; identify a lesson learned based on events and/or a character’s
                action.


Stage One -- Pre-Reading – Direct Lesson:

Review/ Introduction:
Students will meet on floor in meeting area bringing their white whiteboard, marker, eraser,
pencil, and a copy of The Seven Chinese Brothers with them.

Teacher: Yesterday we talked about two types of similes. Please write on your white board the
two words that are used in similes. [Students write like and as on their while boards and show
teacher.] We also talked about how there are many common similes that people use in everyday
speech and that it is important to understand what they mean. Can anyone remember a common
simile? Writers, however, are always looking for new, vivid, and exciting similes that will make
their reader stop and really picture the comparison. From now on when you write, see if you can
add a vivid simile to your writing. It will help make your writing more interesting to your
reader.
Teacher: Today we are going to go back and look at The Seven Chinese Brothers to see if we
can find the lesson this folktale wants to teach us. Remember, a common characteristic in
folktales is to teach a lesson. Remember I said that in some folktales we can infer, or figure out,
what the lesson is by how the main character changes. We could infer the lesson in both The
Emperor and the Kite and Tiger Woman by investigating how the emperor and the woman both
changed by the end of the story. Please turn to your neighbor and tell each other what lesson did
the emperor learn in The Emperor and the Kite? [Partners share.] Now tell your neighbor what
lesson the old woman learned in Tiger Woman?[Partners share.] In some folktales, however, the
main character(s) do not really change by the end of the story, but their actions and thoughts
throughout the story give us clues to the lesson the author wants to teach his or her community.
In The Seven Chinese Brothers the brothers do not change by the end because they were kind
and caring at the beginning, and they were the same way at the end. However, the way they
acted toward each other and toward the emperor can teach us a lot. A good way to keep track of
the actions and thoughts of so many characters is by using a bubble map.

Demonstration/model:
Teacher: So let’s begin a Character Bubble Map for the seven brothers to keep track of their
actions/ thoughts toward each other and toward the emperor. [Teacher hands out a blank bubble
map to each student, then draws the same bubble map on chart paper. In the central bubble she
writes: Seven Chinese Brothers. All alike but each with his own amazing power. Then she
draws a bubble for each of the seven brothers, labels each bubble, and connects them to the
central bubble with lines. Students copy the information onto their bubble maps.]
Guided Lesson:
Let’s now read the first few pages and fill in what we find out about each brother and how they
act toward each other and toward the emperor. Teacher reads a page at a time and then elicits
students’ help to begin to fill in the bubble map. Teacher writes students’ ideas on the chart
bubble map while students copy information onto their own bubble maps.

Guided Practice:
Then students buddy read the next few pages while continuing to write down their ideas on their
maps. The ideas are then shared whole group which the teacher adds to the chart.

Share, Review, Closure:
Teacher: You are now going to go back to your desks and finish reading The Seven Chinese
Brothers on your own. As you read, continue to fill out your own charts. When you are done,
find a buddy and review what each of you wrote down. Then together write down a sentence or
two saying what you think the lesson of the story is by the way the brothers acted or the things
they said. Then you will write down how that lesson applies to you and your life. When you are
finished you may go to your center for today.

Stage Two – During Reading – Independent Work (Small Group, Seat, Center):
Students finish reading The Seven Chinese Brothers on their own and complete their charts.
Then they find a buddy and review what each wrote down. Next they discuss the lesson in the
story and write down a sentence or two telling what the lesson is that the author wants her reader
to learn and how that lesson applies to them. When they are finished they go to their center for
that day.
[Teacher will pull two guided reading groups while students work on their charts.]


Stage Three – After Reading – Reflection:
The class will meet back in the meeting area bringing their Bubble Maps with them. The class
will discuss their findings, what lesson they think the author wants to teach her reader, and how
that lesson applies to them individually. Teacher will end by restating that sometimes the main
character(s) do not change, but the lesson of the folktale can be learned by looking carefully at
the way the character acted toward others.
[Teacher will check each student’s bubble map and lesson statements – informal assessment.]

Materials/ Resources Needed:
Chart paper and markers
Student white boards, markers, pencils
Individual copies of The Seven Chinese Brothers
Individual student bubble maps
Day: 5
Day 5 (Friday) will be a little different from the other days since no reading groups will be
pulled during Stage Two. Instead of buddy or individual work, the table groups will work
together to complete a group folktale mobile. There will be time for centers at the end.

Goal: Students will discuss and list story elements common to most folktales as well as discuss
and list what folktales can tell us about human nature in general.

Standard: 3.4.3 Make inferences and draw conclusions to explain the main idea supported by
                evidence; identify a lesson learned based on events and/or a character’s
                action.

Stage One -- Pre-Reading – Direct Lesson:

Review/ Introduction:
Students will meet on floor in meeting area bringing their white boards, erasers, markers, and a
pencil with them.
Teacher: As we start this lesson, I want each of you to take three minutes and write down at
least four things you learned this week. When the time is up, please form groups of four and
share your four or more things with your group.
Teacher: This week we have read three folktales. In those folktales we have looked at two
different types of similes: those using “like” and those using “as”[Show chart paper from
previous days]. We have identified similes in the folktales and common similes used in every
day life, as well as identified the meaning of each. We have also worked on using similes in our
writing. Along with similes we have learned that folktales were often written to teach a lesson.
We have learned how to identify the lessons learned in the three folktales we read and talked
about how those lessons apply to us today.
Today we are going to look at the bigger picture. From the folktales we read this week, plus the
ones we already know, we are going to create a list of common elements that are found in many
folktales. We are then going to create another list of what folktales tell us about human nature in
general? With this information you will then be making team mobiles representing what you
discovered.

Demonstration/model:
On chart paper the teacher draws a T chart as follows

Common Story Elements in Folktales                           What Folktales Tell Us About
                                                                   Human Nature


The teacher hands out a similar T chart to each student and has them fold their paper in half hot
dog bun style so only the “Common Story Elements…” side is showing.

Guided Lesson: Common Story Elements
Teacher: We are going to start by brainstorming the common story elements that are in many
folktales. So far this week I have told you two story elements that are often in folktales. Can
anyone remember what they are? [ figurative language and lesson learned]. The teacher writes
these on the chart paper and the students copy.

Guided Practice: Common Story Elements
Teacher: I want you now to return to your table groups. At your table groups are copies of the
folktales we read this week as well as a few others. With your table group, I want you to write
down more common elements you see in all of the folktales. Put down as many ideas as you can
in 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes is over, the Teacher will elicit from the group other “Common Element”
ideas to add to the master chart. [Some ideas: an insignificant character is finally rewarded for
their value or worth/ the stories usually start “Once upon a time” or “A long time ago”/ the
stories talk about common people and sometimes kings/emperors/ the stories are usually set in a
specific country or culture/ the good, kind, honest character wins while the lazy, selfish, evil
character loses, etc.]

Guided Lesson: Folktales and Human Nature
Teacher: Let’s now look at what folktales tell us about human nature. Folktales have lasted for
generations not only because they are good stories, and not only because they teach a good
lesson, but also because readers today can still identify with the attitudes and actions of the
characters – the human nature aspects of the characters. Let’s look at some of the attitudes or
actions of the characters in the folktales we read. How would you describe the woman in Tiger
Woman? What was she like at the beginning? [Students: selfish, greedy, uncaring, grumpy, …]
[Teacher writes these words on the T Chart and students copy on their T chart paper.] That’s
right! Do you know people today who are selfish, greedy, uncaring, and grumpy? Yes. These
are characteristics of human nature. What about the way people view other people? For example,
in Tiger Woman, why did the woman look down on the beggar? [Students: because he was old
and dirty] Teacher: Do you think there are people today who still act that way toward poor
people? Or do you think small people are often not valued as much as big, muscular people?
[Teacher writes these and other ideas from students on chart.]

Guided Practice: Folktales and Human Nature
Teacher: I want you now to go back to your table groups and write down more human nature
characteristics you see in other characters in the folktale books at your table.
[Teacher give table groups 10 minutes to discuss and write down more ideas. Table groups then
share their ideas whole group and the teacher adds these ideas to the T Chart.

Share, Review, Closure
Teacher quickly review both sides of the T Chart.
Teacher: You are now going to put together all our ideas today on a mobile to help us remember
them. Each table group will help make the mobile that will hang above your desks. You can
divide up the parts of the mobile so that everyone gets a part to work on.
Stage Two – During Reading – Group Work (Centers):
Teacher hands out materials, shows a model of the mobile, and explains each part. See
description below. Students work jointly on the table group Folktale Mobile.

Pyramid Mobile:
Pyramid Mobile (Big Book of Books and Activities by Dinah Zike, p. 41) On the top will be a
sign stating FOLKTALES. Under this, attached by yarn will be a pyramid stating
COMMON STORY ELEMENTS OF FOLKTALES with ideas from their T Charts listed on the
pyramid. Attached to the pyramid base by yarn will be many shaped pieces of colored cardstock
listing different examples of what folktales can tell us about human nature in general. These
mobiles will then be hung above the team table groups.
When finished, table groups go to centers.

Stare Three – After Reading – Reflection:
Groups quickly share their mobiles and thus review once again what they have learned that day.
Teacher quickly reviews the main teaching points of the week (identifying similes and their
meanings, identifying lessons, identifying common story elements in folktales, and identifying
elements of human nature in folktales.) The teacher will then encourage students to continue to
read more folktales. Teacher will show students a bin she has put together of folktale books and
quickly shows some of the covers.

Materials/ Resources Needed:
Students’ white boards, markers, erasers, and pencils
Chart paper and markers
Folktale books for each table group
Sample mobile for students to see
Yarn for each group
Colored card stock/ construction paper
Scissors for each group
Glue for each group
Bin filled with folktale books
                              GUIDED READING LESSON

Nonfiction Text: “Guardians of the Tomb” (National Geographic KIDS, Nov. 2009.
See included copy at end of Guided Reading Lesson.)
This is an article about the huge army of life-size, terra cotta soldiers archeologists found near
Xi’an, China. The find has been called the eighth wonder of the ancient world.

Difficult Words:
Prompt: Let’s break these words apart:
excavations: ex-cav-ations (look at the prefix and suffix)
painstakingly: pain-stak-ing-ly (look at the two suffix parts)
archaeologist: arch-ae-ol-o-gist
reconstruction: re-construct-ion (look at suffix and prefix)

Vocabulary Words (why I chose them):
archaeologist (important word for social studies and other content areas)
brutal (good adjective to know)
figurines (helps understand soldiers)
terra cotta (what the soldiers are made of and called)
emperor (appears in our folktales too)

Introduction:
Have you or any one you know ever found something valuable, interesting, or important? What
was it? What did you feel like when you found it? What did you do with it? (As the teacher I
would tell of the time when I was a little girl and found a wallet with a lot of money in it on the
floor at a movie theater. I would also tell of the time I found a very interestingly shaped rock
and even ended up giving it to my sister for her wedding present.) Students would share their
stories in pairs or small group. Today we are going to be reading about a very important find.

Pre-reading Strategies:
1. After the introduction the students take part in a “Story Impressions” pre-reading strategy.
The following words and phrases would be given to the students in order. They would begin by
discussing the meaning of any words that may be unfamiliar to them (especially see above
vocabulary/difficult word lists). The group would then work together to predict what the article
could be about. Then they would tell their prediction to the teacher. The words/ phrases are as
follows:

Farmers digging for water
Face stared up at them from the soil, eyes wide open
Buried treasure
A pit the size of two football fields
Soldiers
Battle formation
Chariots, cavalry, high ranking officers
Archaeologists
Brutal ruler known for his big ideas and even bigger ego
Tomb
Guardians
Figurines
Victims
Enemies took revenge
Secrets
Eighth wonder of the world

2. After the group shares its summary with the teacher, the teacher would show the photos from
the article along with the title and large subtitles which introduce the paragraphs [the rest of the
article would be covered]. With this information the group could choose add to or revise their
original prediction.
Teacher: In our folktales we have been reading about Chinese emperors. The emperor in The
Seven Chinese Brothers is thought to have been Ch’in Shih Huang, the Chinese emperor who
built the Great Wall of China around 230 A.D. We are now going to read about another famous
Chinese emperor after Ch’in Shih Huang who built another amazing wonder

During Reading Strategy:
Students will then silently or whisper read the article. After reading the article through carefully,
the teacher will assign a subtitled section to each student. The student will read his or her
subtitled short paragraph and will write two questions they could use to play “Stump the Others”.
When they are finished, they will take turns asking questions of each other. The students may use
the article to search and find an answer if no one can answer the question. Following this the
teacher will lead a brief general discussion about the article, for example, had the students heard
of this find before, what they thought of the article or the emperor, any question they may have.

After Reading Strategy:
Teacher: Some people feel that the Terra Cotta Army at Xi’an, China should be considered the
Eighth Wonder of the World. What are the other seven? The teacher would name and show
photos of the other seven wonders of the world and point out their location on a map of the
world.
1. The pyramids at Giza, Egypt
2. The hanging gardens of Babylon
3. The temple of Artemis at Ephesus
4. The statue of Zeus at Olympia, Greece
5. The mausoleum (tomb) at Halicarnassus in southwest Turkey
6. The colossus of Rhodes
7. The lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt

After seeing the pictures, the students would discuss what all of these places have in common
that would have made them a wonder of the world. (answers: all made by humans, all notable
because of their great size…). Then they would discuss if the Terra Cotta Soldiers should or
should not be included in this group and why?
Closure to the Lesson:
Teacher: The ancient Romans listed these seven wonders of the world as memorable things
travelers should see. The Terra Cotta Soldiers of China probably would have been counted in
this tourist list of things to see had they been known of back then. Make a list with your group of
famous or great places/ things in America you think tourists should see, places that fit our
definition of a World Wonder (i.e., made by humans, notable for its great size…) Be prepared to
defend your choices.

Four prompts that will promote conversation and digging deeper:
   1. What are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World?
   2. What do these Seven Wonders all have in common?
   3. Should the Terra Cotta Soldiers be considered the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World
      and why?
   4. What famous places/things in America today do you think a tourist should see and why –
      places that fit our definition of a World Wonder?
GUIDED READING ARTICLE
                         CENTERS/ LITERACY STATIONS

Center Idea #1: Emperors of Concentration
The current unit vocabulary words will be taken from The Emperor and the Kite and key words
from the other folktales.

Purpose: To help reinforce the new vocabulary words and their definitions being taught in
         the current unit as well as to reinforce previously learned vocabulary words.

Implementation:
       Each vocabulary word is written on a separate yellow card. Under each word will be
         printed the sentence in which it appears in the story.
       Each corresponding definition is written on a separate red card.
       The cards could be laminated.
       Students will begin by turning all the cards right side up and trying to match the
         words with their definitions by using the sentence context clues. Once the students
         have matched up words and their definitions, they will check their work against the
         teacher’s check sheet in the envelope. After making sure each word/definition match
         is correct, the cards will be turned over for the concentration game.
       The game would then be played like any “concentration” game. All the cards would
         be turned over so only the blank side is showing. The cards would then be mixed up.
         Students would take turns turning over a vocabulary card (red) and a definition card
         (blue) trying to make a match. If a match is made, the student says the word and
         definition aloud. The other student(s) must agree with the match. The cards are then
         put in the winner’s own stack and that student gets to take another turn. If a match is
         not made, the cards are turned over again for the next person’s turn.

Materials:
  1. Vocabulary (printed on red paper) and definition cards (printed on blue paper)
  2. A word/definition check sheet
  3. An envelope/ box to keep the game in
Center Idea #2: Masters of Simile
Purpose: To give students practice using similes in their writing.

Implementation:
       A student will draw a card from the Story Starter Box. (Students also have the option
         of creating their own story starter.)
       Each card will have a simple story starter on it, for example, “Jack jumped out of the
         car. He ran across the street. His backpack was heavy on his back. He knew it
         would be the end of him if he were late for class one more time.”
       Students will add similes using like and as to the original story starter and then
         continue writing the story, using more similes to add vividness and interest to their
         descriptions.
       The story needs to have a beginning, middle, and end and include a story lesson.
       The students need to check the “Masters of Simile” rubric for specifics. (See
         included rubric at end of “Centers/ Literacy Stations” section.)
       At the end of center time, this story should be put in the student’s To Do Folder to be
         worked on at free moments during the week.

Materials: 1. Index box with story starter cards
           2. Paper and pencils
           3. Folder to place completed work in.

Center Idea #3: Chinese Boggle
Purpose: To help students see numerous possibilities and patterns by creating as many words
         as possible with a given number of letters

Implementation:
       Three students will work at this center.
       Each student will need a small ziplock bag with letter cards in it, a piece of paper, and
         a pencil.
       Each ziplock bag will contain the letters from the title of one of the three folktales
         read in the current unit.
       From the letters of their ziplock bag, the student will try to figure out which title they
         have and spell it out with the letters. They will write the title at the top of their piece
         of paper.
       Next, the students will see how many words they can create from those same letters in
         5 minutes, recording each word on their paper.
       At the end the student will score their paper as follows: 2 letter words = 2 points,
         three letter words = 3 points, etc.
       The winner will be the student with the most points.
       The students will then exchange ziplock bags and start the game again.

Materials: 1. Ziplock baggies each with letters from one of the titles of the folktales being
              read that week.
           2. Paper and pencils.
Center Idea #4: Illustrator’s Corner
Purpose: To help students learn commonly used similes by illustrating them.

Implementation:
       The illustrator’s corner will be stocked with a supply of butcher paper, art supplies,
         and an index box of cards with commonly used similes written on each card.
       The student will choose cards from the index box, write the chosen similes on their
         butcher paper, and illustrate the similes.
       The student will make a colorful, artistic collage using as many similes as possible on
         their paper.

Materials:    1. Butcher paper
              2. Art supplies (colored construction paper, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, etc.)
              3. Index box with simile cards
CENTER/ LITERACY STATION RUBRIC
                                  ADDITIONAL TEXTS

   1.   Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
   2.   Tiger Woman by Laurence Yep
   3.   The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy
   4.   “Guardians of the Tomb” by Kristin Baird Rattini (National Geographic KIDS,
        November 2009)




Why these texts were chosen:
Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood was chosen to fit with the Trophies story as a teaching tool
to help students understand how similes using “as” are written and used. The book is also a good
model for students to follow as they create their personal similes.

Tiger Woman by Laurence Yep fit in so well with the Trophies story The Emperor and the Kite
because not only was it a folktale set in China, but it also contained similes and a lesson which
were the three major elements we were studying in this unit.

The Seven Chinese Brothers by Margaret Mahy once again fit into the three major elements of
this unit by being a folktale containing similes with “like” and “as” and having a lesson.

I choose the article “Guardians of the Tomb” because I thought it would give some non-fiction,
historical weight to the unit. Two of the three folktales specifically talk about Chinese emperors.
The emperor in The Seven Chinese Brothers is believed to have been the Chinese emperor who
built the Great Wall of China. Thus I thought this article fit in so well as it talks about the
historical Chinese emperor who created the Terra Cotta Soldier Army.

				
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