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ELA G3:M1:U1:L1

Talking with My Peers: Carousel of Reading Superheroes around the World

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The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.


Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can effectively participate in a conversation with my peers and adults. (SL.3.1) 
  • I can ask and answer questions about a text. (RI.3.1)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can talk with my partner in order to record what I Notice and I Wonder about pictures.
  • I can ask and answer questions about a text.
  • Observation of partner discussions
  • Contributions to conversation norms
  • Quotes from My Librarian Is a Camel


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Unpacking the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

B.  Practicing Observing Closely: I Notice/I Wonder   (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Carousel Protocol: Pictures from around the World (20 minutes)

B.  Predicting the Text: Quotes Related to the Content of the Module (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

B.  Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Tell an adult you know about the pictures you saw and the quotes you read. What will you learn about in the coming weeks?

  • In advance: Post charts around the room (see step 2A of Agenda).
  • Prepare a piece of chart paper with a Quote from My Librarian is a Camel “The herders like to use ‘iron horses,’ meaning motorbikes, instead of real horses. Very few people have telephones, television, or access to computers, but most people can read!”
  • The Carousel protocol is a simple way to engage students with new content by getting them up moving, thinking, talking, and writing. In this lesson, students look at some “mystery” photographs to pique their curiosity. Do not reveal what the pictures are about or tell the students the guiding question for the module until the end of the lesson.
  • Review Think-Pair-Share and Carousel protocols (Appendix 1).
  • There are vocabulary words that are not domain-specific or academic that may need to be clarified for students: question, conversation, power.
  • ELLs may not have the comic book definition of superhero. Connect to students’ backgrounds to find their schema for a superhero.



notice, wonder, norms, record, details

  • In advance, gather seven photographs/illustrations (one for modeling, six for carousel stations) of children reading in different settings (global/local). “Consider using pages from the central texts (Rain School, p. 9; Nasreen’s Secret School, p. 13; and That Book Woman, p. 22) to foreshadow the work of this module. Or find other images you find from print or internet sources.
  • Seven pieces of chart paper (one for each photo/illustration) with T-chart: left hand colum for “What I Notice”/ right hand column for “What I Wonder” (new; teacher-created in advance)
  • Markers (ideally a different color for each pair)
  • Quotes from My Librarian Is a Camel (one per student)
  • Chart paper with a Quote from My Librarian Is a Camel (new; teacher-created; see teaching note above)
  • 3" x 5" index cards
  • Vocabulary cards (new; teacher-created)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Orient students to today’s learning targets. Circle the key terms notice and wonder. Ask students to talk with a partner about what these words mean and ask a few to share out to check for understanding.
  • Talk with students about the importance of learning targets—they help learners know what they are expected to learn and do during a lesson.
  • Consider providing nonlinguistic symbols (e.g., a question mark over the head of a talking student for ask questions, or a magnifying glass over a picture for find) to assist ELLs in making connections with vocabulary. These symbols can be used throughout the year with posted targets.

B. Practicing Observing Closely: I Notice/I Wonder (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to the reading area. Place them in pairs or ask them to identify a person near them with whom they can think and talk. Display for students a picture or illustration similar to the ones they will see during their work time today.
  • Notice: When we look at a picture or a book, we notice details. Discuss the meaning of the word details. “What details do you notice about this picture? For example, when I look at this picture, I notice ... [discuss a detail from picture] but it also makes me wonder ... [insert a question, for example the location of the photograph]. Emphasize the importance of referring directly to what you see in the picture (to help students begin to work with evidence).
  • Use the simple Think-Pair-Share protocol. Give students about 30 seconds or so to think; students then share with a partner what they noticed. Invite a few volunteers to share with the class the ideas that their partner had. As students share, record their ideas on the “What I notice” side of the T-chart.
  • Wonder: Invite students to share their understanding of a question: “What words do we use when asking questions?”
  • Students think, then share with a partner, questions they had about the picture. Record the question words students generate below the “What I Wonder” column (for example: “What are they doing?”). Consider using this opportunity to reinforce how to format a question using ending punctuation.
  • Repeat a few times so students grasp “noticing” and “wondering” before moving into the Carousel protocol.
  • Use thoughtful grouping:
  • ELL language acquisition is facilitated by interacting with native speakers of English who provide models of language.
  • Provide an illustrated anchor chart of question words (e.g., for the word when, use a picture of a clock) to assist students needing additional support with learning the structure to ask questions.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Carousel Protocol: Pictures from around the World (20 minutes)

  • Do not tell students what the pictures are. It’s supposed to be a mystery for them to puzzle through.
  • Students will work in different areas of the room for the carousel. Ask each pair to join another team to form groups of four.
  • Informally discuss good conversational norms. (Class Norms for Discussion will become an anchor chart in a future lesson.) Students can begin offering ideas as simple as “looking each other in the eyes when we speak” or “listening while the other person talks.” Review expectations with students about this protocol: taking turns, making sure everyone gets to write, etc.
  • Start each group of four at one station with one of seven charts with I Notice/I Wonder and the related photograph or illustration.
  • After 2 to 3 minutes, students rotate to a new station.
  • After students have completed a couple of the stations, it might be a good idea to stop students to praise them on their conversation skills as well as remind them of expectations.
  • Repeat until they have interacted with each picture.
  • Clarifying vocabulary meets the needs of ELLs and other students developing academic language.
  • ELLs can substitute a word in their “notices” in their native language if they don’t know the word in English. For students needing additional support, “notices” can also be drawn, circled, or marked with a sticky note on the pictures.
  • For students needing additional support to complete multistep directions, provide a step-by-step visual of the protocol.

B. Predicting the Text: Quotes Related to the Content of the Module (15 minutes)

  • Gather students back in the circle. Tell them that they will talk about these pictures again at the end of class today.
  • Tell them that this year they will become great readers, encountering many different types of texts. They will be reading stories, but also will be reading informational texts about real people and real places! Right now, they are going to get a glimpse at quotes from some of these texts. Briefly define quote in this context: a very short bit from a book.
  • Tell students that their job will be to read the text and ask questions that the text brings to their minds. For today, they get to just be curious: It’s okay if they don’t have answers yet.
  • They will then try to use clues, like words and phrases, to write possible answers to their questions. Tell them that there may be a lot of words in these quotes that students don’t know. That is fine. Encourage them to underline unfamiliar words and circle words that might help them think about the meaning of the quote.
  • Practice together once. Display the chart paper with a Quote from My Librarian is a Camel. “The herders like to use ‘iron horses,’ meaning motorbikes, instead of real horses. Very few people have telephones, television, or access to computers, but most people can read!”
  • Ask about the word herders. Think aloud the process of asking a question and using the text to find possible answers. Show them how to focus on key words, even if these are words students don’t yet understand: “I am wondering what a herder is, so I am going to write, ‘What is a herder?’”
  • Invite students to turn and talk about this first quote.

*    What other words do they notice that might be important?  What do they think the quote is mostly about?

*    What questions do they have?

  • Invite students’ contributions first, and then model if needed. (For example, “Without any electronics, what do people do for fun?”) Write this question below the quote.
  • Tell students that they will now get five more quotes to do this with a partner. Remind students that for today, the goal is just to try to make sense of the quote, pay attention to hard and important words, and ask questions. It’s okay if they don’t have the answers yet.
  • Distribute Quotes from My Librarian Is a Camel to each student. Review the instructions:
  1. Read the quote. It is okay if you don’t understand it yet.
  2. Think of a question you have based on what you read.
  3. Underline words you don’t know or can’t figure out.
  4. Circle words that help you figure out possible answers to those questions.
  5. Write possible answers to your questions using complete sentences.
  • Have students work with a partner first. Then they can individually write down their questions.
  • Circulate and support as needed. This is a good way to informally assess students’ comfort with reading in a low-risk environment during the first days of school.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Debrief (10 minutes)

  • Gather students in a whole group to debrief the carousel. Post all of their T-charts so students can see patterns. Ask a handful of students to share out what they noticed and wondered: “What worked well with your partner discussions today?”
  • Think-Pair-Share: Invite students to begin to discuss what the big themes or ideas of this unit might be. Model as needed. (For example: “I see many______, so I think we might study_________.”)
  • Whole group, invite volunteers to share out their ideas. Accept a range of answers that students can support based on what they saw and read today. “Why do you think that?” “How does that fit with what you saw in the pictures or read in the quotes?”  This is a good early opportunity to informally model the importance of providing evidence, which will be reinforced throughout the module.
  • Gradually guide students toward the module guiding questions:

*   “How do people around the world access reading and books?” 

*   “How does reading give us power?”

  • Share with students that they will return to these questions often during the next few weeks. Post it somewhere prominently in the classroom.
  • Posting sentence frames can assist ELLs and other students needing additional support in contributing to classroom discussions.
  • Clarify the term power used in this context for ELLs.
  • Provide a model of the exit ticket to support ELLs and other visual learners.

B. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

  • Hand each student a 3" x 5" index card. On this card, ask students to respond to the question: What is one tip you have for talking with a partner?




HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Tell an adult you know about the pictures you saw and the quotes you read. What will you learn about in the coming weeks?

Note: During this unit, students are expected to read independently at home from a related book at an appropriate reading level. For third grade, this independent reading is formally launched as a part of Lesson 4.

In addition, students may be assigned additional work, such as rereading complex text, completing a writing task, or talking about what they are learning.

  • Consider providing the question home in students’ L1.
  • Students who cannot yet read independently will benefit from hearing books read to them, either by a caregiver or through audio recordings.
  • In addition, the site has a free, searchable database of content-related texts that can be played as audio files on a home or library computer. Texts on this site can also be translated into many languages. Use the database to provide at-home reading of related texts to ELLs and their families in their native languages.

Supporting Materials


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