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ELA G3:M1:U2:L1

Close Reading of Thank You, Mr. Falker: Identifying the Superpowers of Reading

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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.

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can identify the main message or lesson of a story using key details from the text. (RL.3.2)
  • I can describe the characters in a story (their traits, motivations, feelings). (RL.3.3)
  • I can describe how a character’s actions contribute to the events in the story. (RL.3.3) 
  • I can document what I learn about a topic by sorting evidence into categories. (W.3.8)
  • I can effectively participate in a conversation with my peers and adults. (SL.3.1)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can identify the main message of Thank You, Mr. Falker by reading excerpts from the text closely.
  • I can sort key details from Thank You, Mr. Falker into categories.
  • I can describe what the main character wanted and what she did.
  • I can discuss how the main message of Thank You, Mr. Falker is conveyed through key details.
  • Close Read recording form (Parts 1 and 2)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Engaging the Reader and Building Fluency: Read-aloud of Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (10 minutes)

B.  Unpacking the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Rereading on Your Own: Capturing the Gist (20 minutes)

B.  Reading Again for Important Details: Somebody In Wanted But So (SIWBS) (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Talk to someone at home about Trisha’s challenge in learning to read. What challenges might you encounter as a reader this year? How might you overcome them?

  • Because Thank You, Mr. Falker is a more complex text, students need access to excerpts from the book to complete the close reading cycle. See supporting materials for a list of appropriate excerpts.
  • In advance: Prepare an anchor chart: Close Read recording form for Thank You, Mr. Falker.
  • Access a video of an actress reading the story Thank You, Mr. Falker, through this link: http://www.storylineonline.net/thank-you-mr-falker-2/.
  • Review: Helping Students Read Closely (Appendix 1).

 

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

gist, excerpt, stumbled, longed, abuzz, elegant, brilliant, bounded, cupboard (these vocabulary words will be addressed in Lesson 2)

 

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (book; one text for the teacher)
  • Document camera and projector (or sentence strips if the electronic equipment is unavailable)
  • Close Read Recording Form for Rain School or Close Read Recoding Form for Nasreen’s Secret School (from Unit 1)
  • Close Read recoding form (one per student)
  • Excerpts from Thank You, Mr. Falker
  • Conversation Criteria Checklist (from Unit 1)
  • Chart paper for the Close Read recording form for Thank You, Mr. Falker anchor chart

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader and Building Fluency: Read-aloud of Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (10 minutes)

  • Gather students in a circle. Tell them that today they are going to be hearing and reading a new story called Thank You, Mr. Falker.
  • Note: It is important that this text is read without interruption. The purpose is to acquaint students with the text, not aid them in comprehension through questioning or discussion.
  • As with other read-alouds in this unit, ask students to follow along in their text. (This promotes fluency.) Tell them that they should read along as the story is being read to them.
  • Project the book Thank You, Mr. Falker and read the entire text slowly, fluently, without interruption. If students get excited and want to talk about the text, remind them: “Just as with the other books we have read, you will have a chance to reread this story and talk about it today and tomorrow.”
  • When introducing new vocabulary, consider having the words written on index cards. Show the card to students when talking about the word. Then post the word on a word wall. This is helpful to visual learners.

 

B. Unpacking the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students to the learning targets for this lesson. Tell students that this is the third time they have worked with close reading and these three learning targets. Read each target individually, reminding students of what they are doing for each target. After reading each target and explaining it, gauge confidence with the learning targets by asking for a thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways, or thumbs-down.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Rereading on Your Own: Capturing the Gist (20 minutes)

  • Students will need access to the excerpts from Thank You, Mr. Falker and Close Read recording form.
  • Remind students of the close reading work they have done so far. For each text, they did two important things during their first independent read: They tried to find the gist for each section, and they wrote their idea on a sticky note as well as underlined or wrote down unfamiliar words on sticky notes.
  • Remind students to read just one section at a time, capturing the gist of each section before moving on.
  • Tell students that their text will look a little different from that of the book. This is because they will be reading excerpts of the story. They experienced this when reading That Book Woman in Unit 1. Remind them that the word excerpts means parts of the text.
  • Allow students 15 minutes to work with the text on their own. As they work, circulate and support students as needed.
  • After 15 minutes, ask students to fill in the top box, which asks for their ideas about the lesson of the story, on their Close Read recording form. Once they have done this, tell students they will now have 10 minutes to discuss, in small groups or partnerships, the reading work they have done so far.

B. Reading Again for Important Details: Somebody In Wanted But So (SIWBS) (20 minutes)

  • Gather students back in a circle. Direct their attention to the anchor charts from Unit 1: Close Read recording form forRain School or Nasreen’s Secret School or That Book Woman. Use this to review the categories that students used to collect important details. Remind students that they were looking for characters, setting, motivation, problem, and solution. Discuss these to clarify and activate prior knowledge.
  • After 10 minutes of independent close reading time, invite the class to once again discuss their reading work with their groups. Ask students to go through each category of note-taking, giving everybody in each group a chance to share their ideas. Tell them that when two students’ ideas differ, it is important to notice that and discuss why each person decided the way he or she did.
  • As students work, continue gathering information about students’ discussion skills on the Conversation criteria checklist.
  • Point out to students that our understanding of a story gets deeper or changes when we reread, paying attention to details that relate to the main message or lesson.
  • Direct students to fill in the last section of their Close Read recording form: “Now what do you think the lesson of this story is? Why do you think this?”
  • Gather students back in a circle. Invite students to assist in completing the Close Read recording form for Thank You, Mr. Falker anchor chart.

  1.      Circle words that help you figure out possible answers to those questions.

  2.      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.
  • As an extension activity, consider having students in a group complete the second part of the close read from a secondary character’s point of view. For example, what is the teacher’s motivation in the story? What is his problem? What is the solution through his eyes?

 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Debrief with the questions: “What was challenging about reading this book?” and “How did reading the text closely multiple times help you understand the key details and main message?”
  • Note to teacher: Be sure to review students’ Close Read recording forms to assess their progress toward today’s targets.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • Talk to someone at home about Trisha’s challenge in learning to read. What challenges might you encounter as a reader this year? How might you overcome them?

Supporting Materials

None

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