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ELA G3:M1:U2:L3

Close Reading of The Boy Who Loved Words: How Do People Build Their Word Power?

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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 The Boy Who Loved Words by reading excerpts from the text closely.
  • I can describe what the main character wanted and what he did.
  • I can sort key details from The Boy Who Loved Words into categories.
  • I can discuss how the main message of The Boy Who Loved Words 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 The Boy Who Loved Words (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 Selig in The Boy Who Loved Words. Explain to them why words were important in Selig’s life. Ask them to tell you their five favorite words or phrases. Write those five words/phrases down and bring them back to school tomorrow. Think about what your own favorite words are, and why.

  • Because The Boy Who Loved Words 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.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

See glossary in the back of The Boy Who Loved Words

 

  • The Boy Who Loved Words by Roni Schotter (book; one copy for the teacher)
  • Document camera and projector or interactive white board
  • Close Read recording form for The Boy Who Loved Words (one per student)Conversation Criteria checklist
  • Excerpts from The Boy Who Loved Words
  • Chart paper for anchor chart: Close Read recording form for The Boy Who Loved Words

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Reader and Building Fluency: Read-aloud of The Boy Who Loved Words (10 minutes)

  • Gather students in a circle. Tell them that today they are going to be hearing and reading a new story called The Boy Who Loved Words, by Roni Schotter. Tell students that this book is special because the words in this story are just as important as the story itself. They will be encountering a lot of new words, and it is okay if they feel a bit confused by these. Tomorrow they will be working more with figuring those words out. Today, as always, is more about getting the gist of the story, thinking about the lesson, and understanding the important details that support this lesson.
  • 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.
  • Use a document camera or hold the book up so all students can see the text (this promotes fluency). Tell them that the text will be projected for them, and they should read along as the story is being read to them. 
  • Project the book The Boy Who Loved Words 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.”

B. Unpacking the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to read aloud today’s learning targets. By this point in the module, students should be quite familiar with the targets associated with close reading of stories. Ask students to turn and talk about where they have seen these targets before.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

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

  • Students will need access to the excerpts from The Boy Who Loved Words 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 wrote their idea on a sticky note; they also recorded unfamiliar words.
  • Explain to students that this story will be a little more difficult due to the large amount of unfamiliar vocabulary. Consider saying something such as: “All readers come across words that are unfamiliar and difficult. When this happens, capturing the ‘gist’ of the text is especially important. If you get confused, look for all the words you do know, and try to figure out who is in the story and what is happening. Try not to get stuck on every word you do not recognize. Write it down and move on.” Remind students to move 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 the text in the book. This is because they will be reading excerpts of the story. Define the word excerpts as 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 (20 minutes)

  • Gather students back in a circle. Review the important details they are to look for: characters, setting, motivation, problem, and solution. Discuss these to clarify and activate prior knowledge. 
  • After 10 minutes of independent close reading time, invite students to once again discuss their reading work with their groups. Ask students to go through each category of note-taking, giving each participant in the group a chance to share his or her ideas. Tell them that when there is a difference between two students’ ideas, it is important to notice that and discuss why each person made the decision he or she did.
  • Point out 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 them to assist in completing the Close Read recording form for The Boy Who Loved Words anchor chart.
  • The vocabulary in The Boy Who Loved Words may prove especially challenging to ELL students. Consider providing them the illustrations to aid their comprehension. 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Debrief with the question: “What can we learn, as students, from the lesson found in The Boy Who Loved Words?” Invite students to Think-Pair-Share and then share with the whole group if time permits.

Note: Review students’ Close Read recording forms to assess their progress toward the day’s learning target.

Assessment

None

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Talk to someone at home about Selig in The Boy Who Loved Words. Explain to them why words were important in Selig’s life. Ask them to tell you their five favorite words or phrases. Write those five words/phrases down and bring them back to school tomorrow. Think about what your own favorite words are, and why.
  • Allow ELL students to use their L1 as a basis for word/phrase choice.

Supporting Materials

None

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