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Lesson Plan

Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

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Combining Read-Alouds With Economics in the Primary Grades

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 10- to 30-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Shelby Hawthorne

Williamsburg, Virginia

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Student Objectives

Session 1: Read-Aloud (20 to 30 minutes)

Session 2: Read-Aloud (20 to 30 minutes)

Session 3: Video (10 minutes)

Session 4: Making Connections (20 to 30 minutes)

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • Develop familiarity with economic concepts by listening to two stories and identifying economic elements

  • Learn to make connections between books they hear and real-life situations by thinking about the roles that the economic concepts natural resource and producer play in their lives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the connection between economic concepts they hear in read-alouds and encounter in their lives through discussion and graphic organizers

  • Identify sequences in stories using graphic organizers

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Session 1: Read-Aloud (20 to 30 minutes)

1. Gather students in their usual spots for read-alouds and introduce Charlie Needs a Cloak. Tell them that it is by Tomie dePaola, and if they are familiar with his works, remind them of other titles (e.g., Strega Nona, The Art Lesson).

2. Activate students' prior knowledge:

a. Be sure students understand that wool comes from sheep.

b. Tell students that in this story they will hear about a natural resource. Ask if anyone knows what a natural resource is. If this is a new concept for your students, you can explain it in the following way: "Natural resources, such as animals, trees, and oil, are gifts from the earth that are used to make goods and services."

c. Tell students that there is also a producer in the book. Ask if anyone knows what a producer is. If this is a new concept for your students, you can explain it in the following way: "People who make goods and provide services are called producers." You might also want to show the video from EconEdLink: Little Bill the Producer!

3. Remind your students to listen for examples of natural resources and producers in Charlie Needs a Cloak, and then read it aloud.

4. After reading the book, ask students to identify the natural resource and producer in the story using the Think-Pair-Share model (natural resources = sheep and fleece; producer = Charlie).

5. Discuss the sequence of the story. Outline the order, using the Sequence Chart graphic organizer. This can be a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity. Save the chart to compare with A Symphony for the Sheep. You can also have students do the Sequence Activity.

6. Have students complete the That Reminds Me Of... handout as a class or independently. If students are to complete the handout independently, model how to use it by pointing out something that the author said and telling them what it reminds you of.

7. Discuss how Charlie got his new cloak. Encourage your students to talk about getting a new coat. (This could be another Think-Pair-Share activity.) Have students complete the My New Coat worksheet by writing about how they would get a new coat. There are two versions of this handout, so you can choose the version that is appropriate for your class.

8. If you have created a vocabulary chart, discuss the words in Charlie Needs a Cloak that relate to natural resources and producers as economic concepts. These might include sheep, shear, cloak, and fleece. Decide how you will help students understand them, such as by showing pictures from the book or pointing them out while reading the story.

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Session 2: Read-Aloud (20 to 30 minutes)

1. Gather the students in their usual spots for read-alouds and introduce A Symphony for the Sheep. Tell them that it is by C.M. Millen and illustrated by Mary Azarian, who won the Caldecott Medal for Snowflake Bentley.

2. Activate students' prior knowledge (from Session 1) about sheep, natural resources, and producers.

3. Tell students that the setting of this story is Ireland. You may want to have students locate Ireland on a map or globe.

4. Remind students to listen for examples of natural resources and producers in A Symphony for the Sheep, and then read the book aloud.

5. After reading the book, ask students to identify the natural resource and producer in the story using the Think-Pair-Share model (natural resource = sheep; producers = shearer, spinner, weaver, knitter).

6. Discuss the sequence of the story. Outline the order using the Sequence Chart graphic organizer. This can be a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity. Save the chart to compare to Charlie Needs a Cloak.

7. Have students complete the That Reminds Me Of... handout as a class or independently. If students are to complete it independently, model how to use the sheet.

8. If you have created a vocabulary chart, discuss the words in A Symphony for the Sheep that relate to natural resources and producers as economic concepts. These might include sheep, knitter, spinner, and shearer. Have your students (individually or in small groups) make an illustration for each one.

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Session 3: Video (10 minutes)

If you do not have a classroom computer with Internet access and a projection monitor, this session should take place in your school's computer lab.

1. Show the Sheep Shearing in Vermont online video so students can see how shearing is done.

2. Discuss the video, reviewing the natural resources and producers. Relate the video to each read-aloud. You might ask the following questions:

  • Did Charlie shear his sheep the way the man did in the video?

  • Based on what you learned in the books, what will happen to the wool after the sheep is shorn?

  • What did Charlie make with his wool? What are some of the woolen things people made in A Symphony for the Sheep?

  • What do you have at home that is made of wool?

  • What do you wear that is made of wool?

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Session 4: Making Connections (20 to 30 minutes)

If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, you might want to hold this session in your school's computer lab if you are using the online version of the Venn diagram.

1. Review the sequence charts the class made when discussing Charlie Needs a Cloak and A Symphony for the Sheep. Use them to compare the two books and complete a Venn diagram. Depending on your students' abilities, this can be a whole-class, small-group, or individual activity. (Consider using the interactive Venn Diagram or the printable Venn Diagram handouts.) Prompt students to identify similarities and differences between the two books by asking questions such as:

  • Who were the producers in Charlie Needs a Cloak? A Symphony for the Sheep?

  • What was made from wool in Charlie Needs a Cloak? A Symphony for the Sheep?

  • What natural resources were featured in Charlie Needs a Cloak? A Symphony for the Sheep?
2. Using the completed That Reminds Me Of... sheets about the books, conduct a class discussion asking students what each book makes them think about in their lives. You could begin the discussion by noting something that one of the books reminded you of. Then you could continue by asking your students if there was something in each book that reminded them of something similar in their lives. If students have completed their own sheets, they could use Think-Pair-Share to discover if they and their partner had one or more of the same answers.

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EXTENSIONS

  • If your students have never seen sheep, visit a farm or petting zoo to see them. If this is not possible, take a virtual trip to a farm (Sheep 101) or see how wool is sheared (Sheep Shearing Pictures).

  • Take a virtual trip to a cheese factory to see milk turned into cheese products.

  • Read aloud the book A New Coat for Anna by Harriet Ziefert (Dragonfly Books, 1988). In this book, Anna gets a new coat through barter. Encourage your students to compare the ways Charlie and Anna get new coats.

  • Read aloud A Goat in a Rug by Charles L. Blood (Aladdin, 1976). In this book, a goat tells the story of how a rug is made from her goat hair.

  • Find economics-related lesson plan ideas at the following websites:

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

 

  • Have students refer to the That Reminds Me Of... sheets for each book and complete the writing assignment My New Coat using the version of this activity that you find appropriate for them.

  • Using the Observation Rubric for Writing and Vocabulary, assess students’ understanding of the way economic concepts relate to their lives, their writing in relation to the standards established for your grade, and their use of the economic terms and new vocabulary from the read-alouds.

  • Using the Observation Rubric for Comparisons, assess how well students were able to complete the Venn diagram in Session 4. Were they able to see similarities and differences between Charlie Needs a Cloak and A Symphony for the Sheep? Did they use the information from the sequence charts?

  • Use the Observation Rubric for Participation to assess how well students were able to identify the economic concepts at the end of Sessions 1 and 2. Were they able to correctly identify the natural resources and producers? Were they able to relate these to their own lives?

  • Access flashcards, word search, and concentration games found at Quia: Economics and Read Alouds. Observe how well your students are able to identify producers and natural resources.

 

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