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HomeClassroom ResourcesLesson Plans

Lesson Plan

A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco

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A Schema-Building Study With Patricia Polacco

Grades 2 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Five 60-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Whitney Schultz

North Clearwater, Florida

Publisher

International Reading Association

 

Student Objectives

Session 1: Semantic Impressions

Session 2: Possible Sentences

Session 3: Making Connections

Session 4: Interactive Character Study

Session 5: Internet Scavenger Hunt

Extensions

Student Assessment/Reflections

 

STUDENT OBJECTIVES

Students will

  • Engage in meaningful vocabulary study by using words from a read-aloud book to write their own story before the text of the book is read to them (Semantic Impressions strategy) and by using words from a read-aloud book to write sentences (Possible Sentences strategy)

  • Extend and deepen what they have learned by applying these vocabulary words to a character study using an online tool and by writing about the author using these words

  • Make text-to-self and text-to-text connections using two books by the same author

  • Demonstrate comprehension of both the texts and the vocabulary words from them by completing a WebQuest on the books and author

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Session 1: Semantic Impressions

1. Show students the cover of the book Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. Tell them that you will be reading this book but that first you want them to learn some of the vocabulary they will find in the story.

2. Show students the chart with the list of vocabulary words (see Preparation, Step 2). Briefly discuss each word, asking if anyone knows the meaning or can use it in a sentence. For example, you might say, "Sigh means to breathe deeply. Billy let out a sigh when he didn't get an A on his math test."

3. Next, tell students they will be working together to compose a story using these words and that the words must be used in this order. Other rules include:
  • Once a word has been introduced, it may appear again.

  • Other forms of the words may be used (e.g., exchange for exchanged).
4. Call on volunteers to provide ideas for a sensible story with a beginning, middle, and end using the given vocabulary words. Write the story on chart paper as it is created. The vocabulary list should be visible at all times while the story is being written.

Note: If this is the first time students are using the Semantic Impressions strategy, it should be completed as a whole-group activity. Once students become more comfortable using this strategy, they can write their stories in small groups, with partners, or individually.

5. Read the completed story to the class. Ask students if there are any revisions that need to be made and make them on the chart paper.

6. Give students a brief summary of Chicken Sunday. Activate their schema by asking them to think of someone they have known who wanted something he or she could not have. Questions for discussion include:
  • What did you do or could you possibly do to try and help that person?

  • Have you ever decorated eggs for Easter using a paintbrush? Do you think this would be difficult to do? Why or why not?
7. Before reading, remind students to listen for the vocabulary words they used in their story as you read aloud Chicken Sunday. Stop periodically while reading to have students predict what will happen next and to discuss how the vocabulary words are used in the story.

8. After you have read the story, ask students to try and retell it using some of the vocabulary words. Allow a few students to try. Students can also build upon one another's oral retellings.

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Session 2: Possible Sentences

1. Show students the cover of the book Rechenka's Eggs by Patricia Polacco. Tell them that they will be reading this book but first you want them to learn some of the vocabulary they will find in the story.

2. Show students the second chart with the list of vocabulary words (see Preparation, Step 3). Briefly discuss each word, asking if anyone knows the meaning or can use it in a sentence. For example, you might say "Muffled means a sound that is not clear, like someone's voice may be muffled if they are covering their mouth when they talk."

3. Next, tell students they will try using at least two words from the list in one sentence that they think may possibly appear in the story (i.e., Possible Sentences strategy). Call on volunteers to give you a sample sentence using two of the vocabulary words.

4. Allow students time to work on writing their possible sentences.

5. Before reading the story, remind students to listen for the vocabulary words they used in their sentences. Read aloud Rachenka's Eggs. Stop periodically to have students predict what will happen next.

6. After reading, students can change their sentences to reflect the text.

7. Call on volunteers to share their new sentences and to try retelling the story using some of the vocabulary words. Students can also build upon one another's retellings.

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Session 3: Making Connections

1. Review Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Eggs with students. Have both vocabulary charts posted and review the words quickly. Then tell students about a part of the story that reminded you of something that happened in your life. Try to incorporate one or more of the vocabulary words into your connection. For example, how you remember having Sunday dinner ever week at your grandmother's house, how much you looked forward to it, and how you savored her delicious cooking. Tell them how this memory helped you understand how the characters felt when they were together for their Sunday dinners.

2. Ask students to think about parts of the story that reminded them of experiences in their own lives. Give several students the opportunity to share these experiences. Ask how talking about these experiences helps them better understand the story.

3. Tell students that what they are doing is called making connections and that making connections from stories to our own lives can help us better understand what the author is trying to tell us.

4. Pair up students and have them share a text-to-self connection with both books. Encourage them to use the new vocabulary words while making their connections.

5. Share a connection you made between Chicken Sunday and Rechenka's Eggs. Try to incorporate one or more of the vocabulary words into your connection. For example, in Rechenka's Eggs, when Babushka's eggs crashed she was very upset - she suffered. But when the goose left her a new egg she was very happy. This brings to mind how happy Mr. Kodinski was when he saw the eggs the children had made in Chicken Sunday. Knowing how Mr. Kodinski felt about the eggs helps us understand how Babushka was feeling when all her eggs were lost and she began getting new ones. Those eggs must be very important to some people.

6. Ask students to share any connections they may have made between the two stories or any other stories they have read. Ask students to discuss why making text-to-text connections can help them better understand the story. Encourage them to use the new vocabulary words while making their connections.

Note: Text-to-text of connections may take students a little bit longer to grasp; you may choose to practice them with other texts as well.

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Session 4: Interactive Character Study

Note: If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, this session should take place in your school's computer lab (see Preparation, Step 6). Post the vocabulary words from Sessions 1 and 2 in the computer lab area.

1. Tell students to pick their favorite character from one of the stories. (Keep in mind that the narrator of Chicken Sunday is not given a name so students will have to make up a name for this person.) Have students who choose the same characters get in pairs. If there are uneven numbers, you can create a group of three.

2. Conduct a brief discussion with students about appropriate behavior when working cooperatively on the computer. Remind them that they need to take turns using the computer and both partners need to work together in coming up with ideas.

3. Have students access the Character Trading Cards tool. They should work together and answer the questions about the character they chose for this activity. Before they begin, review the vocabulary words from Sessions 1 and 2. Encourage them to use these words in their responses. As an example, model a response to the question, "What is the character's problem at the beginning of the story?" by writing, "Mr. Kodinsky suffered in his life and deserves better than having kids throw eggs at his shop." Once students have finished, they should print their trading cards and read them together.

Note: You may find it useful to print off copies of the Character Trading Cards Planning Sheet and have students fill these in using the vocabulary words before they access the actual online tool.

4. Once students have returned to class, have a discussion about the characters and ask volunteers to share how they used the vocabulary words to tell about their character. Students can then take turns sharing their trading cards with other groups to learn more about all of the characters they have read about.

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Session 5: Internet Scavenger Hunt

Note: If you do not have classroom computers with Internet access, this session should take place in your school's computer lab (see Preparation, Step 6).

1. Explain to students that they will be completing a WebQuest where they will answer questions about the two stories, and write a short story about Patricia Polacco. Talk a little bit about what this story will be before distributing the Patricia Polacco Rubric and reviewing it with students. Tell students that after reading Polacco's biography, they will be writing a make-believe story about an experience she could have had with her grandparents. They will need to use at least 10 of the new vocabulary words they have been studying in their story.

2. Have students access and complete the Patricia Polacco WebQuest. While students are working, circulate and offer help and support as needed. When students are finished, they should print their responses and hand them in along with the fictional stories they have written about Polacco.

Note: You may want to give students the opportunity to peer review their stories and revise them after this session. You also may ask students to share their stories with the entire class.

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EXTENSIONS

  • Have students read other books by Patricia Polacco, such as Babushka's Doll. Ask them to make connections among these texts and the ones they read for this lesson.

  • Have students visit Pysanky Showcase and LearnPysanky.com and choose their favorite design. Give students a paper egg and have them color it like the one they chose. Have students write some facts they learned about Ukrainian eggs on the back.

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STUDENT ASSESSMENT/REFLECTIONS

 

  • Observe students’ participation in the Semantic Impressions vocabulary activity. Make sure students are using the words correctly in the sentences and in the order given. Also make sure students are creating a story with a clear beginning, middle, and end.

  • Collect and review students’ sentences from the Possible Sentences strategy after reading the story to determine if they used the vocabulary correctly and if their sentences reflect the content of the story.

  • Observe students’ participation in the making connections activity. Look for students connecting the stories to experiences in their own lives and telling how this helped them better understand the story. Also look for students making connections between the two stories.

  • Review the character trading cards to determine if students gained a deep understanding of the characters in the two stories and were able to use the vocabulary to describe them. Questions to ask include: Did the students use the vocabulary to accurately describe the characters? Did the students show an understanding of the characters they selected?

  • Collect students’ WebQuest printouts and the stories they wrote about Patricia Polacco. Check the printouts for questions answered correctly and connections made between the two stories. Use the Patricia Polacco Rubric to assess the biographies. Sample answers to the comprehension questions are as follows:
  • Chicken Sunday

    1. Miss Eula sighed when she walked by the hat shop because she wanted the special hat in the window for Easter.

    2. Students should write about something they often eat for dinner.

    3. Students’ answers should show that others had treated Mr. Kodinski poorly in his life.

    4. Pysanky eggs are beautifully colored with designs on the shell made with hot wax and dyed.

    5. The boys worked so hard making the eggs for Mr. Kodinski to sell and he made money from them so he didn’t feel they owed him any money for the hat.

    6. Answers should describe a sound that is deep but still pleasant to listen to.

  • Rechenka’s Eggs

    1. Babushka took the goose into her home, fed it, and gave it a basket to sleep in.

    2. Someone would marvel at the eggs because they were beautiful and colorful.

    3. Student answers should reflect someone showing them kindness and them doing something kind in return.

    4. Rechenka went through everything when she was feeling better because she is a bird that needs to fly and move around and did not belong in a house.

    5. Babushka thought the egg was a miracle because Rechenka had never laid an egg like that and now that all her eggs had been broken, Rechenka was trying to give her a gift.

    6. Rechenka left her another miracle, a baby chick.

 

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