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Taking Photos of Curious George: Exploring Character Through Images
|Grades||K – 2|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Six 30- to 60-minute sessions|
- Access prior knowledge about a familiar children's book character
- Use a graphic organizer to describe the character's traits and personality
- Deepen their knowledge about the character by reading and discussing books and websites about him
- Extend what they have learned about the character by developing a new storyline about him that includes appropriate actions
- Practice sequencing by ordering the events in their storyline
- Use a new technology to create an alternative version of a "book"¯ that incorporates this storyline
- Work collaboratively to develop the storyline and create a digital book
Note: If you do not have a classroom computer with Internet access, this session should take place in your school's computer lab (see Preparation, Step 1). You should also place the cutout or stuffed animal of Curious George where students can see him.
|1.||Introduce the story Curious George by H.A. Rey. Show students the book and ask if anyone is familiar with Curious George. Assuming that some of them will be, use an LCD projector and the ReadWriteThink Webbing Tool to make a web of all they know about George. Leave the web up on the screen when you are finished. (If you do not have a projector, use the transparency or chart paper you have prepared).
|2.||As you read the book, ask questions to guide the discussion and highlight strategies that good readers use. The following questions can be asked as you read the corresponding page numbers, but remember that the reading should be interactive so take cues from your students and tailor your questions according to their needs and responses.
|3.||Draw students' attention to the web and ask them to add to it based on the things they learned during the read-aloud. Add to the web as your students come up with new insights about Curious George's character.
Note: Print out the final web at the end of this session. Make a copy for each student and a large copy on chart paper that you can post and add to during Session 2.
Note: Before this session, you want to make sure students have a chance to read and discuss the other Curious George books you have assembled (see Preparation, Step 4). While students do this, they should be encouraged to add character traits to copies of the web you created during Session 1. They should have their modified webs with them at this session.
|1.||Begin this session by asking students to talk about the stories they have read and discussed. Have them share what they have added to their own webs and add additional insights about George's character to the web you have copied onto chart paper. Questions to consider include:
|2.||Show students the stuffed animal or cutout of Curious George. Explain that you are going to create a class story about George in which you will imagine that he has come on a visit to your school. Ask them what kinds of things they think he might do. List their ideas on the board or a piece of chart paper under the heading Curious George's Classroom Adventures.
|3.||Tell students you will be taking George on a visit to various locations in your school where you will pose and photograph him for a digital "book." Share a list of the places you will be visiting during the next session. Have students get into their groups (see Preparation, Step 9) and spend about 10 minutes deciding which place they would like to photograph George and what they think George will be doing there.
|1.||Take the first photo together as a class, deciding together where in your classroom to pose George and what he should be doing. Ask students to describe how the story might begin, and record what they say, for example: One day, Curious George visited _________ school. He was curious about the markers and he started writing all over the bulletin board.
|2.||Take George to the list of locations you have arranged. At each location, give each group of students the chance to pose George and take a picture that will be part of the story of George's adventures. Have students predict the trouble he could get into and a solution to the problem. Record these in your notebook.
|3.||When you come back to the classroom, don't forget to take a final photo, which will be the end of the story. As with the first photo, this should be a group effort.
Note: Before this session, you need to create both a hard copy of each photo and a computer file that you can use to make the digital book. If you have used a digital camera, just have prints made and save the files on a CD. If you have used a traditional camera, have prints made then scan the photos and save the files on a CD. Attach each printed photo to a copy of The Adventures of Curious George: Storyboard Screen Sheet with removable tape.
|1.||Model how students will work with their own photos by using the beginning and ending photos from Session 3. Show students the opening photo that you have attached to the storyboard sheet and write the sentences they developed below it, e.g., One day, Curious George visited _________ school. He was curious about the markers and he started writing all over the bulletin board. Then show students the final storyboard sheet and have them think of a suitable ending. For example, if you have a photo of Curious George hanging from the light switch, you might, write Curious George was tired. He turned out the lights, snuggled into the box of stuffed animals, and went to sleep.
|2.||Explain to students that they will now work in their groups to write their own sentences based on what they said as they took the photos. They do not need to worry about the order the story will go in - that will be decided after everyone has created their storyboard sheets. Encourage them to use invented spelling or even add pictures to their sentences as necessary. Give each group the storyboard sheet with their picture attached to it.
|3.||Students should work in their groups to create a rough draft of their storyboard sheet. While students are working, circulate and support them as necessary. If students forget what they said when you took the photo, review your notes with them.
|4.||Bring the whole class together to share the storyboard sheets. Post them on a board or wall in your classroom and ask students from each group to read them aloud. You can correct the spelling together and discuss as a class whether the sentences fit with the actions in the picture. Make any edits directly onto the storyboard sheet.
Note: Before Session 5, have students transcribe the corrections onto a new storyboard sheet and glue the photo in the box. Also, you should create a "mini-book" by preloading a few photos into the software students will be using to give them an idea of how their book will eventually look. Use a few screen effects and transitions in your presentation that help to show meaning. For example, you can use a shatter effect when George makes a mess or a fade-in when the scene changes.
|1.||Put all The Adventures of Curious George: Storyboard Screen Sheets on either the board or a wall so everyone can see them. Tell them that they are now working like real authors would - planning with storyboards.
|2.||Place the beginning and ending pages in place and explain to students that they will now sort the rest of the images. Tell them a good place to begin the sorting is by setting. All the scenes that would take place in one area (such as the cafeteria) should be placed together.
|3.||Discuss sequencing and transitions. Which images seem to go well together? Which images might need help with the transition from place to place? How can words stand for transitions (e.g., first, then, next)? You might refer to some of the books students have read for examples of transitional words and situations.
|4.||Use the LCD projector or a computer with a large monitor to show students your "mini-book." Talk about the transitions and effects you used and why you chose them.
|1.||Have some of the Curious George books students have read available. Show them to students and talk about what it's like to look at or read a book. Then show the "mini-book" you created for Session 5 and talk about the similarities and differences between it and a print text. Discuss the effects and transitions. How did they add meaning to the story? Have students offer some ideas of how they might use transitions and effects in their story.
|2.||Have the groups come to the computer one at a time to work on their individual pages. Help students add their sentences to the slide. Assist students with the addition of transitions and effects. If you wish, they can also add narration to each slide, creating a talking book.
While you are working with the groups, students can work at the centers (see Preparation, Step 8).
|3.||When the "book" is finished, bring students together and share the entire show using the LCD projector. They should then evaluate the class project, discussing the following points:
- Assess your students’ abilities to analyze and understand characters in stories during the discussions in Sessions 1 and 2 and using the Characterization Rubric. If students seem to have a difficult time identifying character traits or understanding what kind of character George is, you may decide to teach some lessons about character analysis.
- Informally assess students’ abilities to sequence events during Session 5. You may decide to ask some students to practice using the sequencing center you have created during Session 6.
- Assess how well students are able to use graphic organizers during Session 1. Collect the modified webs students bring to Session 3. Look to see if they have accurately depicted Curious George in their character descriptions.