Thursday, November 20, 2008

Guided Reading Lesson

Chantel and I did our guided reading lesson plan on November 12, 2008. The novel the class was reading is called The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain, and our guided reading lesson was on the epilogue of the book. We split the class into two groups: I led one of the groups in the guided reading lesson plan and Chantel led the other group. Before beginning reading, I led a discussion with my group about what an epilogue is and why it is important to the story; as well as review on what a prologue is. Also before beginning our reading, I led the group of students in a discussion about what all had happened up to that point. I told them to imagine that I had never read the book and collectively as a group the students told me all the important details up to the epilogue. Then I asked the students to share their predictions about what may happen next based on what we already know. I think this is a very important question when it comes to the understanding of a novel. If the students truly understand what they have read so far, they will be able to make an educated guess on what might happen next. I then instructed to the students to read half of the epilogue, on their own (silent reading), and to be looking for clues or details on what might happen next. I informed the students that after they finished reading the assigned pages that we would talk about what just happened, and what is going to happen next. When everyone was done reading the first half of the epilogue, almost all of the students were able to make fairly accurate predictions about how the book was going to end. I was able to feel out the different levels of comprehension from the students as each on shared what they thought was about to happen. Before we finished the book, I told the students to be looking for how the story ended for each character. Did all of the wishes get reversed? Do you think everyone will be satisfied with how the book ends? Then the last few pages of the book we read together in a circle; the students already had reading circles that they used a few times a week. All of the students in the group had a chance to share a few facts about what they remembered happened to a specific character in the book. I was able to get an informal assessment on how well the students comprehended what happened in the book, and also by the students sharing with what they thought about the whole idea of wishing. Our discussion then led into how they felt of the saying 'be careful what you wish for.' I asked the group if they ever met a gentlemen selling wishes at a fair would they buy one, and if so what would they wish? At the end of our group discussions, we asked the students to get out a piece of paper and to do the following: You meet Thadius (the Wish Giver) on a bus, and he leans over and whispers in your ear 'I can give you whatever you want for only 50 cents.' Write how your conversion would go from there. Would you take the wish, and what would it be? If you wouldn't take the wish, how would you get Thadius to leave you alone? Would you move seats, get off the bus, ask for help? The students had a lot of fun with this part of the lesson because they were able to write a short narrative about what they would say to the wish giver. In my own future classroom, I would probably do a longer lesson that consisted of a few activites to assess whether the students understood the chain of events, comprehended the material well, and understood the underlying meaning of the story. A possible assessment could be to give to give a group the written assignment to answer specific questions about the story's plot, characters, chain of events, themes, climax, and other literature concepts. Another thing that I would do differently in my future classroom would be to better choose the groups I put the students into. Because Chantel and I hadn't observed the children in too many group activities, except for their group reading circles, we were unaware of how some children may interact. In a classroom where I know my students well, and I am able to tell who works well with whom, who really helps the children that need the most peer help, which students distract certain others, and which students don't get along. Overall, the guided reading lesson went really well, and the students seemed to have a great understanding of the book The Wish Giver.

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