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The Three Little Pigs

Comprehension Mini Lesson

By: Ashley Langbecker Ashley Duggan Randi Smith

Education 302: Methods and Materials for Teaching Reading 1 Professor Cindy Cate, Section 3 Spring 2009: May 6, 2009


Comprehension involves "developing, building, and activating prior background knowledge of the text, allowing students to personally relate to what they are reading. Otherwise, students will not fully comprehend the text and will not be motivated to try" (Cohen). Therefore, incorporating their prior experiences, students will understand the texts purpose, message, and writing style more readily. Comprehension helps students compare and contrast the text and its elements, which allows them to fully understand the texts meaning. By having students make predictions and formulate connections between the text and their previous knowledge, students will be able to distinguish any differences or similarities the two texts may share and identify any literary elements that were present. Students will also search for meaning from various

perspectives to see how their viewpoints change and why. "To help students visualize and comprehend the material," (Cohen) they will create story maps and Venn diagrams of the two stories they have read.

Section 1: Know Your Students

Grade Level: Second Grade Target Students:

· Students who are struggling with comprehension "often have difficulty identifying the theme or main idea of a passage" (Cohen). Therefore, reading the story together as a class, allows students to focus on the meaning and literary elements of the text rather than decoding. To incorporate diversity into this lesson, I can substitute books that are similar but differ in cultural perspectives. For example, we could read the American version of Cinderella and then compare/contrast that book with Mufaro's beautiful daughters: An African tale, also known as the African version of Cinderella. To apply to English Language Learners, I could incorporate "multicultural literature from their native country and allow those students to share their knowledge, customs, and experiences with this culture" (Cohen). Students with learning disabilities "have difficulty identifying important information and become distracted with irrelevant details," therefore by using story maps and Venn diagrams, it emphasizes the big ideas, which makes the text easier to comprehend and organize.


· ·

Section 2: Lesson Design


Students will be able to recognize the author's message, purpose, and style in the text. They will also be able to compare/contrast literary elements between the two books. This will demonstrate their ability fully understand what they read and understand the importance each element of a story represents.


Reading is not useful without comprehension. It is important that my students to be able to fully understand what they are reading and be able to make future connections. Often, students can only able to make emotional connections to a text, if they can comprehend what the main ideas and themes are and can connect them to their previous experiences.

How We Use This Skill:

"Comprehension is an active process in which readers construct mental representations of what they have read, then store it in their memories, and proceed to use these representations for subsequent applications when desired" (Cohen). Students will be reading from various types of

texts that may present information in a different format. That's why it's important for students to be able to apply a variety of strategies to help them readily recognize what the meaning or purpose of the text is. Reading is incorporated into our everyday lives, therefore the more frequently students read, the easier it will become for them to notice important concepts, allowing them to gain a full appreciation of the context.


Communication Arts Standard for Students in Second Grade I. Reading Literature A. Demonstrates use of reading and study skills and strategies. a). Use effective reading/study skills and strategies in order to achieve their purposes. n). Identifies similarities and differences across text (stories, plays, and articles). p.) Monitors comprehension through self-corrections, reread aloud, reading ahead, creating mental images, looking for words they know, and crosschecking (using different cueing systems: pictures cues, graphophonemic cues, syntax and semantic cues.) p.) Uses graphic organizers such as flow charts (first, next, last), Venn diagrams, webs, story maps and classification charts with teacher direction to activate prior knowledge before reading and before reading and organize information after reading. B. Demonstrates comprehension, analysis, and evaluation of a variety of text. b.) makes meaningful predications using background knowledge I.) Explains story's parts: characters, setting, problems, events and solutions in literature g.) Connects information and events in texts to life experiences. m.) Identifies characters feelings and actions. u.) Connects ideas across texts.

Section 3: Showing Students How

Modeling/Thinking Aloud:

First, I will ask the students about their prior experiences and knowledge of the story The Three Little Pigs. Then, I will read the story to the students as a class, having them write down any connections or thoughts they encounter while I am reading. Afterwards, the students will be asked to fill out a story map about the characters, setting, plot, etc. Once everyone has had enough time to complete their chart, we will come together as a class and create one large story map of all of the students' ideas. Next, to emphasis what the main idea or purpose of the passage is, I will discuss the story's "point of view." This will help students understand what the author was trying to convey to the audience and debate the question, "What if the wolf was telling the story?" Then, I will introduce and read aloud, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. During

this reading, I will have students keep track of their thinking by writing on post-it notes and placing them on the story map. Students should also keep in mind the previously read story and how the two stories are related and how they are different.

Guided and Independent Practice:

The students will create another story map and compare/contrast the two stories in groups of three or four. Each group will be given a copy of both books to refer to. In the group setting, the students will be encouraged to discuss the two stories' styles, literary elements, and plots. After discussing the differences between the two stories, each group will create a Venn diagram, comparing the two stories. Then, we will come together as a class and each group will contribute their thoughts and ideas, to create one large diagram of the two stories. Afterwards, students will write a paragraph describing which story they enjoyed more and why.

Student Understanding Reflection (Formative Assessment & RTI):

Students will be reading several types of materials on the same subject, so it's important that they are able to distinguish important concepts and facts from multiple sources. Becoming with familiar with the Venn diagram, helps students identify what the author was trying to convey and how/if it contradicts the other source. My assessment tool that I will be measuring their comprehension level with is the Venn diagram and the explanations they used to describe the book they preferred the most. The type of language/ literary elements the students include in these explanations will help me determine how well they understand the differences and similarities between the two books. I will also be using an observational record (i.e. anecdotal notes) during observation, so I can document the child's progress and their ability to identify the main ideas and the relationships the two stories share according to the Venn diagram. This lesson will effectively demonstrate to me how well they can comprehend and compare and contrast various texts from different perspectives.

Section 4: Reflections

Comprehension is a vital tool that students need to grasp at each level when reading different types and levels of text. By incorporating graphic organizers, it helps, "students develop their own interpretation and portrayal of the relationships among the concepts and helps readers organizes, classify and structure information from the text" (Cohen). This way, students can incorporate their own thoughts and ideas and see how others interpreted the same story (WS#5). The Venn diagram creates a similar connection for students that helps them learn how to "judge and value differences that will eventually help them become a more discriminating and critical reader, which leads to higher order thinking." Therefore, knowing that students learn differently, allows me to formulate groups with diverse experiences, so when they express their thoughts and opinions, other group members can see their perspective in a way they hadn't thought of before (WS #2).

Section 5: Sources

Appleton Area School District of Wisconsin. Nan Bunnow: Humanities Director <> Cohen, V. L. & Cowen, J. E. (2008). Literacy for children in an informational age: Teaching reading, writing, and thinking. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. Images: The Three Little Pigs Cover Page The Wolf Blowing down the House Students reading together The True Story of the Three Little Pigs The Venn diagram The Three Little Pigs Walking over a Bridge The Thinking Cloud


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