In my lesson today I will engage my students in a discussion about mothers and babies. The writing assignment will be for my students to write about one of the animals and inform the reader if it has a mother. This simple assignment is laying the foundation for reading more difficult texts and writing informational papers in the future. I will be accomplishing this assignment by using a sentence frame for their writing. I am going to front load information about mothers and their babies by showing my students video clips of real animals. These real animal videos are the same animals that are in the story. (There are a lot of videos. I indicated the length of each video. You are welcome to choose which videos you want to watch.)
I begin my lesson with my students seated on the carpet for our whole group reading block.
"I wanted to talk to you today about mothers. Do you have a mother? Would you quickly turn to your partner and tell your partner your mother's name. Remember that purple row partners with blue row and green row partners with orange row. Tell your partner your mother's name."
I walk around to listen in on conversations. I want my students to have many opportunities to talk and express themselves on topic. i will redirect students that are not on task.
"Put your hands on your head when you and your partner have told each other your mother's name. Great! Eyes on me! Thumbs up if your partner has a mother. Wow! So all of you have a mother? Do you think I have a mother? Who knows my mother's name? You are right, it is Grandma Lu. She comes in every Tuesday to work with us. Do you think that all animals have a mother? What? Thumbs up if you think all animals have a mother. Thumbs down if you think all animals do not have a mother. Hmmm, Let's watch a few videos to see who is right."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dnorPIyWQv0 Mother and baby Kangaroo 57 seconds
Mother and baby Lion 31 seconds
Mother and baby Penguin 32 seconds
Mother and baby Swan 1.55
Mother and baby Fox 1.43
Mother and baby sheep 47 seconds
Mother and baby bear 5.00 (the whole thing doesn't have to be watched to see the important parts)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKE3592u5ps Mother and baby elephant 1.02
Mother and baby monkey 2.54 (the whole thing doesn't have to be watched to see the important parts)
"What do you think about these baby animals? Do they have a mother just like you? Yes, they do! I want to read a book about babies and mothers."
"I want to read you this fun book called; Does a Kangaroo have a Mother too?. As I read I want you to listen carefully to see if the animals have a mother just like you."
"Here is a baby kangaroo. What does a kangaroo do? Yes, he hops. Do you think he has a mother just like you? Yes he does."
"Look at the baby lion, what does the lion say? Roooaaaarrrr! Do you think the lion has a mother just like you? Yes he does."
As we come to each page we all agree that the animal had a mother. We make the sounds of the animals.
"Wow, all those animals have mothers just like you. Do you think the animal mothers love their babies like your mother loves you? Would you turn to your partner and tell your partners yes the animal mothers love their babies or no the animal mothers do not love their babies."
I lean in and listen for appropriate conversations.
"Eyes on me. Thumbs up if the animal mothers love their babies. Thumbs down if animal mothers do not love their babies. Oh, so you think the animal mothers love their babies just like your mother loves you. I think they so too. Heres another question. Do you think the animal mothers take care of their babies like your mother takes care of you? Turn to your partner and tell your partner, yes the animal mother takes care of her babies or no the animal mothers do not take care of her babies."
I listen and walk around.
"Eyes on me. Thumbs up if the animal mothers take care of their babies. Thumbs down if you think the animal mothers do not take care of their babies. I think the same thing. I think the animal mothers do take care of their babies just like your mothers take care of you."
"I want you to think about all the animals that were in our story. Let's write them all down with their name so we can remember them."
I draw a picture of every animal and label the pictures.
"There are a lot of animals in this book that have mothers. I want you to think about the animal you like from the story and we will write a sentence using the sentence frame; "The _____ has a mother, just like me." I will Model the sentence on the Smart Board using story paper. You can copy or try to write the sentence all by yourself, sounding out all the words. I will come around and help you sound out your animal name."
I dismiss my students from the carpet one row at a time and ask my class paper passers to pass out a piece of story paper to each chair. I will walk around prompting the higher students to sound out the words and I will write the animal name on a sticky note for those who need help.
I collect the papers as the students finish and they sit quietly reading library books on the carpet.
When all the sentences are written, we clean up the library books and sit on the carpet ready to read. I call up a row of students at a time to read their sentences. I have found my students love to stand up with their friends. My shy students are less reluctant to read when surrounded by their peers. Each student is given the opportunity to orally present their paper to the class. We applaud and cheer after each presentation.