I love Dr. Seuss stories. I love their quirkiness and their rhyming rhythm. Today my lesson is aligned to the common core of engaging students in a discussion about story events and writing a narrative sentence. It is through class discussion that the thought process is taught and encouraged. Focusing on one idea or event through discussion gives the opportunity for all of us to learn from each other. Being able to identify the story events is an important skill for the coming years. If I give my students multiple opportunities in kindergarten to work on these standards with fun text, my students will be able to use the same skills on more difficult text and expectations. Today we will just be having fun with in the parameters of the standards I chose.
I bring in a bowl of red apples and gather my class in front of me.
"I found these beautiful apples at the store last night and I just had to buy them. What do you think about the apples? Do you like apples? Raise your hand if you do like apples. Lot's of you like apples. Do you like red apples or green apples? Raise your hand if you like the red apples. Raise your hand if you like the green apples. What can you do with an apple? Oh, you can peel it? You can just eat it. OH, your mom cuts it up? What else can we do with an apple? Could we make a pie with an apple? A muffin? Yes, those would be good. Well, the apples reminded me of a fun Dr. Seuss book called Ten Apples Up on Top. Look at the cover, Hmmm, with a title like that, what do you think they will do with the apples? Yes, they are going to stack them on their heads. That is so funny. I don't think I could keep one apple on my head. Let's read the book and see what happens."
After our discussion they seem excited to see what is going to happen in the story.
I read the book and have them count the apples with me every time an animal adds one on top.
We talk about the bear and why she doesn't want them in the house.
We discuss why the bear family begins to chase them.
"Oh, no. Look what is going to happen. What do you think will happen to the animals? Do you think they will get hurt?"
We laugh when they all have ten apples up on top.
"That is too funny. Do you think that could really happen? That hitting the truck, the apples would all land on everyones head like that? No, I don't think so either. But it is funny."
Today's writing is easy and fun. I love the week of Dr. Seuss's Birthday. I feel that I can have more fun with the response to literature. I model the writing project. I want my students to fall in love with reading and writing while they are in kindergarten. Next year they will be working so hard and not have much time for fun.
"Today's writing activity will be a lot of fun. First you will take this little piece of writing paper and write the sentence; I have ten apples up on top. You will then glue it to the bottom of this large white paper. On this side of your writing, I want you to draw yourself like you are standing on the bottom edge. Then you get to color ten apples and glue them so it looks like you have ten apples up on top. Isn't that funny? Ok, so what do you have to do first? Write your sentence. What is your sentence? I have ten apples up on top. Right, then what are you going to do? Draw yourself and color the apples. Remember to write your name on the back. Take a good look at my writing, because I am going to take it down and you will have to write the words by sounding it out. I will help you."
I dismiss my students today by their uniform shirt color. I stagger the students so there isn't a mob at the cubbies when they get their pencil boxes. I love to change it up to see if they are listening. Most of the time I dismiss by row color. I have my class paper passers pass out the writing papers. As they finish the writing I will be passing out the large white construction paper and the ten apples.
I will have to help my low students sound out their words. We segment the word and I will ask them, "what letter makes that sound? Write the letter." My low students can do the task, they just lack confidence and need more scaffolding.
I play a CD of our Harcourt songs while they work. This activity will take a while. It is fun to sing and work.
I collect the finished writing projects and have them sit on the carpet Some students are more proficient in their cutting skills, so when they are done I have them help the slower ones, so we can get done today.
We gather on the carpet for our readings. They are so excited about the ten apples up on top. I love to see them excited. I call my students up today by the color of their shirts. My students seem to have more confidence in their reading abilities when they are standing with friends. Each student has the opportunity to read the sentence and show off their self portrait with 10 apples up on top Juan. We cheer and applaud after the readings.
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help reenforce the vocabulary, story comprehension and the love of listening to a story. I show videos at the end of the day when chairs are stacked, backpacks are on we are waiting for dismissal. Here is a video of the story and a video with a song about Ten apples up on top.