My lesson today stems from the overwhelming love of Elmer. I am reading it for the second time. I found an art idea that we are going to add an opinion sentence to. The CCSS are specific in their expectations of students being able to give their opinion, orally and verbally. Today I am not having them defend their opinion, they are just stating their opinion about Elmer. We will have a class discussion about what an opinion is and how we can write it independently.
My class is seated on the carpet for whole group reading block.
"I had so much fun reading and talking about Elmer yesterday that I thought it would be fun to read the story again and do a different writing activity. Did anyone else like the Elmer story? What did you like about it?"
We discuss the events of the story. They seem to have liked all the parts and pieces.
"OK, I am glad you like Elmer. I will read it again and then I will show you the fun writing paper we will do."
Today I will just read the book from cover to cover with out stopping or discussing vocabulary and being different. I want to spend more time on the writing piece than the reading.
"I could read Elmer every day. He makes me smile. Let's talk about the fun writing activity I found for you."
Here is where we will have a class discussion. It is good to let everyone have the opportunity to participate in verbalizing their thoughts and ideas.
"I want to talk about an opinion. We have written opinion papers before. What does it mean to have an opinion? An opinion is what we think or feel. Good remembering. Do we all think and feel the same things? No, we are all different, just like Elmer is different. So remembering what an opinion is, what is your opinion of Elmer? What could we say about Elmer? Elmer is funny? Elmer is different. I like Elmer. Elmer makes me laugh. Elmer is patchwork. There are a lot of things we can say about Elmer. I want you to think about Elmer and how you feel about him. Then you will write a sentence about Elmer. You will have a blank piece of paper like this. You can write your sentence all by your self on the top or the bottom of the paper. You need to remember the capital letter at the beginning of the sentence, spaces and the period at the end of the sentence."
I model the writing paper by writing my opinion about Elmer on the bottom of the page. I like Elmer. He is funny. I then model the color/cut/glue picture of Elmer and add some details to the picture.
"I want you to color this little Elmer. Do we color Elmer all one color? NO? Why not? Oh because he is patchwork. Good remembering! Color him patchwork and then cut him out and glue him on the paper with your sentence. Hmmm, does that look like a finished paper? What if we add some details, what do you remember was in the story? He did live in a jungle, you are right, so I could add some trees, grass and flowers. Yes, you could put other animals in your picture if you have room. Good idea. I can hardly wait to see your pictures with your sentences. Would my paper passers please give a paper and an Elmer to every seat. Now will my blue row go to your cubbies and get your pencil boxes. Remember to walk quietly to your tables."
I call all the rows to their tables and walk around prompting sentences and encouraging more colors in the patchwork. I collect the papers as they finish. Those students can sit quietly on the carpet reading library books until most of the students are finished.
When all the students are finished with their creations we clean up the books and sit on the carpet. Reading their own sentences is an exciting and proud moment. Most of my students are shy and soft spoken but writing and reading like this every day helps strength their English skills.
I like Elmer Student Work
Each student gets the opportunity to read their sentence and show off their fabulous Elmer. We cheer and applaud each reading.
I love to show a video of the book or a reading to help reenforce the vocabulary, story comprehension and the love of Elmer. I show videos at the end of the day when chairs are stacked, backpacks are on we are waiting for dismissal. Here is the Elmer video.