Today I will engage my students in a discussion about the 5 W's of a story. We have been learning to identify the answer to each of the 5 W's. To assess their comprehension of what the 5 W's are, I will be encouraging them to write the questions as their writing assignment. Each student will orally read their questions to the class. If my students are to be able to answer the 5 W's, I thought they should be able to ask the questions themselves. Knowing the questions and being able to go to the text and identify the answers will be important for an accurate retell.
My class is seated on the carpet and are ready to begin today's lesson.
"We have been learning about the 5 W's of a story. Why do we have the 5 W's? We have the 5 W's to help us find the important parts of a story. So when we retell a story, we want to ask these five questions. Let's watch the fun video to remind us of what the questions are."
My students love this video. They can name all the W's by signing this song. After watching the video a few times, they can all sing it with out the video. This has been a great way to teach my ELL students.
"Can you sing the 5 W's song with out the video? Let's see if we can do it. . . . YAY, we did it. Now sing it again really slow and I will write them on the board."
"Good, now l am going to read a fun story that you know, in fact you can sing it with me. It is the Five Little Ducks. After we sing the story we will identify the 5 W's. But I am going to trick you, I don't want you to answer the 5 questions, I want to see if you can tell me what the 5 questions are about the story. I am not going to help you. You will have to figure it out all by yourself. So, let's sing the story."
I begin singing the story and they join me. We sing and make the motions to the song. I love stories that have a sing songy part to them. My students love them and repeat them over and over again. I think it is wonderful for learning language, grammar and vocabulary.
"Yay, we sang the story and all the 5 little ducks came back."
"Now I am going to trick you. I will use the name sticks to choose my friends to see if I can trick you. I want you to tell me a question for each of the 5 W's. If you can't think of a question, then I will choose another name stick and have someone help you figure out a question. The first W is who."
I choose a name stick and wait for my student to give me a question using the word who. I write the sentence on the board. Some of the students opt for me choosing another name to help them. I find they take my threat of "tricking them" seriously. They don't want to be tricked. They like to show me how smart they are. We end up writing sentences for all 5 W's.
"Look at you, I did not trick you. You are always showing me how smart you are. WooHoo! Let's read the questions all together. After each question we read, will you turn to your partner and tell them the answer to the question? Good, let's begin."
We chorally read the first question and they turn to their partner and tell them the answer. We do this for all 5 questions.
I show them the writing paper and model the writing under the document camera. The paper has the 5 W's written in a dot font for them to trace and a line for them to write the sentence. We chorally read the questions before going to their tables. I dismiss my students by the color of their uniform shirts. I stagger their dismissal so their is less opportunity to run and be silly. I then ask my class paper passers to pass out the writing papers to every seat. I walk around prompting the phonetic spelling with some students and help those who are still a little confused by the assignment.
As the students finish I have them sit on the carpet to read library books quietly.
When all my students are finished writing we clean up the books and sit on our squares. I call my students up by the color of their uniform shirt. My students like to stand in front of the class and orally read their work in small groups. They feel more secure in their small groups than standing alone beside me. I am willing to try what ever makes them comfortable and willing to perform to my expectations. Each student in the group reads their writing one at a time. They often help each other with word pronunciation. When they have finished, I ask them to sit down and call another small group. We cheer and applaud after each reading.
At the end of the lesson or at the end of the day, I like to show a video of the story I read. My students enjoy watching and listening to the story told by someone other than me. I believe that the more they hear the story the better their comprehension and vocabulary will become. What a fun way to review what we learned. I usually show the video at the end of the day after the room is clean, chairs are stacked and they are ready for dismissal. I try and time it so the video is finished in time to leave for the day.