Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- retell a story using key details to demonstrate an understanding of the story Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.
- ask and answer questions about key details in the text.
- demonstrate an understanding of the central message in a short opinion essay.
- describe key details, such as characters and major events, through discussion and a cooperative learning strategy.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students will need to:
- be familiar with story elements (characters, setting, major events).
- have some knowledge of the comprehension strategy Making Connections (This reminds me of…).
- know how to write an opinion paragraph with grade-appropriate organization, grammar and conventions.
- know how to complete graphic organizers and writing plan sheets.
- know procedures for partner work.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What are the main events in the story?
- Who are the main characters?
- How do I retell a story?
- What is a memory?
- Is there a lesson to be learned in this story? If so, what is the lesson?
- How can we describe the relationship between Wilfrid and Miss Nancy?
- Essential Question: How does knowing main ideas and details help me understand a text?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Hook: Main idea bag (20-30 minutes)
Have students sitting elbow to elbow, knee to knee (EEKK) with their numbered head partners (partners chosen by teacher based on ability—above average with average, average with low, never two above average or two below average). Before showing the students the items in your bag tell them that they will be determining the main idea of the bag with their partner. Then show the students the items in your bag one at a time. There are several ideas you may use for a main idea bag. Your "main idea" and items may include:
- Dental health (taking care of your teeth): toothbrush, floss, mouthwash, dental tools or pictures of dental tools
- School: paper, pencil, eraser, marker, pen, journal, whiteboard, etc.
- Vegetables (you may use pictures or real vegetables if available): carrots, celery, broccoli, lettuce, etc.
- Christmas or other holiday bag (pictures or the real thing, if available): ornament, tree, stocking, present, reindeer, etc.
After showing the students the items in your bag, let them discuss with their numbered head partner what your bag is mostly about. After 2-3 minutes of discussion, call the class back together as a whole and let the students share their thoughts and ideas. The teacher and students should determine a student-friendly definition of main idea. Then, ask the students the essential question, "How does knowing the main idea and details help you understand a text?"
- It helps us better understand the story.
- It helps us determine the conflict and how to deal with similar conflict in our own lives.
- It helps us understand why the author wrote the story.
- It helps us relate to the characters (make connections).
The students may not know the answer to this guiding question at the beginning of the lesson. Asking the question gives the students a purpose for learning. This question will be asked continuously throughout instruction.
First Reading (30 minutes):
1. Introduce the book Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. Look at the cover. Before you begin reading, allow the students to take a few minutes to make predictions with their numbered head partners. "Looking at the illustration and thinking about the title, what do you think this story might be about?"
2. During this first reading, continuously stop and think about the main character, Wilfrid, and his relationship with people in the nursing home. Model this "stop and think" strategy by writing your thinking on sticky notes and attaching it to the page as your thinking is occurring. For example, on page 5, I may wonder aloud, "How did Wilfrid become friends with all of the people in the home?" "Is there any other reason he has a connection with Miss Nancy, other than the fact that she has four names as well?" Make sure as you are reading that you also allow time for the students to discuss and wonder about the story. These 2-3 minute discussion times also allow the teacher to listen to student conversations and check for understanding. Continue to think aloud and mark your thinking while reading the story. Afterwards, ask the students to share (whole group) any wonderings or connections they might have had to the story.
Comprehension Check: Retell-A-Story (Formative assessment 1):
After you have read the entire story have the students complete a Retell-a-story graphic organizer identifying the main events in the story. They may complete this sheet with their numbered head partners. If the students are unfamiliar with story elements or a "retell" graphic organizer, you may ask the following guiding questions to aid in its completion:
- Who are the main characters in the story?
- What happens in the beginning of the story?
- What happens in the middle of the story?
- What is the problem in the story?
- How is the problem solved?
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Second Reading (approximately one hour-may be split over two days - one day for vocabulary and one day for discussion questions):
1. For the second reading, the teacher will re-read the story Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge or provide additional copies of the text to the students (if available) so that they may re-read the story with their partner. As the students listen to the story for the second time, they may be recording any thinking, questions (may include unfamiliar vocabulary) or connections they may have on sticky notes or in journals/notebooks.
2. After reading, allow the students a few minutes to share their thoughts. Then the teacher may call their attention to some of the vocabulary in the text and check for understanding.
Vocabulary (20-30 minutes): memory, remember, precious
3. At this point, the teacher may ask the students if they discovered any unfamiliar words. Some of the words you may wish to discuss are listed above.
- The students will need to be familiar with the definition of a memory to complete the summative assessment. Refer to the text, pages 7-13 to discuss a memory. Ask the students, "What is a memory?" If the students have the text allow them to refer back to the story or the teacher may re-read these pages to the class to enable the class to provide support/evidence for their definition. Wilfrid's father describes a memory (pg. 7) as something you remember (this may be another word that will need to be discussed and defined in order for the students to be successful with the summative assessment). Continue to refer back to the text. Mrs. Jordan defines a memory as, "something warm." Mr. Hosking says a memory is, "something from long ago," Mr. Tippett says it's, "something that makes you cry," Miss Mitchell says it's "something that makes you laugh," and Mr. Drysdale says it's "something as precious as gold." After reviewing the text, have the students discuss with their partners what they think a memory means. Allow time for partner pairs to share their thoughts with the rest of the class.
- The author uses the word precious twice in the story (pg. 14 and pg. 18). This word may also be unfamiliar to the students and may warrant a discussion as well. When discussing what the word means allow time for the students to try to use these words in another context. For example, "The necklace from my grandmother is precious because she loved it very much and it meant a lot to her when she was alive."
Formative Assessment 2:
Using the questions below, have the students participate in a Think-write-pair-share. The teacher will read the story and stop throughout the story to ask the following questions. The students should stop, think and write a sentence or two (in journals or notebooks) using the text for evidence. Then the teacher should allow the students to share their ideas/responses with their partner.
Whole Group Discussion Questions (20-30 minutes)
- When Wilfrid created a box of memories for Miss Nancy he chose several items from his past. Why do you think Wilfrid chose the items that he did?
Evidence: Wilfrid chose shells that he had found long ago because Mr. Hosking said that a memory is, "something from long ago." Wilfrid chose a puppet on strings because Miss Mitchell said a memory is, "something that makes you laugh." He chose a medal from his grandfather because Mr. Tippett told him a memory is "something that makes you cry." Wilfrid chose to add his football to Miss Nancy's box of memories because to him it was, "as precious as gold," which is how Mr. Drysdale described a memory. Finally, he took a fresh, warm egg from the hen house because Mrs. Jordan had told him that a memory is "something warm."
- What effect did Wilfrid's memory box have on Miss Nancy? What was her reaction?
Evidence: Each item in Wilfrid's box made Miss Nancy think of something in her past. The egg reminded her of how she had once found a bird's nest. The shells reminded her of being at the beach as a young girl. The medal from Wilfrid's grandfather reminded her of her "big brother she had loved who had gone to the war and never returned." She smiled at the puppet on strings and remembered the one she had shown to her sister, and how she had laughed with a mouth full of porridge. She bounced the football to Wilfrid Gordon and remembered the day she had met him and all the secrets they had told. The last page states that, "Miss Nancy's memory had been found again by a small boy, who wasn't very old either."
- At first, when Wilfrid gives Miss Nancy the box of memories, she thinks this is a strange gift. Why does she later change her mind?
Evidence: At first Miss Nancy did not seem to understand why Wilfrid would give a box of random things. As she looks closer at each item she begins to remember events from her past. At the end of the story, we discover that, "Miss Nancy's memory had been found again," and it had been all because of Wilfrid's box of memories.
- On both the first and last pages of the book, the author refers to the fact that Wilfrid was a "small boy" and that he "wasn't very old either." Why do you think the author described him using those same words twice in the story? Does the reference to his age change in significance at the end of the story?
Evidence: Wilfrid is small and young. At the beginning of the story it seems as though the author is just describing him. At the end of the story, the author states, "Miss Nancy's memory had been found again by a small boy, who wasn't very old either." In this sentence, the author isn't only describing Wilfrid, she is also referring to his huge gesture of giving Miss Nancy's memories back to her, despite the fact that Wilfrid Gordon is young and small.
Third Reading: (30 minutes)
After the students have heard the story for the third time, the students will participate in an "ABCD whisper" to answer the question, "What is a memory?"
Formative Assessment 3: "ABCD whisper"
In groups of four (the teacher will assign each student a letter A, B, C, or D), the students will answer the question, "What is a memory?" Each student may choose how to represent their answer either using a visual, writing 2-3 sentences, or making a list, etc. Then the students will take turns sharing their interpretation of a memory beginning with student A, then student B, and so on until each student has shared.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Summative assessment (2- 20-30 minute sessions):
1. Before beginning their opinion writing, the students may complete a plan sheet. The plan sheet allows for the students to formulate thoughts and ideas before beginning their final draft. The teacher should circulate and provide feedback as needed on the students' plan sheets.
2. Before students begin writing, display the Opinion Writing Rubric and go over the expectations for their writing.
3. Provide students with the following opinion writing prompt:
Throughout the story, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge discovers that a "memory" means something different to everyone he approached in the "old people's home." Using the text for support, write 4-5 sentences answering the question, "What does 'memory' mean to you, and why does it mean different things to different people?"
4. Allow students time to complete their writing.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
At the end of the lesson, have the students refer back to the essential question that was discussed at the beginning of the lesson: "How does knowing the main idea and details help you understand a text?" After being involved with the lesson, the students should have a better understanding of the main idea and details and how they help us to better understand the story.
- to better understand the story
- to determine the author's purpose or motivation for writing
- to relate to characters and/or events
- to make real life connections
- how to determine solutions for real life conflict
Opinion writing prompt:
Throughout the story, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge discovers that a "memory" means something different to everyone he approached in the "old people's home." Using the text for support, write 4-5 sentences answering the question, "What is a memory to you, and why do you think a 'memory' can mean different things to different people?"
Students' writing will be evaluated using the attached opinion writing rubric.
Beginning of the lesson/Hook
Main Idea Bags: The teacher will show the students several items from a bag. With their numbered head partners the students will determine, "What is this bag mostly about?" (A detailed explanation of this partnering strategy can be found in the "Further Recommendations" section of this lesson.)
During the lesson
First reading: After reading the story once, the students will complete a Retell-A-Story graphic organizer.
Second reading: After the second reading of the text, the students will participate in a think-write-pair-share, answering the guided questions provided in this lesson.
Third reading: To prepare students for the summative assessment, have them participate in an "ABCD whisper" answering the question, "What is a memory?" Also, have the students individually complete an opinion writing plan sheet to prepare for their summative assessment.
Feedback to Students
- The teacher will provide feedback during discussion throughout the lesson.
- The teacher will provide support and ask guiding questions throughout the completion of the Retell-a-story graphic organizer.
- The teacher will facilitate the discussion and provide oral feedback during the think-write-pair-share.
- The teacher may provide written or oral feedback during the completion of the plan sheet for opinion writing.