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opinion: re author's purpose
Old 11-14-2013, 06:00 AM
 
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My first graders and I read a safe-pigs version of "The Three Little Pigs," followed by the full-on version, in which the wolf eats the first two pigs and the pig ultimately eats the wolf. After we spent about two weeks carefully looking at the structure and story elements, we talked about how diverse fairy tales can be when retold by various authors. We looked at the differences between the two versions and, ultimately, discussed how the pigs were really young adults (or personality types) and the Wolf actually represents danger, and how the author's message was to plan ahead and be prepared. Be aware.

My admin. thought that this was not appropriate for inner-city first graders.
I am baffled.

May I please have your opinions?


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Old 11-14-2013, 07:59 AM
 
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My first thought was if the kids are Muslim. As I wanted to teach/read this story but my admin said no.

I would not have gone that deep with my class but I don't see a huge issue with it.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:13 PM
 
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That seems awfully abstract for first graders, inner city or not. I could see talking about what we could learn from the pigs (be prepared, work hard, etc), but I have a hard time believing that my first graders could really grasp the concept of the wolf "representing" danger and the pigs "representing" personality types. They are SO very literal at this age.

Everything I've seen about author's purpose at this level is whether the author wrote something to inform, persuade, or entertain.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:50 PM
 
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I agree with yellowdaisies
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:06 PM
 
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Sorry, but I have to agree with yellowdaisies. This would not be appropriate for any of my first graders. Some would be able to regurgitate my words, but not really understand the concepts you mention. We studied the "Three Little Pigs" earlier in the year and talked about the important lessons we could learn from the pigs. After lots of practice, most are becoming pretty good at figuring out the central message or lesson of fairy tales, fables, and other stories. We also sometimes compare and contrast different versions of the same story, but the focus is mostly on the basic story elements. I want to build a strong foundation of literal comprehension in first grade to pave the way for more abstract concepts in the upper grades.


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it sounds like
Old 11-14-2013, 08:53 PM
 
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It sounds like you were trying to teach them the moral of the story, which I don't think they need to know at this point. I agree that author's purpose is why the author wrote the book...to persuade, inform, or entertain.
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thanks for your opinions
Old 11-16-2013, 06:18 AM
 
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I'm still on the fence about this. The thing is, MOST of them "got" it. When they Pair Share / Retell, using our Anchor Chart, they mention the theme. I've noticed that this class is quick to pick up and use vocabulary. "Extremely, topple, and approaching" were words from The Three Pigs, and I was delighted to see "extremely" appear in an unrelated writing assignment! I also heard one say to another, in math, "That's a good plan. You're like the 3rd Little Pig." My favorite moment, during this mini-unit, was when I did the read-aloud for the first time, and a student shouted out, "If he ATE the Big Bad Wolf, then he just ate his brothers!"

It probably WAS beyond the developmental scope of about 20 percent of the class, but the other 80 had no trouble grasping and internalizing this information... Why NOT go deeper? Isn't that Common Core? Isn't that Close Reading?

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts...
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Old 11-16-2013, 09:59 AM
 
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In the end, you should do what is best for your students. Only you know what they can and cannot understand. I'm sure you're doing this, but just make sure the lower 20% are getting the more basic comprehension skills.

Did your administrator actually observe the lesson or just comment on your paper lesson plan? If this wasn't an observation, invite them in to see your kids in action. If they did observe, I would want to know what child behavior made them think it was inappropriate. If most of the kids were engaged and comprehending the lesson, I don't see the reason for their disapproval.
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