If it's okay, I'll go all the way back to the beginning when the mini-lesson was how to pick a just right book (good fit book).
*I used the shoe analogy described by the Sisters. I brought in a bag of shoes that included little tiny cowboy boots that belonged to my little grandson; women's dress shoes; house slippers; men's work shoes; and our coach's extra large roller blades!!!!!!!!!
*I created an I-PICK chart based on the shoe analogy.
*I read the picture book: If the Shoe Fits by Gary Soto.
I did the shoe part first, created the chart, and then read the book as an example of what happened to a boy when he wore shoes that did not fit. After reading the book, we discussed/reviewed the reasons for choosing a good fit book (just-right book)
After teaching that lesson, it's so easy to refer to the I PICK chart to remind individuals how to select a book.
I just used the book, Christmas by Eve Bunting for an inference mini. The first page tells how the walls of this mom and daughter's (I think, I don't have the book home) home have words on them (oh gosh, I can't remember exactly but something like...) "Coca Cola, Do Not Open with Sharp Knife, etc." Anyway, they had to infer that they were living in a cardboard box from the sayings. It took my kids a while to figure that one out and it is critical for really understanding the story. Hope this is what you're looking for...short but sweet.
I did the good fit lesson, too ~ but we used chairs... First, we talked about finding something that is "just right." (like with Goldilocks). It was silly ~ but kids liked the connection. Then, I asked for three volunteers. I put a box of Kleenex in front of one, a regular desk chair in front of another, and, with GREAT fanfare (!!!!), I rolled out my desk chair (a comfy office chair ~ on wheels, with arms, and the ability to "spin") ~ and put it in front of the third volunteer. Then, they were all invited to have a seat on their "chair." It was SO much fun seeing the third volunteer gloat and the first volunteer struggled to perch on the box! Yup, that's one of my favorites!
Also, in case your interested, I'm attaching a chart I just made ~ noting different levels (a possible rubric, if you like) for the reading CAFE'. It's not really a lesson ~ but maybe it would be helpful to someone somehow. (I did change up the "A" for accuracy ~ making it more about having accurate understanding of the text since most of my 4th graders need to work on this rather than word accuracy.)
That's just the kind of thing that I hope people share. I love Eve Bunting but know very few of her books. I'm always surprised when I hear a new title.
I love the way you did the good fit lesson. I teach 4th/5th grade, so I'll need more than one way to teach that lesson to the same kids 2 different years. I like the silliness of it all!!! I use Goldilocks to reinforce the math concept of right angles ("And it was j-u-s-t r-i-g-h-t!"), so I can easily see this working for just right books! Thank you for including the CAFE scoring guide, too.
See how nicely this sharing thing works??? Thanks for thinking of it newpalmetto!!!
It turns out that teachers and students need the just right book lesson and the inferencing lesson -- even if they are not CAFE users. So MrsCroak, share whatever mini-lessons you have! As soon as I have time to think a bit more about it, I'll have more to share, too.
Last edited by J.Elaine; 12-28-2009 at 04:30 PM..
Reason: needed to add another thought
I love the rubric, and the fact that it is in word. I teach 2/3 so I may need to tweak it. I did not see anything yet, but once I use things I often find I want to tweak to fit my group of kids and our conversations. Thanks for sharing
Right before break, I did a lesson with all of my middle schoolers on metaphors. We used the lyrics to "The Grinch" song. It was a hoot -- there are so many lines to that song that are metaphors, which is awesome, because metaphors don't come easily to most students.
I LOVE your rubric!!!! Something I was struggling with was the touch points. Your rubric helps to make it so clear. Each one will basically be a touch point for me. So I now what the student needs to know/do in order to move on to the next goal. I may try to expand the rubric for all the CAFE goals. If I do, of course I will share here!!!!!!!!
An inference lesson that I have not tried yet, but think is a good idea, is to pack a fake suitcase. I would pack a suitcase on the smartboard (but of course you can use a real suitcase or piece of paper) with objects that I would bring on a vacation with me. For example I may pack A LOT of books (kids will infer that I love reading), maybe all books will be fiction, with one being a huge textbook (kids can infer I am taking a class on...). I may also pack 2 bottles of lotion (one 50 spf., one bottle of oil). Kids can infer that there are two people going on the trip one who likes to be careful, one who doesn't. You get the point, pack the bag and let the kids read in between the lines. I think the best introduction to inferencing is through pictures. We also just did this for a multicultural study. A ton of pictures for each country was placed in front of the kids. The kids had to infer what was happening in the pictures.
While we are sharing.... does anyone have lessons and/or a unit for a reading and writing fiction. This is what we are doing when we get back and would love to get some great ideas.
I'll think of other lessons and as I do I'll share here.
Along the same lines as luv2share, I did an inferring lesson once using actual objects.
I put objects in ziploc bags (one bag for each group of students) that could be used to "profile" the person who owns those objects. (profile-as in Criminal Minds when the detectives try to figure out what kind of person the perpetrator is by clues left behind)
For example I put in a pedometer, a baby toy and hardboard book, packet of zinnia seeds, etc. Kids could infer that the owner of these objects is a woman who likes gardening (packet of seeds), is interested in exercising and being healthy (pedometer) and has a small child (toys, book), . A group spokesperson could show the objects, tell what they inferred, and explain their inferences.
Before groups report findings, it might be interesting to have groups trade bags. That way you could see how the inferring in different groups compare.
BTW, I'm going to check out those songs for metaphors. I'm also going to start tuning in to song lyrics to see what I can discover.
I found a great teacher's book called Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor published by Heinemann and recommended by Stephanie Harvey. I have used many of her lessons and they're great! She has four steps in her Launching Sequence for each Comprehension strategy (Metacognition, Schema, Inferring, Questioning, Determining Importance, Visualizing, and Synthesizing).
Her four steps for Launching are:
wordless picture books
time for text
In her lesson on Determining Importance for the concrete experience she says use your purse with selected items in it, (you decide the objects) like driver's license, cell phone, a pack of gum, keys, an inhaler, a tube of lipstick, and an Old Navy coupon. After identifying each object, I tell the students that I'm going to the walking track after school and didn't want to carry my purse with me. I need their help to decide what was important to take along as I exercised and what could remain in my purse. I arranged it all in plain view and then had them turn and talk with their elbow partner. The reasonings they were using was great.
Then from there she does a lesson using a sensory exercise with a pot of spaghetti and a strainer and the kids do a turn and talk about how good reading is like preparing spaghetti. Here are some of the comments made by the students:
--Your brain is like the strainer and the words are like the noodles.
--The spaghetti water is not important so you don't have to keep it.
--You want to keep only the good stuff in your brain when you read.
--When you read something it's like pouring in through your eyes and then it goes through your brain.
--Is this why my Mom calls my head my noodle?
The kids love them and it's spelled out very clearly for the teacher. The concrete and the sensory really makes it easy to understand and fun to experience. The lessons would be too long to post here, but it is the best money I have spent on finding something to help teach the Comprehension Strategies.
I have used many lessons suggested in Comprehension Connections. In addition, I have created a small space next to my CAFE board to add up a card stating the comprehension strategies and then attached the concrete items around it. My students really are able to connect with them and they come back to them often in their conversation. This idea was of course not my own I got the idea from Angela Bunyi who was the Scholastic 3-5 advisor last year.
A few other resources that I use to create mini-lesson from are:
Strategies that Work
Interactive Read Aloud 3-5
I am attaching a list of picture books (mostly) that I created as I use books in teaching comprehension strategies. I may have posted this before on proteacher, but as I teach I am continually adding to it.
I took lists that I had found on-line and on here and sorted through and found what worked for me in teaching 4th graders. Just an FYI...The stars are the front of book titles just mean I have them at school. If they don't have a star I have to go find them else where. Secondly, when I have found lesson that work specifically with a book I list the book after the title, such as Comp. Connections, STWork (Strategies that Work), IRA (Interactive Read Aloud), etc
lirolu2...I've been looking for Interactive Read Aloud 3-5 for quite a while and apparently it's out of print. The author is Linda Hoyt right? but who is the publisher? I thought maybe I could try on EBay. Amazon has been looking for it for me for months with no luck.
Thank you, thank you for your list. Wouldn't it be great if we could just all keep adding to that with the books we use and the lessons that seem to fit them? I like the way you included where you found the lesson. Thank you!
lmoore1: I don't think Interactive Read Aloud by: Hoyt is out of print. I just got mine in September. The publisher is Heinemann. Here is the link where I found it there http://www.interactivereadalouds.com/
It is a good resource not only for comprehension strategies, but many other areas as well, such as story elements and structure and writing.
lirolu2...Thank you for the tip about Interactive Read Aloud and the website. I went there immediately and ordered it. A little pricey but I'm sure it will be worth it. There was a lot of info even on the website in their lesson matrix about which books could be used with certain strategies and standards. Others on PT may want to take a look at the Lesson Matrix for the different grade levels for ideas.
I love this book - I took an inservice course on it this summer and have been using bits and pieces of it throughout the year. I think the kids enjoy the sensory/concrete experiences and absolutely learn from them!