Testing/Assessments and Learning Standards
July 23, 2015

Lesson Plan: Stellaluna

Source: Research and Educational Resources

LESSON TITLE: Stellaluna

TEACHER: Sarah Richardson

SUBJECT: Academic Vocabulary and Making Inferences

GRADE: 1

TIME FRAME: 4 Days

PLANNING AND PREPARATION:

Reading Level N

What rubrics will be used in this lesson? None required.  

Any special seating arrangements for the students? Space will be needed for student movement.

Lesson Implementation – Edited

Lesson Implementation - Unedited

LESSON MATERIALS:


RELATED LINKS:

NYS P-12 Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy and Mathematics

NYSED Classroom Videos

The NYS Education Department has classroom videos available in ELA (3 elementary, 1 secondary), mathematics (2 elementary, 2 secondary), and a European history lesson. The videos are presented un-edited and formatted to highlight specific NYS Learning standards as they are implemented.

Go to EngageNY to view the videos.


MATERIALS/EQUIPMENT:

  • 10-12 copies of Stellaluna
  • List of tier 2 vocabulary words
  • Copies of vocabulary words with “Four Square” vocabulary sheet
  • Post-it notes

LESSON SUMMARY:

Summary: A mother bat and her child, Stellaluna are separated when attacked by an owl.  Stellaluna meets a family of birds who takes care of her and accepts her into their nest. This is a story about unusual friendships.

NEW YORK STATE LEARNING STANDARDS:

  • RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
  • RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

SHIFTS IN RELATION TO THE COMMON CORE STANDARDS:

Shift 3: Staircase of complexity.

Shift 4: Text-based answers.

Shift 5: Writing from Sources

Shift 6: Academic Vocabulary

Academic Vocabulary: Isabel Beck, Bringing Words to Life, categorizes vocabulary into 3 tiers when considering which words need the most instructional attention. Beck suggests that students will benefit the most academically by focusing instruction on the Tier 2 Vocabulary Words. Tier 2 words are likely to appear in texts across content areas, essential for understanding this text.

*There are too many “tier 2” words in this text for one vocabulary lesson.  Choose 4-5 words from this list to teach to your students.  The words with an asterisk (*) were chosen for this lesson.

 

Tier 1 Vocabulary

Basic vocabulary that rarely require instructional focus (door, house, book)

*Tier 2 Academic Vocabulary

High-frequency, multiple meaning vocabulary - words that appear with high-frequency, across a variety of domains, and are crucial when using mature, academic language (coincidence, reluctant, analysis)

Tier 3 Vocabulary

Low-frequency, context-specific vocabulary - frequency of these words is quite low and often limited to specific fields of study (isotope, reconstruction, Buddhism)

bat

crooned

trembling*

anxious


nest

clutched*

downy

peculiar


bird

scent

startling

gathered


mother

swooped*

clambered*

stuttered


branch

dodging

babble

gasped*


feet

shrieking

hissed

murmured


bugs

limp

curious

stuffed


fly

tangle

gracefully*

howled



wrapping

clumsy

shrieked




anxious

perched


 

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION:

Specific differentiation for the lesson for English Language Learners and/or students with disabilities

  • Day 1 and 2 - All students can participate equally.
  • Day 3 - If a child is having a difficult time finding a vocabulary word, he/she may benefit from someone reading the text aloud.  Once they hear the word, he/she may be able to find it more easily.
SEQUENCE OF LESSON ACTIVITIES: 

Day 1:

  • Read the book for enjoyment.

Day 2:

  • Choose 5-6 of the tier 2 vocabulary words and type them in a list without definitions on the board.
  • Allow children to act out the meaning of the new words using their bodies.
  • Children repeat the word and the movement.  
  • After introducing 2-3 words, review the definition while all students use movement to show the meaning of the word.
  • Introduce the rest of the vocabulary words with movement.
  • Have the children spread out around the room.
  • Reread the pages of Stellaluna with each vocabulary word and allow children to act out the vocabulary when heard.
  • Children will work in partnerships to play charades.  One partner will act out one of the vocabulary words.  The other partner will have to guess which word is acted out.  Then, they will switch roles.
  • Gather the children back to the carpet.

Day 3:

  • Gather children to the carpet and review the new vocabulary words with movement.
  • Show the children how they will go on a word hunt to find the vocabulary words in the book.  They will work in partnerships to find the words.  When a word is found, they can place a post-it note on the page.
  • After they find the words, each child will choose one word and complete a “Four Square” vocabulary graphic organizer.

Day 4:

  • Children will work in partnerships.  Each partnership will go through the book and find 2-3 places where they can infer how Stellaluna is feeling. They will mark these pages with a post it note.  
  • Children will choose one place in the book and will write, “I think Stellaluna felt _______ because_________”  They will have to write a feeling and find evidence in the text to support their inference.
  • When partnerships finish, gather students on the rug for a share session.

TEXT DEPENDENT QUESTIONS:

C= central ideas/general understanding:

  • What is the story about?
  • What is the problem in the story?
  • How is the problem solved?
  • What lesson do Stellaluna and the birds learn throughout the story?

D= key details:

  • How was Stellaluna trying to act like the birds?

V= vocabulary:

  • Who was swooping down?
  • What was Stellaluna clutching onto?
  • Why was Stellaluna trembling?
  • What did Stellaluna clamber from?

S= text structure:

  • What did the author do to make the story interesting to read?

AP= author's point of view:

  • What do you think the author was trying to tell you in this book?
  • Why do you think the author would have written this book?

TEXT DEPENDENT QUESTIONS SEQUENCE:

  • Some of these questions will be asked during the whole group lesson on Day 2; particularly as the children act out the vocabulary while listening to the story.

Other questions will be asked while children are working in partnerships to help deepen their understanding of the text.

REFLECTION:

I chose to teach these lessons because our class has been learning how to make inferences to understand stories better.   We used the vocabulary words from Stellaluna to help infer how the characters were feeling at different parts of the story.  

The first lessons incorporate two instructional shifts: “Staircase of Complexity” and “Academic Vocabulary.”   I am learning that the shifts help my instruction become better-rounded.  The shifts also help all students gain a deeper understanding of and deeper connections to texts we are reading.  It's been so interesting to see how children grasp onto learning new vocabulary that would probably not be seen in "just right" texts.   After introducing the vocabulary, some children notice the words in other places and show such excitement when they are able to make connections; often connections that I would never think of or plan for.  

Since children naturally want to move, it is refreshing to tap into these natural instincts with a kinesthetic approach and observe 100% participation even from students who normally struggle.  As the children practice the vocabulary with movement, they can look around and learn the words from the other children in the class.