During the whole class lesson, the students pretended they were Half-Chicken and designed a postcard to send home to Half-Chicken's family. The lesson came alive in that I was able to engage the students in completing an engaging writing activity.
One thing that didn't work so well during my whole class instruction is I didn't go into enough detail in modeling and demonstrating how the students should complete their postcard. I should have displayed an actual copy of the postcard as shown on this slide so students would know specifically where to fill out the greeting, letter, closing, and address.
I decided to have students in my small group read the book It's Spring by Jimmy Pickering since there were several ELL students in the group. I wanted to be sure I picked a book where the topic was relatable to students with different backgrounds. The book about spring did just that. One event that could have been done better was to get to know the students' better so I could have tailored the story and activities to something they are interested in. This could have resulted in learning catered to the students' dominant intelligence.
We read the fable Half-Chicken (whole-class lesson) about a vain chicken on a journey to Mexico City to see the court of the viceroy. This text was at the instructional level for most students, and they enjoyed the story and got the lesson at the end (if you help someone they will return the favor and help you too). However, I did not provide a wide-variety of reading material since we only read books. That is something I could improve upon.
The students read the book It's Spring in the small-group session. This was instructional reading, and students were able to relate and connect the story to their own experiences with spring. While I did ask higher level questions in whole and small group lessons, I did not have students discuss ideas with their peers. This would have been a helpful activity to get students to expand their thinking.
I had students complete a related writing activity in the whole-class and small-group lessons. Students created a postcard for Half-Chicken, and wrote about their favorite thing to do in spring for It's Spring. I didn't give students time for silent reading during these lessons due to time constraints, but I would incorporate it regularly into the school day because of the importance of independent reading.
- How might the story Half-Chicken have ended if Half-Chicken did not help others along the way? - Describe one of your favorite spring days. What would you do?