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Lesson Plans
Spring into Reading!
This month’s featured lesson plans encourage the whole class to build key reading skills together.
Preschool / Kindergarten Story Sequencing
Preschool-Kindergarten
1st and 2nd Grade Introduction to Idioms
and Multiple Meanings
1st and 2nd Grade
3rd and 4th Grade Vocabulary Building: Using Context Clues
3rd and 4th Grade

 Story Sequencing
Preschool-Kindergarten
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will identify the beginning, middle and end of a story.
  • Students will recall events of a story in the correct order.
Materials Materials Needed
Introduction Introduction

Ask students to raise their hands if they like it when their friends share things with them. Then ask them to raise their hands if they have ever owned something so special that they didn’t want to share it with others. Invite a few volunteers to talk about their prized possession. Finally, ask students, “How do you think your friends would feel if you never shared with them?” and, “How do you think you would feel if your friends didnít share with you?”

Tell students that you are going to read a book called The Rainbow Fish. Explain how the Rainbow Fish in the story has something special that he is not sure he wants to share. Invite students to pay close attention to the sequence of events in the story as you read it aloud. Ask them to think about what happens in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the story.

Procedure

Procedure

  1. Read The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister aloud to the class.
  2. As you read, emphasize the different stages of the story. For example, at the beginning of the story, explain that the Rainbow Fish has many silver scales that he loves to show off to the other fish. As the story progresses, explain that none of the other fish will play with the Rainbow Fish because he won’t share any of his scales with them. Finally, point out that once the Rainbow Fish decides to share his beautiful scales with his friends, he becomes happy because his friends want to play with him again.
  3. After reading the book, divide a sheet of chart paper into three columns and label them: Beginning, Middle and End.
  4. Invite students to share the events that they recall from the story and ask them to tell you when they occurred in the story. Write the events in the appropriate column.
  5. Review the order of the events and emphasize that stories always have a beginning, middle and end.

Guided/Independent Practice

Guided/Independent Practice

  1. Provide each student with a strip of construction paper and a copy of The Rainbow Fish printable.
  2. Have students color the pictures on the printable. Then instruct them to cut out the pictures along the dotted lines using scissors. Next, have them sequence the pictures on the construction paper to represent the beginning, middle and end of the story. Write Beginning, Middle and End under each picture.
  3. Cut out small “scale-like” pieces of aluminum foil. Encourage students to glue the foil pieces onto the Rainbow Fish in their pictures to represent shiny scales. (Hint: Before they cover the Rainbow Fish with shiny scales in every picture, remind them that the Rainbow Fish changes his appearance throughout the story.)

the preschool - kindergarten lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)

Introduction to Idioms
1st and 2nd Grade
Objectives Objectives
  • Students will discuss and decode the meaning of idioms and figures of speech from the book Amelia Bedelia.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of figures of speech by interpreting their meanings.
Materials Materials Needed
Introduction Introduction

Ask students if they have ever heard a joke that made them laugh their heads off! Ask volunteers to share the joke with the class.

Then ask students, “When we say ‘I laughed my head off,’ do we really mean that we laughed so hard that our heads fall off our bodies?” Once students have responded—and giggled a little—tell them that this kind of expression is called an idiom, or a common phrase that means something different than what it says.

Hold up the book Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish. Explain that Amelia Bedelia is a character who often gets confused by idioms or words that have more than one meaning. Before you begin reading the story aloud, tell students to listen for Amelia’s misunderstandings and try to figure out what Amelia Bedelia should really be doing.

Procedure

Procedure

  1. Read Amelia Bedelia aloud to the students, stopping periodically to let students point out the things she is doing incorrectly. Ask them to identify what she should be doing instead.
  2. After reading the book, ask students to recall some of the figures of speech that Amelia misunderstood from the story (e.g., “change the towels” or “dust the furniture”).
  3. Write them on the board and have students discuss the real meaning of each one. Then have them suggest instructions that Mrs. Rogers could have written to make the meaning clearer to Amelia.

Guided/Independent Practice

Guided/Independent Practice

  1. Invite students to play the Interpreting Idioms Game! Before you begin, remind them that the words surrounding an idiom are clues to its meaning.  
  2. Cut apart the sentence strips from the Interpreting Idioms reproducible and place them in a box or hat.
  3. One at a time, have volunteers draw a sentence from the box and read it aloud. Ask them to identify the idiom in each sentence and interpret its meaning.
the 1st and 2nd grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)

Vocabulary Building: Using Context Clues
3rd and 4th Grade
Objective Objective

Students will use context clues to decode unfamiliar words.

Materials Materials Needed
Introduction Introduction

In a low voice, say to students, “If you can hear me, please raise your snooble.”
Students will likely giggle or give you a quizzical look, but simply repeat the instruction until one or two students begin raising their hands. Acknowledge their correct responses with a smile or nod.

Once other students begin to catch on, confirm that the nonsense word “snooble” meant hand. Ask a volunteer to explain how she guessed the correct meaning of the nonsense word.

Procedure

Procedure

  1. Explain that good readers often use context clues to decode unfamiliar vocabulary words. Point out that other words in the text may give them hints about the meaning of words they do not know.
  2. Display a few example sentences on the board to demonstrate the use of context clues in decoding word meanings, such as:
    • The angry dog barked ferociously, scaring the young kitten.
    • After studying, Tom is optimistic he will do well on the test.
    • The courageous explorer climbed the dangerous mountain.
  3. Remind the students that the other words in the sentence, or context clues, will give them an idea of what the words mean.
  4. Invite volunteers to try to decode the meaning of the underlined words. Then have them come up to the board and circle other words in the sentence that served as context clues. (For example, in the first sentence, they might circle the word “angry” or “scaring” because these words indicate that the dog’s bark was ferocious.)

Guided/Independent Practice

Guided/Independent Practice

  1. Declare all of your students word detectives! Distribute a copy of the Word Detective Activity to each student.
  2. Have students work with a partner or small group. Instruct them to read the paragraph together and use context clues to discover the meaning of the nonsense words.
  3. Encourage students to write the meaning of each word and list all of the context clues that helped them decode the correct meaning of the word.

the 3rd and 4th grade lesson plan. (Includes all printable materials.)
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