Developing a literature unit: Tier Two vocabulary, Bloom’s questions

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My plan this summer was to create units using literature and having all the resources in one place.  As I have been using children’s literature I have been able to discover that there are some stories in which some of the extensions to create deeper understanding or more critical thinking have evolved.

I chose the book “It’s Mine” by Leo Lionni as this book is a great jumping off point for the discussion on why rules, cooperation, and sharing assist us. The activities designed in the unit work on social pragmatic skills as well as the basic story grammar. Using the lesson framework I have been able to develop in the plan both extension activities as well as create additional supports for learners who may struggle.

I created a five-day unit

Tier Two vocabulary Common Core lesson unit using literature-based instruction, Leo Lionni’s book fable ‘It’s Mine”. This 5-day unit breaks down to

  • Day 1: Activating Prior Knowledge: the  lesson that requires the students to work as a team to accomplish a task.
    • Drawing Response
  • Day 2: Reading the story and working with story grammar so the students get the concepts of
    • Character
    • Setting
    • Emotions
    • Initiating Event
    • Problem/ Plan/Solution
    • Resolution

Comprehension question given with page numbers

  • Day 3: Re-read with the students acting out the character using visual stick puppets
  • Day 4 Explicit instruction in Tier Two vocabulary
  • Day 5 Culminating Written Response:
    • What school rule would they have that would create harmony


Supporting visuals:

  • Paper for the first drawing activity
  • Vocabulary template for Tier Two words
  • Visuals for:
    • Character
    • Setting
    • Sign for student to say line in chorus
    • Emotions
    • Initiating Event
    • Plan
    • Worksheet with pictures as the answers for questions asked
    • Vocabulary
  • Writing rubric
  • Paper for the culminating prompt both in color and black and white
  • *****Bonus Lotto *****game with story elements and vocabulary
  • ****** ELL and learning disabled ****additional activity and supports
  • Parent letter
  • Book Review

I am excited going through this process and really thinking about how to present the information so that it makes the student’s think and so that there is a pattern of lessons. I find that the students begin to anticipate the different parts of a plan and respond accordingly.

All of the additional information including Lotto board and visuals I then can use to reinforce the concepts in therapy.

I love doing whole class lessons as I feel I benefit from the interaction of all students and it keeps me grounded in the curriculum. It also creates a natural opportunity for me with the teachers to model and reinforce language instruction. It becomes a true partnership rather than a person coming in to deliver a ‘service’.

For this lesson, there are some ideas that I am very excited to try out. At the university where I supervise students one of the student clinicians was working with a student who was an English Language Learner and although the prose in the story appears to be pretty concrete the student did not understand the terms. She did a modified version of what I am suggesting in my lesson series and had a mini island and labelled it ‘earth’ as one of the characters in the story talks about it. Although this would not be a tier two for the general class this was a word that needed more direct instruction for this boy. Not only did this boy start telling us when he was ‘defiant’ at home or when he ‘desperately’ needed something but he also began to use the word ‘earth’ regularly in his conversations.

Picture made with Smarty Symbols™ © 2010-2014. Smarty Symbols© is a registered trademark and the images are a copyright of Smarty Symbols, 2013. All rights reserved to Smarty Symbols, LLC. Used with permission

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