Combining Literacy Lessons with Social Emotional Lessons


I have been working with great children’s literature within the whole classroom environment to develop student’s Tier Two vocabulary, understanding of story grammar and listening comprehension skills. I have always embedded some social language skills into these lessons with the set up of class expectations, being a good audience and being an active participant in the lesson. This year one of the classes has needed more direct work in understanding and managing emotions and I was asked to be part of this work.

Caps for Sale is an amazing book for illustrating a variety of emotions.

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The Peddler was disappointed that he had not sold his caps. He was hungry and tired and as he had no money to buy food so he took a walk and then he took a nap under a tree. He woke up refreshed but was surprised and confused that his caps were gone. He became upset then angry, frustrated and furious that the monkeys would not give him back his hat. Finally, .he was relieved and satisfied that he eventually was able to get his caps back.

As part of this unit, I spoke to the students about the ranges of emotions that you might feel. The emotions are not ‘bad’ or ‘good’ but what we might do because of the emotions or feelings might be. There are times when we are upset for a good reason, we then need to find ways to deal with that emotion that will help us. When the peddler was disappointed that he had not sold his caps he took a walk and then a nap. There are times we may need to take a walk to help ourselves calm down. We may need to make a request for a rest or quiet time. This is a good way to deal with those feelings.

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This book is a folktale that has been passed down for generations. I know that I loved reading and acting it out with my children. Who doesn’t like to be a monkey imitating the man as he gets angry? This book will give you the opportunity to talk to the students about folktales and how many stories have been passed down by people telling the stories to others who tell it to their friends?

As part of my unit, I review the visuals for what makes a story a folktale.

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As the concluding activity to connect writing with literature, I have the students write about a time that they got very angry and what they did about it.

I always like to have a writing prompt as part of my literature units.  As this one was about the peddler getting furious with the monkeys I had the students write about a time that they got really angry.   Here are some of their responses ( the paper is part of the unit).

I have this available at my TPT store with visuals for the vocabulary, several before, during and after reading activities/lesson plan, story grammar pictures, parent letter, lotto boards, writing paper and book report paper.Caps for Sale: book companion


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