In this lesson, students use a richly-illustrated text to identify the similarities and differences between characters. The activities are strategically sequenced to increase depth and complexity as students use evidence and a graphic organizer to explain their answers. The teacher uses several strategies to keep students focused on the task while allowing them to remain engaged in the productive struggle of the text and lesson.
Character Differences (Dongarra)Download
Students use both the text and illustrations of the book to identify similarities and differences. The text is designed to build knowledge around India, and is full of information and richly illustrated. The teacher models the activity, drawing attention to the characters and the instructions, and reinforces using evidence from the text.
The teacher circulates, reinforcing her directions and encouraging students to"have a conversation," and work together. When appropriate, she provides hints and scaffolds, pointing students in the right direction without giving them answers.
When a student gives an answer that is too vague, the teacher sends all of them back to the text to "find evidence." Once they do, students are able to give a stronger answer about the different types of transportation for the characters. A student who needed a lot of scaffolding earlier in the activity exclaims, "I got this!"
Teacher has intentionally built a sequence of activities to build knowledge. In the first activity, students used Post-Its to collect evidence. Now, students will write down examples of how the characters are the same or different, based on the evidence they collected with their partners.
One student asks how to spell a word, after independently trying to sound out the word and looking carefully at the chart on the wall, and the teacher provides a hint while allowing the student to engage in the productive struggle. The teacher assists others students in figuring out tasks, so that everyone can participate, and uses sound and hand gestures to scaffold their spelling.
The teacher helps students work together. She moves to another group and helps them understand how to find differences, and then leaves them to do the work rather than staying to support them. When she walks away, students continue to work effectively, sounding out words and reading.
The teacher has intentionally scaffolded activities to build knowledge and collaboration, as well as increasing complexity. In this third activity, students will share the evidence they collected, and their graphic organizers. She explains that now the students are going to do a bigger "EEKK" (elbow to elbow, knee to knee), and two partner groups will work together and share their work.