Marisa Simoncic’s Literacy Unit for Touro Course EDDN 634

Teaching the vocabulary prior, really helped the students better comprehend the stories. As we were reading, they liked the mixture of round robin, choral, and teacher modeling.


Marisa Simoncic is a fourth-grade teacher at a charter school on Long Island. She is currently in her second year at Touro College, TESOL Masters Program with a graduation date of August 2019.

The assignment was to design a Literacy Unit for ELLs Students, with a rationale, lesson plans, hand-outs and a reflection on the lesson. Ms. Simonics literacy unit on James and the Giant Peach is designed for  4th Grade: Transitioning-Expanding with the themes of Friendship, FamilyRelationships, Good vs.Evil. The complete assignment is shared via a PDF with the graceful permission by Ms. Simonic.

James and the Giant Peach Kindle Edition
by Roald Dahl (Author), QuentinBlake (Illustrator)

Lesson 1:
James and the Giant Peach
Chapter 1-4 (pages 1-11)
Learning Objectives:
-I can participate in discussions about the text.
-I can learn new vocabulary word to help me understand the text.
-I can identify the setting, characters, and plot.
-I can use a story map to organize my information.
-I can use the story map to help retell the story.
-I can make a prediction.
Learning Standards:
RSL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
RSF. 4.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Vocabulary: paddle, desolate, peculiar, luminous, spectacles
Pre-Reading Activity: The teacher will have the students write the definitions on the graphic organizers. They
will need one for each word. Then work with a partner to complete the organizer. The organizers can get stapled into their notebook.
Materials: notebook, vocabulary anchor chart, elements of story anchor chart, story map
Instructional Plan:
1. The teacher and students will discuss the vocabulary words that will appear in the chapters. As the words are being discussed, the students will write the definitions into their notebooks. Then they will work with
a partner to finish the graphic organizer. (See template below).
2. The teacher will review the anchor chart that reviews elements of a story (characters, setting, plot). The teacher will explain that these elements are necessary for a story that is fantasy. Provide the students with a copy of the anchor chart for their notebook.
3. The students and teacher will read the text. The teacher will use a combination of choral reading, teacher modeling, and round robin reading to read the chapters. The teacher will pause for discussion.
4. After reading, the students and teacher will fill out the James and the Giant Peach story map. The teacher will model on the smartboard or on chart paper. He or she will explain that they will fill this out
throughout the story (add to plot, characters,etc).
5. The students will use the story map to aid in a retelling of what was read for the day. If the student is struggling, show the students the sentence frames or retell cards to get them started with their verbal
retell. The teacher can use the checklist to help determine if the student was successful.
6. Extension: If the students do well with verbally retelling, the students can write a brief retell using sentence frames to get them started.
Questions for Discussion:
-What kind of life does James live at the age of four? Describe his life.
-What happens to James to make him feel alone and scared?
-Where does James go?
-How is James treated by his aunts?
-How can we describe the aunts?
-What is the man in the bushes holding? Why does he give it to James?
-Would you take what the man is giving James?
-What do you think will happen with these green beans?
Homework: The students will design a pair of “magic, marvelous, fantastically luminous” sunglasses for James.
Then the students will write three to five sentences about what happens when the glasses are used.
Assessments: Reading-Fluency, Discussion-Comprehension, Story Map, Retell (with checklist)

Chapter 1-4 (pages 1-11)
Learning Objectives:
-I can participate in discussions about the text.
-I can learn new vocabulary word to help me understand the text.
-I can identify the setting, characters, and plot.
-I can use a story map to organize my information.
-I can use the story map to help retell the story.
-I can make a prediction.
Learning Standards:
RSL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
RSF. 4.3. Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
W.4.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
SL.4.2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Vocabulary: paddle, desolate, peculiar, luminous, spectacles
Pre-Reading Activity: The teacher will have the students write the definitions on the graphic organizers. They
will need one for each word. Then work with a partner to complete the organizer. The organizers can get stapled into their notebook.
Materials: notebook, vocabulary anchor chart, elements of story anchor chart, story map
Instructional Plan:
1. The teacher and students will discuss the vocabulary words that will appear in the chapters. As the words are being discussed, the students will write the definitions into their notebooks. Then they will work with
a partner to finish the graphic organizer. (See template below).
2. The teacher will review the anchor chart that reviews elements of a story (characters, setting, plot). The teacher will explain that these elements are necessary for a story that is fantasy. Provide the students with a copy of the anchor chart for their notebook.
3. The students and teacher will read the text. The teacher will use a combination of choral reading, teacher modeling, and round robin reading to read the chapters. The teacher will pause for discussion.
4. After reading, the students and teacher will fill out the James and the Giant Peach story map. The teacher will model on the smartboard or on chart paper. He or she will explain that they will fill this out
throughout the story (add to plot, characters, etc).
5. The students will use the story map to aid in a retelling of what was read for the day. If the student is struggling, show the students the sentence frames or retell cards to get them started with their verbal
retell. The teacher can use the checklist to help determine if the student was successful.
6. Extension: If the students do well with verbally retelling, the students can write a brief retell using sentence frames to get them started.
Questions for Discussion:
-What kind of life does James live at the age of four? Describe his life.
-What happens to James to make him feel alone and scared?
-Where does James go?
-How is James treated by his aunts?
-How can we describe the aunts?
-What is the man in the bushes holding? Why does he give it to James?
-Would you take what the man is giving James?
-What do you think will happen with these green beans?
Homework: The students will design a pair of “magic, marvelous, fantastically luminous” sunglasses for James.
Then the students will write three to five sentences about what happens when the glasses are used.
Assessments: Reading-Fluency, Discussion-Comprehension, Story Map, Retell (with checklist)

Reflection

I was very eager to teach this lesson to my ENL students. They all love the novel study time during the day, they just struggle when it is in the whole class setting. When I told them that we would be working in a small group, they were thrilled. It was helpful to work with the small group in this fantastic book. Unfortunately, I was only able to teach the lesson in a small group for day one due to time constraints. The other lessons were done as a whole group. My reflection will focus on the small group instruction with my ENLs.Overall, the lesson was a success. It was difficult to get everything done in one session. I actually had to break the lesson into two days. Overall, my class has very limited vocabulary. So, I work very hard to make sure that I spend time explicitly teaching the vocabulary. The students really enjoyed using the Frayer model vocabulary graphic organizer. They liked that they were able to draw a picture. The sentences, however, were a challenge. I modeled sentences for the following words: luminous and desolate. After the modeling, we came up with a sentence as a group. They then copied those onto their organizers.

Author: drcowinj

As an Assistant Professor for TESOL and Bilingual Programs at Touro College, Graduate School of Education Dr. Cowin’s focus is on the Responsibility to Touro Students (Teaching), Responsibility to the Discipline (Scholarship), Responsibility to Touro College and Community (Service). Dr. Cowin strives to inspire students to be creative and to model the love of lifelong learning by inculcating the habits and attitudes that create agile mindsets. 21st-century learning extends well beyond the classroom, and Dr. Cowin incorporates takes full advantage of online learning technologies for L2 language acquisition and current global trends in teaching English as a Second Language She represents high levels of scholarship and participates fully in the larger world of TESOL academic discipline. Ongoing research, expressed in scholarly contributions to the advancement of knowledge is demonstrated through publication, presentation and participation in academic conferences, articles in Education Update, blogging and other scholarly activities, including public performances or exhibitions at conferences and workshops such as the Plekhanov University of Economics keynote address in 2018. Of special interest to her are The Blockchain of Things and its implications for Higher Education, Current Global Trends in Teaching English; Developing Materials and Resources in Teaching English – Methodology; E-learning & Micro-Methodology in Teaching English; and E-Resources Discovery and Analysis.

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