Close Reading Read Aloud. Fiction Text: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon. Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ISBN #

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1 Close Reading Read Aloud Fiction Text: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon Author: Patty Lovell Illustrator: David Catrow Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers ISBN # This book is available to read online at: Lesson Summary: Rationale: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon was chosen to correspond with the first grade unit of study All About My World. This book will tie in especially well with the lessons on conflict resolution. This book can be used to introduce a discussion on bullying and discuss positive ways for the students to deal with bullying. Most children have been the victim of name calling and will be able to relate to the character of Molly Lou and make text to self connections. Reading Task: The students will listen to the teacher read the text aloud in its entirety at least one time. Students will then, with teacher guidance, revisit chunks of the text to clarify meaning. The teacher will ask questions and solicit student s ideas and thoughts to guide them through purposeful interaction with the text. The questions will focus on key details about the character and events in the story (LACC.1.RL.1), understanding the central message of the story (CCLA.1.RL.2), and the figurative language (LACC.1.L.5) used in this story. This story can also be used to introduce or reinforce the comprehension strategy of making text to self connections. Vocabulary Task: Most of the meanings of the words in the text can be discovered from careful reading of the context or use of illustrations in the text. Teachers should use rereading, discussions, and modeling when necessary to introduce and reinforce how to learn vocabulary from contextual clues. Speaking and Listening Task: Students will be involved in a whole class discussion through the use of questions that require the students to support or prove their thinking with the text. They will also apply the knowledge gained from conflict resolution lessons in Social Studies to identify the story s problem and solution and discuss positive ways to solve problems. Writing Task: Students will choose a character and write an opinion piece about whether they would want to be friends with that character or not. They should introduce the topic, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure. 1

2 Standards Addressed: First Grade LACC.1.RL.1. With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text. LACC.1.RL.2 Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson. LACC.1.RL.3 Key Ideas and Details: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details. LACC.1.RL.4. Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses LACC.1.RL.7. Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events. LACC.1.W.1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure. LACC.1.SL.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups. LACC.1.SL.1.a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion). LACC.1.SL.1.b. Build on others talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges. LACC.1.SL.1.c. Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion. LACC.SL.2. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. LACC.1.SL.4. Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly. LACC.1.L.2.d. Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words. LACC.1.L.5. With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings. SS.1.C.2.2 Describe the characteristics of responsible citizenship in the school community. SS.1.C.3.1 Explain how decisions can be made or how conflicts might be resolved in fair and just ways. 2

3 Vocabulary List: Vocabulary in the story is critical to the students understanding of the text although the amount of focus on each word should vary. Tier 2 words are more abstract, likely to be encountered in a variety of situations and could have different meanings depending on the context. These words deserve more attention in the context and in daily vocabulary instruction and use. Tier 3 words in the text are more concrete and can quickly be told or pointed out with respect to the illustrations so the student can make meaning of the context and text. They do not need extensive focus. The student-friendly definitions for the words below were found at Tier 2 words: foolish having poor sense; silly. proudly feeling pleased and satisfied because of something one owns or has done, having a very high opinion of one's self. revealed to make known; tell. Tier 3 words: beaver a large rodent, up to four feet long, with thick brown fur and a wide flat tail. Beavers use their long front teeth to cut down trees. buck-tooth an upper front tooth that sticks out. fumble to handle in a clumsy way; make a mess of. glee a feeling of delight or joy. Reminders: It is important that the text remains the expert, not the teacher. All answers to questions must be supported with specific text sections or selections. Students must be asked to support their claims by giving specific text sections to justify their answers. Collaborative discussion and processing is an important piece of this lesson. Ask students to share with partners their thoughts and ideas, and then ask them to share out their answer. When possible, the teacher should ask a question, allow partners to discuss an answer that they can support with the text, then allow them to answer. Subsequent partners should be allowed to share additional justified answers before the teacher moves to the next question. The goal is for deep understanding of text and not rushing through the text. Lessons should be completed over the course of SEVERAL days or even multiple weeks. Reading a book to a class once is not sufficient to really enjoy the text and to understand the deeper meanings of the text. When possible, allow students to see the text during the discussion. If each student cannot have his/her own copy, or even share with a partner, the teacher should display the pages so all the students have exposure to the text during discussions. Have the text available to students when it is not being discussed so that they can explore the text independently as their confidence with the text improves and their understanding deepens. You will find students returning for multiple reads of this text independently. Do not front-load the text prior to the first read, and do not front-load any assignments. It is important that students discover and develop answers on their own or through collaborative discussion with peers. 3

4 Lesson Sequence: Day 1: 1. Read the story aloud to students straight through with very little discussion. 2. When the story is over, ask the students to turn and talk to their partners about how they liked or disliked the story. Ask students to support their statements with specific examples in the text. After a short time, have students that are willing share their discussion points. (Note: The teacher should not share his/her opinion about the story, as students need to use their own judgment.) Day 2 and beyond (varies): 1. Revisit specific sections of text. 2. Teacher asks guiding questions. Student responses and behaviors should be noted so that the discussion activities do not last too long for their age and attention span. Make note which activities were completed each day, so that the other lesson discussions can be completed on subsequent days. (Note: Not all discussion lessons need to be completed. In addition, discussions do not need to follow a specific sequence). Final Read: The teacher should read the text all the way through a final time without stopping or pausing to discuss the story. After the read, the teacher should pick one of the cumulative writing activities listed below. Conclusion / Cumulative Writing Activity Options: 1. Create a graphic organizer to compare Molly Lou and Ronald s character traits. Once the organizer is complete, students should then pick one character and write why they want or do not want to be best friends with that character. They should introduce the topic, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure. character trait word Mary Lou proof from the text character trait word Ronald proof from the text 2. Write a story about a time they were new or different from others at the event. How did they feel and what did they do? 3. Write a letter of thanks to someone who has encouraged, helped, or given good advice. 4

5 Text Under Discussion Molly Lou Melon stood just taller than her dog and was the shortest girl in the first grade. She didn t mind. Her grandma had told her, Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you. Teacher Directions / Guiding Questions What does Molly Lou look like? What did her grandma mean when she told Molly Lou Walk as proudly as you can and the world will look up to you.? Why did she tell her that? So she did. What does this tell you about Molly Lou? Molly Lou Melon had buck teeth that stuck out so far, she could stack pennies on them. She didn t mind. Her grandma had told her, Smile big and the world will smile right alongside with you. What are buck teeth? Why would the author say Molly Lou s stuck out so far she could stack pennies on them? What would her teeth look like? Can the world smile right alongside you? What does the author mean when she writes those words? So she did. Molly Lou Melon had a voice that sounded like a bullfrog being squeezed by a boa constrictor. She didn t mind. Her grandma had told her, Sing out clear and strong and the world will cry tears of joy. What did the author compare her voice to? What would that sound like? What does the author say will happen if Molly sings out? What does that mean? So she did. 5

6 Molly Lou Melon was often fumble fingered. She didn t mind. Her grandma had told her, Believe in Yourself and the world will believe in you too. The author says Molly Lou was fumble fingered, what does that mean? What is another way that she could have said that? What did Molly Lou look like? So she did. Who did Molly Lou look to for advice and why? How did Molly Lou feel about herself? How do you know? How did her grandmother make her feel special? Then Molly Lou Melon moved to a new town. She had to say good-bye to her grandma and all of her friends How does the illustration in this picture make you feel? Why? And start in a new school. How does the illustration in this picture make you feel? Why? On the first day of school, Ronald Durkin called her SHRIMPO! in gym class. When the game started, Molly Lou Melon caught the football, ran under the legs of Ronald Durkin, and scored a touchdown. What happened when Molly Lou moved to a new school? Why would he call her a Shrimpo? What does it mean? All the children thought, Wow, she s good! and Ronald Durkin felt very foolish. How do you think Molly Lou felt on her first day at her new school? 6

7 On the second day of school Ronald Durkin called her BUCKY-TOOTH BEAVER! Molly Lou Melon took out her pennies and stacked ten high on her teeth, and smiled as big as day. All the children smiled with glee Describe Ronald Durkin. What happened when Molly Lou tried to fit in? What did she do when her classmate picked on her? and Ronald Durkin felt very foolish. If Molly Lou needed to tell someone about how Ronald was treating her, who do you think she would ask and why? What advice do you think they would give her? Why do you think the author chose a grandma to give advice? On the third day of school, Ronald Durkin said, You sound like a sick duck HONK HONK! Molly Lou Melon sang out a Quack! so clear and strong that it made Ronald Durkin somersault backwards, hit his head, and have to go to the nurse. All the children cried with joy to be free of Ronald Durkin for the rest of the afternoon and Ronald Durkin felt very foolish. How do you think the other children felt about Molly Lou? Support your answer. How do you think the other children felt about Ronald? Support your answer. Why would they feel that way? Why did Ronald feel foolish? What are other words that describe how he might have felt? On the fourth day of school, Ronald Durkin said that she d made the snowflake all wrong. But Molly Lou Melon opened up her paper and revealed the most beautiful snowflake of all. How did Molly Lou treat Ronald? Molly Lou had self esteem. How did the author and illustrator show this in the story? How did this help her at her new school? What was Molly Lou s problem in this story? All the children oohed and aahed, even Ronald. 7

8 On the fifth day of school, Ronald Durkin brought Molly Lou Melon a stacking penny for her tooth and smiled at her. Why did Ronald bring Molly Lou a stacking penny? How did Ronald change? How did Molly Lou solve her problem? What was unique about Molly Lou? What were some things Molly Lou was good at? That night Molly Lou Melon took out a pencil and paper and wrote a letter to her grandma. Dear Grandma, I wanted to tell you that everything you told me was exactly right! Love, Molly Lou Melon Why did Molly Lou write a letter to her grandma? What did the letter mean? Look at the picture on this page why do you think Molly Lou took grandma s advice? The title Stand Tall Molly Lou is a play on words. What do you think the author meant when she wrote it? How did Molly Lou stand tall in the story? Making Connections: Making connections can help enhance understanding. The children should be able to relate to Molly Lou throughout the story. Have the children share events where they were able to make text to self connections. Share whole group, with a partner or record in a reading journal. David Cabrow s illustrations are filled with color and detail that add to our understanding of the story. Have the children notice the colors and details throughout the book. Have them cite times in the story that his illustrations supported the author s words and helped make the story clearer or more meaningful. 8

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