The Legend of the Blue Bonnets

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1 Celebration Press Reading DRA2 Level 34 Guided Reading Level O Genre: Legend Reading Skill: Understand Plot The Legend of the Blue Bonnets Retold by Alan Trussell-Cullen Illustrated by Malcolm Stokes When the Comanche people suffer through a terrible drought, they pray to the Great Spirit for help. The Great Spirit asks for a sacrifice, and young She-Who-Is- Alone knows what to do. She offers her most prized possession, and is rewarded with rain and the growth of beautiful blue flowers. Features of This Text Supportive Features Illustrations support the plot Only a few named characters Challenging Features Fantasy elements interwoven with historical events Native American culture may be unfamiliar Focus for Instruction Reading Skill: Understand Plot Word Study Mini-lesson: Antonyms Vocabulary clutching (p. 10) possession (p. 7) drought (p. 2) sacrifice (p. 7) famine (p. 13) shaman (p. 6) fitful (p. 16) valued (p. 7) Use this book to inform instruction in the following area: Teach student how to identify story elements Shared Reading Connection: Unit 4, Week 1 (pp ) Additional Activities Fluency: Reading Aloud Writing: Alternative Endings DRA2 Level 34 Teaching Plan 13

2 Guiding the Reading Day 1 (pp. 2 11) In This Section She-Who-Is-Alone lost her family because of a drought. Her one family possession is a warrior doll with bright blue feathers. The Great Spirit sends a message: The Comanche people need to make a sacrifice before the rain will come. Before Reading Focus Attention Display the cover of the book, read the title, and explain that the story is a Native American legend. Remind students that a legend is a story handed down from earlier times. Most legends have heroic characters who perform amazing or important feats. Some parts of the story in a legend are fantasy, but some of the characters and events may be true. Explain that legends are usually set in a different time, often long ago. Look at the cover with students. Have them closely examine the expression on the girl s face. Ask: What do you think the girl is feeling? What do you think she is holding? What is the mood of the illustration? What does this tell you about the story? Point out to students that where you would normally see the author s name, it says Retold by Alan Trussell-Cullen. Explain that this means that Mr. Trussell-Cullen is using an existing story and retelling it in his words. So this version of the legend might be slightly different from other versions. Ask students what they know about Comanches. Share that the Comanches were a southern Plains Native American tribe that lived as hunters. They were skilled horseback riders and followed wandering buffalo herds. Vocabulary Display an object that has personal meaning and value to you, such as a photograph. Explain that a possession (p. 7) is something that is owned. Ask volunteers to describe possessions that are important to them. Display a plant and ask what would happen if the plant did not receive water. Explain that a drought (p. 2) is a period of little or no rain. Talk about how a drought would affect farms and gardens in your area. Other Words to Know clutching (p. 10): grabbing onto tightly sacrifice (p. 7): the act of giving up something valuable for something else shaman (p. 6): a Native American priest or healer who is believed to communicate with good and evil spirits valued (p. 7): believed to be of great worth or importance Understand Plot Remind students that the plot of a story includes the characters, the setting, and the main actions or events. Most story plots have a distinct beginning, middle, and ending. Plots also contain a main problem that the characters have to solve. To help your students think about plot, model your thought process: A good story needs a problem to get the reader interested. By looking at the cover, I can tell that the girl is sad. I think that the doll is going to play a part in solving the problem in the story. As I read, I will take note of the main story characters, the setting, and the main events that happen. I will try to figure out as early as I can what the main story problem is. As they read, have students think about what is happening in the story. Ask them to record the names of the main characters, the setting, and key story events on sticky notes. During Reading Prompt for understanding, as appropriate. Possible prompts include the following: Are you keeping track of key characters and events to follow the plot of the story? What information do you know about She-Who-Is-Alone? What do you think will happen next in the story? Why?

3 After Reading Understand Plot Have students state the problem that the Comanches are facing in the story. Suggest that students refer to the notes they have made. Then have partners work together to name one event that could lead to the resolution of the problem. Students can write a sentence in the first box of the reproducible on the back cover. Discuss the Text Analyze Point of View Explain to students that this legend is told in the third-person point of view because a storyteller is recounting the story events. When a character tells his or her own story, it is called first-person point of view. Discuss how this story might be different if it were told from She-Who- Is-Alone s point of view. Make Judgments Remind students that the Comanche people didn t want to part with their possessions. Have students write a paragraph to describe what they think about the Comanche people at that point. Have them write a sentence or two to explain how they would feel if they had to give away a valued possession. Analyze Character Ask students to turn to page 6 and reread the first sentence. Review with them what the word shaman means. Have students reread the next few pages to find out more about the shaman s role in the world of the Comanche people. Discuss what words, or context clues, helped them understand the shaman s role. Determine Cause and Effect Ask students to identify the problem in the story (the effect) and what caused the problem (the cause). Once students have determined that the drought is causing people to die, help them identify more elements in the chain of events (the crops failed, the buffalo didn t come, the winter was especially hard). Assessment Checkpoint Does the student understand why the Comanches are dying? Is the student able to make a reasonable prediction about the next part of the story? Day 2 (pp ) In This Section She-Who-Is-Alone takes her family doll and throws it into the fire as a sacrifice. When she wakes up, she sees that the ground is covered with beautiful flowers. The rain begins to fall, and the land comes alive again. Before Reading Focus Attention Have students summarize what has happened in the story so far. Ask students to make a prediction about what might happen next. Have them provide evidence from the story to justify their prediction. Remind students to continue to use sticky notes to record the setting and key story events. Vocabulary Explain to students that a famine (p. 13) is a widespread lack of food. Talk about conditions that could lead to a famine. Then discuss the effects of a famine on people and animals. Another Word to Know fitful (p. 16): starting and stopping During Reading Prompt for understanding, as appropriate. Possible prompts include the following: Tell me how you use the illustrations to help you understand what is going on in the text. Are you surprised about the blue bonnets? Why or why not? What do you think this sentence means: The land began to come alive again. Do you think that event is fantasy or realistic?

4 After Reading Understand Plot Remind students that key events in a story lead to the solution of a problem. Have students summarize the main events in this legend. They may wish to refer to the sticky notes that they used. Then have them complete the reproducible on the back cover. Encourage students to share their understanding of the plot with the group. Discuss the Text Make Connections Remind students that the main character of this legend was given a new name at the end of the story. Ask students to choose a new name for themselves. Invite volunteers to share their thoughts and reasons for choosing the new name. Visualize Reread the phrase warm rain on page 18. Ask students what they think of when they read these words. Have students suggest other descriptive phrases that tell about different types of rainfall. Analyze Theme Explain to students that the theme of a book relates to the values and messages that the author expresses through a piece of writing. Ask students to think about the theme of this legend. What message does the author want to give the reader? Have students write a paragraph that states the theme and explains their thinking. Understand Genre Review the elements of a legend with students including heroic characters, amazing or important feats, true events, and fantasy events. Ask students to identify how each element is fulfilled in this story. Some students may not see She-Who-Is-Alone as a hero or the burning of her doll as an amazing feat. Discuss the character and event with the group and help students realize the significance of the events in the book. Assessment Checkpoint Is the student able to summarize the plot in his or her own words? Is the student able to use new vocabulary to understand and retell the story?

5 Options for Further Instruction Digging Deeper Fluency: Reading Aloud The simple, evocative language of this story lends itself to reading aloud. Ask students to choose a passage that they can read to others. Have them practice reading the passage carefully, finding the rhythm in the prose, and allowing time for the listener to feel the mood of the story. Model using your favorite paragraph. Discuss ways in which students can improve their oral fluency skills. Remind them to read at a comfortable pace, use punctuation for clarity and expression, and speak in an interesting voice, reflective of the character s mood or the story s tone. Writing Alternative Endings Ask students to use their own words and explain how the legend ends. Point out that there are many ways that an author can end a story. Discuss different possibilities for endings by asking questions such as these: What if She- Who-Is-Alone decided to keep her doll? What if She-Who-Is-Alone sacrificed her doll, but the rains still did not come? What might have appeared besides blue bonnets? Have students think of another ending for the legend. Ask them to write a paragraph to explain their ideas. Word Study Mini-lesson Antonyms Remind students that an antonym is a word that means the opposite of another word. Model how to recognize and generate an antonym: When I read page 6 of The Legend of the Blue Bonnets, I read the word cold. I can think of a word that is completely different: hot. Hot is the antonym of cold. They mean the opposite of each other if you are not hot, you are cold. Thinking about how words are related in this way helps me to better remember and understand words. Whenever I encounter a new word in a story, I always try to connect it in some way to a word I already know. That s what good readers do. Ask students to provide antonyms for the following story words: dry (p. 6) quiet (p. 10) famine (p. 13) little (p. 20) Support Aspects of Native American culture may be unfamiliar to students. Use the illustrations to talk about these words and phrases from the story: buffalo, Great Spirit, wise shaman, warrior. Then have students page through the book and use the illustrations to retell the story. Provide key words, as needed. In addition, rephrase students sentences on each page, using correct grammar, as necessary.

6 Name Date Think about the problem in the story and the events that lead to its resolution. Then complete the boxes below. Problem Events Solution Celebration Press Reading: Good Habits, Great Readers Copyright 2007 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Celebration Press, an imprint of Pearson Learning Group, 299 Jefferson Road, Parsippany, NJ All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher, except for the Back Cover Reproducible, which may be reproduced for classroom use only. For information regarding permission(s), write to Rights and Permissions Department. Pearson is a registered trademark of Pearson PLC. Celebration Press is a registered trademark of Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers, Inc. Developmental Reading Assessment and the DRA logo are registered trademarks and DRA is a trademark of Pearson Education, Inc. Words Their Way is a trademark of Pearson Education, Inc. Printed in the United States of America ISBN:

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