A lot happened in the last few days of fieldwork so these posts are going to have a lot of detail in them. I was able to teach Lesson 1 of my mini-unit to a group of three students. Overall, the lesson when okay, but there were a lot of things that I could have done differently. As I was teaching this lesson, I had to make some adjustments. Since only one of the three students had heard of Snow White before I decided that I needed to read it through once before we began to highlight. Well, reading the book took a lot longer than I had originally planned because of comments and questions by the students. By the time we read through it once, I decided that we did not have enough time to go back and reread it to highlight important parts. I took the chance and skipped this step to see how it would go. When we started to fill out the chart, they were confused at first so I helped them a lot with the first one. Then as we went along, I tried to stop helping as much. Each student filled in the last line completely on their own, which I thought was very impressive. Below is a picture of their work. (Adriana’s is on the left.)
Again, this activity took longer than I thought so rather than having the students write a paragraph summary, I had them give me a verbal summary. I had Adriana go first so that it was fresh in her mind. She still had a hard time, but was able to recall the very basic plot. This was her summary:
“The Wicked Queen wanted to be the prettiest, but Snow White was prettier. The Queen tried to kill her because Snow White was prettier. Snow White went to the little house and she hid from the Queen. The Queen found her and used a belt to kill her. Then she took the poisonous apple to kill her, and the dwarfs found her dead and put her in a casket. Then the prince came and made her alive.”
She had an extremely general plot, but I don’t think that she would have been able to get that much if she hadn’t worked on the chart before. The other student that I was working with gave me a very descriptive summary almost quoting the book word for word. He included every single detail, too. Though I saw some downfalls in the lesson, the students seemed to enjoy it, even commenting that it was fun and asking if we could do it again next time.
Luckily for me, the three student found this lesson engaging so I thought I would try it again with a much shorter book so we could actually do all the steps. This time I used the book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. It is a much shorter book with fewer characters. The students seemed to do very well with highlighting important events, too. In turn, we got through all the parts of the lesson and the summaries were a lot better because they focused on the main important ideas that happened in the book. I was much happier with the way that this lesson turned out. Here are pictures of what they wrote as their summaries which I thought was a huge improvement from last time. (Adriana’s is on the right.)