First Grade Exemplar Stellaluna By Janell Cannon Unit: Three Learning Objective: The objective is to give first grade students an opportunity to explore complex text. Through teacher read aloud and scaffold discussion of text-dependent questions and vocabulary words, students will gain content information from close reading. Writing as a response to literature will assist with further understanding of what is read. Reading Task: The students will listen to the teacher read the text aloud in its entirety at least one time. The teacher will reread the text to have students clarify the meaning of what they read. The teacher will ask questions and ask for student’s ideas and thoughts to guide them through purposeful interaction with the text. Discussion/Language Task: Through the use of a series of text-dependent questions, the students will be guided to look at text closely and engage in thinking that will deepen their understanding. Writing Task: The birds say, “How can we be so different and feel so much alike?” Use details from the text to explain the differences between birds and bats. Common Core State Standards that are addressed in this unit: RL.1.1, RL.1.2, RL.1.3, RL.1.4, RL.1.5, RL.1.6, RL.1.7, RL.1.9. RL.1.10 RI.1.1, RI.1.2, RI.1.3, RI.1.4, RI.1.5, RI.1.6, RI.1.7, RI.1.8, RI.1.9, RI.1.10 RF.1.1, RF.1.2, RF.1.3, RF.1.4 W.1.1, W.1.2, W.1.3, W.1.5, W.1.6, W.1.7, W.1.8 SL.1.1a-c, SL.1.2, SL.1.3, SL.1.4, SL.1.5, SL.1.6 L.1.1a-j, L.1.2, L.4a-c, L.1.5a-d, L.1.6 Formative Checkpoints: Turn and Talk Journal Entries Exit Ticket Literacy Structure/Components: Interactive Read-Aloud, Small Group Instruction/Guided Reading and Independent Reading Teacher Instructions Preparing for Teaching 1. Read the Big Ideas and Key Understandings and the Synopsis. Please do not read this to the students. This is a description for teachers about the big ideas and key understanding that students should take away after completing this task. Big Ideas and Key Understandings In friendship, the things you have in common are more important than your differences. Synopsis A baby bat named Stellauna is separated from her mother. She is adopted by a family of birds and adapts to their behaviors. When she is reunited with her mom, she realizes that she is a bat but still remains friends with the bird family. 2. Read the entire selection, keeping in mind the Big Ideas and Key Understandings. 3. Re-read the text while noting the stopping points for the Text Dependent Questions and teaching Tier II/academic vocabulary. During Teaching 1. Students read the entire selection independently. 2. Teacher reads the text aloud while students follow along or students take turns reading aloud to each other. Depending on the text length and student need, the teacher may choose to read the full text or a passage aloud. For a particularly complex text, the teacher may choose to reverse the order of steps 1 and 2. 3. Students and teacher re-read the text while stopping to respond to and discuss the questions, continually returning to the text. A variety of methods can be used to structure the reading and discussion (i.e., whole class discussion, think-pair-share, independent written response, and group work) Text Dependent Questions 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Text-dependent Questions Where does the Mother Bat live? (Page 5) What happened when the owl spied Mother Bat and her baby? (Page 6) Evidence-based Answers The Mother Bat lives in a sultry, warm forest. The powerful bird swooped down upon the bats. Mother Bat tried to escape by dodging and shrieking and Stellaluna was knocked into the air. Her baby wings were as limp and useless as wet paper. A simile is a comparison using like or as. Find the simile on page 6. How did Stellaluna feel as she was caught in the She wrapped her wings about her, clutched the thin branch, branches? (Page 8) trembling with cold and fear. Why did Stellaluna hang out of sight below the nest? (Page 10) How did Stellaluna learn to be like the birds? (Page 14) The author wrote, “The birds clamored back in to the nest, but Mama bird stopped Stellaluna.” Explain in your own words what the word clamored means. (Page 16) Why did Stellaluna think she was like the three birds? (Page 18) Stellaluna didn’t know where she was and was listening to the babble of the three birds. She stayed awake all day and slept at night. She ate bugs even though they tasted awful. Her bat ways were quickly disappearing. The birds made a lot of noise getting back into the nest. (teacher accepts all possible answers related to the definition of clamor—to utter loudly or make noise) They all jumped from the nest and were able to fly. 9. Look at the illustrations on page 21 and 23, how does Stellaluna’s landing differ from the birds landing? Stellaluna is not able to land smoothly on a branch like the birds do. She tries different ways but keeps falling off. 10. How did meeting the other bats help Stellaluna realize who she truly is? (Page 30) The bat told her that she was hanging upside down, bats hang by their feet and she was hanging by her thumb. The bat states, “Wrong for a bird, maybe, but not for a bat.” 11. Why did the author italicize the words bugs and night on page 32? The author italicizes these words to place emphasis to show how these actions are not typical for a bat. 12. Why did the author italicize the words owl and Stellaluna on page 32? The author italicizes these words to show that Mother Bat realizes that Stellaluna survived the owl attack. 13. On page 37 why did the illustrator draw beams coming from Stellaluna’s eyes? Stellaluna could see in the dark. She felt as though rays of light shone from her eyes. 14. Why did Stellaluna have to rescue Pip, Flitter, and Flap? (Page 42) 15. What is the mystery that Flap refers to? (Page 44) The birds tried to fly at night and leapt from a tree. They realized they couldn’t see anything and they were going to crash. Stellaluna grabbed them in the air and lifted them to a tree. They feel so different but they are so much alike. Tier II/Academic Vocabulary TEACHER PROVIDES DEFINITION not enough contextual clues provided in the text Page 5 – sultry Page 6 – swooped Page 6 – limped Page 10 – clamored Page 30 – peculiar Page 44 – perched STUDENTS FIGURE OUT THE MEANING sufficient context clues are provided in the text KEY WORDS ESSENTIAL TO UNDERSTANDING Words addressed with a question or task Page 5 – crooned Page 5 – clutched Page 8 – tangle Page 8 – trembling Page 10 – babble Page 34 – survived WORDS WORTH KNOWING General teaching suggestions are provided in the Introduction Page 6 – dodging Page 6 – shrieking Page 26 – anxious Page 14 – curious Page 24 – clumsy Page 28 – ached Page 32 – stuttered Page 32 – gasped Page 32 – murmured Culminating Writing Task The birds say, “How can we be so different and feel so much alike?” Use details from the text to explain the differences between birds and bats. Teacher Instructions: 1. Students identify their writing task from the prompt provided. 2. Students complete an evidence chart as a pre-writing activity. Teachers should guide students in gathering and using any relevant notes they compiled while reading and answering the text-dependent questions earlier. Some students will need a good deal of help gathering this evidence, especially when this process is new and/or the text is challenging! Sample Answer: Birds and bats are similar, yet different in many ways. Birds and bats can fly. Birds fly during the day and sleep at night. Bats sleep during the day and fly at night. Birds perch on branches while bats sleep hanging by their feet. Bats can see at night. Birds eat bugs, for example, grasshoppers. Fruit bats eat fruit, such as mangoes. Additional Tasks Using the pencil drawings from the text retell the story from Mother Bat’s point of view. Answer: Mother Bat was searching for food with her baby Stellaluna. She encountered an owl that attacked Mother Bat and her baby. She fought the owl and hid in the cave. Once the owl went away Mother Bat began to look for Stellaluna. She looked in leaf piles, in trees, in tall grass, in holes in the ground, in a tree log, and underwater. After long night of not finding Stellaluna, Mother Bat went to sleep. Then she hears voices and flies over to see Stellaluna hanging upside down. She hugs Stellaluna. She found her baby. They fly off together in the night and eat fruit. Discuss and then write about the friendship between Stellaluna and the birds. Will this friendship last? What might get in the way of them continuing the friendship? Discuss and then write about what might have happened to Stellaluna and the birds if Stellaluna had not found her mother. Do you think that Stellaluna would have tried to continue behaving like a bird? Why or why not? Would the birds have tried to behave like bats? Would Stellaluna have returned to her bat ways as she got older? Note to Teacher After the first reading, focus students’ attention on the pencil drawings above the text on each page. These drawings tell the story from the point of view of Stellaluna’s mother.