School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 3

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Advanced/Gifted and Talented: An advanced/gifted and talented tool is an idea for a complex, multi-step instructional task that requires students to apply knowledge and skills of multiple objectives that support one indicator. Tasks require students to interpret, analyze, and evaluate text at an appropriate level of complexity and embed a variety of differentiation strategies to challenge advanced readers. Many of these strategies and activities can be adapted for use with all students.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Determine important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective a. Identify and explain main ideas and universal themes

Other Objectives Addressed

c.Retell the text
e.Identify and explain personal connections to the text

Instructional Task

The students will use the universal concept of change as a framework to identify and understand important ideas and messages in literary text. Students will trace the development of the concept in order to create book jackets that summarize the text, identify and explain themes, and make personal connections. (authentic product).

Development of Task

  1. Before reading, the teacher will introduce to students the universal concept of change using the following process:

    • What is change? Define change. For example, “Change is the act or process of causing a difference.”
    • What are some examples of change? Students will brainstorm examples of change in the world around them. The teacher will encourage students to think of examples from literary texts as well as from other disciplines such as mathematics, science, and social studies.
    • What doesn’t change? Elicit from students non-examples of change and explain why they do not show evidence of the concept. For example, the sun rises each day.
    • What are some different types of change? Have students form categories for the examples, such as changes in people, things, nature, etc. Have the students explain why they think an example should be in one category or another.
    • What conclusions can we draw about change? From the categories, model forming generalizations about change. For example, “Change is created by people. Change can be wanted or not wanted. Change happens over time. Change is found in nature.”
  2. The teacher will model how to identify examples of the generalizations about change in a literary text using a familiar story or narrative previously studied and the Change Concept Web.

    Change Concept Web

  3. The teacher will provide students with multiple literary texts of appropriate complexity such as Each Little Bird That Sings by Deborah Wiles or Cheyenne Again by Eve Bunting (choice).
  4. During reading, students will use the Change Concept Web (Visual-spatial Learning Style) to retell and summarize examples of the concept of change in the text (objectives c,d).
  5. The students will use their Change Concept Webs to identify main ideas and themes about change in the text (objective a). For example, in Each Little Bird That Sings, Comfort has to change her attitude to serve a greater good.
  6. After reading, the teacher will introduce the book jacket as a means to engage readers in making personal connections to the universal ideas and themes in the book (objectives d, e). The students will use their concept webs to create book jackets that summarize and retell narrative elements which convey the ideas and themes about change (arts integration).
  7. The book jacket should contain:

    • A cover illustration that shows an example of change from the narrative
    • Inside flaps with a summary of the story that identifies and explains ideas about change in the narrative
    • Back cover advertisement that helps the reader to make personal connections to the narrative and the concept of change. This can be done using “Have you ever?” questions to the reader and with a slogan that highlights the story’s theme. A slogan for the story Each Little Bird That Sings could be “Life is messy, but glorious!”
Resources for Objective 3.A.6.a:
Lesson Seeds | Sample Assessments | Public Release Items | ADVANCED/G-T |