School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

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

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

Objective a. Identify and explain the elements of a story, including the problem, the sequence of events, and the solution to the problem

Seed

Select a book that has a single major story problem, distinct events, and a clear resolution to the story problem. Read aloud the book to the students. After reading, display 3 sentence strips with the following terms: story problem, sequence of events, and solution of the problem. Explain to students that we live in a world of stories. Someone tells us what happened to them in conversation, we watch TV shows or movies and we read books. At the start of these stories, the author or storyteller reveals a situation or problem. The rest of the story is spent trying to solve the problem. The story ends when the problem is solved. Model these story parts using a familiar story or read aloud. For example, read aloud the picture book, Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements. Following the reading of the story tell students that the problem in the story was that Lulu was talking in word pairs and couldn’t seem to control it. Reread the opening pages of the story and ask students how the author revealed the problem (The dialogue between Mrs. Bell and Lulu in paragraphs 2 and 3 on the second page reveals the problem). Explain how the author usually reveals the problem in the beginning of the story. Isolate and discuss some of the word pairs that Lulu uses on the 1st and 2nd pages. Discuss that Mrs. Bell is also speaking in word pairs but seems unaware of it at first.

Next, make a list of the events that follow:

  • Mrs. Bell takes Lulu to the principal’s office and tells him the problem
  • Mr. Thomas, the principal, talks in word pairs too
  • Mr. Thomas takes Lulu and Mrs. Bell to the nurse’s office
  • Mrs. Carter, the nurse, also talks in word pairs
  • Mrs. Carter talks to Lulu to try to discover how she started the double talk
  • Mrs. Carter suggests that they solve the word warp by saying all the word pairs that they can think of out loud in her office to clear the air

Explain that each of the events is an attempt to solve the problem. Remembering the details and sequence of these events is an important comprehension strategy. Each event led to the next event. Ask if anyone was surprised when Mrs. Carter was speaking double as well. Explain to the students that based on what we had read in the story so far, it was logical for a reader to assume that she was also going to speak this way. When we think about the events in a story we use the earlier events to help us make sense of the story. The attempts that are made to solve the problem are usually the longest part of the story. We call this the middle of the story.

Tell the students that the story was solved when Lulu, Mrs. Bell, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Carter shout out every word pair they can think of. When they run out of words and try to speak everything returns to normal. Explain that the story usually ends quickly once the problem is solved. This is called the end of the story.

Display this information on a graphic organizer, such as:

BEGINNING MIDDLE END
Reveals the problem in the story. Sequence of the events in the story that try to solve the problem. The solution of the story.
-Lulu was talking in word pairs and couldn’t seem to control it. -Mrs. Bell takes Lulu to the principal’s office and tells him the problem
-Mr. Thomas, the principal, talks in word pairs too
-Mr. Thomas takes Lulu and Mrs. Bell to the nurse’s office
-Mrs. Carter, the nurse, also talks in word pairs
-Mrs. Carter talks to Lulu to try to discover how she started the double talk
-Mrs. Carter suggests that they solve the word warp by saying all the word pairs that they can think of out loud in her office to clear the air
-Lulu, Mrs. Bell, Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Carter shout out every word pair they can think of
- Everything goes back to normal

Seed

Choose a story that is appropriate to the reading levels of the students in each of your small groups that has a clear problem, events, and solution. Following an initial read of the story using your typical small group routines, display a blank organizer like the one above and have students assist you in identifying the story problem, sequence of the important events, and solution. Add each item to the organizer as it is contributed. Guide students to recall the major events in the order that they occurred in the text. Explain how confusing it would be if we mixed up the order of events. Ask them to recall a time when someone tried to tell them something that happened in a random order. Was it hard to make sense of what the person was trying to tell them? Ask if anyone told them a story without telling the end. How did it make them feel? Explain that when we watch TV or movies, have conversations with people and read stories it makes the most sense if we know the problem at the beginning, can understand the events that lead to each new event in a logical order in the middle of the story, and have a solution to the problem at the end of the story.

Seed

Show a media version of a story. Have student pairs identify the parts of the story by completing an organizer like the one above following the viewing of the story. Guide a whole class compilation of the work done by student pairs. Allow student pairs the opportunity to explain their thinking as they contribute to the class chart. Give feedback to pairs based on identification of story parts as well as the sequence of events.

ReadWriteThink has a great unit available on-line for teaching problem/solution to primary readers using several Ezra Jack Keats books. The unit is comprised of eight 50 minute lessons and introduces students to problem/solution through the familiar stories and the introduction of simple organizers. An online organizer can be created as well. Look for “Creative Problem-Solving with Ezra Jack Keats” at www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=1023.

/toolkit/vsc/lessons/reading/grade2/3A3a.xml