This is a lesson and a reflection based upon a read aloud that I performed with my third grade practicum class. I learned quite a lot about not only reading to a class effectively, but also what it takes to keep engagement and assess student understanding while still being timely and staying with the targeted goals.
Read Aloud Lesson Plan
– This lesson, the read aloud, is important to conduct because it helps students to understand and see what a fluent reader is like. By watching a teacher read aloud, they are able to see how a reader demonstrates fluency, through expression, clarity, and the speed of reading. The students also gain practice with comprehension and vocabulary. With the questions and activities spaced throughout the reading, focusing on what is happening, predicting, connecting experiences, and exploring new words, the class is able to not only see how one should think while reading, but also gain experience in actually participating in this more in depth thinking while exploring literature. Over all, student both see and take part in the process of reading to learn, which will help them to better be able to function in society as this is a skill that is used in everyday life.
Reading – 3.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional text and poetry.
a) Set a purpose for reading.
b) Make connections between previous experiences and reading selections.
k) Use reading strategies to monitor comprehension throughout the reading process.
m) Read with fluency and accuracy.
– Students will be able to correctly answer questions based on the theme, progression of the story, and the vocabulary. Before the read aloud, students will be able to correctly form a prediction given prompting from the teacher and working with a partner with without error. During the read aloud, students will correctly answer questions on the progression of events and vocabulary given specific questions with 80 – 90% accuracy. After the read aloud, students will be able to correctly demonstrate critical thinking and reflecting given a final prompt asking to confirm whether or not their initial predictions were correct and why without error.
o I will introduce the lesson by having students gather around me on the reading carpet and telling them that today we will be reading a fable called The Lion and the Mouse.
o I will then go over what a fable is with the class, ask them to connect their own experiences with fables with this one and share those ideas with the class, and finally I will tell them we will be working on predicting and some vocabulary.
A fable is a fictional story that has an important lesson to teach. The lesson is called a moral.
o Next, and before actually reading the book, I will have the class turn and talk to a partner to form an idea, a prediction, about what the story may be about (Auditory).
o I will have students share with the class what they came up with before telling them to keep their ideas in mind.
o I will then begin reading the book (Auditory, Visual).
o I will read up until the the words ‘majestic shaggy mane’, and then pause to ask the class a few questions.
o I will ask them what words they heard that they think describe lion and his actions (majestic, shaggy, strutted).
o Then, once either they or I have mentioned the three words, I will ask the class to think about what they might mean and then have them raise their hands to share with the class once they have an idea.
o We will go over what each means.
Strutted – a way of walking like you own the place, Majestic – being fancy or like a king, Shaggy – usually hair that is messy or poofy.
o Finally, I will ask the class to tell me what reference source they would use to find the meaning/definitions for the words we talked about if they did not know them (Possible answer: Dictionary).
o I will then continue reading up until the words ‘lion roared furiously’.
o We will pause once again and this time, I will have the class turn and share with a partner what has happened so far in the story and what they think will happen next.
o Afterwards, I will have students volunteer and share with me their summaries of the story and their new predictions.
o Then, I will then continue reading until the end.
o After the actual read aloud, I will have the class think about what happened and ask them what they think the lesson/moral of the story was.
o We will then go over it as a class.
Moral: ‘Even the small can be great, and it’s important not to judge people on appearance’.
o To end the lesson, I will go over the idea that we have just read a fable as well as talk about what happened in the story and the moral of the story one more time.
o I will then ask the students to think about how they can relate the lesson/moral to their own life or experiences and have them share.
o Finally, students will return to their seats and write a sentence answering the following question (Kinesthetic):
Was your first prediction, right? Why or why not?
o When finished, students will turn in their sentences.
o Students who may struggle with understanding the plot or events will have support from other students, in the form of partner sharing for the during read aloud pauses, who can explain to them the sequence of events.
o For students who struggle still to understand, I will be there to answer questions the best that I can.
o Students who are on level have both an auditory and visual learning example with me reading the book to them aloud. They will be able to listen and see the pictures to help them understand the substance of the story.
o Students who excel will have an opportunity to help who are struggling and test their knowledge of the content in the form of helping to teach it to another.
o Book: The Lion and the Mouse by Aesop, retold by Max McGee
o Questions / Comments for before, during, and after activities
o Question for Wrap Up
Student work will be evaluated based on whether or not the class has successfully created working predictions without error before the read aloud, has successfully answered the story and vocabulary questions during the read aloud with 80-90% accuracy, and has successfully revised and considered the ‘why’ portion of their writing prompt after the read aloud without error.
For my read aloud lesson, my students did meet the objectives that I had set for them. I know this because of how they not only formed predictions at the beginning, without fail, and then revised them and wrote about why at the end, without error, but also how the students successfully answered all of my questions during the read aloud. All students who individually answered my questions, answered them correctly. As a class, the students were all also able to answer any of my questions with expected answers. They were also able to quickly craft and then considered their predictions, both with partner help and individually.
My lesson had both strengths and weaknesses, as most lessons do. For example, one of my strengths was engagement. The students were extremely engaged with the read aloud and the lesson in general. I was able to keep myself sounding excited and interested, showing expression and fluency during the reading, which in turn helped to keep my students wanting to know what I had to say and what would come next. Not only that, but another strength is that I was able to relate my read aloud to what the class was already learning about in their literacy block, fables. I had the chance to talk to my teacher about the read aloud, and together, we came up with an idea for a book that would not only satisfy what I needed, but help the class to gain even more practice and reinforcement with a concept they are already focusing on. On the other hand, I also have weaknesses. One weakness was my reading speed. I tend to talk fast, and as such, I read fast as well. I know that the students were able to keep up with me, but it still could not hurt to slow myself down a bit to help things to sink in and allow students to better absorb what they are hearing from my reading. I also could have worked more on having an exact definition for the vocabulary that we talked about. I gave them general, off the tongue definitions, but specific, dictionary ones would probably help to better solidify the words’ meanings with the students.
There are a few things I would like to change should I have the chance to reteach my read aloud lesson. For one, I would like to practice reading my book a few more times before hand to try and help with my own pacing as I read. I think that more practice would allow me to better find a slower, better pace so that I could help better portray the story to students. I would also like to prepare more for any vocabulary that I might want to focus on before doing the read aloud. Specifically, I would like to have the definitions and potential synonyms already prepared to give to the class in case general, off the top of the head ideas do not catch with everyone. I think that these few things would definitely help to solidify the over learning from the read aloud and not only give me more confidence in my teaching it, but also help improve student learning as well.