Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Teaching Fairy Tales: A Cinderella Lesson Plan for Common Core

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 9, 2016 5:19:03 PM

 

story-world-cinderella.jpg

The Common Core places a lot of emphasis on text types, with traditional tales being one of the main types of literature mentioned in the ELA standards. We created the Story World Real World series to meet a need for paired texts and traditional tales, and coming soon is a Common Core-correlated teacher's guide to assist you with making these lessons easy! Here's a sample of a lesson based on Cinderella!

Features of the Text:

  • Traditional story.
  • Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). See CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10.
  • Punctuation: speech punctuation, exclamation marks, questions marks.
  • Opportunities to develop reading for inference skills.
  • Dialogue between characters.
  • Vocabulary development (e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slipper, midnight, charmed, hurts).
  • Words and phrases that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #3).
  • The characters’ actions and feelings (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1: #4).

Before Reading:

  • Tell the children you are going to read a story that people have loved so much they have been telling it for hundreds of years.
  • Examine the cover and the title.
    • What do you think this story is going to be about?
    • Why does it say “retold by”?
  • Make a connection with the children’s experience:
    • Do you know the story of Cinderella? It is probably one of the most well-known fairy tales. Let’s find out why.

During Reading:

  • Read the text with the children, encouraging them to join in with the reading when they think they know the words.
  • Before turning the page, encourage the children to predict what will happen next.

Cinderella_Inside_Final-16.jpgAfter Reading:

  • Discuss vocabulary, e.g., mean, work, ugly, magic, sparkling, slippers, midnight, charmed, hurts.
  • Discuss text features such as speech punctuation.
    • How do we know who is talking? How do we know where the talk starts and ends? (A: speech punctuation.)
  • Discuss the illustrations.
    • What do the illustrations tell us about the characters? For example, look at Cinderella’s clothes at the start of the story. What do you think they tell us about how she was treated?
    • Do the two sisters look ugly or beautiful to you?
    • Look at the illustration on page 13 showing the prince holding the glass slipper. What do you think he is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread pages 2–3:
    • Do you think Cinderella was treated fairly?
    • How do you think she felt when the ugly sisters made fun of her and made her do all the work?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella, what would you like to say to your mean stepmother and your two unkind sisters?
  • Reread pages 4–5:
    • How do you think the sisters felt about the invitation to the ball? How do you think Cinderella felt?
    • Role play: If you were one of Cinderella’s sisters, what would you have said when you read the king’s invitation? What would you have said to Cinderella? If you were Cinderella, what would you have said when you saw the invitation? What would you have said to the sisters?
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when her sisters went off to the ball?
  • Reread pages 6–7:
    • What do you think Cinderella felt when she saw her fairy godmother appear?
    • Role play: If you were Cinderella and you suddenly found yourself wearing a beautiful ball gown and sparkling glass slippers, what do you think you would say to your fairy godmother? What would you tell her about how you felt?
    • Look at the illustrations. Is there anything in the picture that might help you predict what is going to happen next? (A: The pumpkin and the mice.)
  • Reread pages 8–9:
    • Look at the illustrations. How can you tell what the coach was made from? What about the “horses”?
    • Can you draw a clock and show where the hands would be at midnight?
    • What does the fairy godmother mean when she says about the clock “striking” twelve?
    • How do you think Cinderella was feeling as she rode off in the coach?
  • Cinderella_Inside_Final-6.jpgReread pages 10–11:
    • Look at the illustrations. What do you think each person looking at Cinderella was thinking or whispering to the people nearby?
    • Role play this as a “still frame.” Choose children to be the different people in the illustration. Get them to stand as if they are in a still photograph. Make sure each is facing the same way and has a similar expression as in the book illustration. Then let each person, one at a time, come alive and speak, expressing thoughts and feelings. How do some of the words used in the text help us understand what they are feeling? (“beautiful,” “wonderful,” “charmed,” etc.)
    • If you have a class dress-up box (assorted pieces of cloth, old drapes, etc., rather than actual costumes), help the students dress up a little for the still-frame role play. You might also like to practice this a little, then videotape the sequence. Play it back and talk about the characters and what they are feeling.
  • Reread pages 12–13:
    • Talk about how Cinderella must have been feeling as she danced. Remind the children about Cinderella’s life just a few hours before. Help the children make a list of words to describe how she was feeling.
    • Why do you think Cinderella had forgotten about the clock striking twelve? (A: She was having such a wonderful time.)
    • How do you think she felt when she heard the clock start to strike? Help the children write down the thoughts that were going through her head as she heard this. Use quotation marks to indicate Cinderella’s own words or thoughts. Talk about speech punctuation—the way we show our readers who is talking and what they say.
    • On page 13, what is the clock showing? What do you think the prince felt when Cinderella suddenly ran off? What do you think he thought and felt when he discovered her glass slipper?
  • Reread pages 14–15:
    • Why do you think so many people wanted to try on the glass slipper? (A: Perhaps they all wanted to marry the Prince!)
    • Do you think the prince would have liked to marry one of Cinderella’s sisters? Why not?
    • Look at the illustration closely—what do you think Cinderella is thinking and feeling?
  • Reread age 16:
    • The prince is “so happy” that the slipper fits. What does it feel like to be “so happy”?
    • What do you think Cinderella was feeling when the prince asked her to marry him?
    • Look at the stepmother’s face in the illustration. What do you think she is thinking and feeling? (A: Maybe she is thinking there is some advantage for her in this too!)
  • Shared writing activity:
    • Get the children to retell the events of the story (CCSS, Grade 1: #2), then help them turn this retelling into captions, e.g., “Cinderella is made to do all the work. Her ugly sisters do nothing.” What happens next? “The king’s invitation to the ball arrives.” What happens next? “Cinderella’s fairy godmother gets Cinderella ready for the ball.” What happens next? “Cinderella dances all night with the Prince.”
    • Write each caption for the children on large cards, then divide the children into groups.
    • Give each group a caption, a sheet of art paper each, and suitable art materials. Help them plan and complete their own illustration for each caption (CCSS, Grade 1: #7).
    • Mount their drawings on the wall with the captions in sequence to make a wall story. Prepare a “title page” too. “Cinderella retold by room 4 at Sunshine School. Illustrated by (the children’s names).” Read the story with the children.
    • You might like to share your Cinderella wall story with another class. Congratulations, you are published authors!

Check back frequently for more news of our upcoming teacher's guides—for this series and others!

For more information on Story World Real World, you can click the image to the left below to download a series information sheet with key features, or you can click here to visit our website. Click the image to the right below to download a brochure.

New Call-to-Action Story World Real World Brochure

 
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Topics: Story World, Real World, Lesson Plan, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Teacher's Guides

Classic Post: Using Narrative Texts in the Common Core Classroom for Grades 1–2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jul 17, 2014 8:00:00 AM

6358 Cover teacher reading 44645287  iofotoThis classic post was originally published in May 2013. Check our archives for more great Common-Core-related posts!

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to gain exposure to a wide variety of texts, including narrative text (literature) and informational text. The CCSS for English Language Arts states the following:

"Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts."

With this idea in mind, the Story World-Real World series was created. Written by Alan Trussell-Cullen, this series is leveled for the first- and second-grade reader. It takes traditional story tales, updates them with modern, easy-to-read language and bundles them with a set of informational texts that tie in to real-life elements of the narrative text that children might be curious about. Today we will focus on the narrative texts, and how they can be used to satisfy the literature standards required for the early elementary classroom. For easy reference, I've reproduced here the standards that students are expected to meet with regards to prose literature in the sidebar.*

Narrative Text and Literature Standards:

Grade 1

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

~ Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

~ Describe characters, settings, and major events ina story, using key details.

~ Identify words and phrases in stories that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

~ Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.

~ Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

~ Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

~ Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.

~ With prompting and support, read prose of appropriate complexity for grade 1.

Grade 2

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

~ Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

~ Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

~ Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story.

~ Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

~ Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

~ Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

~ Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

~ By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

The Story World-Real World series was specifically tailored to help students meet these Common Core standards, and the free Teacher's Guide (available for download in June) will include many ideas to support teaching narrative texts.

Below are example lessons extracted from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide for using children's favorite traditional tale: Cinderella. Note: there's a flip book of the story below, so you can read how the story was adapted for the this reading level**.

Example Lesson: Cinderella

Before Reading: introduce the idea of folktales (to support the Grade 2 standard on the topic): "We are going to read a story that people love so much that they have been telling it for hundreds of years." Examine the cover and the title with the students ask them what they think the story is going to be about.

As you read the narrative text with the children, encourage them to join in with the reading when they think they know the words. Before turning the page, encourage them to predict what will happen next. This gets them thinking about the structure of a story and allows them to draw upon the illustrations for clues.

After Reading: The Teacher's Guide provides a wide variety of "after-reading" activities to engage the children once you've finished the book. Here are a few examples:

•    Reread pages 6–7. What do you think Cinderella felt when she saw her fairy godmother appear? Role play: If you were Cinderella and you suddenly found yourself wearing a beautiful ball gown and sparkling glass slippers, what do you think you would say to your fairy godmother? What would you tell her about how you felt? Look at the illustration. Is there anything in the picture that might help you predict what is going to happen next. (Answer: the pumpkin and the mice.)

Cinderella 6 spread resized 600


•    Reread pages 8–9. Look at the illustrations. How can you tell what the coach was made from? What about the “horses”? Can you draw a clock and show where the hands would be at midnight? What does the fairy godmother mean when she says about the clock “striking” twelve? How do you think Cinderella was feeling as she drove off in the coach?

Cinderella 8 9 spread resized 600


•    Reread pages 14–15. Why do you think so many people wanted to try on the glass slipper? (Perhaps they all wanted to marry the Prince?) Do you think the Prince would have liked to marry one of Cinderella’s sisters? Why not? Look at the illustration closely—what do you think Cinderella is thinking and feeling?


Cinderella 14 15 spread resized 600

child drawing 44797486 Jane September
•    Shared writing activity: Get the children to retell the events of the story (CCSS Grade 1 #2). Then help them turn this retelling into captions, for example:

- Student: “Cinderella is made to do all the work. Her ugly sisters do nothing.” Teacher: What happens next? 

- Student: “The King’s invitation to the ball arrives.” Teacher: What happens next?

- Student: “Cinderella’s fairy godmother gets Cinderella ready for the ball.” Teacher: What happens next?

- Student: “Cinderella dances all night with the Prince.”

Write each caption for the children on large cards. Then divide the children into groups. Give each group a caption, a sheet of art paper for each child, and suitable art materials. Help them plan and complete their own illustration for each caption (CCSS Grade 1 #7). Mount their drawings on the wall with the captions in sequence to make a wall story. Prepare a “title page,” too, e.g, “‘Cinderella’ retold by room 4 at Sunshine School. Illustrated by (the children’s names).” Read the story with the children.

 This was a sample lesson from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide. The suggested text is meant to help guide the discussion and facilitate interactions, but is in no way meant to dictate exactly how a lesson is taught.

 Features of the Narrative Text Cinderella:


•    Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (see Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10).
•    Punctuation: speech punctuation, exclamation marks, questions marks.
•    Opportunities to develop reading for inference skills.
•    Dialogue between characters.
•    Vocabulary development
•    Words and phrases that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1 #3).
•    The characters’ actions and feelings (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #4).

Check back tomorrow to see how the informational texts related to Cinderella can be used to to help children make connections between the fictional narrative text of the story and things that exist in the world around them! To see all titles available in the series, you can visit our website or take a look at our brochure for the series by clicking below.

- Tara Rodriquez

Story World Real World Brochure

*All information regarding the CCSS comes directly from the Common Core website and can be found in the downloadable PDFs available on that site.

** Because this is a sneak-preview of the forthcoming Teacher's Guide, which is still in draft form, the final downloadable Teacher's Guide soon available may deviate slightly from what is presented here.

Photo credits: Iofoto (classroom scene); Jane September (child drawing)

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Common Core, Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Alan Trussell-Cullen

Helping Striving Readers: Q & A with Alan Trussell-Cullen, Pt. 2 of 2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 21, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Welcome to our second installation of videos in which teacher educator and author Alan Trussell-Cullen answers questions about struggling and striving readers in the upper grades and how to best help them take an interest in and achieve proficiency in reading. You can read the first installation here.

Click on the videos to watch. Transcripts, if preferred, are available below each of the videos.

Q: Can technology be helpful for instruction when teaching students with reading difficulties?

A: Technology can be tremendously helpful, because it’s really a part of their world. Young people today grow up with technology. It’s cool for them. It’s something that they understand, that they’ve got facility with, and they don’t feel threatened by.

The Download series also comes with a CD, which means that there are all sorts of additional material that you can use with the students. You can use it on a PC with the students, or you can use it on whiteboard, the interactive whiteboard which I think is a great resource and we’ll see more of it.

So technology can be tremendously helpful, and there is such a range of things that are being developed that we can use in our classroom. And also the things that go with technology. We can use color, we can use images. We can use things in large, in terms of putting them on big screens. We can use things that are small that we can put on PCs. We can use sound and music.

Basically there is a tremendous range of resources coming on-stream. Basically I think as teachers we’re just on the tip of a very huge iceberg as far as technology and its application in education.

 

Q: Can you make some suggestions for the kind of play resources that would be helpful for striving readers?

 A: All three Hameray series [Download series, The Extraordinary Files, and SuperScripts] come with very strong teacher guide material with ideas and suggestions for student activities, opportunities for student writing, for discussion, opportunities for research, and for using other media, using the internet, opportunities for the student to compare and to use the resources in their own thinking about the world.

Q: How confident are you about teachers being able to get their striving readers to become component readers and learners.



A: I’m very confident. I can see such wonderful things happening out there. I can see some teachers doing very exciting things; trying out new approaches, using new materials. I love all the materials that are being developed, for example the Hameray materials are really exciting. They’re really supportive. I think there is tremendous value for how these are going to be used.

These series not only address reading needs, they also address writing needs. They provide opportunities for discussion and all sorts of language extension and activities. They’re not just a series of readers. They’re really a part of a comprehensive language enrichment program. Really exciting stuff for kids to work with.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The book series mentioned in this interview, Download series is part of Hameray's High Interest / Low Vocabulary genre, intended to encourage struggling readers to read through presenting compelling topics that they want to read about. Download offers facts about the exciting world of extreme sports and hot contemporary subjects such as technology and natural disasters. 

Flip through a sample from these series to see how it appeals to readers who have trouble taking an interest in reading.

If you're interested in learning more about this series, you can click on the images below to download an information sheet with highlights and key features.

- Tara Rodriquez

Download Series Highlights

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Topics: Videos, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Struggling Readers, Striving Readers

Helping Striving Readers: Q & A with Alan Trussell-Cullen, Pt. 1 of 2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Jun 19, 2013 8:00:00 AM

 Welcome to our first installation of videos in which teacher educator and author Alan Trussell-Cullen answers questions about struggling and striving readers in the upper grades and how to best help them take an interest in and achieve proficiency in reading.

Click on the videos to watch. Transcripts, if preferred, are available below each of the videos.

Q: What kinds of difficulties does a striving reader have in the upper grades?

A: I think the difficulties that striving readers have in the upper grades tend to be two-fold. On one hand, there are technical issues. Obviously they’re going to have gaps in terms of their reading skills and their reading strategies. Because they’ve got those gaps they’re probably also going to have difficulties with comprehension.


Because a lot of learning that takes place in the upper grades is very closely tied in with reading, there is a lot of reading involved, then they’re going to have difficulties probably in other subject areas; the content areas like science and social studies, even mathematics and so on.


But the main difficulties that they tend to have tend to be attitudinal. It’s how they feel about themselves as readers and that so often tends to be rather negative and generally a lack of self-esteem that comes from the consistent problems they’ve been having with reading.

 

Q: What kinds of materials would be useful to support teachers and striving readers?

 A: I think there are two things that reading materials have to do. First of all they’ve got to provide success for these striving readers. Secondary, they’ve got to provide acceleration.
When we’re looking for good reading materials for striving readers, we need to look at the interest level or the content. It is tremendously important that the content is pitched at the age level that the student have when they’re reading this material. It has to be about the kind of things that students their age are interested in and want to know about and want to read about and get involved in.


That’s where materials like Hameray’s Download series and the The Extraordinary Files series are so valuable. Just have a look at the content; skateboarding, BMX riding, mountain bikes, pop groups, that’s really cool for kids of this age.


The language is very important. It’s important that not only that do characters do the kind of things they like doing, and think about the kind of things that they’d like to be able to be able to do and so on, they also need to talk like them too.

 

Q: What do you think about using plays for striving readers in the upper grades?

 A: I really like the Hameray’s SuperScript Series. Plays are using all the language written down, they’ve same things people say when they talk. Talk is one of those things which striving readers can do. So when they are reading that material they’re also able to refer to back to their own knowledge and experience in terms of oral vocabulary, in terms of the kind of language constructions we use when we talk.


When you’re reading a play, you’re reading with a group of other students, you’re reading together with other people. That’s very supportive. It’s also fun. It’s also fun to be able to do something with your peers, so that’s great.  While the reading age is more appropriate for Grade 2, Grade 3, the interest level is very much pitched to Grade 4 to 8.


If I was reading the play script, one of the things I would be supported by is the color coding, but also the big spaces between the lines. Basically, this is a very supportive text for a striving reader.  The context is really spot on for the readers of this age. Just look at the titles, Time Warriors, Alien Attack. They’re really just exciting materials. I also like the fact the speeches are short, the cast is small so everybody gets a turn. I like the fact that the action moves along quickly and also they’re supported nicely by some illustration here.


They have also have some other clever things that come with them. The cast names are in colored code. So that you just have to know well I'm the green one, or so I'm reading the yellow part. That actually helps you. Because so often when kids are doing a play, they get so engrossed in the play they forget ah, it’s my turn next. So that’s a useful tip as well.  So it’s all very helpful from a reading point of view, from a language point of view, from a social point of view, and also I think from a literacy point of view as well, because those are wonderful tradition in terms of drama and theater.


I think it might also encourage them in their writing as well. They might want to write a story about the kind of experience they have read here. They might want to write their own script, who knows. They might want to write their own little video play, lots of exciting possibilities.
Maybe one other point, when you’re on a play, particularly some of the characters in these plays, these characters have got attitude. They do things. They say things. They make things happen, and that’s very empowering for them as people too.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The book series mentioned in this interview, Download series, The Extraordinary Files, and SuperScripts are part of Hameray's High Interest / Low Vocabulary genre, intended to encourage struggling readers to read through presenting compelling topics that they want to read about. Download offers facts about the exciting world of extreme sports and hot contemporary subjects such as technology and natural disasters. The Extraordinary Files is a mystery-fiction series that follows the adventures of two sleuths as they work to solve cases, often of a supernatural bent. SuperScripts are action-packed, easy-to-follow plays in such genres as sci-fi, drama, and sports. They combine reading with social interaction, making it fun for even the most reluctant reader.

Flip through samples of books from these series to see how they appeal to readers who have trouble taking an interest in reading.

If you're interested in learning more about these series, you can click on the images below to download an information sheet with highlights and key features. Check back on Friday for the second part of this Q & A!

- Tara Rodriquez

Download Series Highlights New Call-to-Action New Call-to-Action

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Topics: Videos, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Struggling Readers, Striving Readers, SuperScripts, Download, Extraordinary Files

Using Narrative Texts in the Common Core Classroom: Grades 1-2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on May 14, 2013 10:00:00 AM

6358 Cover teacher reading 44645287  iofotoThe Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require students to gain exposure to a wide variety of texts, including narrative text (literature) and informational text. The CCSS for English Language Arts states the following:

"Whatever they are reading, students must also show a steadily growing ability to discern more from and make fuller use of text, including making an increasing number of connections among ideas and between texts."

With this idea in mind, the Story World-Real World series was created. Written by Alan Trussell-Cullen, this series is leveled for the first- and second-grade reader. It takes traditional story tales, updates them with modern, easy-to-read language and bundles them with a set of informational texts that tie in to real-life elements of the narrative text that children might be curious about. Today we will focus on the narrative texts, and how they can be used to satisfy the literature standards required for the early elementary classroom. For easy reference, I've reproduced here the standards that students are expected to meet with regards to prose literature in the sidebar.*

Narrative Text and Literature Standards:

Grade 1

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

~ Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

~ Describe characters, settings, and major events ina story, using key details.

~ Identify words and phrases in stories that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

~ Explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types.

~ Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

~ Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.

~ Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories.

~ With prompting and support, read prose of appropriate complexity for grade 1.

Grade 2

Students should be able to do the following:

~ Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

~ Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

~ Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

~ Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story.

~ Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

~ Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

~ Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.

~ Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.

~ By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature in the grades 2–3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

The Story World-Real World series was specifically tailored to help students meet these Common Core standards, and the free Teacher's Guide (available for download in June) will include many ideas to support teaching narrative texts.

Below are example lessons extracted from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide for using children's favorite traditional tale: Cinderella. Note: there's a flip book of the story below, so you can read how the story was adapted for the this reading level**.

Example Lesson: Cinderella

Before Reading: introduce the idea of folktales (to support the Grade 2 standard on the topic): "We are going to read a story that people love so much that they have been telling it for hundreds of years." Examine the cover and the title with the students ask them what they think the story is going to be about.

As you read the narrative text with the children, encourage them to join in with the reading when they think they know the words. Before turning the page, encourage them to predict what will happen next. This gets them thinking about the structure of a story and allows them to draw upon the illustrations for clues.

After Reading: The Teacher's Guide provides a wide variety of "after-reading" activities to engage the children once you've finished the book. Here are a few examples:

•    Reread pages 6–7. What do you think Cinderella felt when she saw her fairy godmother appear? Role play: If you were Cinderella and you suddenly found yourself wearing a beautiful ball gown and sparkling glass slippers, what do you think you would say to your fairy godmother? What would you tell her about how you felt? Look at the illustration. Is there anything in the picture that might help you predict what is going to happen next. (Answer: the pumpkin and the mice.)

Cinderella 6 spread resized 600


•    Reread pages 8–9. Look at the illustrations. How can you tell what the coach was made from? What about the “horses”? Can you draw a clock and show where the hands would be at midnight? What does the fairy godmother mean when she says about the clock “striking” twelve? How do you think Cinderella was feeling as she drove off in the coach?

Cinderella 8 9 spread resized 600


•    Reread pages 14–15. Why do you think so many people wanted to try on the glass slipper? (Perhaps they all wanted to marry the Prince?) Do you think the Prince would have liked to marry one of Cinderella’s sisters? Why not? Look at the illustration closely—what do you think Cinderella is thinking and feeling?


Cinderella 14 15 spread resized 600

child drawing 44797486 Jane September
•    Shared writing activity: Get the children to retell the events of the story (CCSS Grade 1 #2). Then help them turn this retelling into captions, for example:

- Student: “Cinderella is made to do all the work. Her ugly sisters do nothing.” Teacher: What happens next? 

- Student: “The King’s invitation to the ball arrives.” Teacher: What happens next?

- Student: “Cinderella’s fairy godmother gets Cinderella ready for the ball.” Teacher: What happens next?

- Student: “Cinderella dances all night with the Prince.”

Write each caption for the children on large cards. Then divide the children into groups. Give each group a caption, a sheet of art paper for each child, and suitable art materials. Help them plan and complete their own illustration for each caption (CCSS Grade 1 #7). Mount their drawings on the wall with the captions in sequence to make a wall story. Prepare a “title page,” too, e.g, “‘Cinderella’ retold by room 4 at Sunshine School. Illustrated by (the children’s names).” Read the story with the children.

 This was a sample lesson from the Story World-Real World Teacher's Guide. The suggested text is meant to help guide the discussion and facilitate interactions, but is in no way meant to dictate exactly how a lesson is taught.

 Features of the Narrative Text Cinderella:


•    Aligned with the Common Core State Standards (see Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 10).
•    Punctuation: speech punctuation, exclamation marks, questions marks.
•    Opportunities to develop reading for inference skills.
•    Dialogue between characters.
•    Vocabulary development
•    Words and phrases that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature, Grade 1 #3).
•    The characters’ actions and feelings (CCSS Reading Standards for Literature Grade 1 #4).

Check back tomorrow to see how the informational texts related to Cinderella can be used to to help children make connections between the fictional narrative text of the story and things that exist in the world around them! To see all titles available in the series, you can visit our website or take a look at our brochure for the series by clicking below.

- Tara Rodriquez

Story World Real World Brochure

*All information regarding the CCSS comes directly from the Common Core website and can be found in the downloadable PDFs available on that site.

** Because this is a sneak-preview of the forthcoming Teacher's Guide, which is still in draft form, the final downloadable Teacher's Guide soon available may deviate slightly from what is presented here.

Photo credits: Iofoto (classroom scene); Jane September (child drawing)

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Common Core, Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Alan Trussell-Cullen

Text Variety Helps Inspire Striving Readers: Alan Trussell-Cullen Pt. 2

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on May 13, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Exposing students to a wide variety of texts will both prepare them for life outside the describe the imageclassroom and also increase the chances that even the most reluctant readers will stumble upon a topic that will capture their interest and nurture a love of reading. In the second installation of our series of interviews with Alan Trussell-Cullen, teacher educator and author of our new Story World-Real World series, he shares some of his experiences in the classroom that illustrate just how important this variety can be.

Can you explain why it’s important for children to read an array of different types of text?

Firstly, it’s a matter of survival. In order to survive in the world today, we are confronted by so many different kinds of text, from road signs and billboards to manuals and recipe books, from poetry and literature to advertising slogans and TV graphics, from romance and mysteries to weather reports and timetables, and from blogs and tweets to “How-to” guides and “Who-done-it” mysteries. To live a so-called “normal” life in our modern world, one has to be able to read, understand, respond to, and create all kinds of text.

Secondly, it’s a matter of knowing what is out there in order to exercise our right to choose. When it comes to reading, we all have our fads and favorites. Adults do, and children, too. That’s not a bad thing—when Harry Potter appeared on the scene, millions of children suddenly began to read in a way they had never read before!

But children can also get stuck on a particular kind of book. Sometimes they lack the confidence to branch out and try something new. That’s where the good teacher can do a great job building reader confidence and coaxing them to try something new.

Often, it is a matter of finding some kind of personal link or connection. I can remember a nine-year-old boy in a class I was teaching. His name was Steve, and Steve was adamant that he didn’t like reading. Every day after the lunch break, the children in my class came back into the classroom and did about ten minutes of SSR. (Everyone probably knows that SSR stands for “Sustained Silent Reading,” but one six-year-old recently told me SSR stood for Super Silent Reading!)

Anyway, Steve hated SSR. While everyone else read their chosen library book or a book from the Class Bookshelf, or a book or story written by one of the children in the class (the kids would tell you: “We are all writers in this class!”), Steve would sit and fidget or stare into space. All my attempts to find something of interest for him didn’t seem to work.

And then one day a miracle happened. He told the class about his big brother. His big brother had a motorbike. His big brother loved his motor bike. So did Steve. He loved to help his brother take it apart and clean it and tune it. Now I knew next to nothing about motorbikes, so I asked Steve how he and his big brother knew what to do when they worked on the bike.

“He’s got these manual things,” said Steve. “He lets me read them, too.”motorcycles

 “Hey,” I said. “Do you think your brother would let you bring his motorbike manuals to school? You could read it at SSR time!”

Steve’s eyes lit up.

“Could I?” he asked.

The next day when the kids settled in for SSR, there was Steve with a rather tattered and suitably oil-stained volume which was obviously his brother’s motorbike manual! It was very technical, with diagrams and photographs, but Steve seemed to be reading it. I usually finished SSR with a few minutes of sharing, so on this day I asked Steve to tell us about his book. He began shyly, pointing out what he and his brother did the other night. He showed the class the page and explained the diagram. The class was enthralled—and not just the boys!

I had a special list on the wall headed “Our Class Experts.” Whenever someone showed they had special knowledge about something, we put their name up there. Then the other kids knew who to go to when they needed information or help on that subject. One of the kids put a hand up and said: “I think Steve should be up there as our class expert on motorbikes!”

Everyone agreed.

By now Steve was obviously floating on cloud nine!

He brought more stuff on motorbikes the next day. He wasn’t just looking at pictures—he was really reading. Other kids began to ask him questions. In art he drew motorbikes. Each day we had a writing time. Steve began to write about motorbikes. At first he wrote about the things he did with his brother. Then he began to write a book on motorbikes. The other kids loved it. One girl took it home. She said she wanted to show it to her brother, but I knew she didn’t have a brother! The whole class began to write manuals. Steve then began to make up stories about motorbikes. From motorbikes he moved to racing cars, and then big trucks. Then it was action stories and action heroes...

And what did I, as a teacher, learn from that? Reading shouldn’t just be about reading what the teacher thinks the children need to read. It isn’t just about reading books. And it isn’t about doing lots of “reading practice.” It’s about doing real reading, about helping kids connect their school experience with what they know and enjoy and love doing in their own lives. It’s about bringing the real world into their classroom and into their imagination.

Should parents and teachers approach how they use informational texts differently than narrative reading materials when reading with children? Why or why not?

I think Steve is the answer to this question. We don’t need to make a big difference between reading informational texts and reading fictional and imaginative material. It isn’t really a child reading smiling 6079588 Monkey Business Imagesdifferent kind of reading. If something is part of our lives, it can be part of our reading. Sometimes people think fiction is more emotional than nonfiction—but Steve really loved his motorbike manuals! And sometimes people think boys enjoy informational texts more than girls do. Well, maybe sometimes boys do, but we need to push children beyond received stereotypes. The girl who first took home Steve’s book on motorbikes wasn’t doing so to share it with her non-existent brother—she wanted to read it for herself!

Children need to read both informational texts and narrative reading material and they also need to write both and talk about both and feel free to choose both.

And incidentally, that is why I chose to write the Story World-Real World series for Hameray—it combines the world of imagination with the world of reality. We need both because one balances the other.

Can you tell us your best tip for teaching reading to beginning readers?

Don’t get too hung up about lots of standardized tests and reading levels. There are two wonderful instruments for assessing reading progress, and they are way better than any standardized test. And those are a good teacher’s ears and eyes!

The more we observe our children and listen to them, the more we will discover about them and the more we can help them become confident and engaged and unstoppable readers and writers.

...5054 Bears Cover FINAL

Story World-Real World, Alan's newest endeavor, features retellings of traditional tales that are coupled with informational texts to provide real-world background knowledge and support the elements of the story. For example, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which stands well on its own as an entertaining story, is available in this series bundled with books on bears, temperature, and breakfast. Each "theme" in the series works this way—by pulling elements out of the narrative text of the traditional story and giving children information about how those elements work in the real world. 

To learn more about the new series, you can download a page of key features below:

New Call-to-Action


We'll have more content from Alan Trussell-Cullen in the coming weeks, so be sure to check back regularly if you like his tips for helping children learn to love reading! Additionally, if there is a reluctant reader in your home or classroom who likes motorbikes, be sure to check out our Download series, with topics such as Motorcycles, Motocross, and BMX bikes!

- Tara Rodriquez

*Photo credit: Monkey Business Images

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Topics: Making Learning Fun, Story World, Real World, Interview, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Download, Reluctant Readers

Oral Language Development Lesson with Zoozoo Storytellers

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on May 8, 2013 10:02:00 AM

“Oral language is the foundation of all literacy. Those who can use language to clearly express themselves are more likely to succeed when learning to read and write or, reading and writing to learn.” - Dr. Lance Gentile

                                                                                    describe the image

"Research in literacy has demonstrated that primary school children who have well-developed oral language have higher levels of achievement in reading and writing in upper elementary school. English language learners (ELLs) comprise an estimated 7% (3 million) of the US public school population. However, studies done by Allington (2002) and Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998) have shown that ELLs and students with various English vernaculars from impoverished socio-economic backgrounds frequently have low levels of oral language development. It is well documented that these groups tend to struggle with literacy throughout their years of public education."*

Specially developed to support oral language development, the Zoozoo Storytellers series written by Alan Trussell-Cullen contains ten books, each also available in a teacher's edition with a five-day lesson plan written by language and literacy specialist Dr. Lance Gentile.

The books contain a consistent cast of characters, who will quickly become familiar to students and keep them interested in the books and curious about what will happen next in the lives of their "new friends." The stories use bright illustrations and humor to teach not only reading and oral language skills, but also social skills.

In the case of our example book, Oops! Sorry!, children learn that if they cause something unpleasant to happen to someone, even if it is an accident, the correct thing to do is apologize.

Flip through Oops! Sorry! for a representative glimpse at the Zoozoo Storytellers content, and then look below for an excerpt of the lesson plan created to teach with the story.

The lesson plans from the teacher's edition can either span a five-day class week or you can tailor them to fit your own classroom's needs, combining more than one activity into a longer lesson, or cherry-picking which activities best serve your particular students. This lesson, from Day 1 of the lesson plan, focuses specifically on Oral Language Development:

Objectives: (based on National Standards) Children will be able to:

1) Listen, look at pictures, and understand a story told to them.
2) Listen and respond to specific purposes related to a story.


Warm Up:
1) Display the back cover. Introduce and talk about the characters in the story.
2) Show the front cover and point under the first letter of each word as you read the title. Ask the children to read it with you as you point again.
3) Build background knowledge by leading the children in a conversation about apologizing to others. (When? Why? How?)


Activity: Picture Talk and Developing Narrative
1) Identify a meaningful purpose for the children to listen as you tell an elaborated story. Say, “I am going to show you the pictures and tell you a story. Listen carefully, because when I
am finished, I will ask you what the word unaware** means.”
As you repeat the word, clap the syllables. Then ask the children to clap and say un-a-ware with you.

The following example is meant to guide, not dictate, the exact story you tell. Make sure you incorporate the text from the book in your story. When you come to the pages with text, model reading by pointing under the first letter of each word as you say it.

Cover: The title of our story today is: Oops! Sorry! Max and the monkeys are swinging wildly through the trees.

Title Page: Emma is drinking water. She is unaware of what is about to happen. Max is swinging on a vine. He suddenly realizes that he is headed for Emma’s rear end.

Page 2: Max bangs into Emma. He says, “Oops! Emma, I’m sorry.”

Page 3: Emma is shocked when Max hits her. She sprays water out of her trunk. Pam is mopping and is unaware that she is about to be hit with water.

Page 4: As the water hits Pam, Emma says, “Oops! Pam, I’m sorry.”

Page 5: Pam is knocked down by the water. She throws her mop backwards as she falls. Carlos is unaware that the mop is heading straight for him.

Page 6: Pam is drenched. She’s flat on the ground. She watches as Carlos is hit with the mop and hollers, “Oops! Carlos, I’m sorry!”

Page 7: The mop hits Carlos off his feet. As he falls, he tosses the bucket he is carrying into the air. Water is spilling from the bucket as it flies towards Ferdinand who is happily resting on a lily pad. Ferdinand is unaware of what is happening.

Page 8: Carlos lifts the bucket off a confused and soaked Ferdinand. Carlos says, “Oops! Ferdinand, I’m so sorry.”

 This is only one of five lessons included in the teacher's edition for this book. Each of the Zoozoo Storytellers books contains similar lessons, with an Oral Language Development lesson, as well as lessons for Story Retelling, Comprehension and Vocabulary Development, Concepts About Print, and a Review lesson.

Repeated exposure to the same story over the course of a week allows children to experience in-depth learning. Recurring characters across stories ensures that once it is time for an independent reading session, children will be eager to pick up the books and read the new stories featuring the familiar characters.

For a downloadable one-page summary of key points about this series, click below!

New Call-to-Action

Check back in tomorrow for more information on how to support oral language development in the classroom!

- Tara Rodriquez

*Paragraph text taken from the Oral Language Development Series Teacher's Guide, published by Cavallo Publishing and soon available on our website.

**This higher-level vocabulary is intended to challenge and engage your students. Other italicized words in the following example can also be used for this activity. These are examples only. Choose vocabulary based on the level of your students’ abilities.

Image credit: © Lanak Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
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Topics: Oral Language Development, Alan Trussell-Cullen, Lance Gentile, Zoozoo Storytellers

Hameray Herald: April 2013 Literacy Issue

Posted by Jacqueline Jones on Apr 30, 2013 3:00:00 AM

 

Story World Real World Newsletter3

Story World Real World is a new series by Alan Trussell-Cullen for the K-2 classroom. It bridges traditional narrative texts to informational texts and is comprised of ten (10) traditional tales and thirty (30) informational texts. The series meets Common Core Standards for reading in both literature and informational texts. Learn More

Little Red Riding Hood Spread 500px2 Download the brochure:
Story World Real World Brochure 
 *****  

 

JCC Contest Teacher Spotlight 

The month-long Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway comes to an end today (4/30/13) and a winner will be announced tomorrow: May 1st. With over 1,200 entries and counting, selecting a winner will be difficult, but there's still time to get last minute entries in before 5pm PST. Click Here for more info. 

 
 *****

Hameray's Classroom Literacy Blog adds a fun new feature that highlights educators who are making a difference. The Teacher Spotlight will recognize creative teachers (& parents) who are educating children in interesting and noteworthy ways. Know someone who should be highlighted? Email us at: info@hameraypublishing.com!

 

alantrussellcullen-1

 

 *****

An Interview with Author Alan Trussell-Cullen

What inspires a child to grow up and become a writer? What influences can teachers, literatuhttp://blog.hameraypublishing.com/blog/bid/269987/The-4-Things-We-Learned-at-the-2013-International-Reading-Conferencere, and school experiences have on a student's future career path? Alan Trussell-Cullen, teacher educator and author of our new Story World-Real World series, has some insights—both from the perspective of the child and of the teacher. Read More.


 

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The 4 Things We Learned while Attending the International Reading Association Conference in San Antonio. Mrs Wishy-Washy Fans abound, design matters and meeting Common Core standards with a new series... Read More

 

 

 

 

OLDS TE CTA

The FREE OLDS Teacher's Guide is now available for download. This 30-page TE provides specific attention to administering an oral language assessment and more... Check out the detailed teacher's resource.

 

 

 

Subscribe to the Hameray Herald email version:

 

Hameray_Herald_Newsletter
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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Story World, Hameray Herald, Alan Trussell-Cullen

Word-Play to Working Author: An Interview with Alan Trussell-Cullen

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Apr 25, 2013 5:00:00 AM

AlanTrussellCullenWhat inspires a child to grow up and become a writer? What influences can teachers, literature, and school experiences have on a student's future career path? Alan Trussell-Cullen, teacher educator and author of our new Story World-Real World series, has some insights—both from the perspective of the child and of the teacher. In the first installation of our series of interviews with him, he shared these perspectives.

What inspired you to become an author?  

When I was in what we used to call "standard three" in New Zealand schools in those days, I had a wonderful teacher called Mrs. Watson. Everyone, including my parents, called her "Wattie." Mrs. Watson loved stories and "using your imagination."

"Get those imaginations ticking over!" she used to say. She also taught us to love words. We collected words. We made lists of favorite words that just felt good to say. I can still remember some of mine—words like "splurge" and "filch" and "platypus" and "quadruple." We also playedstoryofcotton00curt 0001 lots of word games. We collected riddles. We made up knock-knock jokes. And we wrote lots of wonderful stories using our imaginations. Sometimes your third-grade teacher can help to decide your adult occupation!


What were some of your favorite books growing up in New Zealand? How did they help shape your wonderful imagination?


I had lots of favorites. Lewis Carroll was a major one! I used to wonder about the rabbit. I thought the rabbit had a story to tell but somehow Lewis Carroll never got round to telling us what it was. But I also liked nonfiction. One of my favorite books was The Story Of Cotton. I don't know why, but I must have read it dozens of times. It all came back to me when I was LewisCarrollSelfPhotowriting a biography of Mahatma Gandhi for the Hameray Biography Series. Why Gandhi and cotton? Well, that was, in part, another "story of cotton"—a very political story!

You have authored many different kinds of books for a range of age groups. Do you have a favorite genre or age to write for?

I don't really have favorites. I just like playing with words and ideas. As a teacher I tried to get kids to be open to all kinds of books and all kinds of writing and to try out whatever was their flavor of the month. We read and wrote poems—I still do!—plays, spooky stories, funny stories, far-fetched yarns, very short stories, autobiographies—including fictional ones!—and even comic books.

The best part was "publishing" our stories! We made wall displays, class big books, picture books, "a day in the life of me," window displays...one year we even published a class book by displaying it page-by-page along the school front fence! Writing was, is, and should be fun! And it was, is, and has to be!


Story World-Real World, Alan's newest endeavor, features retellings of traditional tales that are coupled with informational texts to provide real-world background knowledge and support the elements of the story. For example, Cinderella, which stands well on its own as an entertaining story, is available in this series bundled with books on dancing, telling time, and wearing shoes. Each "theme" in the series works this way—by pulling elements out of the narrative text of the traditional story and giving children information about how those elements work in the real world. Read more here.

 

Download the Story World Real World Brochure Now:

Story World Real World Brochure

 

See Samples from the series below:

Cinderella Cover Final 5160 Lets Dance Cover FINAL3 5146 Whats the Time Cover FINAL4 5153 Why Do We Wear Shoes Cover FINAL3

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Interview, Biography Series, Alan Trussell-Cullen

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