1. Choose a Book: The Empty Pot | Lexile: 630
2. Vocabulary: Pull out a few vocabulary words that are vital for your students to be familiar with. Attach pictures and/or motions. Below you’ll see the words that we chose for this text.
3. Background Knowledge: After thinking about our students and what we had covered that year so far, we chose the background knowledge our students would need in order to truly grasp the key understandings from The Empty Pot. We chose to teach them about integrity, emperors, and seeds BEFORE we ever read the book. According to Robert Marzano, “What students already know about the content is one of the strongest indicators of how well they will learn new information relative to the content” (2004, p. 1).
Even though the word integrity isn’t found anywhere in this text. LaNesha and I could see clearly that this is the perspective our students would gain, and made sure to teach our students what this word meant. You can use nonfiction texts, lecture style, YouTube, games, whatever you want to build background knowledge!
4. Anchor Chart/Graphic Organizer: We thought about the best chart to generate WITH y=our students EACH DAY of the lesson. (You will stay in the same book until all standards are covered and all lessons are learned!) We ended up with 7 anchor charts in all. 3 for the background knowledge and the other 4 covered characters and setting, character feelings, retelling the story, and comparing and contrasting.
5. Create a Focus: We planned out each day using the background knowledge and standards as a guide. We broke up the standards in a way that made sense for us. We planned 3-5 comprehension questions for each day to assess student knowledge and to help our students have high level discussions about the book.
Day 1: Learn about integrity.
Day 2: Learn about emperors.
Day 3: Learn about seeds.
Day 4: RL.1.1, RL.1.3, RL.1.7
(Examples of daily questions for Day 4)
Day 5: RL.1.2, RL.1.5, RL.1.6
Day 6: RL.1.4
Day 7: RL.1.9
6. Create a Culminating Task: With the help of all of our amazing anchor charts, the daily discussions, and the comprehension of the text, we decided to make this text’s culminating task a debate! Students were pulling in everything they learned to support their arguments and it was amazing!!!
This was definitely a class favorite! They talked about this debate for the remainder of the year.