123blocks.jpgUnit 2: Tell a Story, 1-2-3

In this second six-week unit of Kindergarten, students focus on sequence as they enjoy “Counting Books,” both fiction and informational, and stories based on “three.”
Building on the wide exposure to text types in the first unit, students now focus on the sequence of a text: the beginning, middle and end of a story. They learn to retell rich stories and , by listening to versions of tradition stories, recognize familiar storylines embedded in different setting with different characters. Counting rhymes and reading a number of counting books will continue the first unit's focus on phonological awareness and listening for more rhythm and rhyme, as well as on sequencing. Students study three painting, which are used for a creative storytelling activity and are related to the idea of multiple versions of a familiar story.
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Theme Essential Question
How are the beginning, the middle and the end of a story different from each other?

End of Unit Learning and Unit Overview

Theme Focus Standards
LAFS.K.RL.1.2 With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
LAFS.K.RL.3.9 With prompting and support, compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in familiar stories.
LAFS.K.RI.1.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
LAFS.K.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about Kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
LAFS.K.SL.1.1(b)Continue a conversation through multiple exchanges
LAFS.K.W.1.3 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
LAFS.K.L.1.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, an spelling when writing.
LAFS.K.L.1.2(a) Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun "I.

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Suggested Objectives:
  • Name the author and illustrator of both the fictional and informational texts in this unit.
  • Orally retell familiar stories, including details and events at the beginning, middle, and end.
  • Recite and produce rhyming words from nursery rhymes and rhyming texts.
  • Use a combination of writing, drawing, and dictating to retell stories with a beginning, middle, and end.
  • Distinguish shades of meaning among simple adjectives.
  • Recognize the importance of sequence in storytelling, informational and fictional counting books, and nursery rhymes.
  • Appreciate the difference between an original story and other versions of the same story

Sight Words:
FRY LIST http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com/Fry-1000-Instant-Words.html
The expectation for kindergarten is for students to learn the first 100 words by the end of the year.

Sample Activities:

  • Note: Continue work on rhythm and rhyme from Unit One as more of the students show readiness to hear and see rhyming words. (RF.K.2a)

    Reading Foundations, Informative Writing

    Create a counting book using the letters covered so far this year. Each student will choose a favorite letter and then brainstorm words that begin with that letter. Using the numbers one through five and five different things that begin with the chosen letter, create a book (e.g., A Counting Book for T: 1 Tadpole, 2 Turkeys, 3 Toads, 4 Tigers, 5 Trout). Title each student’s book A Counting Book for ___. Be sure to write the name of the author and illustrator (student) on the cover of the book. Place the finished books in a basket for other students to enjoy. (RF.K.1a, RF.K.1b, RF.K.1c, RF.K.1d, RF.K.3a)

    Art, Reading Poetry, Speaking and Listening

    “Mix a Pancake” is a poem written by Christina Rossetti. Have students draw illustrations that match the words to show the steps in making pancakes. When finished, they can share the illustrations with a friend and read (recite) the poem together. (RL.K.5, RL.K.7, W.K.2)

    Reading Literature, Language Usage

    Read the traditional version of a story first. Then read a different version of the story. For example, read the Galdone version of “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” and discuss the beginning, middle, and end of the story. Then read one of the other versions discussing how the beginning, middle, and end are similar, but also how the setting and characters make it a different story. Note how important the varied shades of meaning for action words (verbs) are crucial to each story. (RL.K.9, L.K.5b)

    Reading Literature, Narrative Writing

    Using the book of illustrations Pancakes for Breakfast (Tomie DePaola), have students look at the illustrations and note how the pictures tell a story. Point out the importance of looking very closely at the details in the illustrations to tell what happens next. Encourage active thinking by asking what might happen when the page is turned to the next illustration. Because this is a wordless book, point out how the illustrator is telling a story without words. Even picture books with words tell a story through the illustrations. Write the students’ dictated stories on sentence strips and place them in a pocket chart. Focus on modeling the capital letter required at the beginning of a sentence and the word I. (Extend this activity by reversing this process: read aloud the text of a simple book without showing the illustrations. Ask students to illustrate the story, creating their own wordless book. The students’ illustrations can then be compared to the book.) (RL.K.6, RL.K.5, RL.K.7, L.K.2a)

    Reading Informational Text, Research

    Because pigs and goats are talking characters who have personalities in these stories, students will enjoy reading about real pigs and goats. Beginning with books and digital resources on pigs or goats, keep a chart of animal needs that are met on the farm. Extend this work by writing a class book about real pigs or real goats. Be sure to talk about their needs and how those needs are met on farms. In an effort to pave the way for focused research, you may want to demonstrate the use of key word searches on a web browser with an interactive whiteboard or other projection device. (RI.K.1, RI.K.6, W.K.2, W.K.7, W.K.8)

    Narrative Writing

    Ask students to retell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Tell them to use illustrations, dictating, and/or writing. Tell them to be sure to focus on the beginning, middle, and end of the story by using transitional words (e.g., ordinal numbers: first, second, . . .”). You may use paper folded into three sections to help some students organize their ideas for the beginning, middle, and end. Encourage students to include all the characters in the story and to add as many details as they can remember. You may extend this writing activity for advanced students by asking them to write a new version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Be sure to have them change the characters and the setting and to illustrate the new story to create a class book. (RL.K.1, RL.K.2, L.K.1a, L.K.1b, L.K.1c, L.K.2a, L.K.5b, W.K.3, W.K.5)

    Reading Informational Text, Speaking and Listening

    Tell students, “Today you will have to think, ask questions, and answer questions while we read an informational counting book titled One Is a Drummer: A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Thong and Grace Lin.” (RI.K.1, RI.K.6)

    Art, Opinion Writing

    Ask students to choose the painting they like best and to write (or dictate) a sentence saying why they chose that painting as their favorite. Remind them to begin their sentences with capital letters and to put periods at the end. (W.K.1, W.K.3)

    Art, Speaking and Listening

    To introduce “versions” of a story to your class, use Millet’s First Steps as the original “story.” Allow the class to study the painting, giving plenty of time to notice details and create a possible story about the painting. Then show them van Gogh’s First Steps, after Millet and have the class note how the “original characters are still in the story,” but also that it all looks different (e.g., the Millet is in pencil while the van Gogh is an oil painting; in the Millet the people are prominent, whereas in the van Gogh, other elements—such as the gate, the wheelbarrow, and the tree—are also emphasized). Finally, show them Picasso’s First Steps to see how another artist expressed the same idea in a completely different way. (RL.K.9)

    Speaking and Listening, Language Usage

    Arrange small groups of students and place an object (e.g., a block) in the middle of the circle. As a class, tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, having students take turns telling the events in the story. Students pick up the block when ready to fill in part of the story and put the block back in the middle when finished. Encourage the students to identify all the characters and setting, as well as the major events of the story, when retelling. Encourage the students to note the importance of describing words (adjectives) in the telling of the story. For example, note the different ways the characters are described. Storytelling is shared with all the members of the group. (RL.K.2, RL.K.3, SL.K.1a, SL.K.1b, L.K.5b)

    Art, Narrative Writing

    After looking closely at three paintings with the same title, First Steps, choose one of the paintings and imagine it shows the beginning of a story. Pair students to create the middle and end of the story to share with the class. Prompt: Choose one of the paintings and write (or dictate) a sentence telling why you chose that painting as your favorite. Be sure to begin your sentence with a capital letter and put a period at the end. (W.K.1, W.K.3)

Additional Online

Standard assessments to be completed by end of unit:

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Interdisciplinary Connections:

  • This unit teaches:
    • Art: Millet, van Gogh, Picasso
    • Science: Farm animals (e.g., pigs and goats; what farm animals need to live)

    This unit could be extended to teach:
    • Science: Animals and their needs (e.g., farm, pet, and wild animals; what animals need to live) or farming (e.g., crops from field to table)

Terminology for Teachers:

    • Author
    • Beginning
    • Characters
    • End
    • Illustration
    • Illustrator
    • Middle
    • Number words
    • Ordinal number words (first, second, third)
    • Poem
    • Retelling
    • Sequence
    • Storybook
    • Versions