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Vermilion Parish Schools

Unit  6:   ELA Reading Essentials

Unit 6

 

Oral Language Development Activities

Goal: Retells a story read aloud

 

Storybook read-alouds provide a rich setting for oral language development because they contain more rare words than normal oral speech, and ideas are sequenced. After repeated readings, teachers can engage children in retellings in a variety of ways.

 

Sample Activities

 

1.  The teacher chooses a simple narrative to read aloud several times.  Once the children are very familiar with the story, she models a simple retelling.  She introduces it by saying. “Some people do not know this story, and we can tell them about it.  We can tell them what happens in the beginning, the middle, and the end.  In the beginning of this story, _____.  In the middle of this story _______.  At the end of this story, _______.”  While she constructs the retelling, the teacher can review the illustrations and invite the children to contribute.

 

2.  The teacher chooses a simple narrative to read aloud several times.  She gathers or prepares pictures to represent a series of events in the story.  She hands an individual picture to each child in a group and then helps them to line up so that their events are in order. 

 

3.  The teacher constructs a retelling center with items or pictures or puppets representing events or characters in a story that has been read aloud repeatedly.  The children in the center use the items to reconstruct the story, working alone or in pairs.  The teacher can talk to them about their thinking.

 

Storybook Reading Activities

Goal: Isolate an individual word in a text read-aloud

 

Concept of word in text is an important early milestone in children’s literacy development.  It encompasses the realization that words are composed of groups of letters and separated from other words by spaces.  This realization does not assume that children know their letters or sounds; it is simply a facet of concepts about print.

 

Sample Activities

 

1.  The teacher prepares a short song or poem on chart paper.  She engages the children in singing or reciting the text until they are comfortable with it, sweeping her hand under the print.  Once the children know the text content, she tells them that it is made of words.  She tells them that words are made of alphabet letters, and that they can tell where a word ends by looking for a space.  She shows them the first word in the text, saying, “I can tell you where the first word is.  It starts right here, and it ends right here. I can see the space to tell me where it ends.”  The teacher then invites the children to show any one word in a particular line.

 

2.  The teacher engages the children in a shared writing activity.  After a class experience, they complete the sentence frame: Today we __________.  First they plan their words together.  Then the teacher models writing each word, emphasizing that she is putting a space between the words.  Then she reads back the sentence, pointing to each word.  Finally, she asks one child to point to each word as the children say the sentence.

 

3.  The teacher asks the children to draw pictures of themselves.  Then she asks them to pretend to write the words “this is me” under their picture.  She dictates the word “this” and asks them to write it.  She tells them to leave a space to show that they are finished with that word. She dictates the word “is” and asks them to write it.  She tells them to leave a space to show that they are finished with that word. She dictates the word “me” and asks them to write it.  She tells them to pretend to read it back to her, pointing to each of their words as they say it and using the spaces to know where the words are.

 

Phonological Awareness Instruction

Goal:  Isolate onsets and rimes in words

 

Preschool children can establish a firm basis for development of phonemic awareness by beginning to segment initial phonemes from vowels and what come after it (the rime) in three-phoneme words.  This task is accomplished without reading, but using orally-pronounced words, picture cards, or objects. 

 

Sample Activities:

 

1.  The teacher uses a puppet to manipulate the sounds in language.  She tells the children that the puppet takes words and breaks them into two sounds.  For instance, if you tell the puppet the word man, he will say m-an.  If you tell him the word dog, he will say d-og.  Let’s tell him some more words (teacher used puppet to segment more words).  Once the children have multiple examples, the teacher asks the children to guess what the puppet will say.  She says, “If I tell the puppet the word mouse, what do you think he will say?”

 

2.  The teacher gathers a set of picture cards representing familiar three-phoneme objects (e.g., phone, fork, light, pen).  She models for the children, saying, “I can take a word and break it into two parts.  Listen.  Phone can be ph-one.  You say it with me – ph-one.”  She repeats her modeling with all of the pictures.  Then she returns to the set and says, “Let’s remember these words in two parts.  Phone. Ph-one; Fork. F-ork.  Light. L-ight. Pen, P-en.”

 

3.  The teacher demonstrates the use of unifix cubes to represent the sounds in words.  She gives each child two cubes.  She models the separation and joining of the two cubes as she says three phoneme words, segments the onset from the rimes, and then says them again.  She asks the children to listen to her and respond by putting their blocks together and by taking them apart (e.g., m-an; man; p-an; pan; f-an; fan; t-an; tan)
 

Work With Letters

Goal:  Write first name

 

Although formal handwriting practice is unproductive for preschool children, they can learn to “draw” the letters that are contained in their first name.  This helps them to remember letter names and letter shapes and to develop their fine-motor skills.

 

Sample Activities

 

1.  The teacher provides each child with a set of sandpaper letters with his or her first name on them.  The teacher asks the children to pretend to write their names by saying each letter and touching all of the parts of it.  After they have finished, the teacher invites the children to write their names in the sky.  The children raise one finger, and while saying each letter in their name, they pretend to trace it in the air.

 

2.  The teacher chooses one child each day for work on his or her name.  She shows the child how each letter is formed, writing it on a chart paper.  Then she invites the child to trace each letter, and eventually to copy it underneath.

 

2.  The teacher provides each child with a piece of paper with his or her first name printed on it.  The teacher asks each child to copy the name on the paper, looking carefully at each of the letters.

Unit 6 Assessment

Oral Language Development:  Retells a story read aloud

Given a story read aloud repeatedly,

  • The child cannot engage in a discussion with the teacher about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  • The child cannot engage in a discussion with the teacher about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

Given a story read aloud repeatedly and a set of manipulates,

  • The child cannot arrange the manipulates to represent story events.
  • The child can arrange the manipulates to represent story events.
  • The child can arrange the manipulates to represent story events and can retell the story in his or her own words.

Storybook Reading Activities: Isolate an individual word in a text read aloud

Given a sentence printed on paper,

  • The child cannot isolate an individual word.
  • The child can show where an individual word begins and ends.

Given a prompt,

  • The child cannot engage in pretend writing with spaces to indicate word boundaries.
  • The child can engage in pretend writing with spaces to indicate word boundaries.

Phonological Awareness Instruction: Isolate onsets and rimes in words

Given a series of words represented by pictures,

  • The child cannot isolate the onset or the rimes.
  • The child can isolate the onset, but not the rime.
  • The child can isolate the onset and the rime.

Work With Letters: Write first name

Given a printed version of his or her name,

  • The child cannot write the letters.
  • The child can write some of the letters.
  • The child can write all of the letters.

Given a blank sheet of paper,

  • The child cannot write the letters in his or her name.
  • The child can write some of the letters in his or her name.
  • The child can write all of the letters in his or her name.
 

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