The biography genre allows the reader to learn about the events in the life of a non-fictional character. An example would be the book Rocks in His Head by Carol Hurst. After reading the text, the students may then be required to complete a character biography which would outline personal information about the character, interesting information about him, important dates mentioned in the text, his name, where he lived, and such.
The fable genre introduces things which are given human qualities as characters. Fables often contain moral lessons. An example of a fable would be Aesop’s fable of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Students may then be asked to fill out a dissection chart wherein they will have to describe scenes corresponding to the different parts of the story, such as conflict, resolution, moral, etc.
b) Fairy Tale
Fairy tales are fictional stories which often have magical elements integrated into the story. An example would be Hans Christian Andersen’s Thumbelina. A story map would be one applicable graphic organizer which would require the students to map out the beginning, purpose, conflict, most important moment, and conclusion of the story.
Folktales are stories which are grounded on the cultural tradition of a particular place. The story of Johnny Appleseed is one popular American folktale. A venn diagram may be used to graphically organize the information learned from the story.
d) Historical Fiction
Historical fiction is a sub-genre of fiction. It portrays fictional stories of historical figures or events. An example would be the book The Mary Celeste written by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple. A time line may be used as a graphic organizer in the case of historical fiction stories.
e) Informational Text or Nonfiction
Informational texts are non-fiction texts which give the reader current and accurate information regarding a particular topic. Secrets of a Civil War Submarine by Sally M. Walker talks about the disappearance of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in the Civil War and is a leading example of an informational text. For this purpose, a map may be accomplished by the student plotting out the problem and solution found in the informational text. KWLs are also popular organizers for informational texts.
Mystery texts involve the solving of puzzles or crimes by the characters in the text. There are several series which involve mystery plots such as Nancy Drew and Babysitter’s Club. With this genre, charts may be used after the reading of the text requiring students to fill out information regarding the characterization of the hero, the villain, the victim, the crime or problem and the solution.
g) Picture books
Picture books provides verbal and visual narratives of the plot and story. Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are is a good example of a picture book. The text is quite simple and sparse but the blend with the visual narrative makes for better communication of the author’s intention. A character analysis or a plot diagram may be accomplished by the student after reading a picture book.
Poetry depicts a concept or story through a particular form. A famous children’s literature poet is Shel Silverstein. Some of his more popular works are The Missing Piece Meets the Big O and The Giving Tree. Since poems are more complex than story-telling texts, a plot diagram would be a good graphic organizer for students to accomplish.
i) Realistic Fiction
Realistic fiction presents fictional characters, plot and settings but depict them in such a way that they could be found in real life. There are many examples of this genre such as Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume. The challenge is for the author to create a story addressing a concern or issue of the target reader audience. Given the purpose of realistic fiction, a character analysis may be completed by the student along with an analogy for what the student would do if they were in the same situation.
7. Design a literature lesson plan to include the following categories: grade, 2 behavioral objectives (Sunshine State Standards), 2 activities, 1 assessment instrument, and 1 follow-up homework assignment. Include the title of the book and its genre.
This is a literature lesson plan for a second grade class. One picture book will be used as class reading material, in this case Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, and several wordless picture books will be provided for the students’ activities. One objective of the lesson is to teach students the various character perspectives that may be employed in telling a story and to have the students apply this learning in the activities. Another objective is to have the students exercise and display their creative talents, particularly their writing skills through the creation of their own story.
At the beginning of the lesson the picture book will be read to the students. After the reading of the text, the students will be asked to complete a character diagram for each of the main characters involved in the text. They will be asked to map out the descriptions of the characters as well as the activities which the character actually engaged in throughout the story. This will not only allow the instructor to assess the students’ understanding of the story but it will allow for a better platform for discussing how character perspectives can be used in telling a story.
The students will thus be asked to engage in an activity of shifting the character perspectives in the book so that the narrative is told from a first, second or third person perspective. This will be done by focusing on particular scenes in the picture book used for storytelling. Having in mind their description of the characters, the students will be asked to change the text corresponding to the scene pinpointed so that it would be in first, second or third person perspective.
Further application of the lesson will be engaged in by having the students break off into groups. Each group is to take a wordless picture book. They will then be asked to draw a piece of paper from a hat. The strip of paper will indicate in what perspective the text of the narrative should be told. The students will then be asked to write a simple narrative for the wordless picture book. One line narrations for each picture would be deemed sufficient. The students would be informed that although creativity in formulating the text would be incentivized, what is more important is the proper use of the perspective as well as the grammatical correctness of the work. At the end of the class the students will submit the completed story.
Before dismissal, the instructor will make copies of the students’ stories. The stories of the different groups will be switched so that each student is left with a copy of a story completed by another group. As an assignment, the students will be asked to shift the perspective of the story assigned to them. They are informed that they may vary the manner in which the story was told as long as they maintain the same framework for the narrative and as long as they are able to use a perspective other than that which was used.
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