Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cinderella and the Common Core - with a RL 4.9 Freebie

Ok, every once in a while the Common Core makes me so happy. Take RL 4.9 for example. 4th graders are expected to compare and contrast traditional literature from different cultures.

I'm not crazy. I know the standards can be overwhelming at times, BUT ... The reason I really like the standard is because I love Cinderella. And, that's as traditional of a story as you can get. Right?

I know I already posted about the Cinderella CCSS set I made for TpT, click here to check it out,  but this week I got brave and took some pictures of my anchor charts...EEK! They aren't pretty, but whose are? Ok, some of you probably have beautiful anchor charts ... not me.

To begin our lesson we read a very traditional version of Cinderella written by Charles Perrault.
As a class we filled out a story-map like graphic organizer (the students created their own and did it with me in their response journals). The was the "I Do" part of our lesson. We talked about characters, plot (to review summarizing), and theme. This really hits on RL 4.2.

We then read one of the oldest recorded version of Cinderella, Yeh-Shen as retold by Ai-Ling Louie.
As a "We Do" activity, we again fill out our story map. This time I had the kids help me fill out the graphic organizer. They again created their own in their response journals. This again helped us review RL 4.2, which is an important building block for RL 4.9. In RL 4.9, students are expected to compare and contrast themes, plots, and patterns of events. So, they need a firm grasp on summarizing and theme before this can occur.

Here is the anchor chart I created. Again, I know it's not completely pretty, but it's what it is since I try to write quickly for the lesson. 

The next step was for us to look at the stories side-by-side. I find that this works the best by using another graphic organizer. My big thing is teaching my students how to create their own organizers. Handing them out to just fill in doesn't give them ownership on the process. When they draw them themselves, it's my hope drawing them becomes muscle memory. Here's the organizer we created to compare and contrast the two stories (using a mix of "I Do" and "We Do"):
My students did a really great job picking out details from the text. The key is to show them that they have to mention BOTH stories. Students tend to want to say things like, "They are different because Yeh-Shen had a fish for a fairy godmother". Instead, I want to visually show them they need to say, "The stories are different because Cinderella had a fairy godmother who granted her wishes, while Yeh-Shen had a pile of fish bones she used to ask wishes".

We used this graphic organizer to write an open-ended compare and contrast paragraph, similar to what they may need to do on a standardized test. It was definitely a LONG process and took MANY mini-lessons. However, I do think my students are really getting a handle on the skills. 

As an extension for the lesson I also split the kids into group by their reading level. I passed out other versions of Cinderella for them to read together. As a group they filled out another story map and did a compare/contrast chart using their story and the traditional version of Cinderella. Here are a list of other Cinderella stories and their levels:
 (Levels are approximated using the F&P conversion chart and Scholastic Book Wizard)
  • Cindy Ellen: A Wild West Cinderella by Susan Lowell - LEVEL M
  • Cinderella by Charles Perrault - LEVEL O
  • The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo - LEVEL O
  • The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo - LEVEL Q/R
  • Yeh-Shen by Ali-Ling Louie - LEVEL R
  • Smoky Mountain Rose by Alan Schroeder - LEVEL S
  • The Rough Faced Girl by Rafe Martin - LEVEL S
  • The Golden Sandal by Rebecca Hickox - LEVEL T
After reading together and creating their graphic organizers, students used the model of the open-ended response to write another compare/contrast. I then collected them to use as an exit slip and gauge student progress toward understanding the standard.

And just because I love all of you who read my blog, I created some anchor charts you could print out to display/fill in with your students. We have a poster maker at my school, which makes printing out large anchor charts so easy.

Here are the images of the file: (Click the images to directly download the PDF)


Some other things you may find helpful if you too are teaching this standard: 

Compare and contrast terms - click here for a free list of compare and contrast words to display for your students. This really helps them create their responses!

Visuals to help your students engage in your unit. The picture below shows one of my bulletin boards for our unit.These visuals are from my Cinderella unit and were printed using our school's plotter.