Southwest Children's Literature

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Clementina's Cactus

In the classroom/library:

The objective of this lesson is to take the picture book, Clementina's Cactus, and have the students use their creativity to create their own story by looking at the illustrations. The holistic overview of this lesson is to get the students thinking about all of the different possibilities and outcomes of this story. Upon completion of this lesson, students should have learned how to work together in groups and use their imagination to create and write their own stories using their own creative ideas. This unit will broaden the students' horizons when it comes to storytelling and writing.

GRADE LEVEL: 6th, 7th, and 8th
SUBJECT: Language Arts
OVERVIEW: Present the picture book, Clementina's Cactus, and have the students write a story based on the illustrations.
PURPOSE: To broaden the students' horizons in literacy and stir up their creative talents in storytelling and writing.

Students will:
1. Have an understanding of a picture book.
2. Be able to use their imagination to fill in the author's story with ideas and voice of their own.
3. Produce a creative story with a partner to be read at the end of class.

Writting Concept 1. Expressive
o Expressive writing includes personal narratives, stories, poetry, songs, and dramatic pieces. Writing may be based on real or imagined events. (7-W3-C1)
PO 1. Write a story that includes:
a. an engaging plot based on imagined or real ideas, observations, or memories of an event or experience
b. effectively developed characters
c. a clearly described setting
d. dialogue, as appropriate
e. figurative language, or descriptive words and phrases to enhance style and tone
PO 2. Write in a variety of expressive forms (e.g., poetry, skit) that, according to type of writing, employ:
a. figurative language
b. rhythm
c. dialogue
d. characterization
e. plot

* Book - Clementina's Cactus by Ezra Jack Keats
* Microsoft Word

* Book - Clementina's Cactus by Ezra Jack Keats
* Pencil
* Paper
* Username and Password for computers
* Computer workstation
* Printer

* Arrange chairs in the computer lab into a semi-circle.
* Have a copy of Clementina's Cactus ready.
* Have all of the computers logged on and Microsoft Word open.
* Write guest Username and Password on the board (just incase).
* Speak to the Teacher Assistant and make sure she understands the assignment.

* Have as much of this assignment prepared as possible. For example: Have the computers set up and ready to go. The fewer tasks for the children to do, the more time they can spend concentrating on their stories.

* Make sure the children fully understand the assignment.
* Pair them into groups that will benefit their learning.
* Keep a close eye on the time.
* Make sure to visit each group to keep the students on task.

1. Introductory Set
* Get the students motivated by asking them each open-ended questions as the book is introduced. This will get their minds working, and will also serve as brainstorming for the next exercise.

2. Objective/Purpose
* After this lesson, students will be able to think creatively, and be able to express their feelings and transfer their thoughts down onto paper.

3. Input
* During this lesson, the book will be introduced, and will be the only manipulative used.

4. Modeling
* As the book is introduced, go through, page by page, and ask the students open-ended questions. The ideas that they share can be used to complete the rest of their assignment.

5. Check for Understanding
* To make sure the students understand the lesson, be very repetitive during the introduction, and ask if the students have any questions. Check up on every student during the lesson to make sure they are on task, and answer any questions they have about the assignment.

6. Guided Practice
* As the lesson progresses, monitor the students' progress and make sure they are on task. Continue to roam the room and make sure the students are familiar with their objective.

7. Independent Practice - or Homework
* The students will be put into small groups of two, and work with each other on the assignment.

8. Closure
* As a closure, have all of the students print out their part in the story and put them all together, then go back through the book and use their text along with the book's illustrations.

To assess the students' learning, have them participate in a large class project, by assigning each group a small section of the book to complete. At the end of class, put all of the sections back together and read the book out loud to the class as a whole.

To modify this lesson, it would be for a regular education class with a longer timeframe. Continue to use groups, but instead assign each group to a different picture book. The group would use their own story for the entire book, and then present their story as a group to the rest of the class.

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