"I Can Help..." Lesson

Author: Marc Sheehan

Source of Idea: Nicole Womac, St. Philomena Catholic School (Des Moines, Washington)

Subjects: Reading, Writing

Instructional Level: First-Second Grade

Skills: Reading Comprehension, Writing

Time: 45-60 minutes

Materials/Necessary Tools: chart paper, writing paper, pencils, erasers, sticky notes, colored pencils, crayons, whiteboard, Candace Christiansen's book "The Mitten Tree"

Objectives: The student will be able to identify how a person can help others and ways the student himself/herself can help people in their lives
The student will be able to compose an answer to a writing prompt using grade-level skills in conventions and spelling.

Introduction: The lesson will be introduced by reading Candace Christensen's book "The Mitten Tree" to the class. The story is about how an old woman helps children and also how those same children assist the woman in her efforts. When the story is completed, the students will be asked to identify how the characters helped each other. The students will then be asked how they can help others, whether through doing kind deeds, doing chores, helping with service projects, or in other ways. The answers could be written on a whiteboard or chart paper.

Procedure: Once the student examples of being helpful to others are shared, the class will be given this prompt: "I can help when..." The class will be instructed to choose an example of how they can help someone in their lives. The choice can come from the list the class compiled or it can be a new idea. The students will write their answer down in a sentence or two. The sentence will need to be punctuated and capitalized correctly. Correct spelling will also be needed. Once the student has had their work edited, they can illustrate a picture showing their helpful action. An example page will be displayed for the students to use as a model.

Closure/Modifications: The finished assignments will be posted on the walls of the classroom. Volunteers could be selected to share their work with the class. The assignment could be modified in terms of length. Students could have their work scribed for them if necessary. Students could focus on getting their ideas written down, while the teacher or someone provides assistance on editing those ideas. The students could also be given ideas to use to better focus their work. The final copies of the assignments could also be gathered into a class book for future use.

Assessment: Each assignment will be graded on whether it was completed according to the guidelines, whether a picture was included, and whether it meets grade-level expectations in writing conventions and spelling.

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