Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Great Dinosaur Extinction of 1981

My first graders have evolved from emergent to early readers in the course of the last 2 months.   It has been an amazing transformation for them.  It's like a switch being turned on in their heads and now they no longer read 'one word at a time' but they read the text for information and meaning.  

With their newfound skills, comes a responsibility.  


I have been introducing them to the elements of fiction.  I also have them outlining the fictional stories with graphic organizers in order to use later for book reviews. 

One of my graphic organizers asks the following questions:

What is the setting of the story?
Who are the characters?
What is the problem in the story?
What is the solution?

Most of the time they aren't able to answer the first question completely since the setting involves time and place, so we usually have a long discussion on this question.

The story we read last week was about a big dinosaur chasing a little dinosaur through the jungle.  All of my students got the 'jungle' part of the setting right. 

Then I asked them about the time of the story.  "Was it present day or a long time ago?" 
On of my brightest piped up and said, "It must have been a long time ago."  
After more prompting on my part he added "because the dinosaurs went extinct in, I think it was, 1981."

1 comment:

  1. As a librarian for a Pre-K through first grade school, I understand your excitement watching the reading transitions of your first graders. I love that bright happy look when they tell me "I read the whole book myself!" Your "dinosaur extinction 1981" story reminded me of the following video on reading comprehension: Keep up the good work!