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Grade: 3-5
Subject: 4 Blocks

#1130. guided reading using OWLS

4 Blocks, level: Elementary
Posted Fri Jun 25 20:46:12 PDT 1999 by deb (d-smith@cybersol.com).
coloma elementary, south haven, MI USA
Concepts Taught: 4 blocks comprehension guided reading

All About Owls written by Jim Arnosky 0-590-46791-3
Owl At Home written by Arnold Lobel 0-06-444034-6
Owl Moon written by Jane Yolen 0-590-42044-5


SSR read aloud Day 1 (I don't do Owl Moon's guided reading lesson on the same day)

Read Aloud Owl Moon to kids for the enjoyment the first time.

Have the kids sit in a circle (if they aren't already). After reading the first time through, go back and read the following part to them:

for one minute
three minutes
maybe even a 100 minutes
we stared at one another

Ask the kids, "Has time ever seemed to stop or stand still?" Link this book to your life. Share an experience with the students where you were in a similar situation. For example, maybe you are sitting out on the deck. The sun is setting. It is a calm, peaceful night. The birds are nesting and the bats are coming out. You see bat silhouette against the full moon. Maybe you hear the night noises in the quiet of the evening.

Then she "passes the book to the next person. That person can tell a link or look in the book and then tell a link. The person with the book is the person talking. This is the last step of a procedure called OWL (observe, wonder, link).
The kids then read while I conference and meet with kids. The rest of the week I have books with owls in them to read aloud. I have fact and fiction books about owls available at SSR time, including the ones we are reading for guided reading. Some people prefer to add the guided reading books the following week.

Guided Reading Day one
Pass out copies of Owl At Home.
Set purpose for reading: What are the silly things that owl did? What happened to owl and the others in the story because of the silly things that owl did?
Do a quick picture walk with the students through page 16.
ERT (Everyone Read To)...page 16.
Start a graphic organizer labeled with two headings: cause and effect. Fill in the chart with the students from chapter one. Some examples are:

cold winter night / owl eating pea soup in front of the fire
loud noise / owl checks the door
no one there / owl leaves door open so whoever can come in
open door / winter blows in
owl slammed door / snow melted

Kids read chapter 2 with a small group (play school groups work well).
Gather together and fill in more of the cause/effect graphic organizer.


Guided Reading Day two

Pass out copies of Owl At Home.
Remind the kids the purpose for reading: What are the silly things that owl did? What happened to owl and the others in the story because of the silly things that owl did?
Discuss the chart we did together yesterday.
Kids read chapters 3, 4, and 5. The students who finish early can list cause and effect on paper or on reading response paper.
Gather together and fill in more of the cause/effect graphic organizer.


Guided Reading Day three
Pass out copies of Owl Moon.
Read aloud while they follow along until you get to where dad is calling, "Whoo- whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo" to the Great Horned Owl.
Let's look at the descriptive language that Jane Yolen used in this story. Find where it says, "as if reading a map up there." What do you think this means?
(The teacher should begin a list on a poster or butcher paper with the two headings: what is it and how it is described. )
searching the stars------------reading a map

With you have the students look on the same page for more places to find description. Here are just a few examples:

late--------------long past my bedtime
trees-------------giant statues
bright moon-----sky shining
train whistle-----------song
snow-------------white milk in cereal bowl

Then students in small groups or partners (depending on age, and # of copies) should read the story looking for more descriptions to add to the list. I give them a book mark with an owl at the top (using clip art picture on card stock). Then the students can record their findings if they finish reading earlier then the other students.
Bring the kids back together. Have them share their words and descriptions. Have them prove finding the answer "right there" in the book by reading the sentence that the description comes from. I often see the less able reader is able to find the sentence and reads it with the stronger reader.

Guided Reading Day four
Pass out the book All About Owls (any nonfiction book will do).
Introduce the animal owl if you haven't previously discussed. I usually do a KWL at this time. Another graphic organizer might be a web with the who, what, when, where, how, and why questions around it.
Read the first few pages aloud to the class while they follow along. I usually read 4 or 5 pages. Then as a class I ask them what do they know from the words we just read? What can we add to the "W" column of the chart? I record a few answers.
Set the purpose for reading this nonfiction book: Find out the answers to our questions.
The kids read with partners or small groups until they get to the double page spread with the staples in the middle. I often do three ring circus for this activity. The higher readers who are good at being independent then record some facts in their reading response journal while waiting for others to finish reading. The lower readers and less independent readers get extra support from me, or an aide, or a partner.
Then we join together and add information to the graphic organizer.

Guided Reading Day five
Pass out the book, All About Owls.
I read aloud as the kids follow along. I read as far as we read yesterday (this catches up any absent kids). I have the kids add any facts to the graphic organizer that they have noticed from the pages I read.
In three ring circus groups (or partners) they finish reading the book.
We gather together, add on to the graphic organizer and then have a focused writing time at this point.

Focused Writing Block Day one
Teacher models writing. Looking at all the silly things that owl did reminds me of a time when I did a silly thing. Teacher writes a story about a silly thing (or better yet several silly things...)
The children tell about a silly thing that happened to them.
The children write about their silly time.
Then the children share (if they want to) about the silly time they had.

Writing Block Day two
Teacher models writing
Children write Kids can finish yesterday's writing. Work on an old piece or a new piece. Wherever the child is in the writing workshop is ok.
Children share

Focused Writing Block Day three
After reading Owl Moon, I model writing a letter to my special person. I include the five senses in describing what special memory I have of going somewhere with my special person.
The children pick a special person and tell the person next to them.
Then children take turns telling someone about a special event with the special person.
Then the children write letters telling a special person a memory. I encourage the use of the five senses.
The letters are put in envelopes and taken home to be shared with the special person.

Writing Block Day four
Teacher models writing
Children write Kids can finish yesterday's writing. Work on an old piece or a new piece. Wherever the child is in the writing workshop is ok.
Children share

Focused Writing Block Day five
Pass out owl paper. I have lined owl shape paper with a blank owl paper for the cover. You could have lined paper with clip art owls on it. Whatever special paper you have available works for this.
The kids brainstorm facts about owls. I model writing on the overhead. I write some of their ideas and some of mine. I model sounding out words. I model using the word wall.
Then the kids write facts on their owl paper.
Then the kids divide into three groups of equal numbers. They read their owl paper to the rest of the small group.