Grade: Elementary

#3631. Fireflies

Reading/Writing, level: Elementary
Posted Tue Jan 31 09:10:41 PST 2006 by Alyssa Mauro (
Secliff Elem, Huntington Beach, USA
Materials Required: Chalkboard, Chalk, Enlarged poster of the word web from the previous lesson, Two enlarged posters o
Activity Time: 30-45 mintes (1 class period)
Concepts Taught: student will be able to write their own paragraph that includes a main idea and supportive details t

The Lesson
Gaining Attention:
• Read the fireflies paragraph backwards out loud to the class where the details and main ideas are all out of order.
• Tell the students to listen carefully. Ask them to pay attention to what is wrong with this paragraph:
o She calls them lightning bugs. Grandmother likes to watch fireflies too. They look like dancing stars. Fireflies are easy to catch. When I visit my grandfather in the summertime, we sit outdoors after supper and watch them. Why I like fireflies.
• Discuss as class what is wrong with this paragraph. Read again if necessary. State that the paragraph contains all the elements we are looking for: main idea, topic, and supporting details. So what is wrong?
• Once the students figure out what is wrong with the Fireflies paragraph, have them trace their hand in their journal.
• The palm of the hand will symbolize the main idea and each finger will symbolize the supporting details.
• Have the students diagram on their hand diagram the main ideas and supporting details of the Fireflies paragraph.
• Using an Enlarged poster of a hand on the board, have the students come up to the board and write out a piece of their outline on the poster.
• Discuss as a class the results (see insert for answers)
• Discuss with the class that this is a way that we are able to organize our ideas when we write our own paragraph.

Informing Learners of the Objectives:
• Today, students you will learn how to write a paragraph that includes a topic, main idea, and multiple details similar to the one we read about Fireflies.
• In addition, students you will learn about rubrics and what it takes to get a 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 in writing.
• Discuss with the class the importance of knowing how to write effectively. Writing is something that we will use all the time for the rest of our lives.

Recall and Review of Prerequisite Knowledge:
• Review the concept of a topic, main idea, and details in a paragraph.
• On the board hang the enlarged poster of the word web containing the questions on fireflies presented in the previous lesson.
• Have the students partner up (groups of 2 or 3) and answer the four questions in their journals:
o What other names are fireflies called?
o When do you see fireflies?
o What do fireflies look like?
o Where do you find them?
• In addition to those questions, the groups will come up with two additional questions that deal with something they learned previously that they want to ask the rest of the class.
• As the teacher, I will get the ball rolling with these examples (higher level questioning):
o What is a main idea?
o Why do you need details?
o What is the difference between main idea and detail?
o How many details were there in the Fireflies story?
o What was the main idea in the Fireflies story?
• Once completed, someone from the group will come up to the board and write out the answers and new questions created on the enlarged poster.
• As a class, we will wrap up this activity by going over the answers and talking about the new questions and answers.

Presenting the Stimulus Material:
• Discuss with the class about what a rubric is and what it takes to get a 4, 3, 2, 1, or 0 on a piece of writing
• Using a new enlarged poster of a hand, as a class create an outline that can be used as an example of a new paragraph (guided instruction).
• Using that outline, as class write a paragraph about the new topic.
• As a class, come up with a score for the paragraph using the rubric scale.
• Individually, have the students make another hand diagram in their journals on a topic that they want to write about:
o Family
o Sports
o Toys
• Have the students share their ideas with a partner.

Eliciting the Desired Behavior:
• Now that the students have come up with an outline of their paragraph, have them construct a paragraph using that information and the rubric scale.
• The students will use the next page in their journals to write out their paragraph
• As the teacher, I will give the option to the students of either sharing with their partner orally or they can switch journals with their partners and read the paragraph silently (Differentiation).
• Once completed, have the student share (whichever way is more comfortable) with a partner.
• Switch to a new partner. Have your new partner highlight the topic, main idea and details in your paper and vice versa.
• Together, they will assess their paragraphs using the rubric scale and come up with a grade for themselves or each other.

Providing Feedback:
• Feedback is given throughout the entire lesson.
• Students are observed and given feedback (by the teacher) in the Recalling information stage when they volunteer information that was learned previously.
• Students are also observed and given feedback when going over the hand and word web diagram/organizer as a class.
• In the presenting Stimulus Materials, students are observed and given feedback as a group and individually while working on the carrot organizer.
• Students are given feedback by their peers when they share their ideas on their new paragraph.
• In the Eliciting Desired behavior, students are given feedback by both the teacher and his/her peers as well as them when going over the final paragraph product.

Assessing the Behavior:
• The objective will be assessed throughout the entire lesson.
• The objective will be assessed by:
o Visually observing
o Grading the graphic organizer in their journals
o Grading the final paragraph by use of the rubric scale and personal notes.