Saturday, November 10, 2012

Common Core Comprehension Ideas!

Are any of ya'll using this???
Its a common core curriculum map that takes all of the Common Core ELA standards and spreads them out into six, six-week units per grade level. I had a hard time using this book at first but my team and I are finally beginning to make sense of how to use it. Luckily for us our librarian ordered all of the read-a-louds that go with each unit. The only problem was there weren't any lessons that went along with it. Just suggested texts and a few ideas. So, what I'm currently working on is creating comprehension lessons that go along with the suggested read-a-louds and targeted ELA standards. Curently we are in unit 2: The Amazing Animal World. Here is what I've come up with so far:
I started with the fabulous Kevin Henkes, and this common core standard: RL.1.2: Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of the central message or lesson.
First I read the story. Then we turned to a partner and told our partner details that we remembered from the story. Next we made an anchor chart of how to retell a story {sorry I forgot to take a pic but I will add it in later}. We practiced retelling the story to our partner. Then we went back to our desks to retell the story of Kitten's First Full Moon using beginning, middle, and end on moon circles that I had previously had cut out. We added a sweet little cat, some white stars and had ourselves a beautifully displayed retell of our story.


Click here to download the kittens.
Since informational texts are such an important component to common core this book was my next focus along with this standard:
RI.1.5 Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.
To teach key details and main idea/topic I read the first few pages of the book above which was about  (what do you do with a nose like this?) As a class I wrote nose in the middle of my chart paper and jotted down the key details that the students remembered, enforcing how the key details help us retell a nonfiction story.
The next day I reviewed what we had learned yesterday and read the pages "what do you do with a tail like this?" Using sticky notes students had to write four key details from the story and write the topic in the middle. Feel free to use this template or if you want to save your copies, have them do it on regular notebook paper. Either way works great!
 The next day I read the rest of the book {what to do with ears, feet, and eyes like this}. I assigned each table a topic {ears, feet, or eyes} and together they had to discuss their topic and work as a table to write key details on a sticky note. Their discussion was important so that they didn't all write the same key detail on their sticky.
The next lesson I wrote worked on the same RI standard except instead of students finding the key details, this time I wanted them to focus on finding the main idea or topic of a nonfiction story. I used this amazing nonfiction book that had the students rivited.
After I read the story I had students turn and talk to an elbow buddy about all the key details that they remembered from the story. Then I called on several students to share what they remembered. After we had collected several key details I had students turn and talk to their buddy again about what they thought the main idea of the book was {of course I had the book hidden}. Last as a formative assessement I asked students to write the main idea of the story on a sticky and put it on my ticket out the door poster. Amazingly, everyone got it right in their own words!!!
Ok, my time is officially up aka little handsome woke up from his nap. I will be back soon with more comprehension lessons. I've got one more that I taught yesterday that I'm dying to share using a book about earthworms. Hope this was helpful!


  1. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  2. So glad you shared this. I have the book. I've looked through it. But I'm not really using it. Thank you for the ideas of how you are using it.

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  3. I am also a first grade teacher in NC and found your blog while searching for more ideas on Unit 2. We felt the same way you and your team did when we first began using the book. I "think" we have a good plan now. Thank you for sharing your ideas and I look forward to more.

  4. I love your ideas for the non-fiction unit, which I am covering now in first grade. I am being observed on Friday. At first, I was nervous about doing "main idea", but I think these are great books that you chose and I feel confident my students will love them! Please share more when you get a chance!

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