An 8-Step Lesson for Critical Thinking Featuring “Llama Llama” - MindWing Concepts, Inc.

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An 8-Step Lesson for Critical Thinking Featuring “Llama Llama”

by Sheila Zagula January 06, 2018 4 min read

Four Llama Llama Books
Llama Llama Mad At Mama
by Anna Dewdney is an early elementary favorite. The lesson below is geared to ending first grade/second, but of course, can be changed/modified to meet your student needs.

Critical Thinking Triangle in Action! SetThe Critical Thinking Triangle® In Action! tool has been a huge success with students in K-8.CTT in Action! cover The Critical Thinking Triangle® (CTT) is the crux of the Story Grammar Marker® methodology for students when working through their problems, comprehending stories presented in academic settings, or when formulating and expressing personal narratives.

If you are unfamiliar with The Critical Thinking Triangle® in Action! please click on the following links to review lessons using the selections...

— In addition, three recent webinars related to this topic are available —

Lesson Using Llama Llama Mad at Mama

  1. Have students discuss the title and Llama’s expression on the cover of the book. Students may want to use Feeling Frames (see blog, Using Feeling Thought Frames to Gauge Character’s Feelings) to demonstrate the Feeling.
  2. Book Cover and Feeling WordsBook Cover and Bookmarks 2Each child should use his/her CTT in Action! bookmark. Ask students to find the word mad , underline it, and then circle the synonyms associated with the word.

    List the words in order presented on a whiteboard and discuss how the words all relate to mad, with enraged being the strongest word that relates to feeling very angry/mad. Lead the discussion to fit your student needs (e.g., You may just be talking about mad, upset, and angry). Other feeling words (frustrated, unhappy, for example) may be discussed.

    Using Turn and Talk, students may share examples of times they have felt a certain way. Relate the feeling words to characters/events in previous stories read with students.
  3. Read the book to the students.
  4. Have the following materials from the CTT in Action! ready, depending on your students:
    • Large thought bubble and feelings icon
    • Feeling words for mad, annoyed, upset
    • Thought bubbles using the words think, know, and the blank
    • Wipe on/off marker
  5. Feeling and Thought Popsicle SticksFeeling and Thought Popsicle Sticks 2Feeling and Thought Popsicle Sticks 3Read pages 7 and 8. Model your thinking aloud. Ask, “What do you think Llama is thinking?” “Yes, he is thinking, I’m tired of standing here with all these big feet!” (Responses will vary). Write responses on the thought card either in sentence form or key words. Discuss how Llama is depicted in the picture on page 8. I chose annoyed, which would be one feeling word that may not be as familiar to students (again it will depend on your students). Put the feeling word annoyed in the pocket.

    Proceed with the following pages, 9-12...

    ...and pages 13-16.
  6. Invite a child to turn the pages of the book as you model/review with the thought bubbles and feeling words.
  7. Place the completed materials in a center. I like to make copies and create permanent materials to store and use for the following year, but that is up to you. Students can review with one another AND/OR...
Llama Drawing Page picture
Download Free Llama Feelings & Thoughts Drawing Page
  1. Use this free downloadable and set up as follows: Staple three papers the same size as the squares (I actually used sticky notes as I had some exactly the correct size) on the squares as shown. (You may also want to check out commercially made sticky notes of Thought Bubbles and Hearts to use with this activity, available on various sites online.)
  2. Llama Drawing Sample 1
  3. Have students write what Llama was thinking as modeled (the cards that you did with the class may be placed in order on the chalk tray or pocket chart for reference as needed), add Feeling words, and then color the Llama (drawing compliments of my daughter, Mary!). (See below.) Then, ask the students to share with one another and then take the completed project home and share!
  4. Llama Drawing Samples 2-3
    Extension: Reread pages 16-23
  5. Student Mat 1Using the CTT Student Mat, use the Kick-Off when momma tells Llama she is bored too, but is glad to be with him. That is a new Kick Off for Llama. Write it in the space provided as shown.
  6. Student Mat 2Student Mat 3Use the same procedure as above and discuss the thought process of Llama as shown in the following pictured sequence.
  7. Student Mat 4Write in the Plan: To enjoy his time with Mama (Be a team)

The CTT provides a visual scaffold to model through thought processes of characters, so critical in understanding motivations/perspectives, comprehending stories, and working out problems of our own… lifelong skills!

Critical Thinking Triangle in Action! SetThe Critical Thinking Triangle In Action! Set is available for $39.95 — Click here to purchase and add code LLAMABLOG for an additional 10% off!

Nana and Casey with LlamaLlama Mood ChartA Word on Llama Llama books by Anna Dewdney…. Maryellen’s granddaughter, Casey, is currently 3.5 years old. She LOVES the Llama Llama books: Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Llama Llama Grandma Grandpa, Llama Llama Time to Share are among her favorites.

As her “Great Aunt,” I introduced her to the Llama Llama books when she was two years old and she continues to enjoy them. When she had the chance to see real live llamas at the Big E (a state fair in New England), she was enthralled. We even noticed that the farm had a “Llama Mood Chart” posted so that we could interpret the body language and facial expressions of the llamas to convey their mood. This related directly to Casey’s knowledge of Llama Llama’s facial expressions and body language when he was “mad at Mama.”

Included above is a photo Maryellen and Casey petting a llama and, at right, a video of Nana (Maryellen), Pepere and Casey feeding a baby llama.

Wonderful text to life connections!

Sheila Zagula
Sheila Zagula

Sheila Zagula works with MindWing Concepts in product development, drawing on her expertise and talents as well as many years of implementing the Story Grammar Marker® and related materials. Her teaching career spans thirty-eight years, most recently as literacy coach in the Westfield Massachusetts Public School System. Sheila has experience as an early childhood educator, a teacher of children with special needs, and a collaborative instructor within an inclusion framework serving children in grades K-5.

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