How To Use “Narwhal Makes A Sandwich” to Teach Story Structure & Infor - MindWing Concepts, Inc.

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How To Use “Narwhal Makes A Sandwich” to Teach Story Structure & Information Text

by Sheila Zagula July 20, 2017 3 min read 1 Comment

Maryellen with Book and Note

Maryellen recently received a very special package at her MindWing office in Springfield, MA. Inside was a lovely note along with a recently published children’s book, Narwhal Makes a Sandwich.

Note from Authors

Narwhal Makes a Sandwich Book Cover

This book is written by Laura Addington, a Speech Language Pathologist, and Aryn Franklin, an Occupational Therapist, and illustrated by Tara Put, also a Speech Language Pathologist. As written in the note, they used the Story Grammar Marker® to scaffold their story!

We thought you would enjoy this selection
outlined as a Complete Episode:

  • Setting: Arctic Ocean
  • Kick-Off: Narwhal is sick and tired of his usual lunch (Bringing in expository information on what narwhals eat)
  • Internal Response: frustrated (a thought bubble is presented with a scribble which certainly shows frustration and being “sick and tired”)
  • Plan: Decides to make a sandwich—the greatest sandwich the Arctic Ocean has ever seen! (A mindfulness activity, see reference on the site mentioned below: Closes his eyes, takes a deep breath, and makes a quiet picture inside his head of what the sandwich might look like)
  • Action: Looks-searches, explores, scours (great vocabulary words to check out!) for the freshest ingredients
  • Action: Collects all the ingredients
  • Action: Makes the sandwich – (uses sequence words and description of each ingredient):
  1. Bread
  2. (2 slices) Salami
  3. (3 leaves) Kale
  4. (4 slices) Cheese
  5. (5) Pickles
  6. Bread AND
  7. One stinky sock for good luck on top!
  • Direct Consequence: Eats the sandwich in one big bite
  • Resolution: Burps! (Students are sure to get a chuckle!) Looks content!

Also, there is a "Narwhal Activities" website included in the book that has free, supplemental materials/suggestions. Below are pictures that were downloaded from the site and used with the SGM Universal Magnets (Narrative and Expository) to sequence the creation of “The Greatest Narwhal Sample 1Sandwich The Arctic Ocean has Ever Seen!” After sequencing with the magnets, you could use the book, sequence words, and Braidy to discuss the story. (Or use the Cohesive Tie JARgon Activity Kit or the Our Friend Braidy Interactive Poster!)

After reading the selection, invite the children to name ingredients and then show them placed in random order on the magnetic white board.

Below, the ingredients are placed in a list form.

Sample 2

And below, the ingredients are now in sequence.

Sample 3

Additional Resources

We’ve included a few other additional resources you may be interested in:

Whales Book CoverWhales written by Gail Gibbons. Pictured below is a completed Descriptive Map for older students on whales using the Gibbon’s selection. This would be a nice book to pair with Narwhal Makes a Sandwich!

Descriptive Map Sample

Whale Trails Book CoverWhale Trails, Before and Now written by Lesa Cline-Ransome. This is an interesting look at the history of whaling and whale watching as well as efforts to protect whales. It is told through the eyes of a young girl (color illustrations by G. Brian Karas) whose father is captain of a whale watching boat. Simultaneously, she also relates the story of her ancestors (illustrations in sepia tones) who hunted whales. A great selection for Compare/Contrast. The book includes expository information in the Author’s Note section at the end of the book, a glossary, and suggestions for further readings.

Face to Face with Whales Book CoverFace To Face With Whaleswritten by Flip and Linda Nicklin, a wonderful expository selection with fabulous photos. One of sections at the end of the book invites students to get involved in protecting whales. There is also a Facts At A Glance section which recaps information.

And check out this National Geographic Kids website that is specifically devoted to narwhals.

Thank you Laura, Aryn and Tara for sharing this with us.

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.

1 Response

Marina Minasian
Marina Minasian

July 22, 2017

This looks like a fantastic tool to have in the classroom. It is multi-sensory, which should be, in order to reach our diverse student population. I teach PreK and run the literacy development for my school (PS- 5). I would love to use this part of our curriculum to address various learning levels..

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