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January 14, 2016


Understanding Novels / Chapter Books with SGM

The Big Wave Book Cover

This year, one of our website goals is to provide lessons using novels, chapters from chapter books, short stories and, yes, picture books for clinicians and teachers who work with middle and high school students who are in need of discourse level language development services. On our yearly visit to each of the boroughs of New York City in December, 2015, many participants asked for such “higher level” examples.

It is important to note that picture books are key to development of narrative thought, social communication and inference building through the recognition of literary elements such as feelings, plans, mental states of characters through the coupling of illustrations and text. Often the clues to these vital elements are not visible when illustrations are not available...

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January 12, 2016


Setting Activity—The Little House

The Little House Book CoverThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton was first published in 1942 but remains a favorite of many. It tells the story of a Little House — from the house’s perspective — that is located in the country, is lived in, and surrounded by beauty.

As the Little House sees the distant lights of the city, she wonders what it would be like to live in the city, and as time goes on, she finds the city growing until she is surrounded by it and no one lives in her anymore...

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December 08, 2015


Reading Lessons and Blogs About the Winter Season

Winter Lessons GraphicWe recently posted a blog using the SGM® Setting Map with the four seasons:

With the official first day of the winter season right around the corner, check out some of these blogs and lessons that you may want to use with your students!

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December 04, 2015


Winter’s Coming! Narrative/Expository Setting Lesson

Read several poems or books of your choice about the four seasons to the children. After reading, hold a brief discussion with the students about what they like about a particular season.

Have the children break into four groups. Using chart paper, label one for each season next to the setting icon. Ask the groups to rotate from one “season” to another and brainstorm all the words that the particular season makes them think of. Have one student be the recorder for each group and have each group use a different color maker...

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December 01, 2015


Compare and Contrast Characters

“Miss Nelson is Missing” CoverMiss Nelson Is Missing, written by Harry Allard and illustrated by James Marshall, is one of my favorites for comparing characters. It is a book that may be used at a variety of levels. Read the story for enjoyment. After, discuss the “two” characters, Miss Nelson and Miss Swamp.

Fill out individual character maps for each character or fill out one map for both characters as shown below which was done with a third grade class. Have children talk about the map(s) with one another.

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November 20, 2015


Part 3: “Hilda Must Be Dancing” and “Giraffes Can’t Dance” — Compare/Contrast (cont.)

Word Cards on SticksGive each child a completed map identical to the one on your white board and on the reverse side have ready a map with just a blank template for drawing.

Ask the children to look at the side with the text and review the compare/contrast items they came up with in the previous lesson. Make, and have ready, several baggies containing the compare/contrast words presented yesterday and ask students to place them in front of them, as shown.

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November 16, 2015


Part 2: “Hilda Must Be Dancing” and “Giraffes Can’t Dance” — Compare and Contrast

Blank Perspective MapReview the two stories with the children using the narrative icons/map and present the Compare/Contrast Map on a white board (or chart paper, depending on your situation). I set it all up ahead of time.

Begin by explaining the map to the children. Then, suggest that we start thinking of ways the two stories are the same/different using the SGM retelling icons. Start with the Character icon. Ask the children how Hilda and Gerald are the same/different...

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