Planning for an Interactive Read Aloud
Teacher pre-reads and plans intentional stopping points during the read aloud. Teacher plans intentional stops by ‘putting him/herself into the head of their learners’ and thinking about what in the text will be challenging for their learners or what she/he hopes their learners will walk away knowing about the text—these items help the teacher determine where to stop and think aloud.
These stops are not questions for students to answer. Teacher shares his/her thinking (the whats, hows and whys of their
thinking) and then invites learners through an open-ended prompt/question to respond, first to themselves, then through a turn and talk with the person next to them, and then through a ‘sharing out’ with the class.
Opening - Activate Prior Knowlege
Think about a time when you wanted to buy something, but you or your parents didn‘t have the money. Maybe it was a game or a toy. Maybe you wanted to get a gift for someone, but didn’t have the money to get them anything.
Students first respond to themselves, then through a turn and talk with the person next to them, and then, if fiction through a ‘sharing out’ with the class.
Remembering how you felt about ____will help you better understand how the character feels in this story when she has no money to buy presents for Christmas.
Our story today is a special kind of fictional or made up story called a folktale. As good readers, we know that when we read a folktale, we are reading a story that has been shared and passed down from one person to another.
When we read this type of book, we know it’s probably set long ago and need to get our brains ready to pay special attention to the setting, where it takes place and what the folktale is explaining.
- Altar- The first word I want to teach you is alter. Say it with me. Say it to…. An altar is where many Christian churches have offerings placed. The main altar is typically in the front of a church and the priest may stand there. In this story, people come to the altar with a gift.
- Transform- The second word I want to teach you is transform. Say it to…. Some of you are probably thinking of Transformers, the shape changing robot-like aliens. Transform is what the transformers do when they change . So, transform means to change. In this story, Juanita’s gift transforms right before her eyes.
Making Predictions About the Title and Cover Illustrations
As I think about the title and illustrations, I find that I am wondering where she gets the first poinsettia and why it’s a miracle. These wonderings make me want to read on.
Intentional Instructional Teaching Moments
Pg. 1 Remember how you felt when you couldn’t buy something you wanted. Remembering how you felt will help you understand how Juanita is feeling. Show with your face how Juanita is feeling when she cannot buy her little brothers a piñata.
Pg. 4 Show with your face how Juanita is feeling about not having a gift to take to church with her.
Pg. 5 As readers, we are using the author’s words and illustrations to make a movie of what is happening in the story. I am feeling the warmth of the cooking fire and the soft dirt floor of their home. I am smelling the fresh tortillas cooking on the fire. I am seeing the glow of the fire. Making this movie in my mind helps me better understand the story and remember the details when I have finished reading.
Pg. 10 As good readers we find ourselves thinking about what is going to happen next. We are predicting what the next event will be. We think about everything that has happened so far in the story and we use this information to help us predict what will happen next.” (Go back and use the pictures of the book to do a quick retell of the story.)
*** When you read on, remind children, “If your prediction did not match the author’s, that’s OK- but now your job is to make sure you change it to match the author’s story.”
Link to future book selection:
In this folktale, we learned a very important lesson with Juanita. If you’d like to read more folktales, you will find them in the folktales section in our library, which is largely in the non-fiction section 300, or you can ask Ms. Bliquez where you can find folklore.
If you liked the illustrator, you can find other books he has illustrated including The Secret Footprints by Julia Alvarez.