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    Demo Lesson
    By Jen

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    I currently teach 4th grade in NJ and I was looking to switch schools. I did a 3rd grade demo lesson this afternoon and was offered the job tonight, so I wanted to share the lesson with you. It can really be used in any grade level because I did it with my fourth graders and just used a higher level of questioning. The principal told me that he wanted to see a 30 minute literacy lesson. I used the book Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco. I began the lesson by asking students to brainstorm a time when they had difficulty learning something new. After they shared their experiences we made predictions based on the title and cover and discussed how my question about learning something new might relate to the story. I had a large cut out of a person hanging next to me and I told the students that we would be looking for character changes throughout the book. As I read the story I paused for questioning and to record character changes on the character cut out. I used 3 different color markers to describe the character in the beginning, middle, and end. By the end of the story the character was covered in descriptive words and we analyzed how she changed throughout the story. I then used homemade spinners to review the different comprehension skills. The spinners were made by taking a circle and dividing it into 8 parts. Each section of the circle had a different question relating to the book. Questions included things like.. theme, personal or text to text connections, setting, lessons learned, character analysis, summarizing key events, whether or not you would recommend the book, etc. I simply made a few photocopies of the circle and then cut them out and laminated them after mounting them on cardstock. The students used them by holding a paperclip in the center with a pencil and then flicking the paper clip. I had the children work in groups and it was a great way for them to discuss the book while including all of the reading strategies. At the end I left the teacher with stationary I had made that said Thank You_________ at the top and I told her the kids could write a thank you letter to someone using the theme from the story. I met with the principal and a few of the teachers after the demo and they all loved the lesson. A few of the teachers said they were going to steal the spinner idea and use it with their classes. Good luck with your demo and I hope this gives you some ideas


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