Monday, May 25, 2015

Introduction to Laura Ingalls Wilder

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Joy Butler

Subject Area: Communication Arts/Reading/Literature

Grade Range: Upper Elementary (4-5)

Materials Needed:

  • Large piece of white paper for each group
  • A marker for each group
  • Articles on Laura Ingalls Wilder from the Internet and Encarta


  1. Students gain information on an author by using K (know) W (want to know) L (what I learned).

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.1 develop questions and ideas to initiate and refine research
  • Goal 4.1 explain reasoning and identify information used to support decisions

Content Standards:

  • Communication Arts 3. Reading and evaluating nonfiction works and material (such as biographies, newspap...)

    Time Allowance: varies

    Description: Students gain information on an author by using K (know) W (want to know) L (what I learned).

    Classroom Component: To begin this lesson we need to determine the cooperative groups that will be working together. To do this we will be using the Kagan Strategy of Line-Up.

    Line Up Directions:

    • Students line up according to criteria specified. (birthdays, height, agree/disagree etc.)
    • Students could be directed to do line up silently, thereby having to rely on gestures.
    • Discussions could take place in a number of ways: partners beside each other, split the line, fold the line.
    • Random groups can now be formed.
    I chose for my children to silently line up by height. Then I folded the line in half and I made my groups. This gave my children a time to move around and use skills of communicating without talking.

    Once the groups were established, they gathered themselves in a working place and I gave them instructions as to what I wanted them to do. We did a sample of KWL on the board so they were familiar with it. I gave each group a marker and a large piece of white paper to put their findings on. They were to put a KWL down the left hand side of the white paper leaving a big space between each letter. I asked them to have at least 5 or 6 pieces of information under each letter. Each person must submit at least one of those. Then I had them complete the K and W of the chart first. I allowed about 10 minutes for this part. It was interesting to watch them in this new group. You learn a lot about your children as you watch them work together.

    Prior to this lesson I had looked up Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Internet and Encarta and printed some articles for the students to read. A second strategy that was used at this time was Jigsaw Within a Team. The directions are:

    • Individually: each student on the team has a different aspect of an assignment that s/he masters; students should have strategies for:
      • learning the material
      • teaching the material to others
      • checking to ensure that their teammates
      • understand the material.
    • Share: each student shares the new material to his teammates.
    • Individual accountability: each student is required to demonstrate his/her knowledge of all the new material shared.
    At this time I gave them each a part of the article about Laura I. Wilder and ask them to read it and answer their questions under the W of the chart. They are to put this information under the L of the chart. I gave them about 20 minutes to read and record what they as a group had learned.

    As an assessment we shared as a group what they had learned. Each group got up and they all shared one thing they learned that they did not already know. They soon found out that some of the things they thought they knew were either correct or incorrect. I also listened to my groups as they collected their information and was able to see which ones were doing what I asked and which ones were just trying to hurry through it. There was not any individual assessment to be done.

    students working on project

    For additional information contact :
    Joy Butler
    Putnam Co. Elem.
    Putnam Co. R-I
    (660) 947-2494

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