Lesson 5: Deepen Comprehension, Central Message-Short Story


Teacher Selected Narrative Literary Text Exemplars:

  • Continue with same short story as read in previous part

Associated Common Core State Standards

Standards Assessed In Independent Tasks

RL.3.1Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL.3.2Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

Standards Addressed In Guided Lessons

W.3.10Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
RF.3.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

  • Read grade-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression.
  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.
L.3.6Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).
SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
  • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
  • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
  • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
SL.3.2Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
SL.3.3Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
SL.3.6Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Sample Instructional Sequence

Teaching Note
Subsequent readings and related instruction are to move students into deeper comprehension and analyses of the text toward the relevant CCSS.

Teacher Accesses Prior Knowledge – Literacy Questions

Teacher draws on students’ prior knowledge (if appropriate) of central message and how central messages are conveyed through key details.

  • What is a central message in a text?
  • How is a central message conveyed through key details in a story?

Whole Group Instruction

Teacher provides students with a short explanation of what a central message is and how it is developed through key details in a textDifferentiation Note: EL Support
EL students might brainstorm different kinds of messages with which they are familiar such as e-mail messages, voicemail messages, etc. to develop an understanding of the term “message.” Teacher may point out how “central” is derived from the word “center.” Teacher may consider creating a visual aid that demonstrates how a central message is a message around which a piece of writing is centered.
. This discussion includes a brief explanation of how to use key details in a text to explain the central message. These ideas are further clarified through the think aloud that follows.

Teacher Model

Using the short story students have been reading, the teacher models how to determine a central message by using a think aloud to think through the events of the story and what happens to the characters. Using a graphic organizer (Graphic Organizer: Lesson 5) projected on the board, the teacher writes in the central message and then begins to think aloud while selecting key details that convey the central message, making explicit the process for selecting key details from the text to support a central message. Teacher models how to select details from the beginning, middle, and end of the textDifferentiation Note: Support for Struggling Readers
Using a document reader or overhead projector, the teacher may mark the text, showing students specifically where in the text they may find key details that convey a central message. This guides struggling readers explicitly through the process of finding and using textual evidence.
that convey the central message.

Whole Group Discussion and Charting of Thinking

Students reflect on the teacher model by stating what they saw and heard the teacher doing and thinking about as he/she went about determining a central message and selecting key details from across the text as evidence to support the central message. Teacher charts student responses and extends students’ understanding by asking follow-up questions. Students copy teacher chart to use as a reference for future work.

Trio Discussion and Charting of Thinking

Using the same process that the teacher modeled, students work in trios to determine another central message from the story. Using a graphic organizer, students work in trios to chart how the central message is developed over the text, citing key details that convey the central message from the beginning, middle, and end of the story and referring back to the notes from the whole group discussion as needed for guidance.

Whole Group Discussion of Charting

Students share their organizers with the class and the teacher facilitates follow-up discussion.

Individual Work-Teacher Assess Knowledge

To further assess students’ understanding of central message, students write short responses to the questions that were asked at the beginning of the lesson.

  • What is a central message in a text?
  • How is central message conveyed through key details in a stDifferentiation Note: General Differentiation
    This is a point in the lesson where the teacher may check in with individual students to assess where individuals are in the process of understanding what a central message is and how it is conveyed through key details. If some students are still struggling in this area, the teacher may pull aside a small group for additional instruction.

Written Reflection and Trio Share

Using the guiding questions below, students independently write a short reflection on how their trio determined a central message and showed how the message was conveyed through key details. They then share their written reflections with their trio members.

  • How did you determine a central message in the text?
  • How did you identify key details that conveyed this central message?
  • What did you do to show how the key details connect to the central message?

Formative Assessment

Teacher uses results of the guided lesson to determine patterns about what students can do and on what they need further instruction and practice. Such further instruction and practice would use additional narrative literary text(s), which adhere(s) to text selection guidelines as noted previously, prior to completing the independent classroom task.