Ann Reid Young
Reading to Learn

The Gray Wolf Story Pyramid






Rationale: By the time a child learns how to read it is time for a child to learn why they are reading, and that reason is to learn.  This lesson is intended to help students with comprehension and understanding of an article.  In this lesson students will be reading an expository text to learn.  The children will practice summarizing what they read through different activities and thoughtful instruction.  The main activity will help the students to recognize main ideas and details for this nonfiction story.  It will also help them practice using correct spelling for frequently used sight vocabulary and uncommon vocabulary and apply correct principles of grammar.

Materials: A copy of the article “Gray Wolf” by the National Wildlife Foundation for each student; paper and pencil; chalk and chalkboard; story pyramid worksheet:                                 ___
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Procedure: 1. First the teacher will do a pre-reading lesson with the students.  The teacher will tell the students that they are going to read an article on gray wolves.  Questions will be asked by the teacher to let the students predict and express what they think they already know about wolves and what they might be reading about.  The questions will be: What kind of family do gray wolves come from? (dog, coyote, wolf), What do they eat? (meat eaters, grazing animals), Where do they live? (North America, Northern Europe and Asia), Typically how big are they? (almost 80 pounds).  The teacher will write the students input on the board so they can keep up with their predictions.

2. The students will then be given a copy of “Gray Wolf”.  They will be instructed to read it silently and underline important details in the story.  The teacher will explain this by saying, "silent reading is when you read quietly to yourself all by yourself,  take as long as you need to and sit quietly until everyne is done".

3. The students will then be given the story pyramid worksheet.  The worksheet will have 8 lines at the top of the page in the shape of a pyramid.  The first line will be one word that describes what the article is about.  The second line will have two words about the introductory paragraph.  The third line will have three words about the gray wolves and their packs.  The fourth line will have four words about the wolves mating and their pups.  The fifth line will have five more words about the pups.  The sixth line will have six words about the wolves territory and food.  The seventh line will have seven words about the wolves communicating.  The eighth line will have eight words about where they are from and their population.  The teacher will draw the pyramid on the board and what they are supposed to write on each line as a guide.

4. After the students have completed the pyramid with their description words they will be instructed to write their summary.  At the bottom of the worksheet will be lines for a paragraph.  The students have to write a sentence for each line in the pyramid using the words.  When the students get down to the bigger lines of the pyramid they can break it up into two sentences even three if they need to.

5. Last the teacher will take up the pyramids and paragraphs and then ask the students questions.  The teacher will ask a variety of questions such as what they liked and disliked about the story pyramid and did it help with their understanding of the story.  Also, the teacher will review with the class about what they learned from the story and how accurate they were with their predictions and the actual facts.  The students will share what they learned from the story.

Assessment: The teacher will review the pyramids and paragraphs to see what the students learned.  The teacher will grade according to whether the students used good, descriptive words from the story and followed directions for their pyramid .  Also, the teacher will check to see if the students wrote good sentences with the description words.

References: “Gray Wolf”.  www.nwf.org/wildthornberrys/graywolf.html
www.lessonplanspage.com/LAStoryPyramid2.htm

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