Hammer Grammar  

Reading to Learn

Yvonne Flanary

Rationale: Children can use story grammar in comprehension. When they understand how stories work, they can use story grammar to expect key story events. For example, when a character becomes embroiled in a problem, they can expect a solution. Today the students will learn about story grammar by completing a story grammar assessment. They will answer questions about the setting, main characters, goal or problem, plot events, and resolution.

Materials: paper, pencils, copy of Sarah, Plain and Tall, a chapter book by Patricia MacLachlan, published by Harper Collins INC. for each child, story grammar question worksheet. The worksheet could be teacher written about the main parts of the story such as the setting, main characters, goal or problem, plot events, and resolution. 

Assessment Sheet:

Where is the setting in the story?


Who are the main characters?

What is the goal or problem?

What is the plot events in the story?

What is the resolution?


1.Start your lesson with a review of story grammar. "We are going to start today by reviewing story grammar. Why do we need to learn about story grammar read? That is correct so we can comprehend what we are reading and understand how stories work. When we are learning about story grammar, we are learning a lot of new information about the story. Story grammar teaches you about the different parts of the story. Today, we are going to learn about story grammar, which is a new way to understand what we are reading. Who knows what story grammar is? That is a great point, story grammar is the different parts that of the story that helps you to learn about key events."

2. "There are five different items to write down when you are thinking about story grammar."
* Setting
* Main Characters
* Goal or Problem
* Plot Events
* Resolution

3. The next step is to introduce the book Sarah Plain and Tall. As the teacher, I will read the first chapter aloud to the class. After I finish reading the first chapter, I will model how to understand story grammar. "I need everyone to take out their pencil and paper please. On the board, I am going to write the title of the book Sarah Plain and Tall. Then coming out of that circle I am going to write some of the important events that took place in the chapter. Who knows what some of the important aspects of the first chapter were? That is a great one. I am going to write the characters. There is Anna, her father Jacob Witting, her brother Caleb, and Sarah. A key thing to remember is we must only pick out the important things in the chapter and to refer back to the rules of writing story grammar." Then I will also come out of the circle again and list the goal or problem, plot events, and resolution. I will have the students write down my example on their paper so that they may refer back to it if they need to.

4. "Let's read chapter two of Sarah Plain and Tall. Together I want us all to write down the setting, main characters, goal or problem, plot events, and resolution of chapter two. (Model story grammar strategy if they are still having trouble) This  will make it easier to understand the story grammar of the book being read.

5. "By looking at what you have written and  answering  the questions, you can understand how story grammar helps with comprehension.

6. "Since we have gone over the first two chapters together and learned about story grammar, I want you all to read the third chapter and use the five different rules of story grammar and the sheet of paper that you have your example written on to try it by yourself. When everyone is done, we will go over our story grammar  together and be sure everyone is understanding the different parts of the story of the third chapter."

7. Extended Vocabulary Review

Word 1: Dusk. Say: "Dusk means the time of day before it gets dark; Around 4:00 in the winter; 7: 30-8: 30 in the summer; Example: I usually turn my lights on at dusk. Ask a question like: Are you more likely to turn your porch light on earlier during the winter or the summer? Open-ended sentence: I usually turn my porch light on earlier during the winter time because it gets dark earlier. 

Teacher would also go over the following vocabulary in the same format: troublesome, stew, snored, turnips, mild mannered, melt, braid, fogbound, pesky, hush, plain, hitch, fetch, woodchuck, paws, lonely, preacher, bunches, nest, bark, turke buzzard, and scared.

Assessment: Take up the students' story grammar worksheet and read over them to make sure they understand how to story grammar. Have a checklist so that you will know if the students understand story grammar and what areas they still need help in.

Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, Harper Collins, 1985.

Warren, Sarah http://auburn.edu/~skw0012/WarrenRL.htm

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