Small Group Lesson: Strategies for Finding Meaning in Figurative Language from Ms. Scarborough on Vimeo.
Work Done Prior To This Lesson
The week prior to this lesson, students read “Go Fish” by Mary Stolz and were asked to determine the meaning of “swelling like a blowfish” in the context of the story and write out their response (work samples attached). Students who did not identify that the main character was “swelling like a blowfish” because he was proud were chosen for this figurative language strategies small group lesson. The students needing support in figurative language are reading at a variety of different levels from L to Q.
Students will use textual clues to determine the meaning of idioms in short passages. Students will discuss in group what they know about the idiom’s meaning and how they know it by referring to text clues. Students will identify and apply strategies that can be used to determine the meaning of unfamiliar figurative phrases in their future reading.
Common Core Standards
Reading: Literature - Craft and Structure:
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
Language - Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).
What the Students Will Do
Students will read passages from three different pieces of short text and identify the meaning of the figurative language phrases by stating what they know (the meaning) and how they know it (text clues) from each piece. Students will discuss the strategies they used to look for meaning.
What the Teacher Will Do
I will name and notice the strategies the students are using to find meaning in figurative language phrases. I will use the question stems: “What do you know?” and “How do you know it?” to facilitate what the brain thinks and encourage students to articulate the strategies they are using. This work will help students identify strategies that they can use in their independent reading.
Assessment of Small Group Meeting Student Needs
After the small group lesson I will write down the strategies the students developed collectively and independently along with my observations of their discussion and strategy work. This assessment can be used for next steps.
Students will use the strategies developed to find meaning in figurative language in their “just right” books and in shared texts with the class. I will plan on meeting with the same group of students during individual conferences to check in on the skill of identifying meaning in figurative language in their independent reading. I will also keep observation notes on their daily responding to literature classwork to identify students needing further support.