Focus Question: How can a reader draw a conclusion based on literary elements?
Activate prior knowledge by asking students to think about the story Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Tell students that Goldilocks uses the bears’ furniture, eats their porridge, and sleeps in the bears’ beds. Point out that we know from our own experience that this behavior is not appropriate or the right thing to do. Ask students if, by using Goldilocks’s actions and our own experiences, we can draw the conclusion that Goldilocks probably does not have very good manners and is impolite. When students are engaged, begin the lesson on drawing conclusions.
Ask, “What does it mean to draw a conclusion?” (using different pieces of information from the text to come up with something new; making a reasoned judgment about something by using knowledge or evidence, personal experience, opinions, observations, and facts about something different but related)
Display on the screen the Cinderella Stories Chart (L-5-1-2_Cinderella Stories Chart_teacher.xlsx).
“Look at what we have written for the setting of the story Cendrillon: island in the Caribbean Sea.” Continue reviewing the information for the setting of each of the other stories read by the class, asking students from each small group to share the setting information.
Then ask, “What conclusion can we draw about all the settings in our stories?” (One possible conclusion is that folklore usually takes place long ago or exists in the past.) Have students write that conclusion on their Comparing Folklore Charts (L-5-1-2_Comparing Folklore Chart_student.xlsx). Model this on your teacher/class copy of the Cinderella Stories Chart by using the projected version on the screen. Tell students that they are making connections across texts in order to draw these conclusions.
Move to the Characters section. Follow the same process of having students share information about the characters for each of the stories read by the class. Then ask, “What conclusion can be drawn about the characters in the stories we have read?” (They have a problem and solve it in the end; they have someone who helps them.)
Have students work in pairs to write a conclusion about the remaining literary elements on the Comparing Folklore Chart. Have pairs share their conclusions with the class.
Focus on conclusions students have drawn about theme. Ask, “How does understanding literary elements help you draw conclusions about theme?” (The ways characters interact and resolve conflicts help the reader determine the theme of a story.)
Discuss how drawing conclusions can improve our understanding of the text and how it helps the reader understand what the author has written even when it is not stated directly in the story. Discuss with students how connections across texts can be made, whether texts are read simultaneously or at different times.
- Have students who are ready to move beyond the standard find other versions of the Cinderella story or other folklore they have read, either on the Internet or in a book. Ask them to identify whether the conclusions the class wrote about theme hold true if this new story is added to the chart. Have students add a column to their chart for this new story and complete the information.
- If additional practice is needed for drawing conclusions or making connections between texts, ask students if they recognize the theme of the Cinderella story in any modern stories they have read or seen in movies or on TV programs. These could be discussed as a group or as a class, analyzed on a chart, or written individually. Have students respond in writing to one of the Cinderella stories they have read, stating what they liked or disliked, identifying literary elements, and explaining the reasons for their opinions.
- Students could also compose, individually or in groups, their own modern Cinderella story and explain its connections to the folklore.