Unit 2: Lesson 1
Unit 2: Lesson 1
Introduce the Unit, Instruct on Visualization & the Drawing Techniques of Line, Shape, Value, & Depth
By the end of this lesson students will be able to use visualization to understand the story.
Literacy "I Can" Statement
"I can use visualization to help me understand the story."
|Steps||Pacing: 60 Minutes|
A4L Student Notebooks
Life & Learning Skills
Unit 2 includes the following Life & Learning Skills:
-critical and analytic thinking
Differentiation Options will appear throughout the unit to suggest ways to scaffold or challenge student learning. Use the number of helping hands to select the level of differentiation that best supports student learning.
Highest level of scaffolding. Select this option if students are learning strategies for the first time, if the text is challenging for them, or if students require more guidance during activities. The Unit is written for the highest level of scaffolding.
Moderate scaffolding. Select this option if students require some support comprehending the text or navigating the activity.
Least amount of scaffolding/Extending the instruction. Select this option if students are ready to work more independently, move more quickly through the material, or are ready for additional challenge.
ELL Support Comprehensible Input
Support ELL language development and comprehension by starting with a short vocabulary lesson using Vocabulary Snapshots to provide multi-sensory pre-learning for words that may be unfamiliar to culturally diverse students. Click for a sample lesson plan. Vocabulary Snapshots are in the students’ Unit Texts before each reading.
Key instructional steps where the arts are used to leverage literacy-learning (and vice versa) are marked with . Smaller leveraging moments also occur throughout the lessons.
Process: Start the Graphic Story Adventures! unit by talking with students about graphic novels. Then explain the purpose and activities of the unit by walking students through the Unit Overview for Students, which will help them know where they are in the learning process. Hand out the A4L Student Notebooks and Unit 2 Texts.
Introduce Unit and Distribute Materials
Process: Give an overview of the lesson objectives. Read chapter 1 of My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett, learn how to visualize using clues from the text, and learn the drawing techniques of line, shape, value, and depth.
Introduce Lesson 1
"Today we are going to begin an adventure story called My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett, and learn several drawing techniques to help us show what’s happening in the story."
"By the end of today’s lesson, you will be able to say, 'I can use visualization to help me understand the story.'”
Process: Preview the story by discussing the fantasy-adventure genre and by reviewing the title and table of contents. Elicit ideas about what constitutes a fantasy-adventure. It is recommended to not show images from the cover so that students can create their own mental pictures of the characters in the story.
"Let’s begin by talking about the title of the story, My Father’s Dragon. Has anyone ever read it before? What do you think this story might be about? Let’s look at the table of contents." (Read chapter titles.) "What clues does this give you about who the characters are and what might happen in the story?"
"This is a fantasy-adventure story. What comes to mind when you think of a fantasy-adventure story?"
(Guide students to understand that fantasy-adventure stories have make-believe characters, danger, obstacles, and action.)
Process: Read aloud Excerpt 1 in Unit 2 Texts on page 10. Have students follow along. During the read aloud for chapter 1, stop to discuss what is happening in the story and what students are learning about the characters. See the menu below Suggested Structure for Reading My Father’s Dragon for a description of how the reading in the unit is structured. See the menu below, Differentiation Options: Reading Chapters 1-4 for ways to scaffold student learning. Generally, Part 1 of this unit is written with the highest level of scaffolding. Make choices about the level of scaffolding that will best support student learning and engagement.
Differentiation Options: Reading Chapters 1-4
Teaching Tip: Suggested Structure for Reading My Father's Dragon
Chapters 1–4—Guided reading with literacy and arts instruction
Chapters 5–9—Jigsaw in reading groups
Chapter 10—Read aloud and discuss
Read and Discuss Chapter 1, Excerpt 1
"Let’s get started. I’ll read aloud. You follow in your Unit 2 Texts on page 10. Let’s talk about what’s happening so far and about the characters we’ve met. Authors often introduce the main characters in the very beginning of a story."
(Guide students to notice that this story has a 3rd person narrator and refers to the main character as “my father.” Help students identify clues that tell them that Elmer (the father) is caring, brave, and adventurous.)
Process: Guide students to visualize the cat and then the mother by closely rereading portions of the text. Tell students that by picturing Elmer’s mother and the cat, they were using clues in the story and their own lives to visualize.
Instruct on Visualization
"Many times when you read you get a picture in your mind, which helps you understand what’s happening in the story. Let’s practice making a mental picture of the cat."
"I’ll reread the beginning. Close your eyes and visualize the cat." (Reread: One cold and rainy day when my father was a little boy, he met an old alley cat on his street. The cat was very drippy and uncomfortable so my father said, “Wouldn’t you like to come home with me?”)
"Pair-share what you pictured in your mind." (Students pair-share.) "Who would like to share their visualization? What in the text made you picture that?" (2–3 students respond.)
"Let’s practice with the mother. This is a little trickier because the author doesn’t describe what she looks like. Instead, Gannett gives us clues about her personality, and it’s up to the reader to make an inference about what she looks like. Making an inference means combining what it says in the book with what you already know. I’ll reread the part where the mother finds the cat. Close your eyes and visualize."
(Reread: “She hated cats, particularly ugly old alley cats. 'Elmer Elevator,'” she said to my father, “if you think I’m going to give that cat a saucer of milk, you’re very wrong. Once you start feeding stray alley cats you might as well expect to feed every stray in town, and I am not going to do it!”)
"Pair-share what you pictured in your mind." (Students pair-share.) "Who would like to share their visualization? What in the text and in your life made you picture that?"
"Good readers visualize while they are reading to keep track of what is happening in the story. It’s fun to feel like you are right there in the story. When you can’t see the story in your mind, you may be having trouble understanding what you are reading and should stop, slow down, and reread to look for clues that can help create a mental picture. Authors may give clues by describing places, characters, or events."
"Let’s keep reading and look for clues to help us visualize."
Process: Read aloud Excerpt 2 in Unit 2 Texts on page 11. Discuss what’s happening in the story. Clarify as needed. Tell students that the description of Tangerina and Wild Island is the perfect place to practice visualizing because the author is describing a place in detail. Tell students they will use art to help with their visualizations.
Read and Discuss Chapter 1, Excerpt 2
"What do you think the cat saw that made her want to cry? What’s happening in the story? What are the cat and Elmer talking about? Did anyone make a mental picture?" (Students respond.)
"When I’m reading and I come across a detailed description like the one of Tangerina and Wild Island, I think to myself, 'This must be important, so I will slow down and visualize what is being described.'”
"To help with our visualizations, we’re going to learn drawing techniques called line and shape and then draw our visualizations of Tangerina and Wild Island."
Process: Instruct on the drawing techniques of line, shape, value, and depth. A line is defined as the path of a point in motion. Lines can be straight, curved, wavy, or jagged. A shape is defined as the border of line that encloses a flat space. Line can enclose space to create a shape. There are five main shapes: circle, semi-circle, square, rectangle, and triangle. If these are joined they can create other shapes, such as symbols, objects, and things we see in the world. See menu below for additional definitions of drawing techniques.
Guide students to engage in an activity on drawing with line and shape in their A4L Student Notebooks. See menu below for Differentiation Options for scaffolding the drawing instruction. Tell students that all of the drawing they do in this unit will be with pencils and black markers. The Five Main Shapes & Things We See activity directs students to draw lines and shapes and then combine those lines and shapes to make simple symbols and objects. Once an artist knows how to make basic shapes, he or she can combine those shapes to show people, objects, setting, emotion, and ideas. Do the activity with students on the document camera, whiteboard, or large Post-it. Invite students to share their drawings on the document camera.
Instruct on the drawing technique of value and depth. Value is how light or dark something is. Depth is the third dimension. Artists show depth by adding value. Guide students to engage in a pair of activities on value and depth in their A4L Student Notebooks on page 4 and A4L Student Notebooks on page 5. These activities have students practice drawing light and dark lines to show contrast and to show objects as three-dimensional. Once an artist knows how to show light and dark, he or she can make drawings come alive without using color.
When students draw their visualizations, they engage in monitoring their understanding of the text—visualizing, drawing, and going back to the text to see if what they’ve drawn matches the story, and then revising as needed.
Timing for practicing drawing is 20 minutes.
Differentiation Options: Drawing with Line, Shape, Value and Depth
Drawing Technique Definitions
Line—The path of a point in motion, which includes a dot. Lines can be straight, curved, wavy, or jagged.
Shape—The border (or perimeter) of line that encloses a flat (2-dimentaional) space. Line can enclose space to create a shape. Five main shapes include a circle, semi-circle, square, rectangle, and triangle. If these are joined they can create other shapes, such as symbols, and objects.
Value—How light or dark something is.
Depth—The third dimension. Show depth by adding value.
Hatching—Repeated strokes of an art tool producing clustered lines, usually parallel, that create values.
Cross-hatching—Similar lines passing over the hatched lines, following a different direction and usually resulting in darker values.
Instruct on line and shape
"It is great to be able to make mental pictures in our mind. Now we are going to learn how to share them with each other by drawing."
"Open your A4L Student Notebooks to page 3 for a drawing activity on line and shape.
Every artist begins to draw by using lines and five main shapes. We are going to practice drawing these in the boxes on this page."
"Can everyone see the dot? Put your pencil down in the box below and press. You have a dot!"
"In the next box, put your pencil down, make a dot, and drag your pencil. You have a line! Practice drawing wavy lines, jagged lines, and curved lines."
"There are five main shapes: circle, semi-circle, square, rectangle, and triangle. Practice drawing the five main shapes in the boxes." (Students practice drawing five main shapes.)
Guide Five Main Shapes & Things We See activity
"Now we have lines and some basic shapes in our artist toolbox. Let’s see what you can draw with these simple shapes."
"Do you see how these basic shapes make a fish? We are going to practice combining basic shapes to make pictures or symbols like a peace sign or something real like a leaf. What other shapes, objects, or things in the world can we make with these basic shapes? For example, a cat, a boat—what else?" (Students respond.)
"Let’s practice on our own, making pictures of objects and symbols of things we see in the world using these simple shapes. Feel free to look at the work of people around you and try drawing what they’ve drawn. Who would like to share what you’ve drawn? Please explain how you used line and shape in your drawing." (Students share.)
Instruct on value
"Now turn in your A4L Student Notebook to page 4 for another drawing activity."
"Before we get started, have you heard the word value before?" (Students respond.) "For example, is $5.00 a good value for a new pair of shoes? We are going to learn a different meaning for the word value. When artists want to make their shapes and symbols look more like objects in the world, one important thing to notice is how dark or light an object is. That is what artists mean by value. Let’s look around the classroom. Where is the light coming from? Is there anything very dark? Can anyone find a shadow?" (Students respond.) "Shadows show that something is solid instead of see-through because the object is blocking the light."
"Now that we can see light and dark, let’s do an exercise to help us show value in our drawings using only our pencils. Look at the box on page 4 with all the shading. Can you see that it goes from light to dark? This is called a values chart. Notice the first box is left white. That is our lightest box, with no shading. Holding your pencil very lightly, see if you can copy the shading in box #2 on the right side of the page." (Students shade in box #2.) "Some of us like to hold our pencils tightly and when we are really trying, we might press down really hard without meaning to. Try to fill in the rest of the boxes, pressing a little harder in each box as you go down. You can press down really hard in box #10! That is our darkest dark. (Students shade in remaining boxes.) Now you have made your own values chart!"
Discuss using light lines to sketch
"When you are sketching, it is good to start with a light line rather than a dark line.
This way you can easily erase or draw over to make your picture the way you want it to be. Then, when you are sure you have it the way you want it, you can press down harder to make the lines clearer.
To get ready for our next drawing activity, shake out your hands." (Students shake out hands.)
Instruct on depth
"Turn to the next page in your A4L Student Notebook. We’re going to do another drawing activity.
We are going to see how artists use value to show depth, which means showing objects as three-dimensional. Adding value to an image will make our drawings look more like real objects in the world."
"Look at panel #1. What is the simple shape in this panel?" (Students respond.)
"Now look at panel #2. By adding a skinny rectangle for a stem and some curved lines to make a leaf, what do we have?" (Students respond.) "This looks like an apple, but it is still kind of flat, isn’t it? The apple has height (how tall it is) and width (how wide it is), but to make it look round, we need our new tool—value. Let’s pretend the light is coming from the top left corner of the box. Where should the shadows be?"
"Panel #3 uses value in the apple by drawing curving, medium-dark lines on the sides to make the apple look round, and using flat dark lines to show the shadow on the flat surface. Does it look more real now?" (Students respond.)
"Look at panel #4. Now the artist has added value to the space around the apple and created the illusion of depth. The apple now looks three-dimensional."
"See if you can use value to make the objects in panels #5-8 look three-dimensional. Before you begin, do you see the light source in the top left corner? Where would the shadows be? Go ahead and sketch." (Students add value to show depth in drawings.)
STEP 8: SKETCH VISUALIZATION OF WILD ISLAND & TANGERINA USING DRAWING TECHNIQUES—LINE, SHAPE, VALUE, & DEPTH
Process: Guide students to use the drawing techniques of line, shape, value, and depth to sketch their visualizations of Tangerina and Wild Island. Sketch with students while asking questions and thinking aloud about drawing choices.
Timing for sketching visualizations is 10–20 minutes.
Use Drawing Techniques to Sketch Visualization
"We will sketch our visualizations using line, shape, value, and depth. This is a similar process that graphic artists go through—first, they visualize the setting, characters, and events, and then they sketch their visualizations to create their stories."
"Let’s first go back to the story and reread the section that describes Wild Island and Tangerina. While I’m reading, close your eyes and visualize the descriptions."
(Reread: “I was particularly interested in a place called Wild Island, which we had passed on our way to Tangerina. Wild Island and Tangerina are joined together by a long string of rocks, but people never go to Wild Island because it’s mostly jungle and inhabited by very wild animals. So I decided to go across the rocks and explore it for myself. It certainly is an interesting place, but I saw something there that made me want to weep.”)
"What did you see? What in the text helped you create that image?" (Students respond.) "What simple shapes can you use to show what you visualized? How do you think you might use value to show the difference between land and water?" (Students respond.)
"Sketch your visualizations on page 6 of your A4L Student Notebook." (Students sketch.) "Share your sketches with a partner. How did you use line, shape, or value to show Wild Island and Tangerina?" (Students share.) "Let’s see some of our visualizations." (2–3 students share sketches.)
Process: Close the lesson with a look forward describing the next lesson.
"In our next lesson, we’ll read on in the story and then practice sketching using line, shape, value, and depth to show our mental pictures."
Performing The Closing Ritual (Optional)
CONGRATULATIONS ON COMPLETING LESSON 2! YOU ARE NOW READY TO MOVE ONTO Lesson 2 OF UNIT 2.
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