As part of the A to Z reading challenge this year, middle schoolers were able to read a couple of Caldecott books. In order to utilize these books for a thought-provoking activity, students were asked to create lesson plans for one Caldecott book of their choice. I used the book Grandfather’s Journey by Allen Say to model a sample lesson. I introduced the vocabulary words from the story, completed some pre-reading activities which included researching Japan, and read the story aloud to the students. My lesson was on the skill of making inferences using text. I also showed them an example of my completed lesson plan. The next step was for the students to create their own plan using the Rubric. Not only was this a way for the students to show creativity, but they really had to comprehend the book, apply their previous knowledge, organize their lessons, develop an innovative activity for younger children, and finally, come up with a way to evaluate their outcomes.
Each one of these represents a different level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students came up with a variety of skills to teach to the younger students. Some chose to do lessons on rhyming words, antonyms, synonyms or reality vs. fantasy, while others chose to teach more difficult skills, including cause and effect, compare and contrast, context clues, and a variety of other important lessons. After Passover break, more than half of the middle schoolers have asked if they could teach their lesson to the students in our elementary school. Of course that is the ultimate goal! They will be able to reflect on their own lesson based on how well the students understand what they were taught. I am so proud of all of them! They really put a lot of thought and effort into this project.