by Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell
A young child wonders about the purpose of life. Is life really a race, a competition? This book talks about the meaning of life, pointing out the values of taking your time, helping others, friendship, and making the world a better place.
Reading Strategy 1: Access background knowledge.
Reading Strategy 2: Predict what will be learned or what will happen.
Reading Strategy 5: Make mental pictures.
Reading Strategy 7: Determine the most important ideas and events and the relationship between them.
Reading Strategy 10: Summarize what has been read.
Reading Strategy 12: Reflect and respond.
Writing Skill 1: I generate ideas in a variety of ways.
TEACHING THE ACTIVITY: PRE-READING
(1) Explain to students that in this lesson they will be working on the important pre-reading strategy of predicting what the story will be about.
(2) Show students artifacts from the story as outlined in Building From Clues. Suggested artifacts include a T-shirt with “National Accordion Club” on it to represent the main character; a relay baton to represent a race; a trophy/ribbon representing a place in a race; and a globe to represent people around world.
(3) Record students’ predictions based on each clue in the Building From Clues Graphic Organizer.
TEACHING THE ACTIVITY: DURING READING
(4) Separate the reading into three parts.
(5) Have students sketch what they visualize and draft their thinking after each section. Listen-Sketch-Predict.
(6) Provide time for students to reflect on how their thinking evolved over the course of the read-aloud. Have them record this under ‘What I noticed about my thinking’ on the Graphic Organizer.
TEACHING THE ACTIVITY: POST-READING
(7) Have students share their responses after the whole book is read, then explain that they are going to practice generating ideas for writing by doing an impromptu writing piece.
(8) Model how to use writing prompts to spur impromptu writing. See Instead of a Journal and use sample writing prompts provided.
(9) Provide students with the following writing prompt: “To win the human race, I …”
(10) Have the students write in response to the prompt.
(11) Have the students write a procedural writing piece using the ideas from their impromptu written work. Use the handout How to Win the Human Race: A Step-by-Step Guide to Making the World a Better Place.