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JMU Elementary Education Program

● Quinn Albo
● Reading
● Grade 4

A. TITLE/TYPE OF LESSON: Small Group Lesson on “Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue”

This week’s reading lessons on tall tales flow from the lessons of previous weeks on fairy tales, folk tales,
and trickster tales. Students are able to notice the similarities between these genres of story, as well as
implement this understanding to make predictions about the tall tales we are reading this week. Students
read and analyzed a different tall tale on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, so this lesson is a good
extension of their prior work. Additionally, the instruction students participate in during whole group
reading similarly extends their understanding and supports the skills that are worked on in this lesson.

Understand ​- What are the broad Know ​- What are the facts, rules, Do ​- What are the specific
generalizations the students specific data the students will thinking behaviors students will
should begin to develop? gain through this lesson? be able to do through this

Students will understand: Students will know: Students will be able to:
- Characters and plot - A character’s actions in - Determine the meanings
support the solution of a story give information of bold-faced
the problem in a story. about the character’s vocabulary words by
- The author’s purpose traits. using context clues and
when using - What onomatopoeia is looking in the glossary.
onomatopoeia in a text. and why authors use it. - Analyze the character
- Fix-up monitoring is a - Prove it! Questions are traits of the two main
good way to monitor not stated in a book and characters in the text.
one’s understanding in a require you to look for - Identify features of a tall
text. clues and evidence to tale as they appear in a
- A mentor text is a text prove an answer. text.
that teaches and helps - Look Closer! Questions - Make predictions about
the reader understand require the reader to what will happen in the
what writers do to write look in more than one story based on their
a tall tale (in this case), place to find the knowledge of tall tales.
and why they do it. different parts of an - Comment on the
answer, then piece annotations in the
together the parts to mentor text, the writer’s
answer a question. style, and other literary
Learning will be assessed through observations during the discussion and reading of the text. The table
below will be used to guide observations and assessment. Students will later have the opportunity to show
their understanding of these skills in the weekly reading assessments.
Student Infer character Explain what an Notice new vocabulary Identify the features
can: traits based on onomatopoeia words, onomatopoeia of a tall tale
the character’s word is and its words, idioms, or other
actions purpose techniques in a text

Student A

Student B

Student C


4.1 The student will use effective oral communication skills in a variety of settings.
a) Listen actively and speak using appropriate discussion rules.
b) Contribute to group discussions across content areas.
c) Orally summarize information expressing ideas clearly.
d) Ask specific questions to gather ideas and opinions from others.
e) Use evidence to support opinions and conclusions.
f) Connect comments to the remarks of others.
g) Use specific vocabulary to communicate ideas.
h) Demonstrate the ability to collaborate with diverse teams, while sharing responsibility for the
i) Work respectfully with others, and show value for individual contributions.

4.4 The student will expand vocabulary when reading.

a) Use context to clarify meanings of unfamiliar words.
b) Use knowledge of roots, affixes, synonyms, antonyms, and homophones to determine the
meaning of new words.
c) Use word-reference materials

4.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts, literary nonfiction texts, and
a) Describe how the choice of language, setting, and characters contributes to the development of
b) Identify the theme(s).
c) Summarize events in the plot.
d) Identify genres.
e) Identify the narrator of a story and the speaker of a poem.
f) Identify the conflict and resolution.
g) Draw conclusions/make inferences about text using the text as support
h) Compare/contrast details in literary and informational nonfiction texts.
i) Identify cause and effect relationships.
j) Use reading strategies throughout the reading process to monitor comprehension.
k) Read with fluency, accuracy, and meaningful expression.

- Sticky notes
- Pencils
- “Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue” books
- Character and vocabulary sheets

➢ Introduction: Introduce “Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue”
○ Explain that we will be reading another tall tale, though this one is written in a different
format from the other tale (ask students to remind a friend what tale they read the day
○ Review the week’s work
■ Ask students to name the features of a tall tale and discuss their purpose and
placement in texts.
■ Ask students to define onomatopoeia and give examples
■ Ask students to define an idiom and give examples
○ Preview text to look for boldfaced vocabulary words
■ Answer questions students may have
■ Ask for predictions about what the story will be about
■ Discuss the boldfaced vocabulary words, telling students to try and find the
definitions (without using the glossary) as they read the story
○ Set a purpose for reading
■ Say: “While you’re reading, focus on how the characters and plot support the
solution of the problems. Also, notice the author’s use of onomatopoeia.”
■ Also remind them to use their fix-up monitoring strategies while reading.
■ Pass out sticky notes and tell students that they should use these to take any notes
on the above purposes, as well as any questions or connections they have.
➢ Read “Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue” individually
➢ After reading
○ Analyze characters: Say, “Yesterday we analyzed Casey Jones. We thought about what
he did and said and what traits these words and actions show. Pecos Bill and Sluefoot Sue
have strong, identifiable character traits, too. What traits do these characters show? What
words and actions demonstrate these traits?”
■ Allow responses and discuss responses.
■ Lead a discussion with the questions
● How is Casey Jones similar and different to Pecos Bill?
● Which character is more exaggerated?
● How are the stories’ settings related to the main characters’ traits?
● Where has the author used onomatopoeia? How do these examples help
you better appreciate the events in the story?
○ Discuss Look Closer! Questions. Say: “We’re going to answer LC questions today. The
answer to a LC question is in the book. You have to look in more than one place, though.
You find the different parts of the answer. Then, you put the parts together to answer the
■ Ask the listed Look Closer! Questions
○ Discuss students’ findings in the story and any ideas or information they jotted down on
the sticky notes.
➢ If time allows, reread text as a mentor text.
○ Set this as the purpose for reading
○ Guide students to analyze the text as a mentor text, noticing and discussing annotations
○ Answer Prove It! Questions
➢ Conclusion: Review the concepts and skills students have practiced in this period (identifying
features of a tall tale, making predictions, answering Look Closer! And Prove It! Questions,
literary techniques like idioms and onomatopoeia, etc.). Ask students if they have any lingering
questions or are unclear on any concepts discussed before ending the lesson.

The lessons and included questions and activities within the Guide are constructed to allow access to any
student. Therefore, my main source of differentiation lies in the guide and the prompts it gives me as the
instructor. In order to differentiate further, my discussions with students will be open-ended and very
flexible. Meaning, if I find during a discussion that student(s) are not grasping a concept or skill I had
anticipated they would have, I will continue the discussion until it is clearer to students and I am confident
that they have the skill. In addition, I will be assessing students based on what I know about their reading
skills and understandings. I will keep these in mind as I make observations and notes about their
understanding and contributions, while still giving all students the same base of assessment. I will keep
the lesson flexible and adapt it to students’ needs as I see necessary.


My main concern for this lesson is time. This is for several reasons: the time is already short (30 minutes),
we had a shortened week because students did not have school on Monday, and there was a mixup in the
tales read on Tuesday - which set us behind. There is a lot of information this lesson needs to cover and
review, within very limited time. To combat this issue, I will stick to the topics most crucial for students’
understanding in fourth grade. Specifically, I will concentrate most on our dissection of tall tales and the
characters within them, as well as the literary techniques used by the authors. If time is becoming an
issue, I will omit the rereading of the story and instead discuss the topics that would have been addressed
after the rereading, briefly before we go. I will also try to create a blended vision of the various topics.