This complete, differentiated unit teaches students to construct responses that describe characters, settings, or events. Students learn to find evidence in text, write a topic sentence, support with detail sentences, cite, and conclude.
Students respond to four stories, adapted from Just So Stories
*, by Rudyard Kipling. Each passage has been adapted for three reading levels: advanced, average, and low. Content differentiation allows you to reach all students in your class with every lesson.
BONUS: This unit now comes with a companion website. It stores all files in one convenient place. Just click and go. Individual pages are ready to share digitally. You can grab the URL to share with your students or on a closed class website. Click here
to preview the website.
This bundle, created by master teacher Brenda Kovich
, includes Describing a Character PowerPoint
, Describing a Character, Setting, or Event Practice Pack
, notes to the teacher, lesson plans, and student resources. Two options for instruction are suggested:
(1) Character Description Unit – Use the first story and PowerPoint presentation for direct instruction. The second story serves as guided practice. Students describe several characters from the third story for independent practice. The fourth story provides assessment.
(2) Story of the Week - Kids read a story on Monday. Over the course of the week, they describe a character, the setting, and an event.
• Notes to the Teacher – Three pages guide teachers through the metacognitive process students take to describe a character, setting or event: (1) Dissect the passage and determine which portions offer evidence. (2) Consider the evidence; look for patterns and relationships. (3) Make a generalization. Express it as a topic sentence. (4) Reevaluate the evidence. Write it in your own words. (5) Summarize or react in a conclusion.
• Guiding Questions – This one-page resource provides thought-provoking questions students can ask themselves as they prepare to describe.
• Lesson Plans – Plans list the objective, differentiation, and higher order thinking skills. They then discuss getting started, modeling, and two options for instruction.
• Text for PowerPoint Presentation
• PowerPoint – A 16-slide presentation models the process for describing a character in a constructed response. At the end of the presentation, an alternate response shows students that more than one answer is possible.
• 6 Rubrics – Three different options (each available with or without CCSS RL.4.3 listed at the top) are provided. The first assesses everything: topic sentence, citing, evidence, conclusion, and clarity. The second does not assess the conclusion. The third does not assess citing.
• Generic Description Sheets – You can use these character, setting, and event description sheets for other stories throughout the year.
• Companion Website – In addition to the unit and PowerPoint presentation, you’ll receive the link to a companion website. It stores all resources (and more!) in one handy spot.
4 Stories (each differentiated for three reading levels)
• “How the Camel Got His Hump” (advanced, average, and low – 2 pages each)
• “The Beginning of the Armadillo” (advanced – 4 pages, average – 3 pages, and low – 3 pages)
• “How the Leopard Got Its Spots” (advanced, average, and low – 2 pages each)
• Three response sheets for “The Beginning of the Armadillo”
• “The Elephant’s Child” (advanced – 7 pages, average – 6 pages, low – 3 pages for independent practice)
• Three response sheets for “The Elephant’s Child”
• “How the Leopard Got His Spots” (advanced, average, and low for assessment – 2 pages each)
• Six Ways to Cite – A mini poster shows different ways to cite the text.
• Transition Terms – A one-page list gives dozens of words showing similarities, differences, cause/effect, examples, sequence, and conclusion.
• Steps for Describing a Character, Setting, or Event – A second mini poster guides students through the process.
• Student Response Sheets – Each themed page lists the steps at the top, presents the prompt in the middle, and provides lines for writing at the bottom. Several character prompts, a setting prompt, and an event prompt are provided for each story.
Click on the PREVIEW button above to take a peek at the unit.
Fourth Grade Literature Skills File Drawer
This file is also included in my Fourth Grade Literature Skills File Drawer
. Eight complete standards-based units, three comprehensive assessments, and a set of media activities are stored in one handy website. Click here
for a preview.
You can purchase the entire file drawer
for a discounted price − or pick and choose from the list below:
• Answering Questions Unit
• Finding a Theme Unit
• Summarizing Unit
• Describing a Character Unit
• Words from Mythology Unit
• Prose, Drama, and Poetry Unit
• Determining and Defending Point of View Unit
• Comparing and Contrasting Folklore Unit
• Literature Assessments - Grade 4
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*Just So Stories, written by Rudyard Kipling and illustrated by Joseph M. Gleeson, was published by Doubleday Page and Company in 1912 and is now in the public domain.
I’m committed to continual improvement. This unit was updated and enhanced on July 14, 2017.