First Grade Exemplar Text Close Reading Lessons: Kitten's First Full Moon

Tamara Russell
Grade Levels
K - 1st
Formats Included
  • PDF
76 pages
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Tamara Russell


In response to the common core standards requirement to utilize complex text in my first grade classroom, I've put together this packet to analyze story structure and cause and effect using the exemplar text: Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes.

There are five read aloud lessons included in this 76 page file. Each lesson explores both oral and written language through a 5 step lesson plan pattern. For my read aloud time, I teach for about 30-35 minutes.

LESSON 1: Build background with a NASA video clip, introduce roots & suffixes, read aloud the text

LESSON 2: Review roots & suffixes, mark a close reading text for roots & suffixes, monitor comprehension with text dependent questions

LESSON 3: Build background with a video clip, introduce cause & effect, teach/review verbs, investigate figurative language using a close text

LESSON 4: Review cause & effect, collaborative grouping activity, verbs review, teach story element: climax, review reading with expression with a close text

LESSON 5:Discussion of main idea & details, close reading of text & writing activities.

Included in this packet is also a writing plan for a review of the book, Kitten's First Full Moon. There are writing papers for opinion, informative, and narrative writing. I've also added a quick craft to display student work!

If you like using complex text reading units with your littles, you might be interested in my other offerings!


Quick As A Cricket is one of the first units I use in first grade. It's a fun way to look at vocabulary by studying antonyms and synonyms. Students read the text multiple times to work on discussing description and making mental images. It's a great book! The lesson plans are super explicit to guide your study.

Fire! Fire! is a great unit to use with first graders in October. We used this one in the run up to having firefighters visit the classroom, or even after visiting a firehouse. We used Robert Munsch's 'The Fire Station' and Gail Gibbons' 'Fire! Fire!' to work on comprehension and sequencing. I tied in work on blends, and making tens in math too! We even did a science experiment on how to put out fires! This is a jam packed unit that is really versatile. We love using it yearly!


George, Abe, and Barack is a must use in February in my first grade classroom! I love teaching social studies and tying this unit into additional fluency on the presidents! In this unit, the students learn about George Washington and Abe Lincoln through their biographies. They read 'Of Thee I Sing' which is Barack Obama's book for his daughters that includes the stories of many different influential Americans. It is a great way to work on fact and opinion and vocabulary while working on social studies and discussing people who made a positive impact on our country.

Tomas and the Library Lady is a great little story about a boy who moves from Mexico and makes a meaningful connection to reading through his family and a relationshp with a librarian. I use this text when I am teaching biographies, but I've also used it during Hispanic American Heritage Month. Just depends on the year. The students work on story elements, text dependent questions and a class book! It's a great little unit.


In the spring, I use Kitten's First Full Moon to analyze story structure and cause and effect. Students also work on reviewing roots and suffixes and discuss main ideas and details. It is a great tie in with any unit on earth space.

Zin, Zin, Zin A Violin is a wonderful rhyming story about orchestras and counting! The students learn all about different instruments why working on summarizing, main idea and context vocabulary. It's a wonderful way to integrate music into your lessons! There is a fun violin craft that we made that tied in non-standard measurement! Fantastic integration ideas!

How People Learned to Fly is one of my favorite units to teach! Its is differentiated and full of resources for first and second graders! I love the science connections that we make and the additional fluency passages that are in it. The students focus on fables, main idea and vocabulary in this unit. We also learned about The Wright Brothers and flying. You don't want to miss this one in the spring!

Total Pages
76 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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