This Folktales Unit for Guided Reading contains differentiated materials that can be used with any folktale! Not only will it seamlessly fit with the literature you already have, but it can be used again and again with your growing classroom library. In this Folktales Unit for Differentiated Guided Reading, you will find the following teaching tools:
* Differentiated Folktales Checklists: There are 3 tiered activities that focus on story elements, finding evidence within the text, understanding the lesson/theme, and explaining their thinking. Whether students are reading a folktale that is below, on, or above grade level, they will have a solid understanding of the components of a folktale and be appropriately challenged.
* Folktales Text Coding: There are several ways to use the text coding key. First, if you have paper copies of a folktale, students can actually mark the text using the codes. This a great way to practice close reading. Second, if using a book, students can code the text by writing the symbols on sticky notes. Third, students may glue the text coding key in their interactive notebooks and use as a resource throughout your folktales unit.
* Folktales Lesson/Theme Picture Cards and Sorting Mat: The picture cards can be used as a visual to introduce different themes/lessons. I would suggest printing on card stock and laminating for durability. In addition there is a sorting mat so students can collaborate and discuss what they learned after reading a folktale. These can be utilized during small group instruction, as a literacy center, or independently. The themes included are friendship, cooperation, kindness, honesty, courage, acceptance, responsibility, perseverance, and a blank card to add your own ideas. While these cards work well with folktales, you may also find other ways to incorporate them into your reading instruction.
* Folktales Retelling Rubric: Students have an opportunity to reflect upon their own understanding of a folktale. After reading and completing the previous activities, students can self-assess their ability to retell (or “recount”) a folktale. This is a nice, quick formative assessment that may inform future teaching.
Since this product is differentiated, I was able to use the materials multiple times but with different literature. In addition, I could use consistent vocabulary and skill focus during my whole group mini lessons, yet adjust the small group focus to what each of my students needed. My students enjoyed using these activities repeatedly over the course of four weeks, and they came away with a solid understanding of folktales. I'm confident your students will find the same success!
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