Train to Somewhere…a heartfelt story of a girl, on an orphan train in the late 1800’s, who longs to be reunited with her own mother, but faces potential adoption, rejection and what seems like no hope for the future. This lesson plan is designed to be used as an interactive read aloud with intermediate students. This lesson is designed for one class period. Extensions can be taken over several days.
The lesson objective is: Students will be able to determine the theme of Train to Somewhere by analyzing character traits, motivations, and actions. At the end of the lesson, students will determine the theme of the story and write in response to the prompt: What is the theme, or lesson, readers can learn from Marianne in Train to Somewhere?
In addition to determining theme (the lesson’s main objective), extension skills and strategies include: predicting, inferring, comparing and contrasting, vocabulary, examining character changes, feelings and actions, and more!
In the lesson plan, target questions are posed along with expected student answers and scaffolding questions to support students as needed. The scaffolding questions are designed to help students organize their thinking and understanding in smaller chunks to reach the target question.
The essential question, objective, and questions are in the lesson plan, but also in a printable format to be projected or posted for the lesson.
This lesson focuses on 11 key vocabulary words. Other vocabulary words may be pertinent for your students… included are blank vocabulary cards so that you can customize for your students’ needs.
Use the discussion/extension cards as a way to build in creative writing and student to student discussion, allowing student to show growth towards writing and speaking and listening standards!
-Lesson Plan page w/ text’s big idea, EQ, target, vocabulary list, assessment, and teacher language
-Teacher's questioning guide w/stopping points, questions, expected answers, and possible scaffolding questions
-Template to print questions/vocabulary on post-its and place in the book before teaching for easy reference. Please note: on each post-it, you will find (for the corresponding page) key vocabulary, the main lesson plan questions and scaffolding questions.
-Quick print form of the questions to be projected/posted during read aloud
-Assessment task cards
Extensions and Extras to continue the learning:
-Graphic Organizer for students to track the character’s thoughts and feelings throughout the story
-11 vocabulary cards and 3 blank cards
-student vocabulary graphic organizer to infer meaning of words and provide context clues (answer key included)
-2 variations of the vocabulary 4-square activity
-Graphic organizer to compare and contrast Marianne from beginning to end
-Reading Response to include vocabulary words to retell the story, including key events
-4 variations of extension task cards