If you teach ELA, you have to dig into Appendix B, which includes texts that “exemplify the level of complexity and quality that the Standards require all students in a given grade band to engage with.” Although there are valuable texts and some performance tasks, the teachers I work with wanted lessons they could use immediately. That’s why I’m committed to designing ready to use UDL writing prompts for the text exemplars in Appendix B.
I started this week with the texts in the second and third grade band complexity, with an emphasis on second grade reading standards. I’ll be posting a few Appendix B lessons a week, so be sure to check back often.
My Father’s Dragon, Appendix B (click on the title to download a Word doc)
RL.2.2 Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
“Who are you?” the lion yelled at my father.
“My name is Elmer Elevator.”
“Where do you think you are going?”
“I’m going home,” said my father.
“That’s what you think!” said the lion. “Ordinarily I’d save you for afternoon tea, but I happen to be upset enough and hungry enough to eat you right now.” And he picked up my father in his front paws to feel how fat he was.
My father said, “Oh, please, Lion, before you eat me, tell me why you are so particularly upset today.”
“It’s my mane,” said the lion, as he was figuring out how many bites a little boy would make. “You see what a dreadful mess it is, and I don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. My mother is coming over on the dragon this afternoon, and if she sees me this way I’m afraid she’ll stop my allowance. She can’t stand messy manes! But I’m going to eat you now, so it won’t make any difference to you.”
“Oh, wait a minute,” said my father, “and I’ll give you just the things you need to make your mane a tidy and beautiful. I have them here in my pack.”
“You do?” said the lion, “Well, give them to me, and perhaps I’ll save you for afternoon tea after all,” and he put my father down on the ground.”
My father opened the pack and took out the comb and the brush and the seven hair ribbons of different colors. “Look,” he said, “I’ll show you what to do on your forelock, where you can watch me. First you brush a while, and then you comb, and then you brush again until all the twigs and snarls are gone. Then you divide it up into three and braid it like this and tie a ribbon around the end.”
As my father was doing this, the lion watched very carefully and began to look much happier. When my father tied the ribbon he was all smiles. “Oh, that’s wonderful, really wonderful!” said the lion. “Let me have the comb and brush and see if I can do it.” So my father gave him the comb and brush and the lion began busily grooming his mane. As a matter of fact, he was so busy that he didn’t even know when my father left.
From MY FATHER’S DRAGON by Ruth Stiles Gannett, copyright 1948 by Random House, Inc.
My Father’s Dragon is a fable that has a moral that teaches us a lesson. In one of the following writing activities, identify the lesson, or moral, of the fable. [RL.2.2]
- Write a narrative poem about the father and the lion. Challenge yourself to use some words that rhyme when you write your poem. Be sure to include the lesson you learned from the story in the poem.
- Design a poster where you draw the scene when father is teaching the lion to braid his mane. Beneath the picture, write the moral or lesson.
- Create a children’s book. Rewrite the story in your own words and at the end of the story, identify the moral. Be sure to include colored pictures in your story.
- Draw a comic strip, where you have at least three pictures. In the pictures, include word bubbles were the characters use dialogue from the story. Write the lesson or moral at the end of the comic.