Bridge to Terabithia Sequenced Lesson Plans

Demographic Information:

This lesson plan sequence is to be used with 4th or 5th grade students. The setting is an average sized elementary school in a small city in Iowa. The students have varying reading abilities and there are several students who are English language learners. There are 23 students, 14 boys and 9 girls. The desks are arranged in clusters of 3-4. Each student also has a reading partner of a similar reading ability. The students have reading for 45 minutes, Monday through Friday in the early afternoon. The course consists of reading and comprehension of both narrative and expository texts. The course includes a basal reading text as well as several novels interspersed. Other novels included in the course include The Watson’s Go to Birmingham, The Giver, and Tuck Everlasting.

This lesson plan sequence is based off of Katherine Paterson’s novel: Bridge to Terabithia. This lesson plan sequence covers about the first third of the novel. This sequence will take a full week to complete. The class will spend no more than three weeks on this novel.

The broad objectives of this lesson plan sequence is for students to gain understanding of the novel itself, as well as the characters and themes that run throughout the novel. Students will also be expected to make comparisons between characters and answer higher level thinking questions concerning the text and the issues that are relevant to the story.

Students will also be expected to gain knowledge on similes and expressions. They will also complete several projects and graphic organizers to demonstrate their understanding of the text.

I chose this topic because it is something I will really use in my classrooms and it is also based off of one of my favorite children’s books of all time. I think this novel in particular lends itself to a variety of interesting topics for upper elementary students.

Global ERR:
1. Students will gain reading comprehension strategies as well as practice in reading comprehension.
2. Students will learn about friendship and how to work cooperatively.
3. Students will learn several new vocabulary words and apply them.
4. Students will build overall literacy skills.

Evocation: (takes place prior to actual lesson plan sequence)

� To introduce the class to the novel the teacher will have students write a poem on friendship. Students will need to include what their best friend is like, and why they like their best friends. Students will also need to include specific characteristics of a good friend and what kind of a friend they want to be.

� Students will then share their poems with a partner. The two will compare their poems and make a list of any similar qualities and characteristics in their poems. The class will then collaborate to make a class list of what makes a good friend.

� Students will also be allowed and encouraged to read their poem aloud to the class.

� After students have discussed and shared their poems the teacher will lead a discussion on friendship and why it is so important.

� Through the discussion the teacher will introduce students to the novel of Bridge to Terabithia.

� The teacher will explain that the novel has a lot to teach on friendship and growing up.
Realization of Meaning: (takes place during the daily ERR)

� Throughout the 5 days students will have a chance to read and reflect upon the novel itself.

� Students will use paired reading, individual reading, summarizing, and various comprehension strategies throughout the lessons to better comprehend the meaning of the text.

� Students will read the text in sections and chapters. After each section/chapter students will be guided in various reflection activities.

� Students will comprehend the text in pieces and will also be asked to make predictions about what they think will happen.
Reflection: (takes place after the 5 lessons)

� At the end of this sequence of lessons the students will spend time reflecting on the first four chapters of the novel.

� Students will make predictions about the plot and ending of the novel.

� Students will also analyze the characters and complete a project to demonstrate their understanding of the novel so far.

� The project will be a post-graphic organizer completed in partners which demonstrates their understanding of the text.

Daily ERR:
Day One: Chapter One- Jesse Oliver Aarons Jr.
Objectives: Students will learn 5 new vocabulary words and record them
Students will gain comprehension skills through the reading and analyzing of the text.
Students will make predictions and gain writing skills through journaling.
Materials: books, journals, pens or pencils
Evocation: (15 minutes)
Discussion (10 minutes)

� Teacher will lead a discussion on siblings. Teacher will ask the following questions and allow students to share their thoughts and feelings about having siblings. If there are students who are the only child, teacher will encourage students to imagine what it would be like to have siblings and what they would want their siblings to be like.

o What is it like to be the youngest child? Oldest child? Middle child? Only child?

o What kinds of challenges do older siblings face?

o What kind of challenges do younger siblings face?

o Who has older siblings?

? Do you feel like your older siblings push you around?

? Do you look up to your older siblings?

o Who has younger siblings?

? Do you feel like your younger siblings look up to you?

? How do you set an example for your younger siblings?

Vocabulary (5 minutes)
� Teacher will introduce the following vocabulary and have students record the words and meanings in their journals: worshiped, soothingly, obediently, primly, peculiar

Realization of Meaning: (15 minutes)

� Students will read the first chapter independently. Students will take note of the vocabulary words in context.

Reflection: (15 minutes)

� Students will do a focused free write activity.

� Students will have 5 minutes to free write from the perspective of Jesse Oliver Aarons, Jr.

o Adaptation: Allow English Language Learners to discuss Jesse’s life in a small group. Ask them what they know about Jesse so far and what his life is like.

� Students will spend another 3 minutes sharing their free writes with a partner.

� As a class, students will discuss and share their free writes for 5 minutes.

� Students will spend 2 minutes making predictions about the next chapter with a partner.

Day Two: Chapter Two- Leslie Burke
Objectives: Students will learn what a simile is and how to use one.
Students will analyze and make comparisons of characters.
Materials: books, journals, pens or pencils
Evocation: (15 minutes)
� Simile Activity (10 minutes)

o Ask students if they know what a simile is.

o Explain that a simile is a type of figurative language comparing two things using like or as.

o Give the students a few examples

? She is as cute as a button.

? He was as hungry as a horse.

o Have the students use paired brainstorming to come up with more examples of similes.

o Make a brief class list of similes on the board or overhead.

o Explain to the students that Bridge to Terabithia contains many similes. Encourage students to try to find a simile in chapter

� Discussion Questions-within small groups(5 minutes)
? Jess wants to be the fastest kid because�
? The character that I can identify with the most closely with so far is _________ because�
? I think the next chapter will be about�
? I think Terabithia might be�

Realization of Meaning: (15 minutes)
� Allow students 10 minutes to read until the middle of page 16.
� Have the students journal responses to the following prompts.
o Jess admires Miss Edmunds because�
o If I could give Jesse’s father advice I would sayâÂ?¦

� Allow the students to read the last page and a half of chapter two.
o Adaptation-Allow English Language Learners to do paired reading and help each other make meaning of the text. It may also be necessary to give them more time to read and ignore the journal prompts for the time being.

Reflection: (15 minutes)
o Ask if any of the students found any similes in chapter two.
o Allow students to share whatever similes they were able to find with their partner.
o As a large class, respond to the prompts in the realization of meaning section.
o Ask the students if any of their predictions have come true so far.
o Have the students discuss with their partner what they think the character of Leslie will be like.
o Have the students spend the last 5 minutes continuing in their journal from the perspective of Jesse.

Day Three: Chapter Three- The Fastest Kid in the Fifth Grade
Objectives: Students will learn and apply 4 new vocabulary words.
Students will use clustering to identify with the characters.
Students will make predictions to better comprehend the text.
Materials: Journals, paper and pencil, books

Evocation: (15 minutes)
o Spend the first 5 minutes talking about what it is like to be a new kid in school. Ask the students what they think it must feel like to come to a small school where everyone knows each other and you dress different from them.

o Have students to use the clustering technique to describe what the first day of school is like. They may include things like: nervous, new students, new teacher, excitement, fun, end of summer, etc. (5 minutes)

o Spend the remaining 5 minutes discussing vocabulary terms the students will need to know and have students record the definitions in their journals.

o Distribution, initialed, immediately, repulsive

Realization of meaning: (20 minutes)
o Have students review with their partner what happened in the previous chapter.

o Have each student write down the name of the person they think will be the fastest kid in the 5th grade.

o Allow students about 7-8 minutes to get to the bottom of page 25.

o Allow students to recap what the first half of the chapter was about, and change the name of the “fastest kid” if they have changed their mind.

o Allow students another 7-8 minutes to finish reading the chapter.

o Adaptation: Allow English Language Learners extra time to read this section if necessary.

Reflection: (10 minutes)
o Have students do another focused free write from the perspective of Jess.

o Allow students 5 minutes to free write about how they feel at this point in the story and what Jess must be going through.
(He has just lost a race to a girl)
o Have students refer back to the cluster they completed on the first day of school to help them in their free write.
o Spend the last 5 minutes discussing chapter 3 and the significant events that occurred.
o Close by assigning the students a small vocabulary activity in which they make up sentences for each of the vocabulary words they have learned so far.
o worshiped, soothingly, obediently, primly, peculiar, distribution, initialed, immediately, repulsive

Day Four: Chapter Four A (p29-38)- Rulers of Terabithia
Objectives: Students will use higher order thinking skills to answer several discussion questions.
Students will review the concept of similes and apply it in their writing.
Materials: Journals, books, pens/pencils
Evocation: (15 minutes)
o Review with students the definition of simile and ask students to work with a partner to come up with an Original Example of a simile. (one that we have not used in class) 4 minutes
o Have a few volunteer groups share their similes. (1 minute)
o Allow the students 5 minutes to share their focused free writes from chapter 3 with their table groups.
o Have the students discuss the following questions in groups of 3-4. Have the student with the earliest birthday lead the discussion. (5 minutes)
o How do you think Jess felt when Leslie beat him in the race?
o Would you talk to Leslie after the race if you were Jess? Why or why not?
o Do you think Jess will continue to run after this defeat?
o I predict that Terabithia is�

Realization of Meaning: (15 minutes)
� Have the students spend ten minutes on their own reading the beginning of chapter 4.
âÂ?¢ Inform students that if they get to a word they don’t know, to write it down in their journals, leaving room for a definition.
� If students finish reading in the first ten minutes, have them go back and see if there are any more vocabulary words they can pick up.
� Allow the last 5 minutes for students to work with their partner to find definitions of the terms using a dictionary.
o Adaptation: Give English Language Learners a sheet of paper with words they might not know and include the definition. Have the English Language Learners add to the list as necessary while they are reading.

Reflection: (15 minutes)
� Teacher-led discussion (7 minutes)
o Why did Leslie’s parents move to the country?
o Why do you think Jess changed his mind about Leslie?
o Why was it such a big deal that Leslie’s parents didn’t have a TV?

Journaling: Allow students the last eight minutes to continue writing from the perspective of Jess in their journals. They need to include at least one simile in their writing. They may also finish getting the definitions for their vocabulary words if they were not able to in the realization of meaning section.

Day 5: Chapter 4B (p38-47)-Rulers of Terabithia
Objectives: Students will gain cooperative learning skills by working together.
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of the text so far through the use of a graphic organizer.
Students will write a CINQUAIN to demonstrate their comprehension of the text.
Materials: typing paper, books, journals, pens and pencils
Evocation: My Special Place (15 minutes)
o Give each student a sheet of typing paper.
o Explain that you want students to draw a picture of their favorite place on earth.
o After drawing the place they are to write in four sentences or more why this place is so special. They may write on the back of the typing paper.
o If they have extra time they may color their picture with crayons or colored pencils.
Realization of Meaning: (15 minutes)
o Use the paired reading strategy for this piece of text.
o Have students determine which partner will be the re-teller and which one will be the responder for the first section of text.
o Inform students that they will switch roles after each section.
o The end of each section is marked with a symbol.
o The text can be broken up as follows:
o P38-40
o P41-top of 43
o P43-44
o Middle of p44-end of chapter
o Inform students that they will need to discuss very quietly with their partners because other groups will be reading while some students are having discussion.
o Adaptation: Allow English Language Learners to work together in groups of two to three and work together to re-tell and respond for each section.
Reflection: (15 minutes)
o Review with students how to write a CINQUAIN (3 minutes)
o 1 line description of topic
o 2 word description
o 3 action words
o 4 word phrase showing feeling
o 1 word synonym relating to topic
o Have students write a CINQUAIN about Terabithia. (10 minutes)
o Give students time to share their CINQUAINS (2 minutes)
� Assignment:
o Have students work with a partner to create and complete a post-graphic organizer which demonstrates their understanding of the novel thus far.

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