Lesson Zero • Day One

We will read 3-4 stories for each section that highlight each skill. Your child should be able to access all the stories etc at home on the McGrawHill ConnectEd site.

Genre: folktales.

  • Folktales are based on the traditions and beliefs of a people.
  • Folktales are passed down from generation to generation. Students may find oral storytelling cues like many years ago or once upon a time.
  • Folktales often use animal characters.
  • Folktales often teach a lesson.

Essential Question

What discoveries can people make when they cooperate with others?

When people cooperate, they work together toward the same goal. Discuss the topic of discoveries. Focus on what people can accomplish, or do, when they work together and what they might discover about themselves or others.

  • One person alone may not be able to solve a problem or accomplish a goal.
  • When people cooperate and share their ideas and individual talents, they make a strong team.
  • Teamwork can lead to new discoveries and help people accomplish things they could not do alone.

Why is cooperating with others on a team a good way to accomplish a goal?

Use Speaking Checklist and Listening Checklists to make sure you are a sharing properly with your partner.

Read Kaffa’s Discovery

Look for clues about the lesson that the story is trying to teach. Reread paragraphs 1 & 2 Who is the main character? What does he want to do?

Folktales are tales passed down from parents to children. Tell students that the purpose of folktales is usually to teach a lesson. The lesson is often stated at the end of the story.

The purpose of the folktale “Kaffa’s Discovery” is to teach a lesson about teamwork. Readers can identify details in the story that support the theme.

  • What happens when Kaffa and his sister Mandi argue about who should be leader? 
  • What does Annie tell Kaffa? 
  • What does Kaffa learn? 
  • What happens when Kaffa and his sister Mandi argue about who should be leader? (Kaffa does not do his job and Annie must save the mob.)
  • What does Annie tell Kaffa? (Everyone in the mob is important. They need each other for food and protection.)
  • What does Kaffa learn? (Everyone is important on a team and each team member must do his or her part.)

We will encounter complex texts that require them to read carefully and think deeply. We will need to read paragraph by paragraph, determine the meaning of unfamiliar words, and connect and make inferences about information and ideas as they go. Sometimes I will need to help you to understand the text.

Purpose The purpose of a fiction text may be more complicated than simply to entertain. Students will need to decide whether to focus on the characters, the setting, or the plot. As they read, they will also need to recognize the story narrator’s or main character’s perspective about events and other characters. They should also notice whether the author is more sympathetic to some characters than others.Genre Different genres incorporate literary elements and devices. Readers need to attend to these in order to fully comprehend the text. Students need to understand the “rules” for fictional genres. For example, they should recognize that folktales have a message and the characters’ actions lead to that message.Organization Students need to understand how a text is organized in order to find evidence within the text. Most narratives at the Grade 3 level have a linear structure in which the plot events, beginning, middle, and end are presented in sequence. Literature narratives also have settings and characters.Connection of Ideas When reading complex fictional texts, students need to make inferences and synthesize information throughout the text. They must recognize that in fiction, the characters’ actions may be implied rather than explicit.Sentence Structure Complex sentence structures, such as dialogue or formal and informal language, may be challenging for students and require close reading.Specific Vocabulary Fiction texts may include idioms, similes, metaphors, and concept words that may require students to use a dictionary, context clues, or knowledge of word parts.Prior Knowledge Complex fiction texts may assume a level of prior knowledge that students may not have. Students may need additional cultural/historic background.

Vocabulary Strategy

  • Context Clues
  • Using A Thesaurus


Decoding Multisyllabic Words

Day 2: Comprehension Strategy: Theme

Theme: As good readers read narrative texts, they go beyond character, setting, and plot to analyze theme. The theme is the overall lesson or message an author wants to express through the story. Usually readers will need to make inferences to determine the theme. They will put together the important details of a story, decide what the message is, and use the details to paraphrase the theme. Readers should read the entire story before determining the theme.

Make Inferences As students determine the theme and character’s point of view, they will need to make inferences. To make an inference, they will use important details in the story to determine information that the author does not state.

Published by Jackie Marie Beyer

I grew up on Long Island about 20 miles from NYC. When I was in 4th grade I read Sasha, My Friend by Barbara Corcoran which is a story about a little girl who moves to her dad’s Christmas tree farm in northwest Montana. From that day on I was determined to move there and when I was 21 I entered the University of Montana in Missoula. During my junior year I met my husband on a mountainside and we have been happily married for over 25 years now! I have had such an exciting life, traveling all around the United States, mostly in the Northwest corner and back and forth between Montana and NYC. When I am not in the classroom, I spend most of my time in Montana’s National Forests, collecting firewood, picking wildflowers, gathering mushrooms, searching for antlers, or just sighting a majestic mountain view! I love to hike with my friends and family and paint the things that I see and find, creating stories to share!

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