Lesson plan

Fantastic Fables: 5 W's

In this lesson, students use highlighters, graphic organizers, and a classic fable to exercise their understanding of key details and main idea in a text. They will use manipulatives to promote visual and kinetic learning styles.
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After completing this lesson, students will be able to successfully ask and answer the “who, what, when, where and why” of a given story.

(5 minutes)
  • Hold up or project an image of a short fiction book that your class has read as a whole group.
  • Display an index card with the phrase “5 W’s” written on it.
  • Ask your class who was in the story, what they were doing or trying to accomplish, when did it all take place, where and why.
  • Have them turn to their nearest partner and share their answers to these questions.
(15 minutes)
  • After the brief discussion, display or draw the Star Graphic Organizer using a projector, interactive white board, or white board.
  • Model finding the answers to the who and what questions using the fiction text. Provide evidence to your answers by revisiting the pages in which the answers are found.
  • Make sure to write the page, paragraph, and line number next to each answer, and explain why evidence is so important when providing an answer.

  • Pause the activity and explain to the students that the 5 W’s are supporting details that can help readers discover the main idea.

  • Next, display the Main Idea Anchor Chart, and inform students that the main idea is a short sentence that describes what the story is mainly about.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask for three volunteers or choose three students who can help you complete the remaining questions on the Star Graphic Organizer.
  • Encourage students to cite their evidence.
(20 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they are going to work as a group of detectives to find the 5 W’s in the story Little Red Riding Hood.
  • Review the vocabulary words and their definitions with the class at this time.
  • Focus the attention back to the activity by explaining that instead of using a magnifying glass to look for clues within the text, they will be using glass pebbles instead.
  • Break up your students into groups of five, and provide each group with five different colored highlighters or crayons.
  • Tell students to read the story as a whole group. Once they finish, each member of the team is responsible for finding one of the 5 W’s.
  • Assign colors to each W. For example, blue is who, green is why, etc.
  • Have students color code the sentences in which the “who, what, when, where, and why” are found.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students by adding the task of having them find out how the character managed to complete the what in the story.
  • Support: Assist students by reversing the activity. Provide them with a reading handout that is already highlighted and color-coded and then have them figure out which of the 5 W’s it is addressing.
  • A projector or interactive white board should be used to project the images and handouts used in this activity.
(20 minutes)
  • When the class has finished color-coding the reading worksheets, issue each student a copy of the Star Graphic Organizer and have them complete it individually.
  • Remind them to cite in which paragraph and line they found each of the 5 W’s.
(5 minutes)
  • Remind students of all the new vocabulary and definitions they learned today.
  • Ask them to practice using one of the vocabulary words in a sentence with their nearest partner, through think-pair-share.

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