Lessons & Units :: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball 5th Grade Unit

Lesson 2: Retelling a Life

Lesson Plan

The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball | 760L

The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball
Learning Goal
Retell the events in the life of a main character.
Approximately 2 Days (40 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: Jackie’s Childhood Excerpts Chart, Jackie’s Childhood Comic Strip, Jackie’s Military Excerpts Handout, Jackie’s Military Excerpts Answers, Jackie’s Military Years Comic Strip Example, Jackie’s Military Years Comic Strip, Jackie’s Early Baseball Career Comic Strip (Student Packet, pp. 11- 12)
Not Provided: Comic book or graphic novel, chart paper, markers, The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball by Margaret Davidson
  • Before the Lesson

    Read Chapter 4: “Lieutenant Robinson” – Chapter 5: “A Special Kind of Guts;” Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapter 4: “Lieutenant Robinson” – Chapter 5: “A Special Kind of Guts”

  • Activation & Motivation

    I will explain that as a class, we are going to briefly look at a comic book or graphic novel. Together, answer and discuss the following questions: What are the features of a comic book? (panels that tell a story in images, captions) What does this comic book show us about a plot?(sequence, important scenes, visual effects) Does a written book give us more or less detail than a comic book?

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that when I am reading, it is helpful to retell the important events in a story in the sequence in which they happened. This will help me remember what happened in the story and when. Since I am reading about a real person’s life story in a biography, I want to retell the important events in the life of our main character—Jackie Robinson.

    A comic book format, like the one we just looked at, is a helpful tool to organize the sequence of important events in a character’s life, because it allows us to retell a story in order without all of the textual details. By creating a panel-by-panel graphic depiction, I can visualize the important events in a person’s life and retell them in the order in which they occurred.

    There are three steps to retelling the time periods in a character’s life. First, I will read the story and determine the important events. Important events are events that impact the character. When retelling good readers choose the most important events to retell, rather than the little details (if readers retold every detail, the retelling would be longer than the story itself). Then, in the order in which they occurred, I will write summarizing captions of the important events on our comic strip and draw the event in the corresponding box. Finally, I will retell the whole time period aloud, using the comic strip as my guide.

    I will model retelling Jackie’s childhood. First, I will read aloud an excerpt from the book to determine whether the event is important. Note: See Jackie’s Childhood Excerpts Chart for specific excerpts. It is important to model reading the excerpts from the book and then marking on the chart if each excerpt is important or unimportant. For example, I will read aloud the excerpt from page 20: ”For years, Jackie had seen his mother working almost constantly. After he graduated from high school, he wanted to find a full-time job so he could bring home money to her. But Mallie Robinson wouldn’t hear of it. She had always dreamed of sending her children to college, and so she convinced Jackie to go. In the fall of 1937 Jackie entered Pasadena Junior College.”

    I will ask myself if it is important that Jackie’s mom sent him to Junior College. I think it is, because that is where he was noticed as an extraordinary sports player. Going to college was a major event in his life. I will write “yes” under the “Important?” column on the Jackie’s Childhood Excerpts Chart.

    I will also determine which events are not important, such as Jackie staying up late to practice marbles. I will explain that this is a good example of Jackie excelling at games, but it is not significant enough to put in our graphic retelling. I will write “no” under the “Important?” column on the Jackie’s Childhood Excerpts Chart. I will continue to read aloud the excerpts from the Jackie’s Childhood Excerpts Chart and determine if they are important.

    Next, I will take the excerpts I determined to be important events and rewrite them in retelling language. In order to do this, I will summarize each event in a sentence and use sequence or transition words to make the retelling seem more story-like (without these words, the events will seem like a list, rather than a retelling). For example, “Then, Jackie’s mom sent him to Pasadena Junior College where he could get an education and excel in sports”. I will write these sentences in the order in which they occurred as captions on Jackie’s Childhood Comic Strip (or on chart paper) and draw a visual representation of the events in the appropriate boxes. Note:Teachers should prepare to draw the images ahead of time, or can skip the visualization piece of the modeling. See Jackie’s Childhood Comic Strip for specific examples. Finally, I will look back over my comic strip and retell the childhood of Jackie Robinson aloud to the class.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I retell a time period in the life of the main character in a biography?" Students should answer that you can identify the important events in the character’s life, rewrite the excerpts from the text as retelling sentences, and put them in sequence to retell the time period.

  • Guided Practice

    will continue to retell the important events in Jackie’s life in small groups. We will read excerpts from Jackie’s military years from Chapter 4: “Lieutenant Robinson.” Note: Excerpts can also be found on the Jackie’s Military Excerpts Handout. It is important to read the excerpts from the book and then marking on the handout if each excerpt is important or unimportant. See the Jackie’s Military Excerpts Answers for sample responses.

    We will determine whether the events are important enough to be included on our comic strips. For example, we will start with Jackie being sent to Fort Riley for military duty during WWII, but we will leave out how only a few tables were added to the PX. The important part is that he stood up for his superiors. Then, we will write our retelling captions in order on our Jackie’s Military Years Comic Strip and draw in the scenes of those events. Note: See Jackie’s Military Years Comic Strip Example for sample responses and Jackie’s Military Years Comic Strip for a blank template. Finally, we will retell Jackie’s military years aloud, highlighting only the important events in the order in which they occurred.

  • Independent Practice

    will retell the Jackie’s early baseball career by selecting the important events from Chapter 3: “’Stop Robinson!’” and Chapter 5: “A Special Kind of Guts.” You will make sure to retell the events in the order that they happened in Jackie’s life. (See pages 11-12 in the Student Packet.)

    You will create a comic strip using captions and visual representations to retell his rise to fame. If you need additional space, you may create your own comic strip separate sheets of paper. You will verify that the comic strip events are in the order in which they occurred in Jackie’s life. Note: Excerpts were not provided for the Independent Practice, because it is important that students reread the chapters and determine which events should be included on their comic strip. In assessing the Independent Practice, be sure to focus on the captions, rather than the graphic retelling.

  • Reflective Practice

    will come together and present our comic strips. Each student will discuss why they excluded some events and not others. Teachers may ask that students continue to create a Jackie Robinson Comic Book as a class project and retell Jackie’s entire life story.

Build Student Vocabulary discriminate

Tier 2 Word: discriminate
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story Jim Crow was a system, “a really rigid pattern of discrimination that kept Negroes down in as many ways as possible.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) To discriminate means to treat someone worse than other people because he or she belongs to a particular group of people. In this book, we talk a lot about how Jackie Robinson and other black people are discriminated against because of their race – they are treated poorly because they are black. Jim Crow was the system of discrimination that discourages black people from doing the same things that whites are allowed to do.
Students repeat the word Say the word discriminate with me: discriminate.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts In the United States, it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or gender. Businesses cannot discriminate against people just because they are in a wheelchair.
Students provide examples If I tell you that other countries sometimes discriminate against the elderly (older people), what do I mean? Students should say, “Countries that discriminate against older people…”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? discriminate
Additional Vocabulary Words rejected, influence, furious, tormentor, coward, reputation

Texts & Materials

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