Lessons & Units :: Owl Moon Kindergarten Unit

Read-Aloud Lesson: Owl Moon

Lesson Plan

Owl Moon | 630L

Owl Moon
Learning Goal
Analyze the book’s descriptive language and sensory imagery in order to identify connections between the author’s language and story elements such as setting and character.
Necessary Materials
Provided:
  1. Detailed lesson plan
  2. Graphic organizer for guided practice
  3. Independent student worksheet

Not Provided:
Owl Moon
 
  1. This lesson is a close reading of the entire text. So it’s important to engage students often, to enhance their learning. Here are two tips:
    •   When you ask the more complex questions from the lesson, ask students to “turn-and-talk” or “buddy-talk” before answering.

    •   Once you are deep into the lesson, instead of asking students every question provided, ask them to share with you what questions they should be asking themselves at that point in the text. This is also a great opportunity to use "turn-and-talk."
       
  2. Suggested teacher language is included in the lesson.

  3. We recommend you read the book once to your students, either the day or morning before teaching the lesson.

  4. This research-based, read-aloud lesson may seem long. Why do students need the lesson to be this way?
 

Part 1: Teacher Modeling and Questioning

 

Write the following student-friendly learning goal on the board, then read the learning goal out loud with the class:

We will listen closely to the words the author uses. We will also explain what those words tell us about where the story takes place and the characters in the story.

 
Transition Students into the Text
 
Teacher says: We are about to read a book called Owl Moon. I wonder what an “Owl Moon” could be. Close your eyes and make a picture in your mind of what an Owl Moon could be. [pause to let students close eyes and imagine] I am picturing an owl’s face and a big, round moon at the same time. Now let’s start reading and see what an Owl Moon really is.
 
Read pages 1-3 out loud, then stop. Page 3 ends with, “...Pa and I.” Show students the accompanying illustrations. If possible, always show students the illustrations on the pages you read throughout the lesson.
1.
Teacher asks: What time is this story taking place?
 
Students answer: This story is taking place at night.
2.
Teacher asks: What is it like outside on this winter night?
 
Students answer (all of the following are acceptable):
  • There is no wind.
  • The trees are still.
  • The moon is bright.
  • The sky seems to shine.
3.
Teacher asks: The book has told us what it looks like on this winter night. What has the book told us about the sounds on this winter night? Are there any noises?
 
Students answer: Yes, there are noises.
4.
Teacher asks: What are the noises?
 
Students answer (both of the following are acceptable):
  • There is a train whistle.
  • There are dogs making noise, or barking.
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5.
Teacher says (models thinking): The book has told us a lot about what this winter night is like. The details help us imagine what is happening. We can picture trees standing still under a bright moon. We can hear a train whistle that sounds like a sad, sad song. We can hear the noise of dogs joining in with the train whistle. Then, after the whistle and the noise of dogs goes away, it is “as quiet as a dream.”
6.
Teacher asks: Where are Pa and the person telling this story walking?
 
Students answer: They are walking toward the woods.
7.
Teacher says: I wonder what the woods will look like and sound like. Let’s find out.
 
Read pages 4-7. Page 7 ends with, “‘Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo.’”
8.
Teacher asks: What do the woods look like?
 
Students answer (both of the following are acceptable):
  • The trees in the woods are black.
  • The trees in the woods are pointy.
9.
Teacher asks: What sound does Pa make?
 
Students answer (both of the following are acceptable):
  • Pa makes the sound of a Great Horned Owl.
  • “Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo.”
10.
Teacher says: Imagine you are Pa standing next to the dark woods under the bright moon. Now, all together, let’s make the sound of a Great Horned Owl, just like Pa did.
 
Students respond: “Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo.”
11.
Teacher says: I wonder why Pa is making this sound. Let’s see whether we can figure out why Pa is calling out like an owl as we keep reading.
 
Read pages 8-11. Page 11 ends with, “...your own heat.”
12.
Teacher asks: The book has told us what the characters see and hear in the woods. Now the book is telling us how it feels to be in the woods. What does it feel like to be in the woods?
 
Students answer: At minimum, students should respond that being in the woods feels cold.
13.
Teacher asks: What does the back of the character telling the story feel like?
 
Students answer: Her back feels like someone’s icy hand was palm-down on top of it.
 
If students struggle with this question, reread the first two sentences on page 11. (“We walked on. I could feel the cold, as if someone’s icy hand was palm-down on my back.”)
14.
Teacher asks: How do her nose and cheeks feel?
 
Students answer: Her nose and cheeks feel hot and cold at the same time.
 
If students struggle with this question, reread the third sentence on page 11. (“And my nose and the tops of my cheeks felt cold and hot at the same time.”)
 
Read pages 12 and 13. Page 13 ends with, “...you have to be brave.”
15.
Teacher asks: Now the characters have gone into the woods. What do they see?
 
Students answer: Responses may vary, as long as they come from the book. For example:
  • They see black shadows.
  • They see black trees.
16.
Teacher asks: What is the character telling the story feeling?
 
Students answer: Responses may vary, as long as they have a basis in the book. For example:
  • Her mouth feels furry.
  • Her mouth feels wet and warm from the scarf over it.
  • She feels scared but is trying to be brave.
 
Read pages 14-15. Page 15 ends with, “...in a cereal bowl.” Explain that “clearing” means an open space or area.
17.
Teacher says: Look at the picture. [show illustration on pages 15 and 16]
18.
Teacher asks: What are some things the author has described that you can see in this picture?
 
Students answer (all of the following are acceptable):
  • You can see the clearing in the woods.
  • You can see the dark woods.
  • You can see the light from the moon.
  • You can see the snow.
  • You can see that the snow is whiter than milk in a cereal bowl.
19.
Teacher says: Often in a story the author will describe something in words, and the pictures show what the author has described. The words and pictures tell the story together. As we saw with the clearing and the snow that looked like milk in a cereal bowl, both the words and pictures can help you imagine what is happening in the story.
 
Read pages 16-18. Page 18 ends with, “‘Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo.’”
20.
Teacher asks: Pa makes his owl sound again. How many times does he call like an owl?
 
Students answer: He calls like an owl two times.
21.
Teacher says: Pa lifts his face to call a third time. But then an echo comes “threading its way through the trees.” That means a sound came back, twisting and turning through the trees.
22.
Teacher asks: Where could this sound be coming from?
 
Students answer: Ideally, students will infer that the sound is coming from an owl in the woods. Students may also respond that because the sound is an “echo,” it could be Pa’s own voice bouncing back to him.
 
Read pages 19-21. Page 21 ends with, “...hooted.” Explain that “hooted” means “made a sound like ‘whoo-whoo.’”
23.
Teacher asks: What do the characters see?
 
Students answer: The characters see an owl shadow fly over them.
24.
Teacher asks: What do the characters hear?
 
Students answer: The characters hear hooting.
25.
Teacher says: The characters are watching silently with heat in their mouths. Take your hand and put it over your mouth. Now breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Do you feel how hot your breath is? That is what the mouths of the characters were like as they stood silently in the woods.
26.
Teacher asks: Think about what the characters have just seen and heard. Think about the heat in their mouths. How do the characters probably feel?
 
Students answer: Responses may vary but should correspond to the events of the story. For example, students may respond that the characters feel excited.
 
Read pages 22-28. Page 28 ends with, “...as we walked home.”
27.
Teacher asks: Pa says, “‘Time to go home.’” When Pa speaks, his daughter knows she is allowed to talk. Does she say anything?
 
Students answer: No, she does not say anything.
28.
Teacher asks: The daughter does not say anything. Instead, we read that she was a shadow as she walked home with her father. Does that mean she was an actual shadow, dark and silent and flat on the ground?
 
Students answer: No, it does not mean that she was an actual shadow.
29.
Teacher asks: What does it mean that the girl was a shadow as she and her father walked home?
 
Students answer: Responses may vary but should recognize that the girl was quiet like a shadow and perhaps also that she was dark in the blackness of the woods.
30.
Teacher asks: How does the girl feel as she walks home? Support your answer with information from the story.
 
Students answer: Responses may vary, as long as they are supported by the book. For example, students may respond that the girl feels calm because she does not say anything.
 
Finish reading the story.
31.
Teacher asks: We have come back to the title of the book: “Owl Moon.” Remember at the beginning of the lesson we asked ourselves what an Owl Moon could be? Now we have read a story about an Owl Moon. Based on that story, what is an Owl Moon?
 
Students answer: Responses may vary, as long as they are supported by the book. For example, students may respond that an Owl Moon is a moon on a night when people go out and look for owls. They may also respond that an owl moon is a moon bright enough to allow people to go looking for owls at night.
 

Part 2: Guided Practice and Discussion

 
For this oral lesson, it is suggested to have the completed graphic organizer on the board with the answers concealed. After students provide a correct answer, reveal the corresponding answer on the graphic organizer.
1.
Teacher asks: Listen to these words from the story: “The moon was so bright the sky seemed to shine.” What sense do these words make you think of?
 
Students answer: These words make me think of sight. (Students may write and/or illustrate “sight” on their graphic organizer.)
2.
Teacher says: Draw a picture of a moon so bright that the sky seems to shine.
3.
Teacher asks: Listen to these words from the story: “A train whistle blew, long and low, like a sad, sad song.” What sense do these words make you think of?
 
Students answer: These words make me think of hearing. (Students may write and/or illustrate “hearing” on their graphic organizer.)
4.
Teacher says: Draw a picture of a train blowing its whistle.
5.
Teacher asks: Listen to these words from the story: “…pine trees, black and pointy against the sky.” What sense do these words make you think of?
 
Students answer: These words make me think of sight. (Students may write and/or illustrate “sight” on their graphic organizer.)
6.
Teacher says: Draw a picture of black and pointy trees.
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7.
Teacher asks: Listen to these words from the story: “‘Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo.’” What sense do these words make you think of?
 
Students answer: These words make me think of hearing. (Students may write and/or illustrate “hearing” on their graphic organizer.)
8.
Teacher says: Draw a picture of something that goes “Whoo-whoo-who-who-who-whooooooo” in the story.
9.
Teacher asks: Listen to these words from the story: “The tops of my cheeks felt cold and hot at the same time.” What sense do these words make you think of?
 
Students answer: These words make me think of touch. (Students may write and/or illustrate “touch” on their graphic organizer.)
10.
Teacher says: Draw a picture of someone’s cheeks feeling cold and hot at the same time.
 
After the answers for the graphic organizer have been completed and discussed with the class, ask the following two extension questions.
 
Teacher asks: A description of something is one or more details about what that thing is like. What is an example of a description in this story? Explain what makes it a description.
 
Students answer: Responses may vary. For instance, students may mention the description of the train whistle blowing long and low, like a sad, sad, song. It qualifies as a description because the author provides details about what the whistle sounded like.
 
Teacher asks: How do the descriptions in the book help you understand what is happening in the story? Give an example.
 
Students answer: Responses may vary. In the case of the train whistle, the description allows readers to hear the whistle in their mind. That helps make it seem like the story is actually happening as they read.
 

Part 3: Student Independent Practice

 
Read each question out loud to your students and have each student complete the worksheet independently. For questions 5 A) and 6, you can have students draw their answers, answer orally, or write their answers, depending on your students’ progress. If you have them write their answers, you may want to write the word(s) on the board for them to copy.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

This will tie in nicely with a realistic fiction unit I teach. This is a very good model of how to be a descriptive writer!

Very useful and correlated with CCSS.

I love how this is so useful for 2nd grade EL students.