Reading and writing are among the most important activities at a junior level of education. A learner will always get introduced to the world of literacy at the third-grade stage, and it is always important to ensure that they get attracted to this new world at the earliest stage possible. Fiction has played an important role in making learners at third-grade stage understand some of the important information at that level of education. The world of imagination is important because it allows these learners to develop creativity and the ability to imagine what is beyond normal events (Hale, 2005). Fiction also helps in passing information to the learners at this level of education. This paper focuses on reading and viewing activities for learners at the third-grade stage.
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Carle, E. (2011). The very hungry caterpillar. London: Puffin.
The book ‘The very hungry caterpillar‘ is a factious book written by Eric Carle. The book was first published in 1970 by Puffin in London. Penguin Books published its current version in the year 2011. The fiction is about a hungry caterpillar that eats excessively until it becomes a cocoon. The author has successfully used pictures, colours and numeric to bring out the idea to the readers. The book targets readers in the third grade. In this book, the caterpillar let greed take the better part of it. The caterpillar would leave a number of holes on the leaves of various plants. It grew fatter and bigger and later changed into a butterfly with numerous colours.
This tale brings the learner to reality in this world. The learner is made to appreciate the fact that in this world, various forces will always act in a way that will destroy the happiness and joy of people. The tale helps demonstrate that the world is full of struggle against very strong forces that comes one’s way. It also emphasizes the need to act with the self-restraint to avoid cases where one is faced with misfortune. The caterpillar eats everything, leaving a trail of destruction. The caterpillar does not appreciate the fact that there is a level beyond which it may not be able to control itself if it goes ahead with the eating. This is what happens when it is forced to change into a cocoon. In this new form, it can no longer eat as much as it used to before. This helps the learner at this early stage to appreciate the fact that the world is about struggling, and that discipline is very important.
This book has brought out some teaching emphases on various fronts. The author has focused on the need to embrace discipline in the lives of learners. This is one of the main reasons why the author chose to bring out the fact that caterpillars never thought of regulating the amount of food it ate. Learners can achieve good results if they are disciplined, and this is what the author is trying to demonstrate in this book. Another point of emphasis in this book is the need to press on despite the challenges that might come along the way. The caterpillars were forced to undergo a very challenging stage of being a cocoon, but they changed into beautiful butterflies after that. This is what the author tries to impart on the learners. The book also emphasizes the need for the learner to act in a way that will develop the society for the benefit of everyone.
Berger, M., & Berger, G. (2008). Butterflies & caterpillars. New York: Scholastic.
This book was written by Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger in the year 2008. The book was published by Scholastic in New York, the United States. These scholars focus on making learners develop their numeric and logic skills. In this book, the scholars appreciate that learners at third grade lack a clear motivational force as far as a success in life is concerned. In this book, the scholars emphasize that children are better taught with the help of objects. The book has used a series of colours, pictures and other objects to help improve the learner’s ability to understand numeric. The book has also emphasized the importance of improving learners’ logical reasoning at this early stage of learning. This has been ensured by making them understand the logical stages that a butterfly will follow before it can be transformed into a beautiful butterfly. As such, graphics becomes very important in enhancing the learning process. Bringing fantasy enhances the ability of the learner to be imaginative. This act as a force that drives learners to understand the basics in the classroom set up.
The rationale for this text is clearly illustrated in its context. A teacher should be in a position to understand his or her learners. In the third grade, it is very difficult for learners to reason beyond what they can see physically. As a result of this, it becomes very important if the teacher can use pictures and other attractive figures to enhance the learner’s imaginative strength (Croft, 2007). A learner should be made to understand that there is a need to reason beyond what can be seen physically in the immediate environment. In the third grade, learners may lack a clear focus on being an achiever in the classroom. At this stage, emphasis should be on teacher-guided reading. These scholars state that in the third grade, learners always associate learning with the teacher. They will, therefore, fail to work independently without direct guidance from the teacher. This fact is very evident as this scholar demonstrates in the series of questions and answers. At this level, learners are always very playful. They consider learning as a responsibility that is very heavy. They will, therefore, only consider undertaking this responsibility under direct supervision. The book also reflects on the physical environment in the society.
According to scholars, some subject would require the attention of the whole class. However, some subjects would need the teacher to group learners into small or large groups depending on several factors. This is demonstrated where learners are expected to compare various pictures and respond to true or false questions on every page. This way, the concerned teacher will be in a position to gauge the capacity of learners.
This book has several major teaching emphases. The first emphasis that this book has put is the need to ensure that every teacher understands each learner’s capacity. For the teacher to be able to meet his or her main objective of imparting knowledge on the learners, he or she must know what each learner needs (Annadale, 2005). At the third grade, learners are likely to reason differently, especially due to the difference in their backgrounds and environments from which they come. Generalizing these learners may result in a situation where some of the learners are left back academically. If this happens, the teacher shall have lost the focus of making every learner understand the basic knowledge at this level of education.
The two books above present a number of learning activities. As a teacher, it is always important to identify specific learning activities and ensure that they are emphasized when undertaking the process of reading (Raman, 2004). It may not be possible to focus on all reading activities at once. It may even be challenging to choose two activities during a single reading process. This is why teachers are always forced to determine the focus of the study concerning reading activities. The table below shows four reading activities which were selected for the two books discussed in part A of this paper.
|Carle, E. (2011). The very hungry caterpillar. London: Puffin.|
|Activity A: Encouraging kids to read |
The book ‘The very hungry caterpillar‘ is focused on encouraging learners to read. The story is very interesting. The audiences of this book are the learners themselves. The book is very interesting and is meant to motivate junior learners to read in the absence of teachers. The learner will try to revisit the story when he or she is on his or her own. This will encourage such a learner to develop a positive attitude towards reading. The learner will have the urge to pick a related book, hoping to get an equally interesting story. At this stage, the learner’s main role is code-breaking. The learner will be to identify words, phrases or terminologies that are vital in the text. The learner will then be expected to define these terms. Another role of the reader that comes out clearly at this stage is text participant’s role. The reader will be expected to develop a relationship between what is written in the text and practical life incidents.
|Activity B: practising of parts of speech |
This book presents several important activities, among them, being practising parts of speech. Parts of speech are an important aspect of a language that helps develop an understanding of the language. English, unlike other languages, has very strict rules that should be observed both in its written and spoken forms. Parts of speech mark the beginning of understanding these rules. During the reading of the fiction, learners will be expected to develop an understanding of parts of speech. The role of the learner at this stage will be text user. As the learner understands parts of speech, they will be expected to develop an understanding of the whole text. The learner will be expected to interpret the text. Understanding parts of speech also acts as part of developing an understanding of the text by being able to create a big picture in the story. This is the best way to help advance the reasoning of learners.
|Berger, M., & Berger, G. (2008). Butterflies & caterpillars. New York: Scholastic.|
|Activity C: practising of alphabetical order |
This second book is an informational text. Unlike the fiction book looked at in the above stage, this book brings out facts about teaching logic and numeric to learners in the third stage. Unlike the above case, in this text, the target audience is both the teacher and learners. When teaching logical skills at this level, emphasis should be on letters of the alphabet and their order. Learners above third grade are not expected to have any problem with the alphabetical order.Therefore, the teacher is expected to develop mechanisms through which he or she will ensure that learners develop a comprehensive understanding of the alphabetical order. This will be part of teaching literacy skills (Chin, 2002). The reader will once again be expected to be a code breaker. To understand alphabetical order, it will be important for the learner to understand specific words in the text. The learner should identify terminologies that are complex and then put them into their right perspective. The reader should then move a step higher and develop an understanding of phrases in the text.
|Activity D: Spelling Activity |
Learners in the third grade are always expected to have an understanding of spelling. Spelling activity is, therefore, an important activity in this book. The teaching process at this stage will be closely guided by the teacher. The teacher will have to be in charge, and he or she will have to control the activities of the learners in the class. The teacher will have to make the learners embrace the need to have an understanding of the spelling of various words in English vocabulary. This activity should be taken orally. The teacher will be responsible for turning this process into a competitive game to be enjoyed by members of the class.According to Bean (2009), one of the best ways to make learners at juvenile stage develop an understanding of complex contexts is by making the whole process appear like a game. This will eliminate chances that the learner will be bored; hence switch off from the activity. Spelling can be very challenging to a learner in the third grade. It would be important to make the process of understanding spellings as enjoyable as possible (Champion & Kerr, 2007). The learner should use the available texts to enhance their spelling skills. The reader, in this case, will take the role of codebreaker. The reader should be able to identify the words and phrases that are complex in the text. In the process of identifying these texts, learners should also understand their spelling. This should be done simultaneously. As the learner will be identifying the terminologies, they will also be developing a mastery of their spelling.
Annadale, K. (2005). Reading resource book. Salem, Mass: Steps Professional Development.
Bean, R. M. (2009). The reading specialist: Leadership for the classroom, school, and community. New York: Guilford Press.
Berger, M., & Berger, G. (2008). Butterflies & caterpillars. New York: Scholastic.
Carle, E. (2011). The very hungry caterpillar. London: Puffin.
Champion, J. & Kerr, J. (2007). Developing literacy: Using the four roles of the reader. Port Melbourne: Rigby Harcourt Education.
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Chin, B. (2002). The reader’s choice: Course 1. New York, New York: McGraw-Hill.
Croft, F. (2007). Reading activities for books or stories: Activities for use in conjunction with novels, picture books, non-fiction reference materials and magazines. Greenwood: Ready-Ed Publishers.
Hale, D. (2005). The Novel: The Novel. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Raman, M. (2004). English language teaching. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors.
In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.
One Sunday morning the warm sun come up and out of the egg come a tiny and very hungry caterpillar.
He started to look for some food.
On Monday he ate through one apple, but he was still hungry.
On Tuesday he ate through two pears, but he was still hungry.
On Wednesday he ate through three plums, but he was still hungry.
On Thursday he ate through four strawberries, but he was still hungry.
On Friday he ate through five oranges, but he was still hungry.
On Saturday he ate through:
- A cake
- An ice cream
- A hot dog
- A lollipop
- A muffin
That night he had a stomach ache.
Butterfly Circus, Student Card Activity #1
- By Melvin Berger and Gilda Berger
- Title: The Hatching and Molting Station
- Open your egg.
- Help your growing friend molt by pulling him out of his old skin.
Questions to think about
- What was inside the egg?
- What stage of the butterfly’s life cycle is this?
- What happened to the caterpillar after you helped him molt?
- What do you think will happen the next time the caterpillar grows too big for his skin?
Butterfly Circus, Teacher Information Card Activity #1
- Title: The Molting Station
- Topic: Lifecycles (of butterflies)
- Grade Level: Kindergarten
- Standards: VA SOL K.6
The student will investigate and understand basic needs and life processes of plants and animals.
- living things change as they grow, and they need food, water, and air to survive
- plants and animals live and die (go through a life cycle)
Plastic eggs; sponges (the kind that bounces back to its true shape quickly after it’s decompressed); nylons,
needle, thread, and a marker to add details to the caterpillar and the molted skin.
- What was inside the egg when you opened it? (a caterpillar)
- What Stage of the butterfly’s lifecycle is this? (1st- caterpillar comes out of the egg)
- What happened to the caterpillar after he molted? (he got bigger – caterpillar molts because he is too big for his skin)
- What do you think will happen next time the caterpillar grows too big for his skin? (he will molt again)
Notes: When the “caterpillar” is taken out of its stocking skin, the sponge will expand, making the caterpillar look like it became larger after the molt. The purpose of this activity is to emphasize the first two stages of the butterfly’s lifecycle (which are counted as one when shortened into four main stages) and to help the students understand complex concept of molting. There is no source for this activity. It was the product of the minds of Johanna Blevins and Amaya Hain.