Crafting Connections
Receive tips, freebies, and resource updates when you subscribe to my newsletter!

Pronouns Anchor Chart and Activities

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
If you teach ELA, chances are good that you cover the topic of pronouns. Pronouns are a perfect example of a skill that spirals in complexity with each passing year. We usually start by introducing pronouns to students in the early elementary grades, and add on new "layers" each year as students advance through elementary school. Types of pronouns include:
  • Personal pronouns (including subjects and objects)
  • Reflexive pronouns
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Relative pronouns
  • Demonstrative pronouns
  • Indefinite pronouns
  • Interrogative pronouns
And that's not even a complete list! Which pronouns do you teach? Your answer likely depends upon your grade level and the state or country in which you teach. Interestingly, Common Core standards identify reflexive pronouns as a second-grade skill, whereas TEKS (Texas standards) identify reflexive pronouns as a fourth-grade skill. Likewise, Common Core standards identify relative pronouns as a fourth-grade skill, while TEKS place them in the sixth-grade category!
This pronouns anchor chart activity is designed for elementary students who are being introduced to personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns. Since pronouns take the place of nouns, the action of physically replacing the nouns with the sticky note pronouns is especially helpful for those students who are kinesthetic learners. Check out the blog post for more details!

Pronouns Anchor Chart

Today, I want to share an anchor chart activity I created for students in the lower elementary grade levels who are being introduced to pronouns and their functions in sentences. In my classroom, this lesson would happen on Day #2 because I would be reviewing what was introduced on yesterday's Introduction to Pronouns PowerPoint. (I almost always use PowerPoints to introduce new concepts to my students.) 
Prior to beginning the lesson, I would make the "shell" of the anchor chart, which would include the title, the three boxes (which would be empty), and the five practice sentences. I would begin by having students help me fill in the words that belong in each of the top three boxes.
This pronouns anchor chart activity is designed for elementary students who are being introduced to personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns. This pronouns anchor chart is highly interactive, as students cover the nouns with pronouns written on sticky notes. Read more about this lesson and view the finished product by visiting my blog post.

Then, I would work through each sentence at the bottom of the anchor chart. As you can see, I intend to ask students to help me replace the underlined words and phrases with pronouns. To help students understand that these pronouns are taking the place of a noun, I will invite a student to place a sticky note over each underlined word or phrase, and then have him or her write the appropriate pronoun on the sticky note. (The action of physically replacing the nouns with the sticky note pronouns is especially helpful for those students who are kinesthetic learners.) 
This pronouns anchor chart activity is designed for elementary students who are being introduced to personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns. Beneath each pronoun sticky note is the noun that the pronoun is replacing. Read more about how I begin this interactive anchor chart lesson by visiting my blog post.

I also color-coded the sticky notes so that they match the colors used in the three boxes near the top of the anchor chart. This helps students see that subject pronouns are usually used near the beginning of a sentence, while object pronouns and reflexive pronouns appear either in the middle or at the end of a sentence.

More Pronoun Resources Needed?

If you happen to be looking for some engaging pronoun resources to use with your students, feel free to check out the pronoun activities in my TpT store. Pictured below are my pronoun bundles. Click on the images to view previews and descriptions.






Pin for future reference:
This pronouns anchor chart activity is designed for elementary students who are being introduced to personal pronouns and reflexive pronouns. Since pronouns take the place of nouns, the action of physically replacing the nouns with the sticky note pronouns is especially helpful for those students who are kinesthetic learners.

Restating the Question in the Answer (Freebie included!)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

Have you ever given your students a worksheet that contains a reading passage followed by a handful of comprehension questions? If your students are like mine, you have learned over the years that you must explicitly tell students to write their answers in complete sentences. If you forget to mention this requirement, many students will compose one- or two-word answers. Therefore, I have found that taking the time to teach students to "restate the question" in the answer is well worth the time it takes. Since upper elementary students still love read-alouds, this is a fun lesson in which you can feature your favorite upper elementary picture book. (Full disclosure: An Amazon affiliate book link is included in this blog post.) As you will see below, I decided to use His Royal Dogness, Guy the Beagle, but any book will work with this lesson.

Before Reading

Let's back up a moment, though, and let me tell you how I begin this lesson. In preparation of this lesson, I write a list of simple questions based on traditional literature on anchor chart paper. 
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.
Then, when class begins, I also distribute a white board, dry-erase marker, and an eraser to each PAIR of students. When each duo has the supplies it needs, I point out the title on the anchor chart, and tell students that I want them to help me answer each question by writing complete sentences that restate the question in the answer. Take a moment to model your expectations by choosing a student to ask you a random question. Write the answer on the board in a complete sentence. 

Instruct students to read Question #1, and then work with their partner to formulate a correct, complete answer and write it on their white board.
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.
Ask a volunteer to share their answer. If it is correct, have them write it on the anchor chart, as well.

Instruct students to read Question #2, but this time, the other student should write on the white board. Continue this until all of the questions are answered.
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.


During Reading

Once all five questions have been answered, we quickly put away our supplies, and I show them the picture book we're going to read together. I tell them that when we finish the book, they will be given a worksheet with questions about the book, and they will practice the skill of restating the question in the answer.
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.
This is a wonderful picture book for so many reasons! First of all, it reminds students that if you are planning to welcome a new pet into your home, rescuing a pet from an animal shelter is a remarkable option. Secondly, as you can see below, the illustrations are outstanding.
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

Also, this book is also perfect for upper elementary students because the authors use a lot of subtle humor throughout the book. It is fun to stop after sentences like the ones below and ask if they understand what the authors are alluding to when they say "English life isn't all kibble and roses", and why it is funny when the authors say that "in England, dogs go to the bathroom on the left side of the hydrant".
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

After Reading

After you are done enjoying the story with your students, hand out the worksheet (click HERE or on the image below to download it). Remind students to answer the questions in complete sentences that restate the question in the answer.
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.

If you're looking for another ready-to-go lesson related to this topic, feel free to check out my Restating the Question PowerPoint!

More Ideas!

This blog post is part of a link up I am doing with my Reading Crew friends! I encourage you to check out the other blog posts in this link-up to gather some additional lesson ideas that feature mentor texts. 
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Pin for later:
Teach your students to answer comprehension questions the right way: by putting the question in the answer. This blog post features a complete lesson which includes an anchor chart, a mentor text, and a FREE practice worksheet.


Summarizing Fiction... Somebody Wanted But So Then

Thursday, September 26, 2019
Have you ever heard of the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy? If you have, I would be interested to hear your opinion on this strategy. When I have talked to people about this summarizing approach in the past, it seems to elicit strong opinions- they either love it or hate it. I must confess... for several years I leaned toward the "strongly dislike" end of this spectrum. However, I recently changed my tune and have come to truly appreciate this strategy. Today, I'm going to tell you about how my change in attitude came about, and I'm going to share a mentor text lesson with you. (If you're short on time, feel free to skip to the mentor text section. Also, full disclosure: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.)
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!


My Personal Experience with the SWBST Strategy

I first learned of this strategy when I attended a teacher-inservice meeting several years ago. Initially, I was intrigued. The examples shared by the presenter were strong summaries! Plus, I liked the idea of having a prescribed "formula" where you just plug in each element. However, when I took this approach back to my classroom and prepared to use it with students, I struggled with it... a lot. Two problems kept holding me back from embracing this strategy. First, I realized that when I used the SWBST strategy, I had to leave out some pretty significant details. Yes, I knew summaries were supposed to be short, but I kept thinking that some details were just too important to skip! Second, I kept running into examples where the SWBST "formula" did not work, and this left me feeling frustrated and confused. Needless to say, I ultimately decided against using the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" strategy, and opted instead for a different approach.

Recently, however, I read a book (Reading Nonfiction by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst) where they devoted an entire section of their book to a version of the SWBST strategy. It renewed my interest in the approach. As I dug deeper, I realized that building a summary based on the words "Somebody Wanted But So Then" did not provide quite enough support for me. Once I found some anchor questions to accompany each word, I began to experience a lot more success when I used the strategy.

Just as I was reacquainting myself with this approach, a teacher just happened to contact me and ask if I would ever consider making a set of summarizing fiction tri-folds using the Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. It felt like fate at the time, and I decided that I needed to give it a try. Much to my surprise, I was able to overcome the two obstacles that blocked me several years earlier. I realized that I needed to "get over" my love for details and that they really should be extremely limited in a summary. As for the times when the SWBST strategy fell short, I eventually came to the conclusion that at those times, students can start by applying the SWBST strategy, but that it's also okay to add in critical information that might not fit into the "formula". (If you would like to view an example of how I address the notion of adding critical information that does not fit the SWBST formula with my students, check out the preview of my Summarizing PowerPoint.)

It took a few years, but now I can say that I am comfortable with the "Somebody Wanted But Then So" summarizing strategy. In fact, I now look forward to teaching this topic to students!

A Mentor Text Lesson

This lesson is designed to occur fairly early in your summarizing fiction unit. Personally, I would introduce the concept of summarizing fiction by using my PowerPoint on Day 1, and this lesson would happen on Day 2. At the beginning of class, I would ask the students to recall the name of the summarizing strategy we learned yesterday. Then, I would ask students to recall the anchor question that goes with each element. As students share, I would write their answers on the anchor chart, leaving space between each section. Therefore, when we are done reviewing, this is what the anchor chart would look like:

Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!


Next, I would read aloud Carnivores, by Aaron Reynolds. This is a fun picture book that appeals to upper elementary students because of the author's clever humor. The three main characters feel hurt and left out because the rest of the animal kingdom fears them, so they try to change their carnivorous ways.
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!
Click HERE to check this book out on Amazon.
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!

Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!

After reading the book, I would return to the anchor chart, asking students to answer each question. Therefore, when finished, the anchor chart would look like this:

Summarizing Fiction Anchor Chart- Use the Somebody Wanted But So Then strategy when teaching your students to write a summary.


Once the anchor questions are answered, writing the summary is a breeze!
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!

If you happen to be searching for resources you can use when teaching students to write a summary, feel free to check out my Summarizing Fiction Bundle!
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This summarizing fiction bundle includes a PowerPoint, a Readers' Theater activity, and 6 practice worksheets.


 Thanks for stopping by!




Pin for future reference:
Writing a summary is simple when you use the "Somebody Wanted But So Then" summarizing strategy. This blog post contains a summarizing fiction anchor chart and a mentor text lesson idea!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top