Friday, March 18, 2016

Growing Readers

I am so excited to be part of this link up! It is full of great texts and ways that you can build reading and writing in your classroom. Use this tracking sheet to help you keep track of the secret words for your chance to win! You can win an $65.00 Amazon gift card!

I am a HUGE Jan Bret fan. My mom bought some of her books for me as a kid and I have been in love ever since. I have done several author studies about her with my class. I think I have hooked a whole new generation. I love her stories, but her pictures really set her books apart. I like to use her books to teach several lessons through out the school year. I use them to introduce creative writing and to look for story elements. My favorite Jan Bret book of the moment is Gingerbread Baby. This engaging story has it all; funny dialogue, a play on a familiar story, fun characters and a hunt for the mischievous Ginger Bread Baby. The beautiful illustrations help tell the story of a little boy who is anxious to eat his gingerbread man. He opens the oven too early and a Gingerbread Baby pops out. The town and the animals try to catch the tricky cookie as the little boy hatches his own plan. 
Story elements can be difficult for students to understand. This lesson focuses on character, setting and plot.

Explain what each story element is using an anchor chart. Read a favorite story like Gingerbread Baby. During and after reading look for the story elements in the text.

To check for understanding use the Story Element Sort

Use the story element cards and sorting mat to determine an understanding of character setting and plot. You can use this resource two ways. First laminate the cards and mats to use as a sorting center. Second copy a couple of the element card pages and the mat to use as a worksheet. 

Create an anchor chart to introduce/review skills. I covered mine with post-its so I could reveal it little by little. 

Create a Story Element Guide: This includes character (puff ball person), setting (house), problem (puzzle piece), solution (laminated bandaid) and five story beads( beginning, middle, middle, middle, end). 

Here is a video of me teaching the lesson. Please excuse the blurred out parts for student privacy. 

You can purchase the entire lesson here. Now make sure to enter for your chance to win one of two Amazon gift cards!

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Thank you for joining me! My mystery word is gingerbread. Please head to the other pages to get more great lesson ideas and resources.


  1. I love your ideas for teaching the lesson. Many thanks.

  2. I LOVE the story element guide! What a great visual. Loved this post :)
    The Techie Teacher

  3. Thanks so much for joining us again, Ashley! I love Jan Brett and the Gingerbread books. This is great!