Objective: Students will be able to identify and label inferred and stated feelings by using symbols in leveled text.
Introduce the lesson by asking students how they get to know a friend well. Explain that an author helps us to know a character the same way, by showing and telling the reader a character's feelings. Point out examples of the author "showing" the character's feelings through dialogue, actions, or thoughts and ask the students to infer or guess those feelings. Other times the author states the character's feeling. Show examples of stated feelings. Ask the students which is more interesting and why. Use the symbols to identify these elements as you read the story. Begin the lesson by modeling the application of the symbols as you read. Label stated and inferred feelings by drawing the associated symbol on a sticky note and placing it on the book. For example, draw a heart on a sticky note and write the feeling in the heart. Label it in the text where that feeling is inferred or stated.
Use the format of the previous lesson for subsequent lessons identifying the character's dialogue, actions, then inferred and stated thoughts, and character traits. Students should label with sticky notes each element modeled in the shared lesson (feelings, actions, dialogue, thoughts and character traits) in their leveled text. The lessons can be easily differentiated. For example: Students can simply label a feeling by drawing the heart symbols or label the feeling by drawing the heart and then writing the feeling inside the heart ("excited") or drawing the heart and writing the feeling with the explanation in the heart: "Rainbow Fish is excited because the other fish want to play with him." Be sure to ask students to bring their books to guided reading group. This is an excellent form of assessment. You will quickly observe the different levels of comprehension by reading what and how students label each element. Their ability to use higher level thinking independently will be quite clear when inferred thoughts, feelings, and character traits are supported and explained with evidence described in the text.