There is a high percentage of ELL students at my school so I have to spend a lot of time launching any new unit to allow students adequate time to build background knowledge, connect to previous learning and focus on learning new vocabulary. Chocolate Fever was the perfect selection because the students were immediately interested in the story and were immediately engaged.
To introduce the new vocabulary words, I had the students cut out the first page of six vocabulary flashcards. Next, with a partner the students "turned and talked" to discuss what they think each word means from what they already know or from the picture clue on each card. Then, the students used a dictionary to write the definition on the back of each card. It was great listening in on the students and hearing them say, "I was right!" or "I've never heard of that word." Last, to wrap up the lesson, we played vocabulary charades. The next set of vocabulary words don't appear until after chapter 4 so the students began reading the first few chapters before I repeated the same process for the next set of words.
After launching the book, I did a read aloud for the just the first chapter. Afterwards, I explained to the students that they would be responsible for reading the rest of the chapters independently. I use a short comprehension worksheet to check if they read each of the assigned chapters. If they read the chapter carefully, they should be able to get majority of the questions correct. I then took a few minutes to model how to complete the first comprehension worksheet. When students come back the next day after reading the assigned chapter, they work on their comprehension worksheet. Here is an example of a comprehension worksheet:
Since students work at different paces, the "fast and right" students use the extra time to work on the vocabulary word find and the vocabulary crossword puzzle.
I also gave them a fun activity to work on after I read the first chapter. They had to draw pictures of items they might find in Henry's pantry. Most of the students didn't finish with the time I gave them in class, so this was another great "fast and right" activity in addition to the word find and the crossword puzzle.
In addition to reading the chapter as an assignment, I gave the students one other task to complete as they are reading at home. It's very important for students to read the vocabulary words in the context of the story so I gave each student Post-it Flags and instructed them to "highlight" each vocabulary word as they read.
The students were assigned to read chapter 5 and 6 over the weekend. I'm anticipating a very lively discussion on Monday!
Thanks to the Literacy Maven for hosting the linky!