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This is a “Charlie Needs a Cloak” guided reading lesson about sequencing


Language Arts  



Title – Charlie Needs a Cloak Guided Reading Lesson
By – Anne Mayes
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 3; Level J; (Early Transitional Stage)
Duration – 25 minutes


    This lesson is part of a unit on sequence of events. While this text is a narrative, it reads like an informational text and presents a logical set of events that move the readers from the problem/question at hand through the solution/answer: how a cloak is made.


      3F: Pre-Reading – apply pre-reading strategies to aid comprehension (access prior knowledge, preview, predict with evidence, set a purpose for reading)
      3G: During Reading – utilize strategies to determine meaning of unknown words, self-monitor comprehension, question the text, infer, visualize, paraphrase, summarize
    3H: Post-Reading – apply post-reading skills to demonstrate comprehension of the text (answer basic comprehension questions, identify and explain the relationship between the main idea and supporting details, make predictions, question to clarify, reflect, draw conclusions, analyze, paraphrase, summarize)

Missouri State Standards:

    CA 2, 3, 1.5, 1.6, 3.5


    The students will be able to correctly identify the sequence of events in the book.


  • Charlie Needs a Cloak ” – story and pictures by Tomie dePaola (7 copies)
  • individual whiteboard and marker with eraser
  • notebook and pen
  • stuffed sheep
  • l large scissors
  • brush
  • piece of yarn
  • 2 pieces of cloth
  • 3 straight pins
  • needle and thread
  • pocket chart
  • 14 sentence strips:
    (1) Charlie needed a new cloak.
    (2) Charlie sheared his sheep.
    (3) Charlie washed the wool.
    (4) Charlie carded the wool.
    (5) Charlie spun the wool into yarn.
    (6) Charlie picked berries.
    (7) Charlie boiled berries over a fire.
    (8) Charlie dyed the yarn in juice.
    (9) Charlie put the dry yarn on his loom.
    (10) Charlie wove the yarn into cloth.
    (11) Charlie cut the cloth into pieces.
    (12) Charlie pinned the pieces of cloth together.
    (13) Charlie sewed the pieces of cloth together.
    (14) Charlie had a new cloak.


      I. Before:
      “As you know, we are learning about sequence of events. Who remembers what that means? Let’s look at our new book. The title of this book is

“Charlie Needs a Cloak”

      and it is written and illustrated by Tomie dePaola. Do you notice anything unusual about this title? Why do you suppose quotation marks are used? Remember, when quotation marks are used, they show that someone is saying something. Let’s turn to the first page of this book. I would like to read something to you. (Read introductory passage, pg. 1.) Before I turn the page, does anyone want to guess what ‘everyone said?'”
      “Knowing that we are learning about sequence of events, what do you think we will be learning about in this book? Does anyone know what a cloak is? Before we take our picture walk, let’s first turn to the very last page. The author has identified a few words that might be new or confusing, so let’s talk about those first.” (Review of new vocabulary by writing each word on the whiteboard.)
      “Let’s take our picture walk now. Why does Charlie need a new cloak (p. 6)? Does this picture tell you anything? Did some of you need a new coat this winter? Why? Besides growing out of an old coat, what are some possible reasons why you might need a new coat?”
      “Our whiteboard shows some new words – do any of you see a word that might help us figure out what Charlie is doing in this picture (p. 8)? How about a word that might tell us what Charlie is doing to the wool in this picture (p. 12)? When our hair gets tangled, what can we do? This is what Charlie is doing to the wool from his sheep. One of our whiteboard words is spin. Do you see a word that looks like spin on this page (p. 15)? Frame the word that you think is most like the word spin with your fingers. This is an example of a word that does not take the suffix “ed” to make it past tense: spin/spun, not spin/spinned. It is very important to use the strategies we know when we are reading new texts and make sure we use context, meaning and visual cues to help us understand new words and ideas. Here we see Charlie working with his yarn. How does he change its color (p. 17)? Can you think of anything that might change color? How is that done? Someone please read this word for me (frame the word loom with fingers, p. 18)? What do you think a loom is? Here is another of our vocabulary words, but it too looks different from what we might expect: weave/wove. Weave is an unusual word because it can be made past tense either by dropping the “e” and adding our suffix ed or by using the word we see here: wove. Weaved and wove mean the same thing. Finish the picture walk with general observations about the illustrations.”
      “As you read the story, pay attention to what Charlie must do for his cloak. Remember that we are learning about sequence and the topic of our book is Charlie’s cloak. We want to learn about the steps Charlie takes to make his cloak.”
      II. During:
      Children read individually by themselves at their own paces. The teacher drops in to listen to students read. Teacher will refer students to the whiteboard for new words and prompt students if necessary. The teacher will ask the student to briefly review or state the events that have taken place so far to reinforce the idea of sequence and to help students solidify this knowledge (What happened first? What did Charlie do next?). Teacher will take notes based on observations.
      III. After:
      “Let us discuss the sequence of events that was presented in this story. What is this book about?” So many of the questions here will depend solely on the students’ answers and attention to/recall of the story. Essentially, the teacher should continue to ask questions to draw out the story from the students before the sequencing activities (assessment) begin(s).
    “Did anyone happen to notice any other type of sequence in the story? Seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter”


      The students will demonstrate their comprehension of the story by retelling it through various sequence activities.
      First, they will discuss the story with big manipulatives, i.e., stuffed sheep, etc. They will place the objects in order and the teacher will ask them to elaborate on and defend their ideas. They will be asked to refer to the text to support their choices.
      The manipulatives will remain out for reference on the table as the students are divided into pairs; each pair will be given 4 sentence strips (1-4, 2-8, or 9-12) and they will work with their partners to order their set. When they are through, they will come together in the big group of 6 students again and together they will figure out which group is first, second and third with the teacher’s set of sentence strips 13 and 14 coming last.
      Finally, the manipulatives will be put away and all the sentence strips will be jumbled on the table and the students will work together to place them in order in the pocket chart.
    The teacher will take anecdotal notes based on the observations of how well the students grasp the order of events presented in the book. Specifically, the teacher will note whether: the students relied on the manipulatives set out for the first activity to retell the story or to assist with the sentence sequence small group activity; each student participated in the small group activity; and each student was comfortable with the wording and order of the sentence strips for the big group activity.

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