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Symbols and Figurative Language Because of Winn-Dixie

Lesson Teacher: Teresa Gleason Date: TBD

Days 8 and 9 of Unit

Lesson Grade Level: 5 Timeframe: 90 minutes per day

Content Area: Language Arts Grouping Strategy: Whole Group, Small Group, and

Preparing for Lesson Development

1. What does your pre-assessment observation indicate about your students needs and current
performance and educational needs? Students do not know what symbols are. They have familiarity
with how to make similes and metaphors through our poetry work. Many students struggle with abstract
concepts, indicating that symbols will be a difficult concept for them at this time. This lesson serves to
introduce the concept and make students aware of the use of symbols and figurative language in literary

2. How will you design the lesson to meet the needs of all learners in your classroom? Our poetry activity
will have students connect an object to a person or pet using metaphor and symbolism. In case students are
not able to bring an object or if they forget, have a variety of objects on hand in case they need to use those.

Lesson Plan Development

Lesson Title: Symbols and Figurative Language- Because of Winn-Dixie

Common Core and/or State Standard:

Assessment of Learning: Students will be informally

Lesson Objective: Students will be able to give
assessed during weekly conferencing with the teacher to
examples of symbols in everyday life and in a
evaluate their grasp on the concept of symbols. Anecdotal
realistic fiction novel.
notes will be kept to track student progress.
Assessment of Learning: Students will create a free verse
Lesson Objective: Students will be able to use
poem using an object to stand for a person, thing, or idea.
figurative language, such as metaphors or similes,
in writing.
Poems will be graded based on a rubric (see attached).

Based on the lesson objectives, select an appropriate teaching model Madeline Hunter

Indian Education For All (IEFA) No X Yes. If yes, please describe Part of the discussion on symbols will
include symbols used by Montanas Native American Tribes. Students will also have the opportunity to
research the significant symbols of our states Native American tribes in a Language Center Activity.

Lesson Procedures/Activities Materials
Management Needs
Anticipatory Set: Show students a number of symbols seen in Elmo ready to go. Students stay at their
everyday life. (see attached sheet) Sheet with examples desks for this part of
of symbols. the lesson.
What do all of these images have in common? (They tell you
something, they dont use words.) Check the room for
symbols. Add a few
When something stands for or represents something else, that extra examples, if
thing is called a symbol. What other symbols can you think of? needed.
What pictures or objects without words tell you to do
something? Note that sometimes there are minimal words, as in
a stop sign or a sign that says fire on a fire alarm.

Give students 5 minutes to look around the room to find as

many symbols as they can. (A few have been strategically
planted in the room).

Regroup after 5 minutes. Did we find any symbols?

Unit Day 8
Teacher Input/Check for Understanding

Ask students to recall what similes and metaphors are. Can they
provide an example of each?

If someone says another person is a bear, does that actually

mean they are a bear? What does it mean? How does the image
of a bear increase our understanding of what that person is like?

What other metaphors or similes can be used to describe

different personalities or emotions? Have students consider a list
of emotions/states (hungry, angry, shy, upset, and happy), what
similes or metaphors might go with each state? We often use
animals. Could objects be used as well? (For example, he is as
sensitive as an old car engine.)

Similes and metaphors are called figurative language. Figurative

is the opposite of literal or actual. Does figurative language
help us understand something that cant be physically seen?

What kind of object or animal could represent these ideas:


Symbols are very common in our world, but they are not new.
Native Americans have used symbols to represent things
important to them in their worlds for a long time. Several of
Montanas plains Indians tribes created pictographs to
communicate information and keep records of what was
happening in their world.

Ask students if they have been to pictograph caves near Billings.

Introduce the Symbols activities in the Language Center. Take
students physically over to the center and model and explain the
activities there.

Activity 1: Match the symbol. See if you can identify common

symbols in our world.

Activity 2: Make your own symbol. Draw a symbol that would

represent you or some part of your personality.

Activity 3: Identify symbols in our world. Find symbols in

magazines. Cut and paste them onto a sheet of paper. Label the
symbol with what it stands for.
Activity 4: Students may research symbols used by Montanas
Native American tribes. A Chromebook is provided. Show
students the folder on the desktop. Specific websites have been
bookmarked for use.

Guided Practice:

Have student volunteers show how to do each activity. Ask

classmates to provide feedback with the thumbs up if the
student is doing a good job modeling.

Provide guidelines for completing the centers:

Students may select the activity that interests them.
At least two activities from this center must be
completed this week.
Keep all products from the centers in your Literacy
Activities Folders. Label all products with your name
and the date the activity was completed.

Independent Practice:

Students spend the remainder of the time working on the

Language Center Activities or continuing to work on the
Comprehension Matchbook pages and cover design. Students
may also begin working at the Vocabulary and Author/Genre
Centers in accordance with their specific goals.

While students work on centers independently, the teacher calls

individual students over for a weekly goals conference. Students
should be prepared to share their progress towards completing
this weeks goals. New goals will be set for the following week.


Gather students at the class meeting area. Show a few excerpts

from our Unit novel that have figurative language from the
chapters we have read so far:

Gloria wants to see Opal with her heart.
Opal thinks Glorias yard is a jungle.
The preacher reminds her of a turtle hiding in his shell.
Opals father says her mother felt like a bug under a
Opal thinks Winn-Dixie looks like a furry bullet when he
catches a mouse at church.

Are these things literally or actually true? How does this kind of
language relate to symbols or symbolism? Does it help us
picture the idea the author is trying to get across to the reader?

For tomorrows activity, bring an object to school. If you have a

specific object that you strongly link to a particular person or
pet, they may use that.

Unit Day 9
Anticipatory Set:

Have students share with their table-group the objects they

brought from home. Students will compare their objects and
link them in something they have in common. This can be a
physical trait or because they both bring up the same ideas or

The (object 1) is like (object 2) because

Give an example
A baseball is like a stuffed cheetah because both are fast, they
both can win, the both are fierce, etc.

This is really just an activity to get them thinking about what

ideas can be paired with physical objects. There are no wrong
answers. Generate as many connections as possible

Have students keep the objects at their tables with the ideas
written on a piece of paper. Students will do a gallery walk to
look at the ideas generated at the other tables. If they think of
another idea to add to the list, they may do so.

Note: While you are pre-teaching vocabulary in small groups for

Chapters 9-16, students will complete the above activity and
they may then work on agenda goal items or they may choose
books for self-selected reading.

Teacher Input: Vocabulary definitions Small group work will

Pre-teach vocabulary for Chapters 13 18 in small groups in and examples, be at the kidney table.
accordance with students vocabulary words. supplies for
vocabulary Give a two minute
Tell students that we will read Chapters 13 and 14. (We will mini-lesson (see warning when you are
ready Chapters 15 and 16 tomorrow.) Be on the lookout for attached sheet for with the last group. At
figurative language (any time something stands for or represents instructions). this time, students are
something else or anytime language is used to increase our to put everything away,
feel for what is being discussed in the text.) Whiteboard and get their Literacy
markers for recording Activities Folders and
Pause periodically to have students note instances of figurative student input on meet at the class
language or things that might be symbols in the text. Record figurative language in meeting spot. Students
these ideas on the whiteboard. the chapter. should be ready to work
when you arrive after
Some places to highlight: the last small group
finishes up.
Pg. 87: Sweetie Pie wraps her arms around Winn-Dixie like he
was a big old teddy bear.
Pg. 90: Opal calls the Stevie Dewberry a big, bald-headed
Pg. 95: Gloria says the bottles in the tree are to keep the ghosts

Check for Understanding/Guided Practice:

Ask students if they think the mistake tree is a symbol? What is

the author trying to tell us about Gloria by putting the mistake
tree in the story?
Independent Practice:

Students work on vocabulary/Author Genre/Language Center

Activities according to their individual Literacy Activities

Check in with students on Matchbook Comprehension. They

should be keeping up with the chapters. Assist any struggling
students by helping them create story maps to support them in
writing their summaries.
Closure: Small glass of orange Students need to stay in
juice. their spots since we are
Litmus Paper activity (will serve as anticipatory set for Day 10) working with liquids on
Litmus strips the carpet area. The
Gather students in the student meeting area. Show students the teacher will move
litmus paper strips and tell them the litmus paper is a way to around so everyone can
find out about the chemistry of different things. Show them the see the strips.
color scales on the sides of the paper book. When you dip the
strips into a liquid, the color of the strip will change. The color
then tells us whether the thing tested is more of an acid or a base
chemically. This is important to people who work in food
science because acids and bases taste different to us.

As an example, get a cup of orange juice. Dip the litmus paper

into the juice. Have students compare the color of the paper to
the scale. How acidic is orange juice?

How is the color change like a symbol?

Tell students that the strips work best on something that is either
a liquid or that is wet. They can test a bar of soap that has been
put under water, for example. Think of some ideas of things
they could test.

If students have a (school-appropriate) substance they would

like to test, they may do so. However, the teacher will provide
some items to try as well.

Unit Day 10 Variety of liquids in Students will need to be

Anticipatory Set labeled cups (e.g. careful not to make
soapy water, ketchup messes or spill. Have
Students will get a chance to use the litmus paper strips to test a in a cup, plain water, students come up to the
variety of liquids and see if different substances produce kool-aid, etc.) testing area by table
different results. groups.
Litmus strip that has
Set up a variety of liquids in cups at the kidney tables. Ask already been dipped
students who brought substances up to test to bring them up to into ammonia (outside
put into a cup in small groups (1 or 2 students at a time). of class).

Distribute litmus papers and go over the procedure for dipping, Extra cups in case
model the steps for students before they try. students bring items to
1. Only dip one side in for one second (count one-one test.
2. Shake the strip off before you walk away.
3. Tape the dry part of the strip onto a blank sheet of paper.
4. Label the strip with what was tested.
5. Compare your color on the strip to the acidity chart and write
down the number next to the color you think matches your strip.

How did different substances compare? Which ones were very

acidic? Which ones were less acidic? What about the strip that
the teacher dipped in ammonia? (It is blue because it is very

Tell students to keep in mind what happened with the litmus

paper as we read Chapters 17 and 18 today.
Teacher Input Same as above Students transition to
class meeting area
Frontload reading with basic background knowledge on the (carpet).
Civil War. Students will have heard some of this during the
pre-teaching sessions for vocabulary. Briefly reiterate the basics:

The Civil War happened in the mid-1800s.

The Southern States tried to separate from the North to
make their own nation.
There were disputes over economics (money), slavery, and
the rights of states.
It was a brutal war, with family members often fighting
each other.

Remind students to be on the lookout for symbols or other

figurative language in the chapters.

Read Chapters 17 and 18

Guided Practice/Check for Understanding

Pre-Writing Activity:
Have students recall the story in each chapter. Record this on a
Story Map and post it in the room for students to refer to later.

Why do you think the author included the story about Littmus
Block and the Littmus lozenge in the story? What does the
reaction people have to the taste of the lozenge tell us about that

(Each persons sorry reflects their own circumstances, maturity,

and the things they think are important.)

What does each person find sorrowful?

Write the names of the characters who tried the Littmus
Lozenge so far on the whiteboard. Have students tell you what
the Lozenge made them think about.
(Opal, the preacher, Amanda, Sweetie Pie, Otis).

Does the Littmus Lozenge act a symbol of something in the


Evidence of Lesson Effectiveness/Student Learning:

Reflection and Recommendations for Next Time:

Attachments, if required.