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Tell Me a Tale: El Yunque National Forest

Printable view

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • America The Beautiful Quarters

Objectives

Students will demonstrate an understanding of a folk tale, personification, and the steps of the writing process.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Science
  • Social Studies

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 121-150 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • The writing process
  • Natural resources
  • Protecting the environment
  • Endangered
  • Extinct

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • El Yunque National Forest
  • Personification
  • Folk tale
  • Puerto Rico

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or equivalent) of each of the following:
    • “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” page
    • “Continental U.S./P.R. Map” page
    • “Write Me A Tale” worksheet
    • “Writing Process Checklist” worksheet
    • “In Their Own Words” worksheet
  • Copies of the following:
    • “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” page
    • “Write Me A Tale” worksheet
    • “Writing Process Checklist” worksheet
    • “In Their Own Words” worksheet
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that tells a folk tale from Puerto Rico, such as:
    • The Golden Flower: A Taino Myth From Puerto Rico by Nina Jaffe
    • The Legend of the Hummingbird: A Tale From Puerto Rico by Margaret Sanfilippo and Michael Rose Ramirez
    • Paco and the Witch by Felix Pitre
  • 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives basic information about protecting the Earth, such as :
    • The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
    • Earth’s Resources by Sue Barraclough
    • The Earth and I by Frank Asch
  • 1 class map of the United States that includes Puerto Rico
  • Images of El Yunque National Forest
  • Chart paper
  • Markers, pencils, crayons

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or equivalent) of each of the following:
    • “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” page
    • “Continental U.S./P.R. Map” page
    • “Write Me A Tale” worksheet
    • “Writing Process Checklist” worksheet
    • “In Their Own Words” worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” page (1 per student)
    • “Write Me A Tale” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Writing Process Checklist” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “In Their Own Words” worksheet (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that tells a folk tale from Puerto Rico (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate a text that gives basic information about protecting the Earth (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Gather images of El Yunque National Forest from web sites such as:

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/98.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Introduce the students to the selected text on protecting the Earth. Preview the text and illustrations and allow students to generate observations about protecting the Earth. Read the text. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  2. Display and examine the El Yunque National Forest quarter design. Locate this site on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
  3. Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front. Display the transparency of the El Yunque National Forest quarter. With the students, examine the design.
  4. Display the overhead transparency of the “Continental U.S./PR Map” page. Explain that El Yunque is located in Puerto Rico. Note its position in relation to your school’s location on a class map. Answer any student questions. Tell the students that the animals on the coin are the coqui tree frog and a Puerto Rican parrot. The plants on the design are a tropical vine and tree branch and a trailing palm with fern leaves.
  5. Show the students the images of El Yunque National Forest. Explain that El Yunque is home to a number of plants and animals such as the endangered Puerto Rican parrot and the coqui tree frog. Explain that taking care of the parrot’s environment can help keep the parrot from becoming extinct.
  6. As a class, discuss ways to help protect the Puerto Rican parrot and coqui tree frog’s environment. Record student responses on a class chart.
  7. Distribute an “El Yunque National Forest Quarter” worksheet to each student. Have the students color the image. On the back, have them write three things that the parrot and tree frog would say about protecting their environment.
  8. Distribute an “In Their Own Words” worksheet to each student. Have the students write one statement in each speech bubble about protecting the animals’ environment, choosing the statements from their lists.
  9. Allow time for the students to complete the assignment and share with the class.

Session 2

  1. Review the charts and the “In Their Own Words” worksheets from the previous session.
  2. Introduce the students to the selected folk tale from Puerto Rico. Preview the text and illustrations and allow students to generate observations about folk tales. Read the text. During the reading, attend to any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  3. After the reading, ask the students what other folk tales they are familiar with and list examples on a class chart.
  4. Discuss the elements of a folk tale. Tell the students that a folk tale is a traditional narrative that was handed down orally from generation to generation and many times was not recorded. List the characteristics on a class chart. Explain to the students that many folk tales use personification, which means human qualities are given to animals or objects. Add the term “personification” to the chart and define.
  5. Make a 3-column chart. Label the columns “Frog,” “Parrot,” and “Justification.” As a class, develop a list of human characteristics that can be given to the coqui tree frog and the Puerto Rican parrot. List the justification of why that characteristic would be an appropriate choice.
  6. Display the “Write Me A Tale” overhead transparency. Explain to the students that, in the next sessions, they are going to use the image from the coin to create their own folk tale about how to protect the Earth for the Puerto Rican parrot and coqui tree frog. They will use personification of these two animals to tell the tale.

Sessions 3 and 4

  1. Review the previous sessions, worksheets, and discussions on folk tales, personification, and protecting the Earth.
  2. Distribute both the “Write Me a Tale” and “Writing Process Checklist” worksheets to the students. Review the steps of the writing process with the students and explain that this is the process that they will follow to complete their folk tales.
  3. Allow appropriate time for students to work on their folk tales.
  4. Share folk tales and display.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs.
  • Allow students to use a scribe to complete their worksheets.
  • Allow students to type their story on a computer.
  • Create a class folk tale as either the main project or as a sample.
  • Use a story starter that provides the first few sentences to get students started.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students research another national park or forest and the animals that live there. Create a folk tale about the animals in that environment.
  • Have students research other endangered animals and create a folk tale about ways to protect and prevent them from becoming extinct.
  • Take anecdotal notes about the students’ participation in class discussions.
  • Evaluate the students’ worksheets for understanding of the lesson objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.2.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
    • Build on others’ talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
  • SL.2.2. Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
  • SL.2.3. Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue. 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.2.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Use collective nouns (e.g., group).
    • Form and use frequently occurring irregular plural nouns (e.g., feet, children, teeth, mice, fish).
    • Use reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)
    • Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
    • Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
  • L.2.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.
    • Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
    • Use an apostrophe to form contractions and frequently occurring possessives.
    • Generalize learned spelling patterns when writing words (e.g., cage --> badge; boy --> boil).
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: SL.2 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
Standards:

  • SL.2.4. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
  • SL.2.5. Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • SL.2.6. Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 2 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Conventions of Standard English
Standards:

  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
    • Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
    • Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.
    • Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
    • Form and use regular and irregular verbs.
    • Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.
    • Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.
    • Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
    • Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.
    • Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
  • L.3.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
    • Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
    • Use commas in addresses.
    • Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.
    • Form and use possessives.
    • Use conventional spelling for high-frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).
    • Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.
    • Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Knowledge to Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Use of Spoken, Written, and Visual Language
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Applying Strategies to Writing
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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