Fish in a Tree is a must-read in upper elementary! Your students will love getting to know Ally and her not-so-easy journey to lasting friendships, acceptance of yourself and the power of asking for help. As you read through the lessons, you should know that this unit grew out of a need for our 4th grade students to make thinking visible, for us to put all of our routines together seamlessly and raise expectations for all. It’s probable that all of these lesson plans will not jive with your own set up for independent reading, and that’s fine. Take from it what makes sense to you and adjust where necessary–or throw in your virtual or literal trash! Take what you need and leave what you don’t!
This is what Donalyn Miller calls a “share read,” which is a little different than a whole class novel study. Essentially it takes the form of a read aloud, where a teacher steps in and out to guide conversations and facilitate thinking, but all students hold the text (if possible) so that they can mark it and refer to it as they dig deeper into over time.
This read aloud and the accompanying lessons are meant to support students in long-term independent reading goals throughout the course of the year. The read
aloud unit will focus on higher-order thinking as well as routines and habits of readers such as goal-setting and more. Through explicit modeling, students will have a solid foundation of expectations as they align with the provided rubrics and assessments. The strategies shared throughout the reading of Fish in a Tree will not become requirements in later reading, but rather serve to support readers in seeing a wide selection of ways to express thi
nking on paper in order to remember, discuss and make connections within this text and across other texts they’ll encounter all year long.
Simply put, this text will be talked about all. year. long. You won’t regret reading it, whether you choose to use these plans or not.
Click on the image below to be directed to the google slides…lots within the document, lessons start on slide 25. Please email me if you have any problems. And please make it your own!
Companion resources (I will work on bringing these resources to my website too):