Third Grade - Literature - Overview - November

Sayings and Phrases
Only one phrase, beat around the bush, is included this month. The lesson relates the phrase to other action phrases. Post this phrase with the others if this procedure was started in September.

Poetry
Three poems are introduced this month, "For Want of a Nail," "Eletelephony," and "First Thanksgiving of All." The poems may be introduced in any order since they are not dependent on each other or any other subject.
"The First Thanksgiving of All" relates to the holiday, however it is not necessary that it be introduced at that time. In the lesson, students participate in a choral reading which may be useful if doing a holiday program.
Lessons for the other two poems invite students to create nonsense words and to diagram a chain reaction.

Stories
The stories this month, William Tell and Three Words of Wisdom, come from Switzerland and Mexico. There is no particular order for their introduction.
In the related lessons students are given opportunities to do several types of writing, a graphing activity and perform in a short play. Some of the activities can be done as independent assignments.

Third Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Beat around the bush

Objectives
Explain the meaning of the saying.
Recall other action sayings.

Materials
Copy of the saying, Beat around the bush, on chart paper or sentence strip

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Terban, Marvin. Punching the Clock-Funny Action Idioms. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
Action idioms and their meanings.

Teacher Reference
Morris, William and Mary. Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Procedure
Display the saying and ask students to read it silently to themselves. Ask for a volunteer to read the saying aloud and tell what he or she thinks it means. If a student gives a literal translation, congratulate him or her and ask the students to tell why someone might physically beat around a bush. Ask: What might be in the bush? Can you think of any animals that might live in or sit in a bush? (birds) Why might someone want the birds chased out of the bush? (hunting, to shoot them)
Tell the students that beat around the bush means someone is trying to avoid talking about something. That person finds other things to talk about, never getting to the point. Students may recall seeing a character in television or film doing this or they may have read about someone avoiding a particular topic. Explain that this saying goes back hundreds of years and refers to people who were hired by hunters to beat around bushes to stir birds up into flight. The beaters themselves did not do the shooting so they they just "beat around the bush" and never got to the point.
Ask students to think about what someone might need to say that could cause them to beat around the bush. (admitting to doing something wrong, giving bad news, asking someone on a date, saying "I love you") Point out that each of the scenarios could be embarrassing to someone and people do try to avoid being embarrassed.
Refer to the saying again and tell the students to look at the first word. Ask: What kind of word is beat? (an action word) Ask students if they recall any other sayings that start with action words. Ask: Do you recall the saying that means someone has gotten something exactly right? (hit the nail on the head) Ask: Do you know a saying that means someone has told about a surprise? (spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag) Say: Suppose someone is teasing someone else, we might say that person is (pulling someone's leg). Other "action" sayings students may know are:

punch the clock
rock the boat
turn over a new leaf

Third Grade - Literature - Sayings and Phrases - Beat around the bush

don't cry over spilled milk
run around like a chicken with your head cut off
jump to conclusions
cry wolf
bite off more than you can chew
tickle someone's fancy
twist someone's arm

Be sure to let the student who suggests an action saying explain its meaning to the class. Students may enjoy hearing or reading funny action idioms included in the Marvin Terban book (see Suggested Books).

Additional Activities

Literal illustrations
Marvin Terban's book has wonderful illustrations of the action sayings taken literally that you may wish to share with your students. Later, have students select a particular saying and do their own "literal illustrations."

Charades
Write the action sayings (above) on slips of paper. Invite students to select a saying and then perform it for classmates. Allow the "audience" to try to identify the saying.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - For Want of a Nail

Objectives
Relate one chain reaction to another.
Diagram a chain reaction.

Materials
Copy of the poem on chart paper
Copy of first student exercise on chart paper or transparency (attached)
Copy of second student exercise on chart paper or transparency (attached)
Drawing paper, crayons

Teacher Background
As students hear this poem they may be reminded of similar sequence tales in which a series of things go astray because one simple incident or thing has thrown it off track. They may also be reminded of songs that illustrate a cumulative story such as  "There was an Old Woman who Swallowed a Fly."
Mention to the students that the poem in the lesson is not attributed to any particular person or persons, it is simply a part of traditional literature.
You may need to divide this lesson into parts, covering the first exercise and the poem in one lesson and the second student exercise as a separate lesson or as an independent activity.
Procedure
Ask the students to imagine a day when you oversleep because your alarm clock is missing so the alarm doesn't go off, then because the alarm doesn't go off you miss the bus, then because you miss the bus you are late for school, then because you are late for school you miss the field trip, then because you miss the field trip you miss a good time. Point out that each thing happened because of what happened before it all the way back to the missing alarm clock.
Tell the students that another way to say this is: (display chart or transparency)

For want of an alarm clock, the wake-up was lost;
For want of a wake-up, the bus was lost;
For want of the bus, being on-time to school was lost;
For want of being on-time to school, the field trip was lost;
For want of the field trip, a good time was lost.
And all from the want of an alarm clock.

Point out that "want" means an absence or that the item is lacking and "lost" means that the item is gone or no longer useful or possible. Explain that because there was no alarm clock there was no wake-up and so on. Read the sequence again and this time point to the pictures. Tell the students that "chain reaction" is the name given when one event causes the next event which then causes another event and so on. (Write this on the board.) Draw several links of a chain and tell the students that just as a chain consists of interlocking links, a chain reaction is made up of events that connect one to the other. Remind them if they have ever set up dominoes in a line and then tapped the first one to start them falling one onto the other, they have caused a chain reaction.
Draw a picture of a nail on the board and ask the students the following question: What kind of shoe needs a nail to keep it on the foot? (a horseshoe) After they have answered draw a horseshoe next to the nail. Draw an arrow between the two indicating that the first leads to the second. Ask: What animal wears a horseshoe? (a horse) Draw the horse with an arrow before it next and ask: If a horse is missing one of its shoes what happens? (The horse would be unbalanced and have trouble walking.) Remind the students that the horse would then be "lost" because it is no longer useful.
Tell the students that they are about to hear a chain of events poem that begins with the
horseshoe nail. Tell them to listen carefully for other items to add to the nail, horseshoe and
horse on the board. Read the poem pointing to the three pictures when appropriate to the lines.

Tremendous Trifles

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.

After reading the poem ask the students to tell what other pictures should be added to the board (rider, battle, kingdom). Have volunteers come up and draw each one. (You might suggest that several people fighting could represent a battle, and a castle could stand for a kingdom.)
Now display the poem and ask the students to read it with you while a volunteer points to the appropriate pictures. Be sure that students recognize the sequence that because the horseshoe nail was missing, the shoe could not be used; because the shoe was missing the horse could not be ridden, because the horse was missing the rider could not be on it; because the rider was missing he could not be in battle and so his side lost; and because they lost the battle they also lost the kingdom; all because a horseshoe nail was missing.
If time permits, allow partners to come to the board and present the poem together, one reading while the other points to the appropriate events.
Have the students look at the title of the poem. Ask someone to tell the meaning of tremendous (very large or great) and explain that trifles are things that are not generally of much importance, like horseshoe nails or alarm clocks. Ask if anyone can tell why these two words with very different meanings are put together in this title. (Items that are generally unimportant can have very great importance at times.)
Distribute drawing paper and tell the students that they are now going to have the chance to draw a diagram of the events that result for want of a shoelace, another item that would certainly be considered a trifle. Display the second student exercise and ask the students to draw pictures to represent the items and events starting with the shoelace. Tell the students to label each drawing with one word.
After several minutes ask for a volunteer to tell what is included in his or her drawing. A shoelace, a shoe, a basketball player, a basketball going into the basket, some representation of a game being won, and some representation of a championship being won should be included. Congratulate those students who included all the items and events. Collect and grade the diagrams.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - For Want of a Nail

Additional Activities
Make a human machine that functions by a series of reactions. Have the students stand in a line and when the first student's arm is lifted a reaction occurs (the student bends at the waist
and with the other arm touches the second student, etc.) that involves all the students in the line, one by one.

Have the students make up and illustrate their own "Tremendous Trifles" suggesting that they start with:
For want of a house key...
For want of a tire...
For want of a can opener...
For want of a bucket...
For want of a safety pin...
For want of a ticket...

For want of an alarm clock, the wake-up was lost;
For want of a wake-up, the bus was lost;
For want of the bus, being on-time to school was lost;
For want of being on-time to school, the field trip was lost;
For want of the field trip, a good time was lost.
And all from the want of an alarm clock.

Tremendous Trifles (an update)

For want of a shoelace, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the player was lost;
For want of the player, the basket was lost;
For want of the basket, the game was lost;
For want of the game, the championship was lost.
And all from the want of a shoelace.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - Eletelephony

Objectives
Recite and enjoy nonsense poetry.
Identify the rhyme scheme.
Identify nonsense words in the poem.
Read tongue twisters aloud (optional).
Create nonsense words by combining two words (optional).

Materials
Copy of the poem on chart paper or transparency
Tongue twisters (provided) written on chart paper (optional)
Tongue twister book (optional)

Suggested Books
deRegniers, Beatrice Schenk, selected by. Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems. New York: Scholastic, 1988.
Ferris, Helen, selected by. Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls. New York: Doubleday, 1957.

Tongue Twister Books
Cole, Joanna and Stephanie Calmenson. Six Sick Sheep: 101 Tongue Twisters. New York: Scholastic, 1993. Several games that require remarkable verbal dexterity are included.
Keller, Charles. Tongue Twisters. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1989. Contains several tongue twister poems as well as many single lines. Students should enjoy the colorful illustrations as well.

Teacher Background
The introduction to and activities associated with this poem are intended to be enjoyable for the students. Getting tongue-tied while reciting "Eletelephony" is half the fun and your willingness to laugh at yourself will reinforce the enjoyment that can be possible for your students. Discuss the difference between laughing "with someone" and "at someone" before you invite student participation. Encourage them to try reciting the poem to themselves (in a whisper) before attempting it aloud.
Procedure
Tell the students that the poem they will be reading today is a nonsense poem. Write the word nonsense on the board and explain that it can be broken into two parts--non and sense. Tell the students that "non" means without and then ask if anyone can tell what nonsense means (without any sense). Students may have sometime heard the question "Don't you have any sense?" that is asked when someone is acting rather silly or foolish.
Tell them that you will read the poem, but that it is tongue twister kind of poem and you may make mistakes when you try reading. In fact the poem is full of mistakes or nonsense as they will soon hear. Tell them to listen carefully so that they can tell you what the poem is about. Read the poem.

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - Eletelephony

Eletelephony
Laura E. Richards
Once there was an elephant
Who tried to use the telephant--
No! No! I mean an elephone
Who tried to use the telephone--
(Dear me! I am not certain quite
That even now I've got it right.)
Howe'er it was, he got his trunk
Entangled in the telephunk;
The more he tried to get it free,
The louder buzzed the telephee--
(I fear I'd better drop the song
Of elephop and telephong!)

After you have read the poem (or attempted to do so) ask the students if they can tell the two things the poem was about (elephant, telephone). Congratulate them if they are able to name the two and tell them that they will have the opportunity to recite the poem, too. If this statement is met with cheer, display the poem for all to see and read. If the statement is met with trepidation, display the poem and spend a few minutes reviewing the lines. This can be done by having the students repeat words or lines after you, or by taking the time to practice the more difficult words together.
Ask the students to identify the rhyming words at the end of the lines. Have a student come up and point to the first two (elephant, telephant), then ask for a volunteer for the next two and so on, helping the students to recognize that pairs of lines rhyme. Students may recall that two rhyming lines are called a couplet. Point out that for the entire poem the rhyme scheme would be AA, BB, CC, DD, EE, FF. Note that each pair of lines rhymes but the rhyme is not repeated.
Next, tell the students to look at the poem and see if they can identify all the nonsense words made by combining words and the two words that were used to make the combination. They should identify telephant - telephone and elephant; telephunk - telephone and trunk; telephee - telephone and free; elephop - elephant and drop; telephong - telephone and song. Ask if anyone knows why the poet made the words telephant, telephunk, telephee and telephong (so that they would rhyme with the last word from line before).
Tell the students to close their eyes while you give a final recitation of the poem. Suggest that they try to visualize the elephant and the telephone entangled with each other; you should see smiles on some faces while you read.

Additional Activities

Combination Words
Tell the students that they can try being poets like Laura Richards and can make their own nonsense words. Point out that in the poem all the combination words and the words that make them are three-syllable words. Have the students select words from the list below to combine to make nonsense words. They may wish to create a new word and illustrate it, or write
a few lines from the poem substituting words of their own.
For example:
Once there was a wolverine
Who tried to ride a bicycline --
No! No! I mean a wolcycle
Who tried to ride a bicycle

Words to Combine
 

Animals
centipede
butterfly
wolverine
porcupine
chimpanzee
parakeet

Things
banana
bicycle
chocolate
wheelbarrow
trampoline
magazine

Tongue Twisters
Remind the students just how difficult it was to pronounce several of the words in the poem. Tell them that "Eletelephony" is not only a nonsense poem but a bit of a tongue twister, too. Explain that tongue twisters can be part of a poem or they can be a sentence of just a few words. Read several tongue twisters to the class. Students may notice that certain sounds are repeated over and over in a tongue twister. Congratulate them if they note this.
Invite students to students practice reading (or reciting from memory) tongue twisters. Set aside time, if possible, for mini performances. Students may also enjoy illustrating the tongue twisters and may wish to keep a collection in a classroom book.
You may wish to use the tongue twisters below to display on a chart or select others from one of the Suggested Books.

She sells seashells by the seashore.

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - First Thanksgiving of All

Objectives
Participate in a choral reading.
Analyze the names in the poem and their meanings (optional).
Identify rhyming words and the rhyme pattern (optional).
Make a triptych to illustrate the poem (optional).

Materials
Copy of the poem on chart paper, transparency or individual student copies (attached)

Suggested Books
Ferris, Helen, selected by. Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls. New York: Doubleday, 1957.

Teacher Background
The basic parts of this lesson consist of a discussion of the content of the poem and a choral reading of it. In addition, activities are provided for analysis and discussion of names used in the poem, identification of rhyme scheme and an art activity illustrating the poem. You may use any or all of these activities during additional periods or as independent work.
Procedure
Begin the lesson by asking students to tell what they can recall learning about the first Thanksgiving. They will probably include information about the Pilgrims, Native Americans, the foods eaten (wild turkey, deer, corn, fruits) and the feeling of thanks that these settlers felt for having survived a hard winter.
Tell the students that you are going to read a poem called "The First Thanksgiving of All" to them. Explain that four people, Peace, Mercy, Jonathan and Patience are mentioned in the poem and point out that the author is Nancy Byrd Turner whose poems about Washington and Lincoln they read in First and Second grades respectively. Tell the students to listen to see if this sounds like the same Thanksgiving they just described, then read the poem.

First Thanksgiving of All Nancy Byrd Turner
 
 

Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood by the table giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.
There was very little for them to eat,
Nothing special and nothing sweet;
Only bread and a little broth,
And a bit of fruit (and no tablecloth);
But Peace and Mercy and Jonathan
And Patience, in a row,
Stood up and asked a blessing on
Thanksgiving long ago.
Thankful they were the ship had come

Safely across the sea;
Thankful they were for hearth and home,
And kin and company;
They were glad of broth to go with their bread,
Glad their apples were round and red,
Glad of mayflowers they would bring
Out of woods again next spring.
So Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood up gratefully giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.
 

 

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - First Thanksgiving of All

After you have read the poem, twice if necessary, ask the students if it sounds like you and the poet are talking about the same first Thanksgiving. Have students tell what is the same (said prayers of thanks) and what is different (no special foods, no Native Americans mentioned). Be sure that the students realize that the mayflowers mentioned are plants not to be confused with the ship. Ask: Is it possible that you are still talking about the same day even though there are differences? (Accept reasonable responses.) Is it possible that some of the ideas we have about the first Thanksgiving may make it sound more fancy than it really was?
Invite the students to participate by reciting the poem. Display the poem or distribute copies for each student. Divide the class into parts (two, three or six would easily work) and assign lines. (The poem has been broken into six "stanzas" for ease in reading.) You may wish to have a small number of students be the only ones who read the words in parentheses. Before the students begin reading, read through the poem again so that they can see the lines as they hear them spoken. Point out to the students that a poem has a rhythm that can be heard and felt; help them to avoid a sing-song reading.
After the students have had an opportunity to read the poem once or twice, any of the additional activities could be done.

Additional Activities

Activity One
Ask the students who they think the four people are. Do they think they are adults, children or a combination of both? (Accept reasonable responses.) Are there any clues? (Patience is very small, they picked mayflowers last spring) You may wish to take a few minutes to allow the students to share their opinions.
Write the four names on the board and ask the students which of the names are still used today (Jonathan, probably not the other three). Ask: What do the girls' names mean? (Peace - calm, an absence of fighting, Mercy - showing kindness toward someone who has offended you, Patience - quiet, willing to put up with annoyances without complaint) Can you think of other words like these that would have made good names for girls who lived at this time? (Charity, Hope, Honor, Faith, Love, Humility, Remember) [The last three names belong to children who
actually were passengers on the Mayflower.] Why do you think that people chose these names? (religious influence)
Challenge the students to update the names in the poem with names commonly used today. Remind students that in order to maintain the rhythm of the poem, the new names must have the same number of syllables (Peace - 1, Mercy - 2, Patience - 2, Jonathan - 3). Students can try clapping the rhythm of the poem and then try to maintain the same beat with the new names.

Activity Two
Ask the students to identify the rhyming words found at the ends of the lines in the poem. They can use the page with "stanza" divisions when they do. After they have selected the
rhyming words (by circling or underlining them), have them determine the pattern for each stanza using A, B, C, ...
Students should notice that stanzas 1, 3, 4 and 6 have the same pattern of ABCB
(although the words in the different stanzas do not rhyme with one another) and stanzas 2 and 5
have the same pattern of AABB (once again, not rhyming outside the stanza).

Third Grade - Literature - Poetry - First Thanksgiving of All

1
A
B- small
C
B- all

2
A-eat
A-sweet
B-broth
B-tablecloth

3
A
B-row
C
B-ago

4
A
B-sea
C
B-company

5
A-bread
A-red
B-bring
B-spring

6
A
B-small
C
B-all

Activity Three
Have the students recall all the things that Peace, Mercy, Jonathan and Patience are thankful for (safe voyage by ship; hearth and home and kin and company; broth and bread; red apples; mayflowers from the woods) and list these on the board. Tell the students that they will use these in making a special kind of artwork called a triptych about "First Thanksgiving of All." Write the word triptych (TRIP-tik) on the board and explain that this word describes a framework of three parts connected by hinges to one another.

Materials (per student)
A sheet of paper (9x12" works best)
Crayons or markers
Scissors, ruler (optional)
Triangle patterns (attached)

Distribute paper to the students and have them place the paper on their desks in a horizontal or landscape position. Have them proceed through the following steps (the diagrams are provided to clarify the instructions). Be sure that you try the procedure yourself to become familiar with the steps.

1. Find the center of the paper by measuring or gently folding one side of the paper to make a tiny mark.
2. Fold the two ends of the paper toward the middle, having them meet at the center point. Carefully crease the two folds.
3. Place the folded paper (now in a vertical position) on the desk and carefully trace the triangle shapes (provided below) on the two upper corners. Cut and remove these.
4. The paper should now resemble an arch and should open to reveal three inside parts.
5. On the outside (closed) draw and color Peace, Mercy, Jonathan and Patience (very small) in a row and print "First Thanksgiving of All" above them.
6. On the inside (center and two sides) draw and color the six items the four people were thankful for.

First Thanksgiving of All
Nancy Byrd Turner

1
Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood by the table giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.

2
There was very little for them to eat,
Nothing special and nothing sweet;
Only bread and a little broth,
And a bit of fruit (and no tablecloth);

3
But Peace and Mercy and Jonathan
And Patience, in a row,
Stood up and asked a blessing on
Thanksgiving long ago.

4
Thankful they were the ship had come
Safely across the sea;
Thankful they were for hearth and home,
And kin and company;

5
They were glad of broth to go with their bread,
Glad their apples were round and red,
Glad of mayflowers they would bring
Out of woods again next spring.

6
So Peace and Mercy and Jonathan,
And Patience (very small),
Stood up gratefully giving thanks
The first Thanksgiving of all.

Third Grade - Literature -William Tell

Objectives
Identify character traits of William Tell.
Discuss the power of freedom.
Compose a character cinquain (optional).
Retell the story from a particular point of view (optional).
Write a newspaper article about an event.

Materials
Classroom-size world map
Picture of a crossbow (illustrated in several Suggested Books)

Suggested Books
Bawden, Nina, retold by. William Tell. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1981.
Simple colorful illustrations by Pascale Allamand.
Early, Margaret, retold and illustrated by. William Tell. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1991.
Beautiful illustrations with borders around the pages; more difficult vocabulary.
Fisher, Leonard Everett. William Tell. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1996.
Large colorful illustrations highlight this telling.
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
Small, Terry, retold and illustrated by. The Legend of William Tell. New York: Bantam Books, 1991. Cleverly told in rhyme with ornate borders framing the text.
Trotman, Felicity, retold by. William Tell. Milwaukee: Raintree Children's Books, 1987.
Sophisticated retelling with unique illustrations that place the story in winter and snow.

Teacher Background
The finale from Rossini's William Tell Overture was introduced in Third Grade Music Lesson 4: Brass Instruments. If your students have already listened to it you may wish to reference it in the lesson. If your students have not yet heard the overture you may wish to play it in connection with the story. (Finale from Rossini's Overture from William Tell, Naxos CD 8.550236)
Depending on the version of the story that you decide to read, William Tell may or may not have killed Gessler (the Austrian ruler). If the version you select does not tell this, you may ask the students to speculate as to what might have happened to Gessler.

Procedure
Tell the students that the story William Tell has been around for six hundred years. Have a student do the subtraction to figure out the year it began, or tell the students that it was around the late 1300s. Explain that is supposed to have taken place in Switzerland and involved the ruler of Austria, a neighboring country. (Have a student locate Switzerland and Austria on the map.)
Tell the students that they may have already heard the story of William Tell. Explain that it has been told for so many years because it is about freedom and how important freedom was to William Tell. Ask the students to name other people they have met in history who wanted freedom. (Answers will vary, but the Pilgrims, American colonists, and slaves are all likely answers.) Direct the students to listen to the story for clues about the kind of man William Tell was. Explain that you would like them to consider his character traits. (Write "character traits" on the board.) Ask for volunteers to recall what the term "character traits" means (way of describing a person, a distinguishing characteristic or quality, what we can tell about a person by the way he or she acts). Ask for volunteers to suggest several character traits so that all students are clear about their assignment. (A list of character traits which comes from a First Grade Lesson on fairy tales is listed below.) Read the story.
(When you reach the part of the story where Tell uses his bow, be sure to show the students a picture or illustration of a crossbow. A crossbow is different from a curved bow and students may not know the difference.)
Ask the students to suggest words they would use to describe William Tell. As they make their suggestions write these on the board under the words "character traits." Be sure to ask students to name which action or behavior of William Tell caused them to identify a particular trait. List all reasonable suggestions that students make. Ask the students if they would agree that William Tell loved freedom. Be sure that they are clear about Tell's actions--that he did not set out purposefully to defy Gessler. He was forced into his actions by Gessler's demands.
Next ask the students what they thought about Gessler. Then ask: Would you say that William Tell and Gessler were completely opposite or were they alike in any way? (Accept reasonable responses.) Ask: Why do you think Gessler made the Swiss people bow to his hat? Why didn't he want the people to have the freedom to choose? Challenge the students to come up with single word descriptions for Gessler and Tell. (Tell--hero, Gessler--tyrant, evil)
(If you plan to do the character cinquain, this would be an appropriate time.)
Ask the students to think about William Tell's son. Ask: How do you think he felt when his father said he would not bow to Gessler's hat? How do you think he felt when his father was told to shoot the apple from his head? How do you think he felt when the arrow hit the apple? (Answers will vary.)
(If you plan to use the point of view exercise, this would be an appropriate time.)
Remind the students that the story of William Tell is a legend not a biography. Ask: Are there parts of the story that could have really happened? (There could have been an unfair ruler. Gessler could have made outrageous laws. Tell could have refused to follow the laws.) Are there parts of the story that are difficult to believe? (Tell shooting the apple) Why do you think the story has lasted for so many years? (People like to hear about good winning over evil. Freedom is important to many people.)
(If you plan to use Read All About It, this would be an appropriate time.)

Character Cinquain
Direct the students to select a character from the story and write that name on the first line. Next, choose two words to describe that character and write them on the next line. Next, write three action words or a three word phrase that describes an action on the next line. On the next line write a four word sentence and on the last line write a synonym for the first word.

one word: William Tell
two words that describe: Brave, bold
three action words: Would not bow
four word sentence: He shot an arrow
one word (synonym): Hero

Character Traits
kind generous wise thoughtful
brave resourceful considerate adventurous
patient sympathetic silly loyal
responsible courageous risk-taker problem-solver
curious lazy evil selfish
disrespectful foolish loving shy
serious smart dependable polite
Point of View
Tell what happened at the village square from either the point of view of William Tell's son (Walter), one of Gessler's guards or of someone in the crowd. Be sure to tell what you saw and how you felt as each thing happened. Did things turn out the way you wanted them to or did you wish that something else had happened?

Read All About It
Pretend that you are a news reporter at the scene. By answering who, what, when, where, and why or how, tell what happened when William Tell shot the apple placed on his son's head. You may wish to include a photograph (drawing) to accompany your news article. Be sure to put a headline on your story.

Third Grade - Literature - Three Words of Wisdom

Objectives
Determine which is more valuable--gold or wisdom.
Relate the words of wisdom in the story to life experiences.
Justify the choice of most valuable words of wisdom for the main character and for self.
Graph class responses to activity.

Materials
Classroom-size world map or
Classroom-size map of North America
"Don't take shortcuts." "Don't ask about what does not concern you." "Don't jump to conclusions." written on sentence strips or paper

Suggested Books
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.

Procedure
Write the words "gold" and "wisdom" on the board. Tell students to imagine that they are being given the choice of receiving one or the other. Ask for a show of hands of those who choose gold and write the number who respond on the board. Ask several students to justify their reasons for selecting gold. Next ask for a show of hands for wisdom, write the number who respond and again ask for justification.
Tell the students that the story you are about to read, called "Three Words of Wisdom," is about three men who get the same choice. Ask students to predict how the three will vote.
Before you begin reading tell the students that the story is from Mexico. Have a student locate Mexico on the map and name the continent on which it is located. Ask a volunteer to tell the language spoken in Mexico (Spanish) and Mexico's closest neighbor (United States).
Begin reading the story, when you get to the point where the old man gives his wisdom hand the sentence strips containing the three words of wisdom to three students. Tell them that they are to stand and hold up their words of advice when they think they are appropriate to the story. Tell the rest of the class if they agree with the words displayed, they are to say the words of wisdom aloud. Read the story, stopping to allow class participation at the three points where the words of wisdom are considered.
After reading the story take a few moments to discuss it with the class. Ask: What was your favorite part of the story? What do you think would have happened if the third man had taken gold instead of wisdom?
Remind the students of the choices they made before hearing the story and ask if anyone would now change his or her selection. Ask: Was the wisdom as valuable as the gold? Why? How did the wisdom make the third man richer?
Write the words "Pearls of Wisdom" on the board and place the three strips containing the words of wisdom beneath it. Be sure that students know that pearls are precious and worth quite a lot, therefore when we say that someone has given us pearls of wisdom we are saying that they have given us valuable advice. Ask the students to think about how precious the wisdom in the three statements really is. Tell the students to try to think of all the ways that each statement could be used. For example:
"Don't take shortcuts" doesn't have to just mean finding a quicker way to get somewhere, it can mean don't try to take the easy way, don't leave out important steps.

"Don't ask about what does not concern you" means don't gossip, don't worry about what others are doing--be responsible for yourself.

"Don't jump to conclusions" means to give another person a chance to explain before you decide that you know what they will say, it also means to wait and be sure about something--don't make a decision, or conclusion based on part of the information--be patient.
Ask students to each decide which of the three words of wisdom they thought was most important to the man in the story and which of the words is most important to their own daily life. Tell them to write two paragraphs, the first telling about the most important words to the man, and the second telling which words they feel are the most important. Tell students to be sure to give reasons for their choices.
When students have completed the exercise, allow several to share their answers, then for each of the words of wisdom take a tally of the number who selected a particular "pearl of wisdom" for the man, then for themselves. Have students graph the results, reminding them that each statement will need to be written on the graph twice--once for the man in the story, once for the students. Tell students to use a bar graph and be sure to present the information clearly by labeling the statements, displaying the numbers and giving a title to the graph. (You may wish to suggest that the students number the three statements and use the number of the statement [#1, #2, #3] on the graph. Be sure that a key to the statements is included on the graph.
Additional Activity
The story is short and easy to remember. Divide the class into groups of at least four members (three students can play multiple parts [old man, first man, second man, owner of the ranch, wife and son]). You may add a storyteller to each group or have the students develop a simple script of their own. Be sure that the three words of wisdom remain the same.
Students could also work together in groups and present their own skits illustrating one of the three words of wisdom.

Bibliography

Bawden, Nina, retold by. William Tell. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1981. (0-688-51985-7)
Cole, Joanna and Stephanie Calmenson. Six Sick Sheep: 101 Tongue Twisters. New York: Scholastic, 1993. (0-590-47783-8)
deRegniers, Beatrice Schenk, selected by. Sing a Song of Popcorn: Every Child's Book of Poems. New York: Scholastic, 1988. (0-590-43974-X)
Early, Margaret, retold and illustrated by. William Tell. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1991. (0-8109-3854-5)
Ferris, Helen, selected by. Favorite Poems Old and New: Selected for Boys and Girls. New York: Doubleday, 1957. (0-385-07696-7)
Fisher, Leonard Everett. William Tell. New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1996.(0-374-38436-3)
Hirsch, E. D., Jr, ed. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31257-1)
Keller, Charles. Tongue Twisters. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1989. (0-671-67123-5)
Small, Terry, retold and illustrated by. The Legend of William Tell. New York: Bantam Books, 1991. (0-553-07031-2)
Terban, Marvin. Punching the Clock-Funny Action Idioms. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1990.(0-899-19864-3)
Trotman, Felicity, retold by. William Tell. Milwaukee: Raintree Children's Books, 1987. (0-8172-2630-3)

Teacher Reference
Morris, William and Mary. Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins. New York: Harper and Row, 1988. (0-06-015862-X)