Lesson: Problem and Solution

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify the main problem and solution in a fiction or non-fiction text.

Lesson Plan

5th Grade
LRA 3.2–Problem and Solution in a Non-Fiction text
Standard :
5.R.3.2 Identify the main problem or conflict of the plot and explain how it is resolved.
I. Desired Outcome
By the end of the period, students will work with a partner to complete a graphic organizer identifying the main problem, solution and 2 smaller problems and their solutions for a shared non-fiction read aloud.
II. Evidence of Learning
Participation during read aloud
Notes on student organizer
Student turn and talk
5-finger summary
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
III. Opening the Lesson
A. Activity to open the lesson ideally:
 1. Motivates and engages students,
 2. Either assesses prior knowledge or explicitly builds on prior knowledge/life experiences/interests – for example, “Do Nows”
 3. States the objective of the lesson.
B. How long will the opening take?
C. Consider Blooms Taxonomy/Ask good questions (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation)
Pre-read questioning and intro:
Both fiction books and many non-fiction books follow similar structure plans. We’ve learned how to write a five-finger summary. Who can explain the five important parts of a five-finger summary? (1. Main Characters 2. Setting 3. Problem 4. Main Events 5. Solution)  
Today we are going to focus on the problem and solution. The problem and solution really sets up the structure of the story and without it, the story would not have a plot.
Before we read, it’s important to know that sometimes when we talk about problem and solution, we use different words. Remember that “conflict” means the same thing as “problem” and that “resolution” is a synonym for “solution.” (Write words up on the board or add to vocabulary wall.)
(5 minutes)
IV. Instruction and Modeling – What is the teacher doing?
A.What are you going to teach and how? (Will you provide relevant information, model thought processes, establish guides or graphic organizers, etcetera?)
B.How will you differentiate instruction? (small groups, guided math, guided reading, guided writing, literature circles, etc)
C..How long will each activity take?
D. Consider Blooms Taxonomy/Ask good questions (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, Evaluation)
E. Consider Newmann’s Rigor
 Today we are going to read a picture book that was inspired by a chapter book that was written for adults. Greg Mortenson’s first book, Three Cups of Tea, was very popular and so he decided to write a different version of the book for teenagers and then this version of the book for younger readers.
This is a true story about Greg MortensonThis man went to a far away country called Pakistan. When he was there he saw a really big problem and wanted to fix it but there are also several smaller problems from start to finish. As we read, let’s look for what that big problem was and figure out how it was solved. We also want to pay attention to smaller conflicts and resolutions.
Read aloud, pause for comprehension questions such as the following:
-Who is telling this story? The voice keeps saying “we.”
-This story begins with a small problem when Greg enters the village and is sick. How is this problem solved? Who solves it?
-What happened when Greg listened to the wind?
-Why does Greg promise to return to build a school?
-Do you think we found the main problem yet? Let’s see what the rest of the events focus on to make sure that is the main problem.
-What problem arises when Greg returns?
-How long does it take for village to solve the problem of needing a bridge?
-How is the big problem resolved?
-Does just one person solve the problem? Could just one person have solved the problem without the help of others?
-Have you ever worked with a larger group to build something or fix something up together?
(20 minutes)
V.Guided Practice – What are the students doing?
A.What will students do to interact and practice the subject matter? 
B. How will you differentiate instruction? 
C.What sorts of groupings will you use?
D.How long will each activity take?
Distribute problem/solution organizers and break students into pairs.  Explain that students will use the organizer to represent the problems and solutions we went discussed while reading Listen to the Wind.
Circulate and ask questions to help students that are stuck or confused.
The organizer should show the main problem and solution and then smaller problems that arise and are solved along the story.
(15 minutes)
VI. Independent Practice
Students should write a one paragraph, 5-finger summary of Listen to the Wind. The summary should include the main characters, setting, problem, main events and solution. Remind students that the main events should relate to how the problem is solved.
(15 minutes)
VIII. Closing the Lesson
If time allows, ask a few student volunteers to share their summaries and then ask the other students to identify the problem and solution they heard in each summary.
When you return to your independent reading, I want you to keep a look out for both the big problem and for little problems or conflicts that arise along the way. Remember that the main events usually lead to the solution of the big problem.
(5 minutes)
1. What went well?
2. What would you change?
3. What needs explanation?
 This lesson also tied in well with identifying the theme or author's message in the text.  We had previously discussed theme and were able to brainstorm possible themes for the text such as "compassion," and "perseverence."
 This text is a bit easy for 5th graders.  I used it because my class is reading below grade level, but I think the next step would be to use a passage without pictures (or at least with fewer pictures) that is on grade level.
This book might not yet be in your school library because it was only recently released. It tells a great story of a village working together to build a school in Pakistan and could weave well with a current events or Social Studies lesson.

Lesson Resources

Problem and Solution organizer   Notes
Five Finger Fiction Summary byrns   Activity


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