Students take notes that describe the physical appearance and actions of Cloud, a white stallion, as he matures over the course of four years. In the first segment, Cloud is a newborn foal. In the second segment, he is two years old, and in the third segment, he is four years old.
Why is this an important concept?
It is important for students to understand passage of time in a text and how characters change over time. If students do not understand how characters change over time, comprehension will be hindered.
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Photocopy the Cloud Grows Character chart for each student and distribute.
2. Provide the purpose for viewing video segment 1, "Cloud-Foal,": Describe the physical appearance and actions of Cloud as a newborn.
3. After viewing, students share some of the characteristics they noticed. Encourage students to use descriptive language. Then students record their observations about Cloud in row 1 of the Character Chart.
4. View video segment 2, "Cloud - Age Two" and provide the same purpose for viewing as above, amending the statement to let students know that Cloud is now two years old.
5. After viewing, discuss how Cloud's appearance and actions have changed. Students record their observations about Cloud and his growth in row 2 of the Character Chart.
6. View video segment 3, "Cloud - Age Four" and provide the same purpose for viewing as above, amending the statement to let students know that Cloud is now four years old.
7. Students record their observations about Cloud and this development in the third row of the Character Chart.
8. Students write a one or two sentence summary for each phase of Cloud's life. Ask students to think about how to combine the ideas to write a one paragraph summary, including introductory and closing sentences.
9. Discuss the words on the Cloud Grows Transition Word List handout and how they can help connect the ideas in each phase of Cloud's life.
For students who need additional teacher guidance:
1. Using the procedures listed above, record students' ideas in each row of the Cloud Grows Character chart, modeling how to use descriptive language.
2. Guide students to summarize the characteristics they listed for each phase of Cloud's life and to write a one or two-sentence summary to describe Cloud at each phase of his life. Record the sentence(s) in the designated space on the Character Chart.
Part II: Assessment
Students write a paragraph summarizing Cloud's physical description and actions at each of the three phases in his life and how he changes through the years. The paragraph will include introductory and conclusion sentences along with the supporting sentences students have already written. Students should use the Cloud Grows Character chart to help them connect their sentences more smoothly.