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Spy the Flycatcher

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Summary

Students will identify characteristics of an animal. Students will recognize and understand the use of similes and metaphors.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will identify characteristics of an animal. Students will recognize and understand the use of similes and metaphors.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Language Arts

Grades

  • Second grade
  • Third grade

Class Time

Sessions: Three
Session Length: 30-45 minutes
Total Length: 91-120 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Pairs
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of similes.

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Characteristics
  • Metaphors

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector
  • 1 overhead transparency of each of the following:
    • "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page
    • "What Do You Think?" worksheet
    • "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet
    • "Coin Outline" worksheets (one or both pages)
  • Copies of the following:
    • "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet
    • "How Are They Alike?" worksheet
    • "Coin Outline" worksheets (2 pages)
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Highlighters (optional)
  • Crayons
  • Pencils

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of each of the following:
    • "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page
    • "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "What Do You Think?" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "How Are They Alike?" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "Coin Outline" worksheets (2 pages per student; print double-sided if desired)
  • Gather various images of the scissor-tailed flycatcher for Session 1.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/252.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page. Locate Oklahoma on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. Ask the students to examine the Oklahoma quarter and tell you what they know about this image. Explain to the students that the image features the state bird and state wildflower, the scissor-tailed flycatcher and Indian blanket.
  3. Explain to the students that they will be learning more about the state bird of Oklahoma. Discuss with the students the definition of the term "characteristic" (describes a distinguishing trait of a person, animal, or object). Write the definition on a piece of chart paper. Have the students think of some characteristics of their favorite local sports team. Record responses on chart paper. As a class, review and discuss the types of words used.
  4. Display color photos or visit a Web site that provides a color picture of the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Ask the students to look at the image of the scissor-tailed flycatcher and think about the details they see. Distribute a "What do You Think?" worksheet to each student. Review the directions and ask the student to complete the first section. Collect the worksheets.
  5. Display the transparency of the "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet. As a class, read the paragraphs about the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Distribute a "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet and highlighter (optional) to each student. Divide the class into pairs. Ask the students to reread the paragraphs and discuss and highlight key characteristics and facts.
  6. In pairs, have the students record characteristics and facts about the flycatcher on the "Flycatcher Facts" worksheet.
  7. As a class, review the characteristics of the scissor-tailed flycatcher. Record the responses on the "Flycatcher Facts" overhead transparency. If necessary, emphasize the unique shape and length of the flycatcher’s tail.
  8. Tell the students that one special characteristic of the flycatcher is its tail. The flycatcher’s tail is twice as long as its body. The tail can grow to be 9 inches (or 23 centimeters) long. During flight, the tail opens and then closes when the flycatcher perches, looking like a pair of scissors.
  9. Redistribute the "What Do You Think?" worksheet to the students. Have the students complete the rest of the worksheet based on the reading and the class discussion.
  10. Collect the "Flycatcher Facts" and "What Do You Think?" worksheets.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the material from the previous session. Remind the students that the tail of the scissor-tailed flycatcher opens during flight, and closes when the flycatcher perches, looking like a pair of scissors.
  2. Ask the students to define the term "simile" (a way to describe something by comparing it to something different using the words "like" or "as"). Similes can show how two things that are not alike in some ways are similar in one important way.
  3. Display the transparency of the "Oklahoma Quarter Reverse" page and hold up a pair of scissors for the class to see. Open and close the scissors, reminding the students that this is similar to the movement of the flycatcher's tail. Close the scissors and tell the students this is similar to the flycatcher’s tail when it is perched. Have the students create a simile between the scissors and the flycatcher's tail (for example, "A scissor-tailed flycatcher’s tail opens like a pair of scissors when it flies."). Write the simile on the board.
  4. Discuss the definition of the term "metaphor." The definition should reflect that a metaphor is a comparison that shows how two things that are not alike in many ways are similar in one important way but it uses a form of the verb "to be" instead of "like" or "as."
  5. Remind the students that the scissor-tailed flycatcher is helpful to farmers and ranchers. Have the students create a metaphor reflecting that information (for example, "A scissor-tailed flycatcher is a farmer’s best friend").
  6. Record the definitions for similes and metaphors on chart paper, providing an example for each.
  7. Distribute a "How Are They Alike?" worksheet to each student. Review the directions and allow the students enough time to complete the worksheet.
  8. Have the students share their similes and metaphors in small groups. As a class, review the students’ responses. Record responses on chart paper and discuss them.
  9. Collect the "How Are They Alike?" worksheets.
  10. Distribute the two "Coin Outline" worksheets (one for metaphor and one for simile) to each student. Have the students write a simile about the scissor-tailed flycatcher on one page and a metaphor on the other. Have the students illustrate both sides.
  11. Display the worksheets in the classroom.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Provide examples and fewer questions for the similes and metaphors worksheets.
  • Allow students to choose from pre-selected similes and metaphors in order to complete the "Coin Outline" worksheet.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students create a chart of other animals named for their unique characteristics.
  • Have students create a picture book of similes and metaphors to share with other grade levels.
  • Have student research other state birds and flowers.
  • Analyze students’ worksheets for understanding of the terms "characteristics,""similes," and "metaphors."
  • Use the students’ class participation, coin design, and worksheets to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.
There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.2 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Standards:

  • L.2.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
    • Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    • Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known prefix is added to a known word (e.g., happy/unhappy, tell/retell).
    • Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., addition, additional).
    • Use knowledge of the meaning of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words (e.g., birdhouse, lighthouse, housefly; bookshelf, notebook, bookmark).
    • Use glossaries and beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the meaning of words and phrases.
  • L.2.5. Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe foods that are spicy or juicy).
    • Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).
  • L.2.6. Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: L.3 Language
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
Standards:

  • L.3.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
    • Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
    • Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).
    • Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).
    • Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
  • L.3.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
    • Distinguish the literal and nonliteral meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).
    • Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).
    • Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
  • L.3.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them). 

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: 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: 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: SL.3 Speaking and Listening
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Comprehension and Collaboration
Standards:

  • SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
    • 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).
    • Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
    • Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • SL.3.3. Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.) 

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.2 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.2.7. Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • W.2.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • W.2.9. begins in grade 4.

Discipline: Language Arts
Domain: W.3 Writing
Grade(s): Grade 2
Cluster: Research to Build and Present Knowledge
Standards:

  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.9. begins in grade 4.

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: 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: Language Arts
Domain: All Language Arts Standards
Cluster: Effective Communication
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.