Activating Prior Knowledge: 1

HM Story: Salmon Summer karin1

Teacher: Karin Linn-Nieves, Grade 4

In this lesson, fourth grade students will practice the Red Dot, Green Dot strategy. The teacher scaffolds this activity by activating the students prior knowledge on the subject and uses this to access their vocabulary and understanding.  Let’s watch as Karin unfolds this lesson in a way to connect the learning to the student's prior understanding with the vocabulary.

Here are artifacts and resources from the lesson:

Salmon Summer Lesson Plan

Salmon Summer Objectives Chart

Salmon Summer Sentence Frames

Red Dot, Green Dot Poster 1

Red Dot, Green Dot Poster 2

Red Dot, Green Dot Poster 3

Red Dot, Green Dot Poster 4

Red Dot, Green Dot Poster 5


Karin introduces the activity “Red dot, Green dot” to her students working on the story “Salmon Summer.” Notice how she previews the sentence frames that students will use later in the lesson so that they have an understanding of what is coming next.

Classroom Reflection

Why might it be helpful for ELs to preview the vocabulary from a story before it is read in class?

In this clip Karin is quite explicit about her review of the dot colors and their meanings so that students are not confused when they begin the activity. Notice how she checks for understanding from the students before she begins the activity.

Here Karin walks around to the different groups and checks to make sure they are completing the activity correctly. You can see that she questions specific students as she observes that they are misusing the dots.

Classroom Reflection

What might motivate students to misuse the dot colors during this activity? How might teachers alleviate this in the classroom?