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A LINKS Lesson on Winnie the Witch

Adapted and updated from a sample integrated lesson sequence by M. Dela Paz and N. Hermosa. From
NNHermosa (1997) Literature and skills: An integrated framework. In Ocampo, D. Trends in Reading Education.
UP Open University. This updated version is part of the BEST teacher resource package in English Grades 4-6.

OBJECTIVES

A. Realize that solutions to a problem sometimes lead to complications.


Understand the love sometimes entails sacrifice.
Admire a character’s concern for another character and for arriving at a
creative solution to a problem.
Appreciate and enjoy aspects of humor in the story.
B. Form a semantic map for witch
Fill in a problem-solution chart
Dramatize portions of the story
Fill in speech/thought bubbles
Write a diary entry
Write a letter giving advice
C. Predict “what the character will do next” while listening to the story
Infer characters’ emotional reactions by matching feelings cut-outs to events
Identify likenesses and differences in short passages
Compare and contrast characters, events, and settings

SUBJECT MATTER & MATERIALS


Main Text: Winnie the Witch by Valerie Thomas & Korky Paul (Oxford University Press, 1993)
Materials: Two puppets (that could somersault)
Problem-Solution flow chart
Cartolina cut-out of Winnie’s house
Face cut-outs of Winnie and Wilbur showing different emotions
Poster of Wilbur up the tree with the birds
Manila paper charts for diary and advice column activities
Crayon, paint, Manila paper, crepe paper, colored chalk
Comparison-contrast teaching charts and worksheets

PROCEDURE (Show puppets).


These are Tommy and Anna.
They are friends.
A. PRE-READING
1. Developing vocabulary/concepts Tommy: Hey, Anna, why do you look miserable?
Anna: Yes, I’m very unhappy. I broke Nanay’s favorite
a) Tell the following dialogue using two vase and she is furious with me.
puppets. Write the underlined words/phrases Tommy thought that something had to be done so that
on the board or present them on cards/strips. Anna will stop feeling miserable. He started doing
b) Have the children read the word/phrase then somersaults (have the puppet do somersaults).
give their meanings based on the way they
Anna: (laughs) What are you doing? You look so ridiculous
were used in the exchange between Tommy doing that!
and Anna. Ask a volunteer to do a somersault. Tommy: Aha, but I made you laugh, didn’t I?”

Figure 1. Teacher's puppet story to unlock vocabulary

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c) Anna is always absent from her class. Her teacher decided something had to be done
about it. What do you think will the teacher do?

2. Activating prior knowledge / Developing a purpose for reading

a) Develop a semantic map for witch. Guide the children in categorizing the words they have generated.
Possible words are shown in Figure 2.

black pointed hat long black dress

drink lemonade WITCH haunted


house

wicke
can fly d
Figure 2. Semantic Map for WITCH

b) Based on the semantic map, draw a story-related concept and use this as a basis for making predictions.
For example, on the item that witches like the color black.
Why do you think witches like black? In the story we are going to read, Winnie the Witch
has a black house full of black things. What problems do you think will she have because
of this?

B. DURING READING
(The format used here is a read-aloud by the teacher.)

Winnie the Witch lived in a black house in the forest. The house was
black on the outside and black on the inside… One day, after a nasty
fall, Winnie decided something had to be done. (STOP) Ask the class:
What do you think would Winnie do? Why do you think so? What are
the clues that tell you she will do that?

…She picked up her magic wand, waved it once and ABRACADABRA! Wilbur was a black cat
no longer. He was bright green! . . . This time, Winnie was furious. She picked up her magic
wand, waved it five times and . . . (STOP) Ask the class: What do you think would Winnie do?
Why do you think so? What are the clues?

…ABRACADABRA! Wilbur had a red head, a yellow body, a pink tail,


blue whiskers, and four purple legs!...
… She loved Wilbur and hated him to be miserable. (STOP)
What do you think would Winnie do? What are the clues?
(FINISH READING THE STORY.)

C. POST READING

1. Engagement Activities I (Small groups)


Divide the class into five groups. Assign each group to do one of these tasks. Give directions and guidelines.

a) Present black cartolina cut-out of Winnie’s house, similar to Figure 3.

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Here is an outline of Winnie’s house. Using white chalk
or crayon, draw the things found inside Winnie’s
house. Label them.
b) (See Figure 4)
Here’s a poster of Wilbur up the tree with the birds.
What do you think are the birds saying? What do you
think is Wilbur thinking? Fill in the speech/thought
bubbles.
c) (See Figure 5)
When Wilbur became rainbow-colored, he felt Figure 3. Cartolina cut-out of WtW's house
miserable. How did Winnie feel? Write a
diary entry for Winnie that night. What do
you think was she thinking
then? Write it on this Manila paper.
d) (See Figure 6)
Pretend you are a writer of an advice
column. If Winnie wrote to you when she
kept tripping over Wilbur, what advice
would you give her? Write what Winnie
might have written. Then write down your
advice.
e) (Provide materials)
Dramatize how Winnie turned Wilbur into
a green multi-colored cat, then to a black
cat once more. Make and wear costumes
for this task
Note: Guide the groups while they work on their
engagement activities. Give enough time for
children to work on their tasks. When they finish,
put up their work on the board or walls. Leave
some space for the Problem-Solution Flow Chart.
Then proceed to the discussion. Figure 4. Poster for writing speech/thought of characters

Figure 5. Poster for Winnie's diary entry Figure 6. Sample Advice Column poster

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2. Engagement Activities II: Discussion (Whole class)

Put up a properly labeled flow chart like the one shown in Winnie lived in a
Figure 7. As each situation is discussed, have pupils tape black house with
appropriate Winnie and Wilbur cut-outs, with different a black cat
emotional expressions beside the appropriate portion of the named Wilbur.
chart.

Where did Winnie live? Group A, can you tell us more


Problem 1
about Winnie’s house.
 Group A presents output: Things in Winnie’s black house.

What could be the reason why everything in Winnie’s Solution 1


house was black?
 Present a cut-out of Wilbur. Put it in different parts of the
house cut-out. Problem 2
Was It easy to see Wilbur in this house?
Why did Wilbur’s color present a problem?
How do you think Winnie felt every time she sat on Solution 2
or tripped over Wilbur?
How do you think Wilbur felt?
Problem 3
 Face cut-outs with appropriate feelings are pasted on the
chart.

What did Winnie do to solve this problem? Group E Solution 3


will show us.
 Group E dramatizes/pantomimes the scene where Winnie
turns Wilbur into a green cat. They wear the costumes
they have made. Figure 7. Problem-Solution Flow Chart
Did this solve the problem? Why?
What was the next problem?
What did Winnie do to solve the second problem? Group E will show us.
 Group E dramatizes/pantomimes the scene where Winnie turns Wilbur into a multi-colored cat.
How did Wilbur feel? Why?
 Face cut-outs are pasted on the chart.

What did Wilbur do? Group B, can you tell us what the birds might have said about
Wilbur? And what Wilbur might have been thinking?
 Group B presents output: Bird Tweets)

What was Winnie’s problem now? How did Winnie


feel? Group C will tell us.
 Group C presents their output: Winnie’s Diary Entry
 Face cut-outs

Group D, what do you think Winnie could have done


about her problem?
 Group D presents their output: Advice Column
Who else have ideas other than those presented by
Group D?
What did Winnie decide to do?
How does Winnie’s house look now? Figure 8. Poster of Winnie's new house
to be colored
 Present an uncolored house and have children color the
different things in the house according to the descriptions given in the book.

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We know that Winnie likes the color black. Was it easy for her to turn her house into
many different colors?
Why did she do it? In a scale of 1 to 10, how much would you rate Winnie’s love for
Wilbur? Why?
What can you do to show your love for someone?
 Call children’s attention to the flow chart.
How many problems were met by Winnie in the story?
How many solutions did she think of?
Was there a solution to every problem in the story?
Would a solution always make sure that it would be the end of a problem?
What does the story show us about problems and solutions?
(Guide the discussion such that children arrive at the realization that, sometimes, a solution causes
another problem. Real life problem situations could be discussed, with children sharing their experiences
on this issue.)

 Did the story make you laugh? Which parts of the story were funny?
Flip through the book, showing the pages. By looking at the pictures even before reading the
story, can you tell it’s going to be a funny story? Why?
 (Go back to the semantic map that the class made in the pre-reading part of the lesson. Guide the
children in expanding it with new insights from the story. In the example shown in Figure 10, the entries
with asterisks were added to the semantic map made during the pre-reading part. )

What witches
can do
fly
cast spells
make magic How witches look
Words that describe drink lemonade long wrinkled face
witches black pointed hat
bad/evil/wicked *love a pet
long black dress
clever, smart long nose
ugly, crooked warts
*loving, caring witches bent body
*funny *colorful costume

What witches use Where witches live


broom cave
cauldron forest
wand castle
cane haunted house
spiders, lizards
*black house
*multi-colored house

Figure 9. Sample revised semantic map after discussion

3. Enrichment/Extending the Literary Experience/Curriculum Connections


(Individual Students/Small groups)
Here are possible activities which may be done as individual or small group projects to
extend the literary experience and make connections across the curriculum.

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WRITING
 House’s Story: There’s another story in the book. Make the house tell the story again
from its point of view. (“I was an elegant black house. . .)
 Abracadabra!: Invent your own magic words. You could write them at the back of
your Witch Hat.

ART
 Construction and coloring activities

Figure 10. Winnie hat and Wilbur headdress; Coloring Winnie

MUSIC Winnie’s Song


 Singing Winnie’s Song A big tall hat
(https://youtu.be/EsHWZDeZyNA?t=5) Ten long toes
The song can be taught in the A black magic wand
A long red nose.
music class. It can also be used in a
She’s Winnie
lesson on adjectives (arrangement Winnie the Witch.
of two adjectives before a noun)
A long black tail
Big green eyes
SOCIAL STUDIES He goes with Winnie
 Research/Read about superstitions When she flies.

about black cats He’s Wilbur


 Research/Read about how Wilbur the Cat.
Figure 11. Winnie's Song
Halloween is celebrated in
different parts of the world.

SCIENCE
 Science Experiments
These simple experiments
can be done in the Science
class/Reading class. They
review the concepts of
chemical reaction, and
camouflage, respectively.

Figure 12. Science experiments on the concepts of chemical reaction


and camouflage

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4. Explicit Teaching of a Reading Comprehension Skill: Comparison-Contrast

Step 1: Introduction/Warm Up In the beginning, Wilbur and the house


were both black. In the end, Wilbur
Remember the story of Winnie the Witch and her was black but the house was yellow.
pet cat, Wilbur? Here are some sentences about it.
Let’s read them.
Which sentence tells how the house and Wilbur
are alike?
Which sentence tells how they are different?
Which clue words helped you decide? (both / but)
Today, we will use clue words or signal words to
help us tell how people, things, or events are alike or
how they are different.

Step 2: Teaching/Modeling

Refer the children to the compare-contrast chart, Figure 13.


What do we do when we compare?
What do we do when we contrast?
The sentences that you read about Wilbur and the
How to Compare and Contrast
house make comparisons. When we make
comparisons, we compare and contrast. 1. Think of ways that things, people,
Being able to make comparisons will help us or events are alike.
understand better what we read. 2. Think of ways that they are
different.
How do we compare and contrast? Here’s a strategy
3. Use clue words to help decide if
we can use (show chart in Figure 13). things are alike or different.
Have children read the steps for comparing and contrasting. 4. When you have decided, read to see
Use the sample paragraph in Step 1 to illustrate the steps, if if you are right.
TEACHING CHART/WORKSHEET
needed.
Present the Practice Chart or Worksheet. Winnie and Wanda are witches. Winnie
Read the paragraph in the Teaching lives in a black house but Wanda lives
Chart/Worksheet. Which sentences tell how Winnie in a cave. Both have pets. Winnie has a
and Wanda are alike? Which sentences tell how they black cat named Wilbur while Wanda
are different? has a black wolf named Woof. Like
Winnie, Wanda can cast spells.
Let us see what clue words helped you decide However, while Winnie casts good
when the witches are alike and when they are spells, Wanda casts evil ones.
different. “Both have pets.” Here, both is the COMPARISON TABLE
clue word. When you see the word both, you Alike Different
know that the sentence tells how things or Both are Winnie lives in a black
persons are alike. What two persons are being witches. house; Wanda lives in a
compared in the sentence? cave.
Follow this procedure for the rest of the sentences, Both have pets. Winnie has a cat; Wanda
pointing out the clue words as you go along: like, also, has a wolf.
while, however. Both witches Winnie casts good spells;
Let us summarize the information in the can cast spells. Wanda casts evil ones.
Figure 13. Sample teaching
paragraph by filling in the comparison table.
charts/worksheets for Steps 1-2 of the
The completed comparison table will look like the one in
explicit teaching of compare-contrast
Figure 13.
Before going on, have pupils review the strategy for making comparisons.

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Step 3: Guided Practice

Introduce the Venn Diagram as a device for WINNIE WANDA


showing similarities and differences. Draw it
witches
on the board then guide children in filling it up lives in a black house lives in a caved
have black pets
with the same information found in the pet cat – Wilbur pet wolf – Woof
can cast spells
comparison table. The completed diagram casts good spells casts evil spells
may look like the one in Figure 14.

Provide a practice exercise with another


compare-contrast paragraph, preferably an Figure 14. Venn Diagram showing the same
informational material in the content areas. Guided information shown in the comparison table
practice is usually done with the whole class, with the
children reading aloud the sample text, and the teacher guiding the
discussion on the compare-contrast points. This will give an idea
which students are understanding what is being taught and if there is
a need for re-teaching, e.g., going back to Step 2. The sample
worksheet for Guided Practice shown in Figure 15 is a text that might
be taken from a Social Studies book.

Step 4: Independent Practice


Review why readers make comparisons. Then give exercises for
independent practice. These may include worksheets, Venn
Diagrams, writing, e.g., children can make diagrams/tables or write
paragraphs comparing two things/persons/animals. Give each child a
copy of the Compare-Contrast Tool Kit to guide them in doing the
practice exercises. See sample paragraph below.
Figure 15. Sample worksheet/chart
for guided practice

Directions: Read the paragraph comparing nests and houses. Do you see any clue words?
Underline them. Use your Compare and Contrast Tool Kit to help you locate the clue words.
Then make a comparison table or a Venn Diagram to show how nests and houses are alike,
and how they are different.

Nests and Houses


You already know that there are major differences between a house and
a nest. In contrast to a house, a nest is small and has only one room.
Another difference is that a house is usually for people while a nest is for
birds. However, you might be surprised to find out that nests and houses
have some things that are the same. For example, both nests and houses
provide shelter. Another similarity is that both use trees in their
construction. Birds use sticks and twigs while people use lumber from
trees. Last, they are alike because they take up space, although a house
usually takes up more space than a nest!
(Slightly adapted from ReadWriteThink. Copyright 2007 IRA/NCTE. All rights
reserved.
ReadWriteThink materials may be reproduced for educational purposes)

Figure 16. Compare-Contrast Tool Kit and sample text to be used for independent practice

Step 5: Application
This step goes beyond the lesson sequence described above. The skill of comparing and contrasting should
transfer to different texts that children read across different subject areas, both narrative and expository
materials. Opportunities for writing using the comparison-contrast text structure may also be provided within
the language arts classroom. Below are some worksheets that provide additional practice for using the skill
of compare-contrast for writing (see Figure 17), and for comprehending content area materials. As the
children master the skill, they can move on from making comparisons within texts to comparing a text with
another (see Figure 18).

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Figure 17. A sample Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting
dogs and cats as pets

Figure 17 shows a Venn Diagram generated from a discussion comparing dogs and cats as pets. It can
serve as a pre-writing activity and a guide to help students write an essay on comparing and contrasting.

Figure 18. Sample charts/worksheets for


comparing across texts

Figure 18 shows compare-contrast charts that provide students ways to apply the skill (and advance in it)
that are natural outgrowths of their reading experiences. These grids can be completed individually, in pairs,
or by groups, and they can be used by students at any grade level.

Acknowledgments
Some of the materials used to exemplify parts of this LINKS lesson were taken from the following sources:

Read-Write-Think. International Literacy Association & National Council for Teachers of English (2017)
http://www.readwritethink.org/
Scoula via Conforti. Winnie’s Song (subbed)
https://youtu.be/EsHWZDeZyNA?t=5, May 22, 2013
Twinkl Educational Publishing
http://www.twinkl.co.uk/
Teacher Created Resources
https://www.teachercreated.com/

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