Looking for the Cat in the Ghat

Lesson Guide

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Activity 1 Before Reading Activity

Before students read the text, consider reading aloud to them the read aloud version of the story. The Cat in the Ghat to build background knowledge. Also find  the Western Ghat Forest in Asia on a map.

Activity 2 Explore the Book Cover and Character Page

Direct students attention to the illustration on the book cover. Lead students to infer what the book will be about. Connect the title of the book to the illustration. This will help students when they read the book on their own. Then go to the character page and identify the characters by their names under the pictures. The lesson guide provides the questions you can ask students and a think- aloud model of what you can say to make a prediction with evidence from the title and illustration.


Make Predictions About the Story

  • Explore the Title and illustration
  • Who are the characters? (students might recognize Deepa and Tim from other books)
  • Where are they?
  • What are they doing?
  • What do you see in the picture that connects to the title?

Model Think-Aloud to Describe the Cover Illustrations

  • The title says, The Cat in the Ghat, so I think the book will be about a cat in the forest.
  • I know that the word is cat because it begins with the letter c and that makes the sound /k/. A cat can be big or small. This one is big.
  • I wonder about what kind of cat because I only see a tiger. I think a tiger is in the cat family, but it is a very big cat. Do you notice something hiding in the trees? Maybe that is the cat It looks smaller because it is far away. I am wondering about all the other animals. Let’s name them: elephant, deer, monkey. I see Deepa has binoculars. I think she will look for the cat.
  • Tim and the man have cameras. I think they will take pictures of the animals.

Model Inferences That Can be Made From Pictures and Words

  • I can infer that Deepa is looking for the cat, because she has binoculars and the title says Looking for the Cat in the Ghat.

 

Academic Language Sentence Frames

Use the sentence frames for students to practice making  inferences about the cover.

I see _______________, SO, I think ________________.

I predict that __________________.


Character Page: Discuss the Illustration

  • Teacher Says: The characters are Deepa, Sandesh, and Tim.
  • Have students practice pronouncing each of the characters names.
  • Ask students to clap the syllables in each name. (Tom-1), (Dee/pa-2), (San/desh-2)

 

Read text below to students to help them understand what they will read about in the book.

Text: Student conservationists, Deepa and Tim, go on a trip to the Western Ghat with Sandesh, a wildlife photographer. Deepa has an invention that lets the team talk to the animals.

Activity 3 Word Work (Prepare to Read Pages 3-5)

Prepare students to apply what they know about words, letters, and sounds to figure out what the words in the story say. Practice thinking about the sounds in words, and sounding out  words (decoding) and then blending them back.


Phonemic Awareness Practice

Use fingers to segment (break apart) words into their sounds and then blend (put together) the sounds back together.

3 sounds: cat (/k/, /a/, /t/)

4 sounds: tells (/t/, /e/, /l/, /s/)

6 sounds: snaps (/s/, /n/, /a/, /p/, /s/)


Vowel Staircase

Use the vowel staircase and keyword hand signals to help students pronounce the 5 short vowel sounds: itch (/i/) echo (/e/), apple (/a/), up (/u/), octopus (/o/).

*Note: Check www.wordscientists.org for videos showing how to teach letter sounds.


Sound-By-Sound Blending

for closed syllable words: snap, stick, clicks, fast, plan.

On a wipe-off boards, have students give the sound as you spell each word letter by letter. Have students blend the consonant  sounds with the vowel sound.

Instruction of ck spelling of the sound /k/. In this book there are many words that have the ck spelling of /k/ (black, click, stick, back). As a general rule this spelling happens only at the end of a word or syllable with a short vowel sound. It is a digraph because 2 letters make one sound. Write the word back on the wipe-off board. Count with fingers how many sounds are in the word (b-a-k). Then explain that the sound /k/ is spelled with a digraph, ck. Tell students when you do sound-by-sound spelling of ck you will make a loop under the two letters to remind students it only makes one sound.

Example 1: snaps

Write the letter s. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /s/)

Write the letter n. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /n/)

Write the letter a. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /a/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /sna/.)  

Write the letter p.  Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /p/)

Write the letter s. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /s/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /snaps/)

Example 2: clicks

Write the letter c. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /k/)

Write the letter l. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /l/)

Write the letter i. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /i/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /cli/.  

Write the letters ck.  Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /k/)

Draw a loop under the ck.

Write the letter s. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /s/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /clicks/)


High-Frequency Word Practice

Practice using the phrases and have students use the pictures to complete the sentence:

They do not see the big cat.  They do not see  the __________ (cat, deer, tree, elephant).   

 

  • Deepa, Tim, and Sandesh go to look for a big cat.
  • They do not see the________________ (cat, deer, tiger).
  • The cat runs fast into the ___________.  (trees, forest, river).

 

Practice reading the high-frequency words with students: go, to, for, the, ask, then, is, too, and, see, next, will, as, by, all, so, look, up

Other challenging words: talk, find. Use an analogy strategy and practice words with -alk (talk) and -ind (find, kind, mind).

Activity 4 Read Pages 3-5

First read of text pages 3-5 by students.

Students read the text on their own (pages 3-5)

The students read the text and sound out words they don’t know. While other students are reading, the teacher listens to one student read at a time and gives the student feedback on their pronunciation. Students will need to take their time sounding out the words with blends (e.g., stick, snap, click).  


Choral Reading of pages 3-5.

The teacher and students reread the pages together.


Text-Dependent Questions

Use text-dependent questions and/or a think-aloud  to examine the set-up of the story (characters, setting, and what the characters are doing).

Think-aloud: I am going to talk about the set-up of the story, so I will tell who the characters are, where they are, and what they are doing when the story starts.  

One day, Deepa and Tim go with Sandesh, a photographer, to the Western Ghat forest. They want to take pictures of the animals in the Ghat. They are looking for a big white and black cat.  All of a sudden, they hear a stick snap. When they turn and look they see the big white and black cat.  Tim tries to snap a photo, but the cat is too fast. It runs away and Tim’s photo is blurry.  So they decide to look for the white and black cat. Deepa has a plan to talk to the animals.

Ask text-dependent questions about each page of text to connect the pictures with the words.


Page 3

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the forest.  Point to the white and black cat.

Oral Language Level 2 +:

Where are Deepa, Sandesh, and Tim? (in the Ghat, in the forest)

How do you know where they are? (I see trees and animals, the title says “in the Ghat”)

What do they want to do? (They want to find the big cat that is white and black.)


Page 4

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the white and black cat.

Oral Language Level 2:

What happens? (They hear a snap sound. When they turn around they see the cat and Tim tries to take a photo of it.)

What happens next? (The white and black cat runs away fast and Tim’s picture is blurry.)

Oral Language Level 3:

Why is the picture blurry? (The cat was running fast when Tim snapped the photo.)


Page 5

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the photo of the white and black cat.  Show how Tim feels.

Oral Language Level 2 +:

Where did the cat go? (the picture shows him running into the trees)

How do Deepa, Sandesh, and Tim feel when the cat runs away? (they are disappointed because they didn’t get a good photo of the cat.)

Academic Language Frame: Tim feels __________________because _____________.

Infer: What do you think is so special about the white and black cat? (maybe it looks like a tiger, but it is not the usual color of tigers.)

Activity 5 Word Work (Prepare to Read Pages 6-9)

Phonemic Awareness Practice

Use fingers to segment (break apart) words into their sounds and then blend the sounds back together: stick, next, click, pond

4 sounds: stick, click

5 sounds: next

Note: The letter x make two sounds /ks/.

Place your finger at the side of your nose to call attention to the nasal /n/ in the word pond.


Sound-By-Sound Blending

for closed syllable words: stick, next, click, pond

On a wipe-off boards, have students give the sound as you spell each word letter by letter. Have students blend the sound with the vowel.

Example 1: clicks

Write the letter s. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /s/)

Write the letter t. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /t/)

Write the letter i. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /i/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /sti/.  

Write the letters ck.  Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /k/)

Draw a loop under the ck.

Say: Blend (Students respond /click/)

Note: Point out to students that the word click can mean the action of clicking the camera, or the sound the camera makes.

Example 2: pond

Write the letter p. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /p/)

Write the letter o. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /o/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /po/).

Write the letter n. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /n/)

Write the letter d. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /d/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /pond/).


High Frequency Word Practice

Read High-Frequency Words: first, you, them, says

Comment on meaning of words: First is a word that tells the order.

You is a pronoun that means the second person.

Them is a pronoun that refers to a group of people.

Says tells as character is going to talk. What they say is in quotation marks.

Activity 6 Read Pages 6-9

First read of text pages 6-9 by students.

Students read pages 6-9 on their own. The teacher listens to individual students read and gives them feedback on their pronunciation.  


Choral Reading of pages 6-9.

The teacher and students reread the pages together.


Text-Dependent Questions

Use text-dependent question to examine the initiating event of the story (something unexpected that happens in the story that starts a chain of event).

As you ask questions, have students reread parts of the text out loud to hear the answers.

Confirm content words from the pictures. Ask text-dependent questions about each page of text to connect the pictures with the words.The questions help students to participate and understand the story.  


Page 6

Oral Language Level 1:

Count the elephants (4). Point to the elephant that is washing.

Oral Language Level 2 + :

What are the elephants doing?

Where are the elephants?

Read what Deepa asks the elephants with her invention? Read what is in the quotation marks.

What do the elephants answer back?  Point out the quotation marks that tell us when characters are talking.


Page 7

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the tiger.  What color is the tiger? (orange and black)

Oral Language Level  2 +:

What happens next? (They see a tiger and ask the tiger abou the white and black cat).

Read what Deepa asks the tiger with her invention?

What does the tiger answer?

Infer: What is the difference between this big cat (tiger) and the cat they are looking for.

Think Aloud: I realize that this tiger is also a big cat. They are looking for a big cat that could be a tiger that is white and black.


Page 8

Oral Language Level 1:

Count the deer (3).  

Oral Language Level  2 +:

What happens next? (They see deer in the forest  and ask the the deer if they have seen the white and black cat).

Read what Deepa asks the deer with her invention?

What do the deer answer?


Page 9

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the monkey.  

Oral Language Level  2 +:

What happens next? (They see a monkey in the forest  and ask the the monkey if they have seen the white and black cat).

Read what Deepa asks the monkey with her invention?

Read what the monkey answers back.

What did the monkey say that was different?(did not tell them to go back, was helpful to the them)

Where did the monkey tell them to go? ( to find the frog by the pond)


Model retell of the story:

Use the sequence words (first, next, then, after that, finally) and connecting words (but, so, because) when you retell the story. First, the teacher models a retell of the story using the sequence and connecting words.  Then students can help the teacher tell parts of the story or fill in words when the teacher pauses.

Use the sequence words (first, next, then, after that, finally) and connecting words (but, so, because) when you retell the story.  These academic language word are bolded.  Use the word decides or wants in the retell to help students understand the characters’ goals.

Students can practice retelling parts of the story.  The teacher has the sequence words and connecting words on cards.  Use the pictures from the story to help remember details of the story to retell.

Model Retell of the story so far: One day, Deepa and Tim go with Sandesh, a photographer, to the Western Ghat forest. They want to take pictures of the animals in the Ghat. They are looking for a big white and black cat.  All of a sudden, they hear a stick snap. When they turn and look they see the big white and black cat. Tim tries to snap a photo, but the cat is too fast. It runs away and Tim’s photo is blurry because the cat moved too fast. Tim is disappointed because he wants a photo of the special cat. So they decide to look for the white and black cat. Deepa has a plan to talk to the animals. First, they ask the elephants if they have seen the white and black cat.  But the elephants tell them , “No, Go back!”  Next, the ask the tiger if it has seen the white and black cat. But the tiger tells them, “No, Go back!”  After that,  they ask the deer about the white and black cat. But the deer tell them, “No, Go back!” Finally,  they ask a monkey. The monkey tells them to find a frog who will tell them where to find the big  white and black cat.

Activity 7 Word Work (Prepare to Read Pages 10-15)

Phonemic Awareness Practice

Use fingers to segment (break apart) words into their sounds and then blend the sounds back together: frog, pond, creek


Identify How to Make the Vowel Sounds Use Vowel Staircase

: /i/, /e/, /a/, /u/, /o/

Use the vowel staircase/ladder and keyword hand signals to help students pronounce the 5 short vowel sounds (itch, echo, apple, up, octopus). Tell students the long vowel sound of the letter e, can be spelled ee as in see. It is the most smiley of all. Smile with students and have them pronounce the long /ee/ sound as in the word see, and creek.


Sound-By-Sound Blending

for closed syllable words and words with long vowel sound spelled ee: frog, pond, creek

On a wipe-off boards, have students give the sound as you spell each word letter by letter. Have students blend the sound with the vowel.

Example 1:pond

Write the letter p. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /p/)

Write the letter o. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /o/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /po/).

Write the letter n. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /n/)

Write the letter d. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond /d/)

Say: Blend (Students respond /pond/).

Example 2: creek

Write the letter c. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /c/)

Write the letter r. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /r/)

Write the letters ee. Ask: What is the sound? (Students respond  /ee/)

Draw a loop under the ee to show it makes one long sound /ee/, the same sound as the letter’s name e.

Say: Blend (Students respond /cree/).

Write the letter k. Ask: What is the sound?: (Students respond /k/))

Say: Blend (Students respond /creek/)

Other challenging words: people, animals. Use an analogy strategy and practice words with -alk (talk) and -ind (find, kind, mind).

Activity 8 Read Pages 10-15

First read of text pages 10-15 by students.

Students read pages 10-15 on their own. The teacher listens to individual students read and gives them feedback (help) with their pronunciation.  


Choral Reading of pages 10-15.

The teacher and students reread the pages together.


Text-Dependent Questions

Confirm content words from the pictures. Ask text-dependent questions about each page of text to connect the pictures with the words and make inferences to gain a deeper understanding of the story. The questions help students to participate and understand the story.  


Page 10

Oral Language Level 1:  

Point to the frog.  Point to the pond.   

Oral Language Level 2 +:

What happens at the pond?

What did the frog say that was different?

Where did the frog tell them to go?

Remind students that quotation makes tell us what the characters are saying.

Divide students into groups to read the different parts of the characters on this page of text.


Page 11

Oral Language Level 1:  

Point to the tree stumps.    

Oral Language Level 2 +:

What do Deepa, Tom and Sandesh see on their way to find the big cat?

Infer: What do you think happened to the trees.

Read the part that tells how they feel about the trees.

How do they feel about what they see? (They are upset because all the trees are gone.)


Page 12

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the creek. Point to the white and black tiger. Show what the tiger is doing.

Oral Language Level 2 +:

What happens? What is the white and black cat doing?

What does Deepa ask the cat?

Infer: What kind of cat is the white and black cat? How do you know?

Why is the Tiger drinking from the creek? (thirsty)

What do you think happens next?


Page 13

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the creek. Point to the white and black tiger.

Oral Language Level 2 +:

Read what the white and black tiger says?

Infer: Why is the Tiger drinking from the creek?

What do you think happens next?


Page 14

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the elephants. Act out what the tiger is doing.    

Oral Language Level 2 +:

Why are the pictures in black and white? (It is a newspaper.)

 

 


Page 15

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the creek. Point to the white and black tiger.

Oral Language Level 2 +:

Read what the white and black tiger says?

Infer: Why is the Tiger drinking from the creek?


After Reading

Oral Language Level 1:

Point to the cat. Point to the river.

Oral Language Levels 2 & 3:

Where do they find the big white and black cat?

What does the cat say?

What is the cat’s name?

What does Pom Pom want them to do?

Did the character’s plan to find the big cat work?

How do you know?


Model Retell of Story Resolution:

So Deepa, Tom, and Sandesh went back home. They wrote about the problems in the forest. They shared their pictures/photos and asked people to help save the animals.

Questions for students:

What happened at the end of the story?

Use the illustrations to retell the story.

How do the illustrations help you understand what Deepa, Tom, Sandesh did to help the animals in the forest?

Model Retell of the Story:

One day, Deepa and Tim go with Sandesh, a photographer, to the Western Ghat forest. They want to take pictures of the animals in the Ghat. They are looking for a big white and black cat.  All of a sudden, they hear a stick snap. When they turn and look they see the big white and black cat. Tim tries to snap a photo, but the cat is too fast. It runs away and Tim’s photo is blurry because the cat moved too fast. Tim is disappointed because he wants a photo of the special cat.  So they decide to look for the white and black cat. Deepa has a plan to talk to the animals.  First, they ask the elephants if they have seen the white and black cat.  But the elephants tell them , “No, Go back!”  Next, the ask the tiger if it has seen the white and black cat. But the tiger tells them, “No, Go back!”  After that,  they ask the deer about the white and black cat. But the deer tell them, “No, Go back!”  Finally,  they ask a monkey. The monkey tells them to find a frog who will tell them where to find the big  white and black cat.  So they set out to find the frog at the pond. When they get there the frog tells them to go up to the hills by the creek. The frog asks them to look at trees on their way.  They are shocked and upset to see all the trees are cut down. Finally, they find the big white and black cat by the creek.  It is a tiger and it is sips water from the creek. When Deepa asks to take a photo, the white and black tiger comes closer and introduces himself. Then he pleads with them to help save the forest trees for the animals.

Activity 9 Word Fluency Practice

Use the Decodable Word Chart on  page 16 to review all of the short vowel words from the book. This will help students become more automatic at reading closed syllable words with a short vowel pronunciation.

Activity 10 Reread, Retell, and Infer

Students chorally reread the story with the teacher. The students point to each word as they read.


Students retell the story with the teacher: The teacher can hold up the sequence word (next, then, after that, finally) to help retell the story. The teacher can pause before the blank lines so students can give the word to complete the sentence.


Have students take turns using the feeling words (happy, sad, surprised) and because to tell how the character feels in the story.  Use clues from the pictures and the academic language frame:

Tim feels ______________ because _________________.

Deepa feels  _________ because________________.

(Example: Deepa feels upset because all the trees are cut down.)


Lesson Learned

What can you learn from this story? (The importance of trees to the animals).


Draw a picture about what Tim and Deepa did to help the animals of the Western Ghat forest.