An Engaging Lesson for RI 5.1

A blog post and free resources to help you teach RI 5.1

Students are expected to become more proficient at comprehending informational passages every year.  Teachers should be given high-quality resources to help students meet these high expectations.  That’s why I’ve created a lesson to help fifth graders learn how to draw inferences using an informational text about NBA star Steph Curry (CCSS ELA Standard RI 5.1).

Click here to grab the free lesson.  Continue reading to see how I teach RI 5.1.

Preview the Material

Tell your students they are going to read about the childhood of Steph Curry.  You’re going to see some of your reluctant readers perk up a bit!  If you really want to excite the sports fans in your class, show them this video.  It has eight minutes of highlights from Curry’s career.  It even shows him as a young kid.  If you’re short on time (or if you’re a Cavs fan) you can just show the first few minutes of this video.

Now that your students have seen these amazing plays by Curry, it’s time for them to think about how he became a superstar.  Ask students to predict what Curry did as a young kid that helped him become successful.  What habits did he begin forming as a young boy that benefit him today?  It’s interesting to hear these predictions before kids read the passage.

After students have brainstormed their ideas, ask them to share with the class.  Ask them to explain WHY they have this idea.  This will prepare them to justify their answer, which is something they will be doing when they use text evidence to justify their inferences later in the lesson.

For more information, download the free resource and read the suggested lesson progression, which is shown here.

Lesson Ideas for Drawing Inferences RI 5.1

Read the Passage

I’ve been a huge basketball fan my whole life, so this passage was fun to write! It was also fascinating to research Steph’s childhood.  His parents REALLY made him work hard when he was young.  I tried to make this crystal clear when I wrote the passage.  Students should understand that Steph’s success didn’t happen overnight.  Steph had to establish these habits as a young boy.

I hope students are able to draw inferences about how much work it takes to become an NBA superstar.  More importantly, I hope students realize they will have to work hard to achieve their dreams.

Engaging passages to help students learn how to draw inferences RI 5.1

Practice the Skill

Here’s an engaging way for kids to practice the skill.  Students are given four inferences that can be made about Steph’s childhood.  They will glue them into their notebook as shown here.

Lesson resources for drawing inferences RI 5.1

Students are also given eight pieces of text evidence.  They have to match two pieces of text evidence that support each inference.  I’d recommend matching the text evidence for at least one inference together as a class.  The final result is shown below.  The inferences are written in bold.  The text evidence is not bold.  More instructions are provided in the lesson progression.

Resources to teach a lesson on drawing inferences RI 5.1

Writing Prompt

Students must write why Steph’s childhood helped him become an NBA superstar.  They will have to use text evidence to support their ideas.

Quiz

All four quiz questions correlate to RI 5.1.  Three are multiple-choice and one is short-answer.  This makes a great exit slip or quick assessment.

Resources to assess drawing inferences RI 5.1

You can adapt this lesson to meet the needs of your students.  You know your students better than anyone.  Only use the sections of this lesson pack that will help your students improve their ability to draw inferences from nonfiction text.  Click the image to download this free resource.

Ideas To Teach a Lesson for Drawing Inferences (RI 5.1)

I have also created lesson packs for other fifth-grade RI standards.  Click the images for more information.

Lesson Resources for Main Idea and Summary RI 5.2

Lesson resources for teaching relationships in historical texts RI 5.3

Lesson Resources for Determining the Meaning of Words and Phrases RI 5.4

I’ve also created a bundle that includes lessons for all 10 fifth-grade RI standards.  The bundle is offered at a discounted price, which means you get one lesson for free.  Click the image below for more information.

Lessons for all 10 Fifth-Grade RI Standards

 

 

Your Students Need to Read About Steph Curry’s Childhood

Steph Curry is doing things that no other basketball player has ever done.  More importantly, Steph is an excellent role model for young people to look up to.  Lots of kids wear his #30 jersey, which is great that they look up to an outstanding person.  But whenever I see a kid wearing a Steph Curry jersey, I want to ask, “Did you know Steph worked so hard on his shooting in middle school that he sometimes cried?!”  Or, “Do you realize Steph’s mother made him miss games if he forgot to do his chores?!”  Also, “Isn’t cool that a player as talented as Steph always asked his coaches how he could improve?!”  I have a feeling that these kids’ parents would not approve of a creepy stranger running up to their kid and asking these random questions.  So instead, I’ll write about three of the many life lessons your students can learn by reading about Steph’s life.

Lessons from Steph Curry's life

Success requires an insane amount of work.

Steph’s father, Dell, was an excellent NBA player.  When Steph was in middle school, Dell noticed his son’s shot was too easy to block.  So he spent an entire summer teaching Steph new shooting techniques.  And Dell didn’t teach him in a cozy NBA gym — Dell took Steph to the goal he shot at growing up.  When Dell was a kid, his dad nailed a goal to a telephone pole in their yard.  Dell’s father used a thick, steel rim.  So you had to shoot the ball perfectly through the hoop to score — there were no forgiving bounces with that rim!  And if you missed, you had to run far to retrieve the ball.  Steph said, “It was make it or chase it out there.”

So Steph spent hours that summer relearning how to shoot.  His grandmother remembers seeing Steph take lots of shots with tears in his eyes.  It had to be an incredibly frustrating experience for Steph, who was already a good shooter. Imagine running after the ball every time your shot isn’t perfect.  Imagine how tired he must have been!  There must have been times when Steph doubted himself.  There were probably a few times when Steph wanted to quit, especially since that was such an unfair goal to shoot on.  But Steph always dragged himself to the goal every day to learn from his father.

What a powerful story to tell your students!  Next time a kid feels like giving up, remind them that even Steph Curry felt so discouraged about his shooting skills in middle school that he cried.  But no matter what, he didn’t give up.

I also think this story shows the importance of challenging yourself.  I love that he spent an entire summer shooting on a goal that required a perfect shot to score.  Steph said making shots during games was much easier after spending so much time shooting at his dad’s old goal.

Steph realized no one owed him anything

Steph’s father was a really good NBA player for 16 years.  Steph was alive for most of his father’s NBA career.  Steph got to attend lots of NBA games.  He got to play basketball on fancy NBA practice courts.  He met lots of famous players.  It would have been easy for Steph to think that he was better than everyone else. But Steph realized that if he wanted to become an NBA player like his dad, he was going to have to put in a tremendous amount of work.  He did not want to be automatically handed a spot on a basketball team just because of who his dad was.  Steph always listened to his dad’s advice, but he wanted to earn success, not just be handed it.

Steph also worked hard in school.  He tried his best to do what his parents and teachers told him to do.  When he didn’t do his chores at home, Steph’s mom made him miss basketball games as punishment.  Steph always loved basketball while he was growing up, but he realized that getting a good education was just as important.  I love that even though Steph’s dad was famous, he remained humble, respectful, and hard-working.

Use your talents to make the world a better place

Steph is one of the best shooters in basketball history.  He made 402 three-pointers during the 2015-2016 season.  The next closest player had 276.  Steph has always been a good shooter.  When he was in college at Davidson, he started donating money to Nothing But Nets, which is a program that delivers bed nets to areas of Africa that have problems with malaria.  Steph was sad when he read that a child in Africa dies from malaria every 60 seconds.  He stepped up his giving when he got to the NBA, agreeing to donate enough money for three bed nets for every three-pointer he makes.

So, who will students most likely listen to:  Me telling them why it’s important to work hard, or these stories about Steph Curry persevering?  I’ve written a set of paired texts about Steph and Kobe Bryant that have more stories like these.  I was very impressed with Steph and Kobe as I researched them.  In addition to teaching reading skills with these paired texts, you can teach important life lessons as well!

Steph Curry Kobe Bryant Paired Texts