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TILE-SIG Feature: Developing Comprehension Through a SmartBoard Lesson

 | Apr 20, 2012

by Marilyn Moore

To promote students’ comprehension skills, Jamie Simoes, a first-grade teacher from Charleston, South Carolina, shows students how to use facts from Laura Numeroff's If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and If You Give A Moose A Muffin to complete a Venn diagram. The lesson was developed using the SmartBoard teaching tool.

SMARTBoardWhat Is a SmartBoard?

SmartBoards are becoming common in K-12 classrooms. “SmartBoards consist of a touch-sensitive white board connected to a projector and computer” (Cohen & Cowen, 2011, p. 648). Teachers and students can manipulate the screen using the hands and fingers rather than a mouse. Templates of lessons for manipulation come with the SmartBoard’s software.

Setting Up the Project 

Images for the SmartBoard consisting of the Venn Diagram and the objects that the mouse and moose asked for were prepared.

In a previous lesson, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and If You Give A Moose A Muffin were read to the class followed by a discussion of similarities as well as differences between these two books by the same author, Laura Jeffe Numeroff. 

The Lesson

To accomplish the overall lesson, students were engaged in four learning activities. Students were asked to recall information from the previous lesson. In another learning experience, students sorted images of what the moose and mouse asked for by moving images of these objects into the correct portion of the Venn Diagram labeled If You Give a Moose a Muffin, Both, or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie displayed on the SmartBoard. A third task was brainstorming ideas of what other objects a moose might ask for. One first grader stated, “If you give a moose a blanket, he might ask for a pillow.” Finally, a writing link required students to transfer their brainstorming ideas to the sentence, If you give a moose a _____, he might _____.  They were also required to illustrate their sentences. To share the students’ work, the teacher prepared a class book of the writing activity for students to read in their free time.

Some Helpful Hints

1. There are many images that can be found on the Internet by doing a search on Google.
2. A search on the Internet using the term, graphic organizers, will yield multiple examples. One site is
3. The attached creative writing activity sheet is from Literature Skill-Based Reproducible Activities by The Education Center

Source: Cohen, V.L., & Cowen, J.E. (2011).  Literacy for children in an information age: Teaching reading, writing, and thinking.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Dr. Marilyn Moore is with National University, La Jolla, California. 

Jamie Simoes is a Masters of Arts in Teaching Degree student in Dr. Moore’s online class.  

This article is part of a series from the Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).

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