Key concept:� Identifying problems in stories and how characters solved the problems helps students understand problems.
Generalization:� Problems prevent people from getting ahead unless they understand the problems.� Then they can begin to solve them.
Background:� This lesson comes relatively early in the year as students begin reading stories such as "Ronald Morgan Goes To Bat" by Patricia Reilly Giff (Treasury of Literature, Book Two, Harcourt Brace and Company).� Divide students in three tiers.
This group will work on comprehension activities in the story.� They should answer the following questions:
1. Who is Ronald Morgan?� Describe him.
2. What kind of baseball player is Ronald Morgan?
3. What do his friends think of him?� Find the passage that shows this.
4. What does his coach think of him?� How do you know?� Find the passage that shows you the answer.
5. What is Ronald's problem?
6. How does he solve his problem?
Students need to answer these factual questions.� Either give them a green worksheet with questions on it or discuss the questions in the group as the teacher writes responses on a large sheet of paper.
Tier II:� Blue Group (Grade Level Learners, Application/Analysis Activity)
�����������Present the following three step approach to problem solving first:
1. Identify the problem:� What is Ron's Problem?
2. How does Ron Morgan solve the problem?�� Explain the process.
3. Was this a good solution?� Evaluate the process.
After students analyze the problem using these three steps, discuss the people in the story that helped Ron Morgan solve his problem.� Discuss how the coach, his friends, and his dad helped him.� The question then becomes, how important are other people in helping to solve problems?� Use a bubble map (web) with Ron Morgan's Problem in the center of the web.� Write all the things that happened to Ron because of his problem in the circles connected to the central bubble.
Tier III:� Red Group (Above Grade Level Learners, Synthesis Activity)
�����������Ron's problem was that he couldn't see the ball because he shut his eyes out of fear of the ball.� However, Mr. Spano had faith in Ron.� Why did Mr. Spano have faith in Ron?� Who else in the story has faith in Ron Morgan and helps him out?� List these people.
Write what you think happens next in the story.� Make a list of five events that happen as a result of people having faith in Ron Morgan.� What happens when we have faith in our friends?� As a part of your prediction, be sure to include the reactions of Ron's friends.
Assessment:� Teacher observation as the children work in groups is very important.� If groups demand more attention, components of this activity may be done individually with color coded worksheets.� Then gather the worksheets and have students discuss ideas.� Each group has a task to complete that can be an important part of assessment.� A culminating activity would be to gather in a large group and discuss what each group has learned about Ron Morgan.