The Magician's Apprentice

 

Teaching the skill of following directions requires a little hocus-pocus in this lesson. Students follow informational directions to re-create magic tricks, use a rubric to evaluate the clarity of the instructions, and summarize and rewrite the instructions on index cards in order to teach an apprentice how to perform a trick. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.4.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.5.4
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.10
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.6
Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.7
Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.7
Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
GLE 0301.6.1
Apply appropriate reading strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0401.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0401.6.1
Apply skills and strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0401.6.2
Recognize the different text features of informational texts (e.g., separate text boxes, diagrams, captions, charts, graphs).
GLE 0401.8.1
Use active comprehension strategies to derive meaning while reading and check for understanding after reading.
GLE 0501.1.2
Demonstrate knowledge of strategies and resources to determine the definition, pronunciation, and usage of words and phrases.
GLE 0501.6.1
Apply appropriate skills and strategies to comprehend informational texts (e.g., pre-reading strategies, comprehension strategies, graphic organizers,...
GLE 0501.7.4
Be aware of how message or meaning changes when a written work is translated into a visual presentation.
GLE 0501.8.1
Use previously learned comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading.
GLE 0501.8.2
Experience various literary genres, including fiction and nonfiction, poetry, drama, chapter books, biography/autobiography, short stories, folk tales, myths,...
SPI 0401.2.1
Identify the main idea and supporting points of a speech.
SPI 0401.4.2
Rank the reliability of sources on a given topic.
SPI 0401.6.2
Identify the stated main idea and supporting details in text.
SPI 0401.6.6
Use available text features (e.g., graphics and illustrations) to make meaning from text.
SPI 0401.7.2
Identify the main idea in a visual image.
SPI 0501.5.2
Identify stated or implied cause and effect relationships in text.
TSS.ELA.4.FL.F.5
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.CS.6
Compare and contrast two accounts of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.7
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it...
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and informational texts throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.CS.6
Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.IKI.7
Make connections between the print version of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the same text.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and poems throughout the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding at the high end as needed.
TSS.ELA.4.SL.CC.3
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
TSS.ELA.5.FL.F.5
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.IKI.8
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which points.
TSS.ELA.5.RI.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and informational texts at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
TSS.ELA.5.RL.RRTC.10
Read and comprehend stories and poems at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
TSS.ELA.5.SL.CC.3
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

Students:

  • follow directions to perform a magic trick
  • assess the quality of the instructions with a rubric
  • teach a partner how to perform the magic trick.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Creating
Extension suggestions: 

MysteryNet Kids Mysteries offers three Magician's Rules:

  • Keep the secret a secret.
  • Do the trick only once.
  • Practice before you perform.

Based on their experience, ask the students to explain why magicians often follow these rules.

Assume the role of Melmoe the Magnificent and choose three outstanding sets of instructions created by students. Use the instructions and cue cards to perform the magic tricks for your class. Afterward, explain each trick with the students' directions, and have the students tell why these directions work so well.

Helpful Hints

Materials Needed:

  • index cards
  • paper
  • pencils
  • Internet access (optional)

If using the online magic tricks cited, the following materials will be needed:

  • coins
  • handkerchiefs
  • straws
  • decks of cards
  • clear plastic tumblers
  • construction paper
  • pencils
  • scissors
  • glue
  • carrots
  • toothpicks

References

Contributors: