Grade 3: CITY, CITY: A Comparison


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Reading Literature

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.

RL.3.5 Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

RL.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

W.3.2(a) Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

W.3.2(b) Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

W.3.2(c) Use linking words and phrases (e.g., alsoanotherandmorebut) to connect ideas within categories of information.

W.3.2(d) Provide a concluding statement or section.


The Grade 3 lesson titled “CITY, CITY: A Comparison” contributed by Linda Campbell and cited on the CPALMS website is intended to be completed in 1.5 hours of ELA/Literacy instruction. In this lesson, with teacher help and guidance, students engage in a close read of the poem “City, City” by Marci Ridlon using text-dependent questions to analyze the text for a deeper understanding. Through lesson activities, students: analyze how the poet uses words to describe a topic; learn to notice the use of figurative (nonliteral) language and how it helps readers to visualize; recognize that the use of sensory language determines the poem’s meaning; determine how the poet really feels about city life. Students use various graphic organizers and charts throughout the lesson and read the poem together out loud as a choral reading. As a culminating activity, students independently write an essay to compare and contrast stanzas 1 and 2 in the poem, “City, City”, including examples from the text to support the similarities and differences between the two stanzas.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the lesson plan lists its standards with Florida labels; the standards listed above use the Common Core labeling, but the wording remains the same. While suggested accommodations and supports for students who are ELL, have disabilities and/or read below the grade level are provided, it will be important to consider the variability of learners in the class and make adaptations as necessary.


This lesson is an exemplary example of how to focus on challenging sections of a complex text, a poem. It engages students in a productive struggle through text-dependent questions and other supports that gradually build toward independence. The lesson plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Materials include: a detailed lesson plan, learning objectives, prior knowledge students will need, guiding questions, multiple quality attachments that enhance the lesson activities, and an aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the major targeted standards.