Language Arts Teacher Resources
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Students discover enunciation and alliteration by reading tongue twisters in class. For this language arts lesson, students listen and repeat some of the classic childhood tongue twisters along with their teacher. Students write their own mini tongue twister and create an illustration for it.
Informative writing is emphasized in the standards. Help your learners reach that goal with the plan for paragraph writing outlined here. After reviewing the work from the day before and adding to their vocabulary notebooks, class members examine a model paragraph and then write and share organized, informative paragraphs about religion in colonial America. A collaborative and engaging lesson, the plan presented is part of a series made specifically for the Common Core.
In the first lesson of this unit on colonial trade, fourth graders gain background knowledge of different jobs performed by early colonists. The class begins with a slide show presentation that includes a variety of great photographs depicting different trades in colonial America, during which learners work in small groups to take notes and make inferences about each occupation. Following the slide show, young historians practice their ability to identify the main idea and supporting details of informational text, as the teacher reads aloud a short document about craftspeople in colonial America. An excellent introductory lesson, as young scholars will continue in this unit to become experts on a specific trade in order to better understand life in colonial America. Note that the slide show presentation does require access to the Internet and the ability to project from a computer onto a larger screen.
As your class nears the end of the book Eagle Song, young readers stop to self-assess their progress toward the learning goals of this unit before continuing on with the story. This short, but effective self-assessment requires learners to describe in writing what they have done in order to meet each of the four learning targets. From there, the teacher reads aloud the first few pages of chapter 7 before providing independent reading time, during which students identify supporting evidence as they answer the chapter's text-dependent questions. Unfortunately, there are some typos and formatting errors with the included supporting materials. If you follow the link provided in the additional materials for this resource, you can download the lesson as a Word document and correct those mistakes yourself.
In the tenth lesson of this unit, young scholars learn to categorize information as they continue researching their colonial trade. During guided practice, the teacher models how to read informational text slowly while sorting the information into short bulleted notes. Young researchers are then given the opportunity to practice these skills as they reread text on their specific colonial trade. Finally, learners return to their expert groups to share the notes they have taken with their peers. A great resource for teaching note-taking skills to your class. Note that this lesson builds on the previous two lessons in the unit, though it can be adapted for other content areas as well.
With their constitution paragraph drafts in hand, fourth graders work in pairs to critique and revise each other's writing. This process can be very challenging for young writers, but a praise-question-suggest protocol is outlined in the lesson that emphasizes giving kind, specific, and helpful feedback. This procedure is modeled as the class creates a list of revision questions and uses them to critique a sample piece of writing, before finally pairing up and sharing their work. Be sure to assign partners carefully, as children can be very sensitive to receiving feedback from their peers. Overall, a good lesson that effectively addresses a difficult step in the writing process.
The twelfth lesson of this unit builds on the skills developed in the previous lesson, as fourth graders continue their quest to become experts on colonial trade by listening to interviews with historical re-enactors. This activity requires that pupils have access to computers or MP3 players, as they will be accessing podcasts found on the Internet. Working collaboratively in their expert groups, young scholars listen multiple times to the interviews as they record notes and answer questions about their specific trade. A great lesson that exposes learners to alternative resources to use when researching a topic.
Voices from the past. Young scholars listen to a podcast interview with a historical re-enactor as they continue their research in the eleventh lesson of this unit on colonial trade. Applying their close reading skills, learners first listen for the gist of the interview, summarizing what they hear in a single statement. The class then listens again and works collaboratively to take notes on specific information from the interview. Finally, the podcast is played a third time, allowing the kids a chance to practice taking notice independently. This resource prepares young researchers as they will be listening to similar interviews about their specific colonial trade in the following lesson of this unit.
Reading is fantastic, especially when it's reading about bullfrogs. Kids get cozy with predator/prey relationships as they hone their information-reading skills. They start out as they read a portion of the text aloud, then they think-pair-share, and finally they finish up be re-reading the selected passage and completing a worksheet. The one really nice thing about this lesson is that it provides considerations for students that may need additional support.
Fourth graders practice their close reading skills with a short text on conflict resolution. Working in pairs, learners read and reread the article Smart Speak by Marilyn Cram Donahue as they identify the main idea and use context clues to understand challenging vocabulary. The class uses the text to begin making a list of rules to improve their school community, as they work toward the long term goal of writing a school constitution. Consider having students create skits to act out the conflict resolution strategies from the article as an extension activity. This is a great resource for teaching how to read closely, and can very easily be adapted to any piece of writing.
Working with the organized class constitution created in the previous lesson, fourth graders learn how certain words and phrases can be used to improve the flow of a piece of writing. By reading aloud their writing, learners notice how the different sections seem very separate and disconnected from one another. Using the provided list of linking words and phrases, pupils revise their writing to smooth out the transition between each section. This lesson teaches an important writing skill and nicely concludes work on the class constitution.
Lesson 7 focuses on building academic vocabulary and writing an explanatory letter with supported textual evidence. For the first five minutes of the lesson, the educator reminds the class of how to read and refer to the accordion graphic organizer they previously created (see lesson 6 for chart & instructions). Third graders will analyze their reading strengths, the two areas that they need to work on, and how they will build up their reading power all recorded on their charts. Next, learners will use a graphic organizer to write a paragraph letter to a person of importance explaining how they can become a powerful reader. They will develop and support their writing with facts, details, and thoughts, and will also connect their reading goals to characters from previously read books such as Thank You, Mr. Falker and The Boy Who Loved Words. More worksheets and exercises extend this lesson, which is designed to help students become proficient and independent readers and writers. A very organized and comprehensive lesson that truly addresses both the language and writing Common Core standards identified. Note: This may take longer than the one hour indicated.
Young writers use the Iroquois Constitution as a model to help them organize their own class constitution in the seventh activity of this unit. Using this historic text helps learners better understand the structure of this type of writing, how each section has a main idea with supporting rules/laws. Young scholars then apply their learning as they work in small groups to categorize their own class constitution written in previous lessons. A great resource that assists the class in creating a meaningful piece of collaborative writing.
Winter-themed language arts lessons that will keep pupils reading and writing.
Teach your class about colonial America through an examination of primary documents. First though, start vocabulary notebooks for content-specific and academic vocabulary. Pupils can keep this record during the entire module. Once this is set up, learners move on to act as historians and read the primary source Inventory of John Allen, making inferences and using evidence from the text as support. The file includes all of the materials except for the pages class members are supposed to read for homework.
Mark the mid-point in the module with the authentic assessment described and provided here. The focus of the assessment, and the unit as a whole, is inferring using pictures and text. Pupils are given an image, a graphic organizer, and an article, and must use explicit details to support their inferences. After class members complete the assessment, have them reflect on their progress so far. The plan suggests providing extra reading for learners who finish early. That material is not included.
Help your learners work with difficult or archaic words. A continuation of lesson plan two of this module, the plan here focuses on deciphering the Inventory of John Allen, in particular the unfamiliar words that make up much of the list. Add to the vocabulary list and brainstorm ways to figure out unknown words as a class before working on the text directly. Learners use highlighters to mark unfamiliar words and examine images and a glossary to infer the meaning of the words. Wrap-up by rereading the text and adding to personal and class records of what class members know and infer. For homework, pupils create a personal inventory.
Following up their writing of a school constitution, fourth graders prepare to write a paragraph explaining the document to their peers. After looking at two writing samples, the teacher assists learners in developing their own criteria for creating strong explanatory paragraphs. Young scholars then choose one of two graphic organizers to help them in planning out the structure of their writing. Though the lesson focuses on writing about previous work from this interdisciplinary unit, it can be adapted to variety of other topics as well.
After rereading parts of the Iroquois Constitution from previous lessons as well as articles on conflict resolution and bullying, fourth graders work in pairs to write sections of their school constitution. Using the provided writing frame, learners identify a problem they observe in school, create a rule to address the issue, and explain how the situation will be improved. This lesson plan meaningfully engages students in using their writing to make a positive impact on their school.
Third graders develop their reading superpowers in a lesson on fluency. After first listening to an audio recording or teacher read aloud, the class works together identifying criteria for fluent reading, focusing on phrasing, rate, punctuation, and expression. Children then participate in a whole-class choral reading of a familiar text before pairing up for further practice with fluent reading. Though the lesson is part of a third grade unit and cites specific texts, it can easily be adapted to other ages and pieces of literature. An excellent resource for developing this fundamental skill in young readers.