Language Arts Teacher Resources

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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 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. 
Aid your pupils in understanding the terms explicit and inferred while teaching them about colonial farmers. The third instructional activity in the module, this plan builds off the previous instructional activity and focuses heavily on inference. Learners analyze a photograph and read an article about colonial farmers, filling out a graphic organizer, and collaborating with others as they work. Close the instructional activity with a sharing session and an exit ticket
Close your colonial America unit with a performance-based assessment. Class members will show their proficiency in several skills including using details to back up inferences, determining the meaning of words in context, and synthesizing information from two texts on the same topic. Wrap up with a reflection. The end to a strong unit, this assessment is designed for the Common Core and should build effectively off of instruction from the past eight lessons.
To practice identifying the main idea of a passage and identifying details that support this idea statement, pairs read together “Role of men and Women” from The Iroquois. In addition, learners are asked to draw inferences about what was important to these people. The packet includes complete directions for the activities and worksheets to help readers record and organize information. Although part of a complete unit, the procedures could be adopted to other informational text.
What was life like in colonial America? Follow this lesson and your pupils will find out what people in colonial times did for work and for fun. Ask learners to compare and contrast the two texts and explain what the reading helped them understand about colonial times by taking notes on details and inferences. Class members can synthesize the information through an activity called This or That, during which they move around the classroom and discuss their ideas with others. A very detailed plan. Texts are not provided; however, pupils only read short excerpts. Buy yourself a copy and make a class set.
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 meaningfully engages students in using their writing to make a positive impact on their school.
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. 
Here is a lesson that invites learners to engage in a kinesthetic activity that allows them to physically move and manipulate words in order to think about ways to understand vocabulary in context. After that activity is complete, they read excerpts from the book The Boy Who Loved Words. Then, they complete two worksheets that are embedded in the plan. The first is a reading comprehension worksheet, and the second has them read the excerpts from the book, and answer questions about the vocabulary word that is printed in bold type.
“What were some of the good changes that the Europeans brought to the Iroquois?” “What were some of the difficult changes the Europeans brought to the Iroquois?” Learners use details from The Iroquois to identify the main idea of a text and to draw inferences using specific details from the text. Although part of a complete unit study of the Iroquois, the approach detailed and the activities suggested could be used with any nonfiction text.
How have things changed and stayed the same for the Iroquois? This question leads the lesson on using a T-chart as an effective close reading skill when using informational text. This plan has learners use sticky notes to record details and encourage learners to reread text for details. The sticky notes are sorted onto the T-chart graphic organizer. Note: This is part of a larger unit. The text of the book, The Iroquois: A Six Nation Confederacy, is not available in this plan. However, the skills, instructions, and strategies can be generalized for other informational text. 
Acquaint your class with informational text through a close reading. First, examine a couple of pages together, looking at text features and content. The whole class focuses on marking down a brief summary of each paragraph before breaking off into small groups. Pupils then read independently and discuss their findings as a group. This detailed plan includes a graphic organizer for determining the main idea. Unfortunately, you will need to find the text on your own.
Third graders develop their reading superpowers in a instructional activity 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 instructional activity 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.
Young readers continue to strengthen their fluency skills with a text of their choosing. The teacher first engages the class with an audio recording or read-aloud of a short poem, modeling for children how to read fluently. Next it's game time, as the class plays charades or taboo in order to reinforce the fluency vocabulary phrasingratepunctuation, and expression. Students then choose a text and read it independently, making notes to assist them when reading the text aloud. Finally, learners pair up and practice their fluent reading, providing each other with constructive feedback. Adaptable to a wide range of ages, this is a great resource for developing the reading skills of your class.
Third graders continue to develop their reading fluency in preparation for their assessment in the tenth lesson of this unit. Young readers are provided with a short passage on Helen Keller, which they use while working in pairs reading and providing feedback on each other's fluency. During this practice time, the teacher selects kids to read the passage aloud in order to make audio recordings for their fluency assessment. A great opportunity is provided for documenting your class's growth as readers. If using this resource with upper graders, be sure to supplement a passage more appropriate to their reading level.
Allow your class to figure out what they will be studying through an inquiry-based anticipatory set that involves analysis of mystery documents and practice with making inferences. The lesson document includes a detailed description of procedures as well as the mystery items and graphic organizers that your class will need to complete the assignment. The plan also calls for learners to read a couple of pages from a book; these are not provided, but should not be too difficult to find. Part of a module, the lesson is a strong Common Core designed plan that will get your kids excited about colonial America!
Continue work with an informational text by following the procedures detailed here. The plan, part of a series, focuses on My Librarian is a Camel. Class members complete text-dependent questions and then prepare for and participate in a jigsaw-style discussion. Small groups discuss why it is difficult for people in the country they are reading about to access books. Then, using evidence from the text, they break off and have a brief debate with members from other groups. Close with a 3-2-1 exit ticket. Worksheets are included, but the text is not.
Model for young readers how charts, graphs, diagrams etc., can help them interpret information found in nonfiction text.  Chapter 1 of The Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy provides the opportunity for direct instruction and guided practice exercises. Learners identify text features that help them understand the central message, use context clues to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words, and practice their close reading skills. Although the introductory instructional activity of the second unit in a series of units focused on the Iroquois and the Six Nation Confederacy, the approach to interpreting informational text could be used with any nonfiction.
The Incredible Book-Eating Boy is read aloud to young readers, and the story is discussed. Then, the lesson goes into how to build up one's reading stamina. The class brainstorms ways that they can build up their stamina such as: staying in one reading spot, reading silently, sticking with a book until it's finished, etc. Pupils are given a Reading Stamina Tracking Worksheet, that's embedded in the plan, and they use it to track their reading stamina each time they attempt to read an entire book by themselves.
Ease into informational text with the instructional activity suggested here. Part of a unit series, the instructional activity draws from previous lessons and acts as a natural moment to add in informational text. Class members read one section of My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs and determine the main idea of that section. You will need to purchase or find a copy of the text in order to teach this instructional activity.