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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 engaging story Rain School is further explored in the third lesson of a larger unit that explicitly teaches close reading skills by answering questions whose answers can only be found inside the text. Through teacher modeling and guided instruction, third graders use sticky notes to cite evidence from the text and record important details to use later on their worksheets. The lesson plan has great detailed information about how to effectively model citing evidence, as well as how to develop vocabulary with the class. Learners play a fun and fast-paced learning game, quiz-quiz-trade, with their vocabulary words before they debrief as a whole class. This lesson is complete with great resources and is implementation-ready.
Third graders answer text-dependent questions of the story Nasreen's Secret School both independently and then collaboratively through using the carousel of questions strategy. This plan is the seventh lesson in a larger unit that is perfect for the beginning of the year. It introduces students to techniques, strategies, and routines that benefit classroom literature work and create a positive academic culture. Directions for teachers are explicit and help to create a positive experience working with global literature.
This writing pre-assessment has minimal instruction but maximum support and encouragement. It begins with a review of the book, Rain School, through a think-pair-share and small group discussion. The discussion focuses on the idea that reading is powerful, and learners explore why they want to have that power. Class members take the knowledge gained in the discussion and compose an authentic writing sample. This is a great way to create a baseline writing sample that can be used as a snapshot of ability at the beginning of the year, as well as to assess progress when shown alongside later writing samples.
Explicitly explained and delightfully detailed are two ways to describe this tenth lesson in a larger unit designed for the first few weeks of third grade. Learners continue to use and develop previously learned close reading skills, answering text-dependent questions and expanding vocabulary, with the current heart-warming story That Book Woman. This plan is complete and ready for teachers to implement.
In the second lesson in a series that revolves around the story, Thank You, Mr. Falker, learners practice the skill of answering direct questions from the text while using complete sentences. After a teacher-led review of how to write answers using a full sentence, pupils complete a worksheet (embedded in the plan), which has four questions that have to do with the story. They are higher-level questions which will require students to give their opinions about certain events in the story. Finally, a vocabulary game is played by the whole class that uses selected words from the story.
Third graders continue to practice the close reading skills of capturing the gist and reading again for important details in the sixth lesson in a larger unit. This is a great beginning-of-the-year unit for establishing visible thinking routines and norms in the classroom. Using the realistic and emotionally moving story Nasreen's Secret School, learners independently practice the technique of using sticky notes to record vocabulary words and collect important details about the main message of the text. Learners then transition to a whole-class circle activity with their notes, and create a classroom anchor reading chart to highlight patterns in the details. An assessment chart is provided for teachers to complete a mid-unit assessment of speaking and listening skills.
As the final lesson in a larger beginning-of-the-year unit to establish routines and teach close reading skills, this plan is designed as an assessment piece. Using the story, The Librarian of Basra, learners independently complete three activities previously practiced: finding the gist and identifying unknown vocabulary, reading again for important details, and powerful notetaking for answering text-dependent questions. Although the plan is scheduled for one hour, it may be helpful to extend work time and break the activities into a two day cycle.
How far would your pupils go to be able to have access to books? Revisit Heather Henson and David Small's That Book Woman and challenge class members to take on the role of Cal or the Book Woman. By putting themselves in someone else's place, learners will discover different perspectives and understand better the envrionmental difficulties that Cal and the Book Woman face. After role-playing, transition into a brief informational text about physical envrionments. An engaging beginning to this Common Core desgined unit.
Expose your class to Waiting for the Biblioburro, narrative nonfiction that will act as the bridge between ficiton and informational texts to come. Class members do a close reading of the text, looking at excerpts instead of the whole text to make it more manageable. Pupils explain and discuss the main message of the story. The text is not included; however, handouts, suggestions for excerpts, and detailed procedures are outlined in the plan.
The first in a series of writing lessons included in a unit study of the Iroquois focuses on gathering information needed to craft a paragraph. Writers use the included four-square graphic organizer to record a topic sentence, details they plan to use, and a conclusion for their paragraph. Although designed specifically for this unit, the approach for crafting an informative/explanatory response can be used with any text. Also included in the packet are detailed directions for the plan, accommodations, and links to additional materials.
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 plan 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 plan of this unit.
Writing a paragraph from details found directly in a text is the central focus of this thorough and explicit lesson plan. Using the stories Nasreen's Secret School and Rain School, third graders are lead step-by-step through the basics of paragraph writing. A well-constructed model paragraph and graphic organizer are included for this eighth lesson in a larger unit designed to introduce learners to routines, strategies, and norms at the beginning of the year.
Constructing a paragraph from notes using close reading skills and visible thinking strategies is the focus of a great plan that is part of a larger unit. In earlier lessons, 4th graders deconstructed informational text and learned how to take notes on graphic organizers. Using those notes as a basis for a model paragraph, the teacher shows how to deconstruct writing with color coding. Focusing on underlining the main idea, specific details, and the conclusion on both the model paragraph and model graph organizer with different colored markers, the teacher works to illustrate the connections between the two. The informational text that the unit is based on, The Iroquois: A Six Nation Confederacy, is not provided, but the plan provides great strategies for writing that can be generalized for any informational text. Note: The link for the topic expansion graphic organizer referenced is in additional materials.
Do schools need written constitutions? Fourth graders dive into this constructive conversation by answering, sharing, and discussing five relevant prompts. The written conversations protocol, a highly effective discussion management strategy, is included in additional materials. This plan is the second in a larger comprehensive unit. The School Survey Data referenced is available in the previous lesson plan. A link to the unit overview is available in additional materials as well.
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.
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 ten in this unit for the book Bullfrogs at Magnolia Circle, prepares third graders to begin writing an informational paragraph about the adaptations of bullfrogs. First, young writers work either independently or in pairs to gather their research from previous lessons into a graphic organizer. Then, using that research, they fill in an accordion-style graphic organizer with the the details and explanations they plan on using in their paragraph. Easily adaptable to expository writing on any topic, this is a great lesson for teaching children how to plan and organize their writing.