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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 activity for teaching children how to plan and organize their writing.
Aid your pupils in understanding the terms explicit and inferred while teaching them about colonial farmers. The third lesson in the module, this plan builds off the previous lesson 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 lesson with a sharing session and an exit ticket
The third lesson in a unit study of the Iroquois focuses on developing reading skills. Pupils brainstorm the actions of close readers and record these behaviors on an anchor chart entitled, “Close Readers Do These Things.” Guided by the list, the class begins a close reading of Section 1 of the Great Law of Peace (The Iroquois Constitution). As a unifying activity, learners also add to their anchor chart, “Things to Tell Tim,” started in lesson two. Although part of a complete unit, the close reading approach could be used with any informational text.
Continue work on the two-piece poem that compares two characters from Esperanza Rising. Give class members a few minutes to finish their drafts. After they have a complete product, model how to critique and edit the poems with one group. Pupils will learn and use the praise-question-suggest protocol to provide specific feedback, and then revise. Refer to lesson 13 of this series for setup and instructions for the two-voice poem. The lesson also scales back on some of the scaffolding. Less time is spent discussing the text than in previous lessons; however, the reduction in scaffolding feels natural and will be a nice break for learners.
Introduce your young writers to peer review. Using a posted Critique Protocol anchor chart, (Be Kind! Be specific! Be helpful! Participate!), pairs read and respond to their partner’s paragraph draft. Although the activity is part of a complete unit, the method, richly detailed, could be used with any piece of writing. The texts for critique chart, as well as accommodations, are included.
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.
Read and reread. That is the message when approaching a difficult text. As part of their examination of The Great Law of Peace, class members reread the introduction and section one of the document, answer questions, citing specifics from the text, and move on to another section. A worksheet that asks readers to record specific details from the text and the excerpts from the Great Law of Peace are included in the detailed plan. Although a part of an entire unit plan, the reading approach can be used with any text.
As the study of the Iroquois, the Iroquois flag, and The Great Law of Peace (Iroquois Constitution) draws to a close, writers craft a concluding sentence for their paragraphs, and then use peer and instructor feedback on their drafts to produce a polished, informative piece of writing. The homework, which is to design a class flag, would also make a great beginning-of-the-year activity.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cynthia O’Brien’s two-page article, “The (Really) Great Law of Peace,” launches a unit study of Iroquois, the Iroquois Confederacy, and the Iroquois Constitution. The first lesson in the series scaffolds for and sets the protocols for the rest of the unit. To build their close reading skills, learners practice a “I Notice/I Wonder” routine, recording observations and questions about the article and a short video on the included graphic organizer. The richly detailed plan also includes step-by-step directions for the suggested activities, starter sentences for a think-pair-share activity that asks readers to provide details and examples from the article, and an image of the Iroquois flag. Although access to O’Brien’s article is limited, the lesson and the unit are worth the effort.
In many places in the world, people go to great lengths to get books to read. This beginning-of-the-year activity uses pictures of people reading in extraordinary situations to stimulate effective listening and speaking using the think-pair-share strategy. Learners read quotes from My Librarian is a Camel to complete T-charts with the carousel strategy. The activity could be used during the first few weeks of school to familiarize your class with the two learning strategies, and to stimulate interest in reading. The lesson plan is well organized and easy to understand. It is part of a larger unit. Please note: Protocol procedures are in additional materials. Also, pictures are not included, but can be easily created.
What does the symbol on Tim’s shirt mean? The second lesson in an eight-part study of the Iroquois continues the reading of Cynthia O’Brien’s article, “The (Really) Great Law of Peace” that opens day one of the unit. Class members answer questions about the article using specific details recorded on their graphic organizers. In addition, the class begins an anchor chart with advice for Tim, a character in “The Iroquois Confederacy,” the six-minute video shown on day one. The resource includes suggestions for meeting students’ needs, a graphic of the Iroquois Flag, a vocabulary list, and assessment suggestions.
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.
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.