Reflection: Writing Across the Disciplines The Splendor of Sunflowers - Section 4: Independent Writing


Today, I gave my students the choice to either explain the sunflower cycle using a diagram or a paragraph. Additionally, they could write about what they learned about sunflowers.

I was happy to see some students using the diagram, pictures and words to describe the stages of the sunflower. This student did a wonderful job of using the appropriate vocabulary words such as, seed, leaves, shoots, and the growth of the sunflower. It shows me this student got it.

This writing piece, The Cyle of a Sunflower with a Diagram, draws a diagram and then writes a paragraph beside it to explain the cycle. I feel this is a sophisticated attempt and does well with explaining the cycle. I wanted to challenge my students by giving a choice, and this student met the challenge.

The title for the writing piece, Diagram Out of Order, says it clearly: the student offers a diagram but the key details are out of order. Even though it is out of order, I still feel there is understanding of the cycle of the sunflower. I find it interesting that the full grown sunflower is at the top of her diagram. I will follow up with this student to check for understanding and make sure she has the key details straight.

Next, in the writing piece, Some Good Details About Sunflowers, the writer uses a paragraph to demonstrate their knowledge. The sentences are simple, but the writer uses appropriate vocabulary and complete sentences with transitional words. 

Finally, in the writing piece, More Good Details About Sunflowers, the writer uses appropriate vocabulary from the video. It lacks organization, though, and I hoped to see more elaborate sentences.

What can be challenging for English Language Learners is the usage of multi-meaning words, or words that can be used in different contexts. In this lesson the students experienced the word head referring to a sunflower. And I was happy to see the word incorporated in their writing. Their knowledge of the world expanded today. Additionally, while some of the writing included simple sentences, I was happy to see the rich vocabulary of sunflowers being used in their writing. 

  Writing Across the Disciplines: Reflecting on Their Writing
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The Splendor of Sunflowers

Unit 8: The Tiny Seed
Lesson 2 of 5

Objective: SWBAT ask and answer questions about key details in an informational and a literary text.

Big Idea: Sunflowers offer much beauty and life. Their seeds can be eaten. Have you tried them?

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