As I worked through this lesson, I began to realize that I wanted to go a different direction with the "Principal and the Paddle" text. I started out wanting the students to give their opinions, but shortly realized that this was a great opportunity for them to discover the author's purpose as well. This lesson is a follow up to "The Principal and the Paddle Option 2."
In the previous lesson, students were figuring out the author's purpose by looking at the types of words used in the text. I will begin today's lesson by having the students review the statement that they wrote yesterday about the author's position on paddling.
I'll ask them how they determined which claim to choose?
Hopefully they will mention that the use of positive or negative words in the text helped them figure out how the author felt.
They might also mention specific passages or people who were interviewed for the article.
Next, I'll have the students turn to a shoulder partner, and talk about any other ways we might be able to determine the author's position about an issue? Besides looking at the tone of the author's words, how else can we figure this out? After they talk, I'll ask them to share out, and I'll record their ideas.
If students are struggling we can go back to the text and look at specific passages. I can ask them how they think the author is feeling when he says these words in this way. This can be a tricky concept, and students may need some guidance.
I chose to begin the lesson this way to get the students thinking about the author's craft again. If we are going to figure out why an author wrote a text, we need to get into his or her mind. We'll need to look carefully at all the components of the text before we draw a conclusion.
Now it is time for students to express their thoughts in writing. In the CCSS, students must be able to write arguments using textual evidence as support. Through the graphic organizer and the RACE method, students will be able to convey their ideas in a logical well supported way.
I created a graphic organizer that is somewhat confusing but seemed to work, so I am trying not to over analyze it!
It goes along with the RACE acronym.
In the top box students will write the claim that they decided on yesterday. That is their rephrasing.
In the second box they will write the reasoning behind their answer. For example, the author used more negative words than positive or the author only interviewed parents who were supporters of paddling. This is the answer component of RACE.
In the final box, they will explain their evidence starting off with: By this the author means or In other words. Last time we used RACE, my students had lots of trouble explaining why they chose their evidence and what it proves. So, I am giving them these sentence starters to help them out. Hopefully.
Once they are finished, they will write it into a paragraph using RACE.
I will go through the first 2 boxes with them and model a bit. I turn them lose to find evidence but peek over their shoulders and share great evidence with the class. I will also let them write their own explanation, but I will circulate like crazy making sure everyone is doing it correctly and using those sentence starters!
Now that the students have done what I wanted them to do, I will finally let them share their own opinions with me and the others. A fun way to do this is to play a song as the kids walk around. When you stop the music, they find a partner next to them and tell that person how they feel about paddling in schools. After a minute, I'll turn the music on and have the students find a new person to talk to. As they talk, I walk around and listen to their conversations. When we are finished, I'll have the students return to their seats, and I'll recap what I heard.
I like using this method of partnering for several reasons. Sixth graders need to move. After sitting and writing, they need to get up and get energized! Sixth graders also tend to work with the same students over and over. If this activity is repeated a few times, eventually the students will drift toward new partners. It's an easy non threatening way to mix up the groupings and get students comfortable with each other.
Here is an example of how it works. This footage is from a different lesson, but it's the same idea. We love using Frozen songs for this activity!