Lesson Three: Evaluating genre characteristics with endorsement letters

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SWBAT uses evidence and details to compare and contrast characteristics found in two genres of literature.

Big Idea

Big Ideas: Speak Up when Supporting Genre Characteristics in Literature!

Lesson Introduction

Students cannot understand genre characteristics if they have not read information that requires them to locate evidence in stories. In past years, students have been able to recite characteristics but not recognize them in literature. Discovering a way to having students evaluate genre characteristics in literature will bridge the gaps in future recognition of characteristics found in literature. Prior to this lesson, students defined characteristics of fiction, located examples in literature excerpts, and researched other unique elements found in stories. To show students’ mastery of identifying genre characteristics, an endorsement letter is written to compare and contrast characteristics and relevant details will be used to support the literature that remained true to its genre.

Warm-Up: Preparing for Presentation

10 minutes

It is time to prepare students for their presentations. An endorsement letter rubric was given to students prior to the presentation so each person could understand my expectations for giving a speech and producing a letter. I go over the grading rubric with students and take volunteers for determining the order groups will present their information. Since this project is done in the first three weeks of school, I am aware that the quality of the products and presentations may not be flawless. However, I want to engage students into essentials components of my curriculum that will create self-confidence and ease in standing up to present information whether it is in a written or oral fashion. 

Buidling Knowledge: Tips to Giving a Speech

5 minutes

How can students give effective speeches? Students must understand that speaking in front of peers is not similar to how they speak on a daily basis. To be effective speakers, students need practice with presenting information to their peers. I will help groups establish an order of how information will be presented on their projects. To aid groups in their presentation, I will state explicitly in a It’s Presentation Time power point how each group will start and end their presentation. Because the speaking and listening strand of the Common Core Standards require students to provide claims and sound reasoning in their presentations, I must inform students on the sequence of how information will be shared in the presentation. I want students to remain confident about their knowledge of their subject. Although some students wanted more time and processes for developing a learning product, following my guidelines will help students feel prepared for today's presentation.

Student Speeches

30 minutes

Students will present their genres to the class. Students in the audience will listen attentively to what is being presented while I grade the assignment with the rubric provided for students. As students present, I record notes of what is seen, heard, and viewed during all presentations. See some examples of how I graded students during this time of the lesson:

grading presentation rubric

grading rubric 1

grading rubric 2

grading rubric 3

grading rubric 4,

grading rubric 5

All groups did well with their presentations. What hurt most scores was how the letters were organized and how information supported their arguments for endorsement. The data gathered at this particular time shows trends and patterns that exist amongst students' skills with researching and writing. This information will be used to develop future mini lessons on writing about concepts/skills.