Exploring Beringia

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SWBAT explain the appearance of Beringia and how it contributed to the first people arriving in North America.

Big Idea

Understanding the ancient past of our civilization leads to a greater understanding of how we got where we are today.

Before They Came: The Appearance of Beringia

10 minutes

This lesson begins with reviewing yesterday's lesson about the first people in North America. We talk about the answer to yesterday's exit ticket which required students to explain  how the first people came to North America.  Most of them answered the question by telling me WHY the people came.  I had anticipated that the answers were going to be less than stellar because 4th graders tend to struggle with giving a complete explanation in writing.  

After we review a few answers under the ELMO, I tell them that today's passage will give them a better understanding of HOW the people got here.  I tell them that, like yesterday, I am not going to read the passage until after they do, but that I have an activity that will make reading this 6th grade text easier.  

Again, I know the passage the students are going to read today is over their reading level, so I've created a set of guided notes to help them navigate this difficult text while gleaning small amounts of information from it. We will build a deeper understanding of the content but on this first reading, I just want to expose them to it and I want them to struggle a bit with it.



Into the Text: Guided Notes

15 minutes

I show the students the guided notes page and allow them to choose a partner to work with. This time, like last time, I want students to feel comfortable in taking a risk with this text.  Even lower level readers can be successful with these guided notes because they are sentences straight from the text so it will give them practice in finding key words.

I tell the students to read the passage (pp.  ) and complete their guided notes page.  If they finish early, I ask them to record any questions they have or words they don't understand on the back of their paper.

I give the students time to complete their guided notes and monitor students who may require more guidance and support.

Putting the Information together: Working Between the Texts

10 minutes

After the students have completed their guided notes, I gather the students back as a whole group and read the passage to them having them stop me when I get to a sentence on the guided notes.  As we read the passage, we discuss questions the students have and words that they don't understand.

I give students the exact same exit ticket as in the previous lesson, hoping that they will use their knowledge from both days to correctly explain how the first North Americans got here.

My students voice concern that they "already did this" to which I reply that I know they did but they didn't do such a hot job and that I am willing to throw the other one out if I can get a good one today.  I remind them that to explain means to use more than just a couple of sentences and to tell everything they know about that subject.  I also remind them that they have two days worth of learning about this subject to use in their answer and then I set them off to work.