I tell my students that yesterday at recess I had to settle a disagreement between two students. One told me the other child was angry and threw the basketball at him on purpose, the other told me he did throw it but it was tossed to him nicely but it accidentally hit him when he wasn't looking. Both said they were right and the other was wrong. How do I decide who is not seeing the situation correctly?
I take some answers and then say, "Sometimes different people can have different viewpoints of the same event. That's what happened in the two articles about the Titanic. The articles were similar, but not the same because two different people told the stories from their own perspective, or points of view.
Now I introduce my objective - Today you are going to be analytical thinkers and have the opportunity debate which article you feel presented the better representation of the the story of the Titanic sinking.
I adapted this lesson to more closely meet the CCSS shift to having students evaluate and defend their opinions when they give responses. In this lesson I have scaffolded the learning so that they get repeated exposure not only to the text (to build understanding) but also to the discussions (to learn from others viewpoints) to help them establish what they feel and why. I realize their skills still need practice so before I ask them to complete the task I model my thinking about the issue and demonstrate how to complete the persuasive writing task.
I have students take out their graphic organizer that are completed with text features from the End of a Splendid Journey and the The Sinking of the Titanic articles in the first and second previous lessons.
I have them turn to the back page and review the sections together and I outline what I expect in each section (responses supported with text evidence, strong sentences. editing for correct grammar, and spelling and punctuation)
I review that they should reread their text before they write to gain deeper understanding of the information provided in each and I give them time to do this quietly before we start the independent writing responses. See my reflection for a sharing of my purpose for this.
Students reread articles and begin to write their responses. They have all their notes out and are using these to support their answers.
I circulate looking for strong sentences responses with text evidence included. I encourage them to explain their thinking and answer questions as they arise.
Early finishers continue to work on their graphic timelines of events. (I use plain white sheets of paper and let students be creative in their visual story lines - only an option for early finishers)
Here's a review of a few student responses to demonstrate what to look for to show higher understanding and areas that indicate additional lessons are needed
We come back together and students share their opinions of which article presented the best depiction of the Titanic sinking.
I ask students "Was it fair that women and children were saved first from the wreck?" Why/ Why not? "What other strategies could they have used?" "How do you think the authors felt about this issue?"
Then I close with "How does reading different view points on an issue help when you write a summary?" Students respond and share their opinions.