The Middle Step Makes the Connection

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SWBAT make inferences based on evidence from the text in order to support a conclusion they are drawing; SWBAT write to a prompt about the conclusion they made.

Big Idea

Your students will realize they know more about drawing conclusions when they practice adding in the middle step.


Common Core Connection:

In this lesson I am continuing my focus on CCRA.R.1: read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it, cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text, and CCRA.R.4: interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

Lesson Overview:

After reading An Egg is an Egg, by Nicki Weiss, and participating in yesterday’s drawing conclusion guided activity, I wanted my students to choose one idea from the guided practice and make a connection that there is a middle step to drawing conclusions.  



5 minutes

I began this lesson by asking my students what they remembered about drawing conclusions.  I gave them a moment to discuss this with their table partners.  After a shout minute I used the magic cup (Demonstration: Magic Cup) to select a student pair to answer this question for the class.  These students shared that drawing conclusion means to think about what the story means.  As I noted several of my students agreeing, I stepped in and reminded my little ones that drawing a conclusion is what we do when the author does not tell us all the information, but we take what we know and make a connection in our brain to know what the author is telling us in the story.  Then to further remind them I showed them a couple of the sequence cards we used yesterday.  This seemed to help them.  As my students seemed more comfortable with the concept of drawing a conclusion, I told them today they would use yesterday’s work to think about the step or steps in the middle that helps them to make a logical conclusion about what the author is telling them.

Guided Practice

15 minutes

I then re-read An Egg is an Egg.  After reading I had my students take out yesterday’s guided practice drawing conclusion activity, while displaying mine on the Promethean board, we reviewed each before and after sample (Reviewing Yesterday's Work).  When we finished I asked my students does an egg just change into a chick.  After giving my students a moment to think and whisper their answers in their hands (Demonstration: Whisper to Me), I used the magic cup to call on a student to share his/her answer.  Nearly all of my students agreed, by showing me a thumb up (Demonstration: Thumb Up, Thumb Down), that an egg just hatches into a chick.  I then asked, is there a middle part, what does the chick have to do before it can crack the egg open.  After my students thought about it and with some prompting, many of them concluded that the chick needed to grow inside the egg first.  I then quickly went through each example from yesterday’s practice activity and had my students think about what happened in the middle.  With prompting they were able to tell me a seed needs water and soil to grow, they needed more blocks and then build a tower, the sun melts ice, and a pollywog needs to grow and change before it is a frog.  

Whole Group Activity

20 minutes

When we finished this review I displayed the Missing Step Drawing Conclusions Activity sheet on the Promethean board and explained that part of the reason they knew the conclusions was because they made the connection in their brain about what happened in the middle.  Pointing to the Missing Step Drawing Conclusions Activity sheet I explained they were to choose one event from their work listed on yesterday’ activity sheet and either draw a picture of it, or write what it is in the first box called ‘Before’.  Then they were to draw or write what it changed into in the last box called ‘After’.  In the middle box called, ‘Middle’, they were to draw or write how the event changed.

After using the magic cup to select a student to re-state the directions to class and satisfied that all my students understood what they were going to do next, I passed their copies of The Missing Step Activity Sheet and set the timer for 15 minutes.  As my students began working I met with each table set to make sure to they understood the directions and were finishing their work.  At the end of 15 minutes I called the group back together, and using the magic cup I selected three students to display their work on the doc-u-cam and share what event they chose and what happened in the middle that helped them make their conclusion about how the event would end.  This Finished Student Work sample is from the Beginning Reading group.

When we finished this activity we transitioned into our independent block.

Independent Practice

15 minutes

While in the Independent block my students are in their leveled reading groups and rotate every 15 to 20 minutes through ELA activities and work centers.  One activity that I always include is journal writing.  I believe journal writing helps students to remember, understand, and apply what they had finished in the guided and collaborative piece of the lesson.  In today’s journal they were to use their completed activity sheets to write about one conclusion they made.  

The prompt I put on the Promethean board: I conclude everything changes, a  _______ changes to a ________.  First it ______.  Then it _______. Last it is ______.  

 I quickly check all students' journals when they rotate through my differentiated reading group.

The video sample is of one of my Beginning Reading students (Beginning Reader's Journal), who relied on the sentence frame to complete his journal.

Ticket Out the Door

5 minutes

To earn a sticker my students had to tell me why the middle step was so important when making a conclusion.