Earthquake Terror: Making Strong Inferences

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT quote accurately from the text when making inferences.

Big Idea

I can make an inference, but how do I make it strong?

Cue Set

20 minutes

I tell scholars that we are going to continue our study of Nature's Fury today.  We are going to watch a video of an earthquake.  I have scholars watch the video first to help build my ELL scholars' background knowledge.  Also, it is helpful for all scholars to practice quoting a video before we quote from a text.  

As we watch the video, we will think about the following questions: 

1. How might an earthquake impact us if it were to hit Easton? 

2. What evidence from the video supports your answer to number 1?  

I ask scholars to take notes as we watch so that they will be prepared to discuss.  

Scholars have 2 minutes to jot down their ideas after the video.  Then, they turn and share with tables for 1 minute.  As a whole class we discuss our answers to #1 & 2.  I expect to hear them say things like, "Some buildings might collapse because that is what I saw on the video.  I don't think the earthquake would be too bad because we are not located on a fault line.  In the video it showed a map that told us we are not on a fault line.  Therefore, maybe things would just shake a little."  

I take 3 friends from my cup to share thoughts and then I take 2 volunteers.  I emphasize that they need to support their answer using evidence (examples, images, etc.) from the video.  

Teaching Strategy

20 minutes

I explain to scholars that today we will practice answering questions and using quotes to support our answers.  I show them the Two Structures that we built at the beginning of the year and ask them, "Which is stronger?"  (Click here for a link to the lesson at the beginning of the year).  Scholars respond, the pyramid.  I remind them that when we answer questions about what we've read, our responses are strong like the pyramid when we include quotes to support our answers.  

We do a cloze reading of pages 29-30 of Earthquake Terror in our Houghton Mifflin text.  During a cloze reading, we all have access to the same text.  I read aloud and pause over a few words and scholars fill-in-the-blank with the paused upon word.  As we read, we think about the following question: Why does Jonathan feel jumpy?  I pause and think aloud about this question.  Then, I model how to record the answer on my foldable.  Scholars record my answer on their foldable so that they have a model of a strong response.  I have the question on one side, the quote on another and the inference on the third side.  The focus here is that scholars select a quote that is relevant to and supports the inference.  


Guided Practice

5 minutes

Scholars read pages 31-32 of Earthquake Terror and answer the following question in their foldable: 

*Why is Moose acting strange? 

Scholars are in heterogeneous partnerships (but within 1 level of each other so that they do not become frustrated).  It is important for scholars to hear one another read out loud to practice fluency and hear strong peer models.  

This time is short today because I anticipate more support will be needed whole group and so that my ELL co-teacher and I can differentiate more during Independent Practice.  

Independent Practice

45 minutes

During this time in my first class scholars rotate through 2 stations.  

I start the time by reviewing our Checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day.  This holds scholars accountable to their work thereby making  them more productive.  Then, the ELL teacher and I share the materials that our groups will need to be successful (i.e. a pencil and your book baggies).  Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation.  The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.

During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective today is to support inferences in the text with quotes from books that is on each group's highest instructional level.  Scholars read a portion of the same book (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  Then we discuss inferences and find quotes that are related to those inferences.  For my higher groups, we will actually compose a PCR response.    

After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention.  Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening.  Then they point to where they go next.  I give them 20 seconds to get there.  Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition.  We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room.  This way we avoid any collisions.    

At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson.  Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.