Today when my students walk in the room, I will have created a list of the texts that we have read for the first quarter with page numbers. For the Do Now, I am asking students to think about the texts we have read and the characters' experiences. I will ask them to write down some of the things that may have shaped the characters' identities.
After they have written down their ideas, I will ask them to share out as I write their ideas on the board. I am asking my students to work with me to create this list because they will need to select one of the topics on the list in order to to write a shared constructed response with a partner later in the lesson.
After we have built out a list (together) that includes words like: character, actions, experiences, etc. I will tell my students that they need to select one topic from this list.
Next I want students to look at the list of texts and select two that they could use to prove their topic. In other words, if students choose to write that actions shape character, they will need to choose two texts that we have read this year that prove it.
Finally, I want my students to go back through the two texts they selected, and find at least two pieces of convincing evidence from each text that proves their chosen topic. Citing strong evidence is a skill that we have been honing, and this is another opportunity to practice citing strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1.
At this point, I will give students time to work with a partner to find that evidence and write it down on a piece of paper. I am having them work with a partner because I am hoping that their partner will be able to critique their evidence to make their future paragraphs stronger.
As they work, I will circulate to ask my students which texts they have chosen, and of course, I will be taking a look at their evidence as they work. The evidence will be critical to whether or not they do well on their paragraph, so they need to make it great. Check out the video of a couple of partners selecting a text and trying to figure out which evidence might fit with the topic they chose.
After evidence collection--I am feeling like a science teacher more and more--my students are ready for a brief pep talk for their paragraph creation.
At the beginning of my students' shared paragraph, I am asking them to make a statement about what shapes our identity. I will use the example of actions. If I were writing a paragraph, the first sentence in the paragraph would be:
Actions shape our identity.
Next I will explain to my students that I will be using the two texts and the two pieces of evidence to prove that actions shape identity. My paragraph might go something like this:
Actions shape our identity. In the novel, "The House on Mango Street," by Sandra Cisneros, Esperanza's actions helped shape her into a mature young woman. Her maturity begins to show when her father reveals to her that her abuelito has died. After hearing this news, she says, "Because I am the oldest, my father has told me first, and now it is my turn to tell the others. I will have to explain why we can't play. I will have to tell them to be quiet today" (57). Then she consoles her papa. "I hold, and hold and hold him" (57). Her actions during her father's time of grief show that she is becoming more mature and is more concerned with her father's feelings than her own at this point.
This was the beginning of my paragraph, so I will explain to students that even though I am stopping here, I am not finished because I will need to discuss how another text, that we have read, also shows that actions shape identity. I want them look closely at how I introduce my evidence. I don't just slap it in there--I set it up so that the person reading my paragraph will have enough information to judge whether or not I am convincing. I also want them to look closely at what happens after the evidence. I EXPLAIN IT. Evidence is lonely without explanation.
Students will work with their partner to create a rough draft of their response. The response must explain what helps shape our identity using well-chosen details appropriate to the audience's knowledge of topic, (CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2b) from at least two of the texts we have read. I am having them draft out their response first to make sure that they have a product worthy of presentation because we will be posting some of their responses around the room. I am giving each group a larger sheet of paper and a marker to write their final response once they feel like it is ready to publish. Although it is not a major focus of this lesson, I am expecting them to proofread their responses on the draft before writing up their final response. This way they get to tend to all of the conventions for grammar and usage CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1 before submitting them for grading. This video shows a student publishing the final draft of the shared paragraph she created with her partner. At the end of the video, another camera shy pair is still writing their rough draft. Aren't they the cutest!
Responses that receive score points of 3 and 4 on the PARCC rubric will be posted as examples of good work. I will be using the PARCC rubric to score their responses because I want to make sure their writing lives up to the demands of it in preparation for standardized assessments in the future.
It is important that students see their work posted around the room so that they can not only take pride in the environment that we are creating but also to see exemplars of well-written responses. We can also use these responses later as we study grammar and usage more closely.
I am not sure how long the drafting and publishing will take because my pairs of students have to agree on what they want to include in their paragraphs, so I have allotted for more time if necessary in this lesson. I can allow them 10 extra minutes for drafting and publishing if they need it.
I had also promised them that we could play a The House on Mango Street jeopardy game after we finished with the text, so I have that game cued up just in case. I found the game on https://jeopardylabs.com/play/house-on-mango-street-jeopardy. I selected this game because it reinforces some of the concepts, ideas, and skills that we have studied for the past couple of weeks. I will allow them to use the book to find answers to the questions. The questions in this game are text-dependent and represent multiple levels of Bloom's taxonomy, and I think it is a fun way to end the first quarter. They have done a ton of writing and reading, so this is a learning treat. I will allow the students to run the game--which includes keeping score, but I will serve as the moderator. Only classes that finish their paragraphs will get the chance to play the game.
Pic one shows a group giving an answer about one of the character's in The House on Mango Street, Ruthie who acts like a child even though she is an adult.
Pic two shows another group using their texts to find the answer.