Before heading down to our school's music room for a guest speaker, I prep my kids with the expectations I have for their behavior. I go on by explaining that today we are going to take a "in school field trip." The purpose is for them to get information about the science of physics and aviation.
They need to understand what their role is as they listen and participate. I let them know that afterward they will be completing an assignment so their focus and listening skills matter.
On our way out the door, I grab a notebook so I can keep notes on the presentation. This part of the lesson is more what I am doing while the students are engaged in listening and in participating. Note taking during an assembly or speaker helps me keep track of what we will go over in the classroom when its finished. I am also better prepared to answer questions they come up with afterward. I can also design a good follow up conversation to have and how to help students be successful on the lesson activity.
When we get to the music room I immediately take note of the room and what the speaker has brought with them. The room is set up with all kinds of great things. As the speaker presents, I go write down key vocabulary and any other relevant topics that are presented.
When we get back to class, I use the notes I have kept to lead a discussion with the class. We begin adding what we remember to the white board. Everything we can elaborate gets added to the board. For time, I add their ideas to the board. When a student shares their idea I probe students to add to and discuss further on that topic.
This debriefing will be the anchor chart for their opinion writing piece.
The opinion paper will be their assessment and practice at writing this type of paper. To help them have a guide to follow, I write an numbered order as the structure for their paper. I tell the class to start their paper with a clear description of what the "field trip" was and what their opinion of it was. Second, they will write details that support their opinion. I remind them to add evidence or further details to support their opinion. Finally, they need to conclude their paragraph by restating their opinion. I remind them to add a brief detail to their conclusion from what they have already written. This wraps up the writing neatly.