I begin the lesson by asking students to explain what the term "extinct" means during Think-Pair-Share. I, then explain to them that extinct means that a species or kind of animal or plant has died out. Animals may become extinct for a number of reasons - use of pesticides, changes in climate, changes in the ecosystem, or catastrophic weather or events. Although some animals like dinosaurs have become extinct, there are many animals that have been saved from extinction by a law call the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Next, I play a Brainpop video on extinction for them. Afterwards, we take the brief quiz as a whole group to check their understanding. Students show me quiz answers using sign language - a, b, c, d. I, then, explain to students that we will continue the collaboration we began with Think-Pair-Share at the beginning of the lesson. With the next portion of the lesson, they will participate in a non-fiction literature circle.
In the past, I have used literature circles for literary works. However, I recently thought what about using them for non-fiction reading selections, as well. So, that's just what I did in this lesson. Literature circles are prime opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking and reflection as they read, discuss, and respond to reading passages. Collaboration is at the heart of this approach to learning. In order to scaffold student learning and help students to learn their non-fiction literature circle roles, I decided to facilitate the non-fiction literature circle as a whole group.
This lesson was "a soaring success!" My students are beginning to learn and become more comfortable with their non-fiction literature circle roles. They explored events, author's craft, personal experiences during the discourse and questioning.