In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.
Connect: I will say, “Yesterday we researched ideas about an invention or business idea on the Internet. Today we are going to take our research and analyze it using a compare and contrast text structure.
Teach: I will say, I am going to practice the skill of writing in a compare and contrast text structure format. I am going to use the strategy of annotating a text and organizing my research. The process I will use is as follows:
1) Read the definition of compare and contrast text structure
2) Annotate an article with a readers marks important details that help me understand the structure
3) Organize my research using a Venn Diagram
4) Write about my invention using the compare and contrast text structure and analysis
Then I will show the students how I read the first paragraph of the text and annotate next to the text details that provide evidence for the compare and contrast text structure.
Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to read the rest of the article and annotate the text details that show you evidence of compare and contrast text structure. After about 10 minutes I will ask my different levels of learners their examples of what text details provided evidence for compare and contrast text structure (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).
2nd Teach: Now that you have an example of compare and contrast text structure, I want you to take your research from yesterday and compare and contrast the information you found about using a Venn Diagram. I will show them my example of my “Snackshirt” vs. a regular shirt.
Active Engagement: I will say, “Now you are going to take your evidence from yesterday and complete a Venn Diagram. After about 10 minutes I will ask my different levels of learners to share out their Venn Digrams (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above).
3rd Teach: The last step is taking your annotations as an example of a compare and contrast text structure and your Venn Diagram in order to write about your invention, adding the last piece, analysis. I will review the sentence stems for evidence and analysis and show them how I used it in my example at the bottom of the handout.*
Independent Practice: Students will be then be directed to write about heir invention, trying out the compare and contrast text structure. I will confer with them about their writing.
*I only added analysis and citing in addition to learning a new structure because my students had already practiced it in the last unit. If they had not practiced it, I would have had analysis and/or citing be a separate lesson.
For closing today I will have them turn in their writing or take pictures of it (if in a composition notebook). Here are examples of my 7th graders writing which I compared and contrasted to my 8th Graders.