Welcome to a series of lessons I've created to accomplish Common Core Standards relating to reading biographies, taking relevant notes, and publishing a collaborative technology slide presentation. This is a culminating project to finish up the last two weeks of a six week unit on creative, inventive, and notable people of the turn-of-the-century. This set of lessons could be easily adapted to meet the needs of other biographical subjects in a different time period, or used with other types of informational text.
I chose to use the Who Was? series of books for my researchers. This series worked very well into the upper range of our Lexile band, provided text feature support, had many biographical subjects of the time period we are studying, and were just the right length to read in a week. One advantage of choosing to use books within the same series is the text structure. This made it easy when completing my daily lessons on reading and note taking.
Please watch this short introduction video to hear more about this lesson. Thank you!
We are in the computer lab again today, to make any final edits and revisions to our Google presentations for tomorrow. I use the projection system in the computer lab to walk the students through my review and lesson.
Review Accessing Google Accounts: I walk the students through accessing their Google accounts on our district website.
Review Accessing Google Drive Documents: I model for students how to open their biography presentation document.
Lesson on Presentation Comments: I ask the students to put their hands in their laps and watch for a few minutes. I pull up one group's Google presentation. I show them the comments I added to each slide to note what edits and revisions need to be made. If a slide has no changes needed, I also noted that in the comment. I review with students how to type in a text box, insert a text box, check spelling, and insert and resize an image from a shared file. I've included some screen shots of the revisions I asked the students to make, so you can get an idea of the items my students had to fix. Although, please note that I took the screen shots after the students made the revisions, so most of the revisions are made in the pictures :) (See Resource Files: Screen Shots of Presentation Comments 1 - 9)
Practice: I tell the students that after they've made all changes noted in the comments on their Google presentations, they should practice reading through their slides. We will be presenting in class tomorrow! I explain that nothing needs to be memorized, but they should speak clearly and understandably.
Polish Presentations: The students read any comments I've left for them on their slides and make revisions and edits as needed. They work together as a group, and if a slide in the group's presentation hasn't been finished, but someone is done with their own, they help each other. I walk around the room help, and answer questions as needed.
Practice Presentations: As students finish, I ask them to practice reading their slides to themselves.
Homefun! (Homework): I made copies of the students' presentations for them to take home and practice tonight. They'll practice reading their slides to someone for fluency and accuracy.
I'm always trying to continue to reinforce Common Core standards we're working on, or standards I've covered in previous lessons. Below are some additional documents I've created to support some of the standards covered within this unit. I hope you find these resources helpful when planning future instruction, literacy centers, home activities, content area lessons, digital articles, etc.
Question Stem Flip Book: This is a question stem flip book that my students completed earlier in this unit. Fold the paper in half (hot dog style - the long way) and cut along the dotted lines to create tabs. I found it helpful to have students write the question below the question stem word on the front flap when they were first learning how to accomplish this standard, and then flip open the flap to write the answer to their question in a complete sentence. It took us a few weeks to get to the point of taking multiple notes beneath one questions stem, like we did in the Biography Research Unit (See Resource File: Biography Flip book)
Question Stem Ask and Answer: This is an activity that can work with almost any kind of informational material to practice using question stems to ask and answer questions about relevant information. My class used it in our computer lab after reading an article on the Wright Brothers on Ducksters.com (http://www.ducksters.com/biography/wright_brothers.php). Practicing reading shorter informational articles and responding to questions is similar to the types of sample tasks they have on the Smarter Balanced and PARCC websites. I'm trying to integrate more digital literature with written response. (See Resource File: Question Stem Ask and Answer)
Biography Note Taking Sheet: As I mentioned in one of my videos las week, the students have been practicing taking notes with question stems throughout this unit. We completed other shared and independent reading about turn-of-the-century people. This is a sheet the students used as we were learning how to take notes using the question stems. (See Resource File: Biography Note Taking Sheet)
Literature Analysis: We also read the literature selection More Than Anything Else. This is a sheet I created to help students with standardized questioning. I try to have them complete these kinds of activities weekly to prepare for our PARCC testing. (See Resource File: More Than Anything Else Literature Analysis)
My Name is Georgia: Another shared reading selection we complete is about turn-of-the-century artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. After reading, my students completed this paper. You'll notice how I was integrating our question stem focus standard within this assignment. (See Resource File: My Name is Georgia Questions)
Balloons Over Broadway: The students also read the book Balloons Over Broadway which also follows our unit theme of creative, inventive, and notable people of the turn-of-the-century. This is an assignment they completed, again to practice question stems. (See Resource File: Balloons Over Broadway Question Stem Assignment)