Night of the Twisters: Analyzing Multiple Points of View

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SWBAT analyze multiple accounts of a tornado in "Night of the Twisters".

Big Idea

How would a child, left alone to babysit a sibling, describe a tornado?

Cue Set

10 minutes

Today is the first lesson in a series regarding multiple perspectives.  I taught this skill first using Rosa Parks' autobiography and a storybook account of her refusal to give up her seat.  These lessons jump right in to the skill of analyzing multiple perspectives and I do not spend tons of time developing the concept of the skill since this is the second time scholars are exposed. 

We begin our lesson today by viewing a video from Man Versus Wild.  My scholars love this show, and whenever possible, I incorporate student interest in my lessons to increase student engagement and build strong rapport with scholars.  As scholars view the video, they contemplate this question: How would the guide describe the event of finding the different types of crocodiles?  

After the video is over, I give scholars 1 minute to jot down how they think the guide would describe the event.  Then, they have 30 seconds to share with table partners.  Finally, I pull 2 friends from my cup to share their thinking and I take 2 volunteers.  This holds scholars accountable to doing the discussion and it helps scholars to hear thoughts that aren't just from their table group.  I expect scholars to say things like, "The guide would describe it as being fun because he smiles the whole time and expresses energy in his body language."  Here is one scholar's Cue Set response.  

*The reason I start with a video is to give concrete practice at analyzing someone's perspective.  Also, it helps scholars to practice citing evidence from a source as they generate responses.   Click here to see Scholars citing from the video to support responses.   

Teaching Strategy

15 minutes

Scholars and I make a foldable that we will use throughout the course of the week to record our thinking as we analyze multiple perspectives of tornadoes.  Click here for a How to create a foldable.  

Scholars and I do a cloze reading of the first two pages of Night of the Twisters.  During a cloze reading, we all have access to the same text.  I read aloud, and scholars fill-in-the-blank as I pause upon words.  This ensures that all students access the text and that they are following along.  It is perfect to use during the teacher-directed time of a lesson.  As we read, we ask ourselves the following question: 

1. How might the main characters describe the event of a tornado?  

I pause to think aloud, Hmm, I think the main character may describe a tornado as being a bit scary.  In the text it says that he was, "nervous because mom and dad left me alone to babysit."  This shows that he might be a little scared of tornadoes because he is all alone and responsible for his younger sibling.  He is unprepared to be responsible during a natural disaster.  

I then model using the foldable to record my thinking.  I make sure to use direct evidence from the text in my foldable.  Here is a Student Assembled Foldable.  

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Scholars have 20 minutes to continue to read with partners.  Partners are heterogeneous groupings.  I pair lower scholars with medium low scholars and high scholars with medium high scholars.  The reason for this is to ensure that no one becomes frustrated with their partner, and also so that my ELL co-teacher and I can strategically support certain groups.  Here is partner reading with my group.  

Scholars love partner reading time because it helps them to hear a model of fluent reading other than the teacher.  Also, they get to move around the room and find a comfy place to read.  This increases oxygen to their brains and it gives them a change of scenery.  Scholars work together to continue to record thinking on their foldable.  Click here for a picture of partner reading with just partners.  This gives them another set of ideas before they move forward and are independent with this task.  

Independent Practice

45 minutes

During this time scholars rotate through 2 stations.  I start the time by reviewing our checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day.  This holds scholars accountable to their work thereby making  them more productive.  Then, the ELL teacher and I share the materials that our groups will need to be successful (i.e. a pencil and your book baggies).  Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation.  The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.

During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective today is to describe the perspective of people in books that are on each group's highest instructional level.  Scholars read a portion of the same book (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  Then we discuss the perspective of the narrator.  As the week continues, we will begin to compare and contrast multiple perspectives on the same topic.  Since we are learning about natural disasters, each group has a different natural disaster (this depends on the books that are available on the groups level).      

After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention.  Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening.  Then they point to where they go next.  I give them 20 seconds to get there.  Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition.  We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room.  This way we avoid any collisions.    

At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson.  Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.