Common Core Connection
The standard for this lesson is W1.8 (Research Writing), which is writing based on research. This is the eighth lesson in the unit. So, the students have created a topic sentence, added their details, and now they need to write a closing sentence. But, I am not sure they really know what a closing sentence should be. So, this lesson breaks down the purpose and characteristics of an effective closing sentence. I approach teaching this, by instructing students to look at a closing through the lens of the author's purpose for a closing sentence, and I also scaffold how to create one that is effective and flows from the details in the paragraph.
First, the class analyzes the author's use of a closing sentence and how to create one themselves in a group setting. Then the students match closing sentences to paragraphs. Last, they will create a closing sentence for a specific paragraph.
In lessons leading up to this one, most of the class selected soccer and karate for their research topic. So, I am motivating them through their interests. To assess their prior knowledge, I ask the students to talk to their partner about everything they know about closing sentences.
Next, I share the lesson plan and we chant the lesson goal. "I can match and create a closing sentence."
Now, the class knows that they will be working on a closing sentence. We have written many informational paragraphs including a closing sentence, so they have a great deal of prior knowledge about closings. So, I ask the class to discuss the things that need to be in a closing. We talk about how it should restate the topic and say everything that is in the paragraph in a short way. This is how I explain it. Then we discuss what the purpose of the closing. After discussion, a volunteer shares their thoughts. Then, I add to what they say. I am hoping that we determine the purpose of a closing sentence is to summarize the paragraph or wrap it up. It tells that this is the end. After all this discussion, I review some paragraphs we have created in other lessons about informational writing. We review the closing sentences. Basically, I read them to the class as examples.
Then, I project this article on the board. The students work with their partner to add an appropriate closing sentence to some of the paragraphs in this article. I actually copy and paste the article into a word document. Then I take out some of the words and extra information that may be too challenging for my students to read (Modified Paragraphs).
During the partner work, I make sure that students work on one at a time. Then we have somebody share and engage in a class discussion. Last, I add the closing to the paragraph.
I want to take this slow, and make sure each child has a strong foundation in making a closing sentence. Since, this makes the next lesson, Creating My Closing Sentence, much easier. Now, the students work with a partner to match the paragraph to the appropriate closing in Closing Matching Activity. I walk around and help students get started.
Then, the students work with their partner to add a closing to Karate Paragraph. I walk around and listen. When I notice a student or group seem confused I ask a few questions. Here are my questions: Does that summarize the big idea? Did you restate your topic sentence or just copy it? Is that what the paragraph was about?
Now, the class moves to the lounge, because they are ready for a transition. In this section we work on speaking and listening. To be proactive and really make sure the students do what I want, I go over some specific details prior to their presentations. I say, "Speak loud, clear, and enunciate your words. Be sure to listen to the speakers, and think about what they are saying. Then, one group reads their work, while the others sit and listen. Next, the other students offer academic feedback and evaluate their peers' work. Evaluation is a higher order thinking skill that I try to incorporate into each lesson. I often provide modeling and additional support since this can be challenging for the students. I find that once I get them started they are able to comment on each others work with confidence.
We remain in the lounge for the closing of the lesson, because it only takes about five minutes. So, the students talk to their partner about how to make a closing sentence. This is how I use formative assessment to see what they know. This helps me plan future lessons, and determine how well they know the skill.
Last, I try to focus the class on the focus of the lesson. So, we chant the lesson goal, "I can match and create a closing sentence."