Patricia Bath, M.D. African-American Inventor

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand the key words and details in an informational text.

Big Idea

One doctor's dedication to serving others results in eye instruments that restore eye sight.


5 minutes

Context and Overview:

Today, we will go back to the part about Patricia Bath, M.D. in our anthology selection, African-American Inventors. Why? Well, yesterday, we looked at vocabulary words to practice the strategy of context clues. And, today, I want to use her story to ask and answer questions so that we can understand key details about her life and her inventions. To reinforce key details about her life and work, I am asking my students to pay attention to words that repeat. I will help them to distinguish high frequency words and content words about the inventor. I like to get across the idea that authors repeat certain words to signal to the reader as to what is important in understanding a text.

In working with English Language Learners, I want to make experiences as concrete as possible, especially at the beginning of the school year or when working with challenging text. That is why I will pass out copy a of Patricia Bath's story for each student so that they are able to highlight certain details I will be asking them to focus on.

Once the students are done highlighting, we will then read together. As we read, I will stop and ask them questions, discuss words they highlighted, and use context clues to decipher their meaning so that we understand the key details of Patricia Bath.

To help the class identify the key details in this text and to provide a visual for them, I take their responses and chart them on a bubble map.

Finally, the students will have an opportunity to write about Patricia Bath.

Lesson Opening:

I start with students on the rug, and I share the objective. Then, I ask them to think about what we have been learning. I ask them to turn to a partner and share. Afterwards, a few share out loud.

I like to review with my students because it helps them to connect the old knowledge with the new. This helps focus them too.


25 minutes

To answer the key details of Patricia Bath, M.D., I have made copies of this section. It is only 4 pages long and back to back, it is only two pages. I did this because, in working with English Language Learners, I seek to make this task more interactive, and I try to encourage students to focus on text when they are browsing the text and highlighting words that repeat.

I have a brief conversation about what words I want them to highlight. I make a quick list of common high frequency words on the board: the, and, I, are, etc. I explain that these are not the words they are highlighting, even though these words repeat much.

I ask them to keep in mind words that tell about her life and her invention. I hope they think back to yesterday's lesson and highlight some of those words.

This is the first time my students will use highlighters to browse a text. Based on my previous experience with second graders, I know they may start highlighting everything. If this happens, I will not make a big deal about it, but I will remind them of their task. As I walk around, I ask questions about what they are highlighting and why. I want to help them express their reasons/reasoning.

So after a few minutes of having them browse, I stop them to have a conversation about Words That Repeat in the text. This is a way for me to check in. My students need various experience with words and this is another way to give them opportunities to discuss pertinent vocabulary words. I want to draw the connection between key vocabulary words and key ideas in our discussion. 

Then, we proceeded with reading the selection and asking and answering questions.

As we read, I used a bubble map to capture the important ideas from each paragraph. I guide them with questions:

  • What is this paragraph about or mostly about?
  • What words repeat themselves here?

Here are some of their responses:

Independent Writing

20 minutes

Now it's Time To Write. The students are using the information directly from the text and/or their bubble maps to respond to the question: Why is Patricia Bath important? 

In this way, I am giving them an opportunity to synthesize the information and use the academic language/vocabulary they are reading and discussing. In their writing, it is important for them to use evidence from the text to support their claims. Valuing evidence is a major shift with the CCSS.

As they start Writing, I walk around and monitor their work. I give support by redirecting those who are off task. I ask them, "How can I help?" if I notice they need it. I give support with direction as to where to locate the information. If they need me to read a word, I do so, since this is a challenging text.

Here are some examples of their work:

Whole Group Sharing

7 minutes

I gather them on the rug and again and  briefly give them students an opportunity to share with their carpet partners before sharing with the class what we learned about Patricia Bath. In this way, everyone gets an opportunity to be heard and I engage my students in purposeful talk.

This time allows me to review whether we met our objective and to bring closure to the lesson.