This is the second time that I've taught the skill of determining relationships between two or more concepts in a text. The first time I taught this skill was at the beginning of the year. Since it has been so long, this lesson will assume a very shallow baseline knowledge for this skill.
We begin the lesson by watching a video on the golden lion tamarin monkeys.
The reason we watch a video is so that scholars can practice describing the relationship between the golden lion tamarin's and their habitat. It is easier for scholars to practice this skill watching a video BEFORE they apply the skill to complex text because they can watch, listen and think rather than having to read complex text. Scholars gain confidence with the skill and then are better able to apply the skill to text later in the lesson. Also, watching a video builds background knowledge and vocabulary for my ELL scholars. This is helpful for all scholars too! Here are scholars watching and taking notes and scholars watching and taking notes.
As scholars watch the video, they think about what the relationship is between golden lion tamarins and their habitat. Scholars have 1 minute after watching the video to jot down their thinking. Then they share with friends at their table. Finally, I take 2 friends from my cup and 3 volunteers. This helps hold scholars accountable to the work and provides eager scholars with the opportunity to share.
*I built-in extra time during this section if scholars need more support with the skill. If needed, we will watch the video 1 time, just to watch. Then, the second time we'll watch and jot down information about the golden lion tamarin. The third time we watch, we'll jot down information about the habitat. Then, we'll ask ourselves, how are these two concepts related? -- I'm not sure if scholars will need this support or not, but the time is there if necessary.
During the teaching strategy, I explicitly give scholars some instruction regarding determining relationships between two or more concepts. I explain that the type of relationships that concepts share, tend to be repeated in text. Often, 2 concepts may be related in one of the following ways:
1. Cause/effect - A helpful question to ask yourself when determining if the concepts are related by cause/effect might be: Does 1 concept cause another?
2. Description - A helpful question to ask yourself when determining if the concepts are related by description might be: Does 1 concept tell me something specific about another concept?
3. Compare/Contrast- A helpful question to ask yourself when determining if the concepts are related by compare/contrast might be: How are the concepts alike? Different?
I give scholars a sheet with these helpful questions/types of relationships. Scholars then cut each out and glue it onto a foldable. You can use the RI 5.3 foldable to cut and paste to create your own foldable with your students! Finally, scholars glue the foldable into their notebooks so that they can use this tool as a reference as they describe relationships between ideas, concepts and people in a text. Click here for a Foldable how-to. Here is an example of a student's foldable.
Next, I model how to use the foldable to answer the following question: Using evidence from the text, describe the relationship between golden lion tamarins and humans. Scholars and I read from The Golden Lion Tamarin Comes Home by George Ancona on pages 630-631 of our Houghton Mifflin Text. I model how to take notes using a T-chart on golden lion tamarins and humans. Then, I model how to think through their relationship by using the foldable. As I think aloud, scholars take notes in their notebooks so that I know that they are engaged and to give them a good example for them to refer back to in their notes.
This time will be a bit shorter today since it is day 1 of a new lesson. The idea is that scholars will get more partner and independent practice time with this skill tomorrow. Scholars have 15 minutes to work with their partner to read pages 632-633 of The Golden Lion Tamarin Comes Home. Then, they must answer the question: Describe the relationship between gold lion tamarin's captivity and their ability to survive in the wild. Scholars record their answer on the graphic organizer T-Chart.
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.
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 triple venn diagrams. This gives them another set of ideas before they move forward and are independent with this task.
Click here to see a video of Guided Practice - hard at work!
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 determine relationships between two or more concepts, ideas or 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 how two or more ideas, concepts or people are related. We practice using the T-chart to organize our thinking. We also use our foldables. The focus today is the reading skill, not the recording.
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.