Interrupted Journey: Expressing Complex Ideas in Writing

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SWBAT use quotes to write a Prose Constructed Response (PCR) describing the relationship between two or more concepts, ideas or people in a text.

Big Idea

I know what I want to say, but how to I write it down?

Cue Set

3 minutes

We do a very quick warm-up today so that scholars have plenty of time to write their PCR's.  Scholars and I do a quick call-and-response to answer the question: what are the components of a strong PCR?

Since we practice PCR's frequently, scholars can answer this question with relative ease.  The purpose of reviewing before the beginning of the lesson is to access their prior knowledge and to gear them up for the current lesson.  Here are some ASLR reproducibles that you can use to help your scholars write extended responses.  

I expect scholars to say that all PCR's need: 

A: Answer 

S: Support 

L: Link

R: Re-State

Teaching Strategy

7 minutes

During this section, scholars and I do a quick review of how to write a PCR that describes the relationship between people, ideas or concepts.  First, we remember generic sentence starters when responding to a PCR, then we do a choral reading of the following (we took notes on these two days ago - click here for Notes for PCR responses with RI3): 

1. [Concept 1] and [Concept 2] relate to one another because... (A)

2. This is the relationship they share because in the text, it says... (S)

3. These quotes prove that.......because..... (L)

4. That's how [concept 1] and [concept 2] relate to one another.    (R)

These are sentence starters specific to the skill that scholars can use to help the blank page be a little less intimidating.  I find that giving scholars sentence starters is incredibly helpful and can really benefit my ELL scholars and other scholars who have more difficulty with writing.  

Guided Practice

35 minutes

During the guided practice today, scholars again work in post-it note groups to create strong PCR responses.  I use post-it note groups to get scholars to interact with new and different friends.  Also, it gives them a chance to get up and move around a bit.  Scholars work together to create 1 PCR response to the following question: 

Describe the relationship between temperature and Kemp's ripley sea turtles. 

Scholars are responsible for handing in their individual PCR too so even if they are not writing on the chart paper, they still are responsible for their own work.  Here are some scholars using T-charts to help with PCR.  

As scholars work in small groups, I pull a cohort of ELL scholars and other scholars who need more support with their individual responses (this group is determined from the closure yesterday).  

I remind scholars to use the sentence starters if they get stuck.  

Scholars have 20 minutes to create their PCRs in their groups.  Then, at the end of that time, scholars have a gallery walk.  They walk around the room and leave roses (positives) and thorns (areas to improve) for each group.  I remind them that as they walk around the room they READ, THINK, then WRITE.  I model how to leave a strong feedback.  I remind them that saying things like, "nice work!" is not particularly strong feedback.  It must be specific and related to what makes a PCR strong.  

Here are scholars hard at work


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 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 continued 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.