Native American Petroglyphs - Opinion Writing - Organizing Thoughts

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SWBAT form an opinion based on the article and video we have studied. Students will then be able to begin an opinion writing piece by organizing their thoughts.

Big Idea

We are starting an opinion writing project today. We will organize our thoughts by creating a 4 square graphic organizer.


Introduction of Writing Topic

15 minutes

The students have now read "Vernal Area Rock Art" by Byron Loosle and Kelda Wilson and Also watched the YouTube video clip of Antonio explaining the meaning of his pictographs. 

In this lesson, I will ask the students to think about what they have learned and form an opinion.  They just learned about two very differing opinions about symbols left behind by Native American tribes from years ago.  The article explains that no one really knows the true meanings behind the symbols.  We all bring to our interpretations our backgrounds which affect how we wee the petroglyph and pictograph symbols.  Antonio in the You Tube video clip told us that the meanings of the symbols had been passed down from generation to generation.  The tribe today knew the symbols from past tribes because the meanings had been passed on. 

I will ask the students what they think.  Do they feel the same as the archeologist in the article, that no one really knows what the symbols mean?  Or do they feel the same as the Native American who told us what some of the symbols mean and told us that the meanings have been passed down from generation to generation?

I will then inform the students that they will be writing an opinion piece.  

4 Square Graphic Organizer Instructions + Modeling

15 minutes

Once students have had a chance to think about their opinions, I will help them create a graphic organizer to plan out their writing.   Our school likes to use "Four Square Writing" and if you have never heard of it, you should check out this book.  It is fabulous!  "Four Square Writing Method" by Judy Gould, Evan Jay Gould, & Mary F. Burke.  

I recently learned of a way to use a plain piece of paper by folding it into a four-square graphic organizer.  First, fold the paper in half.  Then fold it in half again (like you would to fold a card.) Finally, fold down the center corner.  Unfold the paper and you have four squares and a middle square.  I will include a video demonstration of how to fold the paper in the resources.

I will walk the students through folding their papers to make a graphic organizer. We will then talk about the writing outline included in the resources.  This will show the students how to fill out in the outline.

Creating 4 Square Outlines

30 minutes

Once the students have their graphic organizers made, I will allow them time to organize their thoughts and plan their writing.  I will walk around ans assist students as they are working on the four square graphic organizers.