Common Core Connection
The standard really steps up the rigor in the primary grades. We are not only reading non-fiction, but the students need to be able to identify the author's point and the reasons that support the author's point. Once they can do this, they are supposed to find the reasons the author uses in the text to support the point. From my experience so far with this standard the students can get the point, but using text evidence seem to be confusing. I think this is because it’s quite tempting for students to back up the author’s ideas with their own experience/knowledge rather than hunt through the text for evidence. So, this requires slowing down the pace, looking deep for meaning, connecting ideas, and tons of rereading.
This is a little Michelle Obama inspired lesson and it has some great things that are applicable to my students' lives. I selected Kids Who Exercise More Get Better Grades for the guided practice and Fitness for Kids for the partner work section, because they are current issues that might be relevant to my students. They are at least applicable to their real lives. I either go for real world application or really interesting when I select topics for the lesson. Both topics seem to keep my class working when the rigor is raised as it is with this standard.
I like to motivate the class by projecting the lesson image on the Smart board, and then I ask them to discuss what point people often take on exercise. "What do most people think about exercise." I am getting a little information here on what their point of view is on exercise. Then I remind them about the lunch menu changes, the mandatory physical education time, and the push from Michelle Obama to decrease childhood obesity. This makes the lesson topic relevant to them because it is a current issue affecting people their age.
Now the class is seated at the desks and we are ready to begin analyzing the author's point on exercise. I read the article three times to the class as they track. This gets them used to the text, but also exposes them to complex vocabulary and sentence structure.
Then the students talk to their partner about the author's point. After some discussion, I allow one volunteer to share their ideas. Other students agree or disagree. Once we reach a decision I add the author's point to our chart on the Smart board. It is also in the resources.
Next, I ask the groups to discuss the author's reasons that support the point. After some discussion, I allow several students to share their thoughts. The class engages in a discussion and I add the reasons supported by the text. The students highlight the points in the text as each volunteer shares a reason. This is how I teach my students to use text evidence.
Then we move on to the center tables where students work with their partner on a different text to determine the author's point and locate the evidence in the text to support the point. After they underline the evidence in the text, they will write the point and the evidence or reasons on the chart. I am using the same chart as I used in the guided practice to eliminate confusion.
This is when I like to work on speaking, listening, and evaluation. These are all quite complex task to first graders. So, after I go over every expectation I have I allow students to read their work to the group. I ask the students to put their paper on the floor, look at the speaker, evaluate the speakers information, and really think about what their peers are saying.
Then the other students give them feedback. They will agree, disagree, or add to their peers work. This is not, "That was good." I expect, "I agree with you that exercise is important, because it says that in the first sentence in the first paragraph. There are also several bullets supporting the point."
This is when I am quickly assessing my students knowledge about the author's point and locating the author's reasons for that point. So, I ask them to write down on a sticky note how they can find the author's point and their reasons. The students place their sticky not on the Tweet Board. Hopefully, somebody notices the title, first sentence in each paragraph, and the bullets are helpful. Whatever they say, I share what I wanted them to learn and share some of their conversations.
Last, we chant the lesson goal: I can identify the author's point and reasons the author gives to support their point.