Annotating Text to Write Open Response Essay on The Blast Furnace

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Objective

SWBAT demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction by annotating the text and by using the P.E.E organizer to write an open response.

Big Idea

Students "blast" into nonfiction reading and analysis as they read, annotate, and write about influences in The Blast Furnace

Activator

10 minutes
WHY OPEN RESPONSE?

Every grade 10 student must pass the The MCAS, or Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System to receive a high school diploma. It  includes four open response questions to test a student's reading comprehension in English. Reading comprehension tests a student's ability to understand and analyze a reading passage. Each writing prompt requires the student to include using evidence from the passage to support his thoughts.  For this reason we spend more time on open response writing than possibly a suburban school where most students may be reading at proficiency or above grade level.
As an English department we have begun a Looking At Student Work protocol to bring consistency to our scoring student rubrics.

The activator for this lesson is reviewing the open response scoring rubric for the essay they will be reading Rubric for The Blast Furnace.  As I read each section of the rubric I ask students to tell me what words tell what they  need to do to receive the score indicated.  It's essential that each student is clear on the expectations of thier writing the open response.  If they know what is expected they are more likely to get there.

Building Knowledge

10 minutes
English open response questions are graded on a scale of zero to 4 -zero being an incomplete or off-topic response, and 4 being a clear and complete response including evidence taken from the text and the student's own ideas about the question.
To build student knowledge I review the scoring rubric for the essay they will be reading Rubric for The Blast Furnace.  As I read each section of the rubric I ask students to underline the words that tell what they need to do to receive the score indicated. I review definitions for essential words such as: influenced and relevant.  It's essential that each student is clear on the expectations of their writing the open response.  If they know what is expected they are more likely to get there.
I check for understanding by randomly calling on different students to get a sampling of their answers.  I then ask them to review the parts of their P.E.E. Organizer paying special attention to explaining the evidence they use to support their answers as required in RI.9-10.1.

Student Learning Activity

55 minutes

Students are given a copy of the essay THE BLAST FURNACE by Sally Carrighar. The entire essay can be downloaded on the Massachussettes MCAS web site:  http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/2011/retest/mar_items.pdf.

I ask students to read the italicized paragraph introducing the essay: 

In this essay, the author recalls the trips she took with her father to see the industrial sections of Cleveland, Ohio—most notably, the blast furnaces, where iron ore and coal are transformed into steel. Read the essay and answer the questions that follow.

For an anticipation guide, I then ask them to underline any words that give them information about what they will be reading.  I then ask them to read the open response question or prompt and underline the words (verbs) that tell them what they are needing to write to correctly answer the question.

Prompt: In the essay, the author shows how her father was influenced by his family and how she was influenced by her father. Based on the essay, explain how family influenced both the author and her father. Support your answer with relevant and specific information from the essay.

I then instruct them while reading to annotate the text for the evidence and to use the PE.E. organizer as a rough draft for their open responses. I remind them that the organizer will help them to establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone to their writing W.9-10.2e.

 I circulate around the room Checking for Understanding and asking clarifying questions.