What Type of Nuts Are Grown on Farms?

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SWBAT ask and answer questions about key details in an informational text.

Big Idea

Trees grow a variety of crops, including nuts. As we learn about nut farms, my students are building their background knowledge, which will complement their understanding of the setting in our companion unit on Charlotte's Web.


10 minutes

Lesson Context and Overview

This week I am spending much time building content knowledge about farms with my students, which will help them gain a deeper understanding of Charlotte's Web, which we are reading as well (see my curriculum for lessons), because they will understand the setting better. Integrating technology is an important component of teaching in today's world, and one way that I am integrating technology in this unit is by sharing short videos. The video they will be watching today is about nuts and how they are grown and picked. What makes watching these videos such a powerful experience is that the students get an opportunity to hear a different voice as a teacher. This makes it fun for them. Also, the text dependent questions I have created keeps the learning interactive and focuses on the key details in the text.

I begin the lesson by asking them what they know about nuts. Then, I proceed to ask them what questions they have. Next, I will ask them to evaluate the type of questions they are asking to help them deepen their thinking.

Afterwards, we move on to watching the video with text dependent questions to answer.

Next, students get an opportunity to read an informational text independently, as well as write about what they learned about nuts.

Finally, some students will share their learning to the rest of the group.

Lesson Opening

On the rug, I start by sharing the student friendly objective with the students, "I can ask and answer questions about nuts." Then, I engage the students in a think-pair-share task, where they ask each other, "What do you know about nuts?" I will have a few share out loud before proceeding with the next question, "What questions do you have about nuts?" I transcribe their first responses on a CircleMap, while I make a list of the Questions on a chart for the students to evaluate. I am having the students reflect on whether any questions can be combined, and, in this way, I am drawing their attention to the quality of questions while helping them pay attention to each other so that they are not repeating each other's questions. Listening is an integral part of the learning process.

Video: Farm to Market: Nuts

20 minutes

To build their content knowledge, I am having the students watch a video on nuts. As they watch I am having them answer text dependent questions on the template: Farm to Market- Nuts. I will pause when needed and give them support with spelling as needed too. In previous lessons, I have taught my students how to take notes. Basically, I have taught them that note taking includes jotting down key words and phrases that answer questions about the key details. Also, notes may include quick drawings/diagrams. In addition to building content knowledge, this task asks my students to listen. The listening is hard work and students need much practice with it.

Here is the video:

Reading Independently: "California Grows!"

20 minutes

Now students will spend time reading independently and answer more text dependent questions about california grows-second part. This article is part of their anthology (you can use any informational text on the topic that you feel is appropriate for your students). This second part is about the nuts that are grown in California and their importance to the rest of the world. I am integrating the social studies standards by having them read this informational text.

While most students work at their tables reading about various nuts in California, I work with a small group of students on the carpet. Two students need reading support, while the others need close proximity to the teacher so that they can be focused on the task.

Also, the students on the rug need direction about how to answer the questions. They need support in understanding that the question has key words they need to find in the text. They need support with understanding how to glean information from the text features too.

Students sometimes struggle with answering text dependent questions because these questions ask them to find specific information and to do that, students must often reread, which they assume they don't need to do, or they lack the stamina because of their lack of literacy experiences. Thus, my students benefit much from this type of practice.

Independent Writing

20 minutes

Now that the students have had an opportunity to watch a video on nuts and read about nuts, they are writing what they learned about how Nuts Are A Rich Source Of Protein. In this way, the students get to synthesize the information they gathered: Nuts Are Harvested By Machines.

I am asking the students to write a paragraph and to include time order words, which is a skill we have worked on in writing previously. Students need practice to master a skill. This is one way to give them that practice.

Here are some of their other entries:

As students write, I walk around and notice who is meeting the task with their writing. I ask a couple of them to share.

Sharing With Whole Group

7 minutes

I gather students on the rug and have some students share. After each share, I ask students to give the speaker two stars and a wish, which is a protocol that makes feedback fun and safe.

  • Two Stars: Two different students share what they specifically like about the content of the writing.
  • A Wish: Another student shares specifically how they think the writing can be improved.

I tell my students sitting on the rug to tell themselves We Are Listening For the Evidence In Their Writing so that we can give positive feedback. 

These are the speakers for today: