Common Core Connection
So, this is the second lesson in the unit working on the standard W1.8 (Research Writing), and this lesson is an extension from the previous days lesson. We just had too much information to go through and not enough time. The students are still selecting important information from the available research to use in their own paragraph. Deciding what is important takes some help and guidance from me. The big thing I focus on is that all of their "important information is connected." If they want to talk about the positions in soccer then they may not include information about the history. So, they are actually kind of deciding what they want their topic to be as they read and learn about soccer or karate.
I think the key thing when working on research writing is breaking the standard down into small pieces. Students are much more capable of small tasks that build upon previous work. It's kind of like taking small steps. Explicit instruction on every step make this unit work and create an unbelievable finished research paragraph. Just be ready because it takes a couple weeks to create a master piece, right?
I begin by reviewing the previous days work, and reminding the class that when selecting details they may want to consider if their details are related. Then I model selecting details, work with the class on selecting some, and in the partner work the students select their own information.
I usually use some technology in the beginning of the lesson, so I project the lesson image on the board. Next, I ask the class to discuss how to pick out the important things in all your research. This is the same question from the previous day, because I want to see what they remember. Then I listen. I am hoping they say that they look at bold words, headings, and think about how the details connect to their topic sentence. I share their discussions and what I wanted them to say.
Then we chant the lesson goal to reiterate the focus of the lesson: I can select important information. I find this is a fun way to make sure my students know what the focus of the lesson is for today.
I selected Special Spiders and Spooky Spiders for the analyzing. They are projected on the smart board and we highlight important information (Work Sample 1, Work Sample 2, Work Sample 3, Work Sample 4). So, we are basically determining the important details that they may want to include in their notes. The Notes Model is the resource section. We analyze each paragraph using the Talk to Partner Strategy. Then I add the important details to our notes document (Notes Model Finished). I have a video explaining the Guided Practice Instruction.
The big issue here is that students struggle knowing what to include in the important information for our notes. So, I want to share how I handle this issue. I ask them what they think is the most interesting thing about Spiders in each paragraph. I read the paragraph, they talk about what is interesting, one person shares, and I add it. It is often the first sentence. So, then I remind them that the information we get must only come from our resources, because students often want to add their own knowledge.
This is when I like to do some type of formative assessment. So, I ask the students to talk to their partners about how they determine what is important in a piece of research or informational text. Hopefully they will say that they look for things that seem special about the topic. Then I share whatever they say, and I add what I heard.
Then we chant the lesson goal, "I can find important information in research."