Who Is Cesar Chavez?

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand key details in an informational text; SWBAT apply their understanding of informational text features to create a poster containing facts and key details.

Big Idea

The farm workers loved him because he loved them.


10 minutes

Context and Overview

Students need many different types of experiences with informational text. Today, my students will be researching the life of Cesar Chavez. I will be showing them a mini-bio on his life. I will guide them with a template with text dependent questions I created for it, and they will use this information to write a paragraph about him.

The students will create a poster about Cesar Chavez. On one side of the poster, the students will include text features such as: a drawing of Cesar Chavez, photos, maps and captions that accompany the text features. This is their opportunity to apply their knowledge of text features.

Then, students will write a paragraph with the information they gathered with the mini-bio. The paragraph will be placed on the other side of the poster.

Opening Activity

After sharing the objective from the rug, I ask them two questions:

  • Who is Cesar Chavez?
  • What questions do do you have about Cesar Chavez?

For both questions, I am having do a think-pair-share task. After the students share with each other, they will share with the whole class. I will transcribe their responses on charts to make their knowledge public.

Video: Mini-Bio On Cesar Chavez

30 minutes

Students will watch a mini-bio and as they watch, they will answer text dependent questions. I will guide them by having them read the questions before hand to help them hone in on the information they will need to look out for. I will also be pausing for them to write down the words/phrases that answer the question.

I will take the time to define words the students do not understand.

Here is the link and the video: Mini Bio: Cesar Chavez

Here are some examples of the notes my students took during the video:

Creating the Text Features: Titles, Photos, Illustrations, & Captions

40 minutes

To support my students in creating the side of the poster with the text features, I will gather the students on the rug and review the features. I show the students the poster, 11.5 x 18 inches, and let them know that they will need to fold it. I explain to them that they will need to write the heading using Cesar Chavez' name. Also, they will choose 3-4 text features of their preference and arrange them how they prefer.

Also, the photos, maps, and any pictures of Cesar that they want to add will have to have captions. I tell them that the captions should be about a sentence long. Before they write the words on the poster, I want them to use post-its to test out their ideas: UsingPostItsForTextFeatures.JPG. I will check for spelling and grammar errors. Also, writing the caption on the post-it helps them practice and evaluate whether that is what they really want to say.

I will give my students two different informational sheets to base their facts on: Biography: Cesar Chavez for Kids and Cesar Chavez Biography: Labor Leader. Both of these packets have many different text features they can choose.

Here are some pictures of the work that my students engaged in during this section of the lesson:

Writing The Paragraph

20 minutes

Now, students will take the information from the text dependent template and write a first draft of a paragraph about Cesar Chavez.

We have done work before this lesson on how to write a well-structured informational paragraph, so I do a quick review of the chart of introductory sentences to give them ideas of how to start their paragraph. Then I tell them that I will be looking for them to use time order words, complete sentences, and a closing sentence.

I will provide support by redirecting them, helping them spell words, by reading words they have questions about, and anything else that comes up.

Here are some of their paragraphs:

And some samples of their posters:

Cesar Chavez Completed Posters

20 minutes

The last step in creating the poster will include revising the paragraph, rewriting the paragraph and placing it on the other side of the poster. These posters will be used to display them in a bulletin board in the hallway.

I will be helping each student with the revision process. I will ask them to read their paragraph for spelling errors, but I will do the major revisions.

When I revise in this way, I sit at the round table and students come up one at a time. I sit with them and give them feedback. Those at the table are waiting by placing the last touches on the poster, rereading their paragraphs or reading a book. Here are some pictures of my students in action: Who Is Cesar Chavez?.mp4.

And here are some more student poster samples in addition to the ones from the previous section: