Writing PCR's about Multimedia Elements

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SWBAT analyze multimedia elements by writing a Prose Constructed Response (PCR).

Big Idea

How do we organize and communicate our thoughts about multimedia elements in a text?

Cue Set

10 minutes

During the Cue Set, scholars do a quick around the world gallery walk at their table to look at one another's visual elements or multimedia elements from yesterday.  Scholars leave their papers or their camera on their desk, and scholars rotate desks at a 30 second interval.  Scholars can leave a rose (compliment) or a thorn (suggestion) at each table.  We have left roses & thorns for one another before and scholars understand that strong roses and thorns are specific - not just "good job."  Be sure to explicitly teach what you expect a rose to sound like and what you expect a thorn to look like & sound like.  

Here is a video that showcases all of the multimedia elements created by scholars.  

The gallery walk is a great strategy because it gets scholars out of their seats and helps them to see others' work.  Also, it helps them to practice thinking and giving feedback quickly.  This gears them up for the lesson and helps them to review what we accomplished yesterday.  It is also really fun for them to see other students' creations.    

Teaching Strategy

10 minutes

During the Teaching Strategy, I explain that we are going to learn how to write a PCR to describe how multimedia and visual elements impact the meaning, tone and beauty of a text.  I remind scholars that a PCR is more than just a 2-3 written response.  It is a comprehensive essay that organizes and develops your thoughts and uses evidence from the text to support your thinking. 

I give scholars sentence starters to help them remember to develop ALL parts  of their writing.  It also helps them to remember and learn how to write their opening and closing. 

Opening: The element helps us as readers to better understand what the text is saying, what the tone is and it makes it more beautiful.  

Paragraph 2:   The element enhances the meaning because it helps communicate what the author is trying to say.  For example, ....

Paragraph 3: The element enhances the tone because it helps communicate what the author wants us to feel.  For example.....

Paragraph 4: The element enhances the beauty because it make it more interesting.  For example..... 

Closing: As you can see, the visual or multimedia elements help readers to better understand the author's meaning, tone and makes the text more beautiful.  

 I either print this out for all scholars and they glue it in their notebooks or I have scholars copy the sentence starters in their notebooks.  Printing & gluing tends to be more effective so that it is legible and it saves tons of time! 

I model how to begin to write and think about the answer to these questions with 1 friend's visual or multimedia element from yesterday.  

Guided Practice

25 minutes

During the Guided Practice today, scholars again work in post-it note groups to create strong PCR responses.  I use post-it note groups to get scholars to interact with new and different friends.  Also, it gives them a chance to get up and move around a bit.  Scholars work together to create 1 PCR response to the following question: 

How does your friend's multimedia element contribute to the meaning, tone or beauty of the text? 

I give each group 1 multimedia or visual element that they created yesterday.  Groups use this element to answer the question above.  Scholars are responsible for handing in their individual PCR too so even if they are not writing on the chart paper, they still are responsible for their own work.  

As scholars work in small groups, I pull a cohort of ELL scholars and other scholars who need more support with their individual responses (this group is determined from the closure yesterday).  Here are scholars writing their PCR.  

I remind scholars to use the sentence starters if they get stuck.  

Scholars have 20 minutes to create their PCRs in their groups.  Then, at the end of that time, scholars have a gallery walk.  They walk around the room and leave roses (positives) and thorns (areas to improve) for each group.  I remind them that as they walk around the room they READ, THINK, then WRITE.  I model how to leave a strong feedback.  I remind them that saying things like, "nice work!" is not particularly strong feedback.  It must be specific and related to what makes a PCR strong.  This is one example of one scholar's PCR.  

Independent Practice

45 minutes

During this time scholars rotate through 3 stations.  I start the time by reviewing our Weekly Checklist items for the week and explicitly state what should be completed by the end of the day.  This holds scholars accountable to their work thereby making  them more productive.  Then, I give scholars 20 seconds to get to the place in the room where they will be for the first rotation.  The first scholars who are there with all materials they need receive additions on their paychecks or positive PAWS.

During the rotations for this lesson, my small group objective today is to identify multimedia elements using books that are on each group's highest instructional level.  My focus is this objective because it is a pre-requisite objective to RL7 (the focus standard of this week).  Scholars read a portion of the same book (different for each group depending on reading level, but the same text is read in each group).  We practice recording our thinking on dry erase boards to use a different mode of recording and to keep things a little fresh. My ELL co-teacher pulls small groups that focus on RL7 - how multimedia elements contribute to tone, meaning and beauty of a text- since this is the focus standard of the week.   

The pink group will continue student-led text talk groups.  Their focus question will depend upon the text they selected and the part that they read.  They are always expected to use quotes to support their answer.  

After the first rotation, I do a rhythmic clap to get everyone's attention.  Scholars place hands on head and eyes on me so I know they are listening.  Then they point to where they go next.  I give them 20 seconds to get there.  Again, scholars who are at the next station in under 20 seconds with everything they need receive a positive PAW or a paycheck addition.  We practice rotations at the beginning of the year so scholars know if they are back at my table, they walk on the right side of the room, if they are with the ELL teacher, they walk on the left side of the room and if they are at their desks, they walk in the middle of the room.  This way we avoid any collisions.    

At the end of our rotation time I give scholars 20 seconds to get back to their desks and take out materials needed for the closing part of our lesson.  Timing transitions helps to make us more productive and communicates the importance of our learning time.