Who Are the People of the Arctic Tundra? Day 2 of 3

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SWBAT: Ask and answer questions to understand an information and literary text.

Big Idea

Summer has come to the top of the world. How are Amaroq and his wolf pup, Nutik, spending it? If Amaroq falls in love with his pup, will he be strong enough to let him go when the wolves come calling?


5 minutes

Context and Summary

In today's lesson, I continue to engage students with informational and literary texts. We will read the second part of the Nutik, the Wolf Pup, by Jean Craighead George, illustrated by Ted Rand. Before reading, my students will also watch a video on the Inuit People to deepen their knowledge.

With both texts, I ask my students to ask and answer question to understand key details. During the video, students will answer questions on a template, and then share their knowledge. For the reading, I guide them to ask and answer questions about details that are explicitly stated in the text, and to go back into the text for evidence.

At the end of the lesson, students will have the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned in writing.

Opening Activity

To get us started, I share the objective of the lesson with the group. Then, I engage students in a think-pair-share, in which partners ask each other what they know about the Inuit people. Engaging them in this type of activity helps them practice academic language. I transcribe their answers in a circle map titled What do we know about Eskimos?

Video: The Inuit Way of Life

20 minutes

The students watch a video on the Inuit way of life. Before viewing, I ask students to read through a template of text-dependent questions I created for students to take notes during viewing. Reviewing the questions helps students focus and listen attentively.

While the video is short, watching it takes about 20 minutes, because I pause to give students the opportunity to answer the questions. Watching the video also encourages students to ask questions of their own (video). I give students time to ask questions, and then continue viewing to see if the video will answer them. The questions they pose let me know how they are processing the information in the video.

Once we are done watching the video, I ask my students to identify the key words of the topic. Identifying key words gives me a glimpse into students' thinking, such as whether they are making relevant connections, and how they are processing knowledge.

I have taught my students the process of taking notes, so they have plenty of information to answer the questions by the time we finish watching the video. If students need support with spelling, I ask the class to spell the word together. If it's a difficult word, I invite students to spell it with me on the white board, syllable by syllable and/or sound by sound.

I have provided several examples of student notes in the Resources. You will notice that students use words, phrases, and pictures to answer the questions.

Sharing Our Learning

10 minutes

Sharing what they learned about the video gives my students a purpose for learning, a responsive audience, and a chance to practice the academic language of the topic.

I gather students on the carpet, assign partners, and ask partners to share. Then, I ask individuals to share with the whole group. I've included a video of a student sharing in the Resources; as you watch, notice that I give the student much wait time. It is important to wait for students. It helps validate their learning and help them feel like they matter.

One of the things I have modified from the first day's lesson is that I ask them for general questions about the topic after viewing, rather than before. I am interested in the type of questions that arise after students have experienced a new text. I often observe that their questions are deeper and more complex after viewing. I listen for repeated questions, and draw students' attention to those detail for further discussion.

Reading Part 2 of Nutik, the Wolf Pup

20 minutes

Now it is time to read the second part of Nutik, the Wolf Pup. Before beginning Part 2, I review Part 1 (video). I believe strongly in reviewing. It helps students' long-term memory, and helps them refocus on the text.

The text-dependent questions for Part 2 ask students to think about what the text states explicitly. I have also added some "how" and "why" questions. I develop more questions than I give to students for each reading, because I want to be prepared with follow-up questions or other ideas that come up during the flow of the discussion. But all the questions refer to key details: what is happening to the characters and how the story is evolving.

Students must answer the questions with complete thoughts, and they need to go back to the text (video) to provide the evidence.


Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

Now it is time for Socratic Seminar. We review the rules for participation. I have attached the charts I provide for my students: Chart: Handing-Off Discussion Starters; Chart: Socratic Seminar Rules.

The question students will answer today is: What has happened so far in this part of the story?

As you can see in the video of the session, I let students know they need to return to the text for evidence to support their answers. I interject in the discussion when I see that only a few students are participating, or when the only students raising their hands are those who almost always participate. Sometimes, I repeat the question to help students focus.

While the main question is, "What has happened so far in this part of the story?" another question does arise: How do we know that Amaroq is in love with his wolf pup? This question helps focus students on specific details of the story. In order to answer it, they need to go back into the text and find details in the words or illustrations that support their conclusions.

Independent Writing

20 minutes

I constantly work to integrate all four domains: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This helps deepen student learning. For the final part of the lesson, students will spend time writing about what has happened so far in the story.

To help students reflect, I make sure they have their materials out. In this case, since they are being asked to go back into the text, I remind them that they need to have their books opened. It is great if students can work from memory, but that is not expectation for this activity, since we are working on being accurate and using evidence.

As the students work, I make myself available for support in answering questions, spelling, and reminding them to reread the text and use evidence while writing. I usually observe a couple of students for closer supervision. I have included several samples of student writing in the Resources.