The Wolves of the Arctic Tundra, Day 3 of 3

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

Big Idea

The sun sets at the top of the world. The wolves come calling for Nutik, the wolf pup. Will Nutik stay with Amaroq, or will he join his wolf family? Will love triumph between a boy and a wolf pup?


10 minutes

Summary and Context

During today's lesson, students will complete the story, Nutik, the Wolf Pup, from their anthology. Today, we will supplement the text with a video on a topic that is very interesting to many students: wolves. For both of these texts, students will ask and answer questions in order to understand the key details.

To deepen their understanding after reading, I will gather them on the carpet for Socratic Seminar. Lastly, students will reflect on what has happened in this part of the story in their writing journals.

Opening Activity

I start by sharing the objective with the group gathered on the carpet. Then, I engage students in a think-pair-share (video) to get an idea of their prior knowledge about wolves. I often use this technique because it gives students the opportunity to practice speaking the academic language necessary for conceptual understanding of the topic at hand.

After giving them the opportunity to share (video), I transcribe their responses on a circle map, What Do We Know about Wolves? Making their knowledge public helps students observe and validate their learning.

Video: The Arctic Wolf

20 minutes

To help build student knowledge about wolves, I created a template of questions about the video. Before viewing the video, I have students read the questions aloud. In this way, students practice their reading and get clues about what to focus on in the video.

Students often ask questions (video) as they watch videos. This is excellent, as it gives me an opportunity to see how they are processing information. If the answer is in the video, I ask students to be patient and listen for the answer. If not, I will answer the question and/or ask the class if they know the answer.

My students learned how to take notes in previous lessons. They know how to use words, phrases, and illustrations when appropriate. I have included several examples of student notes in the Resources.

Sharing Our Learning

10 minutes

It is important for my students to have plenty of opportunities to speak and share with each other. Talking about their learning helps them retain more of what they experienced.

Today, I ask students to first share what they learned about wolves with their carpet partner. Afterwards, I ask them to share with the whole group (video).

Additionally, I open the discussion up for general questions about wolves. I am curious as to what type of questions they ask. The list of questions shows thoughtful and deep inquiries about wolves. It shows me that students are curious and paying attention to the video.

Reading Part 3 of Nutik, the Wolf Pup

20 minutes

Today, we read the third and final part of the story Nutik, the Wolf Pup. The text-dependent questions I gave are still mostly about what the text explicitly states (as opposed to how it's structured or how it could be analyzed). I have integrated some "how" and "why" questions because I want students to make connections and inferences about how the story has progressed.

I have included in the Resources several videos of students answering these questions. They show students thinking a little more deeply about why Amaroq cannot join Nutik and the wolf pack. The questions ask students make inferences by connecting what the text states and what they know about wolves.

Another question gets into what Amaroq's sister, an important character in the story, thinks about Amaroq letting Nutik go back to his wolf family.

A third question demonstrates how one student comes to understand what prey means. I always like to ask the rest of the class if they know the meaning of an unfamiliar word before I ask them to look for context clues or use a dictionary.

Socratic Seminar

10 minutes

For today's Socratic Seminar, we discuss the question, What happened at the end?

First, I review the rules for participation (instructor version here) by pointing to the Chart: Socratic Seminar Rules, and remind them of the Chart: Handing-Off Discussion Starters

I ask students to please respond to the question with complete sentences. 

Independent Writing

20 minutes

Now students will take the time to reflect on what they learned from this part of the story in writing. I ask them to refer back to the story and provide evidence about what happened.

As they write, I walk around and make sure they are on task. After a few minutes, I ask them to come to me at the round table if they need any help, such as with spelling.

I make sure to keep watch over how they work, and remind them to use their time wisely. I have included several samples of student work in the Resources.