Presenting the Patterns: Collaborating and Drafting

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SWBAT describe a pattern in the sky.

Big Idea

Teacher and peer evaluation ~ the keys to success on pattern projects!

Instructional Notes

In the previous lesson, students chose a pattern in the sky and worked with a partner to draft key details about the pattern.  Today, we will review our work thus far.  Then, students will create rough drafts of an informational poster.  Through the process of peer review, we will evaluate our posters and decide how to improve the final copies tomorrow!

While students are working, they will be able to reference multiple sources for additional information, including the KLEWS anchor chart, their science journals, and books about space.

The KLEWS anchor chart was used throughout the unit to record our new learning about patterns in the sky.  This is a science-specific type of KWL chart designed with primary students in mind!  Check out this video I like to call KLEWS chart 101:

Warm-Up (The Launch!)

5 minutes

To warm-up, we review all of the patterns in the sky by singing the first four verses of the Patterns in the Sky song.  

Next, I remind students of our problem.    

There is actually one other pattern that we will observe in the sky, however, we can't do it yet.  We have to observe the last part in the spring, and then compare the spring data to our current winter data.  I'm a bit worried that we might have a new student between then and now.  If we get a new student, he or she may not have had this part of the unit.  So, we need to describe the patterns we've seen so far.  Then, in the spring, we'll remind our brains and teach any new friends by looking at them again!

Exploration (The Space Walk!)

20 minutes

To begin, I tell students the trends that I saw in their work as I present samples.  Then, together, we create an anchor chart of what their Informational Posters should contain.  This anchor chart will be available for students to refer to throughout work time.

While students work, I circulate and check-in with students I identified when reviewing their Main Topic and Key Details organizers from the day before.  When finished, students are also to check-in with me before getting poster paper.  In this way, I can make sure they have completed their work.

One of the trends I noticed the previous day was that many students did not tell the "why's" behind their patterns.  I wrote a sentence starter, "This happens because..." on the anchor chart.  Two of the groups I checked in with, though, had not taken the advice.  I steered them back to the sentence starter!

See how this student began to change her work after the initial teacher instruction: fixing up work.

After most students move on to posters, I do an all-call check-in.  Students use thumbs-up, thumbs-sideways to reflect about where they are in their work.  I find that self-reflection helps students focus on not only where they are currently, but also what their next task is.

Closing (Prepare for Landing)

5 minutes

In closing, I play a transition song.  Students bring me their poster drafts, and I tape them to the whiteboard.  

I ask students to evaluate one another's posters.  I ask a guiding question like, "What jumps out at you when you look at these posters?  Which ones teach you about the pattern?"

Students turn-and-talk to discuss their reactions and ideas.  I like to give them ample time, in order to make sure they have time to look at the details in the posters as well.

Then, I ask students what they liked best about the posters and why.  Here are some responses:

After discussing posters, we make suggestions.  I ask, "What could make this poster even better?"  As we work together, I add to some of the posters (my marker was orange in the photographs).

Here are some of the posters we spent extra time thinking about:

  • Poster Draft #1 Here the illustration showed the sun at the same position in the sky throughout the day.  We discussed as a class how to add arrows and change the sun's position.
  • Poster Draft #2 One student said how much she liked this poster because it is so colorful and eye-catching.  But, when we looked closer, there was actually no illustration of the pattern and the text was seriously lacking.  We talked about this being a good start, but still needing the information from the graphic organizer.  We did use this poster as a sample, though, of how we could outline areas of the poster in colors to make them more appealing. 
  • Poster Draft #3  After reading the content aloud, my students agreed that this poster is fantastic!  Then I asked, "What could this friend add?"  Everyone called out, "Color!"  I showed them how they could color key words, as well as the illustrations.