The Experts - Day 2

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SWBAT create a lead sentence, supporting sentences and the closing for each chapter of their books that teach what they have learned about the patterns of our celestial objects.

Big Idea

We get to write like scientists!! It is time to continue our nonfiction writing on the patterns in space!!

Setting the Stage:

National Science Education Science Standards Connection:

The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. In this lesson students will use their science journals to help construct a nonfiction teaching book, that teaches others what they know about our celestial patterns.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

In this lesson students are asked to use their science journals, investigation worksheets and any other materials in their science journals from our investigations on our celestial patterns.  My students will use this information to construct a culminating writing project that allows them to show off what they know on the standard 1-ESS1.

ELA Common Core

The ELA CCSS asks that students write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.  In this lesson students will be writing nonfiction text to share what they know about the patterns of our celestial objects. Nonfiction reading and writing is the most common type of text that is used in the professional world. To support our young students they will need to learn how to navigate through the steps of our writing process - develop ideas, plan, draft, revise, edit and publish. It is suggested that students have multiple experiences in teaching nonfiction writing.  Throughout the school year my students have engaged in learning how to write nonfiction using actual nonfiction units of study designed for a writing workshop.

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.


The Mini Lesson Resource- The Experts Day 2

Unit Anchor Charts

PBJ Anchor Chart

Anchor Chart from Experts- Day 1: Modeling Writing

Writing Paper

Science Journal: materials from our unit Celestial Patterns: The Sun, The Moon and Stars

Accountable Talk Anchor Chart


10 minutes

I decided to add a section to this lesson that allows students to first do research before diving into our mini lesson.  Being that this is only a 3-day series, much of the work that goes into teaching nonfiction writing has occurred while teaching a unit on nonfiction writing. In order to become familiar with what the the CCSS has asked of our young writers I use a variety of resources. One resource that has supported my development in writing workshop are Lucy Calkins Units of Study, Nonfiction Writing by Linda Hoyt and Tony Stead, Katie Wood-Ray and the work of Nell Duke.

We look at our KLEWS charts again

Let's look at all of the stuff we have learned in our Celestial Patterns unit. Do you remember when we learned about the sun's patterns? Will you look through your science journal and find where you wrote about our sun? When you find that information, please give a thumbs up. I ask my students to share their work with their workshop partner.  I do this for the stars and moon as well. 

 As my students share I simply listen in on conversations.  When I bring the class back together I point out a few things I hear students say.

Thank you for sharing! I heard so many great things.  I love that you were able to find so many great things in your science journal and science folder.  When you write today, you can use these things to help you.

Mini lesson

15 minutes

The NGSS asks that we integrate the science standards with the Common Core ELA and math standards. In this lessons students use their knowledge on 1-ESS1-1 to construct a nonfiction writing piece that teaches others about the patterns of our celestial objects.

Reference Anchor Charts from previous writing lessons:

Tools for Spelling Tricky Words

How to Write a Teaching Book

How Can I Teach My Reader?

Connection: A connection is a way of activating prior knowledge to what the students have alrady been learning.

Boys and girls,in our last lesson you created a Table of Contents and you put headings at the tops of your pages in order to help organize your writing.  Then many of you started to draft your writing! You are doing good stuff!

Teaching Point: A teaching point focuses on the one small skill or strategy being taught.

Today, you will be learning how to draft your work in smart way. Many writers start their writing with a good lead sentence.  A good lead sentence is something that helps your reader know what this whole page is about. Then the writer will write twin sentences that help the lead sentence and finally the writer will close it all up.  It is sort of like a peanut-butter sandwich. I show my students an anchor chart with a PBJ.  This top piece of bread is the lead sentence. Then the peanut butter and jelly are the twin sentences that help keep the lead sentence stuck together. Finally this bottom piece of bread is our closing sentence.

I LOVE using mentor texts in my mini lessons as well as modeling my own writing.  For this lesson I will be doing both.  I love how Kelly Boswell says in her book, Write this Way: How Modeling Transforms the Writing Classroom;

If you think about it, modeling plays an important role in how the human brain learns almost anything. Infants and toddlers watch their caregivers talk, walk, and eat with a spoon. Piano students notice and note the way the instructor's hands are placed on the keys when playing scales. Tennis players watch and listen as the coach demonstrates how to serve the ball. Student teachers observe a master teacher before teaching lessons on their own.

I show my students the book The Big Book of Mentor Text by Linda Hoyt and Tony Stead. We begin by looking at the table of contents and use this resource to check for headings.  We read sections that match the headings focusing on good lead sentences and closing sentences.

Boys and girl, do you hear that?  WOW! This book did it! Listen to the lead sentence for this page. It sort of matches the heading.  Then listen to how these next sentences tell more about the lead sentence. Finally I LOVE how this author closed it all up!  I am going to try the same thing for my book. 

I show my students my Table of Contents and headings from our last lesson. I read my heading and then I model how to write. I create my lead sentence, I continue by writing the body and then close it all up. 

Active Engagement:

Now it is your turn, I want you to look at my next heading.  What do you think I should write for my lead sentence?  The students all yell out ideas!  I ask my students to share their ideas with their turn and talk partner. I write what I hear them say for a lead sentence.  I do the same thing for the body and then the closing. 


Today you get to do the same thing.  You get to head off and write a lead sentence, twin sentences and a closing. Are you ready to give this a go? Great! Let's get started!!

I send my students off to start their writing.

Independent Writing:

25 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. In this lesson the students use their thoughts and ideas for their their science journals to help construct their writing. I tell my students to use the work from our science lessons (Investigation worksheets and science journals) to help construct their writing. During this independent work time students use their own scientific research to clarify ideas, thoughts and learning from our unit.

ELA Integration: Independent writing is writing time designated after a mini lesson when students get to go off and practice what has been taught. During this time students write by themselves with varying levels of support from the teacher. The student writes for a specific purpose with a clear understanding of the skills and strategies expected during this time. 

As my students write I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching.

Mid-Workshop Teaching Point: Boys and girls, look up here!! Can you see this work? I have placed Stimson's writing on the document camera. Look at what Stimson did.  Listen to this lead sentence, "The sun has predictable patterns."  That is a great way to start this page.  Next he wrote, "It moves across our sky. It rises in the east and then sets in the west." Those are great twin sentences.  Listen to this closing, "That is the pattern of the sun." WOW! I can't wait to see what you all write about the patterns in our sky!

Partner Work:

5 minutes

It is suggested that teachers assign partners who will stay together for a long stretch of time. I assign new partnerships each month however I use my workshop partners multiple times throughout our school day, each day and in just about every subject area. Partner work can help support the work being done throughout the day and these partners can be used in reading, writing, math, social and science. In my classroom partners support each other with planning, revising, editing, investigating and solving problems together. During my partner time I am able to confer with partnerships to support and extend the work children are doing together.

I ask my students to find their workshop partner to share the work they have completed today. All of my students have completed their drafts. Each partner's job is to check to make sure the their partner's writing has a lead sentence, twin sentences and a closing sentence.


5 minutes

The purpose of Share time is to celebrate the work my scientific writers have done that day. I ask my students to bring their writing to the carpet and stand along the edge facing in.  Each child holds up their writing for everyone to see.  We cheer and yell, "Hip-Hooray, we wrote like scientists today!"

I ask my students to quickly sit down, Boys and girls today you have a great start to your scientific writing. You wrote lead sentences, twin sentences and even included a closing sentence. Tomorrow we will be adding our illustrations and wrapping up our work!

Would anyone like to share their scientific writing?  I ask only a couple of my students to share their writing. After each child has shared I show my students our anchor chart accountable talk and ask my students to give feedback on the scientific data presented today. Students respond with I agree because... or I disagree because ..... This is a great tool for helping students to include factual data in their scientific writing.