Writing About Salmon and Dams

Print Lesson


SWBAT write a paragraph explaining the stakeholder perspective of salmon about dams.

Big Idea

Dams negatively affect salmon. Students can convey this idea using text details.


10 minutes

To begin the lesson, I ask students to review the notes that they took in the previous day's lesson. This helps them to remember the facts they learned through their reading and note-taking. The students will use their notes to create a descriptive paragraph in today's lesson so they will need to be familiar with the facts they recorded about the impact of dams on salmon.

To help student reengage with their notes, I use a partner work strategy. I ask students to find the three facts they think are most important and to mark them with a star. I then provide time for each student to share their top three facts with a partner. Not only does this help students reconnect with facts about salmon and dams, but it also may help them identify key facts to use in their writing assignment. 

Independent Writing

30 minutes

The goal of today's lesson is to have each student write a paragraph about salmon and dams. This paragraph will become part of a larger persuasive essay on dams and will serve to explore one stakeholder's perspective. To help students successfully complete this paragraph, I provide the students with the paragraph outline graphic organizer. I then walk students through each step to complete the organizer. In the center box, I ask students to write a simple sentence explaining the opinion of the stakeholder (salmon). I then ask students to write a reason for this opinion in each box labeled 'detail sentence'. Finally, I ask students to write a concluding sentence for their paragraph. 

A sample of a student's paragraph can be found here. A video of one student sharing a paragraph can be found here.