Earth's Changes Multimedia Project Part 1

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Objective

SWBAT write an introduction and conclusion for a media presentation about how natural events change the land.

Big Idea

Natural events happen on our Earth everyday! We have learned how these events can cause quick or slow changes. Let's think about the information we have learned to help us write an introduction and conclusion for a presentation.

Teacher Notes

Activity Description

In the previous lesson, the children used several sources to find evidence that a natural event, such as earthquakes, volcanoes, or erosion happen quickly or slowly.  They made a claim, and found evidence to back up their claim by looking in different books.  

In this series of 3 lessons, the children are working toward an end goal of using information that they have learned about Earth's changes to help them collaboratively work with a partner to create a presentation about quick and slow changes of the Earth.  

In order to do this, they first fill out a 3 part planning sheet which contains an introduction, learned information and then a conclusion.  In this first lesson, they write the introduction and conclusion.  In the second lesson, the children record recalled information to distinguish if an Earth change is quick or slow.  Then they write how the event changed the land and other interesting information.  In the final lesson, the children create a Google Slide presentation (or a Power Point) which will be presented to the class.

NGSS/Common Core Connections

In this lesson, the children are recalling information about quick and slow changes of the Earth and distinguishing between them, which is a standard in the NGSS.  They also need to know that wind and water can shape the land, such as a glacier or erosion.  They will also need to gather information about a condition in which people want to change.  

The children will be working with thinking about all of these changes to write an introduction and conclusion for a presentation in which they collaborate with a partner.  They will be writing an informative text in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement.  This is a great way to tie-in writing Common Core standards to the science standards since it is also a shared writing project. In addition, as part of the science practices, the children will be evaluating information to help them make these introductory and conclusive statements.  In addition, the children will be comparing multiple solutions to a problem.

Materials

Engage!

10 minutes

I would like the children to write a presentation about their knowledge of the content that we have learned in this unit.  It's a great way for them to reflect on their learning and organize ideas to help them make sense of their learning.  It is also a way to bring all of the ideas that we have learned together.

We have been learning all about the changes of the Earth.  Do you remember which type of scientist studies the Earth? (geologist)

Making the children aware of the jobs of different occupations helps them learn about future possibilities.

Reading, writing, speaking, and listening are all part of communicating. Communication is simply sharing ideas and information with other people. Scientists communicate to share information, data, results, and opinions.   How do you think a geologist could share the information that they have gathered?  

We have gathered lots of information, so what do you think we could share our knowledge?

The children should come up with ideas such as writing or presenting the knowledge in some form.

Scientists often use different forms of communication such as meetings, reports, and presentations.  By communicating, they can help one another find answers to questions and problems.

We are going to be creating a presentation about what you have learned about fast and slow changes of the Earth.  We are going to be first organizing our ideas and then we will create a Google Slide presentation in the computer lab.  Then we will be showing the class your presentations so you can share your knowledge.

Model

10 minutes

To help organize the information that the children have learned about all of Earth's changes, I have the children use a graphic organizer, Earth's Changes presentation planner.   This organizer has an introduction, pages for them to distinguish between and write down information on quick and slow changes and then a page for the conclusion.  But remember, we are only working on the introduction and conclusion in this lesson.

This organizer is great for getting all of their ideas down in an organized fashion, but it is a lot for them to digest at once.  So I take it apart step-by-step. First I model how to write an introduction.  We have written basic introductions previously, so my children are familiar with them but they certainly are not experts.  

Good informational writing begins with an introduction.  The introduction introduces a person who is reading your paper to the topic that you are discussing.  You can form your introduction in many ways.  Take a look at the bottom of your first paper.  It gives you 5 options of things you can include in your introduction.

On the introduction page I have written a few ideas at the bottom of the page to help get the children thinking in the right direction.  We go through all 5 items.  I give the children an example for each one.  They need to use at least one of the ideas, but they can use more than one idea to make their beginning introductory paragraph complete. 

For my introduction, I am going to choose to ask the reader a question.  Then I am going to tell them a little bit about the main ideas that they will be learning about.  Here's is what it looks like:

Did you know that the Earth is always changing?  What you see one day may not look the same the following day.  Mountains change, rivers form, volcanoes erupt and change the land.  Some of these changes happen very quickly and some happen very slowly.   You are going to be learning about each of these changes.

Modeling is a great way clarify the directions and to show the children what the expectations are.  It sets them up for success by allowing children to observe my thought process.  The children picture the precise path that I want them to follow and then try to emulate it.

I have the children work on their conclusion after they have written their introduction.  The structure of the page is similar.  It has a few reminder boxes at the bottom.  They need to sum up their main ideas and write about it.

You are also going to be writing a conclusion.  Your conclusion should talk about your main ideas that you have learned.   

Here is a sample of how to write it:

Earth changes can be very interesting.  Events such a volcanoes and earthquakes can change the land quickly.  Mountains and glaciers change the land after millions of years.  Either way, our land changes everyday.  Knowing about these changes will help you understand the world around you.

Write

25 minutes

For this project, I have the children work with partners.  I find that when they work with partners there is rich discourse and discussion that happens naturally.  It also engages the children since they love working with a buddy.  Moreover, I have found that my lower achieving students have greater success when working with a partner.  In addition the higher achieving students learn valuable social skills such as tolerance and empathy towards others.  Since this is a project that uses a multitude of skills, I like to pair the students up by abilities.  I have a higher achieving student paired with a lower achieving student.  

I accomplish this by using a partner wheel to help me "randomly" put the students into groups.  When I made my partner wheel, I made sure to write the lower achieving student names on the inner circle and the higher achieving students in the outer circle.  So they are paired up somewhat randomly, but within a structure of a well-balanced partner team that will help insure success.  Click here for further information about using partner wheels.

Now the children try their turn at writing an introduction with their partners.  When they have finished, they can write their conclusion.  I remind them to use the boxes at the bottom to help them form their ideas.  They should also make sure to talk it over with a partner.  After all, two heads are better than one.  

As they work with their partners, I walk around the room.  I stop and talk to the students and ask questions to help them clarify their ideas (see video clip).  I ask what the children have planned with the partners so they can voice their ideas to see if they make sense and if both are in agreement (see video clip).

Here are some students samples of the introductory paragraph (see sample A and sample B).  Click here for some samples of conclusions (see sample A  and sample B page 1 and page 2).

Wrap-Up

5 minutes

To wrap up the lesson we talk about what we have done and what the next step will be.

We have been working on writing an introduction and conclusion for a presentation on changes of the land.  Why is this important?  Why do geologists, or other scientists, do this?

The driving force behind having the children write this presentation is multifaceted.  The children consolidate and bring their ideas of the unit on Earth changes to the forefront.  It helps the children to make sense of what they have learned.  Writing about the changes is also an authentic way of tying in writing to the science concepts that we have been learning.  Anytime a child writes about something it combines all of the processes we treasure in education--writing, reading and communication skills.  

Also, writing emphasizes the idea that scientists share their ideas through writing and presentations.  It is this way that the world can benefit from their knowledge and discoveries.   

For the next part we will be reviewing and writing about the land changes that we have learned about.  This will make up the main part of your presentation.

At this time I collect and look over the children's papers.  I check to see that their ideas make sense and follow the directions given, although I am open-minded to their original ideas.  If they did not grasp the main ideas, I work with them as a team to get them back on the right track.