I chose these texts because they have information about our Social Studies unit. These books are REALLY nice because they are at the 2nd grade level and have several short chapters about the history of the American symbol. You can use any historical informational text with this strategy-just preview the text to make sure you identify the words to define and it has time-ordered events.
The Common Core standards encourage students to use academic vocabulary to build and use knowledge in the Social Studies and Science disciplines. In this lesson, students are defining vocabulary by using context clues and informational text features. (RI.2.4) They are then organizing this information in a timeline, which deepens their understanding of the concepts. (RI.2.3) By using the new vocabulary in the timeline, they are generalizing what they've learned.
** I used an alternate text the second time I taught this lesson, because we were studying the colonies. The texts were a bit harder, but had excellent text features and the kids were fascinated with the information.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Get students engaged
Students' natural curiosity and a picture prompt (from the book) are many times all it takes to motivate students. They love to learn and have seen these symbols before so the connection and ability to bring in background knowledge naturally follows.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Set up groups
Demonstrate the project: "We need to organize our ideas to show the history of your symbol. Typically we organize history ideas into a timeline."
Assign the task
As students spend time working with a group to create the project, they are following agreed upon rules of discussion, collaborating and turn taking. This group work allows an expectation of active participation of all students (SL.2.1a), a key shift in the Common Core Standards. They are able to add to others' discussions, get clarification and practice the skill of collaboration that will be needed to be college and career ready.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, dependingon student ability.
When you work in groups, students have a chance to highlight their strengths. Make sure a capable student reads the chapter and another is in charge of writing. Students with academic challenges can still contribute to the discussion about the definitions and certainly help create the timeline.
For my group with the most academic challenges, I chose to lead them through the definitions. Here's how that looked when I prompted students with academic challenges.