What Do Fossils Tell Us About Our Earth? Day 2 of 2

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand key details about fossils.

Big Idea

Fossils tell of the Earth’s changes. Today, students continue reading closely from Fossils Tell of Long Ago, by Aliki.


5 minutes

Context and Lesson Overview

The Common Core State Standards ask students to use informational text appropriately and effectively. If students are to do this, they need practice. Today, I am continuing with reading closely the book, Fossils Tell of Long Ago, by Aliki. I will ask text dependent questions. I will have students read silently as well as read out loud.

Before we embark on reading the book, we will start with another video. This is short video titled, Fossil Dig Adventure with Junior Paleontology Field Camp. It is fun video that show kids looking for fossils and they sharing about the land used to be. This fits well with our topic of today. I will be asking my students to take notes so I will be pausing at certain parts. I will use less scaffolding today. This means the students will be mostly on their own with taking notes. The video is only two minutes long. So I will show the whole video. Then, I will ask them to answer the questions. I will have my students read the questions prior to them watching the video. I will show the video two more times and each time, they will be adding to their notes.

Afterwards, I will have the students pair-share their notes. In this way, I am having compare and contrast their notes. They can add to their notes. For this additions they will use a one of their pens to distinguish their notes from the notes they added with a partner. Again, I am giving my students ample time to listen and speak with one another.

The major part of today's lesson will be on the reading and in answering the text dependent questions. After were are done reading, I will give the students time to reflect and answer the following question: What do fossils tell us about long ago? For my students to be able to answer tis question, they will be need to go back into the text.

Rug Activity

I will start with the students on the rug and review what we have been learning for the past days: PairSharing:WhatIsAFossil. After, I will share the objective for the day.

Video: Fossil Dig Adventure with Junior Paleontology Field Camp.

15 minutes

The students will now watch a video titled, Fossil Dig Adventure with Junior Paleontology Field Camp to answer key details about how the earth has changed. I will pause at certain parts and ask them to take notes on the template I have created for them: Fossil Dig...Video.... Today, I am asking them to work independently. I will be showing the video three times. It runs for 2:09 minutes. After each showing, I will give the students time to answer the questions. I feel showing the video three times gives my English Language Learners time to understand what the questions are asking them. As in other lessons, they watch purposely. I expect my students to work diligently as they watch the video and take notes. Even with all this scaffold, I understand some students can improve by adding more details to their notes.

Because I want them to be focused as they watch the video, I am having the students read the questions on the template before they answer them. This serves my English Language Learners well.

Here is the video:

Pair-Sharing Notes

7 minutes

My students need practice with learning academic language. One way to accomplish this is to give them various opportunities to practice their listening and speaking skills. For this reason, I will pair them up with specific partners and I am giving them time to share with each other to compare notes

They will read their notes to each other one at a time. If they choose to do so they may add to their notes. I want to bring awareness of what they captured in their notes and what they did not. Here are some examples of their notes:




Reading of Fossils Tell of Long Ago Part 2

25 minutes

Now, we are reading the second part of Fossils Tell Of Long Ago. But in order to do so, I am asking my students to reread the first part as well. Why? Rereading helps my students build reading stamina which they need. But, it also helps them to understand the selection too.

I am reading with a small group of students while the rest of the students are working independently (MyGroup). In my small group, I am looking for my students to answer with complete sentences. I am looking for them to refer back to the text to supply their answers.  Also, I am looking for them to take notice of unknown words and for them to tell me what vocabulary strategy we can use to figure out the meaning. I am working with a group of students who need assistance at this time of the year.

Here are the Text Dependent Questions Part2 for both groups.

As I read with my group, I still need to monitor the group that is reading and working independently.

Independent Writing

15 minutes

Now, the boys and girls are going to have the chance to integrate their learning about fossils by answering the text dependent question in their journals: What do fossils tell us about long ago?

In answering this question students need to go back into the text and reread. For some this may be challenging because I am asking them to persevere with the reading. Again, in asking them to accomplish this task, I am helping my students build stamina around reading and aiding their comprehension. As I teacher literacy skills I also help my students build reading stamina. It is a must for them to have success in school.

What did my students discover about what lived in the past?

Here are a few more examples: