The activator for this lesson is reviewing the open response scoring rubric for the essay they will be reading Rubric for The Blast Furnace. As I read each section of the rubric I ask students to tell me what words tell what they need to do to receive the score indicated. It's essential that each student is clear on the expectations of thier writing the open response. If they know what is expected they are more likely to get there.
Students are given a copy of the essay THE BLAST FURNACE by Sally Carrighar. The entire essay can be downloaded on the Massachussettes MCAS web site: http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/2011/retest/mar_items.pdf.
I ask students to read the italicized paragraph introducing the essay:
In this essay, the author recalls the trips she took with her father to see the industrial sections of Cleveland, Ohio—most notably, the blast furnaces, where iron ore and coal are transformed into steel. Read the essay and answer the questions that follow.
For an anticipation guide, I then ask them to underline any words that give them information about what they will be reading. I then ask them to read the open response question or prompt and underline the words (verbs) that tell them what they are needing to write to correctly answer the question.
Prompt: In the essay, the author shows how her father was influenced by his family and how she was influenced by her father. Based on the essay, explain how family influenced both the author and her father. Support your answer with relevant and specific information from the essay.
I then instruct them while reading to annotate the text for the evidence and to use the PE.E. organizer as a rough draft for their open responses. I remind them that the organizer will help them to establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone to their writing W.9-10.2e.
I circulate around the room Checking for Understanding and asking clarifying questions.