Common Core Connection
Writing standard 1.2 requires the students to write an informational paragraph including a topic sentence, details, and a closure. This is the second of three lesson in a series based on the same text. My goal in structuring the lessons this way is to build students' content knowledge so that they can write an informative paragraph based on their knowledge. In the first lesson, students worked on analyzing text features while they read the text, and, in the third lesson, they will revise the paragraph created in this lesson.
Several big things students need to know to be able to meet the expectations of this standard are to write a complete sentence, create a topic sentence, and create a closing sentence. Another issue I find important is to be able to paraphrase a piece of information, rather than copy it directly from the book. These are areas I will focus on throughout the lesson today.
The class works together to create an informational paragraph in which I model the writing. Then the students work with their partner to create their own paragraph, and they have to evaluate their partner's paragraph. This creates a higher order thinking activity for me and my students. I find it challenging to facilitate, model, and guide students through evaluation. I really have to concentrate, and sometimes I simply resort to modeling an evaluation.
I like to work in small groups and move often throughout the lesson. I have strategy videos on transitions and partner work in the resources if you'd like to learn more about my approach.
This is when I try to use technology to engage my class so I project the lesson image on the board to engage the class. Then I ask them to discuss what are the important parts to an informational paragraph. So, I listen to their conversations to assess their prior knowledge.
Next, I share my lesson plan, so the students know what to expect. Then we chant the lesson goal to focus the class on the important parts of the lesson.