Harnessing the Wind Part 1

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to understand key details in an informational text.

Big Idea

Objects move in proportion to the force that pushes and pulls them. Today, students work to find out important information in a text about this powerful force and learn important content knowledge for our final inventors lesson tomorrow.


10 minutes

Lesson Overview and Context

My students need much content knowledge about many areas in order to gain the vocabulary and schema they will need to succeed academically. Today, the students are learning about the wind as a pull and push force. This lesson prepares them for tomorrow's lesson on a invention by a young man that saved the lives of the people in his village by harnessing that power, and that is why I included this lesson in this unit.

We will be looking at two different sources to gather information about the wind, which is an expectation in teaching students research skills. One of our sources is a video and the other is a book. For the video, I have developed a template with text dependent questions to make the viewing experience an interactive one. 

Before we dive into that, I will start with the students on the rug. I will have them brainstorm what they know about the wind and then ask them what questions they have about the wind. Then, I will ask to evaluate the questions to see if we repeat any of the questions. If they repeat, then we will combine the sentences.

At the end of gathering information from both sources, students will have an opportunity to integrate that information and write about what they learned.

Afterwards, students will share their learning with their peers.

Opening Activity

On the rug, I share the student friendly objective: "I can ask and answer questions to understand the wind as a push and pull force."

Then, I will ask, "What do you know about the wind?" I will have the students pair share with each other before they share with the whole group. I record their responses on a circle map.

Questions About the Wind

10 minutes

I ask students to tell me what questions they have about the Wind. Students pair share. Then, I write the questions on a Chart. After we make a list of the questions, I ask the students to look at the questions to evaluate them by asking them:

  • Are there any questions that repeat themselves?
  • Also, what type of questions do we have: thin or thick questions? (we have gone over categorizing our questions in previous lessons)

I want them to start internalizing how to critique their own questions so that they can determine the value of a question in comprehending texts. At this juncture, I expect them to know that how and why questions can usually take them deeper into an analysis of a text because they need to work harder at answering the questions. Unlike the who, what, when, where, and what questions, the answer is not as obvious.

Students write two questions in their science journal for possible research later. After watching the video, I ask students, "what questions on our list have been answered?" In asking this question, I make them aware of what has been answered and that asking questions is not a frivolous act.

Video: Wind

25 minutes

My students watch a video on the power of wind. They take notes on a template I have provided: What is the wind?. I pause the video at certain points to give them an opportunity to take notes. Once we are done the students reread their notes and write down three keywords. I have them share the keywords with each other. I have them identity keywords because it gives me an idea whether they are really understanding what they are watching.

Here are some examples of my students' notes:

Here is the video:

Reading the Book: Feel the Wind, by Arthur Dorros

20 minutes

Now, my students sit on the rug. They have a blank piece of paper on a clipboard. As I read a page from the book, Feel The Wind, I pause and my students take notes on new information they are hearing about the wind. I read half of the story. 

Here are some examples of the students' notes:

As I read, I remind them to think about the following question: "What new information did you hear about the wind?"

I expect them to write two or three new pieces of information per page. I remind them to write down words or phrases instead of sentences: Taking Notes.

Independent Writing

15 minutes

Now, my students write about what they learned about the wind. They are writing in their science journals. I remind them about writing complete sentences and spelling accurately. I state that if they are using one of the words that is found on their template, then, they need to take the time to pay attention to how it is written. Again, I seek to create awareness about print.

Here are examples of journal entries:

This writing time allows them to think about what they learned and to express it on paper to the best of their ability. I walk around and monitor their progress and give assistance as needed. Some students need help with getting started. Others need help with spelling words. Yet, others need help to stay on task.

Whole Group Sharing

7 minutes

A common routine in my classroom is giving my students the opportunity to share their work with the whole group. During this time, they are practicing listening and speaking skills. The speakers are practicing how to speak clearly and loud enough for all to hear: What She Learned About The Wind.

The audience practices listening skills because once the speaker is done, it is up to them to give them feedback. 

Our feedback protocol includes giving two stars and a wish:

  • Two stars: Two different students tell what specifically they liked about the writing.
  • A wish: Another student shares one way the writing can be improved.