Using Research to Fill in Our Details

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SWBAT research their historical setting in order to ensure their fiction story is historically accurate.

Big Idea

Make sure they ride in on horses, not cars!

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

In my lesson openers I always have a "connect" in which I connect students' thinking about yesterday's lesson to today's lesson. I then have a "teach" in which I model for students the lesson of the day and also have them try it out. When I think about my modeling, I use three categories; skill, strategy, and process. I model by stating the skill to the students, then giving them a strategy in which to use the skill, followed by the process to try out the strategy.

Connect:  I will say, “We have been drafting scenes and concentrating on using our I.A.D.Ds (inner thinking, action, dialogue and description). Before we draft more scenes, I want you to think, am I making my story historically accurate?

Teach: I will say, “In order to learn ensure our details in our stories are historically accurate, I am going to show you how to practice the skill of researching our time period strategy of using those details in order to draft more scenes and to revise your current ones. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Read through the information about the setting in my story

2) Annotate on the text details that I could use for my story

3) Revise my current scenes and write new ones.”

I will model for students how I read about Indian Removal and annotate on the text where I could use a certain detail (see video below). 

Active Engagment

15 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “You will now read through the time period of your choice. The choices I have for them; are based on their feedback of what they wanted to use from the previous lesson; Slavery, American Revolution, Civil Rights and The Great Depression. Some were interested in time periods they haven't learned about his year like the Great Depression.

Stop and jot where you find a text detail you could use in your story or one that you could use for revision of the scenes you already drafted (they will read independently, with a partner who has the same time period (this depends on their stamina)).”

I will ask the students, (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard) “What did you jot notes about and where did you annotate it in your text? How will you use these details in your writing?”

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember successful writers practice the skill of learning how to be precise about their details by using a strategy of researching the time period their historical fiction story is set in. The process they use is, read the text, stop and jot where they find a detail they can use or revise for and then use it in their writing.”

Independent Practice

20 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “Now you are going to revise the scenes you have already written and add at least one more scene today. They should write for at least 25 minutes if not more. They should be adding all of the components of horror that that we have gone over so far, as well as what we have been taught in past units.

As they are working independently and quietly, I will confer with them about their writing as I play “smooth jazz” on Pandora Radio. I will confer using Possible Conference for Drafting the Historical Accuracy.

Partner Work: Students will be directed to turn and share their best scene with their partner. I will say, “I want you to share your best scene with a partner. “Decide who will be partner A and who will be partner B. Partner A I want you to share your scene. Partner B, I want you to listen if Partner A has scene that is historically accurate. If not, give them feedback; tell them an idea of what they could add or let them know why you would want to read their future story. Then you will switch.”

I will then give students time to revise, or have them make notes and revise for homework.


5 minutes

I believe that the end of the lesson should be an assessment of the days’ learning; therefore it should be independent work. I always end class with an exit ticket in which students write down the response to a question.

Closing: I will have them jot down a line that shows an example of revising or writing for historical accuracy.