The Experts - Day 3

5 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT add illustrations for each chapter of their books that teach what they have learned about the patterns of our celestial objects.

Big Idea

We get to draw like scientists!! It is time to continue our nonfiction writing on the patterns in space!!

Setting the Stage:

National Science Education Science Standards Connection:

The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. In this lesson students will use their science journals to help construct a nonfiction teaching book, that teaches others what they know about our celestial patterns.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

In this lesson students are asked to use their science journals, investigation worksheets and any other materials in their science journals from our investigations on our celestial patterns.  My students will use this information to construct a culminating writing project that allows them to show off what they know on the standard 1-ESS1.

ELA Common Core

The ELA CCSS asks that students write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.  In this lesson students will be writing nonfiction text to share what they know about the patterns of our celestial objects. Nonfiction reading and writing is the most common type of text that is used in the professional world. To support our young students they will need to learn how to navigate through the steps of our writing process - develop ideas, plan, draft, revise, edit and publish. It is suggested that students have multiple experiences in teaching nonfiction writing.  Throughout the school year my students have engaged in learning how to write nonfiction using actual nonfiction units of study designed for a writing workshop.

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.


Writing from Experts Day 1 & Experts Day 2

Science Journal: materials from our unit Celestial Patterns: The Sun, The Moon and Stars

PBJ Anchor Chart

The Big Book of Mentor Text by Linda Hoyt and Tony Stead

Anchor Chart - Modeled writing from Day 1 & Day 2

Photographs - Experts Day 3


10 minutes

I decided to add a section to this lesson that allows students to first do research before diving into our mini lesson.  Being that this is only a 3-day series, much of the work that goes into teaching nonfiction writing has occurred while teaching a unit on nonfiction writing. In order to become familiar with what the the CCSS has asked of our young writers I use a variety of resources. One resource that has supported my development in writing workshop are Lucy Calkins Units of Study.

My students use their science journals as a reference tool for developing scientific illustrations.

Yesterday we looked through all our notes from our Celestial Patterns science unit. We looked in our science journals and used our notes to help us write. Today you are going to look through these things for a different purpose.  Today when we write we are going to be adding diagrams, labels, pictures, and more. Today let's look at all of the illustrations you have created as you learned about the patterns in our sky.  When you have found some illustrations that could help you, please give a thumbs up. I ask my students to share their work with their turn and talk partner.  I have each child share one idea for creating good scientific drawings.

As my students share I listen in on conversations.  When I bring the class back together I point out a few things I hear my students say.

Thank you for sharing! I heard so many great things.  I love that you were able to find so many great things in your science journal and science folder.  Don't forget, these illustrations can help you today as you create new illustrations

Mini lesson

15 minutes

The NGSS asks that we integrate the science standards with the Common Core ELA and math standards. In this lessons students use their knowledge on 1-ESS1-1 to construct a nonfiction writing piece that teaches others about the patterns of our celestial objects. In this lesson students are asked to draw like scientists to make their writing factual and accurate.

 Connection: A connection is a way of activating prior knowledge to what the students have already been learning.

Boys and girls, in our last lesson learned how to draft your work in smart way. You have included a lead sentence, twin sentences and you close it all up with a closing sentences.  I show my students our anchor chart with a PBJ.  It is like you made a PBJ!

Teaching Point: A teaching point focuses on the one small skill or strategy being taught.

Today, you will be adding to your writing by adding scientific drawings.  Today we looked through your science journals and you helped me make a list of things that are in good scientific drawings.  You said, "Labels, captions, zoom-ins, words like big and small in the captions, photographs and detailed pictures that are easy to see. Today you will be doing all of those things in your illustrations.  As a writer it is so important that you don't rush a picture because it adds so much to your writing. 

I LOVE using mentor texts in my mini lessons as well as modeling my own writing.  For this lesson I will be doing both.  I love how Kelly Boswell says in her book, Write this Way: How Modeling Transforms the Writing Classroom

If you think about it, modeling plays an important role in how the human brain learns almost anything. Infants and toddlers watch their caregivers talk, walk, and eat with a spoon. Piano students notice and note the way the instructor's hands are placed on the keys when playing scales. Tennis players watch and listen as the coach demonstrates how to serve the ball. Student teachers observe a master teacher before teaching lessons on their own.

I show my students the book The Big Book of Mentor Text by Linda Hoyt and Tony Stead. I point out that scientific diagrams have labels, captions, zoom-ins and diagrams.

Boys and girl, do you see that?  WOW! This book did it! Look at these amazing photographs that match the words perfectly.  I read the words on the page and then we look at the picture. Did you see what the author did?  He made sure that the words and pictures go together.  Let's read the caption.  WOW! This caption adds so much more information to this page.  I do the exact same thing for labels, diagrams and zoom-ins.  I want my students to see how other authors have done what I am asking them to do. 

Next, I model how to add an illustration, photograph, label, caption and zoom-in to my writing.

Active Engagement:

Now it is your turn, I want you to look at my next heading and let's read what I wrote.  What do you think I should add for my pictures?  The students all yell out ideas!  I ask my students to share their ideas with their turn and talk partner. I draw what I hear them say and then ask what I need to add. At this point I even share the pen and ask my students to add to my illustrations.


Today you get to do the same thing.  You get to head off and create your illustrations. If you would like photographs please come see me at the Photograph Table. I have magazine photos and photos printed from the internet that my students can use in their writing.

I send my students off to create scientific drawings.

Independent Writing:

20 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. In this lesson the students go back to their journals, diagrams and notes and use this data to help construct their writing. I tell my students to use the work from our science lessons (Investigation worksheets and science journals) to help create new ideas for this big piece of writing. During this independent work time students use their own scientific research to clarify ideas, thoughts and learning from our unit.

ELA Integration: Independent writing is writing time designated after a mini lesson when students get to go off and practice what has been taught. During this time students write by themselves with varying levels of support from the teacher. The student writes for a specific purpose with a clear understanding of the skills and strategies expected during this time. 

As my students write I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching.

Mid-Workshop Teaching Point: Boys and girls, look up here!! Can you see this work? I have placed Mari's writing on the document camera. Look at what Mari did.  She drew just like a scientist! Look at this diagram.  She has a detailed picture, captions and labels.  I am learning so much more about the stars by looking at this work. WOW! I can't wait to see all the illustrations you create! 

Partner Work:

10 minutes

It is suggested that teachers assign partners who will stay together for a long stretch of time. I assign new partnerships each month however I use my workshop partners multiple times throughout our school day, each day and in just about every subject area. Partner work can help support the work being done throughout the day and these partners can be used in reading, writing, math, social and science. In my classroom partners support each other with planning, revising, editing, investigating and solving problems together. During my partner time I am able to confer with partnerships to support and extend the work children are doing together.

I ask my students to find their workshop partner to share the work they have completed today. All of my students have completed their illustrations. Each partner's job is to check to see if there are any zoom-ins, labels, captions, photographs and detailed pictures.  If a child is missing something the students may ask, "Tell me why you didn't use a zoom-in?" Each student must defend why they chose not to include a text feature.


5 minutes

 This is our BIG CULMINATING EVENT!  For this share out I have decided to host an official Science Party.  I invite the parents to come to our classroom to help us celebrate the conclusion of our Celestial Patterns: The Sun, Moon and Stars unit.  Each child read his/her teaching book out loud to the whole group of parents as well as show off their science journals, science folders and worksheets.