Short Constructed Responses
Focus: The learner will read a grade level non-fiction text about the solar system and write a short constructed response.
1. The teacher will write a short summary of the facts the students have learned about the solar system. The lesson will be focused on students’ ability to make sense of the material about the solar system and write a short constructed response.
2. Students and teachers will participate in a shared read so that all students will be able to comprehend all material.
3. Students will return to their desks and write a short constructed response in response to the material read in class. The response will help students to understand the material on a deeper level. They will be expected to use details and facts from the text to support their answers.
4. Teacher and students will participate in a shared write about the prompt. This will help students understand what important facts they should have chosen to write about. Students will copy on their piece of paper exactly what the teacher is modeling on the board.
5. After direct instruction the students will be given the opportunity to re-write their short constructed response to the same prompt. Giving students an opportunity to answer the same prompt 3 times reinforces the expectations of what a short constructed response should be, it will also reinforce the important learnings from the solar system paragraph.
6. Finally, students will be given the opportunity to compare and contrast their first and third short constructed responses. This will give them the chance to see what they should have written in their short constructed response and it reinforces the facts about the solar system.
This lesson should take one writing block (45- 60 minutes). This lesson was designed for and successfully taught in a 4th grade classroom. This is a wonderful way to reinforce science lessons and short constructed responses. I found great success with this lesson as a way to teach writing to learn. I also did the same lesson with a social studies prompt, a math prompt, and a reading prompt. My students short constructed responses have improved greatly as a result of the repetition.