LESSON PLAN (30 min lesson)
This lesson came as part of an interdisciplinary life-science, reading and writing unit. In the unit, each student researched facts about an animal’s physical traits, habitat and behaviors and then wrote an expository “Expert Book” about their animal. In order to write their own expository text, students needed to be able to synthesize information learned from their reading. When we first started the unit we noticed that many students were restating instead of synthesizing new learning. To scaffold the skill of synthesizing we developed several lessons to help activate students’ prior knowledge; schema derived from experiences before the unit or from another text read in the unit. The anticipation guide was first used whole class in a shared reading about jaguars. This lesson is the follow up lesson in leveled reading strategy groups. The group of students is a low- middle group of students who generally struggle with comprehension. In April, they are reading at an early second grade level.
LE 3.1 A: Describe how physical traits help a species to survive (this is a 1st grade standard we are reteaching).
COMMON CORE STANDARD
Key Ideas and Details. RI 2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
• 5 copies of the book All About Dolphins, by Katacha Díaz (level J, according to Fountas and Pinnell)
• Anticipation guide on chart paper
• Anticipation guide worksheet that looks the same as chart, with highlighted box for students to fill in.
• Sticky tabs or mini post-its
This lesson focuses on students’ ability to activate schema in order to better synthesize their learning about animal traits and behaviors.
This lesson is first taught whole class with a shared reading. Students will then independently read their animal books while small, leveled groups are pulled. The groups will do the same anticipation guide lesson but with their group’s animal topic and with slight variations according to reading level and most needed skills. This lesson plan is intended for a small reading strategy group.
• Students will be able to make and modify predictions about dolphins.
• Students will be able to create an original statement about dolphins by synthesizing new learning about dolphins with prior knowledge and conceptions.
• Students will be able to sight textual evidence that supports their statements.
• Quickly let each student share out a couple facts they think they know about dolphins.
• Tell students, “Yesterday I was talking with a 3rd grade student who really loves dolphins. She told me the following statements (show statements on charted anticipation guide). Well, I’m just not sure how to know if I agree or disagree with these statements she told me. What do you think?”
• Going through each statement, students discuss why they agree or disagree with a statement. Students have to thoroughly explain reasoning as well as provide source for reasoning. For example, “I know dolphins are fish because they have fins like fish do. I saw a dolphin’s fins on TV.”
• After students have agreed or disagreed with all statements, the teacher poses the question: “Since some of you agree with the third grade and others disagree, how am I suppose to make up my mind? What can I do to figure out if she was right?” Students help come to the conclusion that we must read the book, Dolphins, to find information.
• Model for students how you read and stop to put a sticky tab when you come to information that confirms or changes your prediction about whether or not dolphins are fish.
• “Right here on page 2 it says, ‘Dolphins are not fish, they are mammals. So these are the new facts I learned!” Circle “disagree” on the anticipation guide ‘after reading’ section, and write in learned facts.
• Think out loud the final synthesis of information: “This says that Dolphins are not fish, but are in fact mammals, and right here is a diagram showing its fins and tail. Wow, so I learned that dolphins are mammals, not fish, but they might have similarities to fish in how their bodies look.”
• Write a new statement that matches your think aloud.
BODY OF LESSON
• Give each student 3 sticky tabs for the remaining 3 statements and tell them to start reading and finding information.
• Conference with each student, taking notes on their reading behaviors. Ask each student to explain to you why they put their sticky on a certain page.
• After all students have read the text at least once through and have used all three sticky tabs, bring them back together to return to the chart.
• Call on students to share how their predictions were confirmed or changed from the text they tabbed with the sticky. Each student says whether they now agree or disagree with the statement.
• Students share textual evidence as teacher charts learned facts for the 2nd and 3rd statement.
• With some guidance, students create 2 new statements about dolphins that demonstrate their synthesis of information.
• Students individually create the 4th “learned facts” and “new statement” on their own copy of the anticipation guide.
The lowest reading groups will have 3 agree/ disagree statements. The low-middle groups will have 4 agree/ disagree statements. The middle-high and highest reading groups will have 5 statements and fill out their own anticipation guide before the teacher charts their responses. The high groups will also generate more of the final statements independently. All groups have the same expectation for creating their own final statements after reading.
• Tell students, “Wow, your work as thoughtful readers really helped me come to some conclusions about dolphins. I’ll have to tell the 3rd grader what I learned!”
• Have a final discussion with students about how making predictions based on the initial statements helped them as readers. What did they notice about their reading? (For example, “
• Discuss how this activity will help them write their own dolphin book. How are their statements stronger than just restating or paraphrasing information?
• As literacy center, students could create anticipation guides for their peers.
• Informal assessment: Before reading, are they able to explain reasoning that supports their opinion? Are students able to tab information relevant to their prediction? Are students able to modify their predictions? Are they able to sight textual evidence when giving “after reading” agree/ disagree reasoning and when stating learning facts?
• Formal assessment: The 4th “learned facts” shows whether students could successfully find textual evidence and the 4th final written statement will show whether students were independently able to synthesize information about dolphins.
All About Dolphins: Anticipation Guide
Dolphins are a type of fish.
Dolphins like to swim alone.
Dolphins do not drink water.
Dolphins chase each other for fun.