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ELA G3:M1:U1:L5

Informative Paragraph Pre-Assessment: What is One Reason You Want the Power of Reading?

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The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can effectively participate in a conversation with my peers and adults. (SL.3.1)
  • I can speak in complete sentences with appropriate detail. (SL.3.6)
  • I can write an informative/explanatory text. (W.3.2)
  • I can write an informative/explanatory text that has a clear topic. (W.3.2)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can follow our class norms when I participate in a conversation.
  • I can speak with complete sentences when I participate in group discussions.
  • I can write an informative paragraph with a clear topic that explains why I want to get the power of reading.
  • Conversation Criteria checklist
  • Student paragraphs (as pre-assessment)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Think-Pair-Share: Why Did the Children Work So Hard for the Power of Education and Reading?  (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)Small Group Discussion: Why Do YOU Want the Power of Reading? (15 minutes)

B.  Paragraph Writing (Pre-Assessment) (30 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  When you go home, ask an adult in your family, “What was one reason you wanted to learn to read when you were little?”

  • In this lesson, minimal instruction is given on paragraph writing before students write their own. This is a purposeful move, as it is designed to be a pre-assessment to be used to inform instruction on paragraph writing throughout the rest of this module.

 

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

participate, norms, complete sentences, informative, paragraph, topic

  • Rain School (book; one per student; from Lessons 2 and 3)
  • Conversation Criteria Checklist (from Lesson 4; for teacher use)
  • Class Norms for Discussion anchor chart (begun in Lesson 4)
  • Paragraph Pre-assessment: What Is One Reason You Want the Power of Reading? (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Think-Pair-Share: Why Did the Children of Chad Work So Hard for the Power of Education and Reading? (10 minutes)

  • Show students the cover of the book Rain School. Remind them that in this book, the children of Chad had to go to extraordinary lengths to seek the power of education and reading. Ask: “What were some of the extraordinary things they had to do?” Have a few students share aloud with the group. 
  • Distribute Rain School to students. Encourage students to refer back to specific passages from the text they remember: facts, examples, details. Point out that since they read the book so carefully, and multiple times, they can remember it much better than if they’d only read it once.
  • Share: “It seems to me that if the children in Chad went to such extraordinary lengths to learn to read, they must really want that power. I wonder why they want it so much? I bet that you have some thoughts about that.” 
  • Give students a moment to think about that question on their own, then ask them to turn to a partner and tell each other their thoughts. Then ask three or four students to share aloud with the whole group.
  • Consider displaying some of the illustrations from the book in order to support students in responding to the question.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Small Group Discussion: Why Do YOU Want the Power of Reading? (15 minutes)

  • Share with students that although we don’t have to build our school, we too want the power of education and reading, just like the children of Chad. Remind them that one of the “big deals” of this year is that they will increase their reading power, which they will then have for the rest of their lives.
  • Ask students to think about reasons they want the power of reading. Tell them that in a moment they will have the opportunity to talk about it with a group. Consider sharing a quick thought about why you wanted to read when you were a child. Give students think time.
  • Show the learning targets:

*    “I can follow our class norms when I participate in a conversation.”

*    “I can speak with complete sentences when I participate in group discussions.”

  • Remind students of the group discussion from Lesson 4 on what went well and what the class needs to work on in group discussions and review the Class Norms for Discussion anchor chart. 
  • Place students in groups of four or five and invite them to begin.  As students discuss, circulate and assess individual students’ conversation skills using the Conversation Criteria checklist.
  • Consider drawing a thought bubble and writing a sentence starter where all can see, to support those who might need it. For example: “I want the power of reading because (or so) . . .”
  • This discussion provides the opportunity to continue the mid-unit assessment of individual students’ conversation skills that is ongoing from Lessons 3 to 7.

B. Paragraph Writing (Pre-assessment) (30 minutes)

  • Gather students back together in the whole group. Share an observation about what went well with following the class norms, and what might still need to be worked on. Model giving kind and specific feedback.
  • Introduce the final learning target: “I can write an informative paragraph with a clear topic that explains why I want to get the power of reading.” Since this might be the first time this year (or ever) that students have written a paragraph, activate their schema by asking: “What do you know about paragraphs?” Have a few students share. Circle the words informative and topic and explain what they mean. Underlining inform, in informative, and connecting it to the familiar word information is a useful strategy to deconstruct the new word. Use a phrase such as “stick to one big idea” to explain what with a clear topic means. 
  • Tell students that this is a pre-assessment. Use this opportunity to teach the prefix pre: “Pre means before. So this is a piece of writing you will do before you do any writing that I will actually grade. Just try your best.”
  • Encourage students to try their best to meet the target. Tell them that looking at their writing will help you learn how to best teach them to write strong paragraphs this year.
  • Distribute the Paragraph Pre-assessment: What Is One Reason You Want the Power of Reading? Have them work silently for 20 minutes. Suggest that if they finish early they should reread their paragraphs and do all they can to make them better. If students lose focus, give them verbal reminders: “Stick with it!” “Is there anything you can do to make your writing more clear?”

  • Consider finding opportunities throughout the day to deconstruct various new words by looking at words within them or similar words. For example, inform in informative.

 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Collect the paragraphs students have written and then invite them back together as a whole group. Display all three learning targets used in this lesson. 
  • Read the targets aloud, then ask the students to think about one that they felt they were successful with and one that they might need more work on. Have the students either pair up and share, or have three or four students share aloud with the whole group. 
  • If time permits, invite a few students to share what they wrote.
  • Collect students’ paragraphs.
  • Another way to get a sense of student assessment toward these targets is to have students give a “thumbs-up” if they feel confident about any given target, “thumbs-sideways” if they are working on it, or “thumbs-down” if they feel they need lots of work on it.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • When you go home, ask an adult in your family, “What was one reason you wanted to learn to read when you were little?” Either have them write their answer down, or write it yourself and bring it back to school.

Note: Review the students’ paragraphs in this pre-assessment. This will inform instruction for Lesson 8 in this unit and subsequent paragraph writing lessons. Consider collecting this homework and using it to make a chart called “Why Do People Want to Seek the Power of Reading?”

 

In Lesson 6, students begin to read Nasreen’s Secret School.  See Lesson 6 teaching note regarding the references to war in this text.  Also preview and adapt the Letter to Families (Lesson 6 supporting material).

Supporting Materials

None

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