You are here

ELA G3:M4

The Role of Freshwater around the World

You are here:

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

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

Download

This module focuses on the importance of clean freshwater around the world. Using the children’s book One Well: The Story of Water on Earth as an anchor text, this unit builds on the background knowledge students developed in second grade regarding cycles in nature, in order to help them deepen their understanding of their overall dependence on earth’s limited water supply. In Unit 1, students will continue to build their geography and map-reading skills (begun in Module 1) by studying where water is found on earth and writing an on-demand paragraph to explain this.  In the second half of Unit 1, students will examine the water cycle and watersheds. They will compare how different texts present similar information about the water cycle and water sheds.

In Unit 2, students will research challenges facing the earth’s clean water supply. Students will read from their central text, One Well: The Story of Water on Earth, to identify the specific details about pollution, access, and the demand for water, and then they will research one of these challenges in more depth. In Unit 3, students will use their knowledge to strengthen and support their opinion about “one thing” they can do to conserve, protect, or provide access to clean water in the world. Students will create a public service announcement (PSA), ideally learning how to use VoiceThread technology (a low-tech alternative is provided).

This final performance task centers on standards W.3.1, W.3.4, W.3.6, W.3.7, SL.3.4, and SL.3.5. (As an optional science extension, students can conduct fieldwork, such as simple water testing in local lakes or streams or visiting local water-treatment plants.)

Week-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • Where does our water come from?
  • What happens when people don’t have access to clean water?
  • How do writers use text-based evidence to strengthen their message?
  • Writers support their points of view with reasons, facts, and details.
  • Water is a natural resource that every living thing needs.
  • Access to clean freshwater affects where and how people live.
  • Water is a finite resource.

Content Connections

  • This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards as students read literature and informational text about the Second Sudanese Civil War. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies Practices and Themes to support potential interdisciplinary connections to this compelling content. These intentional connections are described below.

Texts

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
One Well: The Story of Water on Earth
by Rochelle Strauss
One per student
ISBN: 978-1553379546, 1553379543

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Tackling the Trash
by Jill Esbaum
Ryan Hreljac: The Boy Who Built a Well
by Elisabeth Deffner
2009
Dry Days in Australia
by Ann Weil
The Water Cycle
by U.S. Geological Survey
Earth’s Water Cycle
by Gina Jack
New York State Conservationist for Kids, 2009
Rivers and Streams
by NatureWorks
New Hampshire Public Television,
Where in the World Is Water?
by Expeditionary Learning
Let’s Get Physical!
by Junior Scholastic
2007

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading—Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
  • RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • RI.3.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.5. Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
  • RI.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.
  • RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
  • I can ask questions to deepen my understanding of informational text.
  • I can answer questions using specific details from informational text.
  • I can determine the main idea of an informational text.
  • I can retell key ideas from an informational text.
  • I can describe how events, ideas, or concepts in an informational text are related.
  • I can describe steps in a procedure, in the order they should happen.
  • I can determine the meaning of unknown words in informational text.
  • I can use text features to locate information efficiently.
  • I can distinguish between my point of view and the author’s point of view.
  • I can use information from illustrations (maps, photographs) to understand informational texts.
  • I can use information from the words to understand informational texts.
  • I can make connections between specific sentences and paragraphs and the overall text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
  • I can compare and contrast the main ideas and key details in two texts on the same topic.
CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.3.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

a.  Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

b.  Provide reasons that support the opinion.

c.  Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.

d.  Provide a concluding statement or section.

  • W.3.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

a.  Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

b.  Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

c.  Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.

d.  Provide a concluding statement or section.

  • W.3.4. With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • W.3.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.3.6. With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • W.3.7. Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • W.3.8. Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • W.3.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • I can write an opinion piece that supports a point of view with reasons.

a.  I can introduce the topic of my opinion piece.

a.  I can create an organizational structure that lists reasons for my
opinion.

b.  I can identify reasons that support my opinion.

c.  I can use linking words to connect my opinion and reasons.

d.  I can construct a concluding statement or section for my
opinion piece.

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and information clearly.

a. I can write an informative/explanatory text that has a clear topic.

a.  I can group supporting facts together about a topic in an informative/explanatory text using both text and illustrations.

b.  I can develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

c.  I can use linking words and phrases to connect ideas within
categories of information (e.g., also, another, and, more, but).

d.  I can construct a closure on the topic of an informative/explanatory text.

  • With support from adults, I can produce writing that is appropriate to task and purpose.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to plan, revise, and edit my writing.
  • With support from adults, I can use technology to publish a piece of writing.
  • I can use technology to collaborate with others on a piece of writing. 
  • I can conduct a research project to become knowledgeable about a topic.
  • I can recall information from experiences.
  • I can document what I learn about a topic by taking notes.
  • I can sort evidence into provided categories.
  • I can adjust my writing practices for different time frames, tasks, purposes, and audiences.
CCS Standards: Speaking & ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SL.3.5. Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
  • SL.3.6. Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
  • I can use facts and details to describe a story or experience.
  • I can speak clearly and at an understandable pace.
  • I can demonstrate fluency when reading stories or poems for an audio recording.
  • I can use drawings or other visual displays to support what I say.
  • I can speak in complete sentences with appropriate detail.
CCS Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.3.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a.  Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.

b.  Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.

c.  Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).

d.  Form and use regular and irregular verbs.

e.  Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.

f.   Ensure subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement.*

g.  Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.

h.  Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

i.   Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.

  • L.3.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a.  Choose words and phrases for effect.*

b.  Recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English.

  • L.3.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a.  Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b.  Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).

c.  Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).

d.  Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.

a.  I can explain the functions of (nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs).

b.  I can use regular and irregular plural nouns.

c.  I can use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).

d.  I can use regular and irregular verbs in my writing.

d.  I can use adjectives to describe nouns.

e-f. I can make subjects and verbs agree in my writing.

g.  I can use adjectives to describe nouns.

h.  I can use adverbs to describe actions.

i.  I can use a variety of sentence structures in my writing.

  • I can express ideas using carefully chosen words.
  • I can compare how people use language when they write versus when they talk.
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of words and phrases.

a.  I can use what the sentence says to help me to determine what a word or phrase means.

b.  I can use common prefixes to help me determine what a word means. (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat)

c.  I can use the meaning of root words to help me determine the meaning of new words with the same root (e.g., company, companion).

d.  I can use resource materials (glossaries and dictionaries) to help me determine the meaning of key words and phrases.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up