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ELA G4:M2A:U1:L7

Paragraph Writing: The Role of Religion in Colonial America

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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 explain what a text says using specific details from the text. (RI.4.1)
  • I can make inferences using specific details from the text. (RI.4.1)
  • I can synthesize information from two texts on the same topic. (RI.4.9)
  • I can use context to help me to determine what a word or phrase means. (L.4.4)
  • I can take notes and categorize information. (W.4.8)
  • I can write an informative/explanatory text. (W.4.2)
  • I can use the writing process to produce clear and coherent writing (with support). (W.4.5)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can identify and determine the meaning of new words using the context of what I’m reading to help me.
  • I can document what I learn about Colonial America by taking notes.
  • I can make inferences using specific details from the text.
  • I can write an informative/explanatory paragraph that has a clear topic sentence, a body, and a conclusion.
  • I can synthesize information I learn about religion in Colonial America from two different texts.
  • Paragraph writing

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Review Homework (5 minutes)

B.  Review of Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Vocabulary Notebooks (15 minutes)

B.  Review of Paragraph Writing (10 minutes)

C.  Partner Paragraph Writing (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

  • This lesson builds on students’ background knowledge of writing strong paragraphs that they developed during Module 1. For their writing in this unit, students use the three-column graphic organizer to organize their new learning. It is helpful to expose students to a variety of planning tools to help them organize their thinking and writing.
  • In this lesson, the teacher will model how to write a paragraph from notes taken in a three-column graphic organizer. The model is about the topic of farming in Colonial America; students then follow a similar process as they write about another topic­­—religion.
  • In advance: Prepare the Farming in Colonial America model paragraph on chart paper (see supporting materials).
  • In advance: Prepare the stoplight cards used in the debrief, or consider an alternative way of having students self-assess their progress toward mastering the learning targets.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

paragraph, topic sentence, indent, supporting details, inference, synthesize; meetinghouse, wriggle, hymns, sermons, settle, communities, represented, diverse

  • The Scoop on Clothes Homes, and Daily Life in Colonial America pages 13-14 (from Lesson 6 homework)
  • If You Lived in Colonial Times pages 32-33 (from Lesson 6)
  • “Religion in the Colonies” (from Lesson 6; one per student)
  • Vocabulary Notebook (add new pages for this lesson; one per student; see supporting materials)
  • Inferring Three-Column graphic organizers (from Lesson 6)
  • Four-Square graphic organizer (from Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 9; optional for students needing more support)
  • Model Inferring Three Column graphic organizer (about farming) (for Teacher Reference)
  • Chart paper with paragraph on “Farming in Colonial America” (new; teacher created)
  • Green, blue, and red markers (for teacher modeling)
  • Stoplight cards (each with a red, yellow, and green circle on it) (one per student)
  • Writing prompt (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Review Homework (5 minutes)

  • Ask students to get out their homework and text from the day before: “Read pages 13-14 in The Scoop on Clothes, Homes, and Daily Life in Colonial America and answer the following questions: What materials were used to build colonial homes? Was this information explicit or inferred from the text?”
  • Collect homework for formative assessment of RI.4.1 (explaining what the text says explicitly). Read aloud pages 13-14 of The Scoop on Clothes, Homes, and Daily Life in Colonial Americaand discuss the homework questions. Ask a few students to share their opinions on colonial homes.

B. Review the Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Talk with students about all of the hard work they have been doing with their reading and note-taking. Review the following learning targets: “I can make inferences using specific details from the text,” “I can synthesize information I learn about religion in Colonial America from two different texts,” and “I can document what I learn about Colonial America by taking notes.”
  • Ask students to use a Fist to Five or Thumb-O-Meter protocol to self-assess their progress toward meeting these targets.
  • Clarifying the language of the learning targets helps students approach the task with a clearer understanding of the purpose of the lesson. If possible, provide the word synthesize in the ELLs’ L1. Resources such as Google Translate and bilingual translation dictionaries can assist with one-word translations.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Vocabulary Notebooks (15 minutes)

  • Introduce the learning target: “I can identify and determine the meaning of new words.” Have students discuss the meaning of this target with a partner and share out.
  • Ask the class to take out the text from Lesson 6: “What Did People Do on Sunday?” (from pages 32–33 of If You Lived in Colonial Times). Also ask students to get out their Vocabulary Notebook. Remind them that it is important to learn the meanings of unfamiliar words in order to better understand what they are reading. Also remind them that they identified unfamiliar words when they read from this portion of If You Lived in Colonial Times.
  • Ask students to get out their copies of If You Lived in Colonial Times and find a reading partner. Revisit the text on pages 32–33 with students. Ask them to reread the first paragraph aloud. Then have them talk with their partners: “What do you think the word meetinghouse means?” Remind them that sometimes they will have to infer about words that are new to them using the text, and sometimes the meaning of a word is stated explicitly in the text. Ask for a definition. Then probe: “How do you know?” Ask the students if the meaning of this word is inferred or is explicit in the text. Remind them that they are using context clues to help them understand what a word means.
  • Ask students to next add the definition (a church in a colonial village) and how they know this (explicitly stated in the text).
  • Circulate to support pairs as they continue to work on identifying important new vocabulary words (see lesson vocabulary at the top of this lesson).
  • ELL language acquisition is facilitated by interacting with native speakers of English who provide models of language.
  • All students developing academic language will benefit from direct instruction of academic vocabulary.
  • Visuals can help ELLs and other students comprehend questions and discussions. Chart main points in answers and post all questions asked to students.

B. Review of Paragraph Writing (10 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their text “Religion in the Colonies” (from Lesson 6). Ask students to share their Inferring Three-Column graphic organizers from Lesson 6 with their reading partner.

*   “What was the main idea of each text?”

*   “What synthesis statement did you write?”

  • Gather students’ attention whole group. Ask for a volunteer to talk through his or her partner’s graphic organizer. Ask the student to verbally put into full sentences the synthesis and how the main idea, supporting details, and inferences support it. (For example: “My partner’s synthesis statement said that religion was at the heart of a colonial village. One text said that they went to church most of the day on Sundays and had to pay attention the whole time. Another text said that religious freedom was the main reason people came to the colonies. Because of these two reasons, it’s clear that religion was really important to the colonists.”)
  • Point out that what the student has just done is to make a spoken paragraph out of the notes on the Inferring Three-Column graphic organizer.
  • Invite the class to read the last learning target aloud with you: “I can write an informative/explanatory paragraph that has a clear topic sentence, a body, and a conclusion.” Invite students to identify words in the learning targets that they might not remember from Module 1 or that might be confusing. As students point out words, ask for clarification and annotate the learning target with clarifying words or synonyms. For example:

*   informative/explanatory = for the purpose of telling or explaining

*   paragraph = a group of sentences that have the same main idea

*   topic sentence = the sentence that contains the main idea

*   body = several sentences that contain supporting details and tell more about the main idea

*   conclusion = a sentence that ends the paragraph

  • Reread the learning target using the clarifying words and check for understanding with students.
  • Post the Model Inferring Three-Column graphic organizer (about farming) that you have written on chart paper to illustrate turning that topic of the reading into notes, then into a paragraph. Read aloud or ask a student to read your sample paragraph to the class. Remind students that they practiced writing paragraphs during Module 1; they used several different graphic organizers to help them develop a main idea with details.
  • Tell students you want them to see how the paragraph about farmers is based on the notes from the Inferring graphic organizer. As they did in Module 1, they will code the paragraph with different colored markers to see the different parts.
  • Using a green marker, underline the topic sentence in the paragraph. Ask students to find the sentence in the paragraph that corresponds to this part of the Three-Column graphic organizer. This could be the synthesis statement or one of the inferences. Underline topic sentence in the learning target in green as well. Point out to students that the first sentence of a paragraph is indented on the page.
  • Using a blue marker, underline each of the details in the paragraph. Ask students to find the sentences in the paragraph that correspond to this part of the Three-Column graphic organizer. Underline these sentences in blue and tell students that these sentences make up the body of the paragraph. Underline the word body in the learning target in blue as well.
  • Using a red marker, underline the statement in the paragraph that tells what role religion played in Colonial America. Ask students to find the sentence in the paragraph that corresponds to this part of the Three-Column graphic organizer (could be the synthesis or one of the inferences). Underline the last sentence in red and tell students that it is the conclusion of the paragraph. Underline conclusion in the learning target in red as well.

 

  • During all partner work, the teacher can support Special Education students or ELLs as needed. Just be sure to let them, too, struggle with text, as this builds both stamina and confidence.
  • Consider partnering an ELL with a student who speaks the same L1 when discussion of complex content is required. This can let students have more meaningful discussions and clarify points in their L1.
  • For ELLs, consider providing extra time for tasks and answering questions in class discussions. ELLs often need more time to process and translate information. ELLs receive extended time as an accommodation on NY State assessments.

C. Partner Paragraph Writing (20 minutes)

  • Introduce the writing prompt: “After researching informational texts about religion in Colonial America, write a complete paragraph that explains the role religion played in the colonists’ lives. What conclusions or implications can you draw? Cite at least two sources, pointing out key elements from each source.”
  • Invite students to identify any words that they might not know or are unsure about. As students point out words, ask for clarification and annotate the task description with clarifying words or synonyms. For example:

*   Conclusions = summing up of points

*   Implications = things that are suggested or inferred without being explicitly stated

*   Cite = identify

*   Source = the place the information came from

  • Direct students’ attention to their Inferring Three-Column graphic organizers.
  • Give students 15 minutes to write independently. Circulate to assist students as they write.
  • Then ask students to work with a partner:

*   “Read your paragraph to your writing partner.”

*   “As you read each paragraph, work together to identify the topic sentence; underline it in green.”

*   “Then identify the detail sentences; underline them in blue.”

*   “Finally, identify the conclusion sentence; underline it in red.”

  • Clarifying the language of the learning targets helps students approach the task with a clearer understanding of the purpose of the lesson.
  • For students needing additional support in writing a paragraph, consider providing the Four-Square Graphic Organizer from Module 1 (see Unit 3, Lesson 9). They could use this familiar format to design their paragraph.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Debrief (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to talk briefly with a partner:

*   “What challenges did you face in turning your notes into clear and complete sentences? What strategies did you use to overcome those challenges?”

  • Ask students to locate their stoplight cards. Check how students feel they are doing moving toward the learning target: “I can write an explanatory/informative text.” Students should place their fingers on the color that indicates how they are feeling when they display their stoplight cards.

*   Red = I’m not feeling good at all.

*   Yellow = I’m feeling OK but know I need more practice.

*   Green = I’m feeling really confident.

  • ELL language acquisition is facilitated by interacting with native speakers of English who provide models of language.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • Reread the Religion in Colonies handout and add words to your Vocabulary Notebook. Be sure to use the criteria at the top of the notebook.