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ELA G4:M2B:U1:L7

Mid-Unit Assessment: Reading about Caterpillars, Answering Questions, and Determining the Main Idea

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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 determine the main idea using specific details from the text. (RI.4.2)
  • I can interpret information presented through charts or graphs. I can explain how that information helps me understand the text around it. (RI.4.7)
  • I can determine the meaning of academic words or phrases in an informational text. (RI.4.4)
  • I can determine the meaning of content words or phrases in an informational text. (RI.4.4)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can make inferences about caterpillar defense mechanisms by examining articles that include text and diagrams.
  • I can determine the main idea of a text on caterpillar defense mechanisms.
  • I can find the meanings of unfamiliar words to help me better understand “Award-Winning Survival Skills: How Animals Elude Prey.”
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment
  • Animal Defenses research journal glossary

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Answering Questions and Determining the Main Idea of a Text about Caterpillars (30 minutes)

B. Rereading an Informational Text: A Closer Look at Words (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflect on Learning Targets: Tracking My Progress (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Continue your independent reading.

  • This is the third lesson where students reread sections from Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses. In the previous lessons, students worked in expert Jigsaw groups to examine a diagram in their section of the anchor text, determine the main idea of their section, and identify details that support the main idea. In this lesson, students make meaning of unfamiliar words in their section of the text.
  • Students work in partners while figuring out the meaning of unknown words. You may wish to determine the partnerships in advance and strategically group students. One possible arrangement you may consider would be to partner ELLs who speak the same home language in the same group, allowing them to have more meaningful discussions and clarify points in their native language. Or, you may partner students who have demonstrated proficiency with this target with students who have been struggling so the proficient students may support the students who struggle.
  • In advance: Determine partnerships.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

progress, track, reflect

  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading about Caterpillars, Answering Questions, and Determining the Main Idea (one per student)
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading about Caterpillars, Answering Questions, and Determining the Main Idea (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses (one per student)

–   Teacher model—“Avoiding Danger” (page 7–9, stopping at “Self-Defense”; last two paragraphs on page 21; “Escape Artists” first two paragraphs on page 22)                  

–   Group 1—“Bad Smells, Bad Tastes, and Powerful Poisons” (page 55–top of 56, stopping at “Poisonous Prey”; pages 58–60)

–   Group 2—“Venomous Stings and Bites” (page 73; “How Venom Works” box on page 76; “Stinging Tentacles” pages 77–78)

–   Group 3—“Mimicry” (pages 91–94)

  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (from Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 3; or re-created in this module, Lesson 2)
  • Vocabulary Strategies anchor chart (from Lesson 3)
  • Equity sticks
  • Animal Defenses research journal (from Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Animal Defense Mechanisms glossary (page 26 of Animal Defenses research journal; from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Sticky notes (two per student)
  • Animal Defense Mechanisms Word Wall (from Lesson 3)
  • Blank Word Wall cards (one index card for every two students)
  • Tracking My Progress, Mid-Unit 1 recording form (one per student and one to display)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that today they will complete a formal assessment in which they will do on their own much of what they have been practicing:

–   Examine and make inferences about a diagram in an informational text.

–   Read an informational text.

–   Identify and record the main idea in the graphic organizer.

–   Answer questions that are dependent on the text.

  • Remind them that they will need to refer to the text in order to answer the questions thoroughly.
  • Encourage the students to do their best. Let them know that this is a chance to show what they know and how much effort they are making to read carefully and identify important details in an informational text. This also is an opportunity to discover even more about animal defense mechanisms.
  • Ask the students to read the first two learning targets silently:

*   “I can make inferences about caterpillar defense mechanisms by examining articles that include text and diagrams.”

*   “I can determine the main idea of a text on caterpillar defense mechanisms.”

  • Have them give a thumbs-up if they are clear on what they will be expected to do, a thumbs-sideways if they understand part but not all of what to do, and a thumbs-down if they are very unsure about what they should do. Address any clarifying questions before beginning the assessment.
  • Discussing and clarifying the language of learning targets helps build academic vocabulary.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Answering Questions and Determining the Main Idea of a Text about Caterpillars (30 minutes)

  • Distribute the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading about Caterpillars, Answering Questions, and Determining the Main Idea to each student. Address any clarifying questions.
  • Give students 30 minutes to complete the assessment.
  • While students are taking the assessment, circulate to monitor their test-taking skills. This is an opportunity to analyze students’ behaviors while taking an assessment. Document strategies students are using during the assessment. For example, look for students annotating their text, using their graphic organizer to take notes before answering questions, and referring to the text as they answer questions.
  • If students receive accommodations for assessments, communicate with the cooperating service providers regarding the practices of instruction in use during this study as well as the goals of the assessment.
  • For some students, this assessment may require more than the 30 minutes allotted. Consider providing students time over multiple days if necessary.
  • Asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps them monitor their understanding of a complex text. When students annotate the text by circling these words, it can also provide a formative assessment for the teacher.

B. Rereading an Informational Text: A Closer Look at Words (15 minutes)

  • Explain to students that they will now have a chance to reread their section from Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses again and practice figuring out the meaning of challenging words. Remind and point out on the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart that close readers read and reread texts many times in order to deeply understand a text.
  • Review the Vocabulary Strategies anchor chart and use equity sticks to call on students to read the strategies listed in the previous lesson. Invite students to turn and talk, asking:

*   “What strategy do you use most often trying to figure out what a word means?”

  • Cold call two or three students to share their partner’s response.
  • Tell students that they now are going to practice some of these strategies while rereading Animal Behavior: Animal Defenses to determine the meaning of some challenging words.
  • Invite students to take out their homework from Lesson 6—a list of words that you do not know the meaning of, the definition of one word from that list, and an explanation for how you figured out what the word meant. Explain to students that they will choose at least three of these words to define and record in their Animal Defenses research journals.
  • Invite students to open to the Animal Defense Mechanisms glossary on  page 26 in the back of their research journals. Remind students that glossaries are a text feature authors often use in nonfiction texts, and that they are found at the end of books. Also remind students that they are formatted so the words appear in alphabetical order. Ask:

*   “What do we do when recording a word into the glossary of our research journals?” 

  • Listen for responses like: “We will find the word we are defining in the glossary, then write the definition, then write the vocabulary strategy we used to determine the meaning of that word, and then draw a quick sketch or diagram showing what that word means.”
  • Explain that with a partner from their expert Jigsaw group, students will reread the text after they have determined and recorded the definitions of these words and talk with their partners about their understanding of the words. Post the following directions:
  1. Find the meaning of at least three words you recorded for homework after Lesson 6.
  2. With your partners, determine the meaning of each word.
  3. Find the word in your glossary and write the definition, the strategy you used to figure out the meaning, and a sketch representing the word.
  4. Reread the text with your partners.
  5. Discuss the following questions: How has your understanding of these words changed? Which words are still confusing for you and why? Record your questions on a sticky note.
  • If necessary, review Steps 1 and 2 briefly by saying: “Let’s review how we did this with the word ‘predator.’ First we flipped through the glossary until we found it. Remember, it’s set up so the words are in alphabetical order, so since that starts with the letter P, it was toward the middle of the glossary. Then we wrote the definition of the word. We figured out that it meant an animal that lives by killing and eating another animal, so that’s what we wrote in the definition box. Then we thought about what vocabulary strategy we used to figure out the meaning of that word. We read on in the article and did some inferring to figure out what it meant. So I wrote ‘reading on in the text and infer’ in the ‘Vocabulary Strategy I Used to Learn This Word’ box. The last thing we did was a quick sketch showing what this word meant. I drew a sketch of an armadillo and a jaguar since that was an example from the article, and I drew an arrow pointing to the jaguar since that’s the predator in the sketch.”
  • Give students 10 minutes to look at least three words from their lists, record their definitions, strategy used, and sketch, and discuss their understanding. Circulate and support pairs as needed. Remind them to record their words at the end of their glossaries. If necessary, ask questions like: “How did you figure out the meaning of that word?” or “Are there any clues in the article that can help you figure out what that word means?” Listen for students discussing the meanings of the words and using strategies from the Vocabulary Strategies anchor chart when determining the meanings.
  • Cold call partners to share their definitions and visuals/notes for each word. Clarify the definition of each word if necessary.
  • Point out the Animal Defense Mechanisms Word Wall to students. Distribute one blank Word Wall card (index card) to each pair. Invite student pairs to choose a word they discussed to write on their Word Wall card and post to the Word Wall.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflect on Learning Targets: Tracking My Progress (10 minutes)

  • Congratulate students on their hard work on the assessment. Distribute the Tracking My Progress, Mid-Unit 1 recording form. Remind students that successful learners keep track and reflect on their own learning. Point out that students have been doing this informally during debriefs when they consider how well they are progressing toward targets.
  • Review Step 1 in the self-assessment and remind students that this is where you would like them to explain what the target means to them. For example, the first target uses the phrase “determine the main idea using specific details.” They should write what the target means “in their own words” by explaining what it means to figure out the main idea of a text and how details are used to support it.
  • Point out the second step, and explain that this is similar to the thumbs-up, -sideways, or -down that they have used in previous lessons. They should also explain why they think they “need more help,” “understand some,” or are “on the way,” and give examples. Consider giving students an example such as: “I circled that I need more help, because I can’t remember what the word determine means.”
  • Collect students’ self-assessments to use as formative assessment to guide instructional decisions.
  • Developing self-assessment and reflection supports all students, but research shows it supports struggling learners most.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • Continue your independent reading.

Supporting Materials

None

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