In this unit, students use their reading skills to analyze informational texts, building their background knowledge about the earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010. Simultaneously, they learn about writing and delivering an effective speech through an analysis of the joint speech given by President Obama and former presidents Clinton and Bush in the days after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As a connection to Social Studies, students also read primary source documents to conduct research about how the United States, through multinational organizations such as the Red Cross, responds to disasters in the Western Hemisphere. For the mid-unit assessment, students complete a short constructed response to explain the importance of providing aid to a country struck by a hypothetical hurricane, and then prioritize and organize their research notes into a graphic organizer to plan their opinion speech about how aid should be prioritized. Students then practice crafting the opinion speech through a brief shared writing experience. They examine the Obama/Clinton/Bush speech as well as a TED Talk given by a student to co-construct a rubric that addresses the speaking and listening standards for delivering a speech to an audience.
During the End of Unit 3 Assessment, students draft a speech for the final performance task about how to prioritize aid following a hypothetical hurricane in Mexico. They then participate in a critique, feedback, and revision session with peers. Next, students receive instruction on language conventions to focus on editing their speeches for punctuation, verb tense, correlative conjunctions, and sentences to enhance clarity or meaning. Students have time to practice their speeches; they then deliver their final speeches to group members. The performance task incorporates both the final draft of the written speech (NYSP12 ELA CCLS RI.5.7, RI.5.9, W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.5, W.5.7, W.5.8, W.5.9, L.5.1, L.5.2, L.5.3, and L.5.6) and the public speaking task (NYSP12 ELA CCLS SL.5.4 and SL.5.6).