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ELA G6:M3A:U3:L12

Performance Task: Final Draft of the Newspaper Article

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.6.2)

    a. I can introduce the topic of my text.

    a. I can organize my information using various strategies (e.g., definition/classification, comparison/contrast, cause/effect).

    a. I can include headings, graphics, and multimedia to help readers understand my ideas.

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

    c. I can use transitions to clarify relationships among my ideas.

    d. I can use contextually specific language/vocabulary to inform or explain about a topic.

    e. I can establish and maintain a formal style in my writing.

    f. I can construct a concluding statement or section of an informative/explanatory text.

  • I can produce text (print or nonprint) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives. (W.6.4a)
  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.6.9)
  • I can apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”). (W.6.9a)
  • I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my writing and speaking more interesting. (L.6.3a)
  • I can maintain consistency in style and tone when writing and speaking. (L.6.3b)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can use formative feedback from the teacher to revise my newspaper article.
  • I can use peer feedback to revise my article to further meet the expectations of the Newspaper Article Rubric.
  • I can write a final draft of an interesting, accurate, and objective newspaper article.
  • I can choose a section of my article to share that captures my most interesting and accurate details of the event.
  • Final draft of newspaper article

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Reviewing Formative Feedback (10 minutes)

B.  Peer Critique: Stars and Steps (15 minutes)

C.  Writing Final Copy (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief (3 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  None

  • Be prepared to give students feedback on their draft newspaper articles in this lesson. If you need more time to provide feedback, consider adding more lessons in which students read independently or are assessed on the independent reading standards RL.11a and RL.11b. See Stand-alone document See the Independent Reading document, Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6–8: Sample Plan, on EngageNY.org
  • In this lesson, students perform a peer critique. Set up the peer critique carefully to ensure students feel safe giving and receiving feedback. Students must be given a set of clear guidelines for behavior, and they need to see the teacher model how to do it successfully. Asking students to provide feedback to their peers based on explicit criteria in the rubric benefits both parties in clarifying what a strong piece of writing should look like. Students can learn from both the strengths and weaknesses that they notice in the work of peers.
  • In previous lessons, students drafted and revised a newspaper article. In this lesson, students write their final, best version of their article and they conclude this unit by sharing an excerpt of their article.
  • In advance: Prepare the visual component for final newspaper articles. Students will need to be able to insert the visual component they have chosen into their newspaper articles.
  • Review: Mix and Mingle (see Appendix).
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

formative feedback, peer critique

  • End of Unit 3 Assessment (first draft of newspaper article; completed in Lesson 10 with teacher feedback)
  • Peer Critique Guidelines (one to display)
  • Newspaper Article Rubric (from Unit 2, Lesson 12)
  • Stars and Steps recording form (one per student)
  • Performance Task Prompt for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire (from Unit 2, Lesson 1)
  • Visual component (selected by students; see Teaching Notes)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

*   “I can use formative feedback from the teacher to revise my newspaper article.”

*   “I can use peer feedback to revise my article to further meet the expectations of the Newspaper Article Rubric.”

*   “I can write a final draft of an interesting, accurate, and objective newspaper article.”

*   “I can choose a section of my article to share that captures my most interesting and accurate details of the event.”

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   “What does formative feedback mean?”

  • Listen for and guide students to explain that formative feedback is where you get suggestions for how to improve your writing.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   “What does peer critique mean?”

*   “Why is peer critiquing useful?”

  • Listen for: “Peer critique means to look at someone else’s work and give them feedback that will help them improve their writing.” Clarify as needed, then ask:

*   “Now that you have seen the learning targets for this lesson, what do you think you will be doing today? Why?”

  • Listen for: “Writing a final, best version of our article using the feedback from you and sharing a key part of my article with others.”
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Formative Feedback (10 minutes)

  • Hand back the End of Unit 3 Assessments (students’ first drafts of their newspaper articles) with feedback. Ask students to look over your comments and make sure they understand them. Invite students to raise their hands to ask questions if they have them. Alternatively, create a “Help List” on the board and invite students to add their names to it if they need questions answered.
  • Tell students you want them to approach the feedback in two ways:

*   “First, make sure each area marked by me as a next step is addressed in the final draft.”

*   “Second, make changes independently beyond the teacher comment. This means if you revised one part to add more active verbs, then review your whole article for better active verbs. For example, you would reread the entire article and look at the verbs in each sentence making sure they are strong active verbs.” 

  • Remind students that this feedback helps them develop as a writer and that it takes practice. No one is born knowing how to write. Tell them to use the feedback to determine how they can improve the whole essay, not just where the teacher comments are.
  • Consider supporting some students by helping them make a next-steps list at the top of their draft article. This helps students chunk the task for revision into smaller steps.
  • The use of leading questions in feedback helps struggling students understand what areas they should improve on before submitting their newspaper article again.

B. Peer Critique: Stars and Steps (15 minutes)

  • Remind students that a peer critique is when we look over someone else’s work and provide that person with feedback. Explain that peer critiquing must be done carefully because we want to be helpful to our peers so they can use our suggestions to improve their work. We don’t want to make them feel bad. Post the Peer Critique Guidelines and invite students to read them with you.
  • Display the Newspaper Article Rubric and ask students to refer to their own copies.
  • Focus students on the third row, “Coherence, Organization, and Style.” In Column 3, highlight/underline this section: “Exhibits clear newspaper article organization*, with the use of appropriate and varied transitions to create a unified whole and enhance meaning.”
  • Emphasize to students that their job is to make sure that their peers’ writing shows appropriate transitions as discussed in Lesson 11. Distinguish peer critique from proofreading; they are focusing on whether the newspaper article has appropriate transitions and flows well as you read it. It is fine if they catch small errors in each other’s work. But the goal is to make the thinking in the writing as strong as possible.
  • Tell students they will present feedback in the form of stars and steps. Remind them that they have done this in the first module. Today they will give one “star” and one “step” based on the appropriate transitions criteria of the rubric.
  • Briefly model how to give “kind, specific, helpful” stars. Be sure to connect your comments directly to the rubric. For example: “You have used appropriate transitions in the first three paragraphs so they flow smoothly together.”
  • Repeat, briefly modeling how to give “kind, specific, helpful” steps. For example: “Would a transitional word or phrase between the sixth and seventh paragraphs help this section read more smoothly?”
  • Emphasize that it is especially important to be kind when giving steps. Asking a question of the writer is often a good way to do this: “I wonder if …?” “Have you thought about …?”  “I’m not sure what you meant by …”
  • Distribute the Stars and Steps recording form. Explain that today, students will record the star and step for their partner on this sheet so that their partner can remember the feedback he or she receives. They are to write the name of their partner at the top of their paper.
  • Pair up students. Invite pairs to swap newspaper articles and to spend 3 minutes reading them in silence.
  • Ask students to record a star and step for their partner on the recording form. This form is designed to help them remember the feedback they want to give to their partner from the peer critique. Circulate to assist students who may struggle with articulating or recording their feedback.
  • Ask students to return the essay and the Stars and Steps recording form to their partner and to explain the star and step they recorded for their partner. Invite students to question their partners where they don’t understand the star or step they have been given.

  • Set up peer critiquing carefully to ensure students feel safe giving and receiving feedback. Students must be given a set of clear guidelines for behavior, and they need to see the teacher model how to do it successfully. Asking students to provide feedback to their peers based on explicit criteria benefits both parties in clarifying what a strong piece of writing should look like. Students can learn from both the strengths and weaknesses that they notice in the work of peers.

C. Writing Final Copy (15 minutes)

  • Invite students to reread the Performance Task Prompt for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire to ground themselves again in what is expected of their work.
  • Invite students to use the feedback from both their End of Unit 3 Assessment and the peer critique as they write their final draft of the newspaper article.
  • Remind students to include their visual component in their final draft.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief (3 minutes)

  • Remind students of the learning targets and invite them to show a Fist to Five for each one to demonstrate how well they feel they have achieved the target.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • None

 

Supporting Materials

None

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