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ELA G7:M1:U2:L16

End of Unit Assessment, Part 1b: Writing Introduction and Conclusion

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text. (RL.7.1) 
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout a literary text. (RL.7.2) 
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.7.2) 
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose and audience. (W.7.4) 
  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.7.9) 
  • I can accurately use seventh-grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas. (L.7.6)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can write an organized explanatory essay about the theme of survival in A Long Walk to Water.
  • In my essay, I can support my claim with details and quotes from the novel.

  • Draft body paragraphs (from homework)
  • Completed essay and Planning Your Essay graphic organizer 

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

B. Review “What Makes a Literary Analysis Essay Effective?” Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Examining Introduction and Conclusion Criteria of NYS Rubric (10 minutes)

B. Planning Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs (10 minutes)

C. Writing Introduction and Conclusion (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment 

A. Checking in and Collecting Planning Materials and Drafts (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Catch up on your drafting if necessary. Continue independent reading.

  • This lesson continues Part 1 of the official end of unit assessment, which is students’ best independent on-demand draft of their essay. (Students write the introduction and conclusion in Lesson 16). Consider to what extent you want to support students in this work. 
  • This lesson is written assuming the use of computers to draft the essays in order to make revisions in Lesson 19 easier. 
  • Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops. Because students can distract themselves on computers, think about positioning the desks so that it is easy for you to scan the screens throughout the lesson. 
  • If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them at the beginning of Work Time.
  • Consider logistics for how students will save and submit their drafts at the end of class: printing, saving to a server, emailing, etc.
  • If using computers is not possible in your classroom, have students draft on lined paper, skipping lines to make room for revisions. Consider giving students more time to handwrite. 
  • Since students will produce this draft independently, this essay draft is used as an assessment for “Content and Analysis” and “Command of Evidence” on the New York State 6–8 Expository Writing rubric. Plan to return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 19. 
  • Post: Learning targets and “What Makes a Literary Analysis Essay Effective?” anchor chart.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

introduction, conclusion 

  • What Makes a Literary Analysis Essay Effective? anchor chart (begun in Lesson 11)
  • NYS Grade 6–8 Expository Writing rubric (from Lesson 12; one per student)
  • Model Essay: “Challenges Facing a Lost Boy of Sudan” (from Lesson 11 and distributed again in Lesson 14; one per student)
  • A Long Walk to Water (book; one per student) 
  • Planning Your Essay graphic organizer (students’ completed copies)
  • Computers (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Focus the class on the posted learning targets. Tell students that today they will continue to work on the draft of their A Long Walk to Water essay. Let them know that you will collect their planners and their essay drafts at the end of class to assess them based on today’s learning targets.
  • Read each target aloud, or invite a volunteer student to do so: 

* “I can write an organized explanatory essay about the theme of survival in A Long Walk to Water.”

* “In my essay, I can support my claim with details and quotes from the novel.”

  • Give students a moment to think, then turn and talk with a partner:

* “What seems most important to focus on today in your writing?” 

  • Remind them that they will get to revise for conventions after they get their first full draft back. 

  • One of the goals of the scaffolding in the previous lessons is to support all students in writing their essays, including SPED and ELL students. As much as possible, this draft should be done independently. However, there is space during Work Time to check in with students who need more support. 

B. Review “What Makes an Essay Effective?” Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to look at the What Makes a Literary Analysis Essay Effective? anchor chart. Review the criteria for strong essays, especially focused on the introduction and conclusion of the essay. 
  • Point out any criteria that are particularly important or challenging. 
  • Consider allowing SPED and ELL students more time to complete their draft. 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Examining Introduction and Conclusion Criteria of NYS Rubric (10 minutes)

  • Ask students to look at their NYS rubric and point to the criteria in Row 1, Column 3 on the rubric that is focused on the introduction of an essay. Circulate around the room and make sure students are pointing to the Content and Analysis row where it says: “clearly introduce a topic in a manner that follows from the task and purpose.” 
  • Review learning about the first paragraph of the essay from Lesson 12, such as: “The beginning should be interesting,” or “The essay must match and answer the focusing question.”
  • Then invite students to look at Row 3, Column 3 on the rubric again, this time to find criteria about the conclusion. They should point to: “provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the topic and information presented.” Review the meaning of concluding statement—the paragraph that wraps up the main ideas and supporting details of an essay. 
  • Ask students to look at the Model Essay “Challenges Facing a Lost Boy of Sudan.” Have them reread the final paragraph (either on their own or invite a volunteer to read aloud): “Despite the challenges of war, losing his family, and having to walk across Southern Sudan, Salva did survive…. His life can be an inspiration to all of us because it shows that we can overcome many things that would try to discourage and defeat us.” 
  • Think-Pair-Share: Direct students to think silently about how this conclusion fulfills the criteria of the rubric: “provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the topic and information presented.” After about a minute, have students turn to their seat partner and share their thinking. Give students two or three minutes to discuss.
  • Refocus the class. Cold call on two pairs of students to share what they thought. Listen for responses such as: “The first sentence sums up the three main ideas of the essay,” “It gives information about how Salva helps others to overcome the same challenges,” and “The last line leaves the reader thinking.” 
  • Point out to students that the introduction and conclusion paragraphs, unlike their body paragraphs, do not have quotes from the text. One of the main points of the introduction and conclusion is for the writer of the essay to share their own thinking: what they have learned from analyzing the evidence. Point out that this is part of why they have waited to write their introductions and conclusions: All the reading, thinking, talking, and writing they have done over the past few lessons will help students be even clearer about what they really want to tell their readers. 

B. Planning Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs (10 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their texts A Long Walk to Water. Transition the students to planning their own introduction and conclusion paragraphs using their Planning Your Essay graphic organizer. Say: “Now you have the chance to plan the introduction and conclusion of your essay. Keep the New York State rubric and the model essay out so that you can refer to them as you plan. Before you begin, read over your body paragraphs to remind yourself what ideas you need to introduce in your introduction and what ideas you need to wrap up in your conclusion.”
  • Students will finish planning at different times. Let them know that when they are done, they may begin drafting their introduction and conclusion in the same document in which they drafted their body paragraphs (either in word processing software or on lined paper). 
  • Let students know that they can raise their hand if they have a question, but otherwise set the expectation that this planning should be done individually.
  • As students are working, circulate around the room to support them as needed. 

C. Writing Introduction and Conclusion (15 minutes)

  • As students finish their planning, encourage them to begin typing or handwriting their actual introduction and conclusion paragraphs. 
  • Remind students to save their work often as they are typing. Let them know in what form (email, printed, saved to server, etc.) they will be turning in their draft at the end of the class. 
  • Continue to circulate around the room, supporting students when needed or when their hands are raised. 
  • When there are a few minutes left, remind students to save their work. 
  • For students who struggle with writing, consider having them orally rehearse their plan before they begin drafting. 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Checking in and Collecting Planning Materials and Drafts (5 minutes) 

  • Give students specific positive praise for behaviors or thinking you noticed during class. Emphasize ways in which they are showing stamina as writers, and specific examples of students who are having strong insights about the theme of the novel.
  • Tell students you look forward to reading their drafts. Collect student drafts and planning work: Forming Evidence-Based Claims sheet and Planning Your Essay. 

Assessment

ELA G7:M1:U2:L15

Homework

Homework
  • Catch up on drafting your essay if necessary. Tell someone at home what you are writing about and what you are learning: about the theme of survival, and about formal essay writing. Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit at home. 

Note: Assess the essay draft for “Content and Analysis” and “Command of Evidence” on the New York State 6–8 Expository Writing rubric. Be prepared by Lesson 19 to return the essay drafts with feedback and the rubric. Focus your feedback on the top two rows of the rubric. But keep an eye out for common organization or convention mistakes in the essays. You can address those in Lesson 19 when students revise. 

Lessons 17 and 18 give students time to begin work that will build toward the Final Performance Task—the Two-Voice Poem. (This also allows time for you to review essays and give feedback by Lesson 19.)

Supporting Materials

None

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