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ELA G7:M1:U2:L18

Gathering Textual Evidence for the Two-Voice Poem (Author’s Note)

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI 7.1)
  • I can compare and contrast a fictional and historical account of a time, place, or character. (RL 7.9)
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense. (W 7.3)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can plan and write a two-voice poem that compares and contrasts how Salva and Nya survived in the challenging environment of South Sudan. 
  • I can gather evidence from informational texts for my two-voice poem.

  • Two-Voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (outer two columns)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A. Vocabulary Entry Task (5 minutes) 

2. Work Time 

A. Modeling: Gathering Evidence from Informational Texts (10 minutes)

B. Independent Practice: Gathering Evidence from Informational Texts (25 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Turn and Talk: Reading Closely for Details (5 minutes) 

4.  Homework

A. Finish the Two-Voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizer.

  • In Lesson 17, students chose a few ideas about survival on which to focus their poems, and gathered details from the novel about Salva and Nya’s experience with this factor in survival. 
  • In this lesson, students continue to gather details for their poem, but this time also from informational texts. They will reread the informational texts they have used so far and add evidence from these texts to the graphic organizer. This activity ensures that students have synthesized their ideas and various texts before they begin to craft their poem. 
  • During Part A of Work Time, you again model planning: this time, modeling how to skim various informational texts and then gather evidence from one. Prepare this model, based on the same survival factor you chose for modeling in Lesson 17. 
  • During Work Time, circulate to confer with students, or begin Work Time by pulling a small group of students whose previous work (Gathering Textual Evidence graphic organizer, first draft of essay) has indicated they struggle with identifying and analyzing textual evidence. 
  • The debrief provides students with a structure to notice the importance of rereading to find evidence. It also will motivate them to continue to do this for homework.
  • In advance: Review the Author’s Note in A Long Walk to Water.
  • Create a chart that lists the informational texts the class has read in this module and lists the survival factors that each addresses (see Unit 1 and 2 overviews). 
  • If students are not certain to have their informational texts from previous lessons, supply extra copies of these texts.
  • Post: Vocabulary Entry Task, learning targets, list of informational texts read in this module, Survival anchor chart, Salva/Nya anchor chart.



(Author’s Note, A Long Walk to Water) genocide (119), referendum (119)

  • Vocabulary Entry Task (one per student)
  • Performance Task Prompt (from Lesson 17)
  • Two Voice Poem: Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (from Lesson 17)
  • Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (for Teacher Reference) (From Lesson 17)
  • List of informational texts read in this module (new; teacher-created; see Work Time A)
  • Survival anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Salva/Nya anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Extra copies of the informational texts that students read throughout this module (if students are not certain to have theirs)
  • Odell Education Reading Closely for Details handout (from Lesson 2)



A. Vocabulary Entry Task (5 minutes) 

  • Post the Vocabulary Entry Task in advance:
  1. “What does genocide mean (page 119)? How can you tell?” 
  2. “What does referendum mean (page 119)? How can you tell?”
  • After students have completed the task, cold call several of them to share their thinking. Listen for them to notice that the context needed to define these words comes in the same sentence but after the word, and point out that this is common in informational text. (Be sure students realize that even though the Author’s Note is in the back of the novel, it is an informational text.)
  • Direct students’ attention to the word genocide. Tell them that this word is made up of two roots: gen- and -cide. Ask them to raise their hands if they can think of other words that include -cide. 
  • After at least one-third of the class has their hands up, call on a few students to share their thinking. Explain that gen- is from Greek and Latin meaning race, kind, or class; -cide is from Latin cidere or caedere, meaning to cut down or kill. 
  • Explain how you can put those two words together to figure out the meaning of genocide: to deliberately kill a nation or ethnic group of people. Write several more words with the root -cide on the board and ask students to talk with a partner about what they mean: homocide, suicide, pesticide. 
  • Call on several students to define these words and explain how they figured them out.
  • Collect or check the homework.
  • Preview the lesson, telling students that today they will add evidence from informational texts to their Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizer. Remind them of the requirement on the Performance Task Prompt that they include evidence from both the novel and the informational texts. If appropriate, tell them that they will also be able to add more information from the novel to their graphic organizer (this depends on how far they got in Lesson 17).
  • Direct their attention to the learning targets, helping them notice that today they will work specifically on the second one: 

* “I can gather evidence from informational texts for my two-voice poem.”

  • In the Author’s Note, they read about how Linda Sue Park used historical information to write her novel A Long Walk to Water. Today students are preparing to be authors. They will do something similar to what Park did: They will read through their informational texts to decide which information will enrich and inform the ideas they are communicating in their two-voice poems.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Modeling: Gathering Evidence from Informational Texts (10 minutes)

  • Using the same survival factor you modeled with in Lesson 17, model for students how you would find evidence in one informational text that connects to those parts of Salva and Nya’s story. You may wish to use the example on the Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (for Teacher Reference) or create one of your own. 
  • As you model, think aloud about deciding which informational text to use (refer students to the list of informational texts you made), skimming that text to find the section that is relevant, rereading that section carefully, and pulling evidence and quotes that connect closely to the story of Salva and Nya that is on your chart. 
  • As you model, use a physical copy of the informational text: You want students to see you rereading, not just hear you say that you will. It is worth being dramatic here: Move your finger across the text to show how you skim quickly, then how you read one section more slowly. 
  • Focus on one informational text that seems most relevant. Highlight for students that you are looking for historical information that connects to or explains the specific evidence from the novel. 
  • When you add evidence to the chart, be clear about whether you are paraphrasing, summarizing, or quoting, and why. Also make sure to show students how you are noting the source of your information or quote. 
  • After you model for one piece of evidence from one informational text, ask students to name the strategies you used to complete the graphic organizer. Make sure they notice both the use of rereading and of paraphrasing, and that they can name that they should look for historical information that connects directly to the evidence from the novel, not directly to the middle column.

  • If many students are struggling with finding evidence in informational texts, consider making the first part of Work Time a guided whole-class practice. Select a survival factor likely to be used by many students and direct students to a particular text. Discuss possible entries on the graphic organizer, making sure students can complete this work independently.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to visually display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all learners but especially supports challenged learners.
  • It may be helpful to direct struggling readers to specific parts of the informational text. It is more beneficial to them to spend time grappling with how to connect a particular section of text to an idea on their graphic organizer than to spend time looking for a passage in a piece of text. 
  • Part B of work time also is a good opportunity to check individually with students whose Two Voice Poem graphic organizers (collected at the end of Lesson 17) indicate that they have not yet successfully identified a focus for their poems.

B. Independent Practice: Gathering Evidence from Informational Texts (25 minutes)

  • Return students’ Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizer and remind them to look for any feedback or direction from you about how to proceed. 
  • Direct students to put a check mark by the factor on their chart for which they are sure they can find evidence in informational texts. 
  • Give students a few minutes to talk with their seat partners: 

* “Which text will you reread?”

* “Where in that text will you focus? Why?” 

  • Then invite students to work individually for 10 minutes while you circulate and confer. Alternately, you may choose to pull a small group to work with during this time. If you have students who have consistently struggled with finding evidence in informational text, or whose struggles with organization will make finding the right source hard for them, you can scaffold this step by making it guided practice.
  • After about 10 minutes, pause the class to notice and name some positive work you have seen. You could share a strong example from a student’s work, name careful rereading, notice accurate paraphrasing, etc. 
  • Once you know that all students are comfortable finding evidence from informational text, you may want to give them some flexibility regarding how they work on the graphic organizer. Students who need to add evidence from the novel may prefer to do that before they add more evidence from informational texts. They will be completing this work at home, so use your judgment to make sure they use their class time for the part of the work with which they are most likely to need support.
  • Remind the students they have 10 minutes left to work, and ask them to talk with their seat partner once more:

* What factor will you work on for this 10 minutes?”

* “What text will you reread in order to gather evidence on this factor?” 

  • Have the class work silently for another 10 minutes while you circulate and confer. As you confer, push students to articulate the connection between the detail from the novel and the informational text. Ask them how a particular detail from the informational text will help them more fully explain how Salva and Nya survived. Also check that they are paraphrasing or quoting thoughtfully. For example, ask: 

* “Why did you choose to use the author’s words here?”

  • Thank students for their hard work today, noticing how rereading has helped them gather the details that will make their poems compelling and original. 
  • Add bullet here: As students complete the Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizer, collect it. Some students may finish in class; others will finish for homework and you can collect their work at the start of Unit 2, Lesson 19. 

Closing & Assessments


A. Turn and Talk: Reading Closely for Details (5 minutes) 

  • Post the following questions on the board. Ask students to locate their Reading Closely for Details handout
  • Invite students to turn and talk with a partner about their answers:

* “What rereading strategies are you using to find textual evidence?” 

* “Look at the Reading Closely for Details handout, and in particular look at the last row. How does rereading help strong readers analyze detail?

* “What texts will you look at tonight?” 

* “What are you hoping to find evidence about?”

  • Cold call a few pairs to share their responses to each question.
  • Preview homework. 




  • Finish adding evidence from the informational text and the novel to your Two-Voice Poem graphic organizer.

Note: Be prepared to return students’ draft essays (from Lesson 16), which they will revise during Lesson 19 as Part 2 of their End of Unit Assessment. Provide specific, focused feedback on Rows 1 and 2 of the NYS rubric. 

Before Unit 3, Lesson 2, review the students’ Two Voice Poem Gathering Evidence graphic organizers. Make sure all students have successfully set a focus and gathered ideas for their poem. To help students prepare for the end of unit 3 assessment, consider providing them with specific feedback about how well their evidence from informational text matches the aspects of Salva and Nya’s story on which they are focusing.

Supporting Materials


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