Performance Task: Informational Writing: Analyzing a Model and Drafting a Focus Statement | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M1:U3:L8

Performance Task: Informational Writing: Analyzing a Model and Drafting a Focus Statement

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.1.2: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
  • W.1.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • L.1.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. 

Daily Learning Target

  • I can identify what makes a high-quality description of a magnificent thing. (W.1.2)
  • I can write the focus statement for my description of our magnificent thing. (W.1.2, W.1.8, L.1.2

Ongoing Assessment

  • Collect students' Magnificent Thing Writing booklets to gather evidence on students' mastery of particular writing standards to inform instruction. (W.1.2)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Launching the Performance Task: Part II (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing a Model: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes)

B. Drafting a Focus Statement: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes)

C. Revising and Editing a Focus statement: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes) 

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to the second part of their performance task, which requires them to write a description about their magnificent thing. This lesson reminds students that visitors will be coming to see their magnificent things, thus giving students a purpose for writing the descriptions (W.1.2, L.1.2).
  • In Work Time A, students first analyze a model and identify the parts of a description of a magnificent thing. Then, in Work Time B, they begin writing their description, zeroing in on the first part: the focus statement.
  • In Work Time C, students are introduced to their writing partners and work with them to revise and edit their focus statements, paying particular attention to whether their statements 1) make sense and 2) tell what job the magnificent thing does. The structure of writing partners is an important part of the writing process, especially for primary learners, as they will work with their writing partners to plan, draft, and edit their writing.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Circulate and support students during writing time in Work Times B and C. Students may need more oral practice before writing their focus statement, or may need reminders to use the word wall or anchor charts around the room.
  • Consider meeting with a small group of students during Work Times B and C to support their writing.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 12, students will be formally assessed on W.1.2. Lessons 8–11 provide time for students to practice this standard through intentional teaching of each substandard.
  • Informational writing is taught, practiced, and assessed in future modules. Students' writing for the performance task is their initial work toward mastering this standard. Use the information gathered from students' Magnificent Thing Writing booklet to provide instruction in Lessons 9–11, and in future modules.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • In Lessons 2–7, students created and revised their magnificent thing and documented their progress in their Magnificent Thing notebook. In this lesson, students begin to use this information to write a description about their group's magnificent thing.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. 

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display the Magnificent Thing notebook (for teacher modeling) and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare the Performance Task anchor chart by adding the information under Part II of the Performance Task anchor chart (see Performance Task Overview for more information).
  • Adapt the performance task prompt depending on who will serve as students' authentic audience for their writing.
  • Collect a piece of chart paper to write the Magnificent Thing Description: Teacher Model.
  • Collect green, yellow, and blue markers to use when modeling in Work Time.
  • Prepare:
    • Steps to Write My Magnificent Thing Description anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Magnificent Thing Writing booklets for each student by copying the pages and stapling them together (see supporting materials).
  • Determine:
    • Writing partners for Work Time A (and Lessons 8–11).
    • Seating arrangements for Work Time A and set up student writing materials in these areas.
    • Review the Think-Pair-Share protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Post: Learning targets, Performance Task anchor chart, "Learning Target" song, and Steps to Write My Magnificent Thing Description anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive whiteboard or document camera to display lesson materials.

  • Work Time A: If you recorded students singing the "Learning Target" song in Unit 2, play this recording for them to join in with.
  • Work Time A: Create the Steps to Write My Magnificent Thing Description anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display. 

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.C.10 and 1.II.A.1

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs through the use of modeling, graphic organizers, and a color-coding system to scaffold structure.
  • ELLs may find it overwhelming to shift from heavily scaffolded work in graphic organizers to begin to work on writing a complete paragraph. Reassure students that they are ready to begin working on descriptions because they have done such an excellent job writing in English in prior lessons. Although it may seem like a lot of writing at first, they are going to complete it a little at a time.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite advanced or intermediate proficiency students to create a paragraph scramble such as the one described below. Invite a few students or the whole class to solve the scramble.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, play a brief game to practice with the structure of the magnificent thing description paragraph. Write each part on a separate piece of paper, color-coded. Call four students, ELLs if possible, to the front of the class. Give each student one of the pieces of paper and instruct them to all hold their papers at chest level so the rest of the class can see. Scramble the students and challenge them to stand in the correct order. Seek input from the rest of the class. 

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students have the opportunity to revisit the concept of revising. As you talk about revising in writing, help students better understand the revision process by connecting it to their experience revising their magnificent things.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During Work Time B, students are invited to talk with a partner about what they plan to write. Support the planning process by circulating and listening in to what partners are sharing. Some students may benefit from explicit prompting or sentence frames.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): During the Closing activity, foster a sense of community and provide options for physical action by inviting students to give themselves a special applause for all their hard work.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

New:

  • conclusion, detail, focus statement (L)

Review:

  • revise (L) 

Materials

  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun Lesson 1; added to in advance; see Performance Task Overview; one to display)
  • "Learning Target's song (from Unit 2, Lesson 2; one to display)
  • My Magnificent Thing Description: Teacher Model (new, co-created with students)
  • Purple marker (one for teacher modeling)
  • Document camera
  • Magnificent Thing notebook (from Lesson 2; one for teacher modeling)
  • Red marker (one for teacher modeling)
  • Blue marker (one for teacher modeling)
  • My Magnificent Thing: Teacher Model (for teacher reference)
  • Magnificent Thing notebook (from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Steps to Write My Magnificent Thing Description anchor chart (new, teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Magnificent Thing Writing booklet (one per student and one to display)
    • Writing My Focus Statement (page 2 of Magnificent Thing Writing booklet)
  • Focus Statement: Teacher Non-Model (one to display)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Launching the Performance Task: Part II (10 minutes) 

  • Gather students together whole group.
  • Give them specific positive praise on their hard work making and revising their magnificent things. (Example: "You collaborated with your small group.")
  • With excitement, tell students that in a few days their families will be coming to see the magnificent things they created, and you want to make sure they are ready!
  • Tell students they are going to Think-Pair-Share possible ways for them to share with their visitors what they have done and learned. Remind students that they used this protocol in Lesson 6. Review as necessary, using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“How can we share what we have done and learned with our families or visitors?” (We can have them come see our magnificent things. We can take pictures of them and put the pictures in our weekly newsletter.)

  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully and seek to understand:

“Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students that one way they can share what they have done and learned is through writing. If possible, connect this idea to a response shared by a student.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted Performance Task anchor chart and read Part II aloud.
  • Say: "Writing about our magnificent thing will help families understand what you did. After reading this, I know that one thing you will need to do in your writing is tell them what magnificent thing you helped create."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What other information will we need to communicate in our writing about our magnificent thing?” (We need to write about the tools we used and how they helped to make our magnificent thing.) 

  • For ELLs: Be aware that not all families may speak English. Invite parents or friends who speak the students' home language to help interpret and translate the student work in preparation for the class presentation. Ensure that all students understand that all family members or guardians are welcome regardless of the languages they speak.
  • After the Think-Pair-Share, provide options for physical action as you review their ideas (taking pictures, writing, sending an email) about sharing the work with families. (Examples: Pretend taking pictures with a camera, writing with a pencil, typing on a computer). (MMAE) 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing a Model: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes) 

  • Tell students that to understand how to write a description for their magnificent thing, they will help you write a description about the magnificent thing you created: a classwork display sign.
  • Invite students to sing the "Learning Target" song.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
    • “I can identify what makes a high-quality description of a magnificent thing.
  • Think aloud for students: "I need to tell my families about the tools I used, so I think I will write a sentence explaining that I used tools to make my magnificent thing. That will help people know what I'm going to write about."
  • Display My Magnificent Thing: Teacher Model.
  • Using a purple marker, write: "I used tools to make the classroom display sign."
  • Tell students that now you need to name the tools you used to make a student work sign and how you used them.
  • Using a document camera, display page 2 of the Magnificent Thing notebook (for teacher modeling). Point out the section titled "Tools I Used."
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

"What tools were used? How were they used to help make the student work sign? (She used scissors to cut the paper. We used glue so the sign would stay.)

  • Using a red marker, write on the anchor chart: "I used scissors to cut the paper."
  • Using a blue marker, write on the anchor chart: "I used glue to make it stick."
  • Read aloud what you have written so far. Think aloud: "Now I need a way to end the description for my magnificent thing. Since what I wrote is mostly about tools, I think I will write, "Tools are important!"
  • Using a purple marker, write on the anchor chart: "Tools are important!"
  • Read aloud what you have written. Explain to students that each sentence is an important part of the description they will write about their group's magnificent thing.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted Steps to Write My Magnificent Thing Description anchor chart. Briefly explain that a description for a magnificent thing has different parts. Each part has a name and does a special job. Describe the different parts of a description of a magnificent thing and the job they do:
    • Purple: This is the focus statement. It is the first sentence in the description and tells readers that you used tools to make a magnificent thing.
    • Red: This is the first detail about a tool you used it, and how you used it to make a magnificent thing.
    • Blue: The second detail is in blue, and also describes a tool you used. Details are sentences that are about the focus statement.
    • Purple: This is the conclusion. It is the last sentence in the description.
  • For ELLs: Ask about the word description:
    • "Does this sound like another word you know?" (yes, describe)
    • "It is in the same family as describe, but it is a little different."
    • "What is the difference between the words describe and description?" (Describe is a verb or an action word that means to tell about something. A description is a noun or a thing. It is the word for something that we say or write that tells about something.)
    • "What will we describe in our description?" (our magnificent things)
  • For ELLs: Display an annotated copy of the model description. Use words and pictures to signal each category in the margins. (Example: "I'm going to draw an eye next to the focus statement, because the focus statement is so important that our readers always need to keep their eyes on it.") (MMR) 
  • Before you write each sentence on the anchor chart, optimize individual choice by asking individual students to select the color marker you should use for each sentence. (MME) 

B. Drafting a Focus Statement: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes) 

  • Tell students that today they will write just the focus statement for their description of their magnificent thing.
  • Invite students to point to the focus statement in the My Magnificent Thing: Teacher Model.
  • Read aloud the focus statement: "I used tools to make a classroom display sign." Explain that the focus statement is the first sentence and tells readers that you used tools to make a magnificent thing.
  • Tell students that after some think time, they will have a chance to share their focus statement with their writing partners. Explain that working with writing partners is an important part of writing; partners help us plan and think about our writing.
  • Tell students that they should share exactly what they plan to write on their paper with a partner.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“What will you write for your focus statement?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students that they are now ready to write their focus statement.
  • Using the document camera, display the Magnificent Thing Writing booklet. Tell students that they will work on different parts of their booklet each day. Today, they are working on page 2: Writing My Focus Statement.
  • Transition students to their seats. Distribute their Magnificent Thing Writing booklets.
  • Invite students to turn to page 2 and write their focus statement on the lines provided.
  • Circulate and support students by directing them to the classroom supports such as the anchor charts, Tools and Work Word Wall, etc.
  • After 10 minutes, tell students to return to the whole group area with their Magnificent Thing Writing booklets.
  • During the Think-Pair –Share, scaffold the planning process by circulating and listening in towhat partners are sharing. Some students may benefit from explicit prompting to plan their writing. (Example: "You collaborated to make a _____.") (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Provide sentence frames to scaffold writing. Beginning proficiency students may benefit from a simplified version omitting a because clause. (Examples: "I made a ____ because ______." OR "I made a _____.") (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: To further clarify the task, model writing the model focus statement on a projected or enlarged version of page 2: Writing My Focus Statement. (MMR)

C. Revising and Editing a Focus Statement: My Magnificent Thing Description (15 minutes) 

  • Give students specific positive praise on their ability to write focus statements. Now they will do something that all writers do as they write—they will reread their writing and make sure it makes sense and that each part of their writing is doing its own job. This is called revising.
  • Say: "I am going to share a different focus statement with you. It is not about the classwork display sign. As I read it aloud, I am going to ask myself, 'Does this make sense? Does the focus statement do its job?'"
  • Read aloud the Focus Statement: Teacher Non-Model: "I made a pencil holder."
  • Think aloud:
    • "Does this focus statement make sense?" (Read it aloud again.) "Yes, it does make sense."
    • "Now let me see if the focus statement does its job of telling the reader how tools were used to make the magnificent thing." (Reread the focus statement.)
  • Invite students to give you a thumbs-up if they think the focus statement does its job or a thumbs-down if it does not do its job. Look for students' responses.
  • Say:  

“This focus statement does not do its job because it does not tell us that tools were used. So I am going to cross out this sentence and write it again.”

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did I do to revise my writing today?” (read it aloud; made sure it made sense; made sure the focus statement did its job)

  • Explain to students that they will now take turns reading their focus statement aloud to their writing partner, and revising their sentences to ensure they make sense and do their job.
  • Move students into pre-determined partnerships and show each pair where they will be working.
  • Invite students to begin sharing and revising with their partners.
  • After 5 minutes, refocus whole group.
  • Explain that another thing writers do as they write is edit their writing. When writers edit their writing, they do their best to make sure their writing is correct and fix any mistakes they notice.
  • Model for students how to reread their focus statements and notice if there are any sounds missing. If a sound is missing, show students how to cross the word out and write the word again on top, with the new sounds they want to include.
  • Invite students to stay in the meeting area to edit their focusing statements on page 2 of their booklets.
  • Circulate to choose two to three exemplar focus statements from students to share with the group in the Closing.
  • Collect students' Magnificent Thing Writing booklets. 
  • For ELLs: Allow advanced or native language proficiency students to provide input for beginning and intermediate students during the revision process. If students speak the same home language, encourage them to discuss in their native language for a few minutes.
  • As you introduce revising, help students generalize learning to new situations by reminding them that they have already had practice with revising. (Example: "Revising is something we have already done in first grade. Can someone remind us what we revised?" "That's right, we revised our magnificent things! So revising is something we can do when we are making things and when we are writing ideas.") (MMR) 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes) 

  • Gather students together whole group.
  • Invite them to Think-Pair-Share:

“What did you do today as a writer to help you write a description of your magnificent thing?” (shared what I was going to write with my writing partner; completed a first draft) 

  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully:

“Who can repeat what your classmate said?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Tell students you are now going to read some example focus statements from the class that make sense and did their job of telling the reader how tools were used to make the magnificent thing.
  • Using the document camera, display two to three student exemplar focus statements and read them aloud.
  • Tell students that they will continue working on their magnificent thing descriptions tomorrow. 
  • As you congratulate the class on their writing for the day, foster a sense of community and provide options for physical action by inviting students to give themselves a special applause. (Examples: Alligator clap, Clam clap, Queen's clap) (MMAE, MME)

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

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