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ELA G2:M1:U1:L1

Drawing and Writing: What Do I Already Know about Schools?

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson: 

  • W.2.2: Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
  • SL.2.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
  • SL.2.1a: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

Daily Learning Target

  • I can listen with care when I participate in conversations with my classmates. (SL.2.1a)
  • I can draw and write what I already know about school. (W.2.2)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the Think-Pair-Share protocol in Work Time B, listen as students converse about what they already know about school. Use this information to inform instruction about conversation norms in subsequent lessons. (SL.2.1)
  • Collect students’ What Is School? notebooks from Work Time C to gather initial evidence on what they already know about school, as well as evidence to help inform writing instruction in subsequent lessons. (W.2.2)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Introducing Learning Targets: “The Magic Bow” Story (10 minutes)

B. Discovering Our Topic: Mystery Questions (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Introducing the Guiding Question (5 minutes)

B. Structured Discussion: Sharing What I Already Know about Schools (10 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: What Is School? Notebook (20 minutes)

3. Closing

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to the module topic (schools). By introducing questions that kindergarteners have about school, students are compelled to help them learn about school and why it is important.
  • In Work Time A, students listen to “The Magic Bow” story to introduce the learning targets. This story and the poem within it will be revisited throughout the unit. Note: The character in the story uses a bow and arrow. Students may confuse this bow (rhymes with row) with another bow (rhymes with cow). Clarify correct pronunciation as necessary.
  • In Work Time B, students participate in the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Consider how familiar they are with this protocol and reallocate class time spent introducing it as necessary.
  • This lesson introduces students to the idea of classroom discussions and how to effectively participate in a conversation with their classmates. In subsequent lessons, students build off of the ideas learned in this lesson. Most module lessons ask students to engage in collaborative conversations with their classmates, so it is crucial that students spend ample time learning about and practicing these conversations (SL.2.1a).
  • In almost all module lessons, students engage in activities that build their skills as writers. This lesson reminds students of the concept that people can record their thinking on paper through drawing and writing. It reinforces the idea that writing is thinking on paper and is one crucial way that people communicate their thinking to others (W.2.2)

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson introduces many simple routines. Consider how it might build on instructional routines already in place in your classroom or school. Examples: learning targets, drawing and writing to communicate ideas, transitions, and use of materials. Modify the lesson as needed, based on what students have experienced during the first few weeks of second grade, as well as modules from previous grades.
  • The Think-Pair-Share protocol, which will be used in subsequent lessons, is introduced.

Down the road:

  • This lesson introduces students to the topic of schools and the module guiding question: “What is school, and why are schools important?” Throughout the unit, students will answer this question by engaging in focused read-alouds and close read-alouds and classroom conversations.
  • Songs and poems will be used throughout all modules as a way to build vocabulary, develop content knowledge, and promote student engagement. Once a song or poem is introduced, it can be revisited during other times of the day (e.g., during transitions).

In Advance

  • Prepare:
  • A location for whole group gathering (e.g., a large rug or floor area). This space is used in most lessons. Making this an inviting area in your classroom, with a rug or warm lighting, can help students develop a sense of comfort and belonging.
  • Prepare (cont’d):
    • Questions from Kindergarteners, Module Guiding Question, and Think-Pair-Share anchor charts (see supporting materials).
    • “Learning Target” poem, by writing it on a large piece of chart paper (see “The Magic Bow” story in supporting materials).
  • The questions from kindergarteners included in this lesson are questions that came from kindergarten students in EL Education schools across the country. Consider collecting questions from the kindergarteners at your own school to help students connect to these questions more deeply.
  • Set up a document camera to read “The Magic Bow” story and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Determine student conversation partners for the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Consider creating a Conversation Partner chart for students to refer to during the lesson (a large chart with students’ names and/or photos designating their partner and which is partner A and which is partner B).
  • Distribute pencils and the What Is School? notebook at students’ workspaces. Doing this in advance helps ensure a smooth transition during Work Time C.
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share protocol. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
    • Be aware that partnering with the opposite gender during the Think-Pair-Share protocol may be uncomfortable and inappropriate for some students. If necessary, seek alternative arrangements for these students according to their cultural traditions.
  • Post: Learning targets, Questions from Kindergarteners anchor chart, Module Guiding Question anchor chart, “Learning Target” poem, Think-Pair-Share anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Work Time B: Create the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart in an online format, such as a Google Doc, to display.
  • Work Time B: Record students as they Think-Pair-Share to listen to later to discuss strengths and what they could improve on, or to use as models for the group. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1 and 2.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to engage prior knowledge about school before beginning to explore the topic in more depth. Establishing schema is especially important for ELLs, as they may lack the shared cultural understanding of native speakers. This lesson also supports ELLs by introducing a protocol for facilitating oral language between peers. Structured opportunities to engage in discussion will facilitate English language development.
  • Some ELLs may find the Think-Pair-Share protocol challenging because they may not feel comfortable speaking. ELLs, especially beginning proficiency students and newcomers, may take time to begin to feel comfortable speaking. Prompt students to repeat words and phrases. Encourage them to try their best but avoid pressuring them to participate.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • When asking about the learning target sentence during Closing and Assessment, challenge students by asking more open-ended questions. (Example: “What does this learning target mean to you? Can you give me an example of how we achieved the learning target?”)

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time C, if students struggle to put words to their ideas, invite them to mime their thoughts. Remind students of the word or concept they recalled and have them repeat it. Prompt them to repeat the words back after scribing them.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students are introduced to “The Magic Bow” story to introduce learning targets. Students may not have background knowledge to interpret what a bow is through auditory information only. Before reading “The Magic Bow,” activate or supply background knowledge by introducing a picture of a bow and physically demonstrating how it is used.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During Work Time C, students are expected to write independently. Second-graders will have a range of fine motor abilities and needs. As you introduce independent writing, vary methods for fine motor response by offering options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (e.g., fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards).
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): This lesson begins a unit premised on helping kindergarteners learn about school. Students may need additional prompting to reflect on why kindergarteners might need their help with this. 

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • important, participate, conversations (L)

Materials

  • Document camera (optional)
  • “The Magic Bow” story (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Questions from Kindergarteners anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Module Guiding Question anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • “Learning Target” poem (written on chart paper; one to display)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • What Is School? notebook (one per student and one to display)
    • What Is School? notebook (Page 1, one per student)
  • What Is School? notebook (example, for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Learning Targets: “The Magic Bow” Story (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group. Make sure students are seated next to the student that will be their Think-Pair-Partner later in the lesson.
  • Using the document camera, display “The Magic Bow” story. Tell students that you have a fun story to read to them called “The Magic Bow.” 
  • Tell students you are going to read the story aloud once without stopping and that they should follow along as you read.
  • While still displaying the text, read it aloud slowly, fluently, and without interruption.
  • Ask and select volunteers to share their thinking:

“What was this story mostly about?” (focusing on learning something new)

“At the beginning of the story, how did the people think the bow helped them?” (It helped them learn new things.)

“What happened to the bow?” (It was stolen.)

“What did the women help the people realize after the bow was stolen?” (It wasn’t the bow that helped them learn something new. Working hard and believing in themselves helped them learn new things.)

  • Tell students they will be learning and doing a lot of amazing things this year. Sometimes it will help to think of this story and its poem about learning new things. 
  • For ELLs: There is challenging language in “The Magic Bow” and no visual support. Display a picture of a bow before reading the story. Model pretending to shoot an arrow. After reading the story, check for comprehension. Ask students to describe what happened first, next, and last in the story.
  • Before reading “The Magic Bow,” activate or supply background knowledge by introducing a picture of a bow and physically demonstrating how it is used. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: It is possible the students may have experience with the bow and arrow as a weapon. Explain that although some people do use a bow and arrow to hunt animals for food, the class is using it for target practice.

B. Discovering Our Topic: Mystery Questions (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they are going to find out what they are going to be learning about in the next few weeks.
  • With excitement, tell students that the class has received a very big envelope with pieces of paper inside it, and that you have taped these pieces on a chart for them to see.
  • Display the Questions from Kindergarteners anchor chart, but do not reveal that they are questions from kindergarteners yet.
  • Tell students you are going to read what is written on the anchor chart aloud to them, and they should think about what the questions are about.
  • Tell students that throughout the year, they will hold a thumbs-up in front of their chest as a signal that they are ready to share their thinking.
  • Read the questions on the anchor chart aloud.
  • Invite students to put a thumbs-up in front of their chest when they have an answer to the following question:

“What do these pieces of paper have in common?” (They are all questions. They are questions about school.)

  • Tell students that these are questions about school, and they are from kindergarteners across the country. Remind students that school is new for many kindergarteners, and so they have many questions about it.
  • Invite students to silently reflect on when they were kindergarteners themselves and questions they had when they were new to school. Invite them to nod their head if they can think of questions they had.
  • Some students may be new to the school themselves. Welcome them and invite them to ask any questions they might have had on their first day, or any questions they still have.
  • Say: “As second-graders, since you are not new to school and already know things about it, maybe we could spend some time helping these kindergarteners learn more about school.”
  • Invite students to do an imaginary high-five in the air with you by putting their arm high in the air and giving a high-five in your direction if they think helping kindergarteners learn more about school is a good idea.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Guiding Question (5 minutes)

  • Display the Module Guiding Question anchor chart.
  • Explain that for the next several weeks, students will think about a very big question as they learn what to tell kindergarteners about school. Tell them that this question will help guide their learning.
  • Read aloud the guiding question:
    • “What is school, and why are schools important?”
  • Underline the words school and important. Read these words aloud and ask:

“Why do you think I underlined these two words?” (Responses will vary, but may include because they are special or important words in the target.)

  • Invite a few volunteers to share their thinking.
  • Tell students that the word important means something that has a lot of value or means a lot to people. Ask:

“What is the translation of important in our home languages?” (importante in Spanish) Call on volunteers to share. Ask other students to choose one translation to quietly repeat. Invite them to say their chosen translation out loud when you give the signal. Chorally repeat the translations and the word in English. Invite self- and peer correction of the pronunciation of the translations and the English.

  • Tell students that they are going to help kindergarteners learn about school and why it is important. First, they will see what they already know about schools, and then they will add to their knowledge.
  • As you discuss helping kindergarteners learn about school, optimize value by inviting students to reflect on why kindergarteners might need help learning about school. (Example: “Think back to when you were a kindergartener. Were there things about school you didn’t know?” and “Why might kindergarteners need help learning about school?”) (MME) 

B. Structured Discussion: Sharing What I Already Know about Schools (10 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and tell them that this is a called a learning target, and it is a goal for their learning.
  • Focus students on the first learning target and read it aloud:
  • “I can listen with care when I participate in conversations with my classmates.”
  • Underline the word participate and tell them it means to take part in or join a group activity.
  • Circle the word conversation. Tell students that when you have a conversation, you talk to others.
  • Invite students to whisper in their hands what they will do while they are participating in conversations with their classmates. (I will listen with care.)
  • Explain that when they listen with care, they should look at the person who is speaking and make sure they are listening to everything that person says.
  • Display the “Learning Target” poem and read it aloud.
  • Invite students to take out their “magic bows” and take aim at the learning target.
  • Tell students they will now practice listening to a partner with care.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Think-Pair-Share protocol. Explain that they will work together and learn from one another all year long. Emphasize that over the course of the year, they will share their thinking in pairs, small groups, and with the whole class. Tell students that sharing their thinking with others helps them learn from one another.
  • Explain the Think-Pair-Share expectations:
  • Point to the image of the person thinking. Tell students you will give them an idea to think about or a question to answer, and they should take some time to think. Have students point to their brains to indicate thinking.
  • Point to the image of the two people facing each other. Tell students that once the group has had thinking time, you will let them know they can turn to each other and begin sharing their ideas.
  • Point again to the image of the two people facing each other. Ask:

“What do you notice about the two people here?” (There is a partner A and a partner B.)

  • Emphasize that sometimes partner A will talk first, and sometimes partner B will talk first. One partner talks while the other partner asks the question and listens. Refer students back to the learning target and remind them that this means to listen with care.
  • Point to the image of the students making a tent with their arms. Explain that once both partners have shared, they should safely make a tent with their arms to show they are done talking and listening. This means making the shape of an upside down V with their arms.
  • Answer any student questions about the Think-Pair-Share protocol.
  • For each pair, designate a partner A and a partner B. Tell students that in a moment, they will Think-Pair-Share about the following question:
  • “What is one thing you think you already know about schools?”
  • Tell students that they may feel nervous about sharing their thinking with a partner, and that it is okay to be nervous. Tell them that listening to their partner with care can help make their partner feel less nervous.
  • Write this sentence starter on the board: “One thing I already know about schools is _____.” Encourage students to use this sentence frame when sharing with their partner.
  • Model this for students with another student. Example: “What is one thing you already know about schools?” “One thing I already know about schools is that there is a teacher to help you learn new things.”
  • Give students 30 seconds to think about what they will share.
  • Tell students that this time, partner A will ask the question first, and partner b will share his or her thinking. Then, partner B will ask the question, and partner a will share his or her thinking. Remind them that when they are both done talking, they should make a tent with their arms.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share.
  • Invite partner A to ask partner B the question.
  • Give partner B 20 seconds to share his/her response.
  • Invite partner B to ask partner A the question, and give partner A 20 seconds to share his/her responses.
  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Give specific positive feedback for behaviors you noticed as they shared. Examples: “I saw many of you thinking quietly during think time, listening while your partner talked, and making a tent with your arms once your partner was finished talking.”)
  • Call on a few pairs to share their thinking with the class.
  • For ELLs: Consider using hand gestures to illustrate the concepts participate and conversation. (Example: Move finger in a circle to indicate participate and move hand back and forth, toward and away from mouth, to indicate conversation.) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Buy or ask for large paint chips from a local hardware or paint store or print them online. Write the words participate, take part, join, and involve yourself, each on a different shade of the paint chip. Place them on the wall and discuss the shades of meaning in relation to class discussion.
  • For ELLs: Pair students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The partner with greater language proficiency can serve as a model in the pair, initiating discussions and guiding the Think-Pair-Share process. If partners work well together, consider using the same mixed proficiency partnerships throughout the unit. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Be aware that some students may have attended schools in other countries, and some students may not have much experience with formal education. Invite and validate diverse perspectives and experiences with school.

C. Independent Writing: What Is School? Notebook (20 minutes)

  • Tell students that another way to share their thinking is through recording it or putting it down on paper by writing or drawing.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can draw and write what I already know about school.”

  • Draw students’ attention to the words drawing and writing.
  • Invite a few volunteers to share their thinking and ask:

“How are drawing and writing different?” (We make pictures to draw, and we use letters to write.)

  • Invite students to take out their magic bow and take aim at the learning target.
  • Tell students that they will have a lot to learn and share with kindergarteners about school and that they will need a special place to record all this thinking and learning. With excitement, invite students to make a drumroll by patting their palms again and again on their thighs.
  • Display the What Is School? notebook. Explain that students will draw and write in this notebook as they learn more about schools and why they are important.
  • Explain that it will be important to handle the notebook carefully, since it is where they will collect their great thinking!
  • Turn to page 1 of the notebook, display the What Is One Thing I Already Know about Schools? response sheet, read the title aloud.
  • Point out that there is space for students to draw and write what they know about school. The blank space is for drawing, and the lines are for writing.
  • Quickly model and think-aloud the process of completing the What Is One Thing I Already Know about Schools? response sheet. Invite students to offer suggestions and ideas. Refer to the What Is School? notebook (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Tell students that their own copies of the notebook are already at their workspace.
  • Remind students how to transition back to their seats for independent work:
  1.  Walk quietly, quickly, and safely to your seats.
  2. Sit in your chairs.
  3. Get a pencil from the bin and begin working right away.
  • Invite one or two students to model what a safe, quiet, and quick transition looks and sounds like for the rest of the group.
  • Invite all students to move back to their seats and begin working.
  • Circulate and support students as they write. Give frequent time reminders and encouragement. Prompt students with questions such as:

“What do you already know about schools?”

“What picture will you draw to show that idea?”

“What words will you write to match your drawing?”

“If it’s easier, you can tell me your ideas in your home language first.”

  • If students need additional support thinking about what to write, ask them about the idea that they shared with their partner at the meeting area. Help them problem-solve by discussing how they might show their idea with a simple picture and words.
  • If students need additional support spelling words, remind them to use the Interactive High Frequency Word Wall or stretch out the words and listen for all the sounds they hear.
  • As students finish, invite them to add details to their drawing(s) and words.
  • For ELLs: While circulating during independent writing and drawing, invite students to share their ideas verbally before they begin. Rephrase the prompt if necessary. Help them plan their writing and drawing based on the ideas they share.
  • As you introduce independent writing, vary methods for fine motor response by offering options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (e.g., fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)
  • As you circulate during independent writing, scaffold the writing task for individual students as needed. Some may benefit from shared writing, extended time, or sentence frames. (Example: “One thing I already know about schools is ________.”) (MMAE) 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to return to the whole group gathering area, bringing their What Is School? notebook with them. Tell students to turn to page 1 of their notebooks.
  • Give students specific, positive feedback on working independently to draw and write what they already know about schools. (Example: “It is clear from your pictures and words that we already know a great deal about schools. You did a great job working independently to record your knowledge today!”)
  • Direct students’ attention to the second learning target and reread it aloud:

“I can draw and write what I already know about school.”

  • Focus students on the Questions from Kindergarteners anchor chart.
  • Tell them that they are going see if they can answer any of these questions based on the work they did today.
  • Read a few questions aloud and ask students to look at their What Do I Already Know about Schools? response sheet to see whether they have answered any of these questions. Select volunteers to read aloud their responses.
  • Tell students that they will talk more about these questions tomorrow.
  • For ELLs: Ask students about the learning target: “I can draw and write what I already know about schools.” Examples:
    • “What is draw in our home languages?” (nacrtati in Bosnian) Invite all students to repeat the translation in a different home language.
    • “If you did any writing, point to something you wrote today.”
    • “What is school?” (Responses will vary.)
    • “What is something you know about school?” (Responses will vary.)

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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