Speaking and Listening: Schools around the World | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M1:U2:L1

Speaking and Listening: Schools around the World

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.2.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • 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).
  • SL.2.1b: Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.
  • SL.2.1c: Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about the topics and texts under discussion.
  • SL.2.3: Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can listen and respond or ask questions about my classmates’ ideas. (SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, SL.2.1c, SL.2.3)
  • I can write about my observations after closely viewing pictures. (W.2.8)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time B, use the Speaking and Listening Checklist to monitor student progress toward SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, and SL.2.1c (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Collect student work in Work Time C to assess which students may need additional support with writing throughout the unit (phonics, sight words, inventive spelling).

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Working to Become Ethical People (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Establishing a New Discussion Norm: Responding to Classmates’ Ideas (15 minutes)

B. Structured Discussion: Mystery Pictures (15 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: Noticing and Wondering about Pictures (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Introducing the Unit Guiding Questions (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson kicks off the focus for Unit 2: problems in communities that keep students from going to school and how communities work together to solve those problems. Students spend most of the unit exploring this topic through a close read-aloud of the text Off to Class, which closely examines three schools around the world.
  • In this lesson, students reflect on the habits of character introduced in Unit 1 by creating the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. Students will return to this chart throughout the year to add the habits of character empathy and integrity. The term “ethical” is used simply to help students think about doing what is right, even when no one is watching. Find ways to work the ideas of this chart into conversations and activities throughout other parts of the day to ensure that students gain a solid understanding of habits of character.
  • Students add to the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart in Work Time A with “responding to others’ ideas by adding on or asking questions.” This norm will require active practice throughout the unit. To help students understand the internal processing they need to be successful with the norm, consider using the think-aloud included in this lesson each time the norm is demonstrated or modeled (SL.2.1b, SL.2.1c, SL.2.3).
  • In the Closing, students are introduced to the guiding questions for Unit 2: “Why is it hard for some children to go to school in their communities?” and “How do communities solve these problems so their children can go to school?” These questions will be repeated in different ways within each lesson and will build student understanding toward the larger module guiding question: “What is school, and why are schools important?”
  • To allow for a volume of reading on the topic of school for this module, see the K–5 Recommended Text List. Ensure that a variety of informational and narrative texts below, on, and above grade level for this topic is available during independent reading in the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • The mystery pictures in Work Time B expand the discussion about schools from Unit 1. Students begin to explore schools throughout the world. With their knowledge from Unit 1 about what school is and why school is important, students can more easily understand why communities work so hard to overcome challenges and make sure that their students go to school.
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to various total participation techniques (e.g., cold calling, Think-Pair-Share, etc.). When following the directive “Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group,” use one of these techniques or another familiar technique to encourage all students to participate.
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. Continue using Goal 1 Conversation Cues in this way, considering suggestions within lessons. Refer to the Unit 1, Lesson 3 Teaching Notes and see the Tools page for additional information on Conversation Cues.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • In Work Time A, students are introduced to responding to others’ ideas. To ensure that all students feel comfortable, let some students “pass for now” until they feel ready and confident in joining the discussion.
  • In Work Time C, students write about what they have noticed in the pictures. Invite those who may need additional support with writing to attempt some describing words instead of sentences or to draw a picture and label it.

Down the road:

  • Similar to Unit 1, writing in this unit begins with simple reading responses. As the unit progresses, writing will take two forms: note-taking and formal informational writing. Students will develop their note-taking skills by engaging in a close read-aloud of an informational text and will use their notes to help them develop an informational paragraph about the school they read about in the text. Gradual release and scaffolded support of the writing process will culminate with a writing assignment for Part II of the Unit 2 assessment.

In Advance

  • Several times in this lesson, volunteers demonstrate the new discussion norm. Choose volunteers ahead of time to preview the task with them.
  • Predetermine triads for Work Time B.
  • Distribute pencils and the Noticing and Wondering about Pictures response sheet at students’ workspaces. Doing this in advance helps ensure a smooth transition during Work Time C.
  • Prepare:
    • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Speaking and Listening sentence starters (see supporting materials).
    • Our Study of School Word Wall.
    • Our Study of School Word Wall card for the word community. Write or type the word on a card and create or find a visual to accompany it.
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share and Closely Viewing protocols. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Post: Learning targets, Think-Pair-Share anchor chart, and Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A: Create Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and to share with families.
  • Opening A: If you recorded students participating in the Think-Pair-Share protocol in Unit 1, play this video for them to remind them of what to do.
  • Work Time B: Record students as they participate in the Close Viewing protocol to listen to later to discuss strengths and what they could improve on, or to use as models for the whole group. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Work Time C: Students complete the Noticing and Wondering about Pictures response sheet using a word processing tool, for example a Google Doc.
  • Work Time C: Students use Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like Dragon Dictation 

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1, 2.I.A.3, 2.I.B.5, 2.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by providing opportunities to produce verbal language in a supportive setting. The instruction throughout this unit will be crucial in promoting discourse and critical thinking. Strengthening these skills will support the development of English learners in all modalities and will deepen their knowledge in the content areas.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to master the meanings of each Speaking and Listening Sentence Starters provided during Work Time A. Provide additional practice and additional opportunities to model each sentence frame with comprehensible content. Reassure students that if they find the sentence frames confusing, they will have plenty of opportunities to practice.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Before providing sentence frames or additional modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow them to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after students have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they struggle to target appropriate support.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time B, distribute a partially filled-in copy of the Noticing and Wondering about Pictures response sheet. This will provide students with models for the kind of information they should enter and reduce the volume of writing required.
  • Consider teaching the Speaking and Listening Sentence Frames incrementally over three days. This will allow students to build their knowledge gradually and cumulatively and may prevent some from becoming overwhelmed. For easily accessible reference, and for a tactile dimension, provide students with index cards attached to a key ring, each with one of the sentence frames and its corresponding icon written on it. Provide students with practice choosing which frame to use during think time so they are prepared with a verbal response when prompted.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In the Opening, students are introduced to the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. Two habits of character on this chart, compassion and respect, were introduced when students read The Invisible Boy. Maximize transfer of knowledge by displaying images from The Invisible Boy that correspond with examples of respect and compassion on the anchor chart.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During Work Time A, students work in triads to discuss observations of mystery pictures. To support independence during these discussions, students may benefit from smaller handheld versions of the Speaking and Listening sentence starters to refer to as they talk.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): In this lesson, students practice respectfully disagreeing with a classmate. Students may have had negative experiences with disagreement. Create an accepting and supportive classroom climate by involving students in a discussion about what respectful disagreement means, reinforcing the idea that disagreement can be positive and productive. 

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • observations, ethical, community (L)

Review:

  • respect, compassion, respond (L)

Materials

  • The Invisible Boy (from Unit 1, Lesson 6; one to display)
  • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
  • Think-Pair-Share anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 2; added to during Work Time A)
  • Speaking and Listening sentence starters (one for display)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Our Study of School Word Wall (new; teacher-created)
  • Our Study of School Word Wall cards (new; teacher-created; one card; see Teaching Notes)
  • Close Viewing protocol (one per student and one to display)
  • Mystery pictures 1–4 (one each for display)
  • Noticing and Wondering about Pictures response sheet (one per student and one to display)
  • Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart (new; teacher-created)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging The Learner: Working to Become Ethical People (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Display The Invisible Boy and remind students that they just read the story and talked about the words compassion and respect. They played a game with the words, too!
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What do you remember about the words compassion and respect?” (to notice someone is upset and reach out or try to help them feel better; to appreciate the qualities and talents of others)

“What is the translation of respect in our home languages?” (respeto in Spanish) Call on student volunteers to share. Ask other students to choose one translation to quietly repeat. Invite students 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.

  • Say:

“These two habits of character that you’ve found Justin doing at his school, showing compassion and respect, are things that you can do at your school too! They are also important outside of school, so you can become an ethical person.”

  • Direct students’ attention to the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart and read it aloud.
  • Tell students that being ethical means doing what is right.
  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share with an elbow partner. Remind them that they participated in this protocol in Unit 1 and review as necessary, using the Think-Pair-Share anchor chart:

“How do you see or think people use compassion outside of school?” (help someone on the subway)

“How do you see or think people use respect outside of school?” (when they go see a friend’s concert)

  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by giving an example:

“Can you give an example?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Challenge students to continue looking for examples of compassion and respect in our new text or during the day with classmates.
  • Tell students that later in the year, they will learn about other habits of character as well. 
  • When introducing the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart, maximize transfer of knowledge by copying or scanning and printing images from The Invisible Boy that correspond with examples of respect and compassion. Display these images on the anchor chart next to the definitions. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Establishing a New Discussion Norm: Responding to Classmates’ Ideas (15 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:

“I can listen and respond or ask questions about my classmates’ ideas.”

  • Ask students to point to a body part that helps them listen. (ear) Now, ask students to point to a body part that helps them respond. (mouth, brain)
  • Call on students pointing to their mouths or their brains to share why they pointed there. If no one does so, remind them that responding means to think about what someone has said and talk about it.
  • Focus students’ attention on the Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What do we use this anchor chart for?” (These are things to keep in mind when we are working and discussing together.)

  • Share that there is another important norm students can practice: “responding to others’ ideas by adding on or asking questions.” Say:

“Raise your hand if you have had a good idea to share with the class.” Point out how many hands are up.

“Raise your hand if you have ever been confused about something someone has said.” Point out how many hands are up.

“Raise your hand if you had the same idea as someone else but maybe wanted to say a little more about it.” Point out how many hands are up.

  • Explain that students practiced being great listeners in Unit 1 when their classmates’ were talking but that to be a great learner, they need think about what their teammates are saying. Tell students that when they hear their teammates, they should think about what they are saying and then decide whether they would like to add on, disagree, or don’t understand.
  • Post the Speaking and Listening sentence starters by or on the Classroom Discussion Norms chart.
  • Point to and read aloud the first sentence starter:
    • “I would like to add onto ____’s idea with new details.”
  • Tell students they could use this one if they were going to say the same answer as someone else and wanted to add on with new details from the text.
  • Invite students to touch their pointer fingertips together to show that they would like to “add on.”
  • Point to and read aloud the next sentence starter:
    • “I respectfully disagree with _____ because _____.”
  • Tell students that they could use this one if they were going to say an answer that is totally different from someone and have details to prove it.
  • Invite students to place their hand out front, palm down, and shake it to show “I disagree.”
  • Point to and read aloud the last sentence starter:
    • “Sorry, I didn’t understand. Can you please give me more details about ______?”
  • Tell students that they could use this last sentence starter when a teammate has said something that they don’t understand and needs to include more details to support his or her answer.
  • Invite students to make their hand into the letter C and place it on their head to show they are confused and would like to ask a question.
  • Ask two student volunteers to help you model how to use the new discussion norm (“respond to others’ ideas by adding on or asking questions”):
    • Sit or stand face-to-face with the volunteers.
    • Ask one volunteer:

“When have you seen students in our school show compassion?”

    • After the student answers, think aloud: “I heard what she said. Do I want to add on, disagree, or am I confused by her answer? Let me think.”
    • Practice using the sentence starters to respond to the volunteer’s answer. Choose from these responses: “I would like to add onto Mary’s idea with new details”; “I respectfully disagree with Mary because ______”; “Sorry, I didn’t understand. Mary, can you please give me some more details about _____?”
    • Turn to the second volunteer. Tell the class:

“This partner has heard what Mary said and what I have said. Now he will think whether he wants to add on, disagree, or ask a question because he is confused.”

    • Invite the second volunteer to respond using one of the sentence starters.
  • Repeat this process as necessary. Tell students they will all start practicing this new norm by talking about and then writing about some mystery pictures.
  • For ELLs: Create and display icons for three types of responses and the three categories of the Speaking and Listening sentence starters. (Example: green plus sign for adding ideas, red X for disagreeing, and a purple question mark for clarifying questions.) Draw each icon on the anchor chart next to the corresponding questions. Support students in referencing the icons to choose the appropriate sentence starters. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: To practice deciding whether to agree or disagree, recite a series of statements on topics that will be comprehensible for most students, such as lunch or recess. Provide wait time and invite all students to respond nonverbally by making the established sign for either adding ideas, disagreeing, or having a question. Call on several students to support their responses verbally using the sentence starters. (MMAE)
  • When discussing how to respectfully disagree with a classmate, create an accepting and supportive classroom climate by involving students in a discussion about what respectful disagreement means. Reinforce the idea that disagreement can be positive and productive. (Example: “If my classmate disagrees with my ideas, that is okay. It does not mean that my classmate does not like me or does not appreciate my ideas. It just means my classmate had a totally different idea than me! My classmate and I can both learn from each other’s perspectives.”) (MME)

B. Structured Discussion: Mystery Pictures (15 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can write about my observations after closely viewing pictures.”

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

“What are observations?” (what you notice)

  • Tell students that they will need to talk about what they observe (notice) in some mystery pictures that will help them continue to learn about school before they write about what they see.
  • Share with students that the pictures will show people in different communities.
  • Show students the Our Study of School Word Wall card for community. Say the word and show the picture.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

 “What is a community?” (a group of people who share interests or living space)

  • Discuss the definition on the card as a class.
  • Show students the motion of linking your arm through another person’s arm. Invite students to join you in the motion.
  • Encourage students to turn to an elbow partner and use the word in a sentence.
  • Place the card and picture for community on the Our Study of School Word Wall.
  • Invite students to repeat after you: “I am in a community of learners!”
  • Tell students they are going to work in triads to use the Close Viewing protocol to look more closely at the mystery pictures and discuss their findings with their triad.
  • Post the Close Viewing protocol.
  • Review it with students:
  1. Zoom in on one part of the picture.
  2. Look closely at the details in that part of the picture.
  3. Think about what the details helped you learn.
  4. Tell a partner about your details.
  • Draw and write a note about the details.
  • Display mystery pictures 1 and 2.
  • Invite two volunteers to demonstrate the Close Viewing protocol using the new discussion norm. Ask:

“What do you think these are pictures of?” (Responses will vary, but may include: “I think it is a picture of a house because I see people’s clothing.” “I would like to add on _____.”)

  • Display mystery pictures 3 and 4.
  • Move students into predetermined triads.
  • Invite the triads to closely view pictures 3 and 4 and discuss their observations:

“What do you notice in the pictures?”

“This is a school. Where do you think it is?”

“Why do you think this school looks different than ours?”

  • Circulate to support students with the protocol and their attention to the new discussion norm. Prompt them with questions (“Would anyone like to add on?”) for help. For students who may need to see the pictures closer, offer an additional copy or invite them to take a trip up to the document camera to take a closer look. Circulate to support students as they share in their triads. Refer to the Speaking and Listening Checklist as necessary.
  • Give students a 30-second warning to wrap up their thoughts and invite them to give their group members a handshake.
  • For ELLs: Buy or ask for large paint chips from a local hardware or paint store or print them online. Write the words observe, see, notice, and spot, each on a different shade of the paint chip. Place them on the wall and discuss the shades of meaning in relation to viewing mystery pictures.
  • For ELLs: Before inviting students to infer the subject of each picture, model and think aloud identifying discreet details. Provide sentence frames to prompt this additional step. This will provide an entry point for students who may have trouble drawing conclusions immediately. Examples:
    • “I see _____.”
    • “One thing I observe is _____.”
    • “That makes me think _____.” (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Consider grouping students with partners who have varying levels of language proficiency. The partners with greater language proficiency can serve as models in the group, initiating discussions and providing implicit sentence frames. If possible, consider grouping students who speak the same home language together to help one another interpret and comprehend the conversation in their home languages. (MMAE)
  • As student triads discuss their observations of the mystery pictures, provide options for expression by creating small-sized handouts with the Speaking and Listening sentence starters. Embed icons next to each sentence starter. (Example: green plus sign for adding ideas, red X for disagreeing, and a purple question mark for clarifying questions.) Prompt students to refer to the handout as they talk and to encourage their group members to do so as well. (MMR, MMAE)

C. Independent Writing: Noticing and Wondering about Pictures (15 minutes)

  • Display the Noticing and Wondering about Pictures response sheet and focus students on the first prompt:
    • “What did you notice about the schools you just closely viewed? Describe the picture of the school you’d like to know more about.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner about the prompt.
  • Tell students that their response sheet is already at their workspace.
  • Remind students how to transition back to their seats for independent work, as necessary.
  • Invite students to move back to their seats.
  • Invite students to write a response to the first prompt.
  • Refocus whole group and repeat the process of reading the second prompt, giving students time to think and talk with an elbow partner, and then writing their response.
  • Circulate to support students by brainstorming describing words or directing them to a resource in the room.
    • Encourage students who may need additional support with writing to answer the questions orally to gain information on their answers. Alternatively, invite students to draw a picture of the school they choose to write about.
  • Give students a 1-minute warning to finish up their writing.
  • Invite students to clean up their materials.
  • For ELLs: Provide sticky notes, either blank or with prewritten prompts or notices and wonders. Allow students to stick the notes directly onto the corresponding parts of each photograph. Students may also attach the sticky notes onto their response sheets as placeholders for information. (MMAE)
  • Before transitioning students to independent writing, highlight critical features by explicitly modeling the difference between noticing and wondering. (Example: “First, I write about what I noticed. I describe what I remember seeing in the pictures. Next, I write about what I’m wondering. I ask questions about what I saw in the pictures.”) (MMR)
  • When introducing independent writing, vary methods for fine motor response by offering options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers or colored pencils), writing tools (e.g., fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards), and scaffolds (e.g., shared writing, extended time). (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Unit Guiding Questions (5 minutes)

  • Tell students that they will be learning about the schools in the pictures to help them answer the module guiding question:
    • “What is school, and why are schools important?”
  • Display the Unit 2 Guiding Questions anchor chart and select volunteers to read it aloud.
  • Tell students that these questions will guide their learning about the schools in the pictures and that you look forward to getting started with that learning tomorrow!
  • For ELLs: Check for comprehension by asking students to summarize and then to personalize the guiding question. Ask them to paraphrase it and then to say how they feel about it. Ask:

“Can you put the guiding question in your own words?” (What’s school? Why are we learning about it?)

“How do you feel about that question?” (I think it is easy.) (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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