Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Off to Class, Pages 12–13 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M1:U2:L2

Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Off to Class, Pages 12–13

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.2.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.2: Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • 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.
  • L.2.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can answer questions using key details about the problem in “Protecting the Amazon” from Off to Class. (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, L.2.4)
  • I can plan and share my writing with a writing partner. (SL.2.1a, SL.2.1b, SL.2.1c, W.2.8)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Times A and 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).
  • During Work Time C, circulate and observe students’ writing to monitor progress toward RI.2.1 and RI.2.2 and to notice whether students answer the questions correctly and use details from the text in their notes.

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: Reviewing Close Reading (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Off to Class, Pages 12–13 (20 minutes)

B. Introducing Writing Partners (10 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: Working with a Writing Partner (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Developing Language: Perseverance (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • This lesson is the first in a series of six in which students engage in a close read-aloud of Off to Class. In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of learning about a school in a new part of the world that has a problem to overcome. Students practice listening to the text for important details to write as notes in their Off to Class notebook.
  • A close read-aloud is an instructional practice that gives beginning readers an opportunity to study a complex text with teacher support, for the purpose of deep comprehension. A close read-aloud of a particular text occurs in a series of short sessions (approximately 20–25 minutes each) across multiple lessons. The teacher poses a focusing question to set a purpose for deeper analysis and facilitates deeper comprehension by rereading excerpts of the text with this question in mind. In each session, the teacher lifts students’ understanding of the text through purposeful text-dependent questions, interactive discussion, and other activities that support comprehension. In the final session, students synthesize their learning by answering the focusing question through a culminating writing or speaking task. For additional information on close read-alouds, refer to the Teaching Notes in Unit 1, Lesson 6 (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, L.2.4).
  • Throughout the world, there are many reasons why some children do not or cannot go to school. Some of those reasons may be challenging to discuss with second-graders in developmentally appropriate and sensitive ways (e.g., poverty, racism, sexism). Use your judgment, based on the context and needs of your students. This unit emphasizes the problems presented by physical geography.
  • Remind students that although the text Off to Class presents informative profiles of schools and communities around the world, each chapter is not necessarily representative of all schools or communities in a given country or region.
  • Writing partners are introduced in Work Time B as a scaffold for students’ writing. Writing partners allow students to think and plan their writing aloud with a partner to help clarify the task and build confidence for writers. Additionally, students are asked to share their completed work with their partner, introducing a real audience for writing (W.2.8).
  • In this unit, students will begin to learn about habits of character of effective learners. In Lesson 1, students reviewed compassion and respect by looking at the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart. In the Closing of this lesson, the habit of character perseverance is introduced. This habit is one of four (perseverance, collaboration, initiative, responsibility) that will be defined and used as a part of being an effective learner. Throughout this unit, students will focus on perseverance as well as collaboration.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson reviews the job of a close reader. Students review the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart, created in Unit 1, to help them focus on their task during the close read-aloud.
  • In Unit 1, students built their writing stamina through daily independent writing tasks. Unit 2 extends writing time with note-taking and developing informational paragraphs.
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to various total participation techniques (e.g., cold calling, Think-Pair-Share, etc.). When following the directive to “Use a total participation technique, invite responses from the group,” use one of these techniques or another familiar technique to encourage all students to participate.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • During the close read-aloud, students take notes for the first time. To ensure that all students complete the work, invite struggling writers to draw pictures with labels.
  • Work Time B introduces writing partners. To ensure that all students feel comfortable and supported, choose partners ahead of time so each student feels safe enough to be willing to share.
  • In Work Time C, students listen to a passage read aloud and then write to a prompt. For students who are visual learners, give them a copy of the text to refer back to when needed. For students who may need to hear the text more than once, consider rereading the passage aloud.

Down the road:

  • This close read-aloud follows a pattern to help students identify the problem and solution within a section of the text. Students begin note-taking in this lesson and Lesson 3, which scaffolds toward the reading portion of the Unit 2 Assessment. Students will begin to translate their notes into a problem and solution informative paragraph in Lesson 4. As support is gradually reduced throughout the unit, students will be asked to demonstrate independence with note-taking and writing in the written portion of the Unit 2 Assessment.
  • In Lessons 6–7, students will complete Sessions 5–6 of the close read-aloud for Off to Class. These final sessions will serve as both the Unit 2 Informational Reading Assessment and Writing Assessment and provide assessment data on students’ progress toward RI.2.1 and W.2.2.

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display the Off to Class and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Review the Close Read-aloud Guide: Off to Class to familiarize yourself with what will be required of students. Note that the Close Read-aloud Guide is divided into sessions. Complete only Session 1 in this lesson, as students will complete the remaining sessions in Lessons 3–7.
  • Predetermine writing partners. Consider choosing students who sit next to each other at their workspaces.
  • Consider marking or pointing to a map when the new school is introduced.
  • Prepare:
    • Our Study of School Word Wall cards for the terms problem; research; Xixuaú, Brazil; and remote. Write or type each term on a card and create or find a visual to accompany it.
    • Off to Class notebooks, by copying the pages double-sided and stapling them together.
    • How to Take Notes anchor chart (see supporting materials).
    • Writing Partners anchor chart (see supporting materials).
  • Post: Learning targets, Classroom Discussion Norms anchor chart, and Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Work Time B: Create Writing Partners anchor chart in an online format, for example a Google Doc, to display and to share with families.
  • Work Time C: Students complete the Off to Class notebooks 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.B.6, 2.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to read informational text closely to determine the topic and key details. This provides students with valuable experience reading and interpreting complex texts, which will foster English language development by exposing them to academic vocabulary and syntax.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to take notes because students must recall information, synthesize, and write in a language that they may not fully comprehend. Consider scaffolding note-taking by gradually increasing the volume of notes expected from students each day. Model and think aloud the note-taking entirely during Session 1 and gradually reduce the amount of support in subsequent sessions.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Provide shorter sentence frames during the close read and during the Closing and Assessment. Examples: “The village _____” or “I think ______.” This will prompt language while requiring students to generate more of their own syntax and content.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time, distribute partially filled-in copies of the relevant pages in the Off to Class notebook. This will provide students with models for the kind of information they should enter and reduce the volume of writing required. Refer to the Off to Class notebook (example, for teacher reference) to determine which sections of the materials to provide for students.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students study the text and images from Off to Class. Attending to the text at the sentence level may be visually difficult for some students. Customize the display of information by placing the text on a document camera or exhibiting an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): During Work Time B, students write independently. When introducing independent writing, vary methods for fine motor response by offering options for drawing utensils, writing tools, and scaffolds.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): During the Opening of this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that problems occur in other communities. Students may need support in recognizing that problems do not just happen elsewhere, but that problems occur in your community as well. Maximize relevance by inviting students to identify problems they have seen in your community. 

Vocabulary

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

New:

  • problem, take notes, research, informational, perseverance (L)
  • remote; Xixuaú, Brazil (T)

Review:

  • details, close reader (L)

Materials

  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 7)
  • Our Study of School Word Wall cards (new; teacher-created; four cards; see Teaching Notes)
  • Our Study of School Word Wall (begun in Lesson 1; added to during the Opening and Work Time A)
  • Close Read-aloud Guide: Off to Class (Session 1; for teacher reference)
    • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
    • Off to Class (one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
    • Off to Class notebook (one per student)
    • Off to Class notebook (example, for teacher reference)
    • How to Take Notes anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Writing Partners anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: Reviewing Close Reading (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • With excitement, tell students to get their wings on again because they are going to a new place! Invite them to stand up, spread their arms out like wings, and pretend they are flying. After some time, invite students to have a seat.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What do you remember about being a close reader?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Direct students’ attention to the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart and select volunteers to read it aloud.
  • Tell students that today they will be close readers of an informational text.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What do you think an informational text is?” (a text to inform the reader with facts and definitions)

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

“I can answer questions using key details about the problem in “Protecting the Amazon” from Off to Class.”

  • Call on a few volunteers to point out or underline some important words in the sentence. If a student has not done so, underline or point out the word problem.
  • Show students the Our Study of School Word Wall card for problem. Say the word and show the picture.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What is a problem?” (something difficult to understand or deal with)

“What is the translation of problem in our home languages?” (wèntí in Chinese) 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.

  • Discuss the definition on the card as a class.
  • Encourage students to turn to an elbow partner and use the word in a sentence. (Example: “I had a problem when _____.”)
  • Place the card and picture for problem on the Our Study of School Word Wall.
  • Tell students that, just like our community sometimes has problems, they will read about other communities that have a problem too. They will need to do some research to understand each community’s problem.
  • Repeat this process with the Word Wall card for research. (to study and collect information about a topic)
  • For ELLs: Point out that do and research are words we hear a lot together. Say: “Sometimes we can use the word research as a verb, and sometimes we can use it as a noun. For example, we can research an interesting topic or we can do research about an interesting topic.” Prompt students to practice using the phrase “do research.” Ask:

“What are we going to do research about?” (We are going to do research about _____.) (MMR)

  • As you introduce the word problem, maximize relevance by inviting students to describe a problem they have seen in your community. Ask:

“What are some problems that you see members of our community facing?” (The bus doesn’t always come on time and people are late for work. Sometimes the library doesn’t have a copy of the book you want to check out.) (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Close Read-aloud, Session 1: Off to Class, Pages 12–13 (20 minutes)

  • Guide students through the close read-aloud of Off to Class using the Close Read-aloud Guide: Off to Class (Session 1; for teacher reference). Consider using the Speaking and Listening Checklist during the close read-aloud (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Refer to the guide for the use of:
    • Off to Class
    • Off to Class notebook
    • Off to Class notebook (example, for teacher reference)
    • How to Take Notes anchor chart
  • Show students the Our Study of School Word Wall card for remote. Remind them that remote means far away from where most people live.
  • Say:

“What is the translation of remote in our home languages?” Call on a student volunteer 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. 

  • Place the Word Wall card and picture for remote on Our Study of School Word Wall.
  • At the end of Session 1, invite students to take a short break by placing their notebooks back at their workspaces and returning to their spot in the whole group area.
  • For ELLs: During the close read-aloud, provide sentence frames for Think-Pair-Shares. (Example: “In the village, there are no _____.”) (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: During the close read-aloud, display the text on a document camera or display an enlarged copy of the text to help direct students to the appropriate sentences on each page. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of this sentence from the lesson/text: “Until recently, the village was virtually cut off from the rest of the world.” Examples:
    • “What does this sentence mean?” (Answers will vary.)
    • “What does the phrase ‘until recently’ mean? Can you use it?” (before not long ago; Until recently, we were first-graders.)
    • “Pretend you are cutting a piece of paper. What do you think it means for a village to be cut off from the rest of the world?” (separated; apart)
    • “How is it separate, based on the text?” (There is no internet or communication. It is far away from other places.)
    • “What does this sentence tell us about the problem for children in Xixuaú?” (They could not stay in their village to learn.)

B. Introducing Writing Partners (10 minutes)

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

“I can plan and share my writing with a writing partner.”

  • Tell students that writing partners will help them become better writers as they continue to write throughout the year.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Writing Partners anchor chart and focus them on the first bullet:
    • “Plan and think together about what we will write.”
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

“What does it look and sound like to plan and think with a partner?” (listening to ideas, talking about the topic)

  • Call on a few students to share out whole group. Write their answers next to the bullet on the chart.
  • Tell students that planning their writing with a partner will give them time to get and give new ideas for their writing.
  • Repeat the process with the next two bullets on the chart.
  • Invite students to put on their best thinking hat to start working with their writing partner!
  • When introducing “The Rainforest School” on page 12, optimize value by prompting students to generate questions. Say: “This section is about a rainforest school. Before we read about it, what are some questions you have about a rainforest school? Whisper your question to a partner.” As you read this section, invite students to see if their question is answered. (MME)
  • After the close read-aloud, optimize value by prompting students to share one thing they liked about the rainforest school in Brazil. Ask:
  • “Even though this community has a problem, there are still some great things about going to school in the rainforest. What is something you noticed in the book that you liked about the rainforest school?” (MME)
  • For ELLs: Invite volunteers to role-play each bullet on the Writing Partners anchor chart for the class. Consider adding dialogue to the anchor chart based on the role-play exchanges. This will provide students with concrete models for what partner work should look and sound like. (Example: “I heard Brielle say, ‘Great idea, maybe you could add _____.’ Let’s put that on our chart.”) (MMAE)

C. Independent Writing: Working with a Writing Partner (15 minutes)

  • Tell students they will be using their Off to Class notebooks again and a lot more through this unit, so they will need to take good care of all the thinking that goes into the notebook. (For fun, consider saying a pledge or promise about taking care of the notebook.)
  • Transition students to their workspaces.
  • Invite students to write their names on the cover of their Off to Class notebook. Then, invite them to open to page 3 and put their pencil down.
  • Explain that students have used their notebooks to take notes, and now they will use them to answer a question. Before, students listened to the text and took some notes for their own thinking. Now, students will listen for answers to a question and write an answer they can share with other people. That means what is written is in complete sentences with their best spelling and punctuation.
  • Tell students that after you read the prompt, they should turn and talk with their writing partners about what they will be listening for when the text is read aloud.
  • Reveal writing partners.
  • Read the prompt and question on page 3 of the Off to Class notebook:
    • “Listen as your teacher rereads the sidebar under Mecias’ photograph. Look carefully at the illustrations. Then answer the question below.
    • “What do we know about Mecias’ village? Use the text and the illustrations to write a short description of the village.”
  • Invite students to turn to their writing partner to discuss what information they will be listening for.
  • Display page 12 of Off to Class. Read aloud the section that begins “In my village, there are a few houses.”
  • Invite students to turn to their writing partner to discuss what they will write. After 30 seconds, cue students to allow the other partner to share his or her ideas.
  • Invite students to begin writing in their own notebooks. Circulate to support them as they write by rereading the prompt or parts of the text. Encourage students to use the resources in the room to help them with spelling (Word Walls, anchor charts, etc.).
  • When 3 minutes remain, ask students to wrap up their writing.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • Encourage students to share their work with their writing partner. Remind them to take turns listening to each other read their work aloud.
  • Invite students to give their writing partner a handshake or high-five for the work they have done.
  • For ELLs: Consider pairing 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 providing implicit sentence frames, for example. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Display the relevant pages of the notebook on a document camera or an enlarged copy of it to help direct students to the appropriate pages and sections while providing instructions. Model and think aloud responding to a sample question. Provide sentence frames for students to support their thinking and writing. (Example: “Mecias’ village has _______. Mecias’ village does not have ______. Also, _______.”) (MMR)
  • As students begin 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)
  • To support self-regulation and independence during the transition to cleanup, use a visual timer and provide a clear routine for what to do with unfinished work. (MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Developing Language: Perseverance (5 minutes)

  • Display page 12 of Off to Class.
  • Invite students to whisper an answer into their hand and ask:

“What problem did we read about in the text Off to Class?” (remote village, no electricity, only went up to grade three)

  • Explain to students that when something is hard, we can choose to push through and keep going.
  • Invite students to repeat the word perseverance.
  • Say:

“Perseverance is a habit of character that is important inside and outside school so that everyone can learn to keep going, even when problems get in our way.”

  • Give students specific positive feedback for working so hard to find clues in the text by reading closely. (Example: “I noticed James listening carefully for important details.”)
  • Challenge students to find moments in the text and in class when someone is showing perseverance.
  • For ELLs: Practice the pronunciation of perseverance. Point out each of the vowel sounds in the word and model its pronunciation. Practice repeating the word chorally with the class as a call-and-response. (MMR)
  • When introducing the word perseverance, personalize this discussion by sharing observations you have made about students showing perseverance in second grade. (Example: “I noticed Josie showed perseverance when she worked to write a whole paragraph, even when her fingers were getting tired.”) (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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