In this module, students continue to build on their knowledge of pollinators from Module 3 as they deepen their literacy skills and build citizenship. Specifically, students explore the module guiding questions: “Why should people help pollinators to survive? How can I take action to help pollinators?”
In Unit 1, students explore folktales and fables in which pollinators are the central characters. They engage in a close read-aloud, focused read-alouds, and independent reading and learn to determine the central message of the folktales and fables they read. They then learn to compare and contrast two versions of the same fable. As they analyze each text, students also consider habits of character that help the fictional characters contribute to a better world by responding to challenges. Students are supported in their comprehension with the Role-Play protocol, text-dependent questions, and note-taking.
In Unit 2, students continue their study of pollinators by reading and writing opinion pieces. Specifically, students learn about the challenges facing bats and butterflies. In the first part of the unit, students read two opinion texts, A Place for Bats and “Bats’ Roosts in Danger!” Building on the research skills students learned in Module 3, the class records class notes about these dangers. In the second part of the unit, students read about the dangers facing butterflies and continue to hone their research skills by recording class notes. Students draft an opinion piece about why butterflies are important to plants and animals, using reasons collected on the class notes to support their opinion.
In Unit 3, students apply their knowledge about plants and pollinators to help one important pollinator: butterflies. Building on knowledge from Modules 3–4, students read about how planting wildflowers helps butterflies. For their performance task, students are invited to take action by creating a wildflower seed packet to then give a visitor at the Celebration of Learning. This performance task includes a high-quality colored pencil drawing of a butterfly and a short opinion piece about why it is important to help butterflies (W.2.1, W.2.2, W.2.5, W.2.6, W.2.7, W.2.8). In this unit, students engage in a routine of oral and written reflection and share a formal reflection on their work and learning throughout Module 4 in small groups at the end of the unit. As a culmination of the work of Module 4, students write letters inviting community and family members to a Celebration of Learning, where they share their reflections and give their seed packets to a guest.
Recall that EL Education believes that high-quality work is a reflection and result of the high expectations teachers have for all students. Thus, it is a means to excellence and equity. The performance task for this module allows for students to create high-quality work based on their deep knowledge of trees. Using the literacy skills built throughout the school year; knowledge built in Modules 3–4; and cycles of drafting, critique, and revision, students are able to create a high-quality product that showcases their learning for the year. Unit 3 of this module supports this work for the performance task with both the design of its lessons and the use of optional flex days. Refer to the Performance Task Overview and Unit 3 Overview for additional information.