Performance Task – Informational Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preferences | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:M1:U3:L11

Performance Task – Informational Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preferences

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.K.2: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
  • W.K.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • L.K.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.K.2c: Write a letter or letters for most consonant and short-vowel sounds (phonemes).
  • L.K.2d: Spell simple words phonetically, drawing on knowledge of sound-letter relationships.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can describe the toy my classmate prefers using pictures and words. (W.K.2, W.K.8, L.K.2c, L.K.2d)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time A, as students draft their writing and drawings about a classmate’s toy preferences, circulate and note progress toward the writing and language standards of this lesson (W.K.2, W.K.8, L.K.2c, L.K.2d).

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: “Little Ball” Song (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Drawing and Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preference (20 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preference (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students use the information from their interviews in Lessons 9–10 to complete the performance task, in which they create and publish an informational piece to describe their classmate’s preferred classroom toy (W.K.2, W.K.8, L.K.2c, L.K.2d).
  • The writing task in this lesson is highly supported through focused teacher modeling, drawing and labeling, and oral practice. Providing this type of scaffolding to young writers supports the development of their writing skill and ability in a developmentally appropriate way.
  • During Work Time A, students use their Toy Preference Interview note-catchers to draw and label pictures describing the toy their classmate prefers (W.K.2, W.K.8, L.K.2c, L.K.2d). Providing students with an opportunity to draw and label first supports the development of the language needed to write about their drawings.
  • During Work Time B, students use their labeled drawings to write a sentence describing the toy their classmate prefers (W.K.2, W.K.8, L.K.2c, L.K.2d). At this point in the year, much of the information in student writing will likely be conveyed through pictures and labels. Most words will be spelled phonetically, using beginning and ending consonants. Take note of students who do not yet seem to understand that the words they say can be written down or that sounds are associated with letters. These students will need additional support as you move into the next module. Students who are comfortable writing and have extra time can be encouraged to add detail to their pictures or additional labels using resources available in the room.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • During this lesson, students will draw on the experiences of interviewing a classmate, exploring and discussing changing toy preferences, and learning about perspective from previous lessons in this unit as they write and draw about someone else’s toy preferences. In addition, as students create drawings of a classmate’s preferred toy, they are drawing on the skills of observing and noting toy attributes developed and practiced in Unit 2 of this module.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Look for opportunities to support students as they write about and describe a classmate’s toy preference. Consider seating them near anchor charts and models or providing additional sentence frames as they write.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 12, students will complete this performance task, using words and pictures to show how their partners play with the toys they prefer. In Lesson 13, students will share their work during a class celebration, which will be attended by the principal and other visitors.

In Advance

  • Set up a document camera to display the “Little Ball” song and other documents throughout the lesson (optional).
  • Prepare the Picture Story Paper: Teacher Model by writing it on chart paper.
  • Distribute student materials for Work Times A and B (pencils, completed Toy Preference Interview Note-catcher: Student Version, and Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version on clipboards) at students’ seats in the whole group area. This helps to ensure a smooth transition for Work Time.
  • Post: Learning target, Color Words anchor chart, Shape Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, Texture Words anchor chart, and Classroom Toys anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening A: Video record the whole group singing the Little Ball song with actions and post it on a teacher webpage or on a portfolio app like Seesaw for students to listen to at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video recording apps or software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standard K.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by systematically scaffolding tasks and providing opportunities to verbalize thinking before writing.
  • As the lesson guides students step by step, ELLs may find it challenging to keep the same pace as other students. Students may also become restless working with their clipboards on the floor. If students become frustrated, allow them to stretch their legs periodically or to work at their desks. To minimize stress and stigma, remind the class that different children work at different paces.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • As students write and verbalize information about their classmate’s preference, challenge them to notice the s at the end of verbs expressed in the third person present simple tense. Provide some examples to practice with the tense. (Example: “I prefer to play with a ball, but Ms. Jones prefers to play with a yo-yo!”)

For heavier support:

  • For beginning proficiency students and those who have trouble working independently, consider completing the performance task in a small group as a shared writing experience.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Throughout this lesson, embed support for unfamiliar vocabulary by providing explanation and visual examples. This will help students make connections and support comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): This lesson requires students to reflect on and use information they gathered on note-catchers in a previous lesson. Support students in processing this information by modeling a think-aloud with the note-catcher.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Students are asked to draw and label as well as to write sentences. As you model these tasks, support student engagement and developing writing confidence by emphasizing process and effort.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

Review:

  • describe (L)

Materials

  • Document camera (optional)
  • “Little Ball” song (one to display)
  • Letter from the Principal (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Toy Preference Interview Note-catcher: Student Version (from Lessons 9–10)
  • Toy Preference Interview Note-catcher: Teacher Model (from Lesson 8; one to display)
  • Performance Task Response Sheet: Teacher Model (written on chart paper; one to display)
  • Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version (one per student)
  • Clipboards (one per student)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Color Words anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 2)
  • Shape Words anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 2)
  • Size Words anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 3)
  • Texture Words anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 3)
  • Classroom Toys anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 1)
  • Toys and Play Word Wall (from Unit 1, Lesson 2)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: “Little Ball” Song (5 minutes)

  • Gather students in the whole group area.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Do any of you like to play with balls?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Invite students who prefer to play with a ball to raise their hands.
  • Tell students you are going to teach them a new song about a ball. Explain that this song is about balls of different sizes and has actions to go along with it.
  • Using a document camera, display the “Little Ball” song.
  • Invite students to follow along as you sing and track the print. As you sing the song, engage in the accompanying hand motions.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How do the hand motions help you understand what the song is telling you?” (The song is about a ball that gets bigger and bigger, and as you sing it you make your hands bigger and bigger.)

  • Invite students to join you as you sing the song again and engage in the hand motions.
  • Repeat two or three times or as time permits.
  • For ELLs: As you prepare the “Little Ball” song on chart paper, support students’ understanding of size by including small illustrations of balls that become progressively bigger. (MMR)
  • After you sing the song, allow for personal responses by asking students to share a kind of ball they have played with that is “little,” “bigger,” and “great big.” (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Drawing and Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preference (20 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted Letter from the Principal and reread it. Remind them that they have gathered a lot of great information about the toys they prefer.
  • Share with students that the class will soon have visitors, including the principal, who want to know what the students have learned about each other’s preferred toys.
  • Explain that today they will use the information they gathered from their interviews to write about the toys classmates prefer. They will need to use pictures and words to share this information with their guests.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

“I can describe the toy my classmate prefers using pictures and words.”

  • Briefly review the definition of describe with students.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How will the class share the information with the principal and other guests?” (through writing and pictures)

  • Direct students’ attention to their Toy Preference Interview Note-catcher: Student Version at their seats.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did you do to gather the information that is on these sheets?” (We interviewed each other.)

  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and take turns reading the information on their note-catchers. Support students as needed in using the note-catcher to recall who they interviewed and what his or her toy preference was.
  • Remind students that you also completed an interview to learn about a guest’s toy preferences. Direct students’ attention to the Toy Preference Interview Note-catcher: Teacher Model and briefly review the information recorded on the sheet. (Example: “I interviewed Ms. Jones, and she told me she prefers to play with paints.”)
  • Explain that you are going to use the information you gathered from the first part of the interview to write about the toy that the guest you interviewed prefers.
  • Using the Performance Task Response Sheet: Teacher Model, model how to do this:

1. Think aloud about what you want to write given the information you gathered from the interview. Say:

“I found out that Ms. Jones prefers paint. She told me that she likes the green paint the most because green is her favorite color. When I asked her how she likes to play with it, she said she likes to use the green paint to paint trees and grass and leaves.”

2. Point to the parts of the note-catcher that include the different pieces of information (circled toy, name of interview subject) as you recall the information.

3. Sketch a face and label it “Ms. Jones” and point to the part of the note-catcher where the name is.

4. Think aloud as you sketch the basic shapes and labels to show the preferred toy. Say:

“When I look at my note-catcher, I see that the paint looks like a rectangle, so I’m going to draw that. I see the word paint on my note-catcher, so I’m going to use that to help me label my drawing.”

  • Direct students’ attention to the Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version, clipboards, and pencils and invite them to draw and label pictures to show the information on their own note-catchers.
  • Circulate to assist with drawing and labeling, prompting students to use their note-catchers and the Color Words anchor chart, Shape Words anchor chart, Size Words anchor chart, Texture Words anchor chart, Classroom Toys anchor chart, and Toys and Play Word Wall as resources.
  • If students are stuck, prompt them with questions such as:

“What ideas can you share with me?”

“How might you show your idea in writing and simple pictures?

  • Conversely, if a student finishes quickly, ask how he or she might add some details to the picture.
  • Provide time reminders and encouragement as students work.
  • Refocus whole group. Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner, briefly sharing their drawings.   
  • For ELLs: As you re-read and reflect on the Letter from the Principal, embed support for vocabulary by explaining the meaning of gather information. (Example: “When we gather information, we draw or write about things that we have learned. What information did we gather on our Toy Preference Interview note-catchers?”) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Before students interact with elbow partners, support planning by modeling how to read and interpret information from the note-catcher. (Example: “Hmm, it looks like I drew a picture of a ball, so Ms. Jones’ favorite toy is a ball!”) (ELL, MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Before students begin drawing on their Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version, ask them to Think-Pair-Share what they will draw. Take note of students who seem confused and assist them first while circulating.
  • As you model drawing and labeling on the response sheet, emphasize process and effort by modeling how to sound out a word with tricky spelling. Encourage students to try their best, even if they get stuck. (MME)

B. Independent Writing: Describing a Classmate’s Toy Preference (30 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group and give them specific positive feedback on their hard work drawing and labeling pictures to show their classmates’ toy preferences. (Example: “I noticed that everyone used their notes from the interviews to make detailed drawings of their classmate’s preferred toy.”)
  • Direct students’ attention back to the Performance Task Response Sheet: Teacher Model. Explain that now you are ready to add a sentence below your picture.
  • Model how to do this using the Performance Task Response Sheet: Teacher Model:

1. Point to the pictures and labels you drew of the guest’s face and slowly think aloud the beginning of a clear sentence that expresses the meaning conveyed in the pictures:

“Ms. Jones prefers …”

2. Point to the pictures and labels you drew of the circled toys and slowly think aloud the remainder of a clear sentence that expresses the meaning conveyed in the pictures:

“… to play with paints.”

3. Repeat the full sentence fluently:

“Ms. Jones prefers to play with paints.”

  • Tell students that they are now ready to add a sentence beneath their pictures.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow buddy and use the pictures they drew to orally compose a sentence with their partner. Circulate and support students in pointing to the appropriate part of their drawings and help them to connect the information in the pictures with the words they are saying. As you circulate, identify one or two students who were able to compose clear and complete, simple sentences.
  • Refocus students’ whole group and invite the one or two students you selected to share their sentences with the group.
  • Using the Performance Task Response Sheet: Teacher Model, model writing the orally composed sentence below the drawings:

1. Think aloud as you repeat the words in the sentence and listen for beginning and ending consonants.

2. As you complete one word, place your finger on the chart paper to model leaving a finger space between words.

3. Think aloud as you use the labels on your drawing to write the words in your sentence.

4. Model using the resources around the room to support writing the words in your sentence.

5. Read the full sentence back to students, pointing to each word as you read.

  • Direct students’ attention back to their Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version and invite them to write a sentence at the bottom of the page. Remind them that they are using words to show the information they have already put in their drawings.
  • Circulate to support students in using the strategies you modeled, prompting them to use the resources around the room. If necessary, invite them to orally dictate their sentences to you.
  • Prompt students to improve their writing or drawings by asking specific questions:

“Did you include your classmate’s name?”

“Does your writing include the toy he or she prefers to play with?”

“Does your picture match your words and have labels?”

  • For ELLs: Review the meaning of the word prefer and how it relates to the word preference. (Example: “When we prefer something, it means we like it more than something else. The thing that we like is called our preference. Michelle, what is your toy preference? What do you prefer to play with?”)
  • For ELLs: For independent writing, differentiate the degree of difficulty to optimize challenge. If students need additional support writing sentences, write sentence frames directly on their Performance Task Response Sheet: Student Version as they dictate their ideas. For those that still need support, write their dictated sentence in highlighter and encourage them to trace the words in pen or pencil. Example: “[Name of student] prefers to play with _____.” (MME)
  • To help students express their ideas in the independent writing task, offer options for drawing utensils (Examples: thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (Examples: fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards). (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Give students specific positive feedback on their hard work and perseverance as they wrote about each other’s preferred toys. (Example: “Everyone worked very hard today to write and draw about their classmate’s preferred toy.”)
  • Invite students to briefly reflect on the criteria for writing by saying:

“Where is your classmate’s name on your paper? Put your thumb on it.”

“Where is the name of the toy your classmate prefers on your paper? Put your thumb on it.”

  • Share with students that they will add to their writing in the next lesson and prepare for the visitors by practicing what they will share during the celebration.

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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