Independent Writing: The Events in My Weather Story, Part II | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA GK:M2:U3:L8

Independent Writing: The Events in My Weather Story, Part II

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.K.3: Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.
  • W.K.5: With guidance and support from adults, respond to questions and suggestions from peers and add details to strengthen writing as needed.
  • L.K.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.K.1a: Print many upper- and lowercase letters
  • L.K.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.K.2a: Capitalize the first word in a sentence and the pronoun I.
  • 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.
  • L.K.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can tell the story of my character and the weather using pictures and words. (W.K.3, L.K.1a, L.K.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.2d, L.K.6)
  • I can improve my writing using feedback from a partner. (W.K.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During Work Time B, as students draft their weather stories, circulate and note progress toward the writing and language standards of this lesson. (W.K.3, L.K.1a, L.K.2a L.K.2c, L.K.2d, L.K.6)
  • During Work Time C, listen for students to use the feedback their partner provides to support improving their weather stories. (W.K.5)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Learner: “Snowflakes” Poem (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Modeling: Drafting More Events for a Weather Narrative (10 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Drafting More Events for My Weather Narrative (25 minutes)

C. Structured Discussion: Critiquing a Partner’s Work (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • Students continue crafting the written portion of their weather stories based on the planning, drawing, and role-playing they did in Lessons 2–5 (W.K.3, L.K.1a, L.K.2a, L.K.2c, L.K.2d, and L.K.6). Students continue to write about the events in their weather stories—specifically, the activities the character engaged in based on the weather.
  • As in Lessons 6–7, students’ oral rehearsal in Work Time A supports the growth of their writing skills in a developmentally appropriate way.
  • As in Lesson 7, during Work Time B, students write about the events. Here, more instructional time is allotted than in previous lessons because students write several complete sentences. During Work Time C, students continue to build their skills in giving and receiving kind, specific, and helpful feedback. Support students in referencing anchor charts and their partner’s work when giving feedback (W.K.5).

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • This lesson builds upon the writing that students completed in Lessons 6–7 and asks students to use the planning, drafting, and role-playing from Lessons 2–5 to complete their writing.
  • Revisiting learning targets over several lessons familiarizes students with the language of the target and gives them time to practice the skills in the target over time. This lesson follows a similar structure to Lessons 6–7, allowing students to practice new skills in a familiar and supported way.
  • Continue to use Goal 1–3 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 by seating them near anchor charts and models or by providing additional sentence frames.
  • As students give and receive feedback during Work Time C, circulate to ensure they are offering kind, specific, and helpful feedback to their partner. Prompt students to reference the High-Quality Work anchor chart and their partner’s work in order to give this type of feedback.
  • During Work Time B, reference the Keyword cards for letter sounds to help students when writing. For example, remind students of the keyword associated with the letter “a” (alligator). Refer to the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block Learning Letters book for additional information.
  • During Work Time B, refer students to the Interactive High-Frequency Word Wall (at the back of the K–2 Reading Foundations Skills Block Teacher Guides).

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 9, students will complete their weather stories by writing about their character’s feelings about the weather and what their character did because of the weather.
  • In Lessons 10–11, students will participate in a small group conversation in the Unit 3 Assessment and rotate through centers to prepare for the Weather Expo.
  • In Lesson 12, students will participate in a class-wide Weather Expo during which they will share and celebrate their work from this unit and the previous unit with visitors. The structure of the Weather Expo relies on visitors anchoring small groups of students, so it is important that there is at least one visitor for every four to five children. Consider extending invitations to the principal, families, community members, and other teachers and classes to attend.

In Advance

  • Pre-distribute materials for Work Times A and B at student workspaces to ensure a smooth transition.
  • Post: Learning targets, “Snowflakes” poem, enlarged version of My Weather Story booklet, Hot Day chart, Windy Day chart, Snowy Day chart, Rainy Day chart, Conversation Partners chart, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • If you recorded students reading the “Snowflakes” poem in Unit 2, play this recording for them to join in with.
  • Students complete their My Weather Story booklet using word-processing software—for example, a Google Doc.
  • Students use Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software such as Dragon Dictation.
  • If students were recorded critiquing their partner’s work in Lesson 6, consider replaying these recordings to remind students of the process or as a model for the group.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards K.I.C.10 and K.I.C.12

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to participate in a structured discussion with peers to improve their work.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to write two pages on open-ended lines. Remind students that they will have an opportunity to improve their work based on feedback, and to focus on writing their ideas and trying their best, even if they are not sure about spelling.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During Work Time A, invite students to model completing a sentence about their character for the class.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time B, while circulating and supporting student writing, create sentence frames for students to support their writing. (Examples: “______ ate _____.” _______ played _______.”)
  • During Work Time B, work closely with a small group of students who may need heavier support.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In this lesson, students reflect on aspects of the writing process that have been the most challenging for them as writers. To support students’ recall of all aspects of the writing process, offer alternatives for auditory information by listing different aspects of the writing process on chart paper or a white board for students to refer to.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): During independent writing, some students may forget their sentence ideas once they begin directing their efforts toward writing. To support strategy development, review how to physically touch the words/spaces on the sentence frame and draw lines for additional words you intend to write. This helps students recall their original ideas later in the writing process.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): When introducing any new activity, increase engagement by explicitly stating the activity’s relevance. To optimize relevance in this lesson, discuss the purpose of talking about challenging aspects of writing. Remind students that this discussion can help them set writing goals and support one another in the writing process.

Vocabulary

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

N/A

Materials

  • “Snowflakes” poem (from Unit 2, Lesson 11; one to display)
  • My Weather Story booklet (from Lesson 2; pages 3–4; one for teacher modeling and one per student)
  • Expert meteorologist charts (from Lesson 1; one of each to display)
    • Hot Day chart
    • Windy Day chart
    • Snowy Day chart
    • Rainy Day chart
  • Peer Feedback anchor chart (begun in Lesson 6)
  • High-Quality Work anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 7)
  • Conversation Partners chart (from Module 1)
  • Speaking and Listening Checklist (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Learner: “Snowflakes” Poem (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to the whole group area.
  • Remind them that in a few short lessons, they will be sharing all of their hard work from this module at the Weather Expo.
  • Tell students they will share a few of the poems they learned and that it is important to practice them.
  • Invite students to stand up.
  • Display the “Snowflakes” poem. Invite students to join you as you recite the poem aloud and act out the motions.
  • Repeat once or twice as time permits.
  • Consider providing differentiated mentors by seating students who may be more confident reciting the poem aloud with motions near students who may not feel as confident. (MMAE)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Modeling: Drafting More Events for a Weather Narrative (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that in the previous lesson they continued writing their weather stories by using their drawings to write a sentence about the first event.
  • Tell students that today they will continue to write about the events in their weather stories.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:

“I can tell the story of my character and the weather using pictures and words.”

  • Remind students that this is the third lesson during which they have worked on this learning target.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What have you done so far to tell the story of your character and the weather?” (We wrote about the character and what weather is happening.)

  • Direct students’ attention to pages 3 and 4 of their My Weather Story booklet at their workspace.
  • Inform students that today they will complete the events section of their weather stories by writing about the next two things their characters did.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and take turns sharing the ideas about the second and third events in their weather stories:

“What activities did your character do because of the weather that day?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Support students as needed in using the drawings to recall what their characters did because of the weather.
  • Remind students that you also completed drawings to help you plan your weather story. Direct students’ attention to the displayed teacher model of the My Weather Story booklet and briefly review what you have written so far.
  • Focus students’ attention on the drawings you completed on page 3 of the displayed My Weather Story booklet.
  • Tell students that you will use the ideas from your drawings to write about what your character did next.
  • Using the displayed My Weather Story booklet, model how to first orally rehearse your sentence:
  1. Think aloud about what you want to write, given the ideas you generated in your drawings.
  2. Point to the pictures and labels you drew on page 3 of the booklet and slowly think aloud the beginning of a clear sentence that expresses the meaning conveyed in the pictures. Say: “He ate a _____.”
  3. Point to the pictures and labels you drew of what your character did because of the weather and slowly think aloud the remainder of a clear sentence that expresses the meaning conveyed in the pictures. Say: “_____ chocolate ice cream cone.”
  4. Repeat the full sentences fluently. Say: “He ate a chocolate ice cream cone.”
  • Tell students that they are now ready to add a sentence to their weather stories.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and use the pictures they drew on page 3 of their weather stories to orally compose a sentence with their partner. Circulate and support students in pointing to the appropriate parts of their drawings and help them 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.
  • Similar to Lessons 6–7, use the displayed My Weather Story booklet to model writing the orally composed sentence below the drawings on pages 3–4:
  1. Think aloud as you repeat the words in the sentence and listen for beginning and ending consonants.
  2. Model starting your sentence with a capital letter.
  3. As you complete one word, place your finger on the chart paper to model leaving a finger space between words.
  4. Think aloud as you use the labels on your drawing to write the words in your sentence.
  5. Model using the resources around the room to support writing the words in your sentence.
  6. Read the full sentence back to students, pointing to each word as you read.
  • Inform students that now they will use their drawings to complete a sentence about the next two events in their weather stories.
  • For ELLs: To ensure that the purpose of the teacher model and think-aloud is transparent, prompt students with a Conversation Cue: “Can you figure out why I am writing and thinking about pages 3 and 4 of my booklet for the whole class to see?” (Answers will vary, but could include: so we notice what you do; so we know what to do when it is our turn.)
  • For ELLs: While modeling rehearsing the sentence for pages 3 and 4 of the My Weather Story booklet, use the sentence frame: “I drew _____, so I will write ______.” Support students in using this sentence frame as they rehearse for their own writing.
  • For ELLs: For additional modeling and support, call on a few students to share some things their characters did. Based on the responses, create a few sentences as shared or interactive writing experiences. If possible, use responses from students who need heavier support so they can use the class-generated sentences in their writing.
  • To support strategy development, review how to physically touch the words/spaces on the sentence frame and draw lines for additional words you intend to write. This will help with remembering your sentence once you begin sounding out and writing. (Example: “I want to write, ‘He ate a chocolate ice cream cone.’ Before I write, I will draw seven underlines to remind me that I want to write seven words here.”) (MMAE)

B. Independent Writing: Drafting More Events for a Weather Narrative (25 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention back to their My Weather Story booklet and invite them to complete the sentence at the bottom of the third page. Remind them that they are using words to show the information that they have already put in their drawings. As necessary, point them to the Hot Day chart, Windy Day chart, Snowy Day chart, and Rainy Day chart to support their writing.
  • After students have had 10–15 minutes of work time, refocus them whole group.
  • Repeat this process with page 4 of their My Weather Story booklet, prompting students to first turn and talk to orally compose their sentence and then to write it independently.
  • 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)
  • Minimize distractions during independent writing by providing tools such as sound-canceling headphones or individual dividers. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Display a checklist, annotated with illustrations, with the questions:
    • Did you capitalize the first letter of the first word of your sentence?
    • Did you use the resources around the room to help you spell any of your words?
    • Does your sentence match your picture?

Analyze the teacher model of the My Weather Story booklet to illustrate these questions, or briefly model composing a sentence with mistakes and non-examples. Model using the checklist to make appropriate corrections to the sentence.

C. Structured Discussion: Critiquing a Partner’s Work (15 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Offer students specific, positive feedback on their writing. (Example: “I noticed everyone using the resources around the room to help them find the weather words they wanted to use in their stories.”)
  • Remind students that in the previous few lessons they have been helping one another improve on their writing by sharing work with a partner and giving that partner feedback on his or her work.
  • Tell students that today they are going to get another chance to give and receive feedback on their writing.
  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

“I can improve my writing using feedback from a partner.”

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

“How has your writing improved thus far from the feedback your partner has given you?” (Responses will vary, but may include: My partner told me to think about coloring my character carefully; my partner pointed out that I hadn’t capitalized the name of my character; etc.)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted Peer Feedback anchor chart and briefly review it.
  • Briefly review the procedure for sharing work and giving feedback as necessary. Remind students to use the High-Quality Work anchor chart to provide feedback to their partner.
  • Referring to the Conversation Partners chart, invite students to partner up with their pre-determined talking partner and sit facing each other. Make sure students know which partner is A and which is B.
  • Invite students to begin sharing their work and giving feedback to each other. As students share and offer feedback, circulate and listen in. Take note of how students are interacting with each other using the Speaking and Listening Checklist.
  • Refocus students whole group and direct their attention back to their My Weather Story booklet.
  • Invite students to use the feedback they received from their partner to make any changes or additions to their weather stories.
  • Inform students that, in the next lesson, they will have another chance to revisit their story to add or change it.
  • As students share feedback with partners, foster community by reminding students to respond after they have received feedback. Example: “Jarrod just told you that you capitalized the first word of your sentence and that you could make your drawing even better by remembering to include all the words of the sentence.” (Thank you, and I agree. I will work on re-reading my sentence and including the missing words to make my writing even better.) (MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Offer specific, positive feedback on how they gave each other feedback. (Example: “I noticed that everyone gave feedback that was kind, helpful, and specific to their partners.”)
  • Remind students that they have taken several steps to write their weather stories: thinking of the ideas, planning the story in drawing, acting out parts of the story with puppets, writing the actual story, and giving and receiving feedback on the writing.
  • Tell students that sometimes going through all of these steps can be challenging, but it helps them to become better writers.
  • After allowing students 1–2 minutes of silent think time, invite them to turn to an elbow partner to respond:

“What has been the most challenging part of writing your weather story?” (Responses will vary.)

  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

“What strategies helped you succeed as you worked on the most challenging part of your story? I’ll give you time to think and discuss with a partner.” (Responses will vary, but may include: persevering; asking for help; using charts around the room.)

  • As students talk, circulate and listen in. Take note of the ideas students are sharing and target a few students to share out with the whole group.
  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Inform them that in the next lesson they will finish writing their weather stories because they will write the sentences to match the last two pages of pictures in their weather stories!
  • As students reflect on what has been the most challenging part of writing, offer alternatives for auditory information by scribing students’ responses on chart paper or a white board. (MMR)
  • Before students share what has been the most challenging, optimize relevance by explaining the purpose of talking about this. Say: “Everyone is challenged by different parts of writing. For me, thinking of the ideas can sometimes be the most difficult, but that might not be the most challenging for you. We are talking about what is challenging about writing so that we can set writing goals for ourselves. When we know what is most challenging for each other, we can cheer each other on during challenging writing tasks.” (MME)
  • For ELLs: Repeat the question. Ask:
    • “What has been the most challenging part of writing your weather story?”
  • Rephrase the question. Ask:
    • “What was the hardest or most difficult thing about writing your story?”

There are no new supporting materials for this lesson.

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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