At-a-Glance Chart | EL Education Curriculum

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Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: Animal Defense Mechanisms

Each module is approximately 6-8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Weeks 1-3 Unit 1: Building Background Knowledge: Animal Defenses and the Research Process

Instructional FocusCCS StandardsAssessments
  • Building Background Knowledge: What Are Defense Mechanisms, and How Do They Help Animals Survive?
  • Building Background Knowledge: What Do Researchers Do?
  • Listening Closely to Paraphrase Information about Animal Defenses
  • Reading Closely about Animals and Their Defenses
  • Science Talk: Synthesizing What We Know about the Animal Defense Mechanisms
  • Listening Closely: Learning about Millipedes and Their Defenses
  • Reading Closely about Millipedes
  • Science Talk: Synthesizing What We Know about the Millipede
  • Setting the Purpose for a Deeper Study of Animal Defense Mechanisms
  • RL.4.10, RI.4.1, RI.4.2, RI.4.4, RI.4.7, RI.4.8, RI.4.10, W.4.5, W.4.7, W.4.8, SL.4.1, SL.4.1a, SL.4.1b, SL.4.1c, SL.4.2, SL.4.6, L.4.4, L.4.4a, L.4.4b, L.4.4c
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading about Caterpillars, Answering Questions, and Determining the Main Idea (RI.4.2, RI.4.4, RI.4.7)
  • End of Unit 1 Assessment: Answering Questions and Summarizing Texts about Animal Defense Mechanisms (RI.4.1, RI.4.2, SL.4.2)

Weeks 4-5 Unit 2: Using Writing to Inform

Instructional FocusCCS StandardsAssessments
  • Reading Scientific Text: Reading Closely about a Chosen Animal
  • Science Talk: Synthesizing What We Know about Our Researched Animal
  • Setting a Purpose for Writing: Creating a Rubric for Informative Paragraphs
  • Writing Informative Texts: Sequencing Ideas and Using Research Notes
  • Writing Informative Texts: Revising Paragraphs for Organization, Concrete Details
  • RI.4.1, RI.4.2, RI.4.4, RI.4.9, RI.4.10, W.4.2, W.4.2a, W.4.2b, W.4.2d, W.4.2e, W.4.4, W.4.5, W.4.7, W.4.8, W.4.9, W.4.9b, SL.4.1, SL.4.1b, L.4.1, L.4.1c, L.4.2, L.4.2a, L.4.2c, L.4.2d, L.4.3, L.4.3a, L.4.3c, L.4.4, L.4.6
  • Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Reading and Researching the Defense Mechanisms of the Pufferfish (RI.4.1, RI.4.2, W.4.7, and W.4.8)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment: Writing an Informative Text about Pufferfish Defense Mechanisms (RI.4.9, W.4.2, W.4.2a, W.4.2b, W.4.2d, W.4.2e, W.4.4, W.4.7, W.4.8, W.4.9b, L.4.2, L.4.2a, L.4.2c, L.4.2dL.4.3a

Weeks 6-8 Unit 3: Using Writing to Entertain

Instructional FocusCCS StandardsAssessments
  • Writing Informative Texts: Revising Paragraphs Based on Peer Critique
  • Introducing the Format: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure
  • Setting a Purpose for Writing: Understanding the Performance Task
  • Setting a Purpose for Writing: Creating a Rubric for Narrative Writing
  • Writing Narrative Texts: Creating a Character Profile
  • Writing Narrative Texts: Orienting the Reader and Introducing the Characters
  • Writing Narrative Texts: Including Dialogue and Description
  • Writing Narrative Texts: Using Transition Words
  • Writing Narrative Texts: Using Concrete Words and Phrases and Sensory Details
  • Publishing the Performance Task: Citing Sources and Authors' Celebration 
  • RL.4.10, RI.4.9, RI.4.10, W.4.2, W.4.3, W.4.3a, W.4.3b, W.4.3c, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.4, W.4.5, W.4.6, W.4.7, W.4.8, W.4.9, W.4.9b, W.4.10, SL.4.1, SL.4.1b, L.4.1, L.4.1d, L.4.2, L.4.2a, L.4.2b, L.4.2d, L.4.3, L.4.3a, L.4.3b, L.4.3c, L.4.6
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Planning for and Drafting an Introduction for the Choose-Your-Own Adventure Animal Defenses Narrative (W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.3a,d, and W.4.4)
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment: Writing Choice #2 of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Animal Defense Mechanisms Narrative (W.4.3b, W.4.3c, W.4.3d, W.4.3e, W.4.2aW.4.4
  • Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Animal Defense Mechanisms Narrative (RI.4.9, W.4.2, W.4.3, W.4.7, W.4.8W.4.9b)

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