Reading for Gist: “Middle Ages” Excerpt 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M2B:U1:L2

Reading for Gist: “Middle Ages” Excerpt 1

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI.6.1)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning in informational texts. (RI.6.4)

Supporting Targets

  • I can find the gist of Excerpt 1 of "Middles Ages."
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages."
  • I can identify the adversity faced by specific groups of people in Excerpt 1 of "Middle Ages."

Ongoing Assessment

  • Digging Deeper into the Text: "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading for Gist (15 minutes)

B. Digging Deeper into the Text: Determining the Meaning of Words and Phrases 
(20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Identifying Adversity (8 minutes)

4. Homework

A. QuickWrite: Reread "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 and answer the focus question.

  • This unit builds students background knowledge about adversity in the Middle Ages in preparation for Unit 2 in which students compare the adversities faced by the people in the Middle Ages in the Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! monologues, to those we face today.
  • This is the first lesson in a two-lesson cycle that will be repeated twice in the first half of this unit as a text about the Middle Ages is introduced in two excerpts. In the first lesson of each two-lesson cycle, students read the excerpt for gist and dig deeper into the text to build background knowledge about European people in the Middle Ages. In the second lesson of the cycle, students write a summary of the excerpt and analyze how part of the text contributes to the whole text.
  • Most of the unfamiliar domain-specific vocabulary words have been included in the glossary to ensure that students have time to grapple with some of the more challenging sentences and phrases to gain a deeper understanding of the text and to build background knowledge about the Middle Ages.
  • After reading for gist, students dig deeper into the meaning of the text by answering questions. Most of these questions are text-dependent, but some are focused on word and phrase meaning. To ensure students are able to answer these questions and gain a deeper understanding of the text, this is teacher-led with the aid of a Close Reading Guide.
  • The closing of the lesson involves having students identify the adversity faced by people in the text excerpt. This is to bring the focus of the lesson back to the module focus of adversity, and it will also be used in the end of unit assessment, when students write an informational essay about the adversities faced by a particular group of people in the Middle Ages.
  • To prepare students to address RI.6.5 in the next lesson, for homework they will do a QuickWrite analyzing how a part of the text introduces the people of the Middle Ages and prepares us for the information in the rest of the excerpt. This is preparing students for the mid-unit assessment and will be discussed in more detail in the next lesson.
  • In advance: Familiarize yourself with the text and the Close Reading Guide; prepare the Adversity anchor chart.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

adversity; era, land holding, fief, allegiance, alliance, feudal, politically divided, realm, social position, oversaw, had few rights, serf

Materials

  • "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Dictionaries (enough for students to share)
  • Word Catcher (one per student)
  • Equity sticks
  • Digging Deeper into the Text: "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 (one per student and one to display)
  • Close Reading Guide--"Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 (for teacher reference)
  • Adversity anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see Closing Part A)
  • Adversity anchor chart (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Homework: QuickWrite 1 (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

* "I can find the gist of Excerpt 1 of 'Middles Ages.'"

* "I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages.'"

* "I can identify the adversity faced by specific groups of people in Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages.'"

  • Remind students that the gist is what the text is mostly about. Remind them that they were introduced to the idea of adversity in Lesson 1. Ask:

* "What does adversity mean?"

  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to say that adversity means "difficulties" or "misfortune."
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Reviewing the key academic vocabulary in learning targets can prepare students for vocabulary they may encounter in the lesson.
  • Posting learning targets allows students to reference them throughout the lesson to check their understanding. The learning targets also provide a reminder to students and teachers about the intended learning behind a given lesson or activity.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading for Gist (15 minutes)

  • Distribute "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 and display a copy via a document camera. Invite students to silently read along with you as you read the excerpt.
  • Point out the words in bold type and in the glossary and remind students to use this to help them understand the text.
  • Ask students to silently reread Paragraph 1 for the gist. Ask them to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "What is the gist of this paragraph? What is it mostly about?"

  • Select students to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that it is mostly about when the Middle Ages were in time, how they began, and how they ended.
  • Invite students to circle any unfamiliar words in the first paragraph. Select volunteers to share the unfamiliar words they circled and circle them on your displayed text. Address the unfamiliar vocabulary in these ways:

-    Ask students to read around the word to see if they can figure out the meaning from the context.

-    Invite them to replace the word with another word.

-    Invite other students to help by sharing the meaning of the word.

-    Ask students to look in the dictionary to identify the meaning and to put the definition into their own words.

  • Distribute a Word Catcher for this unit. Invite students to record any unfamiliar vocabulary on this word catcher.  
  • Ask students to work in pairs to find the gist and circle any unfamiliar vocabulary in each of the remaining paragraphs of the excerpt. Remind them to discuss the gist with their partner before recording it in the margin.
  • Circulate and support students as they work. If some need more support, ask them to practice telling you the gist of a section before they write it in the margin.
  • Refocus whole group. Consider using equity sticks to select students to share the gist of the remaining paragraphs and use the strategies suggested above to help them determine the meaning of any unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language. Consider allowing students to grapple with a complex text before explicit teaching of vocabulary. After students have read for gist, they can identify challenging vocabulary for themselves. Teachers can address student-selected vocabulary as well as predetermined vocabulary upon subsequent encounters with the text. However, in some cases and with some students, pre-teaching selected vocabulary may be necessary.
  • Asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps them monitor their understanding of a complex text. When students annotate the text by circling these words, it can also provide a formative assessment for the teacher.
  • Consider seating those students who may struggle near each other in their pairs so that you can work with them all in one group if needed.

B. Digging Deeper into the Text: Determining the Meaning of Words and Phrases (20 minutes)

  • Distribute Digging Deeper into the Text: "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 and explain that you are going to guide the class through the questions.
  • Use the Close Reading Guide--"Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 (for teacher reference) to guide students through a series of questions about the text excerpt. Students discuss the answers to these questions with their partner and then share with the whole class.
  • Questioning students about parts of the text encourages them to reread the text for further analysis and ultimately allows for a deeper understanding.
  • Guiding questions provide motivation for student engagement in the topic and give a purpose to reading a text closely. 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Identifying Adversity (7 minutes)

  • Remind students that in the previous lesson, they were told that this module would be about adversity. Tell them that now they are going to identify the adversity faced by different groups of people in the excerpt they have just read.
  • Focus students on the Adversity anchor chart. Ask pairs to discuss:

* "What adversities do people face in Excerpt 1 of 'Middle Ages'?"

* "What evidence can you quote from the excerpt to support your answer?"

  • Select a few pairs to share their thoughts. Record their ideas on the Adversity anchor chart. Refer to Adversity anchor chart (answers, for teacher reference) as you guide the class.
  • Distribute Homework: QuickWrite 1.
  • Capturing whole-class thinking on an anchor chart ensures quick reference later in the unit.

Homework

Homework
  • QuickWrite: Reread "Middle Ages" Excerpt 1 and answer this focus question.

- "The second paragraph states, 'Many people lived their entire lives in one village or manor. They were born to a certain social position and stayed in that position. Those who wanted something more had few choices. For all but the wealthiest, life was extremely hard.' How does this part of the text introduce the people of the Middle Ages and prepare us for the ideas in the rest of the excerpt?"

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