Writing to Inform: Analyzing a Model Using A Rubric | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M2B:U1:L9

Writing to Inform: Analyzing a Model Using A Rubric

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.6.2).
  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.6.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can find the gist of the model essay.
  • I can use a rubric to score a model essay and identify why the model is a good example.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Gist annotations on the model essay
  • Assessing the Model Essay

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (3 minutes)

B. Unpacking the Prompt and Reviewing the Rubric (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading the Model Essay for Gist (15 minutes)

B. Analyzing the Content of the Model Essay Using the Rubric (12 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Whole Group Share (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Look at the information you have collected in your researcher's notebook. Which three adversities do you think would like to focus your essay on? Why?

  • In this lesson, students read a model essay for gist and analyze a model essay against a rubric in order to understand what content their essays should include and why.
  • Students should be familiar with the rubric (NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Rubric) from their study of it in Module 1.
  • In advance: Review the model essay (see supporting materials).
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

gist

Materials

  • End of Unit 1 Assessment Prompt: Adversity in the Middle Ages (one per student and one to display)
  • NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric (one per student and one to display)
  • Model Essay: "Adversity Faced by Townspeople in the Middle Ages" (one per student and one to display)
  • Equity sticks
  • Assessing the Model Essay (one per student)
  • Homework: Three Adversities (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

* "I can find the gist of the model essay."

* "I can use a rubric to score a model essay and identify why the model is a good example."

  • Remind them that "finding the gist" means finding what the text is mostly about.
  • Ask students to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "Why are we going to be reading a model essay?"

  • Cold call students to share their responses. Listen for them to explain that analyzing a model will help them identify what they need to include in their own essays.
  • 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.

B.  Prompt and Introducing the Rubric (10 minutes)

  • Display and distribute the End of Unit 1 Assessment Prompt: Adversity in the Middle Ages and invite students to read it silently in their heads as you read it aloud.
  • Ask students to discuss with a partner:

* "So what do you have to do?"

* "What do you need to include in your end of unit assessment essay?"

  • Listen for students to explain that they are going to write an essay to inform people about the adversities their particular focus group of people faced in the Middle Ages and the essay needs to include three adversities, evidence from the research texts and a Works Cited list.
  • If students don't remember what a Works Cited list is, explain that they will see a model when they look at the model essay later in the lesson.
  • Display and distribute the NYS Grades 6-8 Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric. Remind students that they used this rubric in the first module when writing their literary analysis essays.
  • Ask students to read through the criteria of the rubric and then to read through the column that scores "3" to remind themselves of what will be expected of their work. 
  • Consider providing select students with a pre-highlighted version of the rubric that highlights the "3" score column to guide students toward the level you would like them to focus on.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading the Model Essay for Gist (15 minutes)

  • Display and distribute the Model Essay: "Adversity Faced by Townspeople in the Middle Ages." Tell students they will begin reading like a writer, studying a model essay to get an idea of what their own essay should look like. But first it is important to read the essay simply to understand what it is about.
  • Invite them to follow along while you read the model essay out loud.
  • Ask students to discuss with an elbow partner:

* "What is this model essay mostly about?"

  • Consider using equity sticks to select students to share their responses with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that the model is mostly about the adversities faced by townspeople in the Middle Ages.
  • Tell students they will now work in pairs to reread and annotate each paragraph of the model essay for the gist to get an idea of what each paragraph is mostly about. Remind students to discuss the gist of each paragraph with their partner before recording anything.
  • Circulate and observe student annotations and invite those who are struggling to say the gist aloud to you before recording it.
  • Refocus whole group. Ask:

* "So what are the three adversities of townspeople in the Middle Ages that the author of the model has discussed?"

  • Select volunteers to share with the whole group. Listen for them to explain that merchants had to pay tolls to lords for protection, which made trade difficult; in towns, people dumped trash in the streets, which spread disease; and fire from torches and candles often burned whole towns to the ground.
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • Consider allowing students to grapple with a complex text before explicit teaching of vocabulary. After students have read for the 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.

B. Analyzing the Content of the Model Essay Using a Rubric (12 minutes)

  • Tell students that they are now going to assess the model essay using the rubric.
  • Distribute Assessing the Model Essay and tell them that they are going to work in pairs to score the model essay on this assessment sheet.
  • Ask them to read the directions silently in their heads as you read them aloud.
  • Invite students to work in pairs to follow the directions and assess the model essay against Rows 1 and 2 of the rubric.
  • Circulate to support students who may require additional assistance. Ask guiding questions, such as:

* "Why have you given it this score above a lower score?"

* "You have underlined this part of the rubric. Can you find evidence of that in the model essay?"

  • Consider pairing ELLs who speak the same first language in order to deepen their discussion.
  • Guiding questions can put students back on the right track and can deepen their thinking about their choices.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Whole Group Share (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to share their assessments of the model essay with the whole group and to compare how they scored it. Students should recognize that the essay should be scored in the 3 and/or 4 columns of the rubric.
  • Distribute Homework: Three Adversities.

Homework

Homework
  • Look at the information you have collected in your researcher's notebook. Which three adversities do you think would like to focus your essay on? Why?

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