Revising the Newspaper Article: Sentence Structure and Transitions | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M3A:U3:L11

Revising the Newspaper Article: Sentence Structure and Transitions

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my writing and speaking more interesting. (L.6.3a)
  • I can maintain consistency in style and tone when writing and speaking. (L.6.3b)

Supporting Targets

  • I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my article more interesting.
  • I can use appropriate transitions to make the newspaper article flow smoothly.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Revised End of Unit 3 Assessment: Draft newspaper article
  • Self-assessment of the article on Row 3 of the Newspaper Article Rubric

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Mini Lesson: Sentence Structure (18 minutes)

B. Mini Lesson: Transitions (17 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Self-Assessment against the Newspaper Article Rubric (8 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Continue to read your independent reading book.

  • To address language standards L6.3a and L.6,3b, students have mini lessons on sentence structure and appropriate transitions to improve the flow of their article. Students then revise their newspaper articles inline with the content of the mini lessons.
  • Students need their draft newspaper articles returned in this lesson for revision.
  • In the next lesson,  students will be writing their final copy of their newspaper articles for the performance task. If you require more time to provide feedback on the end of unit assessment, consider adding lessons in which students read independently and/or complete the independent reading assessment. See the Independent Reading document, Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan, on EngageNY.org
  • In advance: Determine your system for getting images copied for students to use in their articles. Students will need the images in the next lesson when they complete the final draft for the performance task.
  • Post: Learning targets; Newspaper Article Criteria anchor chart.

Materials

  • Sentence Structure and Transitions (one per student and one for display)
  • Newspaper Article Rubric (from Unit 2, Lesson 12)
  • Model newspaper article (from Unit 2, Lesson 12)
  • Transitional Words (one per student and one for display)
  • Row 3 of the Newspaper Article Rubric Self-Assessment (one per student)
  • Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan (stand-alone document on EngageNY.org; for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

    • Invite students to sit in triads and then read the learning targets with you:

*   "I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my article more interesting."

*   "I can use appropriate transitions to make the newspaper article flow smoothly."

    • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What are 'appropriate transitions'? Why are they important?"

    • Select volunteers to share their ideas. Listen for students to explain that appropriate transitions are the words and phrases used to connect sentences and paragraphs, and they are important because they help writing flow well.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • 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. Mini Lesson: Sentence Structure (18 minutes)

    • Invite students to sit in triads. Display the Sentence Structure handout with only the top of the handout showing to students--the boxes with the A and B examples of sentences. Direct students to determine which one is more interesting: A or B, and why.
    • Read each box aloud.
    • Ask for a volunteer to share which one was more interesting and why. Listen for the student to explain something like: "B flowed more easily, was not as choppy, and had some variety to the sentence structure."
    • Distribute the Sentence Flow handout to each student. Read the asterisked notes under the A and B boxes. Explain that the bolded words are important points to keep in mind when revising sentence structure.
    • Tell students to do number 2 on the handout. Ask them to read their sentence aloud to their triad and make any changes if it didn't flow well when they read it aloud.
    • Circulate and support students as needed. You might have a student say a new sentence out loud first if he or she is stuck writing one down.
    • Refocus whole class. Cold call on one or two triads to whom you were not able to circulate, in order to extend your check for understanding. Write down their sentences on the displayed handout. Think aloud about how the students combined the sentences while keeping the language and style. An example of a new sentence might be: "After the earthquake crumbled the buildings, an inferno burned what remained." Tell students a good strategy for determining if a sentence flows well is to read it aloud.
    • Direct students to take out the latest and greatest draft of their own article. Give directions:

-   Choose one paragraph to revise for more interesting sentence structure.

-   Review the sentences in that paragraph and combine them if needed, writing the new sentences in the margins of your draft.

-   Read your whole paragraph aloud and determine if the sentences flow together well. If not, revise the sentences that seemed choppy.

    • Circulate and support students with their sentence combining and revision. Remind students to keep in mind the bold-faced word on the handout.
  • Consider supporting some students by helping them make a next-steps list at the top of their draft article. This helps students chunk the task for revision into smaller steps.

B.  Mini Lesson: Transitions (17 minutes)

  •  Display the Newspaper Article Rubric and circle Row 3: "Exhibits clear newspaper article organization*, with the use of appropriate and varied transitions to create a unified whole and enhance meaning." Read this aloud to students. Ask them to discuss in triads:

*   "What does 'transitions to create a unified whole' mean?"

  • Cold call on a student and listen for him or her to explain that transition words help connect one paragraph to the next.
  • Explain that because newspaper articles are meant to be brief with short paragraphs, they use transitions a little differently than a literary analysis or the myth stories they wrote in Module 1.
  • Display the model newspaper article. Tell students to reread the model. Ask students to discuss in triads:

*    "What do you notice about how each paragraph transitions?

  • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for them to notice that there are a few transitions like 'In addition ...' but mostly the paragraphs are connected by content with subheadings to divide different topics.
  • Distribute and display the Transitional Words handout.Read it aloud to students and review the different types of transition words.
  • Invite students to revise the transitions in their newspaper article drafts.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Self-Assessment against the Newspaper Article Rubric (8 minutes)

    • Distribute Row 3 of the Newspaper Article Rubric Self-Assessment. Invite students to read the Criteria column and Column "3" with you for Row 3.
    • Tell students they are going to score their article against the rubric. Ask them to underline on the rubric where their article fits best. They are then to justify how they have scored themselves using evidence from their article on the lines underneath.
    • Remind students to be honest when self-assessing because identifying where there are problems with their work will help them improve their work in the next draft. Remind students that writing is a set of skills that have to be learned over time. Encourage them to give their best assessment.
    • Circulate and encourage students to think carefully about their scoring choices. Consider prompting students with this question as needed:

*    "You have underlined this part of your rubric. Why? Where is the evidence in your essay to support this?"

    • Students who finish quickly can begin to revise their draft essays based on their scoring against the rubric.
    • Congratulate students on their focus and effort at revision. Collect the revised articles and the self-assessments from students.

Homework

Homework
  • Continue to read your independent reading book.

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