Researching: Eyewitness Accounts, Part 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M3A:U3:L2

Researching: Eyewitness Accounts, Part 1

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations. (RL.6.11)
  • I can determine the main idea of an informational text based on details in the text. (RI.6.2)
  • I can summarize an informational text using only information from the text. (RI.6.2)
  • I can conduct short research projects to answer a question. (W.6.7)
  • I can use several sources in my research. (W.6.7)
  • I can refocus or refine my question when appropriate. (W.6.7)

Supporting Targets

  • I can interpret an excerpt of a play and make connections between it and other texts I have read.
  • I can identify compelling quotes to answer my research questions in an eyewitness account.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Researching Eyewitness Accounts graphic organizer

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (4 minutes)

B. Connecting the Ideas in Texts: Introducing a Play (15 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Researching: Eyewitness Accounts (21 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Pair Share (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Continue to read your independent reading book.

  • Due to a lack of age-appropriate, authentic resources, the scene of the play that is performed at the beginning of this lesson has been written specifically for this lesson for the purpose of addressing RL.6.11.
  • In this lesson and the next, students research eyewitness accounts looking for quotes to answer their interview questions. This reading is in addition to the factual information they read in Unit 2, Lesson 13. Eyewitness accounts have been excerpted to make them more manageable for students and will be given in research folders with glossaries to help students understand the content. Articles are of varying lengths in order to enable differentiation. If your students are grouped into heterogeneous triads, encourage them to support one another in reading the texts; if your students are grouped homogeneously, encourage them to choose a text that looks manageable to them and consider working with those triads who may require additional support and assistance to read the eyewitness accounts.
  • To ensure students have enough time to draw quotes from as many of the texts as possible, they continue to research using the eyewitness accounts in the next lesson.
  • In advance: Choose three students to perform the other parts of the play (you will play one of the characters). Give them a script in advance so that they can read it and be prepared. They do not need to memorize the script--this short performance will be a Readers Theater, so students only need to be able to read the script accurately.
  • In advance: Prepare research folders, one per team. Within the folders there need to be enough texts so each student can have a copy of each eyewitness account, with one glossary per team.

Vocabulary

eyewitness account, compelling

Materials

  • Scene 1: The Great Earthquake and Fires of 1906: A Dramatic Remembrance (one per student and one for display)
  • Excerpts of "Comprehending the Calamity" (from Unit 2)
  • Dragonwings (book; distributed to students in Unit 1)
  • Stanza 9 of "Poem of the Earthquake" (from Lesson 1)
  • Connecting Texts anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • Connecting Texts anchor chart (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Exit Ticket: Interview Questions (completed in Lesson 1)
  • Researching Eyewitness Accounts graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Research folders (one per team; see Teaching Note; each student needs the text; each team needs a glossary)

-   Excerpt 1: "My Memories of the San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of April 18, 1906" by Mary Myrtle Longinetti Shaw (and glossary)

-   Excerpt 2: Dr. George Blumer's Eyewitness Account of the Disaster (and glossary)

-   Excerpt 3: Heroic San Francisco: A Woman's Story of the Pluck and Heroism of the People of the Stricken City by Louise Herrick Wall (and glossary)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unpacking Learning Targets (4 minutes)

    • Invite students to read the learning targets with you:

*   "I can interpret an excerpt of a play and make connections between it and other texts I have read."

*   "I can identify compelling quotes to answer my research questions in an eyewitness account."

    • Ask students to discuss in triads:

*   "What is an eyewitness account? Why are you going to be reading eyewitness accounts in this lesson?"

*   "How will eyewitness accounts help you write your newspaper articles?"

    • Select volunteers to share their responses with the whole group. Listen for students to explain that eyewitness accounts are accounts written by people who actually saw and experienced the earthquake and fire, and they are going to be reading eyewitness accounts of the earthquake and fire because newspaper articles usually contain quotes from eyewitnesses.
    • Ask students to discuss in triads:

*   "What does compelling mean?"

    • Cold call students to share their responses. Listen for students to explain that compelling means people like it and it makes people want to read more.
    • Remind students that journalists would normally interview people, but as this event happened more than 100 years ago, nearly all of the people who experienced it are no longer alive.
  • 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.

B. Connecting the Ideas in Texts: Introducing a Play (15 minutes)

    • Remind students that the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire was such a big disaster that many people wrote eyewitness accounts about it, like Emma Burke; it featured in novels like Dragonwings; and people wrote poems and plays about it.
    • Display and distribute Scene 1: The Great Earthquake and Fires of 1906: A Dramatic RemembranceTell students this is an excerpt of a play written about the earthquake.
    • Invite the three students who have been informed of this, and prepared in advance, to read the other parts of the play with you. Invite students to follow along silently in their heads.
    • Ask students to discuss in triads:

*   "What is this scene of the play about? How do you know?"

    • Select volunteers to share their ideas. Listen for students to explain that it is about a family's experience of the earthquake.
    • Ask students to refer to their excerpts of Comprehending the Calamity from Unit 2, Chapter 9 of the novel Dragonwings, and Stanza 9 of "Poem of the Earthquake" to discuss in triads:

*   "How are these texts connected? How do the experiences of the family in this play compare to Emma Burke's, Eliza Pittsinger's, and Moon Shadow's? What is similar about their experiences of the earthquake? What is different?"

    • Select volunteers to share their responses. Record students' ideas on the Connecting Texts anchor chart. Refer to the Connecting Texts anchor chart (answers, for teacher reference) for the kind of responses to guide students toward. 
  • Consider grouping ELL students who speak the same first language to enable them to have a deeper discussion about the poem.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Researching: Eyewitness Accounts (21 minutes)

    • Remind students of the focus question for their newspaper articles (How did the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire affect the people of San Francisco?) and invite students to refer to their Exit Ticket: Interview Questions to remember the questions they wrote in the previous lesson for interviewing eyewitnesses.
    • Remind students that as they can't interview real eyewitnesses, they are going to be reading eyewitness accounts and looking for quotes in the accounts that answer their questions.
    • Display and distribute the Researching Eyewitness Accounts graphic organizer. Invite students to read the directions and the column headings with you and explain that this is similar to the graphic organizer they used to collect facts in Lesson 13 of the previous unit.
    • Focus on the word compelling. Ask students to discuss in triads:

*   "Compelling means people like it and want to read more. So what would make a quote compelling?"

    • Select volunteers to share their responses. Listen for students to explain that a compelling quote triggers some kind of emotional response in the reader.
    • Write the following two quote examples on the board and invite students to discuss in triads which is the most compelling and why:
  1. "The water rose quite high and it covered the sidewalk outside my house, making it difficult to go outside for a few days."
  2. "I was stuck inside my house with my 6 month-old baby for three days with very little food or water because the water levels were so high that it was impossible to go out."
    • Listen for students to explain that the second quote is more compelling because the second person makes it sound scarier and more dramatic. It sounds like the second person really suffered, whereas the first person doesn't sound too concerned.
    • Distribute the research folders.
    • Invite triads to follow the directions to begin researching. Remind students to discuss their ideas before writing anything on their individual graphic organizers.
    • Circulate to support students in reading the texts and selecting compelling quotes. Encourage triads to choose texts that are of an appropriate level for them. Ask guiding questions:

*   "Does this quote answer any of your interview questions? How?"

*   "Is it compelling?"

    • Because of time limitations, students may be able to work with only one text in this lesson. If students are concerned about this, explain that they will be continuing with this research in the next lesson.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the necessary scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Guiding questions provide motivation for student engagement in the topic, and give a purpose to reading a text closely.
  • Inviting students to discuss their ideas in triads before they record anything on their graphic organizers can help to ensure that all students are engaged in the thinking process. It can also provide additional support to ELL students.
  • If students are grouped homogeneously, consider working with triads requiring more reading support to assist them in reading the text.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Pair Share (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to pair up with someone from another triad to share the quotes they have recorded and to explain why they have recorded those quotes.
  • Invite students to record any quotes relevant to their research questions that they see in their partner's work.
  • Giving students the opportunity to share their work with someone else and justify the reasons for their choices can help them to deepen their understanding and also enable cross-pollination of ideas.
  • Consider pairing up ELL students with others who speak the same first language to enable deeper discussions.

Homework

Homework
  • Continue to read your independent reading book.

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