Getting the Gist and Tracing an Argument: “Public Fear” Excerpt from “The Exterminator” | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M4:U1:L7

Getting the Gist and Tracing an Argument: “Public Fear” Excerpt from “The Exterminator”

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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 identify the argument and specific claims in a text. (RI.6.8)
  • I can evaluate the argument and specific claims for sufficient evidence. (RI.6.8)

Supporting Targets

  • I can get the gist of an excerpt from "The Exterminator."
  • I can identify the argument, claims, and evidence in an excerpt from "The Exterminator."

Ongoing Assessment

  • Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 7 (from homework)
  • Peregrine Falcon Facts anchor chart
  • Tracing an Argument graphic organizer
  • Learning Target sticky notes

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Thinking about Big Ideas: Frightful's Mountain and Rachel Carson (8 minutes)

     B.  Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2. Work Time

     A.  Getting the Gist: "Public Fear" Excerpt from "The Exterminator" (10 minutes)

     B.  Independent Reading: Identifying Argument, Claims, and Evidence: "Public Fear" Excerpt from "The Exterminator" (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

     A. Tracing an Argument: Mix and Mingle (10 minutes)

4. Homework

     A. Reread "Double Whammy" and "Public Fear" excerpts from "The Exterminator" to review your claim and evidence annotations. Then review the Tracing an Argument graphic organizers for the "Double Whammy" and "Public Fear" excerpts.

     B. Review vocabulary (academic and domain specific).

  • This lesson begins with students discussing in triads the focus question for Chapter 7. Students share reasons for the decline in the peregrine falcon population. Help students make connections between human impact and the falcon's population decline.
  • Be sure to give enough time to unpack the learning targets to reinforce academic vocabulary definitions. Providing students with examples of argument claims, and evidence from previous lessons reinforces their understanding of the domain-specific vocabulary
  • Use a document camera to review and model how to write an argument, claims, and supporting evidence on the Tracing an Argument graphic organizer. Consider filling out a Tracing an  Argument graphic organizer to display using a document camera during the closing and assessment.
  • Students then fill in additional information on their own.
  • Consider grouping students based on their mastery of the learning targets. Use the Lesson 5 exit ticket, as well as the Lesson 6 task cards, as data to identify students who are struggling.
  • In advance:
  • View live webcams of peregrine falcon nests, and locate a nest near your town or city that the class can follow throughout Unit 1. (For example, a pair of nesting falcons can be viewed in Rochester on the Times Square building at www.rfalconcam.com.)
  • Reread the "Public Fear" section of the article "The Exterminator" to identify the argument, claims, and evidence.
  • Review the Mix and Mingle (Appendix 1).
  • If you feel your students may need more structure than these protocols provide, number students in each triad: 1, 2, and 3. First announce 1's should move clockwise to the next table group, and 2's should move counterclockwise to the next table group; 3's stay at the table. After 2 minutes of sharing, 1's and 2's continue moving as previously stated. Students share. After 2 more minutes, 1's and 2's move again to another table group. Students share. For the final discussion, ask 3's to move clockwise to the next table group while 1's and 2's stay at the same table. Students share. This is the last rotation.
  • Post: Rachel Carson's quote, learning targets.

Vocabulary

argument, claims, evidence;

opponents, double standard,  international donors, reluctant, unfounded, significant effect, Plasmodium parasite, eradicating, hacking (71), mews (71)

Materials

  • Frightful's Mountain (book; one per student)
  • Rachel Carson's quote (from Lesson 1)
  • Peregrine Falcon Facts anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Projector (optional)
  • "The Exterminator" (from Lesson 4)
  • Tracing an Argument graphic organizer (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Thinking about Big Ideas: Frightful's Mountain and Rachel Carson (8 minutes)

  • Be sure students have their text, Frightful's Mountain. Invite students to sit in triads to discuss their Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 7.
  • Circulate to listen to students' thinking about two reasons for the decline of the peregrine falcon population. Provide support to triads needing help to define unfamiliar words. Check in with triads on the definition of vocabulary words hacking and mews.
  • Reconvene the class and ask students:

     * "What two things did we learn about in Chapter 7 that have had an impact on the peregrine falcon population?"

  • Listen for: "Two things that have harmed the peregrine falcon population are DDT and wire placement on transformers."
  • Focus students on Rachel Carson's quote: "Nothing exists in nature alone."
  • Invite students to think about the quote again. Ask students to think and then share with their triads:

     * "How do the events of this chapter relate to the quote 'Nothing exists in nature alone'?"

  • Consider probing with other questions to get students to reflect on their learning from "Welcome Back," "The  Exterminator," and Frightful's Mountain. For example, ask:

* "Can you think of living things that can exist without a relationship(s) with other things?"

* "Are all relationships beneficial?"

* "How have human needs affected our environment?"

  • Finally, ask students to help you add any new learning to the Peregrine Falcon Facts anchor chart.
  • If time and technology permits, view a live webcam of a peregrine falcon in a city near your school on a projector. (For example, a pair of nesting falcons can be viewed in Rochester on the Times Square building at www.rfalconcam.com.)
  • Consider partnering ELLs who speak the same home language when discussion of complex content is required.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite two student volunteers to read aloud each target, one at a time, as the other students read along:

* "I can get the gist of an excerpt from 'The Exterminator."

* "I can identify the argument, claims, and evidence in an excerpt from 'The Exterminator.'

  • Tell students that the learning targets should be familiar targets to them. Today they will meet this target by using text features in "The Exterminator."
  • Underline academic vocabulary: argumentclaimsevidence as students read the targets
  • Pair students. Ask pairs to Think-Pair-Share:

* "What is an author's argument?"

* "What is an author's claim?"

* "What is supporting evidence?"

  • Tell students that today they will reread the excerpt "Public Fear" for gist. Tell them they will also have another opportunity to identify the argument, claims, and supporting evidence in this informational text in preparation for their mid-unit assessment.
  • Unpacking the learning targets continues to build academic vocabulary and helps clarify understanding.
  • Post the learning targets where all students can see them. Careful attention to the targets throughout the lesson engages, supports, and holds students accountable for their learning.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A.  Getting the Gist: "Public Fear" Excerpt from "The Exterminator" (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to take out their copy of "The Exterminator." Direct students to use the text features to skim and find "Public Fear" (on page 3).
  • Ask students to read along silently as you read the section aloud. As with other read-alouds, remember that the purpose is to read the text slowly, fluently, and without interruption.
  • Ask students to Ink-Pair-Share:

* "After listening to the first read, what is the gist of this excerpt of the informational text?"

  • Remind student that in an "Ink-Pair-Share," they jot down their ideas before they share with a partner; they can do this somewhere at the top of the text.
  • Invite whole class to share the gist for this section of text. Listen for shares such as: "The author is arguing for the use of DDT because it saves lives."
  • Invite students to read and annotate this excerpt independently for smaller chunks of the gist and for vocabulary. Remind them to circle unfamiliar words, and jot the gist of each paragraph in the side margins.
  • Circulate and support students as they read, or workwith a small group of students needing extra support.
  • Invite students to share the gist of each paragraph with their triads. Also ask them to share circled words and definitions. 
  • Invite groups to help each other use context clues to define difficult words.
  • Bring the class back together. Discuss domain-specific (science) vocabulary to check for understanding. These words include: opponents, double standard, international donors, reluctant, unfounded, significant effect,Plasmodium parasite, and eradicating.
  • Consider partnering ELLs who speak the same home language when discussion of complex content is required.
  • Asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps to provide understanding of text. You may want to give consideration to pairings

B.  Independent Reading: Identifying Argument, Claims, and Evidence: "Public Fear" Excerpt from "The Exterminator" (15 minutes)

  • Distribute the Tracing an Argument graphic organizer. Using a document camera, model where to write the title of the article, "The Exterminator" excerpt "Public Fear," and the author's name, Kirsten Weir.
  • Tell students today they will work independently to identify the claims and evidence in "Public Fear" and will then have a chance to discuss their ideas with their peers.
  • Ask them to record the claim and its supporting evidence on the Tracing an Argument graphic organizer. Work with students needing extra support at a table.
  • Circulate and support if students are able to work independently. Give students 5 minutes to work.
  • Circulate and support if students are able to work independently. Give students 5 minutes to work.
  • Pause and refocus whole class. Check for understanding by saying:

* "Give a thumbs-up if you found at least one claim and one piece of supporting evidence so far."

* "Give a thumbs-sideways if you found a claim but are still searching for evidence." 

* "Give a thumbs-down if you are feeling completely stuck." Scan the group to get a general idea of understanding in identifying claims and evidence and which students might need additional support.

  • Ask students to share a claim and evidence with their group before continuing to find more.
  • Some students may benefit from a text that has been enlarged when reading "Public Fear." This could provide more space for annotating this excerpt.
  • Identifying an argument, claim, and supporting evidence in informational text can be challenging. You may want to consider pairing ELLs with native English speakers and students strong in analytical reading skills with students who may struggle with this type of thinking.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Tracing an Argument: Mix and Mingle (10 minutes)

  • Refocus the class whole group. Tell students they will use Mix and Mingle to share their claims and evidence with other students. Review the class expectations and guidelines for this activity.
  • Remind students of the purposes of the activity:
    • To share claims and supporting evidence with two other students
    • To decide if there is sufficient evidence for each claim
    • To evaluate the argument by determining if there is enough evidence to support the overall argument
    • Invite them to add to their claims and supporting evidence on their Tracing an Argument graphic organizer in pen.
    • Begin the Mix and Mingle. Circulate and notice where students are encountering difficulty. This task closely aligns with the assessment students will be completing in Lesson 8, so this is a great opportunity to check for students' understanding.
    • After 7 to 8 minutes, reconvene the class. Invite groups to share claims and supporting evidence from "Public Fear." Ask students:

* "Was there sufficient evidence (at least two pieces) for each claim?"

* "In evaluating the argument, was there enough evidence to support the overall argument?"

(Does most of the evidence support the argument?)

  • Congratulate students on all of their hard work since the beginning of this module. Tell them in the next lesson they will meet their learning targets and show all the learning they have accomplished.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Reread "Double Whammy" and "Public Fear" excerpts from "The Exterminator" to review claims and evidence annotations. Then review the Tracing an Argument graphic organizers for the "Double Whammy" and "Public Fear" excerpts.
  • Review vocabulary (academic and domain specific).

Teaching Note: Preview the mid-unit assessment video, http://www.science.gc.ca/default.asp?Iang=en&n=730d78b4-1,and read the article "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on

  • Consider giving some students filled-in Tracing an Argument graphic organizers from "Double Whammy" and "Public Fear" to review for the mid-unit assessment.

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