Getting the Gist and Paraphrasing: “Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer” | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M4:U2:L1

Getting the Gist and Paraphrasing: “Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer”

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can conduct short research projects to answer a question. (W.6.7)
  • I can quote or paraphrase what others say about my topic while avoiding plagiarism. (W.6.8)
  • I can gather relevant information from a variety of sources. (W.6.8)

Supporting Targets

  • I can set a purpose to guide me in my research.
  • I can get the gist of the informational article "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer."
  • I can paraphrase information from my reading to answer a question.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 12 (from homework)
  • Researcher's notebook
  • Exit Ticket: Paraphrasing Information from "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer"

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 12 (8 minutes)

     B.  Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A.  Introducing the Researcher's Notebook (10 minutes)

     B.  Read-aloud and Getting the Gist of an Excerpt from  "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" article (10 minutes)

     C.  Using Paraphrasing to Respond to Text-Dependent Questions about "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

     A.  Exit Ticket: Paraphrasing Information from "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A. Read Chapter 13, "Sam Takes Charge" and complete Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 13.

  • As students launch Unit 2, their work with the novel Frightful's Mountain becomes increasingly independent. This follows a similar pattern to students' work in Module 1 (with The Lightning Thief), Module 2A (with Bud, Not Buddy), and Module 3A (with Dragonwings). Frightful's Mountain is used both to reinforce students' previous work with literature, and as an entry point into their deeper research of the benefits and consequences of DDT. In Unit 2, the novel moves to the background while students' guided research becomes the central focus of instruction.
  • In Unit 1, students built background knowledge about the benefits of DDT and its harmful consequences by reading several articles, viewing two videos, and analyzing charts and graphs. This unit builds on that background knowledge as students do further research. Students are given a research folder. See the Unit 2 overview "Preparation and Materials" for details.
  • Note this research is intentionally guided with scaffolding from the teacher. This meets the sixth-grade demands for W.7: students "conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources" (W.6.7). This guided research also moves students toward the more rigorous seventh-grade standard, which requires that students not only conduct short research projects, drawing on several sources, but also "generate additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation" (W.7.7). The CCLS explicitly expects students to conduct their own additional research in seventh grade.
  • While researching, students use a Credibility Checklist as they learn to check the credibility of sources. For additional ideas about how to approach this important skill with students, sample the checklists for evaluating a Web site: http://kathyschrock.net/abceval/5ws.pdf or http://www.library.illinois.edu/ugl/howdoi/webeval.html.
  • Because the texts used for students' guided research are authentic, not all of them have complete citations. Help students with the source information handouts, but know that for certain sources, the original document did not include all the categories on this handout.
  • Throughout this unit, students encounter a variety of articles in the range of credibility written by experts in public health and also concerned citizens, as well as sources ranging from well-known periodicals to unfamiliar Web sites. This intentionally allows students to evaluate the credibility of sources. Discuss this variety of credibility in the sources contained within students' research folders so that they can develop the skills to independently evaluate credible sources in their future research.
  • Six specific articles are provided in the supporting materials of this lesson; prepare this for students' research folders before the lesson. Please note that the article "DDT use should be last resort in malaria-plagued areas, scientists say," by Marla Cone, is provided as a "stretch" text for stronger students. It  likely will be too challenging for some students to read closely in its entirety. We strongly recommend that you mark paragraphs 1-11, 18-20, and 31-33 for students to read and use in their research, or consider excerpting this article to include these paragraphs only in students' research folders.
  • In today's lesson, students are introduced to page 1 of the researcher's notebook, which focuses on setting a purpose for their research. Students complete page 1 of the notebook and define key vocabulary in the research question. They also reflect on their learning about the benefits of DDT and its harmful consequences from Unit 1. On this page, students write what they still wonder about DDT. After a discussion, students write a paragraph describing a purpose for their research.
  • Students will use the researcher's notebook in Lessons 2, 4, 5, 7, and 8. Remind students at the end of an activity to place the notebook in the research folder.
  • In advance: Consider forming partnerships; prepare the research folder with resources (see above).
  • Post: Learning targets. 

Vocabulary

purpose, research, paraphrase, benefit, harmful consequence; environmentalist, revolutionary

Materials

  • Frightful's Mountain (book; one per student)
  • Peregrine Falcon Facts anchor chart (from Unit 1)
  • Research folder (with articles and other materials) (one per student)
  • Credibility Checklist (five copies per student; for research folder)
  • Assessing Sources (five copies per student; for research folder)
  • "Sounding the Alarm on Pollution" (one per student; for research folder)
  • "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" article (one per student; for research folder)
  • "Malaria Carrying Mosquito Crash Lands Due to His Insecticide" (one per student; for research folder)  
  • "Biological Energy--Here, Let Me Fix It!" (one per student; for research folder)
  • "How DDT Harmed Hawks and Eagles" (one per student; for research folder)
  • "A New Home for DDT" excerpt (one per student; for research folder)
  • "DDT use should be last resort in malaria-plagued areas, scientists say" excerpts (one per student; for research folder)
  • Researcher's notebook (one per student)
  • Document camera
  • Exit Ticket: "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer," Paraphrasing an Excerpt from the Text (one per student)
  • Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 13 (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 12 (8 minutes)

  • As students enter, invite them to sit in their Frightful's Mountain triad groups. Be sure students have their text, Frightful's MountainRemind them to discuss the focus question from Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 12 and add notes to their graphic organizer. The focus question asks students to recall what Molly sees in the bag when Flip Pearson and Dr. Werner open it.
  • Direct students to share their unfamiliar words with group members. If the group is unsure of the word's meaning, members should refer to the page number in the novel and read the sentence containing the word to find meaning using context clues. If this sentence is not helpful, ask students to read a sentence before and after to help them determine meaning.
  • Circulate as students discuss. Provide support to select students needing help with finding meaning using context clues. If students are not able to determine meaning, give them the meaning and ask them to write it on their graphic organizer.
  • Invite students to volunteer facts to add to the Peregrine Falcon Facts anchor chart.
  • Compliment triads that are working cooperatively adding notes in their response to the focus question and adding meanings to their unfamiliar words.

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Ask for two volunteers to lead the class in reading the learning targets. Invite the rest of the class to read along with them:

*   "I can set a purpose to guide me in my research."

*   "I can get the gist of the informational article 'Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer.'"

*   "I can paraphrase information from my reading to answer a question."

  • As students read the learning targets, underline the words purposeresearch, and paraphrase.
  • Invite them to Think-Pair-Share in their triads:

*   "Given these learning targets, what do you think we are going to be doing in this lesson?"

  • Cold call students to share their thoughts with the class. Listen for students to explain that they are going to determine a purpose for research and learn to paraphrase information in articles.
  • Learning targets are a researched-based strategy that helps all students, especially challenged learners.
  • Discussing and clarifying the language of learning targets helps build academic vocabulary.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Researcher's Notebook (10 minutes)

  • Tell students today they will begin to set a purpose, or goal, for their research to answer the research question: "Do the benefits of DDT outweigh the harmful consequences?" Explain in today's lesson and in upcoming lessons, they will research, or study, DDT to learn more about this topic. Tell students they will also learn how to paraphrase or restate an author's text to avoid plagiarism. Ask:

*   "What does it mean to plagiarize?"

  • Select a volunteer to share the meaning of this word. If needed, tell students that to plagiarize means to "take the work of someone else and pass it off as your own." Therefore, plagiarism is "the act of copying someone else's work and taking credit for it." Remind students that it is always important to give people credit for their hard work and thoughts.
  • Distribute the research folder. Tell students the contents inside the folder will be used throughout Unit 2. Ask them to keep the folder neat and intact. Encourage students to quickly look over the resources in their folder:

-   Credibility Checklist (five copies)

-   Assessing Sources (five copies)

-   Research texts: "Sounding the Alarm on Pollution"; "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer"; "Malaria Carrying Mosquito Crash Lands Due to His Insecticide"; "Biological Energy-Here, Let Me Fix It!"; "How DDT Harmed Hawks and Eagles"; "A New Home for DDT" excerpt; and "DDT use should be last resort in malaria-plagued areas, scientists say"excerpts.

  • Invite students to find the researcher's notebook. Use a document camera to display page 1 of the notebook. Tell students to record information for their research in the notebook. In today's lesson, they will focus only on page 1, which will help them plan and set a purpose for learning more about DDT today and in future lessons. Ask students to read the research question: "Do the benefits of DDT outweigh its harmful consequences?"
  • Tell students they will work in partners and complete page 1 of the notebook. Share partnerships with students. Give students time to regroup.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What is a benefit?"

  • Circulate and listen for: "Something that promotes well being, an advantage, or an asset."
  • Cold call partners to share their thoughts with the class.
  • Ask students to write their responses to Question 1 in the researcher's notebook. Model writing the response using the document camera.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What is a harmful consequence?"

  • Circulate and listen for: "A damaging effect or conclusion, an adverse result, a bad result."
  • Cold call partners to share their thoughts with the class.
  • Ask students to write their responses to Question 2 in the researcher's notebook. Model writing a response for students using the document camera.
  • Invite students to think about their learning from Unit 1 and discuss Question 3. Remind students about the articles they read, such as "Welcome Back," "The Exterminator," and "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm." Remind them of the videos they have viewed, such as the John Stossel DDT video and the video on bioaccumulation. Ask them to also think about the information gathered from analyzing charts, graphs, and maps.
  • Give students time to discuss and write their responses to Question 3.
  • Circulate to support students needing help in remembering information from these sources. Prompt them with questions like:

*   "In 'Welcome Back,' what did we learn about the peregrine falcon population?"

*   "In 'The Exterminator,' what did we learn about malaria, and what did we learn about DDT?"

  • Cold call to hear responses to the learning from Unit 1. Model writing a response to each question using the document camera.
  • Listen for: "The benefits of DDT include it helps fight malaria, it helps farmers control insects which cause damage to crop production; the harmful consequences would include DDT gets into the tissues of birds and can cause death, DDT can get into breast milk, DDT causes the egg shells of birds to thin and young cannot hatch, DDT can get into our water, killing fish and other organisms."
  • Using the document camera, model writing these responses on page 1.
  • Invite students to independently answer Question 4. Pause to give time.
  • Ask students to turn and talk with their partner to share what they still wonder about DDT.
  • Invite volunteers to share their "wonders." Model writing Question 4 responses using a document camera.
  • Direct students' attention to the next section of the graphic organizer, where they will write a short paragraph describing the purpose for their research. Ask students to incorporate the notes from the first section into a paragraph describing their goal.
  • Tell them to develop a topic sentence using ideas from Questions 1 and 2. Pause to give students time to write.
  • Circulate to support students needing sentence writing prompts. An example topic sentence could be: "DDT has both benefits and harmful consequences" or "The benefits of DDT never outweigh its harmful consequences."
  • Invite students to share their topic sentences. Using a document camera, model writing several example topic sentences.
  • Next, tell students to read what they wrote in response to Questions 3 and 4 on page 1.
  • Ask them to write three to four sentences about things they want to learn about DDT and/or what they still wonder about DDT. Remind them that their last sentence of their paragraph should be a concluding statement restating the main idea of the paragraph. Pause to give students time.
  • Circulate to support students. If some students find this challenging, ask them to read what they wrote in Questions 3 and 4. Then invite them to write this information in a sentence form. Also, check in to see if students understand how to write a concluding sentence.
  • Invite students to share their paragraphs describing the purpose for their research. Model writing several details the students share using the document camera, and model an example of a concluding sentence.
  • Commend students for reflecting on Unit 1 learning and setting a purpose for Unit 2 and their further study of DDT
  • Consider partnering ELLs who speak the same home language when discussing complex content. This allows them to have more meaningful discussions and clarify points in their native language.
  •  Asking students to provide feedback to their peers helps clarify their learning and develop speaking skills.

B. Read-aloud and Getting the Gist of an Excerpt from "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" 
(10 minutes)

  • Ask students to find the "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer"article in their research folder.Remind students they read an article about Rachel Carson in Unit 1, and this new article will provide more background knowledge about her and the book she wrote called Silent Spring. Tell students not only was Rachel Carson an author, but she was also an environmentalist.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What is an environmentalist?"

  • Invite students to share their thoughts with the class. Listen for: "An environmentalist is a person who cares about polluting land, air, and water or polluting our environment."
  • Ask students to write the title only of this article on page 2 of the researcher's notebook. Tell them the title should be written on the line titled "Source Title." Explain the rest of the page will be completed in Lesson 2 when "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" will be analyzed for claims and evidence.
  • Ask students to follow along as you read "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" for the gist. Remind students about the importance of reading an article to determine what it is mostly about. Ask them to read along silently as you read the article to help them improve their fluency and comprehension.
  • After you finish the article, ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What is this article mostly about?"

*    "What is the gist of each section?"

  • Listen for: "The article says Rachel Carson was one of the first people to recognize that we need to take care of our world. She was a revolutionary, a person wanting to bring change and help create environmental awareness. As an environmentalist she states, 'We need to come to terms with nature.' She feels using chemicals, like DDT, should be clearly explored before using them in order to be able to make informed decisions regarding our natural world."
  • Briefly have student volunteers share a gist statement for smaller sections of the article to aid comprehension. 
  • Next ask partners to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "What does the article say about the benefits of DDT?"

  • Listen for: "The article does not cite any benefits."
  • Share with students an author may choose to present only one side of an issue or topic. As a reader, it is important to think critically about the texts one reads, and to evaluate a topic from multiple perspectives. 
  •  Providing students with topic sentence starters encourages students to develop their writing skills.

C. Using Paraphrasing to Respond to Text-Dependent Questions about "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" (10 minutes)

  • Tell students in the next few lessons they will read articles to gain more knowledge about their research question. They will use the researcher's notebook to record relevant information.
  • Explain as writers they will read articles and record information in response to their research question. Tell them they will paraphrase the author's text. To paraphrase means to capture the idea of a text, but putting it into different words. Share they will also need to let the reader know the source of the information. Explain that if only a few words and phrases are changed and the source is not cited, it's plagiarism. Inform them plagiarism is illegal. Tell students it's possible to use the exact words of an author; however, they need to use quotation marks to begin and end the quote.
  • Invite students to independently reread the last two paragraphs on page 1 of "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer." Ask them to annotate the text as they read by underlining the main ideas and circling unfamiliar vocabulary. Remind them to write phrases or sentences in their own words summarizing these two paragraphs in the margins. Pause to give students time.
  • Circulate to support students.
  • Next, ask partners to discuss:

*   "Did Rachel Carson make a claim in this excerpt? If so, what was her claim?"

  • Ask partners to share their thinking. Listen for: "Rachel Carson made a claim that pesticides had caused the death of or was hurting animals and humans." Using a document camera, model writing the statement.
  • Ask partners to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "Is this information paraphrased or is it the author's exact words and therefore should it be quoted?"

  • Invite partners to share their thoughts. Listen for: "This statement is paraphrased and would not need quotation marks."
  • Next, ask partners to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "Did Rachel Carson provide the reader with supporting evidence for her claim?"

  • Invite students to share their ideas.
  • Using a document camera model writing student's responses. As each one is written, ask students to decide if quotation marks would be needed. Remind them quotation marks should be used if the writer copies the exact words of the author and also if only a few words are changed.
  • Using a document camera, write this example of supporting evidence with students: Sickness and death appeared everywhere: among flowers and trees, cattle and sheep, even humans.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "Would quotation marks be needed in this example?"

  • Invite partners to share their thoughts. Listen for: "Quotation marks are needed because these are the exact words the author used in the article." If students share a paraphrased example, such as "Plants, animals, and even people began to get sick," confirm that as paraphrasing, and therefore not in need of quotation marks.
  • Using a document camera, write another example of supporting evidence: Chemicals had washed into streams, had gotten into the air, and were absorbed by the soil contaminating the natural world.
  •  Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

*   "Would quotation marks be needed in this example? Why or why not?"

  • Listen for: "Quotation marks would not be needed. However, the source would need to be cited." (Share as many examples as time permits. Analyze each sentence or phrase to determine if it is paraphrased or if it should have quotation marks around it.)
  • Invite students to turn to page 3 of the article. Ask students to follow along as you reread Paragraph 3 and 4 on this page. Remind them to keep in mind our research question: "Do the benefits of DDT outweigh the harmful consequences?"
  • Read the paragraph. Using the document camera, model how to paraphrase and use quotation marks when using the author's exact words. An example could be: In the past pesticides have had ingredients that have been linked to causing cancer. Because of this finding 68 pesticide ingredients are not being used. In 1993, The New York Times reported farmers using pesticides are six times more likely to get certain cancers, children in homes where pesticides are used are seven times more likely to get leukemia, and wells containing drinking water have shown traces of pesticides. In fact, one in every ten wells tested showed evidence of pesticides. Rachel Carson poses this thought: "man's way is not always best."
  • Consider preparing more examples of paraphrasing and examples of when to use quotation marks.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket: Paraphrasing Information from "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the Exit Ticket: "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer," Paraphrasing an Excerpt from the Text.Tell students you would like them to try to paraphrase their own excerpt from the article. Ask them to read the excerpt and put the information in their own words.
  • Circulate to support students. If there is too much information for some students, ask them to chunk their reading. After they have read part of the text, ask them to tell you about what they read. Have them record their paraphrased sentences on the lines provided. Then, ask them to finish reading the rest of the text. Ask them to write another paraphrased sentence(s).
  • Using exit tickets allows a quick check for understanding of the learning target so that instruction can be adjusted or tailored to students' needs before the next lesson. 

Homework

Homework
  • Read Chapter 13, "Sam Takes Charge" and complete Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 13.

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