Comparing an Author’s Presentation of Ideas: “Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution” | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G6:M4:U2:L3

Comparing an Author’s Presentation of Ideas: “Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution”

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can compare how different authors portray the same idea or event. (RI.6.9)

Supporting Targets

  • I can analyze the author's presentation of ideas in "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution."
  • I can compare and contrast the authors' presentation of ideas for "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" and "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution."

Ongoing Assessment

  • Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 14 (from homework)
  • Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

     A.  Engaging the Reader: Learning from Frightful's Perspective (8 minutes)

     B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

     A. Author's Presentation of an Idea: "Sounding the Alarm on Pollution" (20 minutes)

     B.  Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentations of an Idea: "Banning DDT" (10 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

     A.  Reflecting on Learning: Group Discussion (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

     A.  Read Chapter 15, "A Pal Finds a Pal" and complete Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 15.

  • In Lesson 2, students identified claims and supporting evidence and completed Source 1 in their researcher's notebook using the article "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer." They also used this article to complete "Text 1" on the Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer. Now, in Lesson 3, students build their comparing and contrasting skills by analyzing two different authors portraying the same information or event. Students will complete "Text 2" information on the Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer using "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution." (Students should have this article from Unit 1 or their research folder.) 
  • When students record information for Text 1 and Text 2, they then compare and contrast the two articles. They note the articles' similarities and differences by looking at how the authors introduce the event, use various types of evidence, and use text features.
  • In Lesson 6, students will get more practice with comparing and contrasting authors' presentations using two other articles from the research folder.
  • This skill will be assessed in Lesson 9 on the mid-unit assessment. Students will use this same graphic organizer to compare and contrast authors' presentations in two articles.
  • In advance: Form partnerships.
  • In advance: Create the Authors' Presentation of Ideas anchor chart (see supporting materials). 
  • Post: Learning targets; Authors' Presentation of Ideas anchor chart.

Vocabulary

analyze, compare, contrast, authors' presentation of ideas;

from "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm": Green Giants, influential, conservation, synthetic, sound science

Materials

  • Frightful's Mountain (book; one per student)
  • Research folder (from Lesson 1)
  • "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution" article (one per student) (in research folder; also from Unit 1)
  • Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer (from Lesson 2)
  • Authors' Presentation of Ideas anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
  • Document camera
  • Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 15 (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A.  Engaging the Reader: Learning from Frightful's Perspective (8 minutes)

  •  Be sure students have their book, Frightful's Mountain.
  • Invite students to take out their Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 14 homework.
  •  Remind students that their task for this assignment was to consider ways in which Frightful has changed as a character from the beginning of the novel until now.
  •  Ask students to discuss this question with their triads, emphasizing that they should be referencing evidence from the chapter as they talk. This means they should be guiding their peers to specific page numbers and lines of text that support their thinking.
  •  Also remind students to review any words they included in their "Words I Found Difficult" list, assisting one another in determining the word meaning.
  •  Circulate and support students in their conversations. Specifically, look for student to notice that Frightful has become more reliant on her falcon instincts than she had in the beginning of novel, and it is not as easy for Sam to interact with her. 

B. Unpacking Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Invite two volunteers to read the learning targets. The class should read along silently as each target is read aloud.

* "I can analyze the author's presentation of ideas in "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution."

* "I can compare and contrast the authors' presentation of ideas for "Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer" and "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution."

  • As students read aloud the targets, circle analyze, authors' presentation of ideas, and compare and contrast.
  • Tell students analyze means to study to determine the relationship of something. Ask triads to discuss:

* "What is something you have had to analyze?"

  • Invite triads to share their examples.
  • Listen for examples such as analyzing the data in a math problem, analyzing the bacteria in a culture, or analyzing the word choice in a poem.
  • Share with students that authors often write about similar subjects because they share similar interests. When authors present or write about their ideas, they look for a variety of ways to engage the reader. Some examples of engagement would include sharing an anecdote or story, using statistics, using a graph to depict information, or sharing a photograph. 
  • Tell students in today's lesson they'll analyze articles and identify techniques the authors use to present their information.
  • Next, ask triads to discuss:

* "What does it mean to compare and contrast?" 

* "What is something you have had to compare and contrast?" 

  • Remind students they have discussed the meaning of compare and contrast in previous lessons. Invite triads to share their meanings and examples of something they compared and contrasted with the class. Listen for: "Comparing means noticing similarities and differences, while contrasting means noticing differences."
  • Posting learning targets for students to view throughout the lesson allows them 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. Author's Presentation of an Idea: "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution" (20 minutes)

  • Invite students to find their research folder.
  • Ask them to locate the article "Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution" article and their Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer.
  • Tell students they will be reading this article and analyzing how the author presents information.
  • Go over the Authors' Presentation of Ideas anchor chart with students. Remind students these ideas were introduced and discussed in Lesson 2, and now they can reference this anchor chart as they analyze this text.
  • Read through the ways authors engage the reader in an introduction, make claims, use types of evidence to inform or persuade the reader, and use text features to call attention to important information.
  • Form student partnerships. Ask partners to independently read the first section, Paragraphs 1 through 4, of the article. Tell students to stop when they get to "Deadly Chemicals." When they finish reading, students should discuss how the author introduces the event or topic, and write their response in phrase form. Remind them to refer to the anchor chart's introduction section to guide their discussion. They will have 4 minutes to read, discuss, and write their response.
  • Circulate to provide encouragement. Applaud students for reading carefully and referring to the anchor chart.
  • Reconvene the class. Cold call partners to share how the article is introduced. Listen for: "The author gives facts and background information to introduce Rachel Carson. For example, the author said Rachel Carson was a soft-spoken scientist but compared her to a towering Green Giant. The author feels her work was influential, and as a result, it caused change. She also wrote three books." 
  • Use a document camera to model writing the students' responses in the appropriate box. Use bullets to identify points.
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share:

* "What claim is the author Robert W. Peterson making when he compares Rachel Carson to a 'towering green giant'?"

  • Cold call partners to share their ideas. Listen for: "He claims that she was a person who cared about conservation, or protecting our natural world. She was a hero to our environment."
  • Ask partners to independently read the next three sections, Paragraphs 5 through 12 of the article. Tell students to stop when they get to "A Writer at Age 10." Share that when they finish reading they should discuss what types of evidence the author used to inform or persuade the reader. Ask them to write their responses in phrase form. Remind them to refer to the types of evidence section of the anchor chart to guide their discussion. Tell students they will have 8 minutes to read, discuss, and write their response.
  • Circulate to support students. Encourage reluctant readers to read aloud one paragraph and share the main idea. Then, invite them to read the next paragraph.
  • After about 8 minutes, reconvene the class. Cold call partners to share the types of evidence the author used to support his claim. Listen for: "The author presented data or statistics on harmful consequences and amount of chemical spread; the author also presented information from experts claiming some scientists say pesticides caused harm to people and shared a quote; the author used facts from businesses, government agencies, and manufacturers claiming the book was unsound; and the author used a quote from Silent Spring to identify harmful consequences."
  • Using a document camera, model writing their responses. Use bullets to identify points.
  • Direct students to the last section on their graphic organizer asking about text features Robert W. Peterson used to support his claim. Tell students they have 2 minutes to discuss and write their responses. Remind them to use the anchor chart as a reference.
  • Circulate to support students. Notice partners who are collaborating to determine text features.
  • Cold call partners to share their text features. Listen for: "The author uses section headings or subtitles to highlight main ideas, uses a center bar to point out further articles and quote something from Silent Spring that appeals to the emotion, uses drawings/graphics to call attention to the natural world, and uses different fonts to make an idea/quote stand out."
  • Using a document camera, model writing their responses. Use bullets to identify points.
  • Give students specific positive feedback of things you saw or heard related to the focus of analyzing the authors' presentation of ideas and/or their collaboration skills with their peers.
  • Research indicates that cold calling improves student engagement and critical thinking. Prepare students for this strategy ahead of time by discussing the purpose, giving appropriate think time and being intentional by indicating that this strategy will be used before you begin asking questions.
  • Consider providing select students with a partially completed graphic organizer. This will allow them to focus their time and attention on the most important thinking.
  • Creating norms for conversation helps to establish a positive group dynamic and make clear the expectations for collaboration.

B.  Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentations of an Idea: "Banning DDT" (10 minutes)

  • Invite students to look at the middle column of the Comparing and Contrasting Authors' Presentation graphic organizer. Tell students this section is for comparing and contrasting the authors' presentations of an idea in the two Rachel Carson articles.
  • Ask students to discuss and write their responses to the first section comparing the similarities and differences of the two articles' introductions. Remind them to simply read what was written in the Text 1 and Text 2 introduction section of their graphic organizer. Ask them to notice what was similar and what was different. Tell students they will have 2 minutes to discuss and write their response. Tell students to write their response in bullets or short notes, as their space is limited.
  • Circulate to support students. Check to see that students are writing complete sentences.
  • Cold call partners to share their thoughts. Model writing their responses. Encourage sentence writing.
  • Listen for: "Both articles were similar because they introduced Rachel Carson to the reader by giving facts and background information, and they were different because in 'Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer,' the author used a questioning technique and in 'Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution,' the author used statements." 
  • Invite students to discuss the middle section of the middle column. Ask them to compare and contrast by looking at the types of evidence the authors used to support their claim in Text 1 and Text 2 columns. Ask them to notice what was similar and what was different. Tell students they will have 4 minutes to discuss and write their response in complete sentences. Pause to give students time.
  • Circulate and support students. Check their understanding of responding to both similarities and differences.
  • Check students are writing their response in complete sentences.
  • Cold call partners to share their thinking. Model writing their responses using the document camera.
  • In comparing and contrasting types of evidence, listen for: "Both articles were similar and had data on harmful consequences, such as they mentioned pesticides had caused the death of mammals and birds and hurt people. Both articles were similar and gave facts from businesses, government agencies, and manufacturers. Both articles were similar and gave quotes on harmful consequences. There were also differences. In 'Rachel Carson:  Environmentalist and Writer,' the article concludes with asking the reader questions and using quotes from The New York Times and Rachel Carson. In 'Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution,' the author concludes the article with background information on the early years of Rachel Carson.
  • Ask students to compare and contrast the text features of both articles. Tell them they will have 2 minutes to discuss and write their response in complete sentence form.
  • Circulate and support select partners. Again, remind students to read the text feature section of Text 1 and Text 2 to provide information to use to fill out this section. Remind students to write their responses in complete sentences.
  • Reconvene the class. Cold call partners to share their thinking and responses. Model writing their answers using a document camera.
  • In comparing and contrasting the text features, listen for: "Both were similar because each article divided the text into sections with subtitles, both used quotes from her book, Silent Spring, and both used fonts to make titles stand out. There were also differences. In 'Rachel Carson: Environmentalist and Writer,' a photo of Rachel Carson was used. In 'Rachel Carson: Sounding the Alarm on Pollution,' a caricature of her was used as well as other drawings of the natural world, and a center bar was used to call attention to further reading."
  •  Invite students to discuss the final question:

*  "Which article is more effective in its argument and why?"

  • Cold call partners to share their thinking. Remind students there is no right answer to this question. Tell them it's important to support their thinking by citing evidence from the article.
  • Give students specific positive feedback on comparing and contrasting the two articles. Share that the authors, Robert W. Peterson and Kathy Wilmore, had similarities and differences in their presentations of the idea. 
  • Ask students to hand in their graphic organizers. Tell them you would like to read their responses to check for their understanding. Reviewing their responses will help guide future lessons.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to display documents for students who struggle with auditory processing.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all students, especially challenged learners.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Reflecting on Learning: Group Discussion (5 minutes)

  • Partners join another partner group to make a group of four. Ask groups:

* "Which article was more effective in its argument and why?" Tell students their answers may vary depending on their research question.

* "What have you learned about how authors introduce a claim, the types of evidence they use to inform or persuade the reader, and how authors use text features to inform or persuade the reader?"

* "Is there one standout feature you feel engages the reader the most?"

  • Circulate to listen to students' responses. Compliment groups that discuss effectively and reflect on their learning.
  • Cold call a few pairs of students to share their thoughts with the class.
  • Remind students that when they are introduced to a new skill, the work can be challenging and require a lot of focus. Let them know they will have another opportunity to practice this important skill in Lesson 6. 

Homework

Homework
  • Read Chapter 15, "A Pal Finds a Pal" and complete Learning from Frightful's Perspective: Chapter 15.

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