Building Background Knowledge: The Dinka and Nuer Tribes Until the Mid-1980s (“Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War” Excerpt 1) | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M1:U1:L10

Building Background Knowledge: The Dinka and Nuer Tribes Until the Mid-1980s (“Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War” Excerpt 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.7.11)
  • I can determine the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI.7.1)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.7.4)

Supporting Targets

  • I can make connections from the text "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" to the novel A Long Walk to Water.
  • I can annotate text to help me track important ideas in Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War." 
  • I can use context clues to determine word meanings. 

Ongoing Assessment

  • Text annotations for gist
  • Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (focus on Perspectives)
  • Exit ticket

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening 

A. Introducing Learning Targets and Bridging to Informational Text (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Read-aloud of Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War": Vocabulary to Support Understanding (10 minutes)

B. Rereading for Gist: Excerpt 1 (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A. Homework Preparation (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A. Reread Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" and complete the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 only

  • This lesson uses many practices and structures similar to those used in Lessons 4 through 8, though the focus in Lessons 10 through 14 is gathering evidence from informational text.
  • This lesson is students' first experience in the unit with complex informational texts. The excerpts in Lessons 10 and 11 are from an article from the Washington Post. Students read each excerpt twice in class, again for homework, and then briefly return to it at the start of the following lesson. The text is formatted to include text-dependent questions that help focus students on key passages. It is fine if students do not finish all the questions for Excerpt 1 in class, since they continue to work with the text for homework. Students also will return to these articles during Unit 3. 
  • Students work with a partner to annotate this text, one paragraph at a time. This partner talk will help them orally process the text and also see a peer's example of jotting gist statements. 
  • Note that Excerpt 1 (for Lesson 10) is about the period before 1983, and thus connects more to Salva's story. Excerpt 2 (in Lesson 11) is about the period beginning in August 1991, and thus connects more to Nya's story. 
  • Because this lesson marks a shift to informational text, it does relate to standard RL.7.9 ("I can compare and contrast a fictional and historical account of a time, place, or character."). Note, however, that RL.7.9 is more formally introduced and more rigorously addressed in Unit 2. Here in Unit 1, the goal is to give students basic background knowledge that is important for them to understand the characters' points of view. 
  • In Lessons 1 through 3, students worked with one partner in an "A-Day" seating arrangement. In Lessons 4 through 7, students work in new partnerships in a "B-Day" seating assignment. Starting in here in Lesson 10, students return to their "A-Day" seating assignments to re-engage with their original class partnerships.

Vocabulary

cite, text-based evidence, analysis, perspectives, detail/evidence, inference/reasoning, excerpt, context; temporal (1), mystical (1), plane (1), raiding (1), hoary (1), intruders (1), imposed (1), adhere (1)

Materials

  • Things Close Readers Do anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2; see additions in supporting materials)
  • "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" (excerpts only; one per student)
  • Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 (focus on perspectives) (one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • A Long Walk to Water (book; one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing Learning Targets and Bridging to Informational Text (10 minutes) 

  • Share learning targets out loud. 

* "I can make connections from the text 'Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War' to the novel A Long Walk to Water."

* "I can annotate text to help me track important ideas in Excerpt 1 of 'Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War.'" 

* "I can use context clues to determine word meanings." 

  • Remind students that A Long Walk to Water is based on a true story, and the text they'll read during the next few lessons will tell us more about that true story. Tell students that as they have been reading Chapters 1-5 in the novel, they have been learning about Southern Sudan in the 1980s and 2008. Over the next few days, they will have a chance to build more background knowledge about that time and place. Remind students of the Guiding Question: "How do culture, time, and place influence the development of identity?" They will continue to think about this question throughout the module. 
  • Direct students' attention to the "Things Close Readers Do" anchor chart. Remind students that the bottom section of this chart includes strategies for "When text is emotionally difficult..." Caution students that the text they will read today includes some accounts of graphic violence, and each student should be sure to be respectful of him/herself and others while they take on a difficult subject.
  • Return students to partner pairs from Lessons 1 through 3 ("A-Day" seating). Remind students that they'll practice our Partner Talk Expectations with these original partners so that they can share ideas with different classmates.
  • Ask students to turn to page 33 (the start of Chapter 6) in A Long Walk to Water. Invite them to listen as you read aloud, JUST Nya's story (ending with "Or was it now their turn to lose someone?").
  • Invite students to turn and talk:

* "Why is Nya scared of the Dinka? And why is Salva scared of the Nuer?"

  • Cold call a few students to share out what their partner said.
  • Tell students that for the next three days, they will read some challenging informational text that will help them more fully understand Nya's and Salva's points of view
  • Students practice these same three learning targets in Lessons 10, 11, and 12.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Read-aloud of Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War": Vocabulary to Support 
 Understanding (10 minutes)

  • Distribute Excerpts from "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War".  Prompt students to skim the article and make note of the words in bold. 
  • Tell students that they are just seeing part of a longer article. Tell them that they will read two specific excerpts, or smaller sections. Point out to students that this is a very challenging text from the Washington Post: a highly respected newspaper written for adults. They will see lots of words they may not know, which is fine. 
  • For this lesson, they will focus just on Excerpt 1. (Ask students to draw a line above where it says "Excerpt 2"). 
  • Ask students to look again at the first three paragraphs only (Excerpt 1). Point out the words in bold. Also note that some words are defined in [ ] marks. 
  • Ask students to turn and talk about strategies they know to use for figuring out challenging words in context--based on the words around the word, or based on other information in the text or other texts. Invite a few students to share out, being sure to mention thinking about the words within the sentence, or "reading on" to the next sentence. 
  • Tell students that you will now read Excerpt 1 aloud as they read in their heads.
  • Encourage them to focus on the vocabulary in bold, and to continue practicing using context clues to figure out what these words mean.
  • As time permits, give students time to discuss in pairs which words they figured out. Remind them that they will keep working with Excerpt 1 in class, so it is fine if they still do not understand everything. 
  • Circulate to listen in and gauge which students know how to use context clues effectively and which students may need more support. Probe first, but model as needed (e.g., "I'm not sure what mystical means, but it sounds sort of like mystery. So maybe it has something to do with something unknown?")
  • Refocus students whole group. Tell them that they'll continue reading Excerpt 1 in class and in homework, so it is fine if they still do not understand everything. Invite volunteers to share out what words they figured out, and how. Clarify definitions as needed (raiding: stealing; intruders: people who invade someone else's space), but note that most of the bolded words will be defined in brackets or addressed later in this lesson with the text-dependent questions in the margin of the text.
  • Because of the complexity of this text, it will be important to monitor students' understanding of the text throughout the lesson. Use this focus on vocabulary to determine the appropriate amount of modeling and guided practice for Part B of Work Time.

B. Rereading for Gist: Excerpt 1 (20 minutes) 

  • Tell students that you will again read Excerpt 1 aloud, one paragraph at a time. Remind them to read along silently in their heads. Remind them of the annotating they did with the last article they read (Lesson 6).
  • Read the first paragraph, then stop. Give students time to think, reread, talk with a partner, and annotate the paragraph for the gist.
  • Focus students whole group. Cold call a student to share the gist for paragraph 1. Listen for students to say something like "The Dinka and Nuer are a lot alike."
  • Probe, asking question A (in the box alongside paragraph 1). 

* "What does the word 'both' refer to? Why does the author use the word 'both' four times?"

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share. Listen for students to recognize that the word "both" signals to a reader that this part of the article is about how the two tribes are the same.
  • Repeat with question B. If students cannot define the words temporal and mystical, provide the following explanation: "Temporal means having to do with the time we live in, with the real world. It comes from the root "temp," which means time. Like the word temporary, which means for a short period of time." 
  • Repeat with paragraph 2. Read aloud and ask students to think, reread, talk with a partner, and annotate the paragraph for the gist. Cold call a new student to share out the gist. Listen for students to say something like "It's about cattle" or "The Dinka and Nuer steal cows from each other." 
  • Probe, asking question C:

* "In your own words, what does the last sentence of paragraph 2 mean?"

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share. Listen for students to state that Dinka and Nuer have been stealing each other's cows for a long, long time. 
  • Remind students that they will continue working with Excerpt 1 for homework. As time permits, repeat with paragraph 3, cold calling a new student to share out the gist. Listen for students to say something like "A few people died, mostly warriors. But in 1983 things changed." 
  • Probe, asking students question D:

* "In paragraph 3, what does the word phase mean? When did things begin to change?"

  • Listen for students to notice the key date 1983: right around when Salva's story begins in the novel. 
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share about their current understanding of Excerpt 1. Ask students to jot a new annotation at the top of Excerpt 1, answering this question: 

* "What is Excerpt 1 mostly about?"

  • Tell them that it is fine that they just write down the "gist" for excerpt 1 at this point: a word or phrase that gives a general sense of what this excerpt was mostly about. They will return to this excerpt at the start of the next lesson. 

Note that this portion of the lesson contains significant scaffolding. While students have been practicing various strategies for reading closely in the first half of this unit, this informational text is significantly more complex than the novel they have been reading. This additional support may or may not be necessary for your students. Monitor their ability to read for gist and answer text-dependent questions during this portion of the lesson and determine whether more or less modeling will be needed.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Homework Preparation (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (Excerpt 1) to each student and project it on a document camera (or make a chart of it on chart paper or on your board). The general setup of this graphic organizer should look familiar to them. Tell students that they will use this graphic organizer across two lessons (for both excerpts). 
  • Ask students to silently review the directions on the graphic organizer. Remind students that the first column, titled "Detail/Evidence," is where they will gather quotes from the text. The third column, titled "Inference/Reasoning," is where they will write their thinking. (Remind them to not put any mark in the final [right-hand] column of the graphic organizer. They'll use this column later as they develop their ideas in writing).
  • Focus students on the third column. Point out that it is asking students to explain what each quote means. It's like they are digesting the quote and saying what is important about it. 
  • Read aloud the example in the first row. Think aloud, emphasizing the phrase "This quote shows that..." 
  • Be sure students know that for homework, they only have to focus on Excerpt 1. Encourage students to refer to this example, and the next row as well, to guide them as they do their homework. 
  • Based on student responses to the discussion prompts at the end of the Work Time, consider whether students are prepared for version 1 (less scaffolding) or version 2 (more scaffolding) of the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for the night's homework. If students are struggling to cite evidence from the text, distribute the more scaffolded graphic organizer (version 2 in supporting materials). 

Homework

Homework
  • Reread Excerpt 1 of "Sudanese Tribes Confront Modern War" for a third time and complete the Gathering Evidence graphic organizer for Excerpt 1 only.

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