Building Background Knowledge: The Lost Boys of Sudan | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA 2012 G7:M1:U1:L6

Building Background Knowledge: The Lost Boys of Sudan

You are here:

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text. (RI.7.1)
  • I can determine the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • 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)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support my analysis of the experience of people in South Sudan from "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War."
  • I can annotate text to help me track important ideas in the article "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War."
  • I can make connections from the text "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War" to the novel A Long Walk to Water.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Text annotations for gist and text-based evidence
  • Exit ticket

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A. Feedback on Gathering Evidence Exit Tickets from Lesson 5 (5 minutes) 

B. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A. Reading and Annotating for Gist: "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War" (10 minutes)

B. Rereading and Annotating for Text-based Evidence (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment 

A. Revisit Learning Targets with Exit Ticket (10 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Read Chapter 4 for gist; record in Columns 1, 2, and 4 of Reader's Notes; and circle words that seem important related to our Guiding Question. 

  • This lesson is based on a short informational text. Students are further prompted to read closely in order to understand vocabulary in context.
  • With this first use of informational text, students are prompted to write annotations to the text on the copy of the article itself. This practice replaces the use of Reader's Notes, which students will continue to use for "getting the gist" of the novel, A Long Walk to Water. This means that the structure for "getting the gist" for informational texts will be text annotation, while the structure for "getting the gist" of chapters in A Long Walk to Water will continue to be the Reader's Notes.
  • To save time, post in advance (either on the board or on a chart paper) the vocabulary and text-dependent questions that students refer to during Work Time Part B. 
  • Because this lesson includes informational text that provides background for the historical novel, it relates directly to CCLS 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 rigorously addressed in Unit 2. 
  • Students read just one short excerpt of an article. See materials note, below.

Vocabulary

cite, text-based evidence, analyze, points of view, effectively, engage, detail/evidence, inference/reasoning, annotations; entrenched, grueling, dehydration (article)

Materials

  • Individual feedback on students' completed Gathering Evidence graphic organizer (from Lesson 5, including exit ticket)
  • "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War" section from the full article "Life and Death in Darfur: Sudan's Refugee Crisis Continues" (one per student) 
  • Document camera
  • Things Close Readers Do anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2; see additions in supporting materials)--today's additions: annotating text, focus on key vocabulary, discuss to clarify thinking or deepen understanding
  • Document camera
  • Exit ticket (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Feedback on Gathering Evidence Exit Tickets from Lesson 5 (5 minutes) 

  • Distribute the individualized feedback from students' exit tickets from Lesson 5 in which you have made descriptive comments on students' progress using evidence to analyze character in A Long Walk to Water
  • Give students a chance to review your written descriptive feedback, and encourage them to put this feedback in their working folders in the classroom or another safe location (i.e., student binders). 
  • Tell all students that they should use your feedback to prepare for an upcoming Mid-Unit Assessment (Lesson 8), and invite students to review their exit ticket work if they would like more feedback from you before this graded assessment.
  • Providing specific and focused feedback helps students to set concrete goals for reaching learning targets.

B. Introducing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Share the day's learning targets:

* "I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support my analysis of the experience of people in South Sudan from 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War.'"

* "I can annotate text to help me track important ideas in the article 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War.'"

* "I can make connections from the text 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War' to the novel A Long Walk to Water."

  • Point out that the first target should be familiar to students, and ask them to describe what is different (experience of people in South Sudan and name of article). 
  • Tell students that today they will continue to practice gathering evidence. The text they will read is a short article called "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War." This will help them understand more about Salva's experience. Build up the excitement of reading informational text that will provide more context for what students are reading in the novel. 
  • Keep students with partner pairs from Lesson 4 ("B-Day" seating). Remind students that they'll practice our Partner Talk Expectations with these new partners so that they can share ideas with different classmates.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading and Annotating for Gist: "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War" (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that now they will read a short informational text to build background knowledge about Sudan's civil war. Tell them that having this background knowledge will help them better understand the novel, its characters, and their points of view. 
  • Post the Things Close Readers Do anchor chart, which now includes:

* "Get the gist of what a text is about" (from Lesson 2)

* "Using the text to answer questions" (from Lesson 3) 

* "Reread the text" and "Gather evidence (quotes) from the text" (from Lesson 4)

  • Point out the "Things Close Readers Do" anchor chart and ask students to turn to a partner and discuss the following: "What do you anticipate we will do as readers to understand this text?" Have a few pairs share their thinking and listen for students to name reading for the gist, rereading, focusing on vocabulary. Emphasize the various "Things Close Readers Do" that are currently listed on the anchor chart (see Teaching Notes).
  • Cold call a few students to share key vocabulary they noticed when rereading Chapter 3. Note that as they read more about this topic, they may notice certain words showing up over and over. 
  • Distribute the text "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War".  Explain that this is the informational text they will use to make connections to the novel A Long Walk to Water. Give students a moment to briefly skim the text. 
  • Display the article using a document camera, and then read it aloud (first read) as students read silently in their heads. 
  • Give students a moment to think, then talk with their partner, about the gist of this article: 

* "What is it mostly about?"

  • Refocus students whole group. Tell students that in a moment, they will reread silently making notes along the edges of the text. Tell students that these notes are called "text annotations." Using the document camera, model one text annotation by reading the first paragraph of the article and writing in the margin, "Civil war--fought by Muslim Arab north and non-Muslim, non-Arab south."
  • Give students five minutes to reread and annotate each paragraph for the gist. Circulate to observe students' annotations, coaching as needed (e.g., "Based on what you read, what are a few words you could jot in the margins to help you remember what this paragraph is mostly about?"). Provide additional modeling if necessary. 
  • Anchor charts provide a visual cue to students about what to do when you ask them to work independently. They also serve as note-catchers when the class is co-constructing ideas.

B. Rereading and Annotating for Text-based Evidence (15 minutes)

  • Post three key vocabulary terms and the following text-dependent questions on the board or with a document camera:

entrenched, grueling, hydration

* How does Salva's story relate to this article?

* What does the word entrenched mean in this text? 

* Who are the Lost Boys? 

  • Read these vocabulary words and questions out loud. Tell students that it is fine if they don't know all the answers at this point. Remind them that rereading is a "thing close readers do." They will read and reread this article to find answers to these questions.
  • Focus students on the first question, 

* "How does Salva's story relate to this article?" 

  • Prompt students to reread silently and annotate the text. Reinforce the point that rereading, writing, and thinking are all ways to help deepen one's understanding of a text. Point out to students that they will write about this question at the end of class. 
  • Circulate to observe how well students are annotating. Support as needed. 
  • Ask students to Think-Pair-Share about this question: 

* "How does Salva's story relate to this article?" 

  • Remind students to cite passages from the text that support their thinking. 
  • Repeat this process with the other two questions:

* What does the word entrenched mean in this text? 

* Who are the Lost Boys? 

  • Give students two minutes to Think-Pair, then cold call on three students to Share their ideas. Clarify for all: the Lost Boys are young Sudanese boys, like Salva, who had to flee home during the civil war. 
  • Ask students if they were able to figure out grueling and dehydration based on other information in this text, or what they already knew from the novel. Clarify terms as needed; note that "de" means not, and "hydra" means water (like fire hydrant). Therefore, dehydration means without water; students should have been able to figure that out from the phrase "without food or water" in the previous sentence.
  • Reviewing academic vocabulary words benefits all students developing academic language.
  • Text-dependent questions can be answered only by referring explicitly back to the text being read. This encourages students to reread the text for further analysis and allows for a deeper understanding. 
  • To further support ELL vocabulary acquisition, consider providing translations of key academic or content vocabulary into students' home language. Resources such as Google Translate and bilingual translation dictionaries can assist with one-word translation.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Revisit Learning Targets with Exit Ticket (10 minutes)

  • Reread the learning targets

* "I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support my analysis of the experience of people in South Sudan from 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War.'"

* "I can annotate text to help me track important ideas in the article 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War.'"

* "I can make connections from the text 'Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War' to the novel A Long Walk to Water."

  • Direct students' attention to the anchor chart "Things Close Readers Do." Ask students if they experienced any new practices or strategies today that should be added to this chart. Give students a moment to turn and talk, and then invite volunteers to share. Add lines to the anchor chart (using students' own words if possible) about the following:

* annotating text

* focusing on key vocabulary

* discussing to clarify thinking or deepen understanding

  • Exit ticket prompt (same as above): "How does Salva's story relate to this article? Be sure to cite evidence from the text to support your thinking."
  • Collect this exit ticket to use as a formative assessment. 
  • Preview the homework.
  • Adding visuals or graphics to anchor charts can help students remember or understand key ideas or directions. 

Homework

Homework
  • Read Chapter 4 of A Long Walk to Water for gist; record in Columns 1, 2, and 4 in your Reader's Notes; and circle words that seem important related to our Guiding Question.

Notes: Analyze student responses in the exit ticket to determine students' comprehension of the article and the novel as well as their progress toward the following learning target: "I can make connections from the text "Time Trip: Sudan's Civil War" to the novel A Long Walk to Water."

In Lesson 8, time is allocated to preview the Unit 1 Recommended Texts list with students. If possible, have some of the books (or other books on this same topic) available for students to browse.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up