End of Unit 3 Assessment: Writing a Research Synthesis | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M2A:U3:L7

End of Unit 3 Assessment: Writing a Research Synthesis

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can conduct short research projects to answer a question. (W.7.7)
  • I can use several sources in my research. (W.7.7)
  • I can quote or paraphrase others' work while avoiding plagiarism. (W.7.8)

Supporting Targets

  • I can synthesize the information I learned from several sources into cohesive paragraphs.

Ongoing Assessment

  • End of Unit 3 Assessment


AgendaTeaching Notes

1.   Opening

A.  Entry Task: Planning the End of Unit Assessment (5 minutes)

B.  Review the Learning Target (2 minutes)

2.   Work Time

A.  End of Unit 3 Assessment (25 minutes)

B.  Creating the Rubric (8 minutes)

3.   Closing and Assessment

A.  Finishing the Class Rubric (5 minutes)

4.   Homework

A.  Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit.

  • In this lesson, students have arrived at Step 6 of the Researcher's Roadmap. They write several paragraphs that synthesize their learning and demonstrate what they have learned about working conditions. In preparation, they have paraphrased facts into their own words (throughout the unit), marked the facts they want to use (in Lesson 6), and planned the basic organization of the paragraph (in the entry task).
  • Consider how you might give struggling writers more time to complete the end of unit assessment, for instance allow them to continue working while the class is creating the rubric is Work Time B.  The criteria to use when assessing the research synthesis is listed on the student copy of the assessment, both to ensure that students know how they will be assessed, and also so that it can be used as a checklist when reviewing students' synthesis.
  • The assessment is focused on what information the students have gathered in their research, not how well they craft body paragraphs.
  • In this lesson, you again will show students the model performance task (also used in Lesson 2).  Ideally, you will will be showing students the model performance task in this lesson. Ideally you will show them one you made in the same format they will use (see Preparation and Materials in Unit Overview).
  • "iCare about the iPhone" is provided as a simple teacher model (see Preparation and Materials in Unit Overview).  Consider using the information and formatting in this model as you create your own version of it, using the technology that your students will also use.
  • In advance: Depending on the teacher model you will be using, ready the technology you will need. Also, create a blank Module 2A Performance Task rubric on chart paper (see Work Time B).




  • Researcher's Notebook (from Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart (from Lesson 2; one large copy to display and students' own copies)
  • End of Unit 3 Assessment prompt (one per student and one for display)
  • Model Performance Task: "iCare about the iPhone" (from Lesson 2; one to display; see Teaching Notes above)
  • Module 2A Performance Task rubric (one per student and one to display; see Teaching Note)
  • Module 2A Performance Task rubric (sample responses, for teacher reference)
  • Document camera
  • Sticky notes (about 4 per student)
  • Module 2A Performance Task rubric (for Teacher Reference)



A. Entry Task: Planning the End of Unit Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Direct students to turn to Section III in their Researcher's Notebook and complete it as their entry task.

B. Review the Learning Target (2 minutes)

  • Ask a volunteer to read the learning target for today. Ask students to raise their hands if they know what synthesize means (from Lesson 6). Wait for a few hands to go up and then call on a student. Explain that today they will work on Step 6 of the Researcher's Roadmap anchor chart, where they synthesize their findings in preparation for sharing them in the performance task. This will give students a chance to demonstrate all they have learned from this short research project, including how to avoid plagiarism by paraphrasing. Express your confidence in their ability to do so.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Writing End of Unit 3 Assessment (25 minutes)

  • Distribute the End of Unit 3 Assessment prompt. Ask students to read along silently as you read aloud. Ask if there are any clarifying questions. Direct them to complete the assessment silently and individually. Let them know that while they are writing, you will come around to check in on their independent reading. If they finish early, they may read their independent reading book.
  • While students are working, circulate to check in on their independent reading progress.
  • When students are done, collect their assessments and Researcher's Notebooks (see Teaching Note at the end of this lesson).
  • For students who struggle, consider asking them to answer one or two supporting research questions in their research synthesis.
  • For students who need a challenge, consider encouraging them to answer more than three supporting research questions in their synthesis.

B. Creating the Rubric (8 minutes)

  • Tell students they will now look at the model performance task (as they did in Lesson 2) and use it to create the rubric you will use to evaluate their performance task.
  • Distribute the Module 2A Performance Task rubric and teacher model. If you have made an electronic version of the performance task, project it now (see Unit Overview Preparation and Materials). If not, project the simple copy of "iCare about the iPhone" from the supplementary materials attached to this lesson. Instruct students to read along silently as you read aloud through the model. Pause to ask what they notice about this model. How is it different from other writing they've done in class?
  • Display the Performance Task prompt using the document camera. Ask students how the audience is different. How might that change the way they write this project? Listen for them to understand that the "voice" they write in will be less formal.
  • Post blank Module 2A Performance Task rubric and orient students to it. Define any terms they may not know. Demonstrate what they'll be doing with their partner by "thinking aloud" the Content and Analysis row. Write the bullet points on a class rubric that you will display. Consider saying something like this:

*   "Based on the model, this project has three parts. The first section explains how the information relates to the consumer. The second section presents the facts. And the third section recommends the consumer take action. So to reach a 4 on content, a project will need to have all three parts. I'm going to write that as the first bullet point. I noticed that the third section shows some real thinking about a solution. The author didn't just write 'stop buying iPhones,' so I'm going to write something about how the recommendation shows some thoughtful analysis of the problem and articulates a realistic option. For the third bullet point, I'm going to write how the author relates the product to the consumer. So I'll write, 'Content is engaging to the audience and clearly connected to the audience's experience.'"

  • Invite students to turn and talk with the person next to them about the second row. Remind students to use the questions provided to help them write the bullet points. After a few minutes, ask a student to think aloud through the bullet points in Row 2. Write the ideas on the class rubric.
  • Instruct students to work in pairs for the remaining two rows. They should write their bullet points on sticky notes.
  • Co-constructing the rubric based on the learning targets outlined from the standards allows students to envision a clear picture of what meeting these targets will look like in the final performance task. Research shows that engaging students in the assessment process engages, supports, and holds students accountable for their learning. This practice helps all learners, especially struggling learners.

Closing & Assessments


A. Finishing the Class Rubric (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to come up and stick their ideas on the class rubric. Choose the best bullet points to transfer to the chart. You may do this as a class, time permitting, or do it after the students leave and share it with them in the next lesson.
  • Collect students' Researcher's Notebooks.


  • Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit.

Teaching Note: Finalize the class rubric so students will know how they will be evaluated on the performance task. Review students' Researcher's Notebooks to identify students who will need more support creating the final performance task. Be ready to return students' Researcher's Notebooks in Lesson

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