Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Details: What’s Going on in the Teenage Brain? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U1:L2

Identifying Main Ideas and Supporting Details: What’s Going on in the Teenage Brain?

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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 use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.7.4)
  • I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). (RI.7.4)

Supporting Targets

  • I can determine the main idea and supporting ideas/details in "Teens and Decision Making"
  • I can determine the meaning of unknown technical words.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Neurologist notebook #1 (from homework)
  • Thinking Logs

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Entry Task: Thinking Logs (10 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Introducing the Brain Development Anchor Chart (10 minutes)

B.  Vocabulary in Action (15 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Adding to the Brain Development Anchor Chart (10 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Read "What's Going On in Your Brain?" by Linda Bernstein. Complete neurologist's notebook #2.

 

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to two important classroom routines: Thinking Logs and the Brain Development anchor chart. They also continue to add to the Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart. These routines help scaffold students toward RI.7.1, RI. 7.2, RI. 7.4, and L.7.4.
  • First, students begin working with the Thinking Log, which is used throughout Units 1 and 2 as a way to track and reflect on their understanding of the development of the adolescent brain. The Thinking Log serves as a scaffold to SL 7.2--how new information has helped them clarify the issues. See Unit 1 overview for details. Note that the entire Thinking Log for Units 1 and 2 is included in the supporting materials of this lesson: if possible, prepare this as a packet for students.
  • The Brain Development anchor chart is important scaffold for the student's writing in Unit 3 (see Unit 1 overview). It also provides a common point of reference and a place to hold class thinking about brain development. Like all anchor charts, this one can be created and updated either in an electronic format to be displayed using a projector, on a regular-size piece of paper to be displayed via a document camera, or on a large piece of chart paper to be posted. Students will also maintain their own copy of this anchor chart and update it along with the class anchor chart.
  • The Brain Development anchor chart will hold the students' learning around the three major aspects of brain development--the prefrontal cortex, the limbic system, and the neurons. Use the Model Brain Development anchor chart for suggested information to include on the anchor chart, but ultimately let the anchor chart reflect the class discussion. To help you guide the students to the background knowledge they need in order to be successful in this module, familiarize yourself with the final essay prompt (Mid-Unit and End of Unit 3 Assessment), model essay, and the content of Unit 2.
  • Work Time B focuses on RI 7.4 and L 7.4 and will help students grasp difficult and technical scientific terms in an engaging and kinesthetic way. To transition smoothly to this activity, be sure to prepare the materials in advance.
  • To close, students return to the Brain Development anchor chart and add their learning from the last two sections of the text. Asking the students to complete a sticky note invites everyone to participate in building the class anchor chart in a low-risk way. Alternatively you could collect the students' anchor charts and give formative feedback.
  • In advance:

-   Prepare the Thinking Log packet.

-   Prepare the materials for Understanding Axons, Dendrites, and Synaptic Pruning: A Vocabulary Play.

  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

(from "Teens and Decision Making") neural impulse (para. 9), axons (para. 10), dendrites (para. 10), synapse (para. 10), myelination (para. 11), synaptic pruning (para. 11), brain pathways (para. 12); (from homework) reckless, localization, regenerate, solidifies

Materials

  • Thinking Logs (one per student)
  • Brain Development anchor chart--student version (one per student)
  • Brain Development anchor chart (new; co-created with students in Work Time A)
  • Document camera
  • Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • "Teens and Decision Making: What Brain Science Reveals" (from Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Understanding Axons, Dendrites, and Synaptic Pruning: A Vocabulary Play (10 copies; one copy for each character in the play)
  • Model Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • Note cards or sticky notes (one per student)
  • "What's Going On in Your Brain?" (one per student)
  • Neurologist's notebook #2 (one per student)
  • Neurologist's notebook #2 (answers, for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Entry Task: Thinking Logs (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the Thinking Logs. Explain to the students that today they will be starting a routine they will use many times in Unit 1. The Thinking Log contains questions that will be completed on most days. The purpose of this log is to help them reflect on and clarify their thinking on the neurological development of teenagers and their learning from the homework (if they complete the log as an entry task) or their learning from the day's lesson (if they complete the log as an exit ticket).
  • From the Thinking Log, read aloud the two questions for Lesson 2 and ask students to complete them based on their current thinking:

*   "The main idea of last night's reading was that knowing how the brain works was helpful to Dr. Jensen and her sons. How was it helpful to them? How do you think knowing something about how the adolescent brain works would be helpful to you? To your parents? To your school?"

*   "What else are you wondering about adolescent brain development?"

  • After a few minutes, cold call on students to explain how the information about the neurological development of teens was useful to Dr. Jensen and her sons. Listen for them to say it helped Dr. Jensen realize there was a scientific explanation for her sons' behavior. It also helped her sons understand why certain behaviors (like taking drugs and staying up all night) are counterproductive for a teenager. Press students to give an example from the text as evidence to explain their ideas.
  • Ask students to give a Fist to Five on how easily they were able to identify the main idea of last night's reading. A "fist" indicates that they struggled, whereas a "five" indicates that it was easy. It's likely that many students identified that the science information was important but were less sure how the Jensen's story fit into the main idea. Acknowledge the difficulty of this assignment.
  • If time permits, have students popcorn out some of their answers for the second half of the first question.
  • Ask them to put their logs in a place where they can easily retrieve them each day.
  • Collect the neurologist's notebook #1 from homework and use it as a formative assessment to inform your teaching for Lessons 3 and 4.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Brain Development Anchor Chart (10 minutes)

  • Distribute a blank Brain Development anchor chart--student version to each student. Post a class Brain Development anchor chart to work from on a document camera (or on chart paper).
  • Tell students that today they will be starting an anchor chart to help them track their learning about adolescent brain development. They will maintain their own copy in addition to the class copy used during discussions.
  • Point out the five columns: Other Developmental Info, Neurons, Prefrontal Cortex, Limbic System, and So What?
  • Explain that over the next two weeks they will be learning about two specific regions of the brain (the prefrontal cortex and the limbic system). They will also learn about the way neurons are growing and changing. This happens all over the brain and in particular in the frontal lobes. Any other miscellaneous learning can go in the first column. They will use the fifth column later. Remind students to note where they learned the information so they can go back and reread it if necessary.
  • Ask:

*   "The prefrontal cortex is part of the frontal lobe. What did you learn about the frontal lobe in last night's homework?" Add students' answers to the anchor chart and ask them to do the same on their own copy, referencing the Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference) as needed.

  • Invite students to give you other important information from the homework. When students begin to give answers about "myelin" or "neural insulation," thank them for helping you transition to the text they'll be reading today.
  • Invite students to get out their copy of "Teens and Decision Making: What Brain Science Reveals" (from Lesson 1). They will continue reading it today.
  • Ask a student to reread the third paragraph from "Teens and Decision Making." Then ask:

*   "This is all about how neurons work. How can we capture this information in the Neurons column?" Add students' answers to the chart, using the Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference) for guidance.

  • Ask the students to silently skim the section of the article they read yesterday titled "The Teen Brain: Under Construction," looking for information to add to the anchor chart.
  • Ask students to raise their hands when they have some information. Wait for most students to raise their hands. Add the students' answers to the chart. Prompt with questions such as: "What did we learn about the limbic systemAt what age does the brain fully mature? Where does that go on the anchor chart?"
  • The Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference) is provided as a guide, but you should let the anchor chart reflect the discussion in the class. Be sure students walk away with a basic understanding of the prefrontal cortex (what it is and that it is underdeveloped), the limbic system (what it is and how it matures first), and that neurons are in a dynamic branching and pruning stage.
  • Anchor charts and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the necessary scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning.

B. Vocabulary in Action (15 minutes)

  • Ask students to read silently as you read aloud the section titled "Fine-Tuning the Brain." Set the intention for students: "Underline words that should go on the Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart."
  • Read the entire section fluently as students read along in their heads.
  • Ask students to identify any words that should go on the Domain Specific Vocabulary anchor chart. Add them without the definition for now. Be sure to include neural impulse, axons, dendrites, synapse, myelination, synaptic pruning, and brain pathways.
  • Tell students that these are difficult vocabulary words and that you have a short play that will help them visualize these concepts.
  • Lead the students through the Understanding Axons, Dendrites, and Synaptic Pruning: A Vocabulary Play.
  • Refocus the class on the Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart. Add the definitions at this time, referencing the Model Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (for teacher reference) as needed. Clarify other vocabulary as needed.
  • Acting out the vocabulary is an engaging way to reach some of your kinesthetic learners.

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Adding to the Brain Development anchor chart (10 minutes)

  • Distribute note cards (or sticky notes if the anchor chart is on a chart paper on the wall).
  • Ask students to read silently as you reread aloud the sections "Fine-Tuning The Brain" and read "Wait a Minute!" Set the intention for students: "As you follow along, put a check mark on information that should go on the Brain Development anchor chart. Be sure to look for what causes neurons to be strengthened or pruned."
  • After you have finished reading, briefly discuss the purpose of the last section and how it implies that kids have some control over their brains and that slowing down and thinking is a good strategy. You'll revisit this section in the next lesson.
  • Ask students to write down five facts from these two sections on the note cards (or sticky notes).
  • As students leave, ask them to place the sticky notes in the corresponding column on the class anchor chart.
  • Tell students that you will use students' sticky notes as a way to help build the class anchor chart (see Teaching Notes, above).
  • Distribute "What's Going On in Your Brain?" and neurologist's notebook #2. Preview homework as needed.

Homework

Homework
  • Read "What's Going On in Your Brain?" by Linda Bernstein. Complete neurologist's notebook #2.

 

Note: Transfer the information onto the class anchor chart. Be sure students have identified that synaptic pruning occurs based on the environment, choices, and behavior of an individual. This information is central to the module. Use the note cards or sticky notes to inform the entry task in Lesson 3. At that time, you can clarify any misunderstandings.

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