Close Reading: Excerpt 2 of “The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution” | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G7:M4A:U1:L6

Close Reading: Excerpt 2 of “The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution”

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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 determine a theme or the central ideas of informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can read above-grade-level texts with scaffolding and support. (RI.7.10)
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases. (L.7.4)

Supporting Targets

  • I can determine the main idea of Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution."
  • I can use a variety of strategies to figure out the meaning of new vocabulary.
  • I can read above-grade-level texts with support.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Homework: Summarize Your Learning (from Lesson 5)
  • Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" text-dependent questions

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Book Frenzy (13 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Introducing the Digital Revolution (7 minutes)

B.  Excerpt 2: Text-Dependent Questions (20 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Adding to the Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Catch up on any reading from the first part of this unit.

B.  Read your independent reading book.

 

  • In this lesson, students continue to read excerpts of the "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution." See Teaching Notes from Lesson 5 and the Module Overview to see the rational behind this text. Today's excerpt explores the adaptability of the brain to the new digital environment. This could be the major premise of a student on the position paper in Unit 3. Taking enough time to add to the anchor chart will support students in using this reasoning in their writing.
  • "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" is a challenging text. Reading complex texts with the proper scaffolding can increase students' stamina. To help students be successful, you should read each excerpt aloud twice. You will have the opportunity to model strategies for attacking difficult texts--like identifying vocabulary, paraphrasing long sentences, and rephrasing the main idea. The vocabulary work will help students progress toward L.7.4. The close reading and text-dependent questions in this lesson will guide students to identify the main ideas of the article that are most relevant to their position paper in Unit 3.
  • Collect the "Summarize Your Learning" homework from Lesson 5 and use it to identify students who may need some additional instruction to understand the basics of brain development before moving on to how brain science relates to the digital revolution. This is foundational learning that they will need in order to be successful throughout the remainder of this unit and in Units 2 and 3.
  • In this lesson and the following lessons, students listen to a multimedia feature that is linked thematically to the day's reading. These powerful testimonies from real teenagers are an engaging entry point for students.
  • In addition, students add their learning to the Brain Development anchor chart. They continue to add to the chart with "if/then" statements. Help students understand that the conclusions from brain research that they will read about are theoretical correlations, not necessarily statements of definitive facts or causations. Their use of words like "may" and "it seems reasonable" when making "if/then" statements will help reinforce this point. This practice with reasoning skills will be very valuable when students write the position paper in Unit 3.
  • In this lesson, students launch their independent reading for this module with a Book Frenzy. Prepare for the Book Frenzy by laying out books from the Recommended Texts list (in the Module Overview) on multiple tables so students can easily browse the selections. Use your professional judgment and experience when pairing books with this module. Many popular coming of age stories will fit well with the content of this module and may help the students think about the characters and the brain science in a new light. This lesson assumes that independent reading projects have been launched in previous modules and that a structure is in place before this lesson. Please see two separate stand-alone documents on EngageNY.org: The Importance of Increasing the Volume of Reading and Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan, which together provide the rationale and practical guidance for a robust independent reading program. You may wish to spend time before this lesson reviewing the independent reading materials and the recommended texts so they can better meet your students' needs.
  • In Lesson 7, students will revisit the Gallery Walk from Lesson 1. Be prepared with those materials.
  • In advance:

-   Ready the books for the Book Frenzy. For a list of recommended books, see the Module Overview document.

-   Load the multimedia feature from the New York Times Web site and be sure you can locate the audio under "Needing to Answer That Text: Allison Miller": http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/21/technology/20101121-brain-interactive.html?ref=technology.

-   Preview the Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" Close Reading Guide.

-   Post the following question from Excerpt 1 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution": "What are the implications, for good or ill, of the dramatic changes in the way adolescents spend their time?" Leave this posted for the remainder of Unit 1.

  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

theorized, abstract, brain plasticity; (from Excerpt 2): adaptable, vessels orbiting, entail (section 1), epigenetic, noteworthy (section 2), plastic brain (section 3), advent, physiology (section 4), specialized, gray matter volume, trajectory, cortical gray matter volume, complementary (section 5)

Materials

(From The New York Times, November 20, 2010 (c) 2010 The New York Times. All rights reserved. Used by permission and protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States. The printing, copying, redistribution, or retransmission of this Content without express written permission is prohibited.)

  • Document camera
  • Digital Revolution Text Structure graphic organizer (one to display)
  • Posted question from Excerpt 1 (see Teaching Notes, "in advance," above)
  • Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" (one per student)
  • Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" text-dependent questions (one per student; one to display)
  • Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" Close Reading Guide (for teacher reference)
  • Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Model Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • Brain Development anchor chart--student version (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Brain Development anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Book Frenzy (13 minutes)

  • Display an assortment of independent reading books for students to examine and choose from, ideally including some of the titles from the Recommended Texts lists for this module. Consider brief teacher book talks of those titles related to the module.
  • Give students time to browse and "shop" for books and to select a few titles to try out.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Digital Revolution (7 minutes)

  • Using a digital projector, cue up the multimedia feature "Students and Technology: Constant Companions."
  • Play the audio under "Needing to Answer That Text: Allison Miller." The audio is about 1 minute, 30 seconds long. Then ask:

*   "How does what this young woman is saying relate to the reading you did last night?"

  • Listen for students to understand that she is an example of a "digital native." She typifies someone who is immersed in modern technology.
  • Explain that over the next couple of lessons they will continue reading excerpts of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution," the first of which they read for homework. They will not read the entire text; rather, they will read excerpts that are most relevant to their performance task for this module. This is a difficult text that asks a lot of questions about "digital natives"--like this young woman and also themselves. The author of this text is Dr. Jay Giedd, the researcher featured in the video they watched in Lesson 5. Though the article was written for other researchers, students will be able to read it as well, with support. Explain to students: "This is a good introduction to the kinds of reading and writing people do after they are out of school. If you become a scientist, you may write or read texts just like this."
  • Use a document camera to display the Digital Revolution Text Structure graphic organizer. Point out that this graphic organizer lays out the different sections of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution."
  • Ask the students to note from the graphic organizer that this text is structured very similarly to the other informational texts they have read. Point out:

*   "Research papers have two introductions--an abstract and an introduction. The abstract is a summary of the major points of the article, and the introduction is the place where the writer explains the main idea of the paper."

  • Point out that they read the introduction last night in Excerpt 1 for homework. Ask:

*   "What was difficult about the assignment? What was easy?"

  • Listen for students to say the vocabulary was difficult and reading a long list of statistics was difficult. But finding the main idea was easier because the author said it outright.
  • Draw students' attention to the posted question from excerpt 1, which the author poses at the end of the introduction (Excerpt 1 from homework):"What are the implications, for good or ill, of the dramatic changes in the way adolescents spend their time?"  
  • Tell students that throughout "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution," the author goes on to explain the relevant experiments and findings in education, entertainment, and social interaction, as noted on the graphic organizer. Tell students that they will not be reading from the education section because their final position paper centers on entertainment screen time, but they will read excerpts from the other sections. Read the questions listed in each supporting detail box.
  • Explain that in the conclusion, Dr. Giedd writes very clearly that because this issue is so new and the research is so new, nobody really knows for sure the answer to these questions. He urges more research be done. Over the course of the module, students will grapple with these big and important questions. 
  • Indicate that in today's lesson, students will read some of the background of this issue. Then, in Lessons 7 and 8, they will read excerpts from the entertainment and social interaction sections.
  • Graphic organizers engage students more actively and provide the necessary scaffolding especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning.
  • Guiding questions provide motivation for student engagement in the topic and give a purpose to reading a text closely. 

 

B. Excerpt 2: Text-Dependent Questions (20 minutes)

  • Ask a student to read the learning targets:

*   "I can determine the main idea in Excerpt 2 of 'The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution.'"

*   "I can use a variety of strategies to figure out the meaning of new vocabulary."

*   "I can read above-grade-level texts with support."

  • Explain that they will answer a set of text-dependent questions to help them read this above-grade-level text.
  • Distribute Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution." Also distribute and display the Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" text-dependent questions.
  • Work through this handout in concert with the Excerpt 2 of "The Digital Revolution and the Adolescent Brain Evolution" Close Reading Guide.
  • Be prepared to add to the Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart during this activity. Use the Model Domain-Specific Vocabulary anchor chart (for teacher reference) for guidance.
  • Give students specific positive feedback for their work grappling with a difficult text.
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes fluency and comprehension for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression, and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.
  • Asking students to identify challenging vocabulary helps them to monitor their understanding of a complex text. When students annotate the text by circling these words, it can also provide a formative assessment for the teacher.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Adding to the Anchor Chart (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to retrieve their Brain Development anchor chart--student version and focus their attention on the class Brain Development anchor chart.
  • Explain that you would like to summarize the main idea of the reading today in the "So what?" column of the anchor chart. Refer to the Model Brain Development anchor chart (for teacher reference) as needed. Consider modeling this way:

-   Circle one of the quotes from the neurons column that explains synaptic pruning and write in the last column: "If the brain is branching and pruning in adolescence, then it is highly adaptable."

  • Ask students to turn and talk with a partner to articulate another "if/then" statement from the reading.
  • After a few minutes, add the class thinking to the anchor chart. Remind students to add to their own anchor chart. Be sure to add:

-   "If it adapted in the past, then it may adapt today. If it is adaptable, then it may be able to adapt to the digital world."

  • Stress the word "may" and remind students that Dr. Giedd and other researchers have theorized--that is, made an educated guess--that this is true. Ask:

*   "According to what you read last night, what is the difference between the adaptation of today and the adaptation of the past?"

  • Prompt by reading this quote from Excerpt 1: "Might the unprecedented rate of change itself overwhelm adaptive mechanisms?" Read this several times. Ask a student to simplify it. Listen for students to understand that the digital environment is changing much faster than the environment has ever changed before.
  • Allowing students to discuss with a partner before writing or sharing with the whole class is a low-stress strategy to help them process in a risk-free situation.

 

Homework

Homework
  • Catch up on any reading from the first part of this unit.
  • Read your independent reading book.

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