Building Background Knowledge and Summarizing: “Refugees: Who, Where, Why” Part 2 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M1:U2:L5

Building Background Knowledge and Summarizing: “Refugees: Who, Where, Why” Part 2

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of informational text. (RI.8.1)
  • I can objectively summarize informational text. (RI.8.2)
  • I can analyze the connections and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events in a text. (RI.8.3)
  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.8.2)

Supporting Targets

  • I can identify the strongest evidence in the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why" and the novel that help me explain challenges refugees face when fleeing home.
  • I can identify the strongest evidence in the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why" and the novel that help me explain challenges refugees face finding home.
  • I can write a paragraph that provides an objective summary of "Refugees: Who, Where, Why."
  • I can identify universal themes that connect refugee experiences.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Structured notes (for pages 135-157, from homework)
  • Annotated article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why" (from homework)
  • Summary Writing graphic organizer
  • Fleeing Home and Finding Home anchor charts

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1.  Opening

A.  Engaging the Reader: Chalkboard Splash of Evidence about "Inside" and "Outside" (8 minutes)

B.  Review Learning Targets (2 minutes)

2.  Work Time

A.  Finding Evidence from Text: Introducing the Fleeing Home and Finding Home Anchor Charts (10 minutes)

B.  Summarizing: Capturing the Essence of the Text (23 minutes)

3.  Closing and Assessment

A.  Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (2 minutes)

4.  Homework

A.  Use the Summary Writing graphic organizer to write a summary paragraph about the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why."

B. Complete a first read of pages 158-179 of Inside Out & Back Again. Take notes (in your journal) using the Structured Notes graphic organizer.

  • Students continue to work with the informational text "Refugees: Who, Where, and Why" to understand universal aspects of refugees' experiences around the world and throughout history.
  • Even as students begin to recognize patterns, continue to emphasize that each individual's experience is unique. There is no singular "refugee experience." Even within one country, refugees' experiences vary widely. Use sensitivity with this topic, particularly since there are likely to be students who are themselves refugees in many classrooms.
  • Across the unit, students help to create two class anchor charts: Fleeing Home and Finding Home. These anchor charts build directly on the graphic organizer completed during Lesson 3 about why Ha's family fled. The two anchor charts help students begin to see patterns and common themes across the novel and the informational texts, and across countries and refugee experiences.
  • Students will draw on this knowledge for their End of Unit 2 essay as well as their final performance task (a research-based narrative) in Unit 3. Be sure to hold on to these anchor charts.
  • In this lesson, students are introduced to both anchor charts to help them understand the arc of the universal refugee experience. However, today they only begin to fill in the Fleeing Home anchor chart based on evidence from "Refugees: Who, Where, Why," as well as their structure notes from reading the novel.
  • At the end of this lesson, students begin to summarize the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why." But be clear with students that they are not finished with this text. They will return to it during their research later in this unit (Lessons 17 and 18), including a more careful examination of the statistics at the end of the article.
  • Be prepared to return students' End of Unit 1 Assessments if you have not already done so. Note patterns of strength; be prepared during the lesson opening to share things many students did well.
  • Review: Chalkboard Splash (Appendix 1).
  • Post: Learning targets, prompt for "engaging the reader."

Vocabulary

universal experience, summary, controlling idea, key details, clincher

Materials

  • Inside Out & Back Again (book; one per student)
  • Blank sentence strips--tagboard strips, each 24" wide by 3" high (four per student)
  • "Refugees: Who, Where, Why" (from Lesson 4; students' annotated copies)
  • Fleeing Home anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
  • Finding Home anchor chart (new; teacher-created)
  • Summary Writing graphic organizer (one per student)
  • Document camera

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Chalkboard Splash of Evidence about "Inside" and "Outside" (8 minutes)

  • Students should be sitting with their small groups and have their copies of Inside Out & Back Again. Tell the class that Ha and her family are facing many challenges as they try to make a new home for themselves in Alabama. Ha writes a lot of poems that describe how her life feels like it's being turned "inside out," and today students are going to focus on two of these poems from last night's reading homework. (They will come back to the second part of their homework later in the lesson).
  • Invite them to take a few minutes to silently reread "Loud Outside" on pages 145 and 146 and "Quiet Inside" on pages 149 and 150. Distribute four blank sentence strips to each student.
  • On the white board, create a T-chart with one side labeled "Inside Challenges" and the other side labeled "Outside Challenges."
  • Refocus students whole group and explain that they are going to do a Chalkboard Splash with the strongest evidence from these two poems. Ask students to think about these questions:

*   "What is the strongest evidence from the text that describes some of the challenges Ha and her family are 
facing 'inside'?"

*   "What is the strongest evidence from the text that describes some of the challenges Ha and her family are 
facing 'outside'?"

  • Tell students that they are to use details from the two poems they just reread to write down two pieces of the strongest evidence for each question. Give students 3 to 4 minutes to work. Circulate to listen in and gauge how well students are grasping this central metaphor in the novel. Probe, but do not worry if students are still not 100 percent clear; this will remain a focus throughout the unit.
  • Invite students to place their strongest evidence on the T-chart and have them add to their structured notes. Give specific positive praise for comments you hear students making that indicate they are actively choosing the "strongest" evidence (e.g., "I heard so-and-so say that she thought this line in the poem really showed it best, because ...").
  • Return students' end of unit 1 assessments if you have not already done so. Give specific positive praise for patterns you noticed in students' work.

B. Review Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Focus the class on the learning targets. Point out that the second and third targets are identical from the previous lesson.
  • Focus students on the first target and invite a volunteer to read it aloud:

*   "I can write a paragraph that provides an objective summary of 'Refugees: Who, Where, Why.'"

  • Explain that students will use their annotated notes to write a summary of the article. Ask for student volunteers to answer the question:

*   "What does it mean to summarize?" Be sure students understand that to summarize means to give the short version of something. A good summary includes the main idea and the important details.

  • Read aloud the last learning target:

*   "I can identify universal themes that connect refugee experiences."

  • Share with students that today they will use the article and the novel to learn about some of the universal experiences or common themes among refugees. They will use the strongest evidence from both texts to do this.
  • Learning targets are a research-based strategy that helps all students, but especially challenged learners.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Finding Evidence from Text: Introducing the Fleeing Home and Finding Home Anchor Charts (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that in the past few lessons, they have begun thinking more about the universal refugee experience. Today, they will start two new anchor charts that will help them capture that thinking as they continue to read the novel and additional informational texts.
  • For now, they are now going to think about how this universal refugee experience applies to Ha. When Ha and her family fled their home, they became refugees. When they fled, they faced challenges. Now Ha and her family are in Alabama, and they are trying to find a new home there, which also is challenging.
  • Post the new Fleeing Home anchor chart and the Finding Home anchor chart (see blank example in supporting materials). Tell students that they will be collecting the strongest evidence from the informational texts and the novel that answers the questions: "What challenges do refugees face when fleeing home?" (on the Fleeing Home anchor chart) and "What challenges do refugees face finding home?" (on the Finding Home anchor chart).
  • Explain that in the novel, Ha experienced challenges fleeing home, and now that she is in Alabama trying to make a new home, she is facing new challenges. This pattern of fleeing and finding home is something students will consider further as they read more of the novel and informational texts.
  • Share with students that in today's lesson, they will think mostly about the "fleeing home" part of the refugee experience. Invite them to discuss these questions with their small groups:

*   "According to the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why," what challenges do refugees face when fleeing home? 
What is the strongest evidence from the article to support this?"

  • Invite Numbered Heads from each group to respond, and remind students they must share evidence from the text to support their answer. Record the answers on the anchor chart.
  • Next, invite students to review their structured notes from reading homework to answer the same questions on the new Fleeing Home anchor chart. Remind students that they are looking for the strongest evidence of the challenges Ha faces when fleeing home at this point. They must have specific evidence from the text to support what they say.
  • Once groups have discussed the question, call on Numbered Heads to respond and add the answers to the new Fleeing Home anchor chart.
  • Explain to students that they will continue to add to the Fleeing Home anchor chart, and they will also begin to add to the Finding Home anchor chart.
  • 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. Summarizing: Capturing the Essence of the Text (23 minutes)

Note: Many eighth-graders may have been taught one or more techniques for composing a topic sentence. Reinforce and build on this previous learning.

  • Ask students to work with the same partner they were with during Lesson 4 for the paired reading. (It is fine for students to work with a new person if their partner is absent.)
  • Invite students to pull out their annotated "Refugees: Who, Where, Why" article (homework from Lesson 4). Remind them that they have already heard this text read aloud, thought about some key vocabulary, and then reread with a partner to annotate for the gist of each section. Invite student pairs to review the annotations they made in the margins of the article and discuss:

*   "What was your initial sense of what this article is mostly about?"

  • Ask them to jot this initial gist statement about the full article at the top of the article, near their notes about 
    the title.
  • Distribute the Summary Writing graphic organizer, display on a document camera, and orient students to it. Read the top portion and move on to draw students' attention to the phrase controlling idea. Explain that the controlling idea is a sentence that makes the reader want to know more about what you have to say. A good topic sentence has a clear controlling idea that makes the reader ask a question in his or her mind.
  • Model for students: "For example, 'Throughout the world, refugees have fled their homes for many reasons.' This makes me ask the question in my mind, 'What are the reasons refugees flee their homes?'"
  • Ask student pairs to take a few minutes to do the following:

-   Review your gist note at the top of the article.

-   Work together to craft a topic sentence that will make the reader want to know more and ask a question in his/her mind.

  • Circulate to support students by asking:

*   "What question does this make you think of when you read your own sentence?"

  • Invite student pairs to share their sentences with the class.
  • Refocus students on the Summary Writing graphic organizer, specifically the Key Ideas section. Explain that the key ideas will be the most important points of the article. Tell students that by chunking the article and annotating with their partner (in Lesson 4), they have already taken a big step toward identifying the key ideas.
  • Ask student pairs to take about 5 minutes to do the following:
  1. Review your annotations for each section of the article.
  2. Work together to write well-crafted sentences in the graphic organizer.
  • Circulate to support students by asking:

*   "What seems most important from this section of the article? Why?"

*   "If someone hadn't read this article, what would they most need to know?"

  • As you circulate, look for pairs who are creating strong sentences. When most students are finished, refocus the class whole group and invite a few of these pairs to share their sentences. Identify specifically for the class what makes these strong examples.
  • Finally, draw students' attention to the last portion of the graphic organizer. Explain that this will be the last sentence of the summary paragraph they write. This last sentence is sometimes called a clincher, a memorable statement that leaves the reader with something to think about.
  • Model briefly: "For example, 'Refugees are everyday people who rely on other everyday people for their survival.'"
  • Invite student pairs to collaborate on a clincher for their summary paragraph. Circulate and support students by asking:

*   "What do you want your reader to leave thinking about based on this sentence?"

  • Ask for volunteers to share clincher statements and provide time for students to revise what they have.
  • Tell students that as part of their homework, they will use this Summary Writing graphic organizer to write an individual summary paragraph.
  • Graphic organizers and recording forms engage students more actively and provide the scaffolding that is especially critical for learners with lower levels of language proficiency and/or learning. For students who need additional support, you may want to provide a partially filled-in graphic organizer.
  • When reviewing the graphic organizers or recording forms, consider using a document camera to visually display the document for students who struggle with auditory processing.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Debrief Learning Targets and Preview Homework (2 minutes)

  • Review the learning targets. Invite student volunteers to define summarize, controlling idea, key details, and clincher.
  • Preview homework. Be sure students note that this is a two-part homework assignment.
  • Checking in with learning targets helps students self-assess their learning. This research-based strategy supports struggling learners most.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Use the Summary Writing graphic organizer to write a summary paragraph about the article "Refugees: Who, Where, Why."
  • Complete a first read of pages 158-179 of Inside Out & Back Again. Take notes (in your journal) using the Structured Notes graphic organizer. Focus on the strongest evidence that reveals how Ha is being turned "inside out," plus vocabulary that helps you understand her challenges and responses.
  • Vocabulary can be a source of difficulty for struggling readers. Provide a brief list with explanations of the challenging vocabulary words from the reading homework. Do this only for students who need this support.
  • Most important is to provide words that cannot be easily determined from context. There are few of these in the novel. On pages 158-179, these words might include: endures (tolerates) (158), hogwash (nonsense) (163), solitude (privacy) (173), and yearning (longing and desire) (176).

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