Building Background Knowledge: “War in the Pacific,” Part 2 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U1:L5

Building Background Knowledge: “War in the Pacific,” 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)

Supporting Targets

  • I can cite evidence to analyze how the conflict escalated between Japan and the United States before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Ongoing Assessment
  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 19-27 (from homework
  • Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes Focus Question (5 minutes)
B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Building Background Knowledge: "War in the Pacific" (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Debrief Learning Target (2 minutes)
B. Preview Homework (3 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Complete a first read of pages 28-37 in Unbroken and fill in the structured notes.

  • This is the second of two lessons in which students build background knowledge about the Pacific Theater in World War II by reading an excerpt from the article "War in the Pacific." In this lesson, students analyze the actions of the United States and Japan to understand why there was conflict between the two countries. This historical context is important for students to understand as they continue reading Unbroken. It will also scaffold their understanding of perspectives in World War II, the focus of the Mid-Unit 1 and End of Unit 1 Assessments.
  • Consider continuing to brush up on your World War II history, especially focused on the Pacific Theater. It will be helpful for this lesson, as well as Lessons 7-9, as students are reading informational texts on the war between the United States and Japan.
  • In advance: Review the Fist to Five in Checking for Understanding Techniques (see Appendix).
  • Post: Learning target.

Vocabulary

conflict, escalate 

Materials

  • "War in the Pacific" (from Lesson 4; one per student and one to display)
  • Document camera
  • Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer (one per student)
  • Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer (for teacher reference)
  • Colored pencils (two different colors per student)
  • Unbroken structured notes, pages 28-37 (one per student)
  • Unbroken supported structured notes, pages 28-37 (optional; for students needing additional support)
  • Unbroken Structured Notes Teacher Guide, pages 28-37 (for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Engaging the Reader: Structured Notes Focus Question (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to take their Unbroken structured notes, pages 19--27 and sit with their Iwo Jima Discussion Appointment partner. Ask them to reread the focus question and their response silently, then discuss their response with their partner.
  • Cold call one or two pairs to share their responses.

B. Review Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target. Read the learning target aloud to the class:

* "I can cite evidence to analyze how the conflict between Japan and the United States escalated before the attack on Pearl Harbor."

  • Ask students to turn and talk to their partner about what conflict means. Cold call one or two students to share their response. Listen for: "Conflict means to fight or clash." Clarify as needed.
  • Ask pairs to turn and talk again, this time to define the word escalate.
  • Refocus whole group and ask for volunteers to define escalate. Listen for: "Escalate means to become worse or more serious." Point out that escalate has the root scala, which means "ladder" or "stair" in Latin. Other words that have that root are escalator and scale (as in "to climb"). 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Building Background Knowledge: "War in the Pacific" (30 minutes)

  • Ask students to get out their copies of "War in the Pacific" as you display another copy using a document camera. Explain that students will read this text again today to analyze how the conflict between the United States and Japan developed before the Pearl Harbor attack.
  • Distribute the Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer. Let students know they will use this graphic organizer to help with their rereading and analysis of the events leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor.
  • Read Paragraph 1 of "War in the Pacific" aloud. Then, model how to use the graphic organizer by doing a think-aloud, saying something like this while filling in the information on the displayed graphic organizer: "The year was 1854. The U.S. action in this paragraph is that Matthew Perry landed in Japan and helped develop foreign trade in Japan. We know from our earlier definitions that 'escalating the conflict' means to make the relations between the U.S. and Japan worse. This action did NOT escalate the conflict--it seems like the United States and Japan were on friendly terms, since Japan adopted new technologies and institutions." See Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer (for teacher reference) in the supporting materials.
  • Distribute two different colored pencils to each student. Instruct them to reread "War in the Pacific" with their partner and underline any U.S. actions leading up to Pearl Harbor in one color and Japanese actions in the other color. If students are not yet sure, model again, using the second row on Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer (for teacher reference) as a guide.
  • After students have reread and underlined, prompt them to transfer the actions to the appropriate place on their copy of Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer.
  • After they have transcribed the actions, they should work with their partner to determine whether each action did or did not escalate the conflict between the United States and Japan and record their thoughts in the last column on the organizer.
  • As student work, circulate to make sure they are correctly identifying actions and explaining why those actions may or may not have escalated tensions between Japan and the United States.
  • When students are finished, cold call several to share something they added to their Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer that escalated tension between the two countries.
  • Consider collecting the graphic organizers to check for understanding. 
  • For students who struggle with reading grade-level text, consider chunking the text for them on separate sheets of paper. This makes the reading of complex texts more manageable and allows them to focus on one small section at a time.
  • Some students may benefit from having key sections pre-color coded in their texts to get them started.

If some students gave a thumbs-down at the end of the previous lesson, consider checking in with them while they are working on their Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizer. 

Closing & Assessments

Closing

A. Debrief Learning Targets (2 minutes)

  • Reread the learning target aloud to the class.
  • Ask students to reflect on their learning today and rate their mastery of the learning target using the Fist to Five checking for understanding technique.

B. Preview Homework (3 minutes)

  • Distribute Unbroken structured notes, pages 28-37.
  • Remind students that their homework is to read pages 28-37 in Unbroken and complete the structured notes.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs
  • Complete a first read of pages 28-37 in Unbroken and the fill in the structured notes. Answer the focus question: "What do Louie's antics in Germany reveal about his character and values? Use the strongest evidence from the book to support your answer."

Teaching Note: If you do collect the Understanding Perspectives: Pearl Harbor graphic organizers to check for student understanding, prepare to hand them back in Lesson 6.

Consider providing supported structured notes for students who struggle.

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