End of Unit Assessment, Part 1: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3A:U2:L16

End of Unit Assessment, Part 1: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay

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Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized. (W.8.2)
  • I can use evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.8.9)
  • I can intentionally use verbs in active and passive voice and in the conditional and subjunctive mood. (L.8.3)

Supporting Targets

  • I can write an informational essay using relevant details from texts that are carefully selected and organized.
  • I can intentionally use verbs in the active and passive voice in my World War II invisibility informational essay.
  • I can use spelling strategies and resources to correctly on my informational essay.

Ongoing Assessment

  • End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1 (students may complete in class or finish for homework)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Debrief Essay Writing (2 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Finish your Informational Essay Drafts

  • In this lesson, students write the draft of their essay about how the effort to make captives during WWII invisible and their efforts to resist invisibility. Students should have completed essay planners and now need time to craft their essay.
  • Consider posting a list of the resources to help students write their essays. The list includes:

-    Things Good Writers Do anchor chart and note-catchers

-    Gathering Evidence note-catchers

-    Informational Essay Planners

-    Structured notes

-    Unbroken

-    "The Life of Mine Okubo"

-    Other primary sources

  • This lesson is written assuming students will use computers to draft the essays, making later revisions easier.
  • Consider the setup of your classroom if you are using laptops; since students can distract themselves on computers, think about positioning the desks so that it is easy to scan the screens throughout the lesson.
  • If your students are not familiar with expectations about computer use in the classroom, explain them in Work Time A.
  • Be sure to think about how students will submit their drafts at the end of class: printing, saving to a server, emailing, etc.
  • If computers are not an option, consider giving students more time to handwrite their essays.
  • Because students will produce this essay draft independently, it is used as an assessment for Content and Analysis and Command of Evidence on the NYS Expository Writing Evaluation Rubric. Return the essay drafts with feedback in Lesson 19. Be sure to give feedback on the Coherence, Style, and Organization row and the Command of Conventions row of the rubric so that students can make those revisions in Lesson 19.
  • A sample student essay is included for teacher reference in the supporting materials. Though it is not needed during the lesson, it may help to have a sample student response for assessment purposes.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

(Encourage students to integrate vocabulary from previous lessons in their essay.)

Materials

  • Informational Essay Planner (one per student)
  • Unbroken (book; one per student)
  • Students' planning materials (see Teaching Note, above)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay (one per student)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment:  Informational Essay:  The Invisibility of Captives during WWII (sample response, for teacher reference)

Opening

Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes) 

  • Assign computers and invite students to get out their Informational Essay Planners and their text Unbroken.
  • Read the learning targets:

* "I can write an informational essay using relevant details from texts that are carefully selected and organized."

* "I can intentionally use verbs in the active and passive voice in my World War II invisibility informational essay."

* "I can spell correctly in my informational essay."

  • Remind students that these learning targets build on the work they have been doing in the past four lessons, as well as work they did in Modules 1 and 2.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Drafting the Essay (40 minutes)

  • Distribute the End of Unit 2 Assessment: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay.
  • Remind students of the following:

1. Use the ideas and evidence in your planners to write your essay drafts.

2. You will have this lesson to write your drafts, and you may finish at home if you need to.

3. You will have a chance to revise for conventions and style after you get your first draft back.

  • Emphasize the importance of saving their work often as they are typing. Let them know in what form (email, printed, saved to server, etc.) they will turn in their draft at the end of the class.
  • As students work, circulate around the room, supporting students when needed or when their hands are raised. Since this is an assessment, students should work independently.
  • When a few minutes remain, remind students to save their work.  Tell them they will finish their drafts for homework, and the essays will be collected at the beginning of the next lesson.   Remind them to use available resources to be sure they spell correctly.
  • One of the goals of the scaffolding in the previous lessons is to support all students in writing their essays, including SPED and ELL students. As much as possible, this draft should be done independently. However, if it is appropriate for some students to receive more support, there is space during Work Time A. 
  • In order to give more support, consider the following:

-    Prompt them to look at their essay planner for their topic or focus statement and/or the evidence they gathered.

-    Ask questions like: "How does that evidence support your focus statement?" or "How are those ideas connected?"

-    Remind them of the resources available to them. 

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Debrief Essay Writing (2 minutes)

  • Give students specific positive praise for behaviors you noticed during class. Emphasize ways in which they show stamina as writers and point out students demonstrating strong strategies, such as actively using their resources.
  • Consider allowing SPED and ELL students more time to complete their draft.

Homework

Homework
  • Finish the informational essay drafts.
  • Lessons 17 and 18 begin the work of Unit 3 and build toward the narrative writing performance task (this also allows time for you to review essays and give feedback by Lesson 19.) If you need additional time before the revision lesson, consider using a day or two between Lesson 16 and Lesson 19 where you have students attend to the independent reading routine. This routine is explained more fully in a supporting document Launching Independent Reading in Grades 6-8: Sample Plan (stand-alone document on EngageNY.org). However, make sure students return to their essays relatively soon; a gap of more than a few days will make it harder for them to revise successfully.

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