End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2012 G8:M3B:U2:L17

End of Unit 2 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 informational essay.
  • I can use spelling strategies and resources 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 draft.

  • In this lesson, students write the first draft of their end of unit assessment essay. Students should have completed essay planners and now need time to draft their essays.
  • This is the first essay in which students are asked not only to think about their writing, but also how they use language, specifically using active and passive voice and choosing words intentionally.
  • Consider posting a list of the various essay writing resources from past lessons that may help them write their essays. The list includes:

-   Active and Passive Sentences handout (from Lesson 6)

-   Gathering Evidence note-catcher (from Lesson 7)

-   Informational Essay Planner (from Lesson 16)

-   Structured notes (ongoing throughout Units 1 and 2)

-   A Mighty Long Way

-   Little Rock Girl 1957

  • This lesson is written assuming that 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 prepared to instruct students as to how you want them to submit their drafts: printing, saving to a server, emailing, etc.
  • If students do not finish by the end of class, be sure to help them save their work so that they can finish at home or after school. If necessary, students can handwrite the remainder of the essay at home.
  • 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 20. Be sure to give feedback on the Coherence, Style, and Organization row and the Command of Conventions row of the rubric so students can make those revisions in Lesson 20.
  • A sample student essay representing the best final version is included for teacher reference in the supporting materials. Note that students do not write their own final version until Lesson 20. Yet having a sample student response of a final polished draft may help give you a "vision of success" when giving students feedback on their drafts.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Vocabulary

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

Materials

  • Informational Essay Planner (from Lesson 16)
  • A Mighty Long Way (book; distributed in Unit 1, Lesson 1; one per student)
  • Little Rock Girl 1957 (book; distributed in Lesson 3; one per student)
  • Essay writing resources (see Teaching Notes)
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment, Part 1: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay (one per student)
  • Computers
  • End of Unit 2 Assessment: Informational Essay: Sample Student Response of Best Final Draft (for teacher reference; see Teaching Notes)

Opening

Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (3 minutes)

  • Assign computers and invite students to get out their Informational Essay Planners and their texts A Mighty Long Way and Little Rock Girl 1957.
  • 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 informational essay."

*   "I can use spelling strategies and resources on my informational essay."

  • Share with students that their two body paragraphs present two different sides of the use of various mediums to capture a story. On one side, they will be writing about how various mediums illuminate a story. On the other side, they will be writing about how various mediums may present an inaccurate or incomplete picture of events. Ask:

*   "What are some words or phrases you could use to show this contrast?"

Have students turn and talk to consider this question and come up with some possible answers. Cold call on student pairs to respond. Listen for such words and phrases as: "on the other hand," "however," "even though," etc. Tell students that you will be looking for these transition words in their essays.

  • Remind students that these learning targets build on the work they have been doing in the past three lessons, as well as work they did in Modules 1 and 2. Encourage students to use the various Essay writing resources from past lessons (see Teaching Notes).

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, Part 1: Best First Draft of an Informational Essay.
  • Assign computers.
  • 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 students are typing. Let them know in what form (email, printed, saved to server, etc.) they will turn in their drafts at the beginning of the next lesson.
  • Remind students to use available resources to be sure they spell correctly.
  • As students work, circulate around the room, providing support when students raise their hands. 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 if necessary. The essays will be collected at the beginning of the next lesson.
  • One of the goals of the scaffolding in the previous lessons is to support all students in writing their essays, including students with disabilities 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, please provide it during Work Time A.
  • Consider the following for increased support:

-   Prompt students to look at their essay planners 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 students 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 showed stamina as writers and point out students demonstrating strong strategies, such as actively using their resources.
  • Consider allowing students with disabilities and ELL students more time to complete their drafts.

Homework

Homework
  • Finish your informational essay draft.

Note: Lessons 18 and 19 begin the work of Unit 3 and build toward the performance task (this also allows time for you to review essays and give feedback by Lesson 20.) If you need additional time before handing the essays back in Lesson 20, consider using a day or two between Lesson 17 and Lesson 20 where you have students attend to the independent reading routine. This routine is explained more fully in the 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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