Performance Task: Solution Symposium | EL Education Curriculum

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Focus Standards: These are the standards the instruction addresses.

  • RI.6.7, W.6.7, W.6.8, SL.6.1, SL.6.2, SL.6.4, SL.6.5, SL.6.6

Supporting Standards: These are the standards that are incidental—no direct instruction in this lesson, but practice of these standards occurs as a result of addressing the focus standards.

  • RI.6.10, W.6.10

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can effectively present my performance task and interact with my audience during the Solution Symposium. (RI.6.7, RI.6.10, W.6.7, W.6.8, SL.6.1, SL.6.2, SL.6.4, SL.6.5, SL.6.6)
  • I can interpret information presented in diverse formats by my peers during the Solution Symposium. (SL.6.2)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Work Time A: Performance Task (RI.6.7, RI.6.10, W.6.7, W.6.8, SL.6.1, SL.6.2, SL.6.4, SL.6.5, SL.6.6)
  • Work Time A: Solution Symposium note-catcher (RI.6.7, SL.6.1, SL.6.2)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engage the Learner (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Performance Task: Solution Symposium - SL.6.4 (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Prepare for End of Unit 3 Assessment - SL.6.1 (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Prepare for End of Unit 3 Assessment: Students review their Solution Symposium note-catcher in preparation for the End of Unit 3 Assessment discussion.

Alignment to Assessment Standards and Purpose of Lesson

  • RI.6.7 – Work Time A: Students integrate information from multiple sources through their research and present their findings during the Solution Symposium.
  • W.6.7 – Work Time A: Students share the findings from their independent research into a critical problem and its design solution.
  • W.6.8 – Work Time A: Students share the relevant research information that they have gathered from multiple sources, assessed for its credibility, and paraphrased in their own presentations.
  • SL.6.1 – Work Time A: Students engage in discussion with audience members, and as audience members, at the Solution Symposium.
  • SL.6.2 – Work Time A: Students interpret the visuals they have made to support their performance task presentations. They explain to audience members how these visuals represent their research. They also interpret the visuals of their classmates as they attend presentations.
  • SL.6.4 – Work Time A: Students present their findings during the Solution Symposium, sequencing their ideas logically, incorporating useful descriptions, and demonstrating appropriate presentation skills.
  • SL.6.5 – Work Time A: Students utilize visual displays to enhance their oral presentation and to clarify information regarding their problem-solution topic.
  • SL.6.6 – Work Time A: Students demonstrate a command of academic English while presenting to the Solution Symposium guests.
  • SL.6.1 – Closing and Assessment A: Students engage in an informal discussion to prepare for the end of unit assessment in the next lesson.
  • Display a schedule that identifies when students are presenting and when students are visiting others’ presentations. This preparation will promote a balance of peer viewers and presenters.
  • Provide each student with a laminated or colorful sheet that lists the steps of their Solution Symposium presentation. This resource will allow students to confidently flow through their presentation without struggling to figure out what to do next if they happen to forget a step.
  • Consider providing audience members with Solution Symposium note-catchers as well to give them a full experience of the event. Audience members and students may engage in conversation about their Solution Symposium note-catchers if time permits.
  • Utilize a timer to keep students viewing presentations on track. Students must be able to view at least three presentations to complete the requirements of their Solution Symposium note-catcher.
  • Encourage students to give each other a complimentary word of congratulations or a nonverbal cue of congratulations after viewing each other’s presentations.

Opportunities to Extend Learning

  • Students could discuss or compose a written reflection on the similarities and/or difference between the three presentations they viewed and the design thinking process used by the innovators featured in those presentations.
  • Inspired by their learning in this module, students may want to tackle a problem in the school or community by following the design thinking process. Consider organizing and facilitating this work outside of class time.

How It Builds on Previous Work

  • Students have been preparing for the Solution Symposium by researching an innovator (Unit 2), composing a problem-solution essay (Unit 3), and creating a visual and responses to share their learning with an audience. Students celebrate the culmination of their learning in this lesson’s performance task.

Support All Students

  • Students may need additional support reading aloud their presentations and showing visuals. Support students with their presentations as needed.
  • Students who are unable to present to a larger audience could video record their presentation, and this could be played to the audience instead of being presented live.
  • ELLs may find the assessment challenging, despite the days spent preparing and practicing their presentations. Consider allowing students to practice their presentations one last time before visitors arrive. ▲
  • Standing for an extended period of time during the Solution Symposium may be challenging for some students. Make sure that chairs are available. Encourage students to take breaks as needed.

Assessment Guidance

  • Consider video recording students’ presentations and watching the videos with students afterward to evaluate their volume, eye contact, intonation, and clarity of responses to the presentation prompts.

Down the Road

  • In the next lesson, students will participate in a modified fishbowl discussion in which they synthesize their learning from the module by discussing “How do habits of character help people solve critical problems?”

In Advance

  • Prepare
    • the Solution Symposium Presentation Steps on colored paper and/or laminate,
    • a rotation system for presentations, depending on how students will present, and
    • copies of the Solution Symposium: Presentation Prompt Cards (one per guest).
  • Determine how students will both present and visit their peers' presentations during the Solution Symposium. Consider dividing the class into two groups and have one group rotating while the other presents, then switch.
  • Post the Presentation checklist, and the rotation system for presentations.
  • Organize the room to reflect the separate presentation stations. Place sticky notes in multiple locations so presentation audience members may pick up more if needed. Gather clip boards for students and guests to use as they record their notes and insights.
  • Clear any wall space needed for students to post their presentation visuals.
  • Place the Symposium Presentation Steps at each presentation station.
  • Review the student tasks and example answers to get familiar with what students will be required to do in the lesson (see Materials list).
  • Prepare copies of handouts for students, including the entrance ticket (see Materials list).
  • Post the learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: Video record students presenting to post on a class webpage or on a portfolio app such as for students to watch at home with families. Most devices (cell phones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 6.I.A.1, 6.I.A.2, 6.I.A.3, 6.I.A.4, 6.I.B.5, 6.I.C.9, 6.II.B.3, 6.II.B.4, 6.II.B.5, and 6.II.B.6.

Important Points in the Lesson Itself

  • To support ELLs, this lesson centers around a culminating performance task designed to celebrate students' learning. During the Solution Symposium, students occupy classroom "presentation stations," which they decorate with the visuals they have completed across the previous two lessons. Audience members circulate among stations, giving students the opportunity to deliver their presentations multiple times to different groups of audience members. Additionally, audience members are given "Presentation Prompts" cards, which contain two familiar questions to ask the presenters. The repeated questions eliminate the element of surprise that can be intimidating to ELLs and also reduces the amount of language ELLs are expected to independently produce when it is their turn to be audience members. The repetition built into this entire performance task is supremely valuable to ELLs, as it highlights the role of practice in improving performance, allows for use of formulaic language, and increases both confidence and speaking fluency.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to speak aloud in English for an extended period of time during the performance task. These challenges may be compounded by the fact that the format of the Solution Symposium can make for a lively classroom, which may be distracting to students who require focus to speak aloud. Be mindful of the acoustics of the Solution Symposium space, and if feasible, group students who need heavier support, in a quieter part of the classroom.


  • N/A

Materials from Previous Lessons



  • Performance Task anchor chart (one for display; from Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time B)
  • Work to Become Ethical People anchor chart (one for display; from Module 1, Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time A)
  • Work to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (one for display; from Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 8, Closing and Assessment A)
  • Work to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (one for display; from Module 2, Unit 1, Lesson 1, Work Time A)
  • Presentation checklist (one for display; one per student; from Module 1, Unit 3, Lesson 11, Worktime A)
  • Performance Task materials (started in Module 2, Unit 3, Lesson 11 and completed in Lesson 13)

New Materials



  • Solution Symposium note-catcher (example for teacher reference; see Performance Task download from Lesson 11)
  • Solution Symposium: Presentation Prompt Cards (one card per guest; see Performance Task download from Lesson 11)
  • Sticky notes (several per guest)
  • Solution Symposium note-catcher (one per student; see Performance Task download from Lesson 11)
  • Solution Symposium Presentation Steps (for display; see In Advance; see Performance Task download from Lesson 11)
  • Sticky notes (three per student)
  • Clipboards (one per student)


Each unit in the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.



A. Engage the Learner (5 minutes)

  • Repeated routine: Follow the same routine as the previous lessons to review learning targets and the purpose of the lesson, reminding students of any learning targets that are similar or the same as in previous lessons.
  • Focus students on the Performance Task anchor chart and remind them of where this work has all been leading. Remind students that in this lesson they will present to a live audience.
  • Focus students on the Presentation checklist. Invite students to Turn and Talk to an elbow partner and share one criterion they want to focus on during their presentation today and why.
  • Invite students to take out their Performance Task materials. Direct students to their assigned presentation station. Instruct students to set up their visuals.

Work Time

Work TimeLevels of Support

A. Performance Task: Present Solution Symposium - SL.6.4 (30 minutes)

  • Distribute the Solution Symposium note-catcher. Read the directions aloud to the students. Provide an explanation for each section of the note-catcher. Clarify any questions students may have.
  • Post the rotation schedule so students are aware of when they may visit others' presentations.
  • Welcome audience members to the classroom. Explain the procedures and expectations for both presenters and audience members. Remind students to check the Work to Become Ethical People anchor chart before they visit their peers' presentations, focusing on the characteristics of respect and empathy.
  • Distribute Solution Symposium: Presentation Prompt Cards, sticky notes, and clipboards to audience members and students.
  • Invite students and audience members to move to the designated area(s) of the room for the presentations and begin the presentations.
  • Circulate around the room. Support students with presentations as necessary.
  • After the allotted time for presentations has expired, invite audience members to join in a show of appreciation for all presenters. Invite students to join in a gesture of appreciation for all the audience members. Say goodbye to the guests.
  • Refocus whole group. Focus students on the Presentation checklist. Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner and share if they were successful at the one criterion they wanted to focus on during their presentation today. Remind students to report at least one piece of evidence that supports their success.
  • Give students specific, positive feedback on their presentations (e.g., "I heard a lot of you speaking at an appropriate pace and volume to be clearly understood").

For Lighter Support

  • During the Solution Symposium of Work Time A, encourage students who need lighter support to tiptoe away from repetitive language across the multiple iterations of their presentations and try instead to vary the way that they present information. If productive, create "challenge strips" for students to keep in their pocket during their presentations. Invite students to pull out one strip for each time they present and try to complete the "challenge" during their presentation. Some challenges are suggested below:
    • Begin your presentation with a rhetorical question.
    • Incorporate the sentence frame: "By learning more about ____ [my innovator], I _____."
    • Ask the audience a wh- question using appropriate intonation.

For Heavier Support

  • N/A

Closing & Assessments

ClosingLevels of Support

A. Prepare for End of Unit 3 Assessment - SL.6.1 (10 minutes)

  • Ask and give students 1 minute to think before inviting volunteers to share with the whole group:

"What was a highlight of this presentation for you? Why?"

  • Remind students that the information they shared and received during the Solution Symposium will inform the discussion they will have for the End of Unit 3 Assessment in the next lesson. Read the prompt aloud and encourage students to begin thinking about their response so they will be better prepared for the assessment:

"How do habits of character help people solve critical problems?"

  • Direct students to continue work on their Solution Symposium note-catcher, adding any information they were unable to record during the presentation. Allow students to revisit the visual representations of the presentations. Encourage students to ask their peers clarifying questions about the presentations.

For Lighter Support

  • To help students connect their learning from the Solution Symposium to their work on the end of the unit assessment in the next lesson, create time for students to consolidate their thinking around the relationship between habits of character and the ability to solve critical problems. In small groups, invite them to discuss the information captured on their note-catchers during the Solution Symposium. Focus them around the question, "What habits of character did presenters say were used to solve their critical problems? Why were these habits of character important?" Strategically use Goal 4 Conversation Cues to support students' metacognition: "How does this discussion add to your understanding of habits of character and how they can be used to solve critical problems?"

For Heavier Support

  • To help students connect their learning from the Solution Symposium to their work on the end of the unit assessment in the next lesson, create a chart or some other large visual with key habits of character written in large letters inside bubbles (e.g., INITIATIVE; PERSEVERANCE; COMPASSION). Invite students who need heavier support to collaboratively generate a mental map around these habits of character, connecting the words to other bubbles that contain brief descriptions of critical problems and design solutions that they learned about during the Solution Symposium. This exercise will help students consolidate their learning and better visualize the relationship between habits of character and problem solving.



A. Prepare for End of Unit 3 Assessment

  • Students review their Solution Symposium note-catcher in preparation for the End of Unit 3 Assessment.

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