Independent Writing: Expert Bird Riddle | EL Education Curriculum

You are here

ELA G1:M3:U3:L9

Independent Writing: Expert Bird Riddle

You are here:

These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.1.7: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of "how-to" books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).
  • L.1.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.1.1f: Use frequently occurring adjectives.
  • L.1.1.g: Use frequently occurring conjunctions (e.g., and, but, or, so, because).
  • L.1.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.1.2b: Use end punctuation for sentences.
  • L.1.2d: Use conventional spelling for words with common spelling patterns and for frequently occurring irregular words.
  • L.1.2e: Spell untaught words phonetically, drawing on phonemic awareness and spelling conventions.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can write a riddle about my expert bird that teaches the reader how the bird uses its body parts to survive. (W.1.7, L1.1f, L1.1g, L1.2b, L1.2d, L.1.2e)

Ongoing Assessment

  • N/A

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: "Amazing Birds" (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Shared Writing: Model Riddle (15 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Expert Bird Riddle (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol: Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students work as a class to write a riddle for the cardinal. They then work independently to begin drafting their Expert Bird Riddle cards--the second part of the performance task (W.1.5, W.1.7, L.1.1f, L.1.2b, L.1.2d, L.1.2e). Refer to the full performance task in the stand-alone performance task document for more information.
  • Similar to Lessons 6-8, students continue to reflect on the habit of character of perseverance in the Closing.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • Students use the research they have gathered about their expert bird to draft their Expert Bird Riddle. Students also refer back to the Mystery Riddles used throughout the unit as inspiration for their writing.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Some students may need additional support with translating their research notes into complete sentences for the riddle. Consider offering sentence stems to support this process.
  • Some students may find it challenging to keep track of all the criteria for their riddle. Help students determine the most important criteria to focus on as they create their first draft and remind them that they will have time to revise and edit their piece in the next lesson. Specifically, students will have the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback on adjectives in Lesson 10, so this is one criterion that students could attend to less.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 10, students will have the opportunity to revise and edit their Expert Bird Riddles based on peer and teacher feedback. Allow time to collect students' drafts after Lesson 9 and review before Lesson 10. Make a class set of copies of the Revising and Editing Checklist. Analyze student writing using the checklist: Check off criteria that students have included in their writing, and check one or two criteria they should revise and/or edit to improve their writing. Students should be given one specific suggestion with an example and/or indication directly in their writing on how to improve. See the Sample Revising and Editing Checklist with Teacher Feedback in supporting Materials.
  • As mentioned in the Unit 3 Overview, the knowledge that students build in Module 3 lays the foundation for its application in Module 4. So even though students are working hard on their Module 3 performance task, continue to reinforce that "we will go even deeper with this topic in our next module!"

In Advance

  • Pre-distribute Materials for Work Time B at student workspaces.
  • Preview the Expert Bird Riddle Template (example, for teacher reference) to prepare for the modeling and shared writing in Work Time A (see supporting Materials).
  • Post: Learning targets, "Amazing Birds," and applicable anchor charts (see Materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-2 to create anchor charts to share with families; to record students as they participate in discussions and protocols to review with students later and to share with families; and for students to listen to and annotate text, record ideas on note-catchers, and word-process writing.
  • Consider recording students singing "Amazing Birds" so that they can replay the track to practice and sing along to in future lessons.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.C.10, 1.II.B.4, and 1.II.C.6

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by inviting them to complete a writing task after explicit modeling, using research completed in Lessons 2-7, and providing opportunities to discuss and rehearse their sentences before writing.
  • ELLs may find writing their riddle challenging, because they may not know how to use their notes to write in complete sentences or if their sentences are grammatically correct (see "Levels of support" and Meeting Students' Needs).

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Consider allowing time for students to review the language in the unit's anchor charts and the information they marked in their Expert Birds Research notebooks.
  • Review these sentence frames: "This bird _____________." "The ________ (body part) helps _________ so _________."

For heavier support:

  • Ensure ELLs understand the steps to writing the riddle. Reread the steps, breaking them down so students can attend to one step at a time.
  • Consider embedding simple sketches of key words and concepts to the display of the "Amazing Birds" song before displaying it.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Continue to embed support for unfamiliar Vocabulary by providing explanations and visual examples. This will help students make connections and support comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): Continue to support strategy during independent writing by modeling how to physically touch the words/spaces on the sentence frame and draw lines for additional words you intend to write. This helps students recall their original ideas later in the writing process.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Continue to foster collaboration and community by providing prompts that guide students in knowing when and how to ask classmates or teachers for help.

Vocabulary

Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T); Vocabulary Used in Writing (W)

Materials

  • "Amazing Birds" (one to display)
  • Expert Bird Riddle Checklist (one per student and one to display)
  • Expert Bird Riddle Checklist (example, for teacher reference)
  • Mystery Bird Riddle Card #1 (from Lesson 1; one to display)
  • Expert Bird Riddle Template (one per student and one for teacher modeling)
  • Expert Bird Riddle Template (example, for teacher reference)
  • Expert Birds Research notebook (from Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Expert Birds Research notebook (from Lesson 2; example, for teacher reference)
  • Feathers: Class Notes (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 3)
  • Feathers, Not Just for Flying (from Unit 2, Lesson 2; one to display)
  • Perseverance anchor chart (begun in Lesson 6)
  • Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol anchor chart (begun in Module 1)

Assessment

Each unit in the K-2 Language Arts Curriculum has one standards-based assessment built in. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: "Amazing Birds" (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Tell them that you have a new song to share with and teach them. Tell students that this song is all about their expert birds!
  • Tell students that they will share this song with visitors during the end of module Celebration of Learning.
  • Display "Amazing Birds."
  • Briefly explain that the song has a chorus that everyone will sing together, and there are special verses about each expert bird that expert groups will sing on their own.
  • Tell students that they will also use their puppets when they perform the song in a few days, but today, they will just practice learning the words.
    • Tell students that you will sing the song first on your own as they listen, and then they will join in. Invite students to listen carefully when you are singing the verse about their expert bird.
    • After singing the song in its entirety, sing the chorus of the song again, tracking the print as you sing.
    • Invite students to join you in singing the chorus a couple of times.
    • Sing only the first two lines of each expert bird verse and invite students in each group to sing with you.
    • Repeat this process with the first two lines of each expert bird verse.
    • Tell students that in the next lesson, they will continue to practice the chorus and learn the remaining lines of their expert bird verse.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with motivation: (Previewing) Review the sketches of key words and concepts added to the display of the "Amazing Birds" song. Before beginning, ask students to preview the content of the first two verses by looking at the illustrations. (MME)
  • For ELLs: (Pronouncing Correctly) Invite students to practice pronouncing some word combinations that might be challenging to enunciate clearly in the first two lines of each expert bird verse (examples: spiny tongues, grip prey, pouch beaks, scoop fish).

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Shared Writing: Model Riddle (15 minutes)

  • Tell students that today is such an exciting day because they finally get to begin writing their Expert Bird Riddles! Remind them of all the research and note-taking and conversations they have engaged in to prepare them to write.
  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

"I can write a riddle about my expert bird that teaches the reader how the bird uses its body parts to survive."

  • Remind students that they identified criteria for a high-quality riddle when they began this unit. Share that these criteria are now on a checklist they can use as they write.
  • Display and read aloud the following to remind students of these criteria:
    • Expert Bird Riddle Checklist
    • Mystery Bird Riddle Card #1
  • Tell students that before they write their own Expert Bird Riddle, they will work together as a class to write a riddle about the cardinal.
  • Share that you will now model writing the first two sentences. Then they will have a chance to collaborate as a group on the second two sentences.
  • Display the Expert Bird Riddle Template and point out that this looks just like the one they will use to write their own Expert Bird Riddle.
  • Think aloud as you model these key steps in the riddle-writing process:
    • Say: "I know that my riddle needs to contain facts from research to teach the reader about two body parts and how they help the bird survive. So, I am going to first find the facts that I want to use. I marked facts in my notebook with a sticky note that I used during yesterday's Science Talk. Let me turn to a page with one of the sticky notes in my Expert Birds research notebook (example, for teacher reference)."
    • Say: "I know I want to include a fact about the female cardinal's feathers because they help her survive. This fact is not in a complete sentence, so I need to turn these words into a sentence. Let me look at Mystery Bird Riddle Card #1 to get an idea of how to start my sentence."
    • Model reading aloud the first sentence of Mystery Bird Riddle Card#1.
    • Say: "I'm going to start with 'This bird' because I know I shouldn't say 'cardinal' since it's a mystery for my reader."
    • Write "This bird" on the Expert Bird Riddle Template. Refer to Expert Bird Riddle Template (example, for teacher reference) as necessary. As you write the riddle, mention to students that they should skip lines so that it is easier to revise and edit later.
    • Say: "Now I have to write what this bird has. So, I am going to say that this bird can have brown feathers because not all cardinals do--just the female ones."
    • Say: "I have the word brown and feathers in my notes, so I can spell them like the dictionary does. Can and have are two of our high-frequency words, so I know how to write them using the High-Frequency Word Wall."
    • Write "Can have brown feathers" on the Expert Bird Riddle Template. Model writing large and legible words with spaces between them.
    • Say: "I know I have to tell my reader how the brown feathers help the cardinal survive, so I need to write about how the feathers camouflage the bird from enemies. I can start my sentence with 'The brown feathers.'"
    • Model how to write the beginning part of the second sentence.
    • Say: "I know the brown feathers help it camouflage, so I can write 'help it camouflage' next."
    • Model tapping out the word help, finding it on the High-Frequency Word Wall, and using the word camouflage on the Feathers: Class Notes or the text Feathers, Not Just for Flying.
    • Write the phrase "help it camouflage."
    • Say: "But I have to tell my reader how camouflage helps it to survive, so I could say 'so it can hide from its enemies.'"
    • Again, model using a variety of tools and strategies to write this part of the sentence in legible text with spaces between words.
    • Say: "I want to reread these sentences to make sure they make sense to my reader."
    • Reread the first two sentences.
    • Say: "When I look at Mystery Riddle Card #1, I see that I have to include two facts about how my bird's body helps it to survive. So, I need to find another important fact to include. Let me look through my research notebook to find another fact. I notice that I also collected information about the cardinal's beak. I will teach my reader about its beak now. I am hoping you all can help me figure out what sentences to write next."
    • Say: "My notes say is has a beak like a cone."
    • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How could I write that fact using a complete sentence?" (This bird has a beak shaped like a cone.)

    • If productive, cue students to add on to what a classmate said.

"Who can add on to what your classmate said? I'll give you time to think."

    • Model writing this sentence using a variety of tools and strategies as needed.
    • Say:

"I need to tell my reader how the beak helps the bird survive. My notes say 'open seeds and fruit.'"

    • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How can I turn that into a complete idea?" (The cone beak helps the bird open seeds and fruit.)

    • Model writing the first part of this sentence.
    • Say:

"Now I have to tell my reader how this helps the bird survive. The word so can be helpful here."

    • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How can I write that part of the sentence to explain to my reader how this helps the bird survive?" (so that it has food to eat)

    • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

"How does our discussion add to your understanding of complete sentences? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Responses will vary.)

    • Again, model using a variety of tools and strategies to write this part of the sentence in legible text with spaces between words.
    • Say:

"I want to reread these sentences to make sure they make sense to my reader."

    • Reread the last two sentences.
    • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What were some of the tools and strategies I used as a writer to help me write my riddle?" (sticky note pages of Expert Birds Research notebook, Expert Bird Riddle Checklist, Mystery Bird Riddle Card #1, anchor charts and research sources, and High-Frequency Word Wall)

    • If productive, cue students to add on to what a classmate said:

"Who can add on to what your classmate said? I'll give you time to think."

    • Tell students that they will now have a chance to write their own riddle about their expert bird using these same tools and strategies.
    • Point out the Expert Birds Research notebooks and Expert Bird Riddle Template already at their workspaces and dismiss each expert group to their workspaces by singing the first two lines of the respective verse of "Amazing Birds."
  • For ELLs: (Using Realia) Use realia as you remind students about all the research and note-taking they have engaged in to prepare them to write (Expert Birds Research notebook, Expert Bird Riddle Brainstorm Criteria anchor chart, Mystery Bird Riddle Card #1, anchor charts and research sources, High-Frequency Word Wall).
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with strategy development: (Modeling and Thinking Aloud: Writing) Invite students to share what their role is when you think aloud (notice the tools and strategies you use to write the riddle so they can write their own Expert Bird Riddle later). (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with working memory: (Adding Visuals) Invite students to recall what you did and co-create a list of the steps you took to write the riddle:
  1. Begin your riddle with "This bird."
  2. Write a part the bird has.
  3. Tell how the body part helps the bird survive.
  4. Reread the sentences. (MMAE, MME)

B. Independent Writing: Expert Bird Riddle (30 minutes)

  • Once students are settled at their workspaces, display and read aloud the criteria on the Expert Bird Riddle Checklist.
  • Remind students that this checklist lists the criteria for a high-quality riddle.
  • Tell students that they should think about all of these criteria today as they write their Expert Bird Riddle.
  • Focus students on their Expert Birds Research notebook and tell them that they should begin by finding the pages of notes where they added sticky notes.
  • Invite students to find their sticky notes and put their hand on their head when they've located them.
  • Repeat this process with the second sticky note and the last two sentences of the riddle.
  • After the oral rehearsal, invite students to begin writing using the Expert Bird Riddle Template.
  • Offer time checks, support, and reminders as necessary. Be sure students are skipping lines in their writing to allow for revisions and edits in Lesson 10.
  • At the end of the writing session, tell students that you will look over their writing before the next lesson and offer some feedback using the Expert Bird Riddle Checklist.
  • Invite students to stand up and give a neighbor a pinky shake to acknowledge their work as writers.
  • Gather students' Expert Bird Riddle Templates and Expert Bird Riddle Checklists. Share that you will give each of them feedback on their writing using the Expert Bird Riddle Checklist before they revise their work in the next lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with planning for written expression (Verbal Writing Practice) As students discuss and rehearse their sentences before writing, ensure their sentences are grammatically correct. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: (Correcting Errors) As students interact, jot down and share with the class samples of effective communication and one or two common language errors (pervasive, stigmatizing, critical).
  • For ELLs and students who may need visual support with planning: (Sentence Frames: Individual Copies) Consider giving students a copy of the sentence frames to have with them as they practice saying their sentences. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: (Prompting Students to Use Adjectives and Complete Sentences) While circulating, support students in writing complete sentences by reminding them of resources around the room and prompting them to reflect on their work. Example: "Hmm, this just says 'beaks and feathers.'" Ask:

"Can you make a complete sentence out of those words?"

"Can you add adjectives?" (MMAE, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol: Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the Perseverance anchor chart and briefly review it as necessary.
  • Tell students they are going to use the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face protocol to reflect on how they showed perseverance today as a writer. Remind them that they used this protocol in Module 2 and review as necessary using the Back-to-Back and Face-to-Face Protocol anchor chart. (Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.)
  • Guide students through the protocol using the following prompt and sentence frame:

"How did you show perseverance as a writer today?"

    • "I showed perseverance as a writer today by ______."
  • Refocus whole group and preview tomorrow's learning: They will continue to work on their riddles tomorrow by using feedback to improve their writing.
  • For ELLs: (Celebrating Learning) Consider inviting an ELL to act out how he or she showed perseverance today. This will help the student build his or her self-confidence and to identify and repeat that success next time.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with persistence: (Supporting Revision) Remind students of the "Austin's Butterfly" video and tell them the feedback they will get tomorrow will help them make their writing even better so that it is the best it can be for the end of module celebration.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up