Unit 2 Assessment: Opinion Writing about Pale Male’s Nest | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G1:M4:U2:L9

Unit 2 Assessment: Opinion Writing about Pale Male’s Nest

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RF.1.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • W.1.1: Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.
  • 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).
  • W.1.8: With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
  • L.1.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.1.1d: Use personal, possessive, and indefinite pronouns (e.g., I, me, my; they, them, their, anyone, everything).
  • L.1.1h: Use determiners (e.g., articles, demonstratives).
  • 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.1.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can write an opinion paragraph using a reason to support my opinion. (W.1.1, W.1.7, W.1.8, L.1.1, L.1.1d, L.1.1h, L.1.2, L.1.2b, L.1.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the Opening, listen to students read the poem to monitor fluency (RF.1.4).
  • During Work Time A, use the Language Checklist to monitor student conversations and organizers for progress toward L.1.1, L.1.1d, L.1.1h, L.1.2, L.1.2b, and L.1.6 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • During Work Time C, use the Opinion Writing Rubric to track student progress towards W.1.1, W.1.7 and W.1.8. (see Assessment Overview and Resources)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Poem and Movement: "Feed the Birds" Two-Voice Poem (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Preparing for Unit 2 Assessment: Writing Organizer (15 minutes)

B. Song and Movement: "Two Sides of the Story" (5 minutes)

C. Unit 2 Assessment: Opinion Writing about Pale Male's Nest (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In the Opening, students work with the two-voice poem "Feed the Birds" for the final time. Take time to celebrate their work by making this lesson more of a performance of the poem. Consider using this final session to monitor students' reading fluency.
  • In Work Time C, students complete the Unit 2 Assessment by writing an opinion paragraph about why Pale Male's nest should be taken down. They prepare for this writing during Work Time A by completing a writing organizer. This organizer helps students process their ideas with a partner before writing independently.
  • In Work Time B, students participate in the jazz chant routine to get a movement break between two large writing tasks. Encourage every student to get up and move.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • The writing process used for the Unit 2 Assessment replicates the process used in Lessons 7-8. The information students write about is based on their reading from throughout the unit.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • For students who encounter a high level of frustration with writing, consider offering support before the assessment or in a private location during the independent writing time of the assessment. Invite struggling writers to orally process each sentence aloud and, if needed, take dictation for all or part of the piece. Although not a valid measure of the student's ability to write an opinion paragraph, this scaffolded assessment will provide valuable evidence of the students' ability to apply what they have learned in this module
  • Students may need help keeping up with the steps of the assessment. Circulate to ensure that all students are on the same step and repeat any of the steps necessary to help students keep up. Allow students to complete their work at a different time if they feel frustrated with the pace or the whole group instructions.

Down the road:

  • In Lesson 10, students will revise and edit their opinion paragraph written in Work Time C of this lesson. 

In Advance

  • Pre-distribute the Unit 2 Assessment writing organizers for Work Time A at student workspaces.
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

Consider using an interactive white board or document camera to display lesson materials.

  • Continue to use the technology tools recommended throughout Modules 1-3 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.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 1.I.B.6, 1.I.B.8, 1.II.C.6, and 1.l.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by inviting them to complete an assessment task similar to the classroom tasks completed in Lessons 6-8. Students work with the same text, "What's Best? The Debate about Pale Male's Nest," and, using class notes, they independently write the introduction, opinion statement, reason, and conclusion for their opinion paragraph.
  • The Unit 2 Assessment may be challenging for ELLs, as it is a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction. ELLs will be asked not only to independently apply cognitive skills developed in Lessons 1-8, but also to independently apply new linguistic knowledge introduced in those lessons.
  • Allow students to review language they've written on the Word Wall and any relevant anchor charts and structures from Language Dives and Mini Language Dives.
  • Ensure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying help with the assessment itself. See additional support in the lesson.
  • After the assessment, ask students to discuss which assessment task was easiest and which was most difficult, and why. In future lessons, focus on the language skills that will help students address these assessment challenges

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Continue to support students by offering options for perception. Pausing for clarification of unfamiliar or confusing vocabulary will also support students who may need additional help with comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Continue to offer scaffolds for students learning to set appropriate personal goals. Recall that appropriate goal-setting supports development of executive skills and strategies.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Continue to offer support in linking the lesson's activities back to the learning target. Invite students to make this connection by explicitly highlighting the utility and relevance of the activity to the learning target.

Vocabulary

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

Review:

  • compelling (L)

Materials

  • "Feed the Birds" two-voice poem (from Lesson 7; one to display)
  • Unit 2 Assessment writing organizer (one per student; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Parts of an Opinion Paragraph anchor chart (begun in Lesson 6)
  • "Two Sides of the Story" (from Lesson 2; one to display)
  • Unit 2 Assessment Opinion Paragraph (one per student; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Unit 2 Assessment Opinion Paragraph (example, for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Respectful Opinions anchor chart (begun in Lesson 5)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Poem and Movement: "Feed the Birds" Two Voice Poem (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Display the "Feed the Birds" two-voice poem and chorally read the poem once together as a class.
  • Tell the class they are going to act out the poem together and invite them to stand up.
    • Divide the class into two groups.
    • Share that each group will be a speaker from the poem. One group will like to feed the birds, and the other group will not. As they read the poem together, they will pretend to be the speaker in the poem. While they wait their turn, they may walk in place.
    • Remind groups that when they act out the poem, they should pay attention to what the speaker is saying and really use their body.
    • Assign each group to a part in the poem. Place the groups so they face one another.
    • Read the poem aloud, each group reading their part of the poem when it is time.
  • As time permits, switch the groups and reread the poem aloud.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with working memory: (Reviewing Movement) Consider reviewing the movement that students need to do when they hear the different demonstrative determiners (e.g., holding up one finger and pointing away for the demonstrative that). (MMAE)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Preparing for Unit 2 Assessment: Writing Organizer (15 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:

"I can write an opinion paragraph using a reason to support my opinion."

  • Share with students that they will complete a writing organizer to help them write an opinion paragraph about why Pale Male's nest should be taken down.
  • Remind students that they wrote an opinion paragraph together and completed an opinion paragraph in previous lessons about keeping Pale Male's nest up.
  • Tell students they will write an opinion paragraph about taking down Pale Male's nest on their own, so they will need to plan for it.
  • Transition students back to their workspaces.
  • Point out the Unit 2 Assessment writing organizers already there and invite each student to take one.
  • Direct students' attention to the Parts of an Opinion Paragraph anchor chart and read aloud the job of the introduction:
    • "Tells the problem that we are writing about. It also tells the two opinions about this topic.")
  • Turn and Talk:

"What is the problem you are writing about?" (People wonder what to do with Pale Male's nest.)

"What are the two opinions on this topic?" (Leave the nest up; take the nest down.)

  • Invite students to use what they said with their partner to make a note on their Unit 2 Assessment writing organizer.
  • Focus students on the opinion statement and reason box on the writing organizer.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What important words will you include in your opinion statement and reason?" (I think and because)

"What will your opinion statement sound like?" (I think Pale Male's nest should be taken down because _____.")

  • Invite students to use what they said with their partner to make a note on their writing organizer.
  • Draw students' attention back to the opinion statement and reason box on the writing organizer.
  • Tell students that you have included all of the reasons from their class notes about taking the nest down.
  • Invite students to point to each reason on the page as each one is read aloud.
  • Tell students that they should look for the reason they find most compelling.
  • Review the definition of compelling (powerful and convincing).
  • Turn and Talk:

"Which reason do you think is the best?" (Responses will vary.)

Conversation Cue: "Why do you think that?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Invite students to circle the reason they will use in their opinion paragraph.
  • Direct students' attention to the Parts of an Opinion Paragraph anchor chart and read aloud the job of the conclusion:
    • "It wraps up your paragraph and reminds the reader of your opinion."
  • Turn and Talk:

"How will you remind the reader of your opinion?" (Pale Male's nest should come down.)

Conversation Cue: "Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Invite students to use what they said with their partner to make a note on their writing organizer.
  • Invite students to give themselves a quick hand massage after all of their hard work to plan their opinion paragraph.
  • For ELLs: Invite students to point to each reason on the page as each one is read aloud. Tell students that they should look for the reason they find most compelling.
  • For students who may need additional support with fine motor skills: Offer choice with the organizer by providing a template that includes lines or additional space for each section. (MMR, MMAE)

B. Song and Movement: "Two Sides of the Story" (5 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Display "Two Sides of the Story."
  • Tell students they will get to say and act out the jazz chant again.
  • Follow the pre-established routine to say the chant.
  • Repeat the process as time permits, using new groups for the birdwatchers and neighbors.
  • For ELLS: (Student Modeling) Invite a student to lead the chant by clapping the four-beat rhythm of the chant.

C. Unit 2 Assessment: Opinion Writing about Pale Male's Nest (30 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention back to the learning target and read it aloud:

"I can write an opinion paragraph using a reason to support my opinion."

  • Remind students that they will use their Unit 2 Assessment writing organizer to help them write their paragraph.
  • Transition students to their workspaces.
  • Tell students they will begin by writing the introduction.
    • Invite students to read the notes on their organizer for the introduction.
    • Invite students to whisper a response into their hands:

"What sentences will you write for your introduction?"

    • Invite students to take a pre-distributed Unit 2 Assessment Opinion Paragraph sheet and write two sentences for the introduction.
    • Circulate to support students as they write.
  • After a few minutes, refocus whole group. Follow the same process for each of the remaining sentences in their paragraph (opinion statement, reason, and conclusion):
    • Invite students to read the notes on their organizer.
    • Invite students to whisper into their hands the sentence they will write.
    • Invite students to write their sentence.
    • Circulate to support students as they write.
  • Give students a 2-minute warning to complete their writing.
  • When finished, collect the Unit 2 Assessment Opinion Paragraph sheets. Refer to the Unit 2 Assessment Opinion Paragraph (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with organizing ideas for written expression: (Verbal Writing Practice) Allow students to discuss and rehearse their ideas before writing. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing fluency: (Using Sentence Frames) Only after students have grappled with the task, provide the following sentence frame for students to write their new opinion statement: "I think people should______." MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Give students specific, positive feedback on showing perseverance during their writing.
  • Direct students' attention to the Respectful Opinions anchor chart and select a volunteer to read aloud the definition of respect.
  • Tell students that you have seen great examples of classmates having respectful conversations.
  • Give students one or two examples of when they have demonstrated having respectful conversations.
  • Invite volunteers to offer a couple of examples.
  • Share with students that you will continue to look for examples throughout the day.
  • For ELLs: (Celebrating Learning) Consider giving feedback on what an ELL student did well. This will help the student to build his or her self-confidence and to identify and repeat his or her success next time.

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.

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