Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Drafting a New Narrative | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M2:U3:L11

Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Drafting a New Narrative

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.2.3: Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
  • SL.2.5: Create audio recordings of stories or poems; add drawings or other visual displays to stories or recounts of experiences when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
  • L.2.1d: Form and use the past tense of frequently occurring irregular verbs (e.g., sat, hid, told).
  • L.2.6: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can draft a new narrative about discovering a fossil. (W.2.3, L.2.1d, L.2.6)
  • I can draw pictures to match the words in my narrative. (SL.2.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • At the end of Work Time C, collect student narratives to begin using the Narrative Writing Rubric to monitor progress toward W.2.3 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Read student narratives to complete a Revising and Editing Checklist for each student to return to them in Lesson 12. (W.2.5)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Song and Movement: Introducing the "Celebration of Learning" Song (10 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Drafting the Narrative (25 minutes)

B. Mini Lesson: Drawing Pictures to Match the Words (5 minutes)

C. Independent Drawing: Drawing Pictures for Our Narratives (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In the Opening, students are introduced to the "Celebration of Learning" song, which is sung to the tune of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket." Through the song, students revisit some ideas from the module in a fun and interactive way.
  • This lesson is the second of three lessons for students to create a new narrative. This lesson includes Part I of the Unit 3 Assessment to track students' progress on standard W.2.3. It is crucial that students complete this part of the assessment before moving on. If necessary, build in extra writing time in the day or consider adding an additional writing lesson before moving on to Lesson 12.
  • Students receive a quick mini lesson on drawing to prepare them to draw their own illustrations for their narrative.

How this lesson builds on previous work:

  • Students use the planner completed in Lesson 10 to help them write their narrative in this lesson.
  • In Work Time B, students begin the illustrations for their Narrative Booklets. Students use the "artist toolbelt" started in Module 1 Labs to help them remember aspects of art as they create their drawings.
  • During the Closing, students reflect on the habits of character that were reviewed in this module.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • The tune to the song in the Opening may be unfamiliar to many students and may seem difficult to learn. Assure them that they will practice the song again; there is no pressure to learn it perfectly now.
  • 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 these 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 students' ability to write a narrative, this scaffolded assessment will provide valuable evidence of students' ability to apply what they have learned in this module.

Down the road:

  • In this lesson, students complete Part I of the Unit 3 Assessment by writing their narrative. Before Lesson 12, complete a Revising and Editing Checklist (see Assessment Overview and Resources) for each individual student based on his or her draft. Because of the quick turnaround, consider adding an additional writing lesson in between Lessons 11 and 12.
  • At the end of Work Time C, the Narrative Booklets are collected so that Revising and Editing Checklists can be created before Lesson 12 begins. Fill in each checklist with clear, specific suggestions for students and leave symbols in the booklets to indicate places for revisions when appropriate (for example, leave a star in places for students to add temporal words). For more detail, reference Teaching Notes in Lesson 9 as well as the Assessment Overview and Resources.
  • Students will spend three days creating and adding to their drawings as a part of their performance task.

In Advance

  • Prepare technology necessary to play an instrumental version of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" during the Opening. This helps students understand the tune of the "Celebration of Learning" song.
  • Pre-distribute students' Narrative Planners at their workspaces to ensure a smooth transition to Work Time A.
  • Post: Learning targets, "Celebration of Learning" song, and applicable anchor charts (see materials list).

Tech and Multimedia

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

  • Opening: Record students as they sing the "Celebration of Learning" song to listen to later to discuss strengths and what they could improve on, or to use as models for the group. Most devices (cellphones, tablets, laptop computers) come equipped with free video and audio recording apps or software.
  • Work Time B: Students use drawing apps or software to draw their illustrations for their narrative--for example, the Kids Doodle plug-in for Google or the app for Apple products.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1, 2.I.A.2, 2.I.A.4, 2.I.C.10, 2.I.C.12, 2.II.A.1, 2.II.A.2, and 2.II.A.3

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to demonstrate their content and language knowledge in a process-writing format based on their preparation and practice in previous lessons.
  • ELLs may find the Unit 3 Assessment challenging as it may be a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction. Before they begin, encourage students to do their best and congratulate them on the progress they've made learning English. Point out some specific examples.
  • Make sure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying answers to the assessment questions themselves. 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 and for homework, focus on the language skills that will help students address these assessment challenges.
  • Invite students to work with families and in home language groups to translate all or parts (e.g., the tools) of the Celebration Day song into home languages. Finally, students can share and teach the translated version in this lesson and the remaining lessons, singing it to "A Tisket, a Tasket" or a more suitable home language tune.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): To facilitate effective learning during this lesson, ensure that all students have access to the directions for each activity, and feel comfortable with the expectations. Vary the ways in which you convey expectations for each activity or task. Consider engaging in a clarifying discussion about the directions and creating a visual display of the steps for each activity.
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): In this lesson, some students may need support in setting appropriate goals for their effort and the level of difficulty expected. Appropriate goal-setting supports development of executive skills and strategies. Offer scaffolds for students learning to set appropriate personal goals, such as a checklist with specific goals for each activity. (Examples: "I can follow along as my teacher models how to draw a picture to match words." I can listen to my partner without interrupting." "I can ask for help during writing from a classmate or the teacher.")
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Throughout this lesson, students have multiple opportunities to share ideas and thinking with classmates. Some students may need support for engagement during these activities, so encourage self-regulatory skills by helping them anticipate and manage frustration by modeling what to do if they need help from their partners. Offer supports for engagement to promote a safe learning space for all students.


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


  • compelling


  • "Celebration of Learning" song (one to display)
  • Instrumental version of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (audio; play in entirety; see Teaching Notes)
  • Unit 3 Assessment prompt (from Lesson 10; one to display)
  • Compelling Narrative about Discovering a Fossil anchor chart (begun in Lesson 5)
  • Narrative Planner: Teacher Model (from Lesson 5; one to display)
  • Narrative Booklet: Teacher Model (from Lesson 5; one to display)
  • Narrative Planner (from Lesson 10; one per student)
  • Narrative Booklet (new; from Lesson 6; one per student)
  • Narrative Writing Rubric (for teacher reference; see the Tools page)
  • Stapler (one; used by the teacher to attach Narrative Planners to Narrative Booklets)
  • Tools Paleontologists Use anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 10)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Unit 2, Lesson 1)

Materials from Previous Lessons

New Materials


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.


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Song and Movement: Introducing the "Celebration of Learning" Song (10 minutes)

  • Gather students whole group.
  • Share with students that their Celebration of Learning Day is coming soon! They will need to prepare with a fun song for their visitors.
  • Display the "Celebration of Learning" song. Tell students that this is a song written to share a little bit about what they have been learning to get their listeners excited to hear more.
  • Tell students you are going to read the song aloud once without stopping and that they should follow along.
  • While still displaying the text, read it aloud slowly, fluently, and without interruption.
  • Invite students to reread it aloud with you.
  • Tell students you will now play an instrumental version of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" so they can hear the tune for the song.
  • Play the instrumental version of "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" at least twice.
  • Tell students you now will play the instrumental version again; this time they can hum along with the tune.
  • Play the instrumental version of the song again.
  • Without music, model singing each line. Invite students to sing each line after you.
  • Tell students they will continue to practice to prepare for their Celebration of Learning Day.
  • Direct students' attention to the learning targets and read the first one aloud:

"I can draft a new narrative about discovering a fossil."

  • With excitement, remind students that, yesterday, they used the planner to organize ideas for writing their new narrative. Today, they will use the ideas on that planner to begin actually writing.
  • Invite students to become paleontologists by pretending to get their tools strapped on and their fossil-hunting eyes ready!
  • To vary methods for response, invite students to generate ideas for physical movements that express particular phrases in the "Celebration of Learning" song. Invite students to join you in doing the movements as you sing the song together. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of chunks from this sentence from the Celebration Day song: "We're ready and we've learned a ton!" Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples:
  • Point to and read the chunk We're ready. Ask:

"What are we ready for?" (the Celebration of Learning)

  • Point to and read the chunk and we've learned a ton. Ask:

"What is a ton?" (In the United States, it's 2,000 pounds, the weight of a small car. It's very heavy! Explain to students that in the United States, weight is measured differently--in pounds, not kilograms. A pound is more than 2 kilograms.)

"What does it mean to learn a ton?" Tell students you will give them time to think and discuss with their partner. (A ton is a lot of weight, so learning a ton is learning a lot.)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Drafting the Narrative (25 minutes)

  • Display the Unit 3 Assessment prompt and read it aloud:

"Look at this picture of a fossil. Imagine that you are a paleontologist, and you have just discovered this fossil! Write a narrative about the moment you made this discovery. Make sure your narrative includes a beginning that introduces the reader to where you are and what tools you had, details to describe actions, thoughts and feelings, and an ending that brings a sense of closure to the narrative. Your narrative should also include detailed illustrations that match the beginning, middle, and end of the narrative."

  • Direct students' attention to the Compelling Narrative about Discovering a Fossil anchor chart and select a few volunteers to read it aloud.
  • Remind students that, as they write, they need to remember what will make a compelling narrative to read.
  • Review the definition of compelling (exerting a strong hold on the attention).
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

"How will you turn the ideas on your planner into a compelling narrative?" (use new details, add sentences that describe my feelings)

  • Display the Narrative Planner: Teacher Model and the first page of the Narrative Booklet: Teacher Model.
  • Remind students that you were able to write a compelling story by taking your ideas and making them into interesting sentences.
  • Transition students back to their workspaces and invite them to sit next to their writing partners.
  • Invite students to take 1 minute to silently reread their Narrative Planner from the previous lesson.
  • Invite students to turn and talk to their writing partner:

"What will you write for your narrative?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Distribute new Narrative Booklets. Remind students to skip lines as they write their narrative and that each column on the planner matches a page in the booklet (point to the matching symbols).
  • Invite students to begin writing in their Narrative Booklet.
  • Circulate to remind students to skip lines in their booklet and to use resources around the room to help them. Do not provide additional support to students unless they are reaching a level of frustration. Note any support given to a student on their Narrative Writing Rubric.
  • Give students a 2-minute warning to finish up their writing. Assure students who have not yet finished that they can come back to their writing at a designated time to complete it.
  • Invite students to take a quick stretch break as you circulate with a stapler to attach their planners to their booklets. 
  • For students who may need additional support remembering their writing partner: Consider giving them an index card with an A or a B, and explain that partner A will share first, followed by partner B. This also supports self-regulation for taking turns. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: Remind students that they can continue using the color-coding strategy, if helpful.
  • For ELLs: Ensure that ELLs clearly understand all assessment directions. Rephrase directions for them. Monitor during the assessment to see that students are completing the assessment correctly. Stop students who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions.

B. Mini Lesson: Drawing Pictures to Match the Words (5 minutes)

  • Share with students that their booklets will be a part of the learning that they share with visitors, so they will need to add some beautiful drawings.
  • Remind students that in the Labs in Module 1, they did some drawings using the tools in their artist toolbelt.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

"What types of things do you remember putting into our artist toolbelt to help us draw?" (size, different lines, textures, shapes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:

"I can draw pictures to match the words in my narrative."

  • Tell students that they will spend three days making their drawings beautiful. Today, they are starting with pencil pictures to show what is happening on each page. Later, they will add details and color.
  • Display the Narrative Booklet: Teacher Model.
  • Post and walk through the steps you will follow to add illustrations to the booklet:
  1. Reread the words on the page.
  2. Think about what is important in this part of the story.
  3. Choose an event from the text to draw.
  • Read aloud page 1 of the Narrative Booklet: Teacher Model:

"It was a beautiful day on the beach. I was with my dog. I had my hammer with me. I was thinking about the interesting creatures that had lived a long time ago."

  • Think aloud to model brainstorming what was important on the page:

"This part of the story mostly talks about the setting and about what I am doing. That will be an important part of the story to draw."

  • Tell students that different artists have different ideas of what things may look like. As we try our best to draw, we should use kind words when talking about each other's drawings and acknowledge how hard each artist has worked.
  • Display the Tools Paleontologists Use anchor chart. Pointing to several pictures of tools, remind students that they can use this resource as they draw the tools in their narratives.
  • Using only a pencil, begin to sketch into the drawing box on the page 1 of the Narrative Booklet: Teacher Model.
  • Think aloud as you model drawing a picture to match the text:

"The words said I was thinking, so I will draw a picture of myself. I will use what I learned in the Create lab about using shapes. I will draw a thinking bubble so that I can show what I was thinking about. I will also need to draw the beach and my dog" (continue until you have one person thinking on a beach).

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

"What helped me draw a picture to match my words?" (rereading the page, thinking about what happened that was important, thinking about what you could draw to match)

  • For students who may need additional support with oral language and processing: Allow ample wait time as students prepare their thinking for sharing orally. (MME, MMAE)
  • For ELLs: If students drew illustrations before or while they were drafting their Holly narratives, encourage them to discuss how these illustrations should be different. 

C. Independent Drawing: Drawing Pictures for Our Narratives (15 minutes)

  • Tell students it is their turn to draw pictures that match their words!
  • Invite students to reread page 1 from their Narrative Booklet and to think about what they can draw before beginning.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their writing partner:

"What important event did you choose from the page and how will you draw it?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Invite students to begin drawing.
  • Circulate to support students by brainstorming ideas of what to draw or shapes to use to draw their picture. Encourage students to try their best to draw things on their own. Remind them that they will come back to these pictures again to add details and color. Be sure to have students draw pictures for all of the pages in the booklet.
  • Give students a 2-minute warning to finish up their drawing. Encourage them not to rush to finish.
  • Collect students' Narrative Booklets to review and return in tomorrow's lesson, along with their Revising and Editing Checklists.
  • To support self-regulation and independence when giving students a warning before the transition, provide a clear routine for what to do with unfinished work and utilize a visual timer. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Notice and encourage students who especially enjoy independent drawing or who excel, helping to underscore their academic mindsets of belonging, success, and valuable work--in effect, not all academic mindset hinges on language learning, though activities such as drawing can contribute to language learning.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (5 minutes)

  • Give students specific, positive feedback for the work they did on their narrative today. (Example: "I noticed Toni was very focused on her work, even though it was a lot to do.")
  • Direct students' attention to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.
  • Tell students you noticed many of them using habits of character during their hard work today, and it is time to share with a partner what habit or habits of character you used!
  • Give students 30 seconds to independently read through the anchor chart.
  • Invite students to stand and turn and talk to an elbow partner:

"What habit of character did you use today during our hard work of writing a narrative?" (Responses will vary, but may include: I used perseverance when I wanted to just stop, I showed responsibility when I made sure my work looked its best.)

  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking. Invite students to stand, turn, and talk:

"What habit of character helped you succeed during our hard work of writing a narrative? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (I used perseverance when I wanted to just stop; I showed responsibility when I made sure my work looked its best.)

  • Share with students that, tomorrow, they will need to show perseverance to revise and edit their narratives.
  • To activate background knowledge, provide one or two examples of what each habit of character looks and sounds like. (MMR)

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