Reading Informational Texts: What is a Plant? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M3:U1:L3

Reading Informational Texts: What is a Plant?

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.2.1: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
  • RI.2.2: Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
  • RI.2.5: Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • RI.2.6: Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
  • RI.2.7: Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • W.2.7: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • SL.2.1: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can answer questions using information from the text to learn about plants. (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.6)
  • I can use text features to efficiently locate information in the text Seed to Plant. (RI.2.5, RI.2.7)

Ongoing Assessment

  • During the focused reading in Work Time B, use the Reading Informational Text Checklist to track students' progress toward RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.3, RI.2.4, RI.2.5, RI.2.6, and RI.2.7 (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • After Work Time B, collect students' Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I to review page 3 and measure progress toward RI.2.1, RI.2.2, and RI.2.6.
  • During Work Time C, listen for students to provide information for the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart using information from the text Seed to Plant (W.2.7, SL.2.1)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Introducing the Unit 1 Guiding Question: How Do Plants Grow and Survive? (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Engaging the Reader: Text Features in Seed to Plant (15 minutes)

B. Focused Partner Reading: Seed to Plant, Pages 1-7 (20 minutes)

C. Shared Writing: Plant Frayer Model (10 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards: 

  • In this lesson, students are introduced to the Unit 1 guiding question: "How do plants grow and survive?" This question drives the Frayer model work and focused reading that occurs throughout Unit 1 as students build important background knowledge about plants. In the Opening and Work Time B, students revisit the What Researchers Do anchor chart as they work like researchers to "ask and answer questions."
  • In Work Time A, students are introduced to the Text Features anchor chart. This chart serves as a resource for students as they engage with informative text and need support in using text features to locate information efficiently. Additional text features will be added to the anchor chart throughout Unit 1.
  • In Work Time B, students participate in focused reading of an excerpt Seed to Plant. As students move into the second half of the school year, focused read-alouds transition to focused reading. While still being highly guided by the teacher, read-alouds shift more responsibility to students, who are expected to read some or all of the text themselves. In this session of focused reading, students hone their skill of determining the main idea and key details and begin to prepare for the Unit 1 reading assessment that occurs in Lesson 6.
  • In Work Time B of this lesson, ELLs may participate in Day 2 of an optional Language Dive that guides them through the meaning of a sentence from Plant Secrets using a new Language Dive format to be introduced to all students in greater detail during Lesson 8. Although students should briefly discuss all chunks in the Language Dive sentence, the new format invites them to slow down during one chunk to focus on a compelling language structure. The focus of this Language Dive is using knowledge of individual words to predict the meaning of compound words (L.2.4d). Students then apply their understanding of the meaning and structure of this sentence when recording information in their Plants and Pollinators research notebook and completing their unit assessment. Refer to the Tools page for additional information regarding a consistent Language Dive routine. Preview the Language Dive Guide and consider how to invite conversation among students to address the language goals suggested under each sentence strip chunk (see supporting Materials). Refer to the Tools page for additional information regarding a consistent Language Dive routine.
  • This lesson is the third in a series of three that include built-out instruction for the use of Goal 4 Conversation Cues. Conversation Cues are questions teachers can ask students to promote productive and equitable conversation (adapted from Michaels, Sarah and O'Connor, Cathy. Talk Science Primer. Cambridge, MA: TERC, 2012. Based on Chapin, S., O'Connor, C., and Anderson, N. [2009]. Classroom Discussions: Using Math Talk to Help Students Learn, Grades K-6. Second Edition. Sausalito, CA: Math Solutions Publications). Goal 4 Conversation Cues encourage students to think with other students to expand the conversation. Continue drawing on Goal 1-3 Conversation Cues, introduced in Modules 1-2, and add Goal 4 Conversation Cues throughout Modules 3-4 to more strategically promote productive and equitable conversation. Refer to the Tools page for additional information on Conversation Cues. Consider providing students with a thinking journal or scrap paper.

How this lesson builds on previous work: 

  • In Lesson 2, students were introduced to the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I. In this lesson and throughout the rest of Unit 1, students use this notebook to track their learning and work as researchers.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • In Work Time C, students may find searching for specific information in Seed to Plant to be a challenge. Consider strategically pairing these students with a capable reader who can help them navigate the text successfully.

Down the road: 

  • In Work Time B, students use Seed to Plant to participate in focused reading. Students continue to complete focused reading for this text in Lessons 3-6 and 8-9. In Lesson 6, students complete the Unit 1 Assessment using pages 14-15 of the text.

In Advance

  • Prepare the Plants and Pollinators Word Wall card for the word plant.
  • Strategically pair students for focused reading during Work Time B. Consider partnering students with varying levels of reading proficiency. The students with greater reading proficiency can serve as models in their partnership.
  • Pre-divide the class into three groups for working with the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart in Work Time C.
  • Pre-distribute Materials for Work Time B at student workspaces.
  • Preview the Language Dive Guide and consider how to invite conversation among students to address the language goals suggested under each sentence strip chunk (see supporting Materials).
  • Post: Learning targets, Plants and Pollinators Word Wall, 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 and 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.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 2.I.A.1, 2.I.B.5, 2.I.B.6, and 2.I.C.10 

Important points in the lesson itself 

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to use a graphic organizer to build and consolidate content knowledge about plants.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to comprehend the discussion about text features and to answer the questions during the text feature walk. Emphasize the text features by covering them up on one copy of Seed to Plant and then revealing them. Challenge students with conversation cues. (Example: "What if there was no caption?") Consider pasting copies of relevant pages and excerpts from Seed to Plant on the Text Features anchor chart to explicitly illustrate each text feature.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During Work Time B, ask probing questions and prompt students to explain exactly why they chose one item instead of the others. (Example: "Why isn't b the answer to Number 2? Plants do have green leaves!")

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time C, consider placing students who need heavier support in the group assigned to generate examples. Engaging with a less challenging task may scaffold student participation with the Frayer model.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In Work Time B, students listen to Seed to Plant in a focused reading. During this read-aloud, students notice facts about seeds and plants, then use this information to answer questions. This transfer of information into knowledge that students can use requires metacognitive skills and strategies. Some students may need support in summarizing, connecting, and remembering the information presented. Provide scaffolds to students to support diverse abilities in using these strategies, such as manipulatives to guide students in new understandings. (Example: Provide students with index cards of images or words of the key features for understanding the text. Invite students to use these index cards to support their thinking as they answer questions in Work Time C.)
  • Multiple Means of Action & Expression (MMAE): In this lesson, students listen to a focused reading of Seed to Plant, then use information from the text to answer questions during shared writing. Continue to support students in setting appropriate goals for their effort and the level of difficulty expected.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): As students engage with the text during the focused read-aloud, some may need additional support in linking the information presented back to the learning target ("I can answer questions using information from the text to learn about plants."). Invite students to make this connection by explicitly highlighting the utility and relevance of the text to the learning target. (Example: Provide an index card with the unpacked learning target for students to reference during the close read-aloud.) Include opportunities to refocus students? attention to the learning target throughout the close read-aloud, and invite students to respond to how the text is supporting their instructional goal.

Vocabulary

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

New

text features, efficiently, table of contents, headings, captions, plant, key detail (L)

Review

initiative, gist, main idea (L

Materials

  • Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting Materials) ?What Researchers Do anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Seed to Plant (one per student and one to display; for teacher read-aloud)
  • Reading Informational Text Checklist (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.5, RI.2.6, and RI.2.7) (for teacher reference; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Text Features anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A; see supporting Materials)
  • Text Features anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I (begun in Lesson 2; page 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Pencils (one per student)
  • Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I (from Lesson 2; example, for teacher reference)
  • Language Dive Guide I: Plant Secrets (from Lesson 2; optional; for ELLs; for teacher reference)
    • Language Dive Chunk Chart I: Plant Secrets (from Lesson 2; optional; for ELLs; for teacher reference)
    • Language Dive Sentence Strip Chunks I: Plant Secrets (from Lesson 2: optional; for ELLs; one to display)
    • Language Dive Note-catcher I: Plant Secrets (from Lesson 2: optional; for ELLs; one per student and one to display)
  • Plant Frayer Model anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time C; see supporting Materials)
  • Plant Frayer Model anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Sticky notes (two to three per pair and one for teacher modeling)
  • Plants and Pollinators Word Wall card (new; teacher-created; one)
  • Plants and Pollinators Word Wall (new; teacher-created; see Teaching Notes)

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. Introducing the Unit 1 Guiding Question: How Do Plants Grow and Survive? (5 minutes) 

  • Invite students to the whole group area.
  • Display the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart and read aloud the question:
    • "How do plants grow and survive?"
  • Remind students that a guiding question helps them focus their learning because it is an important question about the topic of plants. Go on to explain that researching this question will help them to understand more about where the fruit, flowers, and vegetables they enjoy come from.
  • Direct students' attention to the What Researchers Do anchor chart and reread the first line and bullet:
    • "Researchers take initiative to learn about the world around them. To find out more about it, they ... ask and answer questions."
  • Review the definition of initiative. (I see what needs to be done and I do it.)
  • Confirm that researchers take initiative in their learning by asking and answering questions, and the Unit 1 guiding question is one students will work as researchers to answer throughout this unit.
  • For ELLs: (Collocation) Say: "The word initiative is often used with the word take and can be learned and used together as a phrase." Examples:
    • "I take initiative when _____." (I see what needs to be done and I do it.)
    • "I take initiative by _____." (seeing what needs to be done and doing it.)
    • "I took initiative when I _____."(saw what needed to be done and I did it.)
  • For students who may have difficulty with using the far-point displayed anchor chart: Consider providing individual copies of the Unit 1 Guiding Question anchor chart as a near-point display of information for reference. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader: Text Features in Seed to Plant (15 minutes) 

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the second one aloud:
  • "I can use text features to efficiently locate information in the text Seed to Plant."
  • Display the cover of Seed to Plant. Consider using the Reading Informational Text Checklist (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.5, RI.2.6, and RI.2.7) during this focused reading session (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Open to pages 4-5 and point to the text. Share that this part is called the text, or the words the reader reads.
  • Point to the heading, labels, and pictures on pages 4-5. Share that these other parts are called the text features. Explain that text features are all the other parts that give the reader more information about the topic and help them find information efficiently.
  • Share that efficiently means you can do something well without wasting any time. Researchers often need to read to find information quickly. It is important for them to know how to use text features, and it is important for students as they research pollinators, too!
  • Direct students' attention to the Text Features anchor chart.
  • Share that on this anchor chart, the class will list important text features and how they help the reader find information.
  • Read the title aloud: "Seed to Plant."
  • Tell students now they will go on a text feature walk to locate text features.
  • Display page 3 of the text and read the title: Table of Contents."
  • Invite students to read page 3 with their partner, looking for the chapter that begins on page 4. Instruct students to show a quiet thumbs-up when they have located this chapter.
  • After 30 seconds, refocus students and ask:

"What chapter is found on page 3?" ("What Is a Plant?")

  • Read the first text feature listed on the Text Features anchor chart aloud: "Table of Contents."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How does the Table of Contents help the reader?" (helps you find where to read)

  • Add "helps you find where to read" to the first bullet on the Text Features anchor chart. Refer to the Text Features anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Display pages 4-5 of the text and read the heading:
    • "What Is a Plant?"
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What do you think this section of the text is about?" (what plants are, what they look like)

  • Confirm that this section of the text defines what plants are.
  • Read the second text feature listed on the Text Features anchor chart aloud: "Headings."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How do headings help the reader?" (tell what a section of text is about)

  • Add "tell what a section of text is about" to the second bullet on the Text Features anchor chart. Refer to the Text Features anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Pointing to each caption on pages 4-5, read them aloud: "White water lily, fern, tangerine tree, orchid."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What information does this give the reader?" (information about the picture, name of what is in the picture)

  • Confirm that these words give information about what is in the picture: different plants!
  • Read the third text feature listed on the Text Features anchor chart aloud: "Captions"
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How do captions help the reader?" (give information about the picture)

  • Add "give information about the picture" to the third bullet on the Text Features anchor chart. Refer to the Text Features anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Turn and Talk:

"How do text features help you as a researcher?" (find information quickly, get more information)

  • Confirm that using text features will help students in their research of pollinators!
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: (Summarizing the Target) Ask students to summarize and then personalize the learning targets. (MMR)
  • When using a total participation technique, minimize discomfort or perceived threats and distractions by alerting individual students that you are going to call on them next. (MME)

B. Focused Partner Reading: Seed to Plant, Pages 1-7 (20 minutes) 

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and read the first one aloud:
  • "I can answer questions using information from the text to learn about plants."
  • Confirm that students will answer questions about plants using information from the text, which is important work that researchers do.
  • Referring to the posted What Researchers Do anchor chart, read aloud the third bullet:
    • "Gather information from texts."
  • Displaying Seed to Plant, read pages 4-7 aloud for gist.
  • Review gist (what the text is mostly about).
  • Confirm the gist with students. (what plants are and why they are important)
  • Remind students that the main idea is the main point or overall idea in a text or section of a text.
  • Define key details as details that support, or tell more about, the main idea.
  • Share that the main idea is often found at the beginning of the paragraph, page, or chapter, followed by key details.
  • Transition students to workspaces where pre-distributed copies of Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I and pencils are available. Invite students to open to page 3 of their notebooks.
  • Display page 3 of the Plants and Pollinators research notebook and orient students to the directions.
  • Display pages 4-5 of Seed to Plant.
  • Invite students to sit next to their pre-determined reading partner.
  • Instruct partners to read pages 4-5 of Seed to Plant together, paying attention to the main idea on these pages.
  • After 1-2 minutes, refocus students whole group.
  • Referring to page 3 of the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I, read Question 1 aloud:

"What is the main topic the author describes on page 4?"

  • Prompt students to work with their partner to answer Question 1. Refer to the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • After 1-2 minutes, refocus students whole group and confirm the correct answer to Question 1. (b. What plants are)
  • Referring to the text on pages 4-5, confirm that this main idea is found in several places: the title (What Is a Plant?) and the focus statement on page 4 ("A plant is a living thing."). Point out that the text on pages 4-5 provides key details about what plants are.
  • Repeat this process for Question 2 on page 3 of the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I. (a. It stays in one place) Refer to the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Referring to the text on page 4, confirm that this answer is correct because this key detail is in the text.
  • Repeat this process with pages 6-7 of Seed to Plant and Questions 3 and 4 on page 3 of the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I. (b. How plants are important in the world; c. They give us food.) Refer to the Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Invite students back to the whole group area, bringing their copies of Seed to Plant with them.
  • Turn and Talk:

"What is one thing you learned about plants from this text?" (Responses will vary, but may include: Plants are living things. They are important in the world. They stay in one place. They grow and change; description of plants) 

  • If productive, use a Goal 4 Conversation Cue to encourage 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."

  • Encourage students that they are working hard to read like researchers do and learn a lot about plants!
  • For ELLs: During or after Work Time B, guide students through Day 2 of a two-day Language Dive. Refer to Day 2 of Language Dive Guide I: Plant Secrets and Language Dive Chunk Chart I: Plant Secrets. Distribute and Display Language Dive Sentence Strip Chunks: Plant Secrets and Language Dive Note-catcher II: Plant Secrets.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: (Rephrasing Selected Response) Encourage students to rephrase each selected response question--and answer it--before they read each answer choice. (Example: "Think about what the question is asking. Look at the first question. How else can we ask this question?" ("What are pages 4 and 5 mostly about?") (MMR)
  • Before reading, provide white boards and white board markers as an option for students to record (in drawing or writing) their ideas. This helps scaffold active listening for key details. (MMR, MMAE

C. Shared Writing: Plant Frayer Model (10 minutes) 

  • Direct students' attention to the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart.
  • Share that this chart is a place to gather important information about plants.
  • Read the section titles aloud:
    • "Definition."
    • "Characteristics."
    • Examples."
    • Visuals."
  • Briefly review the meaning of each section:
    • "Definition: what the word 'plant' means.
    • "Characteristics: qualities or ways to describe plants."
    • "Examples: examples of plants."
    • "Visuals: illustrations or photos that show plants."
  • Invite one student to come to the front and become your reading partner as you model searching for information about the definition.
  • Display pages 4-5 of Seed to Plant and model thinking aloud about how to search for and mark information found. Say:
    • "First, let's read page 4 to ourselves: 'A plant is a living thing. It stays in one place. But it grows, just like you and me.'"
    • "Ooh, I think 'a living thing' is a definition of a plant. It tells what a plant is."
    • "Let's put a sticky note on those words to help us remember what we found."
  • Orient students to the Definition section of the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart and record the information found: "a living thing." Refer to the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Share that students will now reread pages 4-7 with an elbow partner and look for more information in the text to fill in the remaining sections on the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart. Tell them that they will be responsible for one section of the chart.
  • Divide pairs of students into two pre-determined sections: Characteristics and Examples.
  • Confirm each group's job. Say:
    • "Characteristics group: Look for ways to describe plants."
    • "Examples group: Look for examples of plants."
  • Distribute sticky notes.
  • Allow students 2-3 minutes to reread pages 4-7 and mark evidence that matches their section using sticky notes.
  • Refocus students whole group.
  • Orient students to the Characteristics section of the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart and invite several students in the corresponding group to share the information found from the text. As students share out, capture their responses in the Characteristics section of the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart. Refer to the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Repeat this process to share and record evidence in the Examples sections of the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart.
  • Show students the Plants and Pollinators Word Wall card for plant (a living thing that stays in one place and grows and changes) and follow the same process established in Modules 1 and 2: provide its definition, clap out its syllables, use it in a sentence, and place the Word Wall card and picture for it on the Plants and Pollinators Word Wall.
  • For ELLs and students who may need background knowledge support: (Reviewing Work) To refresh students' memories about Frayer models, briefly display and review the Frayer model created in 2M1. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: (Whole Class Practice) Before dividing students into groups, consider working as a class to practice using sticky notes to identify evidence for one item on the Frayer model. Think aloud the cognitive process for determining evidence. (Example: "So we are looking for ways to describe, or tell more about plants. Can you anyone help me find evidence for that?")
  • For students who may need additional support with reading: Strategically pair students with a peer model who will support students' efforts at reading pages 4-7. (MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes) 

  • Direct students' attention to the What Researchers Do anchor chart. Point out that they took initiative as researchers today when they explored text features, answered questions about Seed to Plant, and added to the Plant Frayer Model anchor chart.
  • Invite students to think quietly to answer this question:

"You took initiative to learn new information about plants today. What is one thing you learned?" (Responses will vary.)

  • If productive, use a Goal 4 Conversation Cue to encourage students to compare their ideas:

"How is what Kasia said the same as/different from what David said? I'll give you time to think." (Responses will vary.)

  • Instruct students to write a sentence to record what they learned on page 3 in their Plants and Pollinators research notebook, Part I.
  • Refocus whole group and invite students to share their sentence with an elbow partner.
  • After 2-3 minutes or when all students have recorded and shared their writing, refocus whole group.
  • Preview tomorrow's work by sharing that students will continue to work as researchers to learn about plants and how their parts work!
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with organizing ideas for written expression: (Verbal Writing Practice) Provide students an opportunity to verbally recount their learning and rehearse their sentence with a partner before writing. This may allow them additional time to organize their thinking. (MMAE)
  • For students who may need additional support with self-regulation: 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)

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