Speaking and Listening: Pollinator Presentations | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G2:M3:U3

Speaking and Listening: Pollinator Presentations

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In Unit 3, students revisit the module guiding question, "How do we get the fruits, flowers, and vegetables we enjoy?" to apply their understanding of plants and pollinators to their performance task. The performance task includes a board with illustrations and captions showing the pollination process of a specific plant and pollinator as well as a written reflection on how revision helped them. Their informational writing from Unit 2 (about the pollinator they researched in small groups) serves as the main resource of information used to create illustrations and captions about that same pollinator, supplemented by a text focused on specific fruits, flowers, and vegetables.

Students also continue to improve their scientific drawing skills through a series of mini lessons that support them as they create illustrations of their plant and pollinator. The Unit 3 Assessment, focused on speaking and listening, invites students to write and rehearse for the performance task for this module. As a culminating activity, students share their oral presentations and visual displays with an audience during the Celebration of Learning. In this presentation of the module performance task, they invite visitors to discover the "secret" behind the fruits, flowers, and vegetables we enjoy ... pollinators!

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How do we get the fruits, flowers, and vegetables that we enjoy?
  • Plants have various stages of development, including seed, plant, flower, and fruit, and this development largely depends on pollinators.
  • How do we become researchers and share our learning?
  • Plants and animals depend on each other.
  • Scientists use models to explain an idea or describe relationships.

The Four Ts

  • Topic: Plants and pollinators
  • Task: Speaking and Listening: Oral Presentations
  • Targets (CCSS explicitly taught and assessed): SL.2.4
  • Text: Pollinator texts:
    • "Forever Grateful, Flies and Wasps!"
    • "Thanks a Bunch, Beetles!"
    • "!Muchas Gracias, Butterflies and Moths!"
    • "Merci Beaucoup, Bees!"


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.

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English language arts standards and to be taught during the Integrated Literacy Block of the school day. The module also intentionally incorporates science content that many teachers across the nation are expected to address in second grade. These intentional connections are described below. (Based on your state or district context, teachers may also choose to address additional specific social studies or science standards during other parts of the school day.)

Science (based on NGSS):

  • 2-LS2-1
  • 2-LS2-2

  • 2-LS2-2

  • 2-LS2-2

Habits of Character/Social-Emotional Learning Focus

Central to EL Education's curriculum is a focus on "habits of character" and social-emotional learning. Students work to become effective learners, developing mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration); work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion); and work to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service).

In this module, students work to become ethical people by treating others with empathy and work to become effective learners by taking initiative and responsibility for their work, actions, and space. Throughout Unit 3, students practice empathic feedback as they engage in peer critique sessions combined with presentation practice


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 5-20 lessons. The “unit at a glance” chart in the curriculum map breaks down each unit into its lessons, to show how the curriculum is organized in terms of standards address, supporting targets, ongoing assessment, and protocols. It also indicates which lessons include the mid-unit and end-of-unit assessments.

Accountable Independent Reading

The ability to read and comprehend text is the heart of literacy instruction. Comprehension is
taught, reinforced, and assessed across all three components of this primary curriculum: Integrated
Module Lessons, Integrated Labs, and the K-2 Reading Foundations Skills Block (see the
module overview).
For Unit 3, during the independent reading in the Skills Block, reinforce the comprehension
skills and standards that students are practicing during the integrated Literacy block:

  • 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 multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

Supporting English Language Learners

The Meeting Students' Needs column in each lesson contains support for both ELLs and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), and some supports can serve a wide range of student needs. However, ELLs have unique needs that cannot always be met with UDL support. According to federal guidelines, ELLs must be given access to the curriculum with appropriate supports, such as those that are specifically identified as "For ELLs" in the Meeting Students' Needs column.

  • Prioritizing lessons for classrooms with many ELLs: Consider prioritizing and expanding instruction in Lessons 2-5 to support students as they write notes. This will provide them more time to process their source material and prepare the content of their presentations. Also, consider providing additional time for students to practice using their notes to give presentations in Lessons 7-12 and complete the Language Dive in Lesson 7. Consider placing less focus and condensing instruction on providing peer feedback in Lessons 5-12. Students may not be confident enough with the task itself to offer and accept extensive feedback. Consider scaffolding this by spending more time offering kind, specific, and helpful teacher feedback to model this skill.
  • Language Dives: ELLs can participate in an optional Language Dive in Lesson 7. Many lessons also include optional Mini Language Dives for ELLs. These Language Dives support ELLs and all students in deconstructing, reconstructing, and practicing the meaning and structures of sentences from What is Pollination? and key learning targets. The Language Dive goals remain the same as in previous modules; however, the new format goes beyond those goals by encouraging students to take more of a lead in the conversations and to build greater independence by taking an inquiry-based approach to language in general, and the selected sentence in particular. Refer to the Tools page for additional information.
  • Conversation Cues: Continue to encourage productive and equitable conversation with Goals 1-4 Conversation Cues, which are questions teachers can ask students to help achieve four goals: (Goal 1) encourage all students to talk and be understood; (Goal 2) listen carefully to one another and seek to understand; (Goal 3) deepen thinking; and (Goal 4) think with others to expand the 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). Refer to the Tools page for the complete set of cues.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Investigate the routines, practices, rituals, beliefs, norms, and experiences that are important to ELLs and their families. Integrate this background into the classroom as students explore an informational text taking place across different cultures and countries. As students begin practicing their oral presentations, be aware that certain norms of communication, such as making eye contact, may be inappropriate in some cultures. Respect home cultures while empowering students with knowledge of academic communication normsn the United States. Consult with a guidance counselor, school social worker, or ESL teacher for further investigation of diversity and inclusion concerns.
  • Reading nonfiction text and writing notes: Students will read new nonfiction texts about pollinators independently and in groups as they write notes. Group students strategically so that at least one student can read the texts aloud to the group. Consider working closely with a small group of students who need heavier support as they write notes based on the information in the texts.
  • Performance Task Poster and oral presentations: Students will create a poster from their scientific drawings and present it during their Celebration of Learning in Lesson 13. Students will receive extensive practice rehearsing their presentations using the notecards they created. Some students may find oral presentations challenging, as they may grapple with the language itself. Provide additional opportunities for ELLs to practice their presentations. Invite confident students to coach those who may need heavier support. Consider allowing students more time to observe their classmates before presenting themselves.
  • Celebration: Celebrate the courage, enthusiasm, diversity, and bilingual skills that ELLs bring to the classroom.

Preparation and Materials

For basic lesson preparation, refer to the materials list and Teaching Notes in each lesson. The following are unusual materials that may take more time or effort to organize or prepare.

  • Lesson 1: Assorted (real) fruits, flowers, and vegetables to display

Technology and Multimedia

  • YouTube - Introducing the concept: Students watch a video showing the process of seed germination. Students watch a video to learn about seed dispersal.
  • PBS Learning Media - Engaging Students: Students watch this video to learn about pollination.
  • Google Docs - Create shared writing in online format: Students' shared writing piece about pollination is recorded in a google document, which can be viewed by students' families.
  • SeeSaw - Record whole class singing: Students are recorded while singing "It's Pollination Time!"and this song is uploaded so it can be shared with students' families.
  • Document Camera - Modeling: Students watch as the teacher models closely observing photographs of bees. *Students view a model of high quality work closely.
  • Youtube - Engaging students; Students watch a video to see the pollination process up close.
  • Kids Doodle - Drawing: Students can draw their scientific drawing using this app.
  • Vimeo - Modeling: Students watch a video that shows a student using a poster board during her presentation.
  • Video recording device - Recording: Students' presentations can be recorded to use as models for future students.


Labs are 1 hour of instruction per day. They are designed to promote student proficiency and growth.

There are 5 distinct Labs: Explore, Engineer, Create, Imagine, and Research. Each of the Labs unfolds across an entire module and takes place in four stages: Launch, Practice, Extend, and Choice and Challenge.

During their Lab time, students break up into smaller Lab groups and go to separate workstations (tables or other work spaces around the classroom). This structure creates a small collaborative atmosphere in which students will work throughout their Labs experience. It also supports the management of materials (since each workstation has its own materials).

Optional: Community, Experts, Fieldwork, Service, and Extensions


  • Involve the help of any family members who are avid gardeners. Invite them to visit the classroom and share their experiences growing various fruits, flowers, or vegetables.
  • If the school has a community garden, invite the students who helped to create it and/or care for it to visit the classroom and share their experiences.


  • Invite a gardener, botanist, or entomologist to visit the classroom and share their knowledge about plants and pollinators.


  • Take the class to a local community garden and invite students to share what they notice and wonder about the plants there. Invite students to look closely to observe any pollinators in the garden.
  • Take the class to a farmer's market or supermarket.


  • Contact the school groundskeeper/landscaper and invite students to help with the watering and care of plants around the school grounds.
  • Visit and share plant drawings with residents of an elderly community.


  • Plant bean seeds and care for them until they grow into plan

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