Discovering Our Topic: Frogs | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M2:U1:L1

Discovering Our Topic: Frogs

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • RL.3.2: Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
  • RL.3.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
  • RL.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • RI.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • W.3.8: Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
  • SL.3.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • SL.3.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can infer about frogs and support my inferences with details and examples from the mystery quotes. (RL.3.1, SL.3.1, SL.3.1b)
  • I can find the gist of a pourquoi tale. (RL.3.4, L.3.4)
  • I can select a research reading book that I want to read. (RL.3.10, RI.3.10)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Participation during Mystery Quotes protocol (RL.3.1, SL.3.1, SL.3.1b)
  • Participation during unpacking of guiding questions (SL.3.1, SL.3.1b)
  • Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" (RL.3.4, L.3.4)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Discovering Our Topic: Mystery Quotes (15 minutes)
B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Introducing the Performance Task (10 minutes)
B. Reading for Gist: "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Launching Independent Reading (15 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students participate in the Mystery Quotes protocol to preview the poems and texts for this unit and as a way to build schema on the topic of frogs (RL.3.1, SL.3.1b).
  • In Work Time A, students consider the module's guiding questions and performance task prompt to help focus their work (SL.3.1b). See the Performance Task Overview for more information.
  • In Work Time B, students find the gist of an exemplar narrative text, "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." This text will be used throughout the unit as students build their understanding of the elements of narrative texts (RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.4, W.3.8).
  • In this unit, the habit of character focus is working to contributing to a better world. Throughout the rest of this unit, students will 'collect' characteristics of this aspect on a Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart. The characteristic they collect in this lesson when discussing the guiding questions is: apply my learning as I consider what experts do.
  • Throughout Module 1, students were introduced to Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation. Continue using Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues in this way, considering suggestions within lessons. See the Tools page for additional information on Conversation Cues.
  • The research reading students complete for homework helps to build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to frogs and specifically frog adaptations. By participating in this volume of reading over a span of time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of it.
  • Each unit in this module is accompanied by a Recommended Texts list with a variety of reading levels. Students should use the classroom, school, or local library to obtain book(s) about the topics under study at their independent reading level. These books can be used in a variety of ways: as independent and partner reading in the classroom whenever time allows, as read-alouds by the teacher to entice students into new books, and as an ongoing homework expectation. In this lesson, students browse and select one of these texts for reading throughout the unit.
  • Students practice their fluency in this lesson by following along and reading silently as the teacher reads "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" in Work Time B.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Students will continue to use their vocabulary log from Module 1 to collect new vocabulary in this module. As in Module 1, students will add new academic vocabulary to the front of the logbook and domain-specific vocabulary to the back of the book. You may wish to have students prepare the back of their books for the new module with a new section marked with flags or tabs.
  • The Academic Word Wall will continue to be added to in this module. This is a permanent word wall that is added to across the year.

Assessment Guidance:

  • Consider using the Speaking and Listening Informal Assessment: Collaborative Discussion Checklist during students' partner discussions in Opening A.
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist to gather baseline reading fluency data from students' independent reading books in Closing and Assessment A.
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Phonics and Word Recognition Checklist (Grade 3) to gather baseline phonics and word recognition data during students' independent reading in Closing and Assessment A.

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will analyze "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" for its structure and use this text as an exemplar as they plan a class narrative.

In Advance

  • Review the Mystery Quotes protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Prepare:
    • "I show respect."
    • Mystery Quotes strips.
    • Guiding Questions and Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor charts. See supporting materials.
    • Performance Tasks anchor chart. See Performance Task Overview.
    • Domain-Specific Word Wall. The Domain-Specific Word Wall changes from module to module, as the topic changes. Take down the words from module 1. Prepare cards or paper of a clearly visible size to be seen throughout the classroom to keep near the Word Wall. When recording words, you will record the word and definition clearly in student-friendly language. To foster cultural equity and maximize learning, you may also record translations in home languages in a different color next to the target word or invite students to write the translations. If students do not know the translation or how to write it, invite them to ask someone at home.
  • Review the Independent Reading: Sample Plans or prepare your own independent reading routine in preparation for launching independent reading in this lesson.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Opening A: Use a search engine to find images or videos of frogs. Consider that YouTube, social media video sites, and other website links may incorporate inappropriate content via comment banks and ads. Although some lessons include these links as the most efficient means to view content in preparation for the lesson, be sure to preview links and/or use a filter service, such as SafeShare.tv , for viewing these links in the classroom.
  • Work Time B: For students who will benefit from hearing the text read aloud multiple times to find the gist, consider using a text-to-speech tool like Natural Reader, SpeakIt! for Google Chrome or the Safari reader. Note that to use a web-based text-to-speech tool like SpeakIt! or Safari reader, you will need to create an online doc, such as a Google Doc, containing the text.
  • Work Time B: If a technology-based version of the text, such as a Word doc or Google Doc, is used, students can annotate the text for gist using the comments feature.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 3.I.B.5, 3.I.B.6.

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by providing necessary preliminary information that frames the module and the unit. This is helpful for ELLs because they will know what to expect in the weeks ahead.
  • ELLs may find making inferences challenging, especially with brand-new content. Inferencing can be culturally bound, so some ELLs may need help unpacking the unique logic behind someone's inference. They may need support explaining their own inferences. Challenge students to try their best but give them time throughout the unit to make steady progress.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Provide shorter sentence frames during Opening A. Example: "Another word for ..." "When I infer ..." This will prompt language while requiring students to generate more of their own syntax and content.
  • During the Mini-Language Dive in Work Time A, challenge students to generate questions about the sentence before asking the prepared questions. Example: "What questions can we ask about this sentence? Let's see if we can answer them together."

For heavier support:

  • Students may find the abundance of preliminary information challenging to absorb and to process in one sitting. To make this framing more comprehensible, display as many concrete examples as possible when discussing the unit. For example, show students a sample of a student-created pourquoi narrative. Take them on a visual "tour" of the module ahead. These visuals can also be displayed in a PowerPoint presentation.
  • Students may need reinforcement of key, lesson-specific vocabulary. When reviewing the vocabulary as a class, cold call students to check their comprehension of these concepts. Allow students to record the definitions in their Vocabulary Logs if they have not already done so.
  • Before reading "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue," frame the story so that students are primed to think about the gist of each part. Example: "This is a story about some frogs that have a contest. I wonder what kind of contest. What kind of contest do you think the frogs are going to have? Let's find out."
  • Prepare sticky notes with pre-written words or drawings based on the gist of "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." As students listen to the story, they can match the gist represented on the sticky notes with each part of the read-aloud.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): To better prepare students who may need additional support keeping up with the various parts of this lesson, preview the text "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" with them. This will support their comprehension of the text and activate their schema around frogs going into the lesson.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Because this lesson requires students to shift the focus of their thinking multiple times, consider quickly revisiting and pointing out learning targets throughout the lesson as an indicator for students that they will now be working on inferring about mystery quotes, supporting their inferencing, learning about the performance task, finding the gist, etc.. Some students who may need support attending to the task may also benefit from having a personal "map" of the lesson that they can physically point to or use to check off what they have accomplished and "see" what they need to focus on next.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Throughout this unit, sustained engagement and effort is essential for student achievement. Some students may need support to remember the goal for the work they are doing in this and future lessons. These students benefit from consistent reminders of learning goals and their value or relevance. Recall that students who may struggle with sustained effort and concentration are supported when these reminders are built into the learning environment.

Vocabulary

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

  • infer, inference, experts, build expertise, narrative texts, contributing, apply my learning, gist (L)
  • practice, opened, delicious, skilled, combined, flexible, relaxing, flick (T)

Materials

  • Mystery Quotes strips (one strip per student and a list of quotes to display)
  • Pictures of frogs (for display; see Technology and Multimedia)
  • Guiding Questions anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see Performance Task Overview)
  • "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" (one per student and one to display)
  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" (one per student and one to display)
  • Vocabulary logs (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Academic Word Wall (started in Module 1)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (new; teacher-created; see teaching notes)
  • Independent Reading: Sample Plans (stand-alone document; for teacher reference)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Discovering Our Topic: Mystery Quotes (15 minutes)

  • Build up excitement for this module and unit by explaining that today students will begin learning about a new topic that they will study and write about over the next several weeks.
  • Tell students they will use the Mystery Quotes protocol to make inferences about their new topic of study.
  • Ask students to turn and talk to a partner:

"What does it mean to infer?" (You use what you know and what the text says to figure out something the author doesn't specifically say.)

  • Clarify and provide an example as needed. Clarification: "To make an inference, a reader uses what he or she already knows about a topic and combines it with the text he or she read to figure out something that the author does not explicitly tell the reader. It is a guess based on evidence." Example: If someone is crying, you might infer that he or she is sad.
  • Distribute Mystery Quotes strips and pair up students.
  • Invite students to tape their Mystery Quote strip to their partner's back without revealing the quote.
  • Ask students to find a new partner.
  • Give them 2 minutes to read the quote on their partner's back. Ask them to think of and provide a hint to their partner as necessary.
  • Give a signal and ask students to repeat steps 4-5.
  • Continue this process for 10 minutes, refocus the group, and ask students to each share a final inference about the meaning of their quote.
  • Display a list of the mystery quotes.
  • Invite students to guess which quote has been taped to their back. Ask volunteers to share how their inferences compare with the actual text.
  • Ask:

"What strategies did you use for inferring?" (Responses will vary.)

"What patterns or themes did you notice in all of the mystery quotes?" (They were all about frogs. They were descriptive.)

"What topic will we be studying throughout this module?" (frogs)

"What kinds of texts will we be reading and writing in this unit?" (poems and stories about frogs)

  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully:

"Who can repeat what your classmate said?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Display pictures of frogs and activate background knowledge about frogs and narrative writing by asking:

"What experience have you had with frogs?"

"What do you think about frogs?"

"Does anyone you know have experience with writing poems or stories?"

"One of the characters in our quotes is named Ranna. Rana means frog in a different language. Does anybody know which language?" (Spanish)

"What is the translation of frog in our home languages?" (Qingwa in Chinese)

  • Call on student volunteers to share. Ask other students to choose one translation to silently repeat. Invite students to say their chosen translation out loud when you give the signal. Chorally repeat the translations and the word in English. Invite self- and peer correction of the pronunciation of the translations and the English.
  • Display the Guiding Questions anchor chart. Invite students to chorally read each question aloud with you.
  • Ask students to focus on the first two questions: "What do experts do?" and "How do I build expertise about a topic?"
  • Ask students to turn and talk with an elbow partner, and then cold call students to share out:

"What does it mean to be an expert?" (someone who knows a lot about something)

  • Tell students that people become experts by studying a topic. They read books and articles, develop research questions about the topic, and look to books and other sources to answer their questions. Experts also share what they have been learning about a topic. Ask students to turn and talk with an elbow partner, and then cold call students to share out:

"What are some ways experts share what they have learned?" (They can write or present about it.)

"What do you think it means to build expertise in the second guiding question?" (to learn a lot about something)

  • Tell students that in this unit, they will build expertise about narrative texts. Explain that narrative texts tell a story. Reassure them that they will learn more about these kinds of texts throughout the unit. Ask them to turn and talk with an elbow partner, and then cold call students to share out:

"How can we build expertise about narrative texts?" (We can read examples and practice writing narrative texts.)

  • Invite students to focus on the third question: "How do frogs survive?" Tell them they will learn more about this guiding question in Units 2 and 3.
  • Focus students to the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart. Explain as it says at the top of the anchor chart that contributing means playing a part in or adding to. So, the focus of this aspect of character is about how they can play a part in making the world around them better. Explain that experts often put their learning to use to help the community around them.
  • Read aloud the habit of character recorded.
  • Invite students to tell the person what apply my learning means in their own words using the anchor chart as a guide.
  • Invite students to discuss with an elbow partner and cold call students to share their responses with the whole group:

"What does applying your learning look like? What might you see when someone is applying what they have learned?" (see Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)).

"What does applying your learning sound like? What might you hear when someone is applying what they have learned?" (see Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)).

  • Record student responses in the appropriate column on the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart.
  • Explain that as they work throughout this module, they will think about how they can apply what they have learned to help the world around them.
  • Record contributing and apply my learning on the academic word wall. Invite students to add translations of the words in their home languages.
  • Once again, remind students of the habit of character of focus: apply my learning.
  • For students who may benefit from visual aids: Consider sketching and posting a quick drawing to support their understanding of what it means to infer. For example, you may ask a student who is particularly fond of drawing to sketch a lightbulb + a book = inference to show that an inference is background knowledge plus what the text says. (MMR)
  • For students who may need additional support giving hints: Provide sentence frames for them to use when giving peers hints about their mystery quotes. For example, "Your quote has a character named ________" or "Your quote uses the action word _________." Model using these frames in advance. Also consider showing students how to choose just one key word from their peers' quotes to share with them as a hint for extra scaffolding. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Briefly use the Fishbowl protocol or model the procedure for Mystery Quotes so that students understand what they are expected to do.
  • For ELLs: For the Mystery Quotes protocol, place students in triads, preferably containing at least one student with advanced or native proficiency. If a student gets stuck while playing the game, there is always an extra group member to help.
  • For ELLs: Display examples of narrative texts students will encounter throughout the unit to visually prepare them and to motivate them to delve into the topic.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

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

"I can infer about frogs and support my inferences with details and examples from the mystery quotes."

  • Remind students that they just did this during the Mystery Quotes protocol.
  • Ask for a student volunteer to read the second learning target:

"I can find the gist of a pourquoi tale."

  • Explain that today they will have a chance to learn more about the final performance task for this module, and as part of learning about that they will read a new type of narrative text called a pourquoi tale for the gist. Remind students that they practiced reading for the gist throughout Module 1 and tell them that they will talk more about what this means later in the lesson.
  • Have students give a quick thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to indicate how well they understand today's learning targets.
  • For ELLs and students who may benefit from visual supports: Provide the opportunity to draw or sketch definitions, act them out, or list synonyms for key terms in learning targets, such as infer, based on, information, support, inferences, details and examples, gist, and pourquoi tale. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Ask about the learning target. Example: "What does it mean to support our inferences with examples?" (to say what we read in the Mystery Quotes that helped us make the inference) (MMR)
  • For ELLs: The "thumbs-up" and related signals may be offensive in some cultures. Explain to entering ELLs that these signals are okay in the United States or ask the class to develop signals that are acceptable in all cultures.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Performance Task (10 minutes)

  • Draw students' attention to the Performance Task anchor chart and read the first paragraph and the four bullet points below it aloud. Tell students that throughout the unit, they will read and write to build expertise about frogs. Explain that they will use what they have learned about frogs to create the Freaky Frog trading card in Unit 3.
  • Read the second paragraph aloud. Ask:

"Based on the prompt, who will be reading our books?" (other students)

"Why will they read our books?" (to learn more about frogs)

  • Explain that in each unit, they will work on a component of their books. By the end of the module, their books will be filled with narrative and informational texts about frogs.
  • Point to the first bullet point under "Your book will include" ("Pourquoi narrative to ...") on the Performance Task anchor chart and ask a volunteer to read it aloud:
    • "Pourquoi narrative to engage readers in the unique physical characteristics and behaviors of frogs"
  • Tell students they will work on this part of the performance task in this unit.
  • For students who may benefit from visual supports: Display examples of each aspect of the Freaky Frog book as you discuss that part of the performance task. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Display an example or mock-up of a Freaky Frog trading card so that students understand the description and gain a clearer sense of purpose.
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of the chunks of a key sentence from the lesson/text: After building expertise about frogs, share your expertise with others by creating an original book and a fun Freaky Frog trading card. Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples::
    • "What does original mean? Use your dictionaries. What is the translation of original in our home languages?" (new or unique; orijinal in Turkish) Invite all students in the class to repeat the translation in a different home language.
    • "What does it mean to share expertise?" (to teach somebody something you know well)
    • "What is a trading card?" (It's a card with pictures that people like to collect. Sometimes you can play games with them. You can trade them, too.)
    • "When will you make the trading card? Will you make the card first or will you build expertise first? How do you know?" (We will build expertise first. I know because it says after building expertise. It doesn't make sense to make the card before knowing about frogs.)

B. Reading for Gist: "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" (15 minutes)

  • Distribute copies of "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." Explain that over the next several lessons, students will use this text to begin building expertise about narrative texts.
  • Read it aloud for students without stopping, as they read along silently in their heads.
  • Ask students to turn and talk and use total participation techniques to invite students to share their responses with the whole group:

"What is the text about?" (Student responses may vary, but could include it's a story explaining why frogs have long tongues.)

  • Explain that today they will read this text for the gist. They will reread it more closely in Lesson 2, looking at what makes it a narrative.
  • Post and review the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart.
  • Tell students that the text is challenging and may have unfamiliar words. Reassure them that they are not expected to understand it fully the first time. Remind them that being willing to struggle is one key to being a strong reader of difficult texts.
  • Distribute and display Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." Tell students that they can draw or write in the gist column. These are just notes to help them remember what each excerpt is mostly about.
  • Display the first paragraph of "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." Read it aloud for the whole group and invite students to chorally read with you.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:
  • "What is the gist of this part of the text? What is it mostly about?" (It describes Kikker, a young frog.)

"Are you unsure about the meaning of some words? Which words are they?" (Responses will vary.)

"Choose a word you are unsure about the meaning of. Which strategy would be most effective in determining the meaning of that word?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Repeat this process as you read the remainder of the text.
  • Invite students to share any new words, adding any unfamiliar words to their vocabulary logs. Add any new words to the academic word wall and domain-specific word wall and invite students to add translations in native languages.
  • Focus students on the learning targets. Read the first two aloud, pausing after each to use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on their comfort level with or show how close they are to meeting each target. Make note of students who may need additional support with each of the learning targets moving forward.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they applied their learning in this lesson.
  • For students who may need support finding the gist: Consider highlighting or underlining key phrases in their individual copy of the text "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue" in advance. This will lift the gist up for them as they read along silently in their heads. (MMR)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Launching Independent Reading (15 minutes)

  • Launch independent reading. Refer to the Independent Reading: sample Plan to guide students through selecting books, or use your own routine.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with vocabulary: Encourage students to choose books even if the vocabulary is difficult. They can practice inferring the meaning of unfamiliar words and determining the gist. (MMR)
  • For students who may need additional support with reading stamina: Provide opportunities to take breaks at predetermined points. Let them choose from a list of appropriate break activities (e.g., getting a drink of water, stretching, etc.). (MME)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt to respond to in the front of your independent reading journal.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading and writing: For all homework assignments in this unit, read the prompts aloud. Students can discuss and respond to prompts orally, either with you, a partner, family member, or student from Grades 1 or 2, or record an audio response. If students have trouble writing sentences, they can begin by writing words. Consider providing a sentence starter or inviting students who need lighter support to provide sentence starters. (MMAE)

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. 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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