Writing a Pourquoi Tale: A Resolution to the Problem | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M2:U1:L10

Writing a Pourquoi Tale: A Resolution to the Problem

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.3.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.3.3a: Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  • W.3.3b: Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
  • W.3.3c: Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order.
  • W.3.3d: Provide a sense of closure.
  • W.3.4: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
  • W.3.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • L.3.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.3.3a: Choose words and phrases for effect.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can write the end of a pourquoi tale that provides a resolution to the problem and wraps up my story. (W.3.3a, W.3.3b, W.3.3c, W.3.3d, W.3.4, W.3.5, L.3.3a)
  • I can use temporal words and phrases to show the order of events. (W.3.3c, L.3.3a)

Ongoing Assessment

  • End of a pourquoi tale (W.3.3a, W.3.3b, W.3.3c, W.3.3d, W.3.4, W.3.5, L.3.3a)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Returning Mid-Unit 1 Assessment (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Mini Lesson: Temporal Words and Phrases (10 minutes)

B. Analyzing "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" Class Narrative (5 minutes)

C. Independent Writing: End of a Pourquoi Tale (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Independent Practice: Planning a Pourquoi Tale (10 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 write the end of their independent pourquoi tale (W.3.3, W.3.3a, W.3.3d). Similar to Lesson 9, they are reminded to use vocabulary logs and the domain-specific Word Wall to ensure that their language is precise and interesting (L.3.3, L.3.3a). There is also a mini lesson about temporal words to address W.3.3c.
  • In the interest of time, students revise and edit their pourquoi tale as they go. Those who require more writing time may not be able to thoroughly revise and edit their pourquoi tales, but this isn't an emphasis of this unit.
  • Students who finish quickly or require an extension can illustrate the end of their story.
  • 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.

How it builds on previous work:

  • In Lessons 5, 7, and 8, students planned their independent pourquoi tales. In Lessons 8-9 they wrote the beginning and middle of their narratives, and in this lesson they write the ending.
  • Continue to use Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • Some students may require more time to orally tell the ending of their story with a peer or an adult before writing.
  • Some students may need time to sketch their ending or act it out before they write.
  • Some students may require support with writing. Consider allowing them to use word processing software, slant boards, speech-to-text technology, or a scribe.

Assessment guidance:

  • Use the appropriate sections of the Narrative Writing Rubric to guide your feedback as you review student work.

Down the road:

  • Students will write a new pourquoi tale for the End of Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 13. The scaffolding in the lessons leading up to the assessment will help students understand the steps they need to take to write a pourquoi tale independently.

In Advance

  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessments are returned to students with feedback in this lesson. Ensure that you have provided feedback for each student.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time C: Students type their drafts using Google Docs or other word processing software.
  • Work Time C: Students complete their drafts in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like Dictation.io.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 3.I.C.10, 3.II.A.1, 3.II.A.2, 3.II.B.5.

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to see all of their work on narratives finally coming together as they finish their stories.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to create a clear text structure and cohesive narrative. To reinforce their understanding of text structure, review students' writing with them while they are working independently. Encourage them to reread what they wrote in previous lessons to make sure that their narratives are cohesive. Some students who are struggling with writing may feel pressure to finish. Assure them they will have time to finish and revise in the next lesson.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite students to identify and use varied linking language to create a cohesive narrative. For example, if students tend to rely on first, second, and third, encourage them to experiment with alternatives such as before, then, and as it turns out to add greater nuance and variation to their writing.
  • Ask students to explain and demonstrate the difference between transition words such as and and in addition.
  • Invite students to work as the expert in home language groups with students who need heavier support. The expert can explain how to use key English linking language such as and, also, another, and so in contrast with the usage in the home language. Provide the expert with simple sentences to link as a demonstration for other students.

For heavier support:

  • To use linking words effectively, ELLs need to begin to understand the English clause system. This concept may be new and possibly overwhelming for students. Unlike English, not all languages require a subject and a predicate to form an independent clause. However, nearly all languages use coordinating conjunctions to connect clauses. Use these facts as a departure point for talking with ELLs about English clauses. In general, students need to know that linking words can connect two independent clauses, an independent and a dependent clause, or two or more phrases or words. Temporal linking language can be used to introduce an independent clause. Remind them about their work in Units 1 and 2 on subject-predicates, independent clauses, and writing complete sentences. Be explicit about these grammar terms (or use equivalent terms, such as "complete thought" for "independent clause" and "incomplete thought" for "dependent clause"). Reassure them and encourage them to do their best, emphasizing that learning these terms and concepts will help them write clearly over time.
  • For ELLs and students who may need support organizing their ideas in writing: Consider marking places where temporal words could be added on their copy of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative so they can attempt revisions on their own rather than listening to peers offer suggestions.
  • For ELLs: Link the word web branches to cardstock cutouts or sticky notes and write the temporal words directly on the cards. Use a piece of tape or sticky tack to stick and unstick the cards to the board. When analyzing the class narrative, call on students to stick the temporal word cards in places where they would fit. Ask students to evaluate reasons why each place would or would not be an appropriate use of each temporal word or phrase.
  • Take a few moments to discuss the meaning of select temporal words on the Linking Words and Phrases handout. Call three students to the board and give them cardstock cutouts of the linking phrases first, next, and in the end. Have students stand in the order that each phrase might appear in a story.
  • Remove the linking words from a copy of the model essay, substituting the words with blank lines, and allow ELLs to add the correct linking word back into the blanks.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): This lesson offers a variety of visual anchors to cue students' thinking. For those who may need additional support, consider creating additional or individual anchor charts for reference. Additionally, chart student responses during whole class discussions to aid with comprehension. Some students may require additional scaffolding in visual representation, such as the use of graphic organizers, charts, highlights, or different colors. This will prompt them to visually categorize information into more manageable chunks and reinforce relationships among multiple pieces of information.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: This lesson includes writing time, during which some students may need additional support in building their writing stamina. Support them in increasing their persistence and effort by providing scaffolds that build an environment that is conducive to writing. Consider ways to vary methods for fine motor responses, such as offering options for drawing utensils (e.g., thick markers or colored pencils) and writing tools (e.g., fine-tipped markers, pencil grips, slant boards).
  • Multiple Means of Engagement: Invite students to make the connection between learning targets and activities in this lesson by explicitly highlighting the utility and relevance of each activity to the learning target. For example, provide an index card with the unpacked learning targets for students to reference during the lesson. Include opportunities to refocus students' attention to the learning target and invite students to respond to how each activity is supporting their instructional goal.

Vocabulary

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

  • resolution, temporal (L) 

Materials

  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Narrative Texts handout (from Lesson 2; one per student and one to display)
  • Linking Words and Phrases (from Module 1; one per student and one to display)
  • "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative (completed in Lesson 6; one to display)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (from Lesson 3; one to display)
  • Narrative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 8; one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Writing Checklist: Lesson 10 (example, for teacher reference)
  • Narrative Template: New "Why" Question (from Lesson 8; one per student)
  • Pourquoi tale (begun in Lesson 8; added to in Work Time C; one per student)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question (from Lesson 5; one per student)
  • Exit Ticket: A New "Why" Question (from Lesson 9; one per student)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: End of Unit 1 Assessment (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Returning Mid-Unit 1 Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Return students' Mid-Unit 1 Assessments with feedback.
  • Invite students to spend a few minutes reading through the feedback. If they require teacher support, encourage them to write their names on the board so you can visit with them in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: Reassure students that if they don't understand or cannot read the feedback, they will have an opportunity to review it during the lesson.

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and select a volunteer to read the first target aloud:

"I can write the end of a pourquoi tale that provides a resolution to the problem and wraps up my story."

  • Underline the word resolution. Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is a resolution?" (how the problem is solved)

  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Narrative Texts handout, focusing them on the criteria about the end of a story. Invite students to make connections between this criteria and the learning target.
  • Select a volunteer to read the next learning target aloud:

"I can use temporal words and phrases to show the order of events."

  • Underline the word temporal. Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Read the rest of the learning target after temporal words and phrases. What does this tell you about what temporal words and phrases might be?" (words that show the order of events)

"What do you think temporal means, now that you know that temporal words show the order of events?" (relating to time; a temporal word is a word about time)

  • Explain that temporal words and phrases show the passing of time in the story.
  • Ask:

"Why do you think it is important to have temporal words in a narrative?" (Narrative writing is in order, so it is important when events happen.)

  • Refocus students on their Narrative Texts handout, specifically on the criteria about using time words and phrases. Invite students to make connections between this criteria and the learning target.
  • Explain that today students will write the end of their pourquoi tales using the narrative plans they wrote in previous lessons. 
  • For students who may need additional support understanding the terms in the learning targets: Write synonyms or descriptions above key terms. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Practice pronouncing the word resolution, noting the shape of the mouth and positioning of the tongue. Clap out the syllables, emphasizing the stressed syllable: "re-so-LU-tion." Point out that the s in resolution makes a /z/ sound and remind students that sometimes an s sounds like a z.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mini Lesson: Temporal Words and Phrases (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that temporal words and phrases show the passing of time and the order events happen in a story.
  • Write "Temporal Words and Phrases" in a bubble on the board to begin a word web.
  • Provide an example of a temporal word: next. Draw a line connecting next to the "Temporal Words and Phrases" bubble. Explain that next shows the reader that this happens after the event described previously.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner to discuss other temporal words and phrases they have seen in stories.
  • Cold call students to share their responses and record appropriate responses on the board around the "Temporal Words and Phrases" bubble.
  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Linking Words and Phrases handout. Focus students on the temporal words and phrases in the right column and explain that they can use these in their stories to show the order of events and the passing of time more clearly.
  • If there are temporal words and phrases recorded on the word web on the board that aren't recorded on the handout, invite students to add to the handout.
  • Display the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative.
  • Select volunteers to read the narrative aloud.
  • Invite students to work in pairs to identify temporal words and phrases in the class narrative. Ask for volunteers to share out.
  • Underline temporal words and phrases on the displayed class narrative.
  • Invite students to discuss with an elbow partner whether adding temporal words and phrases would make the events in the class narrative clearer.
  • Revise the class narrative according to any appropriate suggestions students make.
  • Display the Narrative Writing Checklist and invite students to retrieve their own copies. Read the criteria relevant temporal words and phrases (W.3.3c and L.3.6) and invite students to either highlight or draw a symbol next to it as a reminder of the criteria for this lesson. They should choose a highlighter or symbol that is different from the ones used in previous lessons.
  • Ensure that students understand what the new criterion on the checklist requires of their writing.
  • Remind students that the Narrative Writing Checklist is for all pieces of narrative writing. Invite students to consider the Characteristics of My Pourquoi Tale column, where they can add criteria specific to this particular piece of writing, a pourquoi tale. Go through each of the rows they have highlighted/marked with a symbol and ask them to consider any specific criteria for this piece of writing. Refer to the Narrative Writing Checklist: Lesson 10 (example, for teacher reference) for ideas on how to provide general guidance for all students.
  • For students who may need additional support with fluency: Invite them to practice reading portions of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative in advance and then call on them to read aloud to the class during this lesson. Giving these students an opportunity for public success will build their confidence and internal motivation. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs: To facilitate discussion with elbow partners, use a sentence frame. Example: "The temporal word ____ would make the events clearer because it would tell when _______."

B. Analyzing "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" Class Narrative (5 minutes)

  • Focus students on the end of the story, where the problem is resolved and the story is wrapped up. Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What was the problem?" (Responses will vary depending on the story generated.)

"How is the problem resolved?" (Responses will vary depending on the story generated.)

"How is the story wrapped up?" (Responses will vary depending on the story generated.)

  • Display the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" and focus students on the End section.
  • Remind students of how they used the plan to write the class narrative. Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What evidence from the plan can you see in the end of the finished story?" (Students should identify evidence of how the problem is resolved and the point of the story.)

  • For students who have been color-coding throughout the unit: Invite them to continue using these colors to support their ability to find evidence of the plan in the finished story. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs: The figurative language wrap up may confuse some students who understand wrap up in the literal sense. Take a moment to use hand motions to demonstrate wrapping a present or package. Explain the analogy: "When we are finished with something, like getting a present or packing a box, we wrap it up and tie a bow around it. That's what we want to do with our stories. So wrap up means finish."

C. Independent Writing: End of a Pourquoi Tale (25 minutes)

  • Display the Narrative Writing Checklist again and read the criteria relevant to the end of a story (W.3.3d). Invite students to either highlight or draw a symbol next to it as a reminder of the criteria for this lesson.
  • Ensure that students understand what the new criterion on the checklist requires of their writing.
  • Remind students that the Narrative Writing Checklist is for all pieces of narrative writing. Invite students to consider the Characteristics of My Pourquoi Tale column, where they can add criteria specific to this particular piece of writing, a pourquoi tale. Go through each of the rows they have highlighted/marked with a symbol and ask them to consider any specific criteria for this piece of writing. Refer to the Narrative Writing Checklist: Lesson 10 (example, for teacher reference) for ideas on how to provide general guidance for all students.
  • Give students 2-3 minutes to add anything specific to their particular pourquoi tale to the Characteristics of My Pourquoi Tale column of their checklist.
  • Focus students on the length of the end of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative. Tell students that the end of their stories should be no more than three sentences long.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner to say the end of their story aloud before they write it down.
  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully and seek to understand:

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

  • Ask students to retrieve their Narrative Template: New "Why" Question.
  • Invite students to reread their pourquoi tale and their Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question.
  • Remind students to use the domain-specific words recorded in the back of their vocabulary log, along with the words about frogs recorded on the domain-specific Word Wall, in their stories where appropriate. Remind them that this will help make their writing precise.
  • Invite students to begin writing. Write the following directions on the board for those who might finish quickly:
  1. Write the end of your story on the Solution/Resolution page. Make sure it follows on from the middle.
  2. Read everything that you have written, twice (the entire story).
  3. Fix any errors and revise your writing based on what you notice.
  4. Find someone else who has finished and pair up with him or her to read each other's work and make kind and helpful suggestions using the criteria on the Narrative Writing Checklist.
  5. Practice reading your story aloud.
  • Circulate to answer questions about Mid-Unit 1 Assessment feedback and to support students in writing the end of their narratives. Provide reminders of the suggested length.
  • Invite students to record 'Y' for 'Yes' and the date in the final column of their Narrative Writing Checklist if they feel the criteria marked on their checklists have been achieved in their writing in this lesson.
  • Focus students on the learning targets. Read each one 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.
  • For students who may need additional support organizing materials: Consider modeling where to place the vocabulary log, graphic organizers, and the Narrative Writing Checklist on students' workspace. Think aloud how best to use these resources, including how to return to the Narrative Writing Checklist as a reminder of criteria during Work Time C. (MMAE)
  • For students who may need additional support understanding the purpose of the Characteristics of My Pourquoi Tale column: Allow them to work with a partner to add specifics to their checklist. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Model using the Narrative Writing Checklist, Narrative Planning graphic organizer, and Linking Words and Phrases handout to write three sentences so that students are clear about the process.
  • For ELLs and students who may need support organizing their ideas in writing: Provide sentence frames for prompting and support. Example: "Finally,__(character)__ was happy because __________. And that's why __(point of the story)___." (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Independent Practice: Planning a Pourquoi Tale (10 minutes)

  • Return students' Exit Ticket: A New "Why" Question from Lesson 9. Remind them that this exit ticket shows the "why" question they chose to answer in a new pourquoi tale in the End of Unit 1 Assessment.
  • Distribute the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: End of Unit 1 Assessment. Remind students that they have already used this planner in this unit to plan their first pourquoi tale.
  • Tell students that they are going to begin planning their new pourquoi tale for the End of Unit 1 Assessment during the remaining time in this lesson.
  • Explain that their end of unit assessment will be an assessed piece of work, so they should work on their narrative planning independently.
  • Circulate to support students as they plan.
  • For ELLs and students who may be overwhelmed by using the Narrative Planning graphic organizer independently: Briefly model using the graphic organizer based on a "why" question before distributing it. (MMAE, 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: Refer to the suggested homework support in Lesson 1. (MMAE, MMR)

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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