Writing Narrative Texts: Drafting the Middle of a Pourquoi Tale | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M2:U1:L5

Writing Narrative Texts: Drafting the Middle of a Pourquoi Tale

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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.3.4: 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 middle of a pourquoi tale that develops a sequence of events that unfolds naturally and shows the response of characters to the situation. (W.3.3a, W.3.4, W.3.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Participation in creation of the middle of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative (W.3.3a, W.3.4, W.3.5)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing a Model (15 minutes)

B. Shared Writing: Drafting the Middle of a Pourquoi Tale (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

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

4. Homework

A. Add illustrations to each page of "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful."

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

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • As in Lesson 4, students analyze the narrative model "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" to see an example of how the problem of a narrative is explained and how characters respond to the problem. This text is used as a model throughout the drafting process, in addition to "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue." "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" is an exemplar of narrative writing for students at the third-grade level.
  • In Work Time B, the teacher and students continue to draft a narrative text together, adding to the Beginning started in Lesson 4, both contributing their thoughts and ideas to the process while the teacher acts as scribe (W.3.3a, W.3.4, W.3.5). Shared writing enables teachers to make the writing process concrete and visible to students. This allows students to focus exclusively on the thinking involved in writing, not the process.
  • Shared writing is also a powerful way to model and guide key skills and concepts related to the writing process (e.g., organizing, drafting, revision, mechanics, and conventions). Students gain competence and confidence in their writing skills as the teacher models and guides the thinking process writers go through. Consider modeling, revising, or editing the completed narrative "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" based on students' identified areas for improvement.
  • In this unit, the habit of character focus is working to contribute to a better world. The characteristic they are reminded of in this lesson as they work as a class to draft the class pourquoi tale is: use my strengths.
  • 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.
  • Students practice their fluency in this lesson by chorally reading the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative in Work Time B.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Students continue to use "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" as a model when writing their class narrative.
  • Students use the class Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" to draft the middle of the class narrative.
  • Continue to use Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • Students who struggle with oral language and/or auditory processing may need additional support: Provide sentence frames for students to refer to during discussions.

Assessment Guidance:

  • Consider using the Writing: Writing Informal Assessment: Observational Checklist for Writing and Language Skills as students draft the class narrative in Work Time B and as they plan their own narrative in Closing and Assessment A.

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will continue to use the narrative plan developed in Lesson 3 to draft the remainder of the class narrative.
  • Students will continue to plan their own narrative in Lesson 7 and will use their plan to write their narrative throughout the second half of the unit.

In Advance

  • Post: Learning targets.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Digital narrative draft: Instead of using chart paper, record shared writing on a class Google Doc for students to refer to when working on their writing outside of class.
  • Closing and Assessment A: Students plan their narrative writing using a word processing tool such as a Word doc or a Google Doc. Using word processing tools will speed up the editing and revising process later in the unit.

Supporting English Language Learners

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

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by continuing to make explicit the plot structure of a narrative as well as why a writer writes a narrative and for whom. The lesson provides students with opportunities to express their interpretations of the text multiple times and in multiple ways.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to think of an original story that emulates a specific structure. During the shared writing, model thinking aloud to illuminate this relatively abstract process. Provide sufficient wait time for students to process and share their ideas.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite students to analyze why the Mini Language Dive sentence is complex, e.g., relative clause that begins with the reference pronoun that to describe the preceding phrase pourquoi tale. Suggest that they create a graphic organizer that helps them think about sentence complexity for key sentences throughout the module, or add their categories to the Language Chunk Wall.
  • In preparation for the mid-unit assessment, invite students to review the exit ticket from Lesson 4 and think aloud the process of choosing the best answer. Alternatively, have students create a similar exit ticket to provide additional practice answering selected response questions.

For heavier support:

  • Consider facilitating a discussion with some text-inspired questions about how students solve problems in their lives. This will help prime students to think of problems for the polliwog story. Examples: "What are some problems that you have at school? How do you solve them? What are some problems that you might have at home? How are the problems resolved?"
  • Write sentence frames in advance for the middle of the pourquoi tale to scaffold writing problems and solutions. Example: "The polliwog was upset because _________. So she decided to ____________."
  • In preparation for the mid-unit assessment, tell or remind students that when a word is written inside forward slashes, often in a dictionary, it signals how the word is pronounced. Example: "If I want to write how the word none is pronounced, I would write /nun/."

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): For students who may need additional support analyzing narratives: Provide some direct instruction in advance. Read "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" and model how to color-code various plot structures, using a format similar to the format used during the lessons. Discuss author's craft with these students and emphasize the importance of writing being organized to help readers understand. Focus on how an author creates a clear sequence of events in the middle of a narrative.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): During the shared writing, model thinking aloud to illuminate this process. Provide sufficient wait time for students to process and share their ideas. Consider providing an additional shared writing experience, using a format similar to the format used during the lesson but with a different "why" question.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Some students may need additional support in linking the information presented back to the learning targets. Invite students to make this connection by explicitly highlighting the utility and relevance of the text to the learning target.

Vocabulary

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

  • sequence of events, response of characters, dialogue, react, audience, purpose (L)
  • first, then, all of a sudden (W)

Materials

  • Blank paper (several pages per student)
  • "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" (from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Texts handout (from Lesson 2; one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (from Lesson 3; one per student and one for display)
  • Narrative Template: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (from Lesson 4; one to display)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (from Lesson 1)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (from Lesson 3; example, for teacher reference)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question (one per student)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (started in Lesson 1)
  • Why? anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer (5 minutes)

  • Display and reread the Situation and the Characters pages of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative.
  • Distribute blank paper and explain that narrative texts often include illustrations that contribute to the meaning of the story. For example, they can create the mood of the story or emphasize certain aspects of the characters or setting.
  • Tell students that you would like them to do a quick sketch for either the Establish the Situation or Introduce the Characters page of the "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative.
  • Reassure them that the purpose is not to have the most beautiful or artistic drawing, but to have a sketch that communicates important information about their story (what the characters look like, where the story takes place, what is happening in the beginning of the story).
  • Tell students they will have an opportunity to share and add to their illustrations later in the lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support attending to task: Check comprehension of establishing the situation and characters by cold calling students. Ask:

"Who are the characters in our story? What is the situation we have established?"

    • Review and re-teach as necessary. (MME)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

  • Ask for a volunteer to read the learning target:

"I can write the middle of a pourquoi tale that develops a sequence of events that unfolds naturally and shows the response of characters to the situation."

  • Explain that today students will continue drafting their class narrative. Underline the words sequence of events and response of characters and ask:

"How do authors show the sequence, or order, of events in a story?" (They write what happens in the order that it happens, and they use words to connect the events.)

"How do authors show how characters respond to situations and events in a narrative?" (They describe what they feel, think, say, and do.)

  • Have students give a quick thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to indicate how well they understand today's learning target.
  • For students who may need additional support understanding the terms in the learning target: Write synonyms or descriptions above these key terms. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of the chunks of a key sentence from the learning target: I can write the middle of a pourquoi tale that develops a sequence of events that unfolds naturally and shows the response of characters to the situation. Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples:
    • "What is a pourquoi tale?" (a story or folktale that answers "why" questions)
    • "What happens in the middle of a pourquoi tale?" (The character has a problem and has a feeling about it.)
    • "What is develop? Use your dictionaries. What is develop in our home languages? (grow or make grow; Kaihatsu shimasu in Japanese) Invite all students in the class to repeat the translation in a different home language.
    • "What does the sentence mean by unfold?" (to progress; to go in sequence; to become clearer)
    • "What does it mean by unfold naturally?" (happen in a way that makes sense and does not seem strange)
    • "What does the sentence mean by response of characters?" (how they behave and act when there is a problem)
    • "What is the situation?" (the problem the characters have or the events that are happening around them)
    • "Can you put this target in your own words?" (I can write the middle of the narrative that will show the character doing things to try to solve her problem.)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing a Model (15 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to take out their copies of "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" and remind them that they have been analyzing this model to understand what makes a strong narrative and how to organize it.
  • Read the text aloud, inviting students to chorally read with you.
  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Narrative Texts handout. Point out the following bullet points:

"Narrative texts have a clear sequence of events that makes sense and is easy to understand. These texts have:"

    • "A middle that describes the central problem and explains how the character(s) respond to the problem."
  • Explain that this is the part of the class narrative they will work on in today's lesson.
  • Focus students on the following bullet points on the handout:
    • "Narrative texts may use dialogue to show how characters react to events."
    • "Narrative texts may include descriptions of what the characters are doing, thinking, and feeling."
    • "Narrative texts use time words and phrases to show when the events happen."
  • Point out the word dialogue and tell students this refers to the words a character thinks or says.
  • Point out the third page of the model narrative. Use a total participation technique to invite responses from the group:

"What is the problem in this story?" (Ranna knocked over one of the torches in his cave, and it caused a fire.)

"What words did the author use to show the order of events?" (one day)

"What is the character doing, thinking, feeling, or saying?" (Ranna is playing a hunting game and accidentally knocked down a torch, causing a fire.)

  • Turn to the fourth page of the model narrative. Use a total participation technique to invite responses from the group:

"What is the character doing, thinking, feeling, or saying?" (Ranna is terrified; he screams for help; he tries to save the frogs.)

"How did the character react to the events? What words in the text make you think so?" (He reacted to the fire by looking for a way out of the cave and trying to save the frogs. "He reached down to pick up Drab, Ash and Grey." "He followed them....")

  • For students who may need additional support making inferences: Clearly point out words in "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" that show what the character is thinking, feeling, or doing, as well as how the character reacts to the problem of the story. Consider giving students brief examples of different everyday situations and having the class watch and describe how others respond to these situations. Connect this understanding of reactions to problems in the real world to how characters may react to problems in a pourquoi tale. (MMR, MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support analyzing a model: Display "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful" and annotate each paragraph as it is discussed. Example: Next to Paragraph 1, write "beginning: setting and main characters" and underline key phrases. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may benefit from visual supports: Provide visuals next to each item on the Narrative Texts handout. Example: Draw a picture of a speech bubble next to "Narrative texts may use dialogue....". (MMR)

B. Shared Writing: Drafting the Middle of a Pourquoi Tale (25 minutes)

  • Continue the shared writing experience from Lesson 4 to write a narrative that answers the question "Why do polliwogs wiggle?"
  • Ask students to bring their Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" and gather where they can see the posted Narrative Template: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?"
  • Ask:

"Who is the audience of this narrative?" (other third- and fourth-grade students)

"What is the purpose of the narrative?" (to tell a story that explains why polliwogs wiggle)

  • Tell students that today they will write the middle pages of their narrative, describing the problem and explaining how the character(s) respond to the problem. They will finish writing the story in the next lesson.
  • Focus students on the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart and remind them of the habit of character already recorded, using my strengths. Remind students that they all bring different strengths to the group as they continue writing the class narrative.
  • Chorally read the beginning of the narrative written in Lesson 4.
  • Direct students' attention to the boxes labeled Middle on the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" and select a volunteer to read the headings, questions, and notes added in Lesson 3 for the Describe the Problem part of this box.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and describe the problem the way they would write it, using the notes on the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?"
  • Model writing a sentence that describes the problem. Refer to the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (example, for teacher reference).
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What else can we say to describe the problem in the story?'" (Responses will vary.)

  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by giving an example:

"Can you give an example?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Drawing from students' ideas, continue writing the Problem page on the Narrative Template: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" Refer to the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (example, for teacher reference).
  • Continue this process to write the Response page on the Narrative Template: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" Refer to the Narrative Texts handout, "Why the Frog Has a Long Tongue," "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful," and the domain-specific word wall as necessary. Also refer to the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" (example, for teacher reference). Be sure to model using linking words to show when events happen and using dialogue and description to show how the character(s) react to events and what they are doing, thinking, and feeling.
  • Invite students to chorally read the Beginning and Middle pages of the draft that they wrote as a class.
  • Ask:

"Is our "Why Do Polliwogs Wiggle?" class narrative appropriate for the task and purpose? How do you know?" (Yes, because it tells the problem in the story and explains how the character(s) respond to the problem.)

  • 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.)

  • Focus students on the learning target. Read it aloud and use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on their comfort level with or show how close they are to meeting the target. Make note of students who may need additional support moving forward.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they used their strengths in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: To further scaffold toward independent writing, consider writing some sentences as an interactive writing experience. Example: Invite an intermediate or advanced proficiency student to write a sentence on the board. Encourage the class to support the student in self-correcting any errors.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

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

  • Distribute the Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question. Remind students they have already used this planner in this unit to plan their class pourquoi tale. They will use this new planner to write their own pourquoi tale.
  • Tell students that in the second half of this unit, they are going to write their own pourquoi tale based on a new "why" question of their choice.
  • Focus students on the Why? anchor chart.
  • Invite them to select a new question to write about and to write this question in the Point box on their Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question.
  • Tell students that they are going to begin planning their own pourquoi tale for the remaining time in this lesson.
  • Explain that they should work on this independently.
  • Circulate to support students as they work.
  • For ELLs and students who may need support generating questions: Remind them that "why" questions come from wonders. For students who need lighter support, ask: "What else might you or someone else wonder about frogs?" For students who need heavier support, provide sentence frames to inspire their thinking. Example: "Why do poison dart frogs ______?" "Why are wood frogs ______?" (MMR, MMAE)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Add illustrations to each page of "Why the Poison Dart Frog Is So Colorful."

B. 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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