Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading and Understanding Poetry and Pourquoi Tales | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M2:U1:L7

Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading and Understanding Poetry and Pourquoi Tales

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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.3.5: Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
  • 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.
  • L.3.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
  • L.3.4a: Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • L.3.4b: Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).
  • L.3.4c: Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).
  • L.3.4d: Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can refer explicitly to the text when answering questions about the text. (RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.5, RL.3.10)
  • I can find the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary. (RL.3.4, L.3.4a, L.3.4b, L.3.4c, L.3.4d)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Parts I and II (RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.4, RL.3.5, RL.3.10, L.3.4a, L.3.4b, L.3.4c, L.3.4d)
  • Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text (RL.3.1, RL.3.4, RL.3.10, L.3.4)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Part I: Reading and Understanding Poetry (15 minutes)

B. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Part II: Reading and Understanding Pourquoi Tales (20 minutes)

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

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Tracking Progress (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Finish planning your pourquoi tale using your Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question.

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:

  • In this lesson, students complete the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment. In Part I, they read a new poem about frogs and answer selected response questions targeting reading and language standards. In Part II, they read a new pourquoi tale about frogs and answer selected response questions targeting reading standards.
  • After completing the assessment, students will continue planning their own pourquoi tales, begun in Lesson 5. Students will use their Narrative Planning graphic organizers to begin drafting their stories in the next lesson; if they do not finish planning in this lesson, allow them to complete their plans for homework.
  • In the Closing, students reflect on the learning targets on the Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text recording form. This exercise is meant to provide them with time to formally keep track of and reflect on their own learning.
  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is working to become an effective learner. The characteristic they are reminded of specifically is perseverance, as they will be working independently on their assessments, which may be challenging for some students.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework helps them 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 this lesson, students demonstrate the close reading and synthesizing skills practiced in Lessons 1-6 with a new poem and pourquoi tale.

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • If students receive accommodations for assessments, communicate with the cooperating service providers regarding the practices of instruction in use during this study as well as the goals of the assessment.
  • For some students, this assessment may require more than the 50 minutes allotted. Consider providing time over multiple days if necessary.

Assessment Guidance:

  • All assessment materials (student copy, answer key, student exemplar) are included in the Assessment Overview and Resources.
  • When assessing and providing feedback to students on this assessment, use the teacher answer key and sample student responses (see the Assessment Overview and Resources) to help you complete the student Tracking Progress recording form. Consider making notes in the appropriate column for each criterion and marking evidence with sticky notes on student work in a different color than student responses. There is also space provided to respond to student comments.
  • It will be valuable for students to revisit their previous Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text sheet before they begin, so they can remember what they would like to improve on from assessments in previous units/modules.
  • In this assessment, students are tracking progress toward anchor standard R.1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text; R.4: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone; R.10: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently; and L.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Phonics and Word Recognition Checklist (Grade 3) or the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist as students take the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment and during students' independent work time in Work Time C (see the Tools page).
  • Collect in "Why the Poison Dart Frog is So Colorful" illustrations homework from Lesson 5.

Down the Road:

  • Students will use their Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question to write their own pourquoi tale throughout the second half of the unit.

In Advance

  • Prepare the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment and all testing accommodations as necessary.
  • Gather Tracking Progress folders.
  • Post: Learning targets, Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: Students complete the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment online with Part I and II questions set up on a Google Form, for example.
  • Work Time C: Students continue to 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.B.6, 3.II.A.1, 3.I.C.11, 3.I.C.12.

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by inviting them to complete assessment tasks similar to the classroom tasks completed in Lessons 1 through 6.
  • The Mid-Unit 1 Assessment may be challenging for ELLs, as it is a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction for some ELLs. ELLs will be asked not only to independently apply cognitive skills developed in Lessons 1-6, but also to independently apply new linguistic knowledge introduced in those lessons.
  • Make sure ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying answers to the assessment questions themselves. See additional support in the lesson.
  • Allow students to review language they've written on the Word Wall or in their vocabulary log.
  • After the assessment, ask students to discuss which assessment task was easiest and which was most difficult, and why. In future lessons and for homework, focus on the language skills that will help students address these assessment challenges.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In order to set themselves up for success for the mid-unit assessment, students will need to generalize the skills that they learned from the previous sessions. Before administering the assessment, activate their prior knowledge by recalling the learning targets from the previous sessions and the narrative writing that they have already completed. Additionally, make sure that you are presenting the directions for the assessment both visually and verbally. Facilitate comprehension by displaying a map of the assessment parts.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): In this lesson, some students may need support in setting appropriate goals for their effort and the level of difficulty expected during the assessment. Appropriate goal-setting supports development of executive skills and strategies. Offer scaffolds for students learning to set appropriate personal goals, such as a checklist with three goals or reminders for the mid-unit assessment.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Some students may require support with limiting distractions during the mid-unit assessment (e.g., using sound-cancelling headphones or dividers between workspaces). Similarly, some students may require variations in time for the assessment. Consider breaking the assessment into two parts and offering breaks at certain times. During the assessment, provide scaffolds that support executive function skills, self-regulation, and students' abilities to monitor progress before and after the assessment (e.g., visual prompts, reminders checklists, rubrics, etc.). 

Vocabulary

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

  • Do not preview vocabulary for this assessment lesson.

Materials

  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading and Understanding Poetry and Pourquoi Tales (one per student; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • Tracking Progress folder (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (from Module 1)
  • Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question (from Lesson 5; one per student)
  • Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text (one per student)
  • Evidence flags or sticky notes (at least three per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets. Ask them to follow along and read silently as you read them aloud:

"I can refer explicitly to the text when answering questions about the text."

"I can find the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary."

"I can gather information from a text and take notes in provided categories."

  • Remind students that they have practiced the skills required by these learning targets multiple times over the course of this unit. In this assessment, they will apply these skills to read and research using a new excerpt of text.
  • Direct students to the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart, specifically the strategies for finding the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary, as they will be required to do this in the assessment.
  • Answer any clarifying questions.
  • For students who may need additional support understanding the terms in the learning targets: Write synonyms or descriptions above key terms.  (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Remind students to use the charts if they get stuck. Example: "If I can't remember a strategy for finding unfamiliar vocabulary, where can I look?"

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Part I: Reading and Understanding Poetry (15 minutes)

  • Distribute the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: Reading and Understanding Poetry and Pourquoi Tales.
  • Tell students that this assessment focuses on reading and analyzing poetry and pourquoi tales.
  • Explain that the assessment has two parts. In Part I, they read and answer several selected response questions about a poem. In Part II, they read and answer several selected response questions about a pourquoi tale.
  • Distribute students' Tracking Progress folders. Invite them to refer to the last time they were assessed on Reading, Understanding and Explaining New Text. Encourage students to look at what they indicated as needing to improve on next time. Remind them to consider this as they read a new text in this assessment.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, specifically perseverance. Remind students that as they will be working independently in this lesson for an assessment, they may find it challenging, so they will need to persevere.
  • Ask students to begin Part I. While they are taking the assessment, circulate to monitor their test-taking skills. This is an opportunity to analyze students' behaviors while taking an assessment. Document strategies they use during the assessment. For example, look for those who are annotating their texts, using their graphic organizers to take notes before answering questions, and returning to the text as they answer questions.
  • After 15 minutes, refocus students whole group.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: As you explain, write a "map" of the assessment on the board for students. Example:

Two parts:

1. Part I: Poetry Selected Response (20 minutes)

A. Select the best answers.

2. Part II: Pourquoi Tale (25 minutes)

B. Select the best answers. (MMR)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with visual processing: Read the test directions AND answers aloud. (MMR)

B. Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, Part II: Reading and Understanding Pourquoi Tales (20 minutes)

  • Tell students to turn to Part II of the assessment. Explain that as they finish their assessment, they should check over their work.
  • Remind students that since this is an assessment, they must work silently and independently.
  • Ask students to begin Part II. Circulate to monitor their test-taking skills. Document strategies students use during the assessment, such as annotating their text, using their graphic organizer to take notes before answering questions, and going back to the prompt as they answer questions.
  • After 20 minutes, refocus students whole group.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with planning: Ensure that students are clear about all test directions. Rephrase test directions for them. Monitor during the assessment to see that students are completing the assessment correctly. Stop those who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions. (MMR, MMAE)

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

  • Remind students that in Lesson 5, they began planning their own pourquoi tale.
  • Invite them to retrieve their Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question from Lesson 5.
  • Explain that they will have some time to continue planning their own pourquoi tale now. If they don't finish, they will need to complete it for homework.
  • Remind students that they need to work independently to plan their new pourquoi tale.
  • Circulate to support students as they plan their narratives. 
  • For ELLs and students who may need support planning for writing: Model doing quick sketches within the graphic organizer as placeholders for information. Say: "You can sketch first so that you don't forget the information you want to add. Then you may go back later and write." (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support organizing their ideas in writing: Provide sentence frames in advance on the Narrative Planning graphic organizer for Work Time C. (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Tracking Progress (10 minutes)

  • Give students specific positive feedback on their completion of the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment (e.g., let students know you admire their perseverance in reading and analyzing a complex new poem and narrative text in completing their assessments).
  • Distribute Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text. Remind students that successful learners keep track of and reflect on their own learning. Remind them that they have done this after every assessment.
  • Distribute evidence flags or sticky notes so students can mark up their work with evidence. Guide them through completing the form.
  • If students have time, invite them to revisit their previous Tracking Progress: Reading, Understanding, and Explaining New Text to discuss in pairs how they think they have progressed.
  • Use a checking for understanding protocol (for example Red Light, Green Light or Thumb-O-Meter) for students to self-assess against how well they persevered in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: Self-assessment may be an unfamiliar concept for some students. Tell them that thinking about how well they did will help them do even better next time.
  • For ELLs: Ask students to orally paraphrase the meaning of the Tracking Progress criteria with a partner before they begin their work.
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Allow students to orally paraphrase the meaning of the Tracking Progress criteria, self-assess, and discuss the evidence with a partner before they begin writing. (MMR)
  • For students who may need additional support with monitoring their own learning: Invite students to explain why self-assessment is important for learning. (MME)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Finish planning your pourquoi tale using your Narrative Planning Graphic Organizer: New "Why" Question.

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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