Discovering Our Topic: Poetry | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M1:U1:L1

Discovering Our Topic: Poetry

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • W.4.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • SL.4.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can discuss and record what I notice and wonder about resources. (RL.4.1, W.4.8, SL.4.1)
  • I can infer the topic of this module from the resources. (RL.4.1, W.4.8)

Ongoing Assessment

  • I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic (RL.4.1, W.4.8)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Practicing Observing Closely: I Notice/I Wonder (10 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Infer the Topic (20 minutes)

B. Generating Discussion Norms (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Introducing the Performance Task and Module Guiding Questions (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Read and reflect on the guiding questions for the module. Talk about them with your family. How do they make you feel? Why? What do they make you think about? You can sketch or write your reflections.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students participate in the Infer the Topic protocol by engaging with the texts they will be reading throughout the module, including the Performance Task anchor chart and the module guiding questions (RL.4.1, W.4.8, SL.4.1).
  • In Work Time B, students generate the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Ensure that all of the cues and responses suggested on the Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) are added, as these will support students in having productive and equitable discussions that will deepen their understanding (SL.4.1).
  • In this lesson, students do not collect new vocabulary independently. Instead, new vocabulary is collected as a class on the Academic Word Wall. Students are introduced to their vocabulary logs in Lesson 3, where they will collect vocabulary from the texts they read.
  • Consider providing students with a poetry journal to capture their thoughts and reflections about poetry, and to encourage them to write their own poetry.
  • During all interaction, be aware that partnering with, looking at, talking with, or touching the opposite gender may be uncomfortable and inappropriate for some students. In addition, some students may believe it is inappropriate to speak with other students of either gender at all during class. Let students know that, in the United States, speaking with a peer of either gender when the teacher gives the signal is appropriate, and it is one way that students can become independent learners and develop their content knowledge and language ability. At the same time, tell them you respect their needs, and if necessary, seek alternative arrangements for students according to their cultural traditions.
  • This lesson is the first in a series of two that include built-out instruction for strategic use of the Think-Pair-Share protocol to promote productive and equitable conversation.
  • This lesson uses cold calling, calling on a student without him or her volunteering, as a total participation technique. Be aware that cold calling may be unfamiliar or embarrassing for some students. Prepare students and their families by telling them that cold calling in the United States is common and is a protocol that helps ensure that all student voices are heard and respected. The protocol also provides the teacher with one way to assess what students know.

How it builds on previous work:

  • If students have worked on EL Education modules in grades K-3, this module will build on those foundations.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Students may need additional support reading the poetry excerpts in the Infer the Topic protocol. Invite students to help read the excerpts aloud to one another.

Assessment guidance:

  • Monitor students' I Notice/I Wonder Note-catchers: Inferring the Topic to ensure they are on the right track for inferring what the module is about at the end of the Infer the Topic protocol.

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will be introduced to the independent reading routine. Students will also have a chance to share their reflections (if they choose) on the learning targets based on their background and experiences at the beginning of the lesson.
  • The Academic Word Wall and the Discussion Norms anchor chart are introduced in this unit and referenced both throughout the module and the school year.

In Advance

In advance:

  • Prepare:
    • Academic Word Wall with blank word cards and markers located close by. This is an area of the classroom in which academic words will be added throughout the year.
    • Infer the Topic resources and post them around the room (see supporting materials).
    • Discussion Norms anchor chart. Note that Goal 1 Conversation Cues (and sample student responses) are built into Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference). As students are introduced to Goal 2, 3, and 4 Conversation Cues in Modules 2-4, additional cues and responses will be added to the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Thus, the Discussion Norms anchor chart is a living document; be sure to leave plenty of space to add Goal 2, 3, and 4 Conversation Cues in Modules 2-4.
    • Performance Task anchor chart (see Performance Task Overview) and the Guiding Questions anchor chart (see Module Overview).
  • Review the Think-Pair-Share and Infer the Topic protocols. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Ensure ELLs have access to an online or paper translation dictionary in their home language throughout this module.
  • Post: Learning targets.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Opening A: Complete I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic with the class in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc.
  • Work Time A: Students complete I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic in a word-processing document--for example, a Google Doc.
  • Work Time A: Students complete their note-catchers in a word-processing document--for example, a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices--or using an app or software such as Dictation.io.
  • Work Time A: Record student discussions during the Infer the Topic protocol using software or apps such as Audacity or GarageBand.
  • Work Time B: Create the Discussion Norms anchor chart in an online format--for example, a Google Doc--to display.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.A.1, 4.I.A.3, 4.I.B.5, 4.I.B.6, and 4.I.C.11

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by explicitly outlining discussion protocols, allowing time for students to investigate academic vocabulary, build background, and make inferences about the topic of the module, and allowing space for diverse perspectives on poetry.
  • ELLs may find the Infer the Topic Resources challenging because of the volume of potentially unfamiliar new language. Encourage students to focus on the gist of select resources and language that is familiar. Invite them to pat themselves on the back for what they do understand (see Meeting Students' Needs column).

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Before providing any sentence frames or modeling during Work Time, observe student interaction and allow students to grapple. Provide supportive frames and demonstrations only after students have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they need additional support.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, distribute a partially completed copy of the I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic. This will provide students with models for the kind of information they should enter, while relieving the volume of writing required.
  • During Work Time A, consider altering the activity by providing the quotes as well as paraphrases of each quote. Scramble the quote strips and paraphrase strips, and invite students to match them.
  • To help students approach unfamiliar texts in this unit and on the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, invite students to choose strategies to practice. Notice that many of these strategies coincide with the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart, first introduced in Lesson 2. Examples:
    • Chunk the text into manageable amounts, e.g., lines, sentences, or stanzas.
    • Read aloud.
    • Read repeatedly.
    • Silently paraphrase the chunks.
    • Summarize what you read for someone else, perhaps first in your home language.
    • Underline important people, places, and things.
    • Circle unfamiliar words.
    • Use context or a dictionary to define unfamiliar words.
    • Annotate unfamiliar words with synonyms or translation.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): In Work Time A, students make inferences about their topic of study. Provide students with multiple representations to define the word infer. Use picture examples to have students make simple inferences (see Meeting Students' Needs column). Consider how best to establish routines around discussion norms. Help students visualize these norms by preparing a script in advance to use to role-play discussion with students.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Some students may face barriers to engaging in class discussion if they need additional support with expressive language. Consider creating nonverbal hand signals to represent commonly used phrases on the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): To actively engage students, be transparent about the purposes of the tasks in this lesson (e.g., be explicit about the purposes of making inferences about the unit). Because this is the first time poetry is introduced in Grade 4, some students may feel overwhelmed by the performance tasks. Assure students that they will be provided with many supports and information throughout the unit that will make them successful in writing their poems.

Vocabulary

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

  • details, notice, wonder, infer, effective, norms (L)

Materials

  • Infer the Topic resources (to display; see supporting materials)
  • Academic Word Wall (new; teacher-created; see Teaching Notes)
  • I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic (one per student and one to display)
  • Online or paper translation dictionary (for ELLs; one per student in student's home language)
  • Directions for Infer the Topic (one to display)
  • Discussion Norms anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time B)
  • Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see Performance Task Overview)
  • Module Guiding Questions anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see Module Overview)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Practicing Observing Closely: I Notice/I Wonder (10 minutes)

  • Move students into pairs or ask them to identify a person near them with whom they can think and talk and to label themselves A and B.
  • Focus students on one of the prepared Infer the Topic resources.
  • Tell students that when they look at a picture or a book, they are likely to notice details. Write the word on the board.
  • Tell students they will now use the Think-Pair-Share protocol:
    • Ask the first question (below) and give students think time.
    • Invite partner A to ask partner B the question.
    • Give partner B 30 seconds to share his or her response.
    • Invite partner B to ask partner A the question and give partner A 30 seconds to share a response.
    • Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group.
    • Repeat this process with the next question:

"What are details?" (individual features or facts)

"What details do you notice about this text?" (Responses will vary, but may include: I notice it isn't in full sentences.)

  • Record the word details on an Academic Word Wall.
  • Display the I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic. Tell students that they are going to record notes, or short, informal writing, about what they notice and wonder. Explain that the purpose of notes is to help them remember their thinking and the ideas they are learning about, and because of this notes are not usually assessed. Tell students when they record notes, they should write key words and phrases and not full sentences.
  • As students share out, capture their ideas on the "I Notice" side of the note-catcher. As ideas are recorded, give students an example and non-example of how to record notes. Consider using multiple means of representation of student ideas--for example, pictures and key words rather than full sentences--as this is a model for what students will do when they infer the topic later.
  • Use student responses to emphasize the importance of referring directly to what they see in the picture rather than making assumptions, to help them begin to work with evidence.
  • Guide students through an intentional Think-Pair-Share ensuring partner A and partner B both have think time, both get to say the question aloud to the other, and both have an allocated time to respond and then to discuss to build deeper understanding. Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group:

"What do the details make you wonder? What questions do you have after looking at the text?" (Responses will vary, but may include: I wonder why it isn't written in sentences.)

  • As students share out, capture their questions in the "I Wonder" column of the T-chart (e.g., "Why isn't it written in full sentences?")
  • Consider using this opportunity to reinforce how to format a question using ending punctuation.
  • For ELLs: Consider pairing students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The partner with greater language proficiency can serve as a model in the pair, initiating discussions and providing implicit sentence frames, for example.
  • Provide differentiated mentors by purposefully pre-selecting student partnerships. Consider meeting with the mentors in advance to encourage them to share their thought process with their partner. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with new vocabulary: Check comprehension of the word details by displaying the cover of Love That Dog or A River of Words. Invite students to point out some details. Label the picture with their responses, e.g., children reading book on camels; children laughing.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Display and repeat your questions. (Example: "What details do you notice about this text?") Rephrase and display the new question. (Example: "Do you see any interesting facts or features in this text? What are they?")

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

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

"I can discuss and record what I notice and wonder about resources."

"I can infer the topic of this module from the resources."

  • Guide students through an intentional Think-Pair-Share, ensuring partner A and partner B both have think time, both get to say the question aloud to the other, and both have an allocated time to respond and then to discuss to build deeper understanding. Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group:

"Why do we have learning targets? What is the purpose of learning targets?" (to give us a goal; the goal is to be able to say "I can ..."--which means that it has been achieved.)

  • Underline the words notice and wonder in the first learning target.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner. Then cold call students to share out:

"Think back to what we just did. When you notice something, what are you doing?" (describing the specific details that we can see through observation)

"When you wonder, what are you doing?" (asking questions based on the specific details we can see through observation)

  • Underline the word infer in the second target.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner. Then cold call students to share out:

"What does infer mean? If you are going to infer the topic, what does that mean?" (When we make an inference, we make a good guess based on the evidence we have seen. Inferring the topic means making a good guess about the topic based on the content of the resources we will look at.)

  • Ensure students have access to an online or paper translation dictionary.
  • Record the words details, notice, wonder, and infer on the Academic Word Wall. Invite students to add translations of the words in their home languages in a different color next to the target vocabulary.
  • When introducing the word infer, provide some visuals and ask students to make an inference about them. Examples: a broken window with a baseball next to it (someone threw a baseball and it shattered the glass) and a dog that is covered in mud (the dog played in the mud and got dirty). (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Say: "The words notice and wonder are often used with the word about as a phrase and can be learned as a phrase (collocation)." Examples:
    • What I notice about ______ is _____.
    • What I wonder about _____ is _____.
    • I wonder about _____.
  • For ELLs: Invite students to use the online or paper version of a home language translation dictionary if necessary to help explore the meaning of details, notice, wonder, and infer.
  • For ELLs: Invite students to write the home language translations of details, notice, wonder, and infer in a different color on the Academic Word Wall next to the target vocabulary. If a student does not know the translation or how to write it, invite him or her to ask a family member. Also consider adding simpler synonyms in parentheses next to the target word. Example:
    • details (facts)
    • detalles--Spanish; paub meej--Hmong
  • Offer a comforting smile and encourage ELLs: "We will use a lot of new English words. Don't worry. You don't have to understand all the words today. Just try to understand more each day. You're doing great!"

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Infer the Topic (20 minutes)

  • Build up excitement for this module and unit by telling students that today they will begin learning about a new topic that they will study and write about over the next several weeks.
  • Focus students on the Infer the Topic resources posted around the room.
  • Tell students they will use the Infer the Topic protocol to make inferences about their new topic of study. Invite students to turn and talk with their partner:

"What does it mean to make inferences?" (You use what you know and what the text says or image shows to figure out something that isn't specifically said.)

  • Post Directions for Infer the Topic. Invite students to follow along, reading silently in their heads, as you read the directions aloud.
  • Distribute the I Notice/I Wonder Note-catcher: Inferring the Topic to each student and read aloud the question at the top:
    • "What do you think you will be learning about in this module?"
  • Remind students that the purpose of this note-catcher is just for them to take notes to help them remember their thinking. It isn't something they will hand in for assessment, so they can record in pictures or words. They do not need to write in full sentences.
  • Using the directions, guide students through the protocol, leaving space for students to choose the resources they want to observe. Those students who may not be able to read independently should have the option of going to look at a picture resource.
  • After 12 minutes, refocus whole group.
  • Guide students through an intentional Think-Pair-Share, ensuring partner A and partner B both have think time, both get to say the question aloud to the other, and both have an allocated time to respond and then to discuss to build deeper understanding. Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group:

"Now that you have looked at some resources, what do you think this module might be about?" (Responses will vary, but may include: poetry.)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Display, repeat, and rephrase the question. Tell students you will give them some time to think and write or sketch before responding. Cold call one or two students and display their responses. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Consider pairing students with a partner who has more advanced or native language proficiency. The pair can choose the resources they want to observe and begin by discussing what the text means. Encourage students to agree or disagree with each other about what the text means using sentence frames. Examples:
    • "I agree because _____."
    • "I disagree because _____."

Pairs can then begin discussing and recording their notices and wonders.

B. Generating Discussion Norms (15 minutes)

  • Refocus students and invite them to pair up with their partner from the beginning of the lesson.
  • Tell students they are going to develop norms to have effective discussions throughout the school year. Write the words effective and norms on the board.
  • Ask:

"What do you think norms are?" (expectations of how to do something in a way that is effective and productive--in this situation, it is norms for discussion)

  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner. Then cold call students to share out:

"What word could you use to replace effective? Remember that this is called a synonym." (successful, good)

  • Record the words effective and norms on the Academic Word Wall. Invite students to add translations of the words in their home languages in a different color next to the target vocabulary.
  • Guide students through an intentional Think-Pair-Share, ensuring partner A and partner B both have think time, both get to say the question aloud to the other, and both have an allocated time to respond and then to discuss to build deeper understanding. Cold call students to share their responses with the whole group:

"What did you do well when discussing your inferences with a partner and then a small group? What should we be mindful of whenever we participate in group discussions? Why?"

  • As students share out, capture their responses on the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Refer to Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Guide students through the steps of the Think-Pair-Share protocol, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask the question, and share:

"How could you have improved the discussion? Are there any norms we could add to make our collaborative discussions more effective?"

  • As students share out, capture their responses on the Discussion Norms anchor chart.
  • Create a chart with two columns at the bottom of the Discussion Norms anchor chart with "Cues" in one and "Responses" in another.
  • Guide students through the steps of the Think-Pair-Share protocol, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask the question, and share:

"How did you encourage someone else to clarify when you didn't understand? What questions can you ask when you don't understand what someone is saying?"

"How did you find out more about the ideas of others? What questions can you ask when you want to find out more?"

  • As students share out, capture their responses in the Responses column of the chart at the bottom of the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Refer to Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Guide students through the steps of the Think-Pair-Share protocol, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask the question, and share:

"How can you respond when you are asked to clarify, or elaborate, on an idea?"

  • As students share out, capture their responses in the Responses column of the chart at the bottom of the Discussion Norms anchor chart. Refer to Discussion Norms anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Display, repeat and rephrase the questions. Restate responses, and restate any confusing responses to confirm meaning and make the responses comprehensible. Example: "Did you do a good job talking with your partner? Why? What should we always remember when we talk to our partners? Why?" (MMR)
  • Prepare a script in advance to role-play some of the common phrases that you have identified in your Discussion Norms anchor chart to provide students with a live action visual example. (MMR)
  • Create nonverbal hand signals that represent common phrases on the Discussion Norms anchor chart (e.g., students can put their hands in the shape of a "C" for clarify or sequentially move their hands, one above the other, like climbing stairs for elaborate). Make sure to represent the symbols on the anchor chart. (MMR, MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Introducing the Performance Task and Module Guiding Questions (10 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the Performance Task anchor chart.
  • Tell them that the performance task is something they will do at the very end of the module. Read the performance task prompt aloud.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner. Then cold call students to share out:

"What do you notice?" (We will write and present a poem to an audience with visuals.)

"What do you wonder?" (Responses will vary, but may include: I wonder what I will write poems about.)

  • Guide students through the steps of the Think-Pair-Share protocol, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask the question, and share:

"Now that you have analyzed the performance task, has your inference of what this module is about changed?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Display the Module Guiding Questions anchor chart.
  • Tell students that these are the questions they will be thinking about as they work through the module.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with their partner. Then cold call students to share out:

"What do you notice?" (We will be thinking about what inspires poets to write poetry.)

"What do you wonder?" (Responses will vary, but may include: I wonder which poets we will be studying.)

  • Guide students through the steps of the Think-Pair-Share protocol, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask the question, and share:

"Now that you have analyzed the module guiding questions, has your inference of what this module is about changed?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Clarify that this module will be about poetry--specifically, what makes a poem a poem and what inspires poets to write poetry--and they will write their own poems at the end of the module.
  • Acknowledge that students may have strong feelings about poetry, either positive or negative. Tell them that for homework they will be reflecting on the module guiding questions and how they feel about them based on their personal experiences, and that this will be discussed more at the beginning of the next lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: As students may be overwhelmed by the Performance Task anchor chart, assure them that you will continue to unpack the meaning of the chart in subsequent lessons and units. (MME)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Consider displaying a model performance task from a former student. Ask students to make connections between the model and the performance task. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Confirm initial understanding of the concept of poetry by asking students what the Infer the Topic resources have in common and how they compare to prose. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Establish transparency of purpose. Ask:

"Why do we have guiding questions for each module?" (Responses will vary, but may include: to help focus our learning and to help us think about the performance task.)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Read and reflect on the guiding questions for the module. Talk about them with your family. How do they make you feel? Why? What do they make you think about? You can sketch or write your reflections.

  • Minimize the complexity of the task by allowing students to select some of the guiding questions to focus on for homework. (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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