Writing a Literary Essay: Proof Paragraph 1 | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M1:U2:L11

Writing a Literary Essay: Proof Paragraph 1

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.4.2a: Introduce a topic clearly and group related information in paragraphs and sections; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • W.4.2b: Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • L.4.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.4.1f: Produce complete sentences, recognizing and correcting inappropriate fragments and run-ons.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can plan and write Proof Paragraph 1 for my essay. (W.4.2a, W.4.2b, W.4.5)
  • I can recognize and correct fragments and run-on sentences. (L.4.1f)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Proof Paragraph 1 of literary essay (W.4.2a, W.4.2b, W.4.5)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. The Painted Essay: Sorting and Color-Coding the Parts of Proof Paragraph 1 (15 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Mini Lesson: Recognizing and Correcting Fragments and Run-on Sentences (10 minutes)

B. Independent Writing: Writing Proof Paragraph 1 (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Revising Our Writing (5 minutes)

4. Homework

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

B. Complete the Fragments and Run-ons practice in your Unit 2 Homework.

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students write the first proof paragraph of their literary essays. They write the paragraph in pieces, saying each part aloud before writing. A template has also been provided for those students who may need it (W.4.2a, W.4.2b, W.4.5).
  • Before writing their first proof paragraphs, students participate in a mini lesson about recognizing and correcting fragments and run-on sentences, building on what they already know about writing complete sentences from the previous lesson (L.4.1f).
  • Students who require an extension can write their own proof paragraph rather than using the sentence stems.
  • In this unit, the habit of character focus is on working to become an effective learner. The characteristic they collect in this lesson is perseverance, because this is their first time writing a full essay this school year.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework will help build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to poetry and what inspires people to write. 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 the previous lessons, students analyzed the structure of the model literary essay using the Painted EssayO template and wrote their introductory paragraph. They build on those foundations in this lesson.
  • Continue to use Goal 1 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • A writing template has been provided for students who may need additional support writing Proof Paragraph 1.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review student paragraphs to ensure they include all of the necessary information. Where you notice common issues, use them as teaching points for the whole group as they are working.
  • Consider using the Writing Informal Assessment: Writing and Language Skills Checklist during independent writing in Work Time B (see the Tools page).

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will write the second proof paragraph of their literary essay.

In Advance

  • Strategically pair students for work during Opening A, with at least one strong reader per pair.
  • Prepare the Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraph 1 strips (see supporting materials).
  • Review the Thumb-O-Meter protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets and Literary Essay anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Students write their first proof paragraph on a word-processing document--for example, a Google Doc

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.A.4, 4.I.C.1o, 4.I.C.11, 4.II.A.1, and 4.II.B.4

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to work closely with essay structure, building on their understanding one paragraph at a time. In this lesson, students focus exclusively on the first proof paragraph of their literary essay. Students continue to benefit from the color-coding system established in prior lessons for visual support.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to keep pace with the class as they work through each sentence of Proof Paragraph 1. Consider providing additional writing time to accommodate students who may need more time to process language.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • During Work Time A, invite intermediate and advanced proficiency students to write their own examples of sentence fragments and run-ons. Students who would benefit from heavier support can discuss how to revise the sentence to make them complete thoughts.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, provide a partially filled-in version of the Proof Paragraph 1 Writing template. Students can complete the paragraph as a cloze exercise, while focusing on comprehending the paragraph and its purpose within the essay structure.
  • During Work Time A, display sentence strips with model sentences broken up into subjects, predicates, and conjunctions. Model creating examples of fragments and run-ons. Invite students to insert sentence strips excerpts to correct and complete the sentences.
  • If students who need heavier support are grouped in the same expert group, consider working closely with this group during Work Time B. Consider completing their Proof Paragraph 1 together as a shared or interactive writing session.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Some students may require additional support with the expectations for Proof Paragraph 1. Consider reviewing and clarifying the Informative Writing Checklist with a small group. Also consider facilitating more in-depth discussion about using complete sentences in your writing. This will provide additional opportunities for comprehension.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): This lesson provides 25 minutes of writing time. Some students may need additional support to build their writing stamina. Support students in building their stamina and focus by providing scaffolds that build an environment that is conducive to writing (see Meeting Students' Needs column).
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Students who may need additional support with writing may have negative associations with writing tasks based on previous experiences. Help them feel successful with writing by allowing them to create feasible goals and celebrate when these goals are met. For instance, place a sticker or a star at a specific point on the page (e.g., two pages) that provides a visual writing target for the day. Also, construct goals for sustained writing by chunking the 25-minute writing block into smaller pieces. Provide choice for a break activity at specific time points when students have demonstrated writing progress. Celebrate students who meet their writing goals, whether it is length of the text or sustained writing time.

Vocabulary

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

  • elaborated, proof paragraph, fragments, run-on sentences, related information (L)
  • inspire, poet, poetry (W)

Materials

  • Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraph 1 strips (one set per pair)
  • The Painted Essay(r) template (from Lesson 9; one per student)
  • Model literary essay (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Literary Essay anchor chart (begun in Lesson 10; added to during Opening A)
  • Literary Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Informative Essay Prompt: What Inspires Poets? (from Lesson 6, one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Writing Complete Sentences handout (from Lesson 10; one per student and one to display)
  • Literary essay draft (begun in Lesson 10; added to during Work Time B; one per student)
  • Informative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 9; one per student and one to display)
  • Expert group poet biographies (from Lesson 7; one per student in each expert group)
  • Close Read Note-catcher: Expert Group Poet (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Yellow markers (one per student)
  • Proof Paragraph 1 Writing template (optional; for students needing additional support)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 3)

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.

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. The Painted Essay: Sorting and Color-Coding the Parts of Proof Paragraph 1 (15 minutes)

  • Move students into pre-determined pairs.
  • Distribute Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraph 1 strips and invite students to retrieve their Painted Essay(r) template.
  • Invite students to spend 1 minute quickly reviewing where Proof Paragraph 1 fits into the structure of the essay.
  • Invite students to work with their partner to read and organize the strips, putting them in the correct order for Proof Paragraph 1 of the model literary essay.
  • Tell students to when they have finished, they can check their work against the model literary essay.
  • Invite students to begin working and circulate to support them as they work in pairs.
  • Refocus whole group. Invite students to help you record the parts of Proof Paragraph 1 on the Literary Essay anchor chart. Refer to Literary Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Point out that within this proof paragraph, the author has elaborated on the focus of the writing, or explained how the evidence he or she has chosen supports the focus statement.
  • For ELLs: Pair 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 helping to interpret the meaning of each part of the Proof Paragraph 1.
  • 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)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

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

"I can plan and write Proof Paragraph 1 for my essay."

"I can recognize and correct fragments and run-on sentences."

  • Underline the words proof paragraph. Invite students to refer to their Painted Essay(r) template to see what it says about Proof Paragraph 1.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is the purpose of Proof Paragraph 1?" (to give evidence and reasons to support point 1)

  • Circle the words fragments and run-on sentences. Remind students that in the previous lesson they learned how to make sure a sentence was a complete sentence. Tell students that in this lesson they will learn to correct fragments, or incomplete sentences, and run-on sentences so they are complete sentences.
  • Invite students to retrieve their Informative Essay Prompt: What Inspires Poets? and quickly review it.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them of perseverance, as they will be working to plan and write an essay for the first time this year, which may be challenging.
  • Ask multiple students to repeat and rephrase the learning targets to provide multiple opportunities for comprehension. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Ask students about why this part of the essay might be called the body. Example: "Why do you think this is called a body paragraph?" (It is the main part of the essay, just as our bodies are the main part of us.) (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mini Lesson: Recognizing and Correcting Fragments and Run-on Sentences (10 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Writing Complete Sentences handout and review what a complete sentence is.
  • Invite students to take out their literary essay draft and share a complete sentence with their partner, identifying the subject and predicate and complete thought it expresses. Select volunteers to share out.
  • Focus students on the Writing Complete Sentences handout and read aloud the following:
    • "If the sentence is not complete, it's either a fragment or a run-on sentence. Avoid fragments and run-on sentences in formal writing."
  • Tell students that fragments and run-on sentences can make writing unclear or confusing to the reader.
  • Select a volunteer to read aloud the next point on the handout:
    • "A fragment is missing either a subject or a predicate, so it is not a complete thought."
  • Read the first example of a fragment on the handout:
    • "Inspired by everyday objects and the lives of common people."
  • Point out what makes it a fragment, using the bulleted criteria for a complete sentence from the top of the chart. It does not have a subject, so the reader is not sure who was inspired by everyday objects and the lives of common people. Point out that it does have a predicate, starts with a capital letter, and ends with a period.
  • Model revising the sentence to include a subject by adding William Carlos Williams and making it a complete thought by adding was, writing the revision in the "Complete Sentence" column. Invite students to do the same on their copy. Point out that the capital I in inspired is changed to lowercase because it now comes in the middle of the sentence: "William Carlos Williams was inspired by everyday objects and the lives of common people."
  • Select a volunteer to read the next example of a fragment on the handout:
    • "William Carlos Williams about the things he knew."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:
    • "Why is this a fragment?" (It is missing a verb in the predicate; it is an incomplete thought.)
  • Revise the sentence so it is complete in the "Complete Sentence" column on the Writing Complete Sentences handout, inviting students to do the same on their copy.
  • Select a volunteer to read the next point on the handout:
    • "A run-on sentence has more than subject with a predicate, but the subjects with predicates are joined without correct punctuation or conjunction."
  • Repeat this process with the examples of run-on sentences.
    • Model why the first example of a run-on sentence is not complete, using the criteria of a complete sentence.
    • Revise it so it is a complete sentence.
    • Write the revision in the "Complete Sentence" column on the handout, and invite students to do the same on their copy.
  • Refocus whole group. Tell students that you will be looking for their use of complete sentences in their literary essays. Reassure them that they will have more opportunities to revise their essays for this in later lessons.
  • Consider reducing the complexity of this task by having students practice identifying run-on sentences or fragments first before revising the sentence. Or consider providing two examples, one of a complete sentence and another that is either a run-on or fragmented sentence. Ask students to circle the complete sentence and state why the other option is not complete. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs: Color-code subjects and predicates when discussing sentence fragments. Students can use the colors as clues to determine what is missing from each example. (Example: Establish that subjects will be underlined in blue and that predicates will be underlined in red. Post an example of a sentence fragment, underlined in red. Ask students to determine whether or not it is a complete sentence. Beginning proficiency students can point to the missing color, while intermediate and advanced proficiency students can discuss how it is missing the subject.)
  • For ELLs: Begin instruction by using examples of simpler sentences and gradually increasing the complexity of each example. This will more plainly highlight the essence of what makes fragments and run-ons. (Example: Display the sentence fragment runs. Invite students to observe that the reader does not know who runs. Therefore, the sentence is missing a subject and it is a fragment.)

B. Independent Writing: Writing Proof Paragraph 1 (25 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Informative Writing Checklist. Remind them that this checklist is something they will use a lot in their English Language Arts work.
  • Read aloud each of the following criteria, pausing after each one for students to turn and talk to their partner about what each one means in their own words. Then, invite students to mark these criteria on their checklist (using a different color or symbol from the one they used in Lesson 10):
    • W.4.2a
    • W.4.2b
    • W.4.4
    • L.4.3, L.4.6, W.4.4
  • Remind students they were introduced to the final criterion in the previous lesson and that the task and purpose is a literary essay about what inspired their expert group poet, and their audience is other students and teachers.
  • Focus students on the criterion:
    • W.4.2a
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is the related information in Proof Paragraph 1?" (what inspired our expert group's poet)

  • Model how to record this (using words or sketches) on the displayed Informative Writing Checklist. Invite students to do the same.
  • Focus students on the criterion:
    • W.4.2b
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What are the details we need to include to explain the idea? What text are we using to find these details? What details does the model literary essay include?" (information about what inspired the poet; we are using our expert group poet's biography to find this information)

  • Model how to record this (using words or sketches) on the displayed Informative Writing Checklist. Invite students to do the same.
  • Focus students on the criterion:
    • W.4.4
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How can we make sure our writing is easy to understand?" (We can put what we learned from the expert group poet's biography in our own words; we can make sure to only include information about what inspired our poet in this paragraph.)

  • Model how to record this (using words or sketches) on the displayed Informative Writing Checklist. Invite students to do the same.
  • Invite students to take out their expert group poet biographies and Close Read Note-catcher: Expert Group Poet and move to sit with their expert groups.
  • Select a volunteer to read the focus question at the top of the Close Read Note-catcher: Expert Group Poet:
    • "What inspired your expert group's poet to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in his or her poetry?"
  • Invite students to share their focus statements with their expert groups.
  • Remind students that Proof Paragraph 1 of their essay elaborates on point 1, or gives evidence and reasons to support what inspired their poet.
  • Distribute yellow markers. Invite students to skim their Close Read Note-catcher: Expert Group Poet and underline information they will use in their first proof paragraph.
  • Distribute and display the Proof Paragraph 1 Writing template as necessary.
  • Focus students on the first criterion of Proof Paragraph 1 on the Literary Essay anchor chart.
  • Read the first sentence stem from the writing template:
    • "(Poet's name) was inspired by _____."
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner in their expert group to say aloud their first sentence describing what inspired their poet using the sentence stem provided.
  • Invite students to write this sentence on their Literary Essay draft. Remind them that because this is a new paragraph, they will start on a new line, and remind them to leave lines between each line of writing.
  • Circulate to support students in writing.
  • Repeat with the remaining criterion on the Literary Essay anchor chart with the sentence stem:
    • "This inspired him or her because _____."
    • "This shows _____."
  • Invite students to use the model literary essay, the criteria recorded on the Literary Essay anchor chart, the Informative Writing Checklist, and the domain-specific word wall to write Proof Paragraph 1.
  • Circulate to support students as they write. Remind them to write in complete sentences and to leave a line between each line of their writing.
  • Tell students they are now going to participate in the Thumb-O-Meter protocol to reflect on their progress toward the first learning target. Remind them that they used this protocol in the first half of the unit and review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Guide students through the protocol using the first learning target. Scan student responses and make a note of students who may need more support with this moving forward.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they persevered in this lesson.
  • Invite students to record 'Y' for 'Yes' and the date in the final column of their Informative Writing Checklist if they feel the criteria marked on their checklists have been achieved in their writing in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: While reviewing the checklist criteria, some students may need additional clarification about the language of each criterion. Example: "What does it mean by related information in paragraphs and sections?" (I write about ideas that are about the same thing, and not ideas that are about something else.) (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Suggest or ask students about specific language for writing details about their poets' inspirations. Use the model literary essay as a guide. Record the language on chart paper so students can refer to it as they complete their templates. Examples:
    • "[Poet] drew inspiration from ___________."
    • "[Poet] was inspired to write poetry by ________ because _______. (MMR)
  • Build a supportive and inclusive classroom community by reminding students that everyone is working on building reading skills. Each person will have different skills he or she needs to work on, but what is most important is that they are constantly developing. (MME)
  • Consider offering lined paper where every other line has an X or is highlighted in order to remind students to skip lines. (MMR)
  • For students who may need additional support with writing stamina: Before students begin writing, create a writing goal that is appropriate for the individual student (e.g., two pages). Place a star or a sticker at the goal point so that they can self-monitor their progress as they write. (MME)
  • For students who may need additional support with fine motor skills: Consider offering supportive tools (e.g., pencil grip, slanted desk, or the use of a word processor). (MMAE)
  • Minimize distractions by offering students supports such as dividers or sound-canceling headphones. (MMAE)
  • For students who may need additional support with writing stamina: Consider offering breaks at pre-determined time points. Place a timer on the students' desks to help them monitor their own time. Provide students reasonable choice around what they do during the break (e.g., get a drink of water, stretch). (MMAE, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Revising Our Writing (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to Think-Write-Pair-Share, leaving adequate time for each partner to think, ask each other the question, and share:

"Reread the draft of your essay, looking for any fragments or run-on sentences. Choose one and revise it so it is a complete sentence."

  • Select volunteers to share out.
  • For students who used the modified strategy during Work Time, consider asking them to identify fragments or run-on sentences first and tell them that they will revise the sentence in a future lesson. (MMAE)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support locating fragments or run-ons in their writing: Support them as they reread their writing aloud and instruct them to listen for sentences that do not make sense or sound incomplete.

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

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

B. Complete the Fragments and Run-on practice in your Unit 2 Homework.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading and writing: Refer to the suggested homework support in Lesson 1. (MMAE, MMR)

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