Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Informative Paragraph: What Inspires Jack? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M1:U2:L4

Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Informative Paragraph: What Inspires Jack?

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.4.1: Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.4.3: Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).
  • W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.4.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can plan and write an informative paragraph describing what inspires Jack in Love That Dog to write poetry. (RL.4.1, RL.4.3, W.4.2, W.4.10)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Informative Paragraph: What Inspires Jack? (RL.4.1, RL.4.3, W.4.2, W.4.10)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Returning End of Unit 1 Assessment (5 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Rereading to Gather Evidence (15 minutes)

B. Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Informative Paragraph: What Inspires Jack? (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

4. Homework

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

Purpose of lesson and alignment to standards:

  • In this lesson, students continue thinking about what inspired Jack to write poetry to plan and write an informative paragraph about what inspires Jack (RL.4.1, RL.4.3, W.4.2). This builds on the work students completed in Unit 1 with writing short responses, and in the previous lesson when analyzing an informational paragraph.
  • In Opening A, students' End of Unit 1 Assessments are returned with feedback. The purpose of this is for students to have the opportunity to see how they performed in order to improve in their next assessment, and to ask questions if they don't understand the feedback.
  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is on working to become an effective learner. Students are reminded of perseverance as they work through an assessment independently. They collect a new characteristic, added to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. The characteristic they collect in this lesson is: taking responsibility. This is because they will be taking responsibility for their own learning as they reflect on the learning targets from the first half of the unit.
  • 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 Unit 1, students began thinking about what inspired Jack to write poetry. In the previous lesson, they analyzed a model paragraph and wrote their own focus statement. In this lesson, students plan and write an informative paragraph about what inspired Jack.
  • Throughout Unit 1, students were introduced to various total participation techniques (for example, cold calling, equity sticks, Think-Pair-Share, etc.). When following the directive to "Use a total participation technique, invite responses from the group," use one of these techniques or another familiar technique to encourage all students to participate.

Areas in which 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.
  • Some students may need more than the 30 minutes allocated for this assessment.

Assessment guidance:

  • Writing rubrics can be found in the Grade 4 Writing Rubrics document (Refer to the Writing Rubrics and Checklists - Grades K-5 documents on the Tools page). All other assessment materials (student copy, answer key, student exemplar) are included in the Assessment Overview and Resources. Use rows A-D, G, and J on the Grade 4 Informative Writing Rubric (refer to the Writing Rubrics and Checklists - Grades K-5 documents on the Tools page) to assess student work.

Down the road:

  • Students will continue thinking about what inspired other writers to write poetry in the second half of the unit. They will read biographies and poetry by some of the poets Jack learned about in Love That Dog, and write an informational essay about one poet explaining what inspired him or her to write poetry, giving evidence from that person's poems of this inspiration.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • End of Unit 1 Assessments with feedback from Unit 1, Lesson 12.
    • Mid-Unit 2 Assessment (see Assessment Overview and Resources).
  • Review the Red Light, Green Light protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets and Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time B: Students complete the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment online on a Google Form or Google Doc, for example.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.B.6, 4.I.C.1o, and 4.II.A.1.

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 1-3.
  • The Mid-Unit 2 Assessment may be challenging for ELLs as it is a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction. ELLs will be asked to not only independently apply cognitive skills developed in Lessons 1-3, but also to independently apply new linguistic knowledge introduced. Encourage students to do their best, and assure them that you will continue learning together after the assessment.
  • Allow students to review language they've written on the Word Wall or in their vocabulary logs.
  • Make sure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying answers to the assessment questions themselves (see Meeting Students' Needs column).
  • After the assessment, ask students to discuss which part of the assessment 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

  • Multiples Means of Representation (MMR): Help students generalize information from Lesson 3 so they can draw on it during this mid-unit assessment. Consider providing a worksheet that is color-coded to match the activity from the analyzing a model paragraph portion of the previous lesson.
  • Multiples Means of Action and Expression (MMAE): Consider ways to decrease barriers for students during this assessment. For instance, support fine motor skills by allowing students to use writing tools such as slanted desks, pencil grips, or a word processor. Help limit distractions by using dividers or sound-canceling headphones. Some students may also need support with writing stamina. Provide opportunities for breaks during the assessment with pre-approved activities.
  • Multiples Means of Engagement (MME): This lesson is designed to provide multiple tools for students to use during the assessment. Remind students that they have already done a lot of the work to prepare for this assessment and all they need to do is to look at their tools for help.

Vocabulary

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

  • effective learners, taking responsibility (L)

Materials

  • End of Unit 1 Assessments with Feedback (one per student; completed in Unit 1, Lesson 12)
  • Love That Dog (from Unit 1, Lesson 2; one per student)
  • Mid-Unit 2 Assessment prompt (from Lesson 3; one per student and one to display; see Assessment Overview and Resources)
  • What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? note-catcher (from Unit 1, Lesson 10; one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1; added to during Closing)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Red, yellow, and green objects (one of each per student)

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. Returning Mid-Unit 2 Assessment (5 minutes)

  • Return students' End of Unit 1 Assessments with Feedback.
  • Invite students to spend a few minutes reading the feedback. If they require teacher support to understand the feedback, encourage them to write their names on the board so you can visit with them in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who need support with reading: Reassure them that if they don't understand or cannot read the feedback, they will have an opportunity to review it with you during the lesson. (MME)
  • Build an accepting and supportive by reminding students that everyone is working toward individual goals and that learning is about continued growth and development. (MME)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the learning target and read it aloud:

"I can plan and write an informational paragraph describing what inspires Jack in Love That Dog to write poetry."

  • Remind students that in the previous lesson they analyzed a model informative paragraph and began planning a paragraph about what inspired Jack by writing a focus statement.
  • Invite students to take out their copies of Love That Dog and to retrieve their Mid-Unit 2 Assessment prompt. Invite students to follow along, reading silently in their heads as you read the prompt aloud.
  • Build students' confidence by reminding them that even though this is an assessment, they have a lot of tools they can draw on during their writing. They have already done a lot of thinking work for this assessment; they just need to put it on paper in a coherent way. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Display the color-coded model informative paragraph from Lesson 3. Refer to the model and review how the criteria of a well-written paragraph listed in the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment prompt are evident in this piece of writing. 

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Rereading to Gather Evidence (15 minutes)

  • Explain to students that before they begin the mid-unit assessment, they will be rereading pages 73-86 in Love That Dog to look for more evidence for the focus question:
    • "What inspires Jack to write poetry, and where can you see evidence of this in his poetry?"
  • Remind students that they will be writing an informative paragraph answering this focus question later in the lesson as part of the mid-unit assessment.
  • Focus students on the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment prompt and point out the first criterion:
    • "Introduces the book and the author and briefly explains what the book is about."
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is the name of the text we have been reading? Who is the author?" (Love That Dog by Sharon Creech)

"What is the book about?" (Responses will vary, but may include: It's about a boy named Jack who is learning about poetry; it's about a boy named Jack who writes poems about his dog, Sky.)

  • Display and ask students to take out their What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? note-catcher. Invite students to make notes about the title, author, and background on the back of their note-catchers.
  • Remind students that in the previous lesson they decided on the focus for their paragraphs when they wrote their focus statements. Invite students to silently read their focus statements.
  • Focus students on the Mid-Unit 2 Assessment prompt and point out the third criterion:
    • "Uses accurate and relevant details and explains how each detail is evidence of what inspired Jack."
  • Remind students they have been collecting evidence about this on the What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? note-catcher.
  • Select a volunteer to read the headings on the note-catcher: "Title of Poem and Poet," "What inspired the poet?" and "Where can you see evidence of this in the poem?"
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What inspired Jack to write poetry?" (things that happened in his classroom; his dog, Sky; other poets)

"Where can you find evidence of what inspired Jack to write poetry?" (in his poems and journal entries throughout Love That Dog)

  • Point out that the evidence they have recorded on this note-catcher is for several things that inspired Jack--things that happened in his classroom, his dog, and other poets. Remind students that for the mid-unit assessment, they are choosing just one of those inspirations to write about: either how his dog, Sky, or other poets inspired him.
  • Point out that they have not recorded any evidence on this note-catcher for pages 73-86.
  • Invite students to begin rereading pages 73-86, gathering evidence to add to their note-catchers, and deciding which evidence they will include in their paragraphs.
  • Circulate to support students as they collect evidence, prompting if necessary with questions such as:

"Does that inspire Jack?"

"How do you know this inspires Jack?"

"What evidence from his poetry or journal entries supports your thinking?"

  • For ELLs: Allow students to reread pages 73-86 with a partner and share their thinking aloud before filling in their note-catchers.
  • For ELLs: Model and think aloud the process for reading and choosing evidence from the third column of the What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? anchor chart. (Example: "My notes say that Jack starts one of his poems with the same words that Williams Carlos Williams uses in his wheelbarrow poem. I'll use that as evidence that Jack was inspired by other poets.")

B. Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Writing an Informational Paragraph about What Inspires Jack (25 minutes)

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them of perseverance, as they will be working independently on their mid-unit assessment, which may be challenging.
  • Invite students to review their What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? note-catcher and Love That Dog. Remind them that all of the information they need to write their paragraphs is included on this note-catcher. Remind students that they drafted a focus statement in the previous lesson, and just spent some time gathering and organizing evidence to use in their paragraphs.
  • Invite students to turn to an elbow partner and tell him or her what they think their informative paragraph will sound like based on the criteria on the assessment prompt and the information on their note-catcher.
  • Explain that students are to work silently and independently because this is an assessment.
  • Invite students to begin the assessment.
  • Circulate to monitor students' test-taking skills. Prompt students throughout the assessment, letting them know how much time they have left and encouraging them to continue working. This is an opportunity to analyze students' behavior while they take an assessment. Document strategies that students use during the assessment (e.g., annotating their text, using their note-catcher to take notes before answering questions, and referring to the text and their notes as they write their paragraphs).
  • After 30 minutes, refocus whole group and collect students' assessments.
  • Ensure ELL students and students who need support with reading 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 students who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions. (MMR)
  • For students who may need additional support with organization or memory: Consider providing a template with the color-coding that corresponds to the activity from the previous lesson. This will help students to generalize their learning across lessons. (MMR, MMAE)
  • Minimize distractions during the assessment by providing tools such as sound-canceling headphones or individual dividers. (MME)
  • Allow students to use tools that will support their fine motor skills (e.g., pencil grip, slanted desk, or the use of a word processor). (MMAE)
  • For students who may need additional support with writing stamina: Provide opportunities to take breaks at pre-determined points during the assessment. Let them choose from a list of appropriate break activities such as getting a drink of water, stretching, etc. (MME)
  • For ELLs: As you explain, display a "map" of the assessment on the board. Provide timers to increase predictability for the assessment process.

Write an informative paragraph about what inspired Jack to write poetry.

  1. Directions:

A. Step 1. Review What Inspires Poets to Write Poetry? note-catcher and Love that Dog.

B. Step 2. Using your note-catchers, write an informative paragraph about what inspires Jack to write poetry, and where you can see evidence of this in his poetry.

  • For ELLs: Read the assessment directions aloud.
  • For ELLs: Ensure students clearly understand all assessment directions. Rephrase directions for them. Monitor during the assessment to see that students are completing the assessment correctly. Stop students who are on the wrong track and make sure they understand the directions.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning (10 minutes)

  • Focus students to the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. Remind them that effective learners are people who develop the mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life.
  • Read aloud the new habit of character recorded:
    • "I take responsibility. This means I take ownership of my ideas, my work, my goals, and my actions."
  • Invite students to turn and talk to an elbow partner:

"Using the anchor chart as a guide, what does taking responsibility mean in your own words?"

  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner, and cold call students to share out:

"What does taking responsibility look like? What might you see when someone is taking responsibility?" See Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (example, for teacher reference).

"What does taking responsibility sound like? What might you hear when someone is taking responsibility?" See Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (example, for teacher reference).

  • As students share out, capture their responses in the appropriate column on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.
  • Record take responsibility 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.
  • Distribute red, yellow, and green objects.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their learning so far in the unit. Remind them that they used this protocol in Unit 1 and review what each color represents as necessary (red = stuck or not ready; yellow = needs support soon; green = ready). Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.
  • Guide students through the protocol using the learning target. Note students showing red or yellow objects so you can check in with them throughout the remainder of the unit.
  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they took responsibility and persevered in this lesson.
  • Tell students they will continue working on writing informative texts in the second half of this unit.
  • For students who may feel uncomfortable sharing their progress on meeting the learning targets publicly: Minimize risk by providing students with a sheet of paper where they can select a color for each learning target in private. This provides you with useful data for future instruction and helps students monitor their own learning. (MME)
  • For ELLs: Pronounce and spell responsibility aloud. Tell students that the words take and responsibility are often used together (collocation) and can be learned as a phrase, e.g., I take responsibility. Invite students to investigate additional collocations with take and responsibility. (Examples: take care or accept responsibility) (Hint: Suggest that students complete an internet search or use a collocation dictionary.)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Accountable Research Reading. Select a prompt and respond 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)

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