Mid-Unit Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Introduction | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G4:M2:U3:L8

Mid-Unit Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Introduction

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.4.9: Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • W.4.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.4.3a: Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
  • W.4.3d: Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.
  • W.4.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.4.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.4.9b: Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text").
  • 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.
  • L.4.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.4.3a: Choose words and phrases to convey ideas precisely.
  • L.4.6: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal precise actions, emotions, or states of being (e.g., quizzed, whined, stammered) and that are basic to a particular topic (e.g., wildlife, conservation, and endangered when discussing animal preservation).

Daily Learning Target

  • I can plan and draft a compelling introduction that establishes a situation by introducing the characters, setting, and plot of my narrative. (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.4, W.4.9b, W.4.10, L.4.3a, L.4.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Introduction (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.4, W.4.9b, W.4.10, L.4.3a, L.4.6)
  • Tracking Progress: Narrative Writing (W.4.3)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Writer: Popcorn Read (5 minutes)
B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time 

A. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Multiple Choice (10 minutes)
B. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part II: Planning the Expert Group Animal Narrative Introduction (10 minutes)
C. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part III: Drafting the Expert Group Animal Narrative Introduction (25 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment 

A. Tracking Progress (5 minutes)

4. Homework 

A. Choose and respond to a narrative QuickWrite prompt from your homework resources for this unit.
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 assessment, students plan for and draft their introductions to their expert group animal choose-your-own-adventure narratives. (RI.4.9, W.4.3a, W.4.3d, W.4.4, W.4.9b, W.4.10, L.4.3a, L.4.6)
  • This assessment is divided into three parts to help pace students. All parts occur during this lesson. The first part is multiple choice and short answer questions, the second part is the planning of narrative introductions, and the third part is the drafting of narrative introductions.
  • The research reading students complete for homework will help to build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to animals and specifically animal defense mechanisms. 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 to describe and make sense of it.
  • Be sure students have access to their research notebooks and planning graphic organizers.
  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is working to become an effective learner. The characteristics they are reminded of specifically are perseverance and taking responsibility, as they will be working independently on their assessments, which may be challenging for some students, and then reflecting on their learning after the assessment.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Leading up to this lesson, students have used a mentor text to understand the characteristics of an effective narrative, practiced planning and drafting these components in shared writing with teacher support, and independently planned these components for their own narratives. This assessment requires students to use the planning they’ve done to finalize their plans and write a first draft of their own narrative. 

Areas where students may need additional support:

  • Students may require more time to complete the assessment, and the division of the assessment into three parts allows for this.

Assessment Guidance:

  • Writing rubrics can be found in the Grade 4 Writing Rubrics document (see the Tools page). All other 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, rubrics, and sample student responses (see the Assessment Overview and Resources and the Tools page) to help you complete the student Tracking Progress sheet. It is suggested that you make notes in the appropriate column for each criteria and mark evidence with flags/sticky notes on student work in a different color to student responses. There is also space for you to respond to student comments.
  • In this assessment students are tracking progress towards anchor standards W.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
  • Collect in Narrative QuickWrite homework (Lesson 6).
  • For ELLs: Collect the Language Dive Practice (Lesson 7).

Down the road:

  • After the lesson, make copies of each student’s draft introductions for assessment purposes. They will need their originals back in Lesson 9 to revise.

In Advance

  • Display the Performance Task, Narrative Texts, and Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor charts.
  • Review the Popcorn Read protocol (see the Tools page).
  • Post: Learning target.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Times B and C: Students complete their graphic organizer and draft in a word processing document, for example a Google Doc using Speech to Text facilities activated on devices, or using an app or software like Dragon Dictation.
  • Work Time C: Allow students to type their first drafts using Google Docs or other word processing software.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 4.I.B.6, 4.I.C.10, 4.I.C.11, 4.I.C.12, 4.II.A.1, 4.II.B.5

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 1-7. 
  • ELLs may find the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment challenging, particularly the drafting of the narrative introduction, as it may be a big leap from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction. ELLs are asked not only to independently apply writing skills developed in Lessons 1–7, but also to independently apply new linguistic knowledge introduced in Lessons 1–7. Encourage them to have fun and do their best, reminding them that they have done similar work previously.
  • Make sure that ELLs understand the assessment directions. Answer their questions, refraining from supplying answers to the assessment questions themselves. See additional support in the lesson.
  • After the assessment, ask students to tell you which portion 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.
  • As you give feedback on the narratives written in the mid-unit assessment, you may notice that ELLs’ writing contains a multitude of language errors. Focus on only one or two pervasive errors to avoid overwhelming yourself and the student. For example, working on text structure (e.g., clearly stating the encounter between the animal and the predator) can often shape a clear gist out of an incomprehensible piece of writing. Leave sentence-level errors for last (e.g., word choice, syntax, spelling) unless they are responsible for interfering with the gist. 
  • In addition, spend an equal amount of time giving feedback on what the student did well. Get excited about and discuss the student’s choice of animal encounter, clever story ideas, or progress with using domain-specific words, for example. This will help enable the student to identify and repeat his or her success next time.

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 lessons. 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): Some students may need support in setting appropriate goals for their effort and the level of difficulty expected during the mid-unit 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): Drafting the narrative introduction independently may feel like a big shift from the heavily scaffolded classroom interaction for students who need additional writing support. Encourage them to have fun and do their best, reminding them that they have done similar work previously.

Vocabulary

Key: (L): Lesson-Specific Vocabulary; (T): Text-Specific Vocabulary; (W): Vocabulary used in writing

Do not preview vocabulary for this assessment lesson.

Materials

  • Narrative Writing Checklist (distributed in Lesson 3; one per student and one to display)
  • Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart (begun in Lesson 1)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (from Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor chart (begun in Lesson 4)
  • Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Introduction (see Assessment Overview; one per student)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (from Module 1)
  • Character Profile graphic organizer (from Lesson 3; one per student)
  • Narrative Planning graphic organizer (from Lesson 5; one per student)
  • Tracking Progress: Narrative Writing (one per student)
  • Evidence flags or sticky notes (eleven per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Writer: Popcorn Read (5 minutes)

  • Invite students to take out their Narrative Writing Checklists. Explain that they will use the Popcorn Read protocol to help synthesize their understanding of the checklist discussed thus far.
  • Before students begin their Popcorn Read, post and discuss the criteria:
    • Read short phrases or words only (not sentences).
    • Give no commentary or opinions.
    • Try to connect with what was just read (listen carefully to others).
    • Give all voices a chance.
    • Pauses can be powerful.
    • Repeating phrases is allowed (shows where a group collectively agrees).
  • Invite students to form a circle. Explain that they should read only from the following criteria on the checklist:
    • W.4.9
    • W.4.3a
    • W.4.3c
    • W.4.3d, L.4.3b, L.4.6
    • W.4.4
  • Give students a minute to reread these rows on the rubric and underline a word or phrase that stands out to them.
  • Invite students to begin the protocol. Remind them that when one person reads a word or phrase, the other students should look for a phrase they’ve underlined that matches or connects in some way with the phrase they’ve just heard. This process continues until there are no more phrases students want to share aloud (until there are no more “kernels left to pop”).
  • For students who may need additional reading time: Provide the criteria in Opening A in advance so they can feel confident in their ability to participate in the Popcorn Read. (MMR, MME)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading fluency: Chorally read the narrative checklist criteria for fluency practice and to help ELLs and students who need reading support. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with motivation: Ask students to recall and describe one time that they practiced working on each of the checklist criteria in the past seven lessons. (MME)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Post the learning target: 
  • “I can plan and draft a compelling introduction that establishes a situation by introducing the characters, setting, and plot of my narrative.” 
  • Circle the words plan, draft, introduction, characters, events, setting, and plot. Explain that this learning target connects the directions to the criteria on the rubric they have reviewed thus far.
  • Post the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Narrative anchor chart, Performance Task anchor chart, and Steps for Planning and Drafting My Narrative anchor chart and further clarify the learning targets as needed.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part I: Multiple Choice (10 minutes)

  • Tell students that in a moment, they will begin the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment. Tell them that this assessment focuses only on the parts of the rubric that they have reviewed so far. Tell students to try their best on spelling and handwriting but that these will not be assessed on their draft writing. Therefore, they should focus on their ideas and the story. They will have time to revise for conventions in future lessons.
  • Distribute the Mid-Unit 3 Assessment: Narrative Writing: Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Introduction. Explain that this assessment is divided into three parts: First, they will answer several multiple choice and short answer questions. Then, they will complete a graphic organizer to plan their introductory and problem paragraphs, and finally they will use this plan to write a draft of the introductory and problem paragraphs.
  • 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.
  • Tell students to begin Part I of the assessment. 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 students annotating their text, using their graphic organizer to take notes before answering questions, and going back to the text as they answer questions. 
  • After 10 minutes, bring students back together whole group.
  • In order to minimize distractions during the assessment, vary the level of sensory stimulation as appropriate for individual students (e.g., offering sound-canceling headphones or dividing workspaces). Some students may also need flexibility with the pace of work and length of work sessions. Consider offering time-outs or breaking up the two sections of the assessment into separate days or times of day. (MME) 
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: As you explain, write a “map” of the assessment on the board. Example: 

Three parts:

1. Multiple choice questions

2. Complete graphic organizer

3. Use graphic organizer plan to draft introduction and problem paragraphs of narrative (MMR)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with visual processing: Read the test directions AND answers aloud. (MMR)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Ensure that students are clear about all test directions. Rephrase the 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, MME)

B. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part II: Planning the Expert Group Animal Narrative Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Explain that now students will begin planning their narrative’s introductory and problem paragraphs. 
  • Invite students to take out their expert group animal Character Profile and Narrative Planning graphic organizer. Remind them to use their plans, the prompt, and the anchor charts in the classroom as resources while they plan and write their drafts.
  • Tell students to begin Part II of the assessment. 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 students annotating their text, using their graphic organizer to take notes before answering questions, and going back to the prompt as they answer questions.
  • After 10 minutes, bring students back together whole group.
  • Students who need support organizing their materials may benefit from having help preparing their work space for the assessment (finding and organizing all planning documents they completed during previous lessons). (MMAE, MME)

C. Mid-Unit 3 Assessment, Part III: Drafting the Expert Group Animal Narrative Introduction (25 minutes)

  • Explain that now students should begin drafting their narrative’s introductory and problem paragraphs. Remind them that it is important to skip lines as they write so they have space to make revisions later. Continue circulating to monitor and support as necessary. Provide minimal support because this is an assessment.
  • After 20 minutes, let students know that they have 5 minutes left. Invite those who finish early to reread their narratives before turning them in. In addition, ask these students to revise their sketches (on a separate piece of paper) or consider details they may add to their narratives in a second draft. 
  • For students who may need additional support with language: Provide paragraph frames and word banks to allow them to focus on writing what they know. (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Tracking Progress (5 minutes)

  • Congratulate students on their hard work on the mid-unit assessment. 
  • Distribute Tracking Progress: Narrative Writing. Remind students that successful learners keep track and reflect on their own learning. Remind students that they have done this after every assessment.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart again, specifically taking responsibility. Remind students that as they will be reflecting on their learning and setting goals, so they will be taking responsibility of their own learning.
  • Point out that this is a new tracking progress form. Select volunteers to read aloud each criterion for the whole group. After hearing it read aloud, invite students to tell the person next to them what each means in their own words.
  • Ensure students have access to evidence flags or sticky notes to mark up their work with evidence.
  • Tell students the sticky notes are for them to find evidence of the following criteria:
    • W.4.9, RI.4.1
    • W.4.3a
  • Guide students through completing the form.
  • If students have time, invite them to revisit their previous Tracking Progress: Narrative Writing to discuss in pairs how they think they have progressed.
  • Collect students’ self-assessments to use as a formative assessment to guide instructional decisions during the remainder of this unit.
  • Use a checking for understanding protocol (for example Red Light, Green Light or Thumb-O-Meter) for students to self-assess how well they persevered and took responsibility in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with organizing ideas for written expression: Allow students to orally paraphrase the meaning of the targets with a partner before they begin writing. (MMAE)
  • 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. Choose and respond to a narrative QuickWrite prompt from your homework resources for this unit.

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

Note: Make copies of each student’s draft introduction for assessment purposes. They will need their originals back in Lesson 8 to revise.

  • For ELLs and others needing additional support: Read the prompts aloud for students who need heavier support. Verbally brainstorm possible responses. Encourage them to write words in their responses if they can’t write sentences, or provide them with sentence starters. (MMAE)
  • 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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