Writing a Literary Essay: Proof Paragraphs | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M1:U2:L14

Writing a Literary Essay: Proof Paragraphs

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.5.3: Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).
  • RF.5.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • W.5.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.5.2a: Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
  • W.5.2b: Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • W.5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.5.9a: Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., "Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]").
  • L.5.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can write Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 of my essay. (RL.5.1, RL.5.3, W.5.2a, W.5.2b, W.5.4, W.5.9a)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 of literary essay (RL.5.1, RL.5.3, W.5.2a, W.5.2b, W.5.4, W.5.9a)
  • Proof Paragraph Writing template (RL.5.1, RL.5.3, W.5.2a, W.5.2b, W.5.4, W.5.9a)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

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

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Independent Writing: Writing Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 (30 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Small Group Poetry Share (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 write Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 of their essays. This is written in pieces with students saying each part aloud before writing (RL.5.1, RL.5.3, W.5.2a, W.5.2b, W.5.4, W.5.9a).
  • Students have already written at least one, and possibly both, of the paragraphs either themselves or as a group write in the first half of unit lessons, and for homework. As a result, in this lesson, some students will only need to check their paragraphs against the criteria on the Literary Essay anchor chart and copy them onto their essay.
  • Students who require an extension can write their own new proof paragraphs rather than using the ones already written as a group in previous lessons.
  • In this unit, the habit of character focus is on working to become an effective learner. The characteristic that students collect in this lesson is perseverance, because this is their first time writing a full essay this school year. They also practice collaboration, as they continue to work in pairs to write their literary essay.
  • At the end of the lesson, students practice reading their two-voice poems aloud to another pair. This is in preparation for reading monologues aloud in Unit 3 (RF.5.4).
  • The research reading that students complete for homework will help build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to human rights. 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 Essay structure 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 Paragraphs 1 and 2.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review students' paragraphs to ensure they have included 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 (Grade 5) during independent writing in Work Time A (see the Tools page).
  • Consider using the Reading: Foundational Skills Informal Assessment: Reading Fluency Checklist during the Closing and Assessment (see the Tools page).

Down the road:

  • In the next lesson, students will write the conclusion of their literary essay.

In Advance

  • Prepare the Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 strips (one per group of four, see supporting materials).
  • Review the Red Light, Green Light protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets and applicable anchor charts.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: Students write their first proof paragraph on a word-processing document--for example, a Google Doc.
  • Work Time A: If the group-writing character reaction paragraphs that were written during the first half of the unit were written on a word-processing document, invite students to copy and paste this paragraph into their own essay.

Supporting English Language Learners

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

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 proof paragraphs of their literary essays. Students continue to benefit from the color-coding system established in prior lessons for visual support.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to complete their proof paragraphs in the time allotted and without teacher guidance. Consider working closely with a small group after working with the class, and support each student as needed. See "Levels of support" for details.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Before providing templates or additional modeling during Work Time A, observe student work and allow students to grapple. Provide supportive materials only after students have grappled with the task. Observe the areas in which they struggle to target appropriate support.

For heavier support:

  • During Work Time A, provide a partially filled-in version of the Proof Paragraph Writing template. Students can complete the paragraph as a cloze exercise, while focusing on comprehending the paragraph and its purpose within the essay structure.
  • In preparation for performing their two-voice poem during the Closing and Assessment, provide time before the lesson for students to practice reading their two-voice poem. Support them by giving feedback on their fluency and accuracy, and encouraging them on a job well done.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation (MMR): Some students may require additional support with the expectations for Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2. 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 30 minutes of writing time. Some students may need additional support to build their writing stamina over such a long time period. Support students in building their stamina and focus by providing scaffolds that build an environment that is conducive to writing. See lesson supports for specific examples.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement (MME): Students who 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 the 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 (L)

Materials

  • Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 strips (one per group of four)
  • Painted Essay(r)¬†template (from Lesson 12; one per student)
  • Model literary essay (from Lesson 12; one per student and one to display)
  • Literary Essay anchor chart (begun in Lesson 13; added to during Opening A; see supporting materials)
  • Literary Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Literary essay prompt (from Lesson 12; one per student)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Lesson 13)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • Informative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 13; one per student and one to display)
  • Informative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference)
  • Quoting Accurately from the Text handout (from Unit 1, Lesson 5; one per student and one to display)
  • Partner literary essay (begun in Lesson 13; added to during Work Time A; one per student)
  • Character Reaction note-catchers:
    • Character Reaction Note-catcher: "Las Cebollas" (from Lesson 1; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Note-catcher: "Las Ciruelas" (from Lesson 3; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Note-catcher: "Los Esparragos" (from Lesson 6; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Note-catcher: "Los Duraznos" (from Lesson 7; one per student)
  • Character reaction paragraphs:
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Esperanza (from Lesson 1; group writing)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Hortensia (from Lesson 3; group writing)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Mama or Esperanza (from Lesson 3 homework; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Marta (from Lesson 6; group writing)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Esperanza or Josefina (from Lesson 6 homework; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Miguel (from Lesson 7; one per student)
    • Character Reaction Paragraph: Esperanza (from Lesson 8; one per student)
  • Partner two-voice poem (from Lesson 11; one per pair)
  • Writing Complete Sentences handout (from Lesson 13; one per student and one to display)
  • Domain-Specific Word Wall (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 3)
  • Yellow and blue markers (one of each per student)
  • Proof Paragraph Writing template (one per student; where required)
  • Two-Voice Poems handout (from Lesson 11; one per student and one to display)

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 the Proof Paragraphs (15 minutes)

  • Invite students to get into the pairs they have been working in, and then to pair up with another pair.
  • Distribute Organizing the Model: Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 strips to each group of four.
  • Invite students to work with their group to read and organize the strips, putting them in the correct order for the two proof paragraphs of the model literary essay.
  • Invite students to refer to their Painted Essay(r)¬†template to remember where the proof paragraphs fit into the structure of the essay.
  • Tell students that when they have finished, they can check their work against the model literary essay.
  • Invite students to begin and circulate to support them in reading the strips.
  • Refocus whole group. Invite students to help you record the parts of the proof paragraphs on the Literary Essay anchor chart. Refer to Literary Essay anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Point out that within each 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: For heavier support, encourage students to refer to the model literary essay as they work to order the paragraph strips.
  • For ELLs: Consider using the corresponding Painted Essay colors when recording the parts of Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 on the Literary Essay anchor chart.
  • Provide differentiated mentors by purposefully pre-selecting student partnerships. Consider meeting with students in advance to coach them to share their thought process with their partner. (MMAE)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

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

"I can write Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 of my essay."

  • Invite students to retrieve their literary essay prompt and quickly review it.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart. Remind them that it says at the top 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 persevere. This means I challenge myself. When something is difficult or demanding, I keep trying and ask for help if I need it."
  • Invite students to turn and talk to their group:

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

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

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

"What does persevering sound like? What might you hear when someone is persevering?" 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 persevere 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.
  • Tell students they will have to persevere as they work on writing an essay like the model about the character reactions in the event/situation they have chosen. Tell students that they will also continue to collaborate as they work in pairs to write their literary essays, and remind them, using the anchor chart, of what this looks and sounds like.
  • 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?" (Responses will vary, but may include: It is the main part of the essay, just as our bodies are the main part of us.)
  • For ELLs: Check comprehension by asking students to describe any effective learners they know. Ask them how these effective learners persevere. (Responses will vary, but may include: Tenzin is an effective learner because he always asks for help when he doesn't understand something.)
  • For students who may need additional support with comprehension: Ask several students to repeat and rephrase the learning targets to provide multiple opportunities for comprehension. (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Independent Writing: Writing Proof Paragraphs 1 and 2 (30 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 13):
    • W.5.2a
    • W.5.2b
  • Focus students on the criterion:
    • W.5.2a
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"How is the information organized in the model essay?" (Each proof paragraph describes, with evidence from Esperanza Rising, the reactions of one character to the event/situation.)

  • If productive, cue students to clarify the conversation by confirming what they mean:

"So, do you mean _____?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Model how to record this (using words or sketches) on the displayed Informative Writing Checklist. Invite students to do the same. Refer to Informative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Focus students on the criterion:
    • W.5.2b
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What are the relevant details you need to include? Where are you going to quote from?" (details and quotations from Esperanza Rising about the reaction of each character to the event/situation)

"How do you quote accurately from the text?" (Responses will vary, but may include: criteria listed on the Quoting Accurately from the Text handout.)

  • Model how to record this (using words or sketches) on the displayed Informative Writing Checklist. Invite students to do the same. Refer to Informative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Remind students that they have already written, either as a whole group, or independently, at least one of the character reaction paragraphs, as these were written in class and for homework throughout the first half of the unit.
  • Tell students that if they are going to use any of the paragraphs already written for the first and second proof paragraphs of their essay, they need to check them against the criteria on the Literary Essay anchor chart to ensure they have included everything they need to include.
  • Invite students to take out the materials they need to work with their partner to begin writing their proof paragraphs:
    • Partner literary essay
    • Character Reaction note-catcher
    • Character reaction paragraph
    • Partner two-voice poem
    • Model literary essay
  • Remind students:
    • To write in complete sentences and refer to their Writing Complete Sentences handout
    • To refer to the domain-specific word wall
    • That each proof paragraph of their essay should be about the reactions of a different character to the event/situation, and should include evidence, quoted accurately from the text
    • To leave a line between each line of writing for editing later
  • Invite students to turn and talk to their partner:

"Where can you find this information?" (on the Character Reaction note-catcher, which lists the chapter and a brief description of the event/situation)

  • Distribute yellow and blue markers. Invite students to skim their Character Reaction note-catcher and to underline information they will use in their first proof paragraph in yellow, and information they will use in their second proof paragraph in blue on their note-catcher.
  • Give students a couple of minutes to think before inviting them to say their first proof paragraphs orally to their partner. Again, remind students that they may use the paragraphs already written in previous lessons, but they need to check them against the criteria on the Literary Essay anchor chart.
  • Give students a few more minutes to think before inviting them to say their second proof paragraphs orally to their partner. Again, remind students that they may use the paragraphs already written in previous lessons, but they need to check them against the criteria on the Literary Essay anchor chart.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • Invite students to use their resources to write their proof paragraphs. Remind them that although working together, they are each to write their own essay. Distribute the Proof Paragraph Writing template where required.
  • Circulate to support students as they work.
  • Tell students they are now going to use the Red Light, Green Light protocol to reflect on their progress toward the learning target. Remind them that they used this protocol in Lesson 12 and review as necessary. 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.
  • 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: While reviewing the checklist criteria, some students may need additional clarification about the language of each criterion. Example: "What does it mean that information is grouped logically?" (I will group information about each character in a different proof paragraph.)
  • For ELLs: Model and think aloud the process for identifying and underlining information on the Character Reaction note-catcher to use in the proof paragraphs of the essay. (Example: "In my first proof paragraph, I will describe how Esperanza responded. On my note-catcher, I will underline in yellow that Esperanza felt confused and numb. I will also underline the quotes that show her response in yellow.")
  • For ELLs: Display a group-writing character reaction paragraph and the Literary Essay anchor chart side by side. Model and think aloud the process of revising the paragraph to meet the criteria for a proof paragraph on the Literary Essay anchor chart. (Example: "I am writing about Esperanza's and Mama's reactions to the camp conditions in 'Las Cebollas.' My character reaction paragraph introduces the chapter title and describes the situation, but I already have that information in my introductory paragraph, so I will leave it out of proof paragraphs.)
  • Consider offering lined paper where every other line has an X or is highlighted in order to remind students to skip lines. (MMR)
  • 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 such as a 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 building writing stamina: Consider offering breaks at pre-determined time points. Place a timer on 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

Closing

A. Small Group Poetry Share (10 minutes)

  • Refocus the whole group. Tell students, that similar to Lessons 11 and 13, they are going to perform their two-voice poems for another pair (one that they have not previously performed for).
  • Give students 5 minutes to practice, with each student in the pair choosing one of the characters to play.
  • Invite pairs to find a new pair, forming a group of four. Invite pairs to label themselves pair A and pair B.
  • Post and review the following directions. Answer clarifying questions.

1. Pair B reads aloud their two-voice poem twice.

2. While listening to pair B read aloud, pair A uses the criteria on the Two-Voice Poems anchor chart to identify a step--something pair B could improve upon in their poem.

3. Pair A shares their step with pair B.

4. Pairs switch roles and repeat this process.

  • Guide students through the Red Light, Green Light protocol to self-assess against how well they persevered and collaborated in this lesson.

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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