Web Research: What Can We Do to Help the Rainforest? | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M2:U1:L11

Web Research: What Can We Do to Help the Rainforest?

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RI.5.1: Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RI.5.2: Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
  • RI.5.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • RI.5.7: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • W.5.7: Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • W.5.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can research using several sources to answer the question: What can I do to help the rainforest? (RI.5.7, W.5.7, W.5.8)
  •  I can summarize information from a text. (RI.5.2, W.5.8)

Ongoing Assessment

  • What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (RI.5.7, W.5.7, W.5.8)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Engaging the Reader (15 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Modeling: Researching How to Help the Rainforest (15 minutes)

B. Partner Work: Researching How to Help the Rainforest (20 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. 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 lesson, students hear a new story read aloud to introduce the idea of saving the rainforest. They then research using multiple print and digital sources to answer the question: “What can I do to help the rainforest?” (RI.5.7, W.5.7, W.5.8). As part of their research, students collect relevant quotes, summarize their learning on a note-catcher, and cite their sources (RI.5.1, RI.5.2, W.5.7, W.5.8).
  • W.5.8 requires students to gather information from print and digital sources. As such, this lesson is designed for students to use internet sources as texts. If the technology necessary for students to complete the reading is unavailable, give them printed copies of possible texts from which to choose.
  • Students who finish quickly or require an extension can use a search engine to find their own sources.
  • The research reading that students complete for homework helps build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to the rainforest, specifically rainforest species and research. By participating in this volume of reading over time, students will develop a wide base of knowledge about the world and the words that help describe and make sense of it. Inviting students to share what they have been learning through independent reading holds them accountable.
  • In this lesson, the habits of character focus are working to contribute to a better world and working to become an effective learner. The characteristics students practice are taking care of shared spaces and the environment and applying learning to help the school, community, and environment, as they research things they can do to help the rainforest. As they work with another student to research, the characteristic they are reminded of is collaboration.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Throughout the first half of this unit, students have been writing summaries. They continue to practice this skill to summarize their research texts.
  • The second half of this unit calls students to action by helping them to learn about things that they can do to help the rainforest.
  • Continue to use Goals 1 and 2 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Some students may need additional support texts in digital form. Consider sending home a printout of relevant web pages for students to spend additional time reading before the lesson. Students can then choose from these web pages when compiling research during the lesson.
  • Students may need additional support to identify things that are appropriate for their age and situation. Some of the suggestions on the web page, (e.g., buying an acre of rainforest or donating money) are not options for students, so steer students toward relevant options.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher to ensure that students have recorded the information they need to participate in the Science Talk in Lesson 13.

Down the road:

  • In Part II of the End of Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 13, students participate in a Science Talk to answer the question: “What can I do to help the rainforest?” This discussion will be a formal assessment of students’ progress toward SL.5.1.
  • In Part I of the End of Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 12, students conduct further research about things they can do to help the rainforest, following the same process they use in this lesson.
  • Provide feedback on students’ Mid-Unit 1 Assessments in preparation for returning them in the next lesson.

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Technology required for students to access the links provided on the Helping the Rainforest Links sheet (see supporting materials).
  • Strategically pair students heterogeneously for Work Time.
  • Post: Learning targets, Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart, Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, and Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Times A and B: Students use web research to answer the question. There is a page of links (Helping the Rainforest Links) provided for them to quickly locate the answers.
  • Work Times A and B: Consider inviting students to use a text-to-speech tool such as SpeakIt! so they can hear the text read aloud multiple times.
  • Work Time B: Students could complete their What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher online, on a Google Doc, for example.
  • Consider that YouTube, social media video sites, and other website links may incorporate inappropriate content via comment banks and ads. Although some lessons include these links as the most efficient means to view content in preparation for the lesson, preview links and/or use a filter service, such as www.safeshare.tv, for viewing these links in the classroom.
  • Work Time B: Students could complete their note-catchers in a word-processing document, such as a Google Doc, using speech-to-text facilities activated on devices or using an app or software such as Dragon Dictation.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.B.6, 5.I.B.7, 5.I.C.10

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by offering supported opportunities to use technology for an authentic purpose and to use graphic organizers that allow students to visually organize their thinking. This will prepare them for the assessment and to engage the English language in the world.
  • ELLs may find it challenging to fill the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher with several sources within the allotted time. Allow them to sketch in their graphic organizers as a placeholder for information and then go back and write. Alternatively, if one student in the pair is a stronger writer, allow him or her to scribe as the other partner searches for information.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Consider partnering students by home language and encouraging them to evaluate how well the evidence they selected for the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? Note-catcher supports the action they plan to take. Invite them to explain their reasoning.

For heavier support:

  • Some students may find the idea of children helping the rainforest hard to understand or difficult to visualize. Consider showing a brief video or telling a brief story about how groups of students have made a difference in the world together.
  • Provide students with partially completed note-catchers. This makes the task less intimidating and provides instructive prompts and helpful models for independent work. It can also direct students to useful sources.
  • In preparation for the End of Unit 1 Assessment, observe students while they are working to identify areas with which they may need additional support. Refer them to anchor charts and class models to clarify their tasks. Remind students that they can always use the resources in the room if they feel stuck or are not sure what to do. Briefly review strategies for researching and writing summaries.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation: Since reading Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace will serve as the foundation of this lesson, ensure that students are actively engaged in the reading. Help direct their comprehension of the book by periodically stopping to cold call, Think-Pair-Share, or conduct a think-aloud at key places in the text. Connect these activities to identifying ways to help the rainforest.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: Consider providing examples on the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher so that students can reference them as examples. Having this model will help them work more independently.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement: Bring the issues threatening the rainforest to life for students. Offer background knowledge on issues such as deforestation and pollution and how they impact rainforests around the world through video, newspaper articles, blogs, etc. When applicable, relate these issues to sustainability issues in your area so that students find the content more relevant. 

Vocabulary

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

  • several, summarize (L)
  • beckoned, home to many, ancestors, millet, shooed, nourishment, corrupt (T)

Materials

  • Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace (one to display)
  • Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (one per student and one to display)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Helping the Rainforest Links (one per student and one to display)
  • What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (example, for teacher reference)
  • Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)
  • Red, yellow, and green markers (one of each per student)
  • Exit Ticket: What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? (one per student and one to display)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Engaging the Reader (15 minutes)

  • Show students the cover of Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace and read the title aloud.
  • Invite students to turn and talk with an elbow partner:

“What do you think the book will be about, based on the cover and the title?”

  • Read the blurb on the inside front cover of the book.
  • Post the question “What can I do to help the rainforest?” and select a volunteer to read it aloud for the whole group.
  • Tell students you are going to read Seeds of Change aloud, and as you read, you want them to think about what the character in the book did to help the rainforest.
  • While still display the text, read Seeds of Change aloud fluently and with expression.
    • Stop on page 1 and ask:

“What does beckoned mean?” (to make a gesture that encouraged someone to come nearer or follow)

    • Invite students to act out beckoning someone.
    • Stop on the following pages to discuss the meaning of the words and phrases. Encourage students to work out the meaning for themselves using context, suffixes, or a dictionary:
  • Page 4: home to many (lots of creatures live there)
  • Page 5: ancestors (a person from whom one is descended)
  • Page 6: millet (a fast-growing cereal plant), shooed (encourage students to perform the action)
  • Page 11: nourishment (the food or substances necessary for growth and good health)
  • Page 32: corrupt (a willingness to act dishonestly for personal gain)
    • At the end of the story and using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What did Wangari Maathai do to help the rainforest?” (She planted trees.)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Periodically check for comprehension by cold calling students or having them turn to a partner to do a Think-Pair-Share and asking about the gist of what has happened in the book so far. Briefly summarize the events in the story as needed so that all students understand. (MMR)

B. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the posted learning targets and select a volunteer to read the first one aloud:
    • “I can research using several sources to answer the question: What can I do to help the rainforest?”
  • Underline the word several.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does several mean?” (more than one, but not many)

  • Redirect students’ attention to the posted learning targets and read the remaining one aloud:
    • “I can summarize information from a text.” 
  • Underline the word summarize.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does summarize mean?” (to give a brief statement of the main points)

“What does a summary include?” (A summary includes the main idea, supporting details, and if there is a clear text structure, the summary will refer to the structure.)

  • Build a sense of urgency about the first learning target by briefly summarizing the issues of deforestation and pollution that threaten the existence of rainforests. (MME)
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Some students may be confused by the research question. Check for comprehension by asking:

“Why does the rainforest need help? The rainforest is a place, not a person, but it still needs our help. How can we help it?” (MMR)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Display the Class Summary: “Rainforests and Why They Are Important” from Lesson 4. This will refresh students’ memories and provide a helpful model. (MMR)
  • Help students with comprehension of new vocabulary by explaining that summarize is a verb, or the action, and summary is the noun, or the product that we are going to produce. Ask:

“How are the two words similar and how are they different?” (MMR)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Modeling: Researching How to Help the Rainforest (15 minutes)

  • Remind students of the posted research question: “What can I do to help the rainforest?”
  • Focus students on the Working to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart, specifically on:
    • “I take care of and improve our shared spaces and the environment.”
    • “I apply my learning to help our school, the community, and the environment.”
  • Remind students of what these look and sound like in action.
  • Tell students that although what Wangari Maathai did was significant, there are other things that we can all do to help the rainforest, and that in this lesson they are going to research to find out more about what they can do.
  • Distribute and display the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher. Read through the headings of each of the columns and highlight the similarities between this and the Preparing for a Science Talk note-catcher from Lesson 9. Explain that they are similar because students will ultimately use this note-catcher to help them plan for a Science Talk at the end of the unit.
  • Move students into predetermined pairs and allocate technology.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them specifically of the collaboration criteria. Remind them that because they will be working together in pairs to share technology and to research, they need to be conscious of working effectively with others.
  • Model how to open and navigate the Helping the Rainforest Links and record information on the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher.
  • Model how to open the first link on the Helping the Rainforest Links handout and invite students to do the same.
  • Invite students to read along silently in their heads as you read the web page aloud.
  • Focus students on the Source box for Source 1 at the top of the note-catcher.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Why do we need to record the source?” (to find the source if it is needed again and in case someone else wants to check that the information is correct)

“What information do you think we need to record in citing the source? Why?” (author, web page title, link, date accessed, so that a reader knows where to find the source)

  • If productive, cue students to listen carefully and seek to understand:

“Who can tell us what your classmate said in your own words?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Model how to write the source for the first link, referring to the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (example, for teacher reference) as necessary. Invite students to do the same on their note-catcher.
  • Focus students on the Summary box for Source 1.
  • Direct students’ attention to the Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How would you summarize this text?”

  • Using student ideas, model how to write a summary, referring to the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (example, for teacher reference) as necessary. Invite students to do the same on their note-catcher.
  • Focus students on the two columns for Source 1. Remind them that they used a chart like this when preparing for the Science Talk.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“Which specific quotes in this text might you use to explain what we can do to help the rainforest? Think about things that you and your family and friends can actually do. For example, you might not be able to buy an acre of rainforest, as this page suggests at the bottom.”

“What does it make you think you can do to save the rainforest?”

  • Using student ideas, model how to complete those two columns, referring to the What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher (example, for teacher reference), and invite students to do the same on their note-catcher.

B. Partner Work: Researching How to Help the Rainforest (20 minutes)

  • Explain that partners are going to work together to complete their What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest? note-catcher for the remaining two sources.
  • Remind students that the sources have been determined for them, but it is up to them to locate relevant information and take notes on their note-catchers.
  • Emphasize looking for things that are possible for them to actually do. Explain that some of the suggestions on the web pages are aimed at adults who may have more resources, so they are only to choose the ideas that they could actually carry out.
  • Remind students to refer to the Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart when writing their summaries of the sources.
  • Invite students to begin working in their pairs.
  • Circulate to support students as they access, read, and record information from the sources.
  • Refocus students on the learning targets and invite them to show a red, yellow, or green marker to indicate how close they feel they are to meeting each target now, with red being a long way from meeting the target and green being fully meeting the standard. Scan the 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 applied their learning, took care of shared spaces, and collaborated in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: Encourage students to discuss the content in their home languages. Say: “This task may be very difficult. To make it easier, you can take 2 minutes to talk about this with a partner who shares your home language. Then we can share in English. _____ (student’s name), since you are the only student who is able to speak in wonderful _____ (e.g., Urdu), feel free to think quietly or write in _____ (e.g., Urdu).”
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Allow students to use colored pencils if they found success doing so while writing summaries in previous lessons. (MMAE)
  • Offer choice with the graphic organizer by providing a template that includes lines within the boxes to help support fine motor skills. (MMR, MME)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Exit Ticket (5 minutes)

  • Distribute and display the Exit Ticket: What Can I Do to Help the Rainforest?
  • Read through the directions.
  • Invite students to turn and talk through their response with an elbow partner before writing.
  • Refocus whole group.
  • Invite students to begin writing their responses.
  • Select volunteers to share their responses with the whole group, as time permits.
  • Give students specific positive feedback on their ability to work with a partner to conduct research and think about ways they can help the rainforest. Tell students that in the next lesson, they will repeat what they have done today independently with new resources for the End of Unit 1 Assessment.
  • For students who may need additional support organizing their ideas in writing: Consider modifying the exit ticket so the two questions are separate:
    • What is one way you found you can help the rainforest?
    • How does it help the rainforest? (MMR, MMAE)

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

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

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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