Reading Informational Texts: Summarizing a Website about the Rainforest | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M2:U1:L7

Reading Informational Texts: Summarizing a Website about 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.5.5: Compare and contrast the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.

  • 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.5.8: 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.

  • SL.5.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • SL.5.1b: Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.

Daily Learning Target

  • I can summarize an informational text. (RI.5.2)
  • I can compare the overall structure of two texts about the rainforest. (RI.5.5)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Find the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (RI.5.4, L.5.4)
  • Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer (RI.5.5)
  • Summary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (RI.5.2)
  • Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer (RI.5.5)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Reading for Gist: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (15 minutes)

B. Guided Practice: Planning a Summary (15 minutes)

C. Independent Practice: Writing a Summary (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Comparing Informational Text Structures (10 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Vocabulary. Follow the directions in your Unit 1 homework.

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 lesson, students read “Effects of Studying Rainforests,” a new informational text about the rainforest, for gist and reread it to determine the main idea and describe the structure. Students use a graphic organizer to plan and write a summary of the text. They then compare the structure of the text with the structure of the excerpt from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World read closely in Lesson 6 (RI.5.1, RI.5.2, RI.5.4, RI.5.5, W.5.8).

  • In Work Time C, refer to Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (answers, for teacher reference; see supporting materials). Words students are likely to be unfamiliar with have been included in the Unfamiliar Vocabulary column, with accompanying definitions provided in the Meaning column; however, these words may vary based on students.

  • In Work Time B, students participate in a modified Rank-Talk-Write protocol to determine the main idea of “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (RI.5.2, SL.5.1b).

  • Students practice their fluency in this lesson by following along and reading silently as the teacher reads “Effects of Studying Rainforests” in Work Time A.

  • The research reading students complete for homework helps to build both their vocabulary and knowledge pertaining to the rainforest. 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.

  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is working to become an effective learner. The characteristic students are reminded of specifically is perseverance, as they work independently.

  • 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 writing a summary. They may be able to formulate the summary orally but require help putting it into writing.

Assessment guidance:

  • Collect students’ Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer to review in preparation for the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 8. If students do not seem prepared for the assessment, consider adding another day after this lesson for additional practice.

  • Collect students’ summaries from Work Time C to review in preparation for the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment in Lesson 8. If students do not seem prepared for the assessment, consider adding another day after this lesson for additional practice.

  • Collect in summarizing homework from Lessons 4 and 6.

  • For ELLs: Collect the Language Dive Practice 2 homework from Lesson 6 for assessment.

Down the road:

  • Students will complete a similar task on the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment: They will read, determine the structure of, and summarize two new informational texts about the rainforest, and then compare the structure of these texts.

In Advance

  • Predetermine pairs for Work Time B.
  • Review the Rank-Talk-Write protocol. See Classroom Protocols.
  • Post: Learning targets, Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart, Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart, Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart, and Comparing Text Structures anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: For students who will benefit from hearing the text read aloud multiple times, consider using a text-to-speech tool like Natural Reader, SpeakIt! for Google Chrome, or the Safari reader. Note that to use a web-based text-to-speech tool like SpeakIt! or Safari reader, you will need to create an online doc, such as a Google Doc, containing the text.

  • Work Times A, B, and C; Closing and Assessment A: Students write their summaries and complete their note-catchers and graphic organizers 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.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.A.1, 5.I.B.6, 5.I.B.7, 5.I.B.8, 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 use technology and explicit instruction on how to plan their writing. This will prepare them well to write their own summaries.

  • ELLs may find it challenging to identify text structures, as it requires them to employ metalinguistic awareness, when some students may struggle to comprehend the meaning of the text itself. Check for comprehension of text while discussing its structure. Represent text structure visually whenever possible. Think aloud while reading the text to demonstrate the way in which text structure supports comprehension.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Encourage students in Work Time B to establish how they will collaborate productively to plan a summary. Example: they will need to take turns, and brainstorm and use the language that will enable them to take turns. They will need to brainstorm and use language that will enable them to affirm other student contributions, and add their own ideas. They will need to brainstorm and use the language that will enable them to give kind and productive feedback.

For heavier support:

  • Comprehending the cause and effect text structure may be difficult for some students who struggle to understand the content of the text. To clarify the structure itself, complete one version of the Cause and Effect Structure graphic organizer with content that is familiar to students. Say: “Let’s complete the cause and effect graphic organizer. Let’s say the cause is that you don’t do your homework. What might be three effects?”

  • Prepare sticky notes with prewritten words or drawings based on the gist of the text. As students listen to the story, they can match the gist represented on the sticky notes with each part of the read-aloud.

  • In preparation for the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment, provide students with sentence frames and practice to answer the following questions about text structure:

    • “What is similar about the two text structures? What are they about?”
    • “What is different about the two text structures? How does the author try to help the reader understand?”

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation: The learning targets in this lesson ask students to generalize skills from across the previous lessons. Consider ways to represent information in a way that activates students’ prior knowledge. (Examples: Review key vocabulary such as gist and summary/summarize. Display graphic organizers from previous lessons so that students see connections across unit lessons.)

  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: Some students may need additional support with using their Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer to help organize their writing. Build in scaffolds that will help them generalize from the graphic organizer to the writing task. (Examples: Use color-coding on the graphic organizer that then coordinates to the sentences in their paragraphs. Create space on the graphic organizer for check marks so that students can use it as a checklist to self-monitor their work.)

  • Multiple Means of Engagement: Allow students to choose a Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer format that works best for their learning style. This will help them to build self-monitoring skills.

Vocabulary

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

  • summarize, compare, structure, cause, effect (L)

  • observation, effects, recently, estimated, developed, absorbing, regulate, patterns, cycle, theories, referred, striving, affect (T)

Materials

  • “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (one per student and one to display)
  • Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (one per student)
  • Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Summary sentences (for display)
  • Text Structure Resource Page (from Lesson 4; one per student and one to display)
  • Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Lined paper (several pieces per student)
  • Summary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (example, for teacher reference)
  • Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer (one per student and one to display)
  • Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer (answers, for teacher reference)
  • Comparing Text Structures anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the learning targets and read them aloud:

    • “I can summarize an informational text.”
    • “I can compare the overall structure of two texts about the rainforest.”
  • Remind students that they worked on summarizing a website in Lessons 3–4 and comparing the structure of two texts in Lesson 3.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What does it mean to summarize a text?” (to give a short explanation of something that has been read, viewed, or heard)

“What does it mean to compare the structure of two texts?” (to think about how the structure of one text is similar to or different from the structure of the other text)

  • Tell students that they will have a chance to demonstrate their ability to summarize informational texts and compare the structure of two texts in the next lesson as part of the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment.

  • Have students give a quick thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to indicate how well they understand today’s learning targets.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Check for comprehension of summarize by asking students to summarize something that they read or learned recently.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reading for Gist: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (15 minutes)

  • Distribute and display “Effects of Studying Rainforests.” Remind students that throughout this unit, they have been reading informational texts to build expertise about the rainforest.

  • Read it aloud for students without stopping, as they read along silently in their heads.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is the text about?”(Responses may vary, but could include that it is about scientists studying the rainforest.)

  • Direct students’ attention to the Close Readers Do These Things anchor chart and review as necessary.

  • Tell students that this text is challenging and may have unfamiliar words. Reassure them that just like when they read other texts this year, they are not expected to understand it fully the first time. Remind them that one key to being a strong reader of difficult text is being willing to struggle.

  • Distribute and display Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests.” Tell students that they can draw or write in the Gist column. These are just notes to help them remember what each excerpt is mostly about.

  • Display the introduction of “Effects of Studying Rainforests.” Invite students to follow along, chorally reading with you as you read the introduction aloud.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is the gist of this part of the text? What is it mostly about?” (It’s explaining that scientists have been studying rainforests for a long time because there is a lot to learn.)

“Are there any words whose meaning you don’t know? What are they?” (Responses will vary.)

“Choose a word you are unsure about the meaning of. Which strategy would be most effective in determining the meaning of the word?” (Responses will vary.)

  • Repeat this process as you read the remainder of the article. Refer to Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (answers, for teacher reference) as necessary.

  • 3 minutes before the end of the time, refocus the whole group and invite students to share the gist of each of the section. Refer to the Finding the Gist and Unfamiliar Vocabulary: Effects of Studying Rainforests” (answers, for teacher reference). Add any new words to the academic word wall and domain-specific word wall and invite students to add translations in native languages.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with new vocabulary: review the meaning of gist. Remind students that their goal is to understand what the story is mostly about and it is okay if there are parts that they don’t quite understand yet. (MMR)

B. Guided Practice: Planning a Summary (15 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart and tell them that they will now have a chance to practice planning a summary of an informational text. Tell students that today they will plan and write a summary of “Effects of Studying Rainforests.”

  • Select a volunteer to read the Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart, emphasizing that a summary includes the most important details from the text and that it takes a different form based on the structure, or organization, of the text.

  • Tell students they are going to participate in the Rank-Talk-Write protocol to help them determine the main idea of “Effects of Studying Rainforests.” Remind them that they used this protocol in Lesson 4, and review as necessary. Refer to the Classroom Protocols document for the full version of the protocol.

  • Display the summary sentences and explain that in a moment, students will rank the sentences in order of relevance to the main idea of the text, with 1 being the most relevant, 2 the second most relevant, and so on.

  • Pair students and invite them to reread “Effects of Studying Rainforests,” and then read and rank the summary sentences.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How did you rank each sentence? Why did you rank the sentences in that order?” (Summary sentence #2 should be ranked first, and the order of the remaining sentences will vary.)

  • Validate student responses and confirm that the most important sentence is summary sentence #2—“Scientists have learned a lot about plants, animals, and the climate from studying the rainforest”—because it tells the main idea of the whole article. Tell students to keep this main idea in mind as they plan their summaries.

  • Display and invite students to take out the Text Structure Resource Page. If necessary, review the different structures students have worked with so far in the unit.

  • Remind students that to plan their summaries, they will first determine the structure of the text they are summarizing and then use the corresponding graphic organizer for text structure to determine the big ideas and key details to include in their summaries.

  • Invite students to Think-Pair-Share:

“What is the structure of ‘Effects of Studying Rainforests’? What in the text makes you think so?” (cause and effect; the author explains the reasons something is happening: scientists study rainforests, and each section explains what they’ve learned from studying it)

  • Explain that a cause is something that makes a thing happen, and that an effect is what happens as a result. So, a text that follows the cause and effect structure tells the reason something happens and what happened as a result.

  • Distribute the Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer and select a volunteer to read the headings on each section of the graphic organizer. Clarify the headings as needed.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What cause is described in this article?” (Scientists study the rainforest.)

  • Invite students to write the cause in the Cause box on their graphic organizers.

  • Point out that there are three boxes for effects, and that the arrows on the graphic organizer connect the cause to each effect.

  • Invite students to work with their partner from the Rank-Talk-Write protocol to reread the article and find effects, or what happens to the rainforest as a result of the causes. Tell students that this evidence can be direct quotes from the text or paraphrased information. Circulate to support students as they work. Refer to the Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” graphic organizer (answers, for teacher reference) as necessary.

  • Refocus whole group.

  • Select volunteers to share with the group.

  • Tell students they will use this graphic organizer when writing their summaries of this text in the next part of this lesson.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Display the Proposition and Support Structure: “Rainforests and Why They Are Important” graphic organizer and Class Summary: “Rainforests and Why They Are Important” from Lesson 4 and briefly remind students about the process they used to create it. This will prepare them for a similar cognitive process. (MMR)

  • For students who may need additional support with fine motor skills: Include lines on the Cause and Effect Structure graphic organizer to make it easier for students to write neatly. (MMR, MME)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Encourage students to color-code each part of the Cause and Effect Structure graphic organizer. Provide different colored pencils and model how to fill in each box with a different color. During Work Time C, they can then use the corresponding colors when writing each sentence of the summary paragraph to reinforce the connection between the information in the graphic organizer and the information in their summary paragraphs. (MMR, MMAE)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with comprehension: Model and think aloud finding evidence briefly before students begin working independently. Suggest a piece of evidence that is irrelevant and ask students to evaluate it. Say: “I think ‘scientists are now working with farmers in South America’ is evidence of an effect. Is that a good idea? Why or why not?” (MMR)

C. Independent Practice: Writing a Summary (15 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart and point to the criteria:

    • “Introduces the text by stating the title, pages, and author”
    • “Takes a different form based on the structure of the text”
  • Focus students on their Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying the Rainforest” graphic organizer and remind them that the structure of a text will inform how they write their summary.

  • Explain that when writing a summary of a text that follows the cause and effect structure, the topic sentence of the paragraph will tell the cause and the next several sentences will summarize the effects of that cause, or what happened as a result. Remind students that the topic sentence should also include the title, pages, and author of the text.

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them specifically of the perseverance criteria. Remind students that because they will be working independently on something that may be challenging, they will need to persevere.

  • Distribute lined paper. Remind students that they already have a sentence that states the causes explained in “Effects of Studying the Rainforest” from Rank-Talk-Write earlier in the lesson. Invite students to use summary sentence #2 as the first sentence of their summary, modifying to include the title, or to write their own sentence that tells the causes explained in the article.

  • Invite students to continue writing the rest of their summaries on their own. Circulate to support students as they work, looking for them to summarize the effects of studying rainforests explained in the article. Refer to Summary: “Effects of Studying Rainforests” (example, for teacher reference) as necessary.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Briefly model and think aloud adapting the language directly from the graphic organizer to the paragraph before students begin working independently. Use the same color coding from the graphic organizer to reinforce the connection between the information on the graphic organizer and the information in the paragraph. (MMR)

  • Model for students and then prompt them to check off each part of the Cause and Effect Structure: “Effects of Studying the Rainforest” graphic organizer as they include them in their summary to help support progress monitoring. (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Comparing Informational Text Structures (10 minutes)

  • Remind students that throughout this unit, they have been comparing the structure of texts they have read. Explain that now they will compare the structures of pages 17–20 from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World and of “Effects of Studying Rainforests.”

  • Distribute the Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer and tell students that they will use this graphic organizer to help them compare the structure of these two texts, like they did in Lesson 3. If necessary, briefly review how to use a Venn diagram to compare two things. Throughout the remainder of the lesson, refer to the Comparing Text Structures II graphic organizer (answers, for teacher reference) as necessary.

  • Direct students’ attention to the Comparing Text Structures anchor chart and point to the following bullet:

    • “Comparing a text’s structure to another text’s structure can help a reader understand the events, ideas, concepts, or information presented in both texts.”
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is the structure of pages 17–20 of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World?” (chronological)

“What is the structure of ‘Effects of Studying Rainforests’?” (cause and effect)

  • Invite students to write the structure each text follows in the appropriate spot on the graphic organizer.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“What is the purpose of pages 17–20 of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World? How do you know?” (to explain what Meg does in the rainforest; the author tells what Meg does in the order that she does it)

“What is the purpose of ‘Effects of Studying Rainforests’? How do you know?” (to explain what scientists have learned from studying rainforests)

  • Point out that both the text structure and the purpose of each text are different. Invite students to write the purpose and how they know for each text in the appropriate spot on the graphic organizer.

  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

“How is the information given in the two texts the same?” (Both texts tell about scientists studying the rainforest.)

“How did the author give information about scientists studying the rainforest in the excerpt from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World?” (The author gave specific ways Meg Lowman studies plants in the rainforest and explained Meg’s theory about leaf-eating activity.)

“How did the author give information about scientists studying the rainforest in ‘Effects of Studying the Rainforest’?” (The author explained the kinds of things scientists have learned from studying the rainforest.)

“How did the structure influence the information presented about scientists studying the rainforest in each text?” (In the excerpt from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World, the author wanted to describe what a scientist does when in the rainforest and did so by describing what Meg did in the order that the events happened. In “Effects of Studying the Rainforest,” the author wanted to tell the effects of scientists studying the rainforest and did so by giving examples of the kinds of things scientists have learned.)

  • If productive, cue students to expand the conversation by giving an example, and to listen carefully and seek to understand:

“Can you give an example?” (Responses will vary.)

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

  • Point out that even though both texts are about the rainforest and talk about scientists studying things there, the specific information given is different because the authors’ purpose is different.

  • Tell students they will have a chance to show how they can compare two texts about the rainforest on their own in the next lesson when they take the Mid-Unit 1 Assessment.

  • Focus students on the learning targets. Read each one aloud, pausing after each to use a checking for understanding protocol for students to reflect on their comfort level with or show how close they are to meeting each target. Make note of students who may need additional support with each of the learning targets moving forward.

  • Repeat, inviting students to self-assess against how well they persevered in this lesson.

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with memory: Display the Venn diagram graphic organizer from Lesson 3 and briefly remind students about the process they used to create it. This will prepare them for a similar cognitive process. (MMR)

  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Provide alternative graphic organizers with prompts under each category. Example:

    • 1. The purpose for the text is ________. I know because ______.

Consider providing a word bank for students to select from to fill in the blanks. (MMAE)

 

Homework

HomeworkMeeting Students' Needs

A. Vocabulary. Follow the directions in your Unit 1 homework.

B. 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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