Performance Task: Rainforest Adventures Ebook: Adding Images | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M2:U3:L13

Performance Task: Rainforest Adventures Ebook: Adding Images

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • W.5.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.6: With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can select and/or create visually appealing images for my Rainforest Adventures ebook that contribute to the narratives. (W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.6)
  • I can compile my narrative writing into an ebook. (W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.6)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Rainforest Adventures ebook (W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.6)


AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Completing Rainforest Adventures Ebook (45 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Whole Group Share (10 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 compile their narrative writing into an ebook with images (W.5.4 and W.5.6).
  • As with the previous lesson, the technology in this lesson can be modified according to student and teacher expertise and the technology available. See the Technology and Multimedia section for suggestions. If technology is not available, students can create physical books with hand-drawn illustrations on paper.
  • Consider linking this task to art lessons and have students design and create original artwork to be included in their narratives. If these are not produced using technology, work could be scanned in before this lesson to create the ebook.
  • In this lesson, the habit of character focus is working to become an effective learner. The characteristic students are reminded of specifically is collaboration, as they continue to work with a partner to design a front cover.
  • Students who finish quickly or require an extension could record audio versions of their story to be included in the ebook.
  • 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.

How it builds on previous work:

  • Throughout the module, students have been writing narrative texts to include in their Rainforest Adventure ebooks for students in grade 5 and above. They will consider all of their learning and the work they have created for the book so far as they complete their Rainforest Adventures ebook in this lesson.
  • In Lesson 12, students designed a front cover and put together a contents page for their ebook.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • If students did not use a word processor to write their narratives (partner and individual), this may take more than one lesson because they will have to type up their narratives. Plan accordingly.
  • Students may need additional support with the technology used to create the ebook if they are not familiar with it. See Technology and Multimedia for options.
  • Students may need additional support finding exact images that they want for their narratives. Prepare students for this and when they need additional help, encourage them to look for general images of the rainforest that they could use to make their books more visually appealing on the inside.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review student work before and during the lesson either to provide specific feedback/suggestions or to identify common issues that could be used as whole group teaching points in this lesson.
  • Consider using the Speaking and Listening Informal Assessment: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas Checklist during students' share in Closing and Assessment A (see the Tools page).

In Advance

  • Prepare and practice using technology for creating ebooks. The use of the technology tools will be modeled to students during the lesson.
  • Select two grade-level narrative texts with visually appealing illustrations inside to use as models in Work Time A. If possible, at least one of these should be in an ebook format.
  • Post: Learning targets, Performance Task anchor chart, and Choosing Images anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • The technology in this lesson can be modified according to student and teacher expertise and the technology available:
  • Images:
    • Students could create their images without technology and scan them in.
    • Students could create their own images using an online drawing tool like Sketchpad.
    • Students could search and download images from free online sources such as Pixabay or Flickr.
  • Books:
    • Students could use an online ebook creator such as My Story Book or Papyrus.
    • Students could also create their ebook in a Word or Google Doc template, which is then converted into an ebook format.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.A.2, 5.I.C.10a, 5.I.C.12a, 5.II.A.1, 5.II.C.6, 5.II.C.7

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs with opportunities to celebrate their unique achievements and progress as they publish their ebook. If the specific language of their narrative is not complete or correct, encourage the class to celebrate the overall meaning of the narrative. Acknowledge that ELLs not only possess a lot of content knowledge, but they are also able to communicate about it in at least two languages. Fantastic!
  • ELLs may find citing sources challenging. Until they are confident with the practice of citing, encourage them to ask you when they need to cite a source rather than guessing when they need to do it.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Challenge students to reflect on and share how the past three units have helped them complete the performance task, and which strategies, habits--and language--were most helpful.

For heavier support:

  • Highlight one piece of feedback from the End of Unit 3 Assessment that you would like each student to focus on as he or she compiles the ebook. Find an instance in which the feedback could be applied in their narratives.
  • Reinforce the importance of citing sources in the United States and the ethical and legal responsibilities it carries. Remind students that different countries have different views on plagiarism. Some countries encourage and praise students who borrow information and images from other writers or artists. Such practice may represent scholarship and respect.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation: This lesson already has multiple means of representation built into the design. Include multiple types of images from different narrative texts and engage in a thoughtful dialogue about why authors chose specific images. Help students generalize to their own work by highlighting key features of the images and how they help support the content of the text.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: The tasks included during Work Time require using organizational skills and completing multiple steps. Consider offering a visual checklist or rubric for students to use at their desk. Model checking off tasks as they are completed to facilitate self-regulation strategies. Also, when students are asked to give feedback to their peers, consider providing preprinted phrases or sentence starters on sticky notes or notecards that students can hand out. The task of writing feedback in the moment can be a barrier to effective communication.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement: Creating images for their narratives gives students the opportunity to express themselves in creative ways, show off non-academic skills, and build confidence. Engage students in the task by offering choice in format and design for their images (e.g., different artistic mediums or visual formats). Consider displaying models of different types of book graphics or illustrations to spur creative thinking.


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

  • visually appealing (L)


  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • Teacher-selected texts (two to display; see Teaching Notes)
  • Choosing Images anchor chart (new; co-created with students during Work Time A)
  • Choosing Images anchor chart (example, for teacher reference)
  • "Bite at Night" Image Excerpts (one to display)
  • Ebook Page template (optional; 10 per pair; see Performance Task Overview)
  • Rainforest Adventures ebook model (from Lesson 10; for teacher reference; see Performance Task Overview)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Sticky notes (10 per pair)


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.


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reviewing Learning Targets (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning targets and select two volunteers to read them aloud:
    • "I can select and/or create visually appealing images for my Rainforest Adventures ebook that contribute to the narratives."
    • "I can compile my narrative writing into an ebook."
  • Underline the words visually appealing in the first learning target.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What does visually appealing mean?" (nice to look at)

"Why do you want your ebook to have visually appealing images?" (so that people enjoy reading it and want to keep reading more)

  • Explain that in this lesson, students will choose images to accompany their partner narrative.
  • Activate students' prior knowledge by relating this learning target to designing the eye-catching cover page. (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Ask:

"What is the translation of contribute in our home languages? What does 'contribute to the narratives' mean?" (Gop phan in Vietnamese; to give more meaning to the narrative, help the reader understand the narrative)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Completing Rainforest Adventures Ebook (45 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the Performance Task anchor chart and select a volunteer to read it aloud.
  • Remind students that this book is to entertain students in grade 5 and above.
  • Show students the images in one of the teacher-selected texts. Read the text on the same page as the image.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What do you notice about the image on this page?" (visually appealing and contributes to the reader's understanding of the text)

  • As students share out, capture their responses on the Choosing Images anchor chart. Refer to the Choosing Images anchor chart (example, for teacher reference) for guidance.
  • Repeat with another page in the second teacher-selected text.
  • Explain that students will finish their Rainforest Adventures ebooks in this lesson. Invite them to move to sit with their narrative writing partner.
  • Tell students that they will first practice choosing three images for "Bite at Night" based on the criteria on the Choosing Images anchor chart.
  • Display the "Bite at Night" Image Excerpts and read the first excerpt aloud for students.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What could we search for to find an image to put here?" (Responses may vary, but may include: a tent at night. Try to encourage students not to choose images with people doing specific things, as these will be very challenging to find.)

  • Search for an image using a free online source. See Technology and Multimedia for suggestions.
  • Repeat with the next two sections of "Bite at Night."
  • Emphasize that usually an author will have an illustrator draw specific images to accompany a narrative or will hire a photographer to take specific photographs, but as this isn't possible due to time constraints, students will select images or photographs that have been created for other purposes. As a result, they might not find the perfect image, so they may sometimes have to look for the best fit. For example, for the "Bite at Night" narrative, they are unlikely to be able to find a picture of someone on a raft above a rainforest canopy, but they may be able to find a picture of moonlight shining through trees, a tent in a forest, or a Gabon viper.
  • Guide students through using the chosen technology to select three images for different pages of "Bite at Night."
  • Once you have chosen the images, model how to turn the "Bite at Night" narrative and the images into three pages of an ebook, each with an image and accompanying text using the technology you have selected, with or without the Ebook Page template, depending on your technology choices. Invite students to help you determine where to divide the narrative for each page. Refer to the Rainforest Adventures ebook model (for teacher reference) for guidance. Distribute copies of the Ebook Page template as necessary.
  • Model creating a Sources page at the end of the ebook to list the sources of the images. Refer to the Rainforest Adventures ebook model (for teacher reference) for guidance. Emphasize the importance of giving credit to the person who created the image.
  • Post the following directions and read through them with students. Answer any clarifying questions:
  1. Select three places in each of your narratives where you would like to add images.
  2. Select one of the narratives to work with first.
  3. Locate three places where you would like to add images.
  4. Locate three images.
  5. Record the author, website, date, and link for each image on a Sources page at the end of your narrative.
  6. Repeat with the next narrative until you have found images for all three.
  7. Compile all three narratives and the images in the correct order.
  8. Number the pages.
  9. Add the page numbers to the contents page from Lesson 12.
  • Focus students on the Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart and remind them specifically of the collaboration criteria. Remind students that because they will work together to compile their ebooks, they need to be conscious of working effectively with others.
  • Invite students to work with their partner to compile their ebooks.
  • Circulate to assist students in selecting images and compiling their ebooks.
  • For ELLs: Model writing page numbers for the class and remind them that page numbers are necessary for the reader to find information in their books.
  • Remind ELLs that citing sources is very important in the United States. Omitting sources may get a writer into serious legal trouble.
  • To increase engagement based on students' individual interests and abilities, offer multiple ways for students to design their images (e.g., using multiple images, drawing their own images using different art materials, etc.).
  • For students who may need additional support with tasks requiring executive function skills: Create a checklist with directions that students can have at their desk in addition to posting it. This allows students to check off tasks as they complete them. (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Whole Group Share (10 minutes)

  • Tell students they will now share their ebooks with their classmates.
  • Give students 1 minute to set up their finished ebooks for others to read.
  • Distribute sticky notes.
  • Invite students to circulate, silently reading the ebooks. At each ebook, invite students to leave a sticky note with a star on it for the author. Example: "I could really imagine how the character felt from the concrete words and sensory details that you added."
  • Invite students to return to their seats and read the sticky notes left for them.
  • If productive, cue students to think about their thinking:

"What strategies and habits helped you succeed in writing and compiling your own e-book over the module? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Responses will vary.)

  • Refocus students on the learning targets and invite them to show a thumbs-up, thumbs-down, or thumbs-sideways to indicate how close they feel they are to meeting each target now. Be aware that this gesture may mean something different in other cultures, so in this situation choose a different way for students to self-assess progress or use it as a teaching point for what this means in the United States. 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 collaborated in this lesson.
  • For ELLs: ELLs who need heavier support can sketch star feedback on their sticky notes, then use the sketches as a conversation starter with the student the feedback is intended for or invite the other student to ask questions about the sketch to elicit the feedback.
  • Consider offering preprinted sticky notes or notecards with tape with targeted feedback that some students can distribute. Or consider sticky notes and notecards with sentence starters or blanks that students fill out and distribute. (MMAE)


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)

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