Writing Narrative Texts: Pacing – Speeding Up Time | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G5:M2:U3:L6

Writing Narrative Texts: Pacing – Speeding Up Time

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These are the CCS Standards addressed in this lesson:

  • RL.5.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language such as metaphors and similes.
  • W.5.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
  • W.5.3b: Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.
  • W.5.3c: Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.
  • W.5.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • L.5.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • L.5.2b: Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
  • L.5.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
  • L.5.3a: Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.

Daily Learning Targets

  • I can revise my narrative writing to speed up time in places where nothing relevant to the plot is happening. (W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.5, L.5.1, L.5.2, L.5.3)

Ongoing Assessment

  • Annotations on "Bite at Night" (W.5.3c, L.5.1, L.5.3)
  • Revised partner narrative (W.5.3, W.5.4, W.5.5, L.5.1, L.5.2, L.5.3)

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Research Reading Share (15 minutes)

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing a Model (20 minutes)

B. Partner Practice: Revising Narrative Writing--Speeding Up Time (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Small Group Share (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 begin to consider pacing in their narrative writing, particularly speeding up time. They analyze a model narrative and revise their partner narratives written in the first half of the unit to speed up time with temporal words and phrases (W.5.3c) and by combining and/or reducing sentences (L.5.3a, W.5.3b, W.5.3c, W.5.5).
  • In Opening A, students share what they have read and learned from their independent reading texts. This sharing is designed as another measure for holding students accountable for their research reading completed for homework. This volume of reading promotes students' growing ability to read a variety of literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. (RI/RL.5.10, SL.5.1).
  • 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 become an effective learner and working to become an ethical person. The characteristics they are reminded of specifically are collaboration, as they continue to work with a partner to revise their partner narrative, and integrity, as they share their research reading homework.

How it builds on previous work:

  • In the first half of the unit, students wrote narratives in pairs. In this half, they revise those narratives in the same pairs.
  • Continue to use Goals 1-3 Conversation Cues to promote productive and equitable conversation.

Areas in which students may need additional support:

  • Students may try to speed up time too much, skipping over details that don't occur at important points but still contribute to the plot. Encourage them to consider how the details they have included contribute to the plot before they remove them.

Assessment guidance:

  • Review narratives during and/or after the lesson to determine whether students require further instruction on revising pacing to speed up time.
  • Refer to the Narrative Writing Rubric: Grade 5 when reviewing student work to determine where students require more instruction and/or support (see the Tools page).
  • Consider using the Writing: Writing Informal Assessment: Observational Checklist for Writing and Language Skills when students revise in Work Time B (see the Tools page).

Down the road:

  • For the End of Unit 3 Assessment, students will revise their Mid-Unit 3 Assessment narrative using the techniques and skills they have learned and applied to their partner narratives in the lessons leading up to the assessment.

In Advance

  • Prepare a research reading share using with the Independent Reading: Sample Plan document, or using your own independent reading routine.
  • Prepare the Steps for Revising My Writing and Narrative Texts anchor charts (see supporting materials).
  • Post: Learning targets, Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart, Performance Task anchor chart, Narrative Texts anchor chart, Steps for Revising My Writing anchor chart, and Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart.

Tech and Multimedia

  • Work Time A: Students could use a collaborative digital copy of the "Bite at Night" text in a Google Doc, for example.
  • Work Time B: If students used a word processor to write their partner narrative in the first half of the unit, they will revise their writing using the same tool. To show their revisions from this lesson, students should highlight in purple.

Supporting English Language Learners

Supports guided in part by CA ELD Standards 5.I.B.5, 5.I.B.6, 5.I.B.8, 5.I.C.10a, 5.1.C.11a, 5.II.A.2b, 5.II.C.6, 5.II.C.7

Important points in the lesson itself

  • The basic design of this lesson supports ELLs by using a model to illustrate how authors adjust pacing when they write a narrative. Make sure ELLs clearly comprehend the meaning of the illustrative examples before examining how the examples speed up time. To that end, ask students to grapple with the meaning of the "academic phrases" that make up each example and ask them questions about the meaning of these phrases, such as: "What does 'a few steps later' mean?"
  • ELLs may find combining and reducing sentences challenging. Outline a couple of helpful strategies. Give them simple examples to practice with or find straightforward examples from their own narratives. See Levels of support and the Meeting Students' Needs column in Work Times A and B for specific suggestions.

Levels of support

For lighter support:

  • Invite students to identify strategies for combining simple sentences. Example: Eliminate a redundant second sentence by inserting an adjective from the second sentence into the first sentence. Cue students by underlining the key words to combine: I walked to the tent. The tent was green. > I walked to the green tent. See the Meeting Students' Needs column in Work Time B for more suggestions.

For heavier support:

  • For Work Time A, consider flexible methods for students to identify sentences that speed up time. For instance, make paper strips of several phrases or sentences that speed up time and slow down time in "Bite at Night" and inviting ELLs to place them into two piles: "Language that speeds up time" and "Language that does not speed up time." Save the strips for reuse in Lesson 7. Another option is to offer students a worksheet with multiple choice options of sentences that speed up or slow down time.
  • Collect samples of simple sentences from students' narratives that would benefit from being combined. Type them onto sentence strips and give one to each student. Invite them to find another student with a strip that could be appropriately combined with theirs. Ask them to tell their new combined sentence to the rest of the class.

Universal Design for Learning

  • Multiple Means of Representation: Students will need several models to help them understand how to revise their writing. Think-alouds by teachers or peers can help students understand the thought processes that go into revising one's own writing. At the conclusion of the lesson, think about having some students who mastered the learning goal share out their work so that others can authentically learn from their peer models.
  • Multiple Means of Action and Expression: This lesson asks students to "speed up time" in certain portions of their own narrative writing. They are asked to combine sentences as a strategy for accomplishing the learning target. Some students may need more scaffolds in this process. Think about offering a worksheet with extra practice on combining sentences that students can reference when they go back into their own writing.
  • Multiple Means of Engagement: For some students, identifying points in their writing that require "speeding up" and making the revisions at the same time may be a barrier to achieving the learning target. Some students may benefit from differentiating the complexity of the task by having them first identify areas that could be sped up (with highlighters, underlining, etc.) first and then asking them to revise by combining sentences.

Vocabulary

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

  • relevant, speed up time, pacing (L)

Materials

  • Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Independent Reading: Sample Plans (see the Tools page; for teacher reference)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (begun in Unit 1, Lesson 1)
  • "Bite at Night" (from Lesson 1; one per student and one to display)
  • Purple colored pencils (one per student)
  • "Bite at Night" Pacing (for teacher reference)
  • Narrative Texts anchor chart (begun in Lesson 2; added to in advance; see supporting materials)
  • Linking Words and Phrases handout (from Module 1; one per student)
  • Combining/Reducing Sentences (one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 2; one per student and one to display)
  • Narrative Writing Checklist (from Lesson 2; example, for teacher reference)
  • Steps for Revising My Writing anchor chart (new; teacher-created; see supporting materials)
  • Working to Become Effective Learners anchor chart (begun in Module 1)
  • Partner narrative drafts (begun in Lesson 2; revised in Work Time B; one per student)
  • Red, yellow, and green markers (one of each per student)

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. Research Reading Share (15 minutes)

  • Focus students on the Working to Become Ethical People anchor chart and remind them specifically of the integrity criteria. Remind students that even though you don't check every day, you want them to practice integrity, which means doing the right thing even when it's difficult because it is the right thing to do. In the context of research reading homework, this means trying to do it each day, even when it is tough to do so, and if it isn't possible, being honest in recording the dates and pages read in their journals.
  • Refer to Independent Reading: Sample Plans to guide students through a research reading share, or use your own routine.

B. Reviewing Learning Target (5 minutes)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted learning target and read it aloud:
    • "I can revise my narrative writing to speed up time in places where nothing relevant to the plot is happening." 
  • Underline the word relevant.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What word or phrase could we replace relevant with that would mean the same thing?" (closely connected to, about, pertinent to)

"So what does relevant mean?" (closely connected to, about, pertinent to)

  • Underline the words speed up time.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What does 'speed up time' mean? Does it mean you literally speed up time in your narrative?" (It doesn't mean to literally speed up time; it is figurative language. It means the reader jumps forward in time to the next place something relevant to the plot is happening.)

"Why might an author want to speed up time when nothing is happening relevant to plot?" (to keep the reader engaged in the story and to help the reader follow the story; it can become confusing to the reader when unimportant things are described in detail)

  • Direct students' attention to the posted Performance Task anchor chart and the bullet:
    • "Uses narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to show what characters are doing, thinking, and feeling and how they respond to situations, and to help the reader imagine experiences or events."
  • Focus students on the word pacing and explain that when you speed up and slow down time in a narrative, this is pacing.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Allow students to add any new terms to their vocabulary logs. (MME)

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing a Model (20 minutes)

  • Display and invite students to retrieve "Bite at Night." Remind students that they have read this text multiple times now and explain that this author sped up time at certain points in this story when nothing relevant to the plot was happening.
  • Remind students that when looking for where the author has sped up time, they are looking for where the reader jumps forward in time to the next place something relevant to the plot is happening.
  • Ask students to take their texts and move to sit with the partners with whom they wrote their narratives in the first half of the unit.
  • Invite pairs to whisper-read "Bite at Night" together and determine places in the text where the author sped up time and how it was done.
  • Distribute purple colored pencils and invite students to annotate where and how the author sped up time.
  • Circulate as students work. Identify and clarify misunderstandings and select students who have correctly identified places in the narrative to share with the whole group after students have finished working.
  • After 10 minutes, refocus whole group.
  • Invite selected students to come up and use the displayed narrative to underline places where the author sped up time. Refer to "Bite at Night" Pacing (for teacher reference) as necessary.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Looking across the parts you have underlined, what do you notice about what the author did to speed up time?" (used transitional words and phrases and combined/reduced sentences to summarize something that may have taken a while in a brief sentence)

"Why did the author speed up time here?" (because nothing of interest relevant to the plot was happening)

  • If productive, use a Goal 1 Conversation Cue to encourage students to expand the conversation about time:

"Can you say more about that?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Display the Narrative Texts anchor chart and point to the new bullet and sub-bullets:
    • "Narratives use pacing to slow down important events in the story and speed up parts of the story that are less important. Authors control the pacing in a narrative by:"

"Using transition words and phrases to span time."

"Combining and/or reducing sentences to briefly describe events that aren't important."

  • Focus students first on the transitional words and phrases. Invite students to retrieve their Linking Words and Phrases handout from Module 1.
  • Invites students to read through the Temporal Words and Phrases (Time Order) options in the first column with their partner and underline any transitional words or phrases on their handout that may help them to speed up time in their narrative writing.
  • Invite students to add any new transitional words and phrases from their analysis of "Bite at Night" to their handout.
  • Next, focus students on the final sentence of "Bite at Night": "Someone loaned me a flashlight ..."
  • If productive, cue students with a challenge. Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"Can you figure out how the author sped up time here? I'll give you time to think and discuss with a partner." (Rather than writing a lot of sentences to explain each part of what happened after the bites in detail, the events were combined/reduced into one sentence to explain what happened very briefly.)

  • Display and distribute Combining/Reducing Sentences. Read the sentences aloud as students follow along, reading silently in their heads.
  • Using a total participation technique, invite responses from the group:

"What is the difference between these two sentences?" (One contains multiple sentences and a lot of detail to say the same thing that the other example says in one sentence.)

"What information did the author remove from the first sentence in the final draft? Why?" (information about how she walked back to her tent and how long it took her to find the first aid kit; because neither of those pieces of information was important to the story)

  • Explain that the first sentence was the original sentence, but the author combined and reduced the sentences because the information wasn't important to the plot of the story.
  • Explain that students need to look for opportunities to do this in their narratives. Remind them that they need to ensure that after combining/reducing the sentences, the sentences still make sense.
  • Display and invite students to retrieve their Narrative Writing Checklist.
  • Focus students on the W.5.3b criteria:
    • "I 'slow down' important events by adding detail and use transitions to 'speed up' events that are not important."
  • Ask:

"Are there any specific criteria based on your analysis of "Bite at Night" that you should be aware of and list in that column on the checklist?" (Responses will vary.)

  • Record students' suggestions in the Characteristics of My First Person Narrative column as needed. Refer to the Narrative Writing Checklist (example, for teacher reference).
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with reading: Model the task of finding language that speeds up time in "Bite at Night." Think aloud as you read: "I lay back again and spent the next thirty minutes ... Hmm. Does that speed up time? Yes, I think so, because it talks about half an hour passing, but it doesn't say everything that happened in that 30 minutes. I think I'll underline that sentence." (MMR)
  • For ELLs: Select a couple of key phrases or sentences that speed up time. Focus first on the meaning of these phrases that speed up time before discussing why they speed up time. As a group, create an anchor chart of author strategies for speeding up time, such as: "Author says how much time has passed" or "Author writes a list of several activities that already happened." (MMR, MME) Ask:

"What does quickly mean?" (fast) "Do you think that speeds up time? Why?" (Yes. It means 'fast,' and it doesn't describe every detail that happened in that time.)

"What does 'spent the next thirty minutes tossing and turning' mean?" (tried to sleep for half an hour) "What do you do in 30 minutes at school?" (listen, answer questions, write, play) "So, 30 minutes passed for Meg. But do we know everything that happened in that 30 minutes?" (No.) "What else do you think happened as Meg tossed and turned?" (She thought about the loud noise; other campers moved around; she yawned; an owl hooted.) "But the writer left out these things. So, did the writer make 30 minutes in the story go faster or slower than in real life?" (faster; the writer sped up)

  • For ELLs: Mini Language Dive. Ask students about the meaning of the chunks of a key sentence from The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: "Someone loaned me a flashlight so that I could safely make it to the outhouse and then back to my tent, where I located my first aid kit and nursed my wounds." Write and display student responses next to the chunks. Examples:
    • Show pictures of a flashlight, an outhouse, a tent, and a first aid kit. Write the words for each object on an index card and invite students to match the word to the picture.
    • Ask:

"What are these words in our home languages?"

  • Invite all students to repeat the translations in a different home language.
    • Ask:

"What does loaned mean? You can use your dictionaries. What did someone lend to Meg?" (give to use for a short time and then get back; a flashlight)

    • Invite students to act out or draw "Someone loaned me a flashlight."
    • Repeat for the chunks "so that I could safely make it to the outhouse," "and then back to my tent," and "where I located my first aid kit and nursed my wounds."
    • Ask:

"Why did someone lend Meg a flashlight?" (to help her go to the bathroom safely)

"Where did Meg go to take care of her ant bites? Why?" (her tent; it had a first aid kit)

    • Invite students to act out or draw the entire sentence, using the pictures as props and set.
    • Ask:

"How does this sentence speed up time?" (It gives some of the details for a period of time, but not all of them.)

B. Partner Practice: Revising Narrative Writing--Speeding Up Time (15 minutes)

  • Display the Steps for Revising My Writing anchor chart and select volunteers to help you read it aloud.
  • Explain that just as students used purple colored pencils to underline places in the model narrative where the author sped up time, they are going to use these same colored pencils to mark places in their partner narratives where they, too, could speed up time.
  • 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 revise their partner narrative, they need to be conscious of working effectively with others.
  • Invite pairs to take out their partner narrative drafts.
  • Remind students to refer to the words and phrases they identified on their Linking Words and Phrases handout as well as the relevant criteria on the Narrative Writing Checklist as they identify places in their narrative to speed up time.
  • Emphasize that they should revise only where it is necessary (i.e., where nothing relevant to the plot is happening).
  • Invite pairs to begin marking places in their narratives and revising. Remind students that even though they are working with a partner, they should each revise their own draft.
  • Give students 15 minutes to revise. Circulate and support them as needed, prompting with questions such as:

"Where is there nothing happening relevant to the plot? Where can you speed it up?" (Responses will vary.)

"What techniques can you use?" (temporal words and phrases, and combining/reducing sentences)

  • Invite students to record 'Y' for 'Yes' and the date in the final column of their Narrative Writing Checklist if they feel the criteria marked on their checklists have been achieved in their writing in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing or executive function skills: Provide opportunities for practice by doing a think-aloud combining sentences. Example: "I was sleeping at night. I was cold. I heard a loud noise when I was sleeping. The loud noise was probably a bear." (MMR) Ask:

"Can you find words that are repeated?" (sleeping, loud noise, I)

"Do we need 'at night'?" (probably not; it was probably at night) "Let's remove it."

"Do we need 'I was cold'?" (maybe not; it's not really relevant)

"Let's remove the repeated 'sleeping', 'I', 'loud noise,' 'at night,' and 'I was cold.' What do we have left?" (I was sleeping; heard a loud noise; It was probably a bear.)

"How can we make one sentence out of what's left?" (Responses will vary, but may include: "I was sleeping and heard a loud noise, probably a bear.")

  • Provide additional support by having students chunk the tasks between identifying and revising. First have them identify sentences (perhaps by highlighting or underlining) that might be combined in their narratives. Then, ask them to explain why the sentences are important to combine (some details are not relevant) and help the students through a process of thinking aloud to combine the sentences. (MME)
  • Some students may require scaffolded practice. Consider offering a worksheet with examples of sentences that could be combined and have the students practice before revising their own writing. (MMAE)

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Small Group Share (5 minutes)

  • Ask pairs to take their narratives and move to sit with another pair.
  • Invite each pair to share how and why they sped up time in their narrative.
  • Refocus whole group and invite students to take their materials back to their workspaces.
  • Refocus students on the learning target and invite them to show a red, yellow, or green marker to indicate how close they feel they are to meeting that 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 collaborated and showed integrity in this lesson.
  • For ELLs and students who may need additional support with writing: Before Closing and Assessment, ensure that students can clearly share at least one place they would like to speed up and explain why.
  • Ask students who mastered the learning target to be peer models. Have them share out to the whole class how they combined sentences to speed up their narrative. (MMR)

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)

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