In Unit 3, students apply their knowledge about the importance of trees and the joy trees can bring to a community in order to inspire others to enjoy and appreciate trees. Building on knowledge from Units 1–2, students read We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow to gather more information about the importance of trees for the survival of living things, for enjoyment, and for beauty. They add these to the Reasons to Plant a Tree anchor chart.
For the Unit 3 Assessment, students provide a reason to complete the opinion statement “Tree are nice because...” They then create a drawing with additional details to enhance and add to the meaning of their sentence. Finally, they share their drawings with a partner in order to discuss the details they included and how those details support and enhance their writing.
Students then use their work from the Unit 3 Assessment as a basis for their performance task: Tree Appreciation cards. For the performance task, students revise and edit their opinion statements and select one tree part to focus on for sketching and watercoloring.
Recall that EL Education believes that high-quality work is a reflection and result of the high expectations teachers have for all students. Thus, it is a means to excellence and equity. The performance task for this module allows for students to create high-quality work based on their deep knowledge of trees. Using the literacy skills built throughout the school year; knowledge built in Modules 3–4; and cycles of drafting, critique, and revision, students are able to create a high-quality product that showcases their learning for the year. Unit 3 supports this work for the performance task with both the design of its lessons and the use of optional flex days.
In addition to the opportunities for critique, feedback, and revision, students are given an opportunity to present their work to an audience from outside the classroom. Creating work for an authentic audience motivates students to meet standards and engage in revision. Through the process, they develop perseverance and they realize that they can do more than they thought they could.
The purpose of the optional flex days in this unit is to allow for additional time, as needed, to support students with the use of technology, drafting of artwork, and student presentations for a high-quality end-of-year performance task. Refer to the Unit-at-a-Glance chart for additional information.