Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Common Core Persuasive Writing Lesson

I love the book Should Their Be Zoos? by Tony Stead. I've written about my lessons using this book in previous posts. . Recently I found a writing lesson which is aligned to the common core that I want to share with you. The students write an opinion piece and support their point of view with reasons from the text Should Their Be Zoos,and The Swazi Eleven by Kelly Boland.(A copy of this article is given in the packed from the link below). They also use facts learned from  a video clip from a Phoenix news station about an endangered animal which has thrived at a local zoo. I posted a copy of the video I found on Youtube below. Here is the link to the NYC Dept. of Education website:

Common Core Standards addressed: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.5.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies,
science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and
W.5.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and

Phoenix Zoo

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Synthesizing with The Wednesday Surprise

Each year I use The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting to do a lesson on synthesis. Synthesis is when your thinking changes during reading. This book is a great choice because it is short and sweet and your thinking changes quite drastically from the beginning to the end.
 I have taught this lesson for years with only one copy of the book. This year I ordered a class set and it made a big difference. In the middle we start to think  that the main character, Anna, will be reading to her father as his birthday surprise. Synthesizing through this part was the most difficult. I found we had to reread the page three times for full understanding. Having a class set really helped with this. At the end we find out that the surprise is really that the grandmother cannot read. Anna taught her to read and they surprised the father on his birthday. This was a great place it introduce the word: illiterate.
The next day I decided to review those spots in the text when the author either mislead the reader or left us a clue as to what the story was really about. I went through the text and created this worksheet.

We wrote our notes about what was happening to us as  readers on the opposite side. Christine