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Planning Step 1: Lesson Curriculum: What are the Learning Goals for this lesson?

Lesson Standards

Always include a writing standard.

RL.4.2 Determine the theme of a story, drama or poem from details in the text.
RL.4.9 Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes in stories.
W.4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

Students Will Be Able To… (Do)

  • Skills from standards including thinking (cognitive verbs).
  • This is not activities.
  • One or more goals should be Higher Order Thinking (Levels of Learning 3 or 4), and/or Reading Comprehension.
  • Sequence these goals in the order in which they should be learned.

Infer the theme of a story
Use text evidence to support the theme
Compare the theme of two stories
Write opinion pieces identifying theme and inferences

Students Will Know

Knowledge from standards such as vocabulary, facts, formulas.

Theme is the author’s message
Theme must be inferred

Lesson Essential Question

  • A question that communicates the Learning Goals.
  • Reflect the Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Learning Goal(s).

How do readers compare the author’s message in two stories?

Planning Step 3: Lesson Instruction: How will students learn?

Activating Strategy

  • Plan this after you plan your Learning Activities. How will you introduce the Lesson Essential Question?
  • How will you draw attention to important vocabulary in the Lesson Essential Question?
  • How will you build/link background knowledge?
  • What prerequisite content might students need to know before the lesson?
  • >Which key vocabulary from the Learning Goals needs to be explicitly taught?
  • Are there other vocabulary words that you think need to be taught?
  • Which vocabulary strategy will you use?
  • Previewing:
    • Advance Organizer
    • Prerequisite Content
    • Vocabulary

Introduce the Lesson Essential Question. Highlight the words compare and theme. Share a wordless picture book such as Unspoken by Henry Cole. Ask students to observe carefully to figure out what the author is saying. Think-Pair-Share: What is the author’s message?
Key vocabulary (for explicit instruction):
Use the activating strategy activity to introduce theme as the author’s message and the idea that it is implied and not directly stated.

Vocabulary Strategy: Frayer Organizer

Previewing (what, who, when):
Preview the Lesson Essential Question and discuss the word “compare”. Preview “theme” using a visual cue (THE_MEssage). Discuss examples and nonexamples.

Graphic Organizer

  • How will students store and organize information as they learn during this lesson?
  • Base the organizer on the Higher Order Thinking or Reading Comprehension in the Will Be Able To… (Do) Learning Goals.
  • Determine how the organizer will be previewed for struggling students.
  • Determine how the organizer will be scaffolded for struggling students.

Inference Organizer

Previewing (what, who, when):

Learning Activity 1

The Learning Goal(s) for this Learning Activity and Assessment Prompt:

Consider:

  • Explicitly teach Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Strategy (if didn’t in a previous Learning Activity)
  • Content students need to learn
  • Chunk activity:
    • Several opportunities for thinking, talking, writing to learn
    • Distributed summarizing and/or practice
    • Questions to ask
    • Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Questions to ask
  • Active engagement:
    • Collaborative Pairs, Numbered Heads, Think-Pair-Share, etc.
    • Variety
    • Movement
  • Previewing prerequisite knowledge/skills
  • Scaffolding content and process

Model and think aloud how to make inferences using an Inference Organizer by annotating step by step the process. Record the steps directly onto the organizer. Students will use the graphic organizer to make additional inferences using scenario cards depicting real-life situations.

Previewing (what, who, when):
Use an Anchor Chart to preview the steps in the process for inferring theme

Scaffolding (what, who, when):
Students will use the graphic organizer to make inferences using scenario cards depicting real-life situations.

Assessment Prompt for Learning Activity 1

  • Formative assessment of the Learning Goal(s).
  • Ensure the task meets the expectation of the Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Learning Goal.
  • Remediate: What is an additional learning opportunity for students who did not master the Learning Goal(s) before proceeding?

Note to a Student: Write an explanation for another student on how readers infer the theme.

Learning Activity 2

The Learning Goal(s) for this Learning Activity and Assessment Prompt:

Consider:

  • Explicitly teach Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Strategy (if didn’t in a previous Learning Activity)
  • Content students need to learn
  • Chunk activity:
    • Several opportunities for thinking, talking, writing to learn
    • Distributed summarizing and/or practice
    • Questions to ask
    • Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Questions to ask
  • Active engagement:
    • Collaborative Pairs, Numbered Heads, Think-Pair-Share, etc.
    • Variety
    • Movement
  • Previewing prerequisite knowledge/skills
  • Scaffolding content and process

Introduce Dandelions by Eve Bunting. During shared reading, think aloud about the text evidence that is providing clues to the theme. Have students continue with paired reading and completing the graphic organizer. Bring students back together to discuss their reading. What was the author’s message? What is the text evidence that supports your ideas? Record ideas on the group graphic organizer.

Previewing (what, who, when):

Scaffolding (what, who, when):

Assessment Prompt for Learning Activity 2

  • Formative assessment of the Learning Goal(s).
  • Ensure the task meets the expectation of the Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Learning Goal.
  • Remediate: What is an additional learning opportunity for students who did not master the Learning Goal(s) before proceeding?

Choose an illustration from the book that you think provides the best evidence of the theme and justify your answer in two to three sentences.

Learning Activity 3

The Learning Goal(s) for this Learning Activity and Assessment Prompt:

Consider:

  • Explicitly teach Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Strategy (if didn’t in a previous Learning Activity)
  • Content students need to learn
  • Chunk activity:
    • Several opportunities for thinking, talking, writing to learn
    • Distributed summarizing and/or practice
    • Questions to ask
    • Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Questions to ask
  • Active engagement:
    • Collaborative Pairs, Numbered Heads, Think-Pair-Share, etc.
    • Variety
    • Movement
  • Previewing prerequisite knowledge/skills
  • Scaffolding content and process

Read The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz as shared or paired reading noting text evidence that supports a theme. After reading small groups work together to create a group graphic organizer on chart paper. Groups come together and compare their ideas and offer text support to back up their conclusions about how the authors’ messages in the two stories is similar.

Previewing (what, who, when):

Scaffolding (what, who, when):
Provide the theme, students provide text evidence.

Assessment Prompt for Learning Activity 3

  • Formative assessment of the Learning Goal(s).
  • Ensure the task meets the expectation of the Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension Learning Goal.
  • Remediate: What is an additional learning opportunity for students who did not master the Learning Goal(s) before proceeding?

Pick a Side Debate: Which author does a better job of conveying the theme through inferences? Use text evidence and your background knowledge to support your opinion.

Planning Step 2: Lesson Assessment: How will students demonstrate understanding of the Learning Goals for this lesson?

Assignment

  • Plan this before planning Lesson Instruction.
  • How will students demonstrate their knowledge of the Will Know Learning Goals and the skills in the Will Be Able To… (Do) Learning Goals (especially the Higher Order Thinking and/or Reading Comprehension)?
  • How will the Assignment be differentiated for support and challenge?
  • Which students receive differentiation?
  • For students who struggle with the Assignment, how will you remediate this lesson?

Write a book review in which you compare the theme in Dandelions to the theme of The Cabin Faced West. How are the author’s messages similar? How are they different? Use text evidence to support your ideas.

Differentiated Assignment for Struggling Students:
Use the following template to guide you in writing a book review in which you compare one of the themes in Dandelions to a similar theme in The Cabin Faced West.

The most important theme in Eve Bunting’s Dandelions is _________________________________. She introduces the theme by _____________________________________. The theme is developed further when ____________________. Finally, _________________.
The main theme of The Cabin Faced West is similar to Dandelions because _____________________________________. Jean Fritz introduces the theme by ______________ _______________________________________. The theme is developed further when _________________ ____________. Finally, _________________________ ___________________________. While the two books share a similar theme, ___________________________________ ___________________________________________.
Differentiated Assignment with More Challenge:
Write a dialogue between Eve Bunting and Thanhha Lai in which you compare the themes of Dandelions and Inside Out and Back Again and share how each
author went about developing the theme through the characters’ responses to challenge.

Remediation: Provide additional guided practice for making inferences by modeling and thinking aloud the steps in the process using song lyrics. Model and practice completing the inference organizer. Students collaboratively decide on a theme for the song. Additional practice is provided using student selected songs.

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