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Critical Reading & Writing Around Complex Texts

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1 Critical Reading & Writing Around Complex Texts
Tiffany Abbott Fuller Cassie Parson Rome City Schools

2 Learning Objectives Teachers will be able to select a complex text for their class (using the handout as a jumping off point). Teachers will learn and practice the reading strategies to access a complex text (in order to teach their students). Teachers will be able to teach their students how to write an analytical essay in response to a Guiding Question associated with a complex text.

3 Collaboration Partnership: How We Collaborate:
Literacy Coach, Cassie Parson Literacy Teacher, Tiffany Abbott Fuller Social Studies Teacher, Brant Amerman How We Collaborate: Selecting books Knowing the standards Sharing the students and the work Cassie: Tell about how as a coach I was trying to get our feet wet with CCSS. In thinking of ways to implement CCSS, I thought of integration between literacy and content areas and using primary source documents as a complex text. I also wanted to integrate the reading and the writing as an end product and incorporate close reading of the complex text. I had tried this out during the school year in 4th grade using P. Henry’s Give Me Liberty speech and had great success. So I wanted to ramp it up with 5th grade. I approached the teachers and bounced around some ideas. Brant: I knew we were in the middle of our Civil War Unit and were nearing the close of it. We needed to cover Reconstruction quickly, so I thought having Cassie and Tiffany do this project during this historical time period would “kill two birds with one stone.” Tiffany: Knowing the reading level/interest of our students and Brant’s desire to study a primary source document during Reconstruction, I happened to come upon Lincoln’s Reconstruction Speech (also the last speech before his death). Cassie and I printed the speech and began to carefully study it to see how we could piece everything together. Specifically, we wanted to go through the process of reading a complex text ourselves before teaching it to our students. This speech, at first look, is very complex. Brant and I were concerned with the high level considering that one of our classes is an EIP / SpEd / ELL mix in addition to the other class having a variety of low to high achieving students. Cassie looked at the speech with us, considering our concerns, and together we found several moments of repetition and questions. Both aspects of reading that make this text more approachable for all levels of learners. At this point we began to brainstorm various strategies for the students to access this complex text.

4 West End Elementary Rome City Schools Size Demographics
Classes / Rotation Literacy Class Schedule

5 Launching the Unit: What We Wanted Before We Started
Teaching Channel Teaching Strategies Writing an Analytical Essay-Beginning with the end in mind. We knew the analytical essay was the end goal.

6 Cassie: I had watched this video as I was preparing for a SS Content Literacy training in our system. It occurred to me that this would be an excellent way to ramp up this CCSS unit with 5th grade by adding in the close reading for literary devices and having students work in groups to create a one slide PPT presentation around the specific literary device their group was studying in the text. Let’s look at close reading and analysis of text in action. * Points: Main Idea and important details; requires close reading; author’s purpose; text evidence; analysis of literary devices used https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/literacy-analysis-lesson

7 Selection of Complex Texts
Thinking about the SS, ELA, & Reading standards Use of Primary Source Document SS Teacher chose topic & literacy teacher chose text Teachers Must: Be Patient Be Mindful of Time/Space Provide Scaffolding Tiffany: With the help of our Social Students teacher (Mr. Brant Amerman), we selected Lincoln’s Reconstruction Speech. Included in your handout is a paper with suggestions of speeches you could use in the classroom based on the Social Studies Standards for grades 3 through 5. At this point in the process, with a calendar in hand, I began to be nervous about the amount of time this could take. Reading the text alone could be a long process, in addition to writing an essay, and producing a PPT. However, when considering the amount of SS content we would be teaching during our Literacy Block and all the literacy standards we would teach, we felt confident that this would be a good use of our time. And to be honest, the kids really, really enjoyed the speech as well as the rigor involved. They felt like young college students. Cassie: Teachers are patient, create more time and space in the curriculum for this close and careful reading, and provide appropriate and necessary scaffolding and supports so that it is possible for students to read the complex text.

8 Teaching Process for this Project
Lesson Hook- Read a related picture book 1st Reading of Speech: Teacher Read Aloud 2nd Reading of Speech: Independent and with Teacher Activity: Annotation 3rd Reading: Small Groups Activity: Jigsaw 4th Reading: Small Groups and Whole Class Activity: Summarizing the Main Idea of each paragraph 5th Reading: Individually Assessment Foldable 6th Reading: Small Groups Read for a literary device and Powerpoint

9 The Hook First we introduced the project and Lincoln’s reconstruction speech by showing the book trailer & reading this book to the students in order to develop a context for the assignment. Tiffany: As a literacy teacher, I am often looking at author websites to learn of their newest and upcoming books. Lane Smith is one of my favorite authors to teach to fifth graders, so I am always on his website. Out of the blue, and in a serendipitous moment his newest book (about to come out during that semester) was Abe Lincoln’s Dream. Regardless of what we were teaching, I would pause to read this text, but luckily for us, it was completely relevant. We began our unit by showing this book trailer, but before even that: we used this text to create our Guiding Question for the Unit. This would be the question that each of our lessons would center around and that the students would begin gathering evidence from this text as well as the speech to answer.

10 Guiding Question What is President Abraham Lincoln’s vision for the Unites States after the Civil War? Have we achieved that vision in our country today? Analyze Lincoln’s reconstruction speech to determine the main idea and key details. Which quotes best support Lincoln’s vision? Cassie: After having watched the video from the Teaching Channel, I noticed that the teacher used a guiding question which the students had to gather evidence from the text they were reading to answer and write about. I really wanted to use a guiding question for our project as well. Tiffany and I started brainstorming questions. I came up with the following questions and ed them to Tiff. 1. What can we glean about Lincoln as a leader from the speech? 2. What case is Lincoln making in this speech? 3. Who is making the case to (audience)? 4. Was Lincoln effective in making his case in his speech? Tiffany then refined the questions into these after reading the Abe Lincoln’s Dream book. And our guiding questions came to be.

11 Teaching Process for this Project
Annotate Text Cassie: Annotating the text is a strategy we have used in our system for at least four years. This strategy grew out of Stephanie Harvey’s Read, Write, and Talk Strategy which our system was trained on four years ago. Annotating text is a more scholarly way of coding the text. In our system, we also use the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for Reading. These units of study also incorporate annotation of text as a way to access and comprehend text. Tiffany: With my students, I first read the text aloud to my students. The students, at this time, were to underline interesting parts (generally they underlined phrases that were familiar to them from their Social Studies learning) as well as confusing parts. After I read a page or a few paragraphs, we discussed first what they noticed about the text and discussed it. Then I shared important parts of Lincoln’s Speech I wanted the kids to remember. At times I would ask questions, guiding them to discover what I noticed, and other times I was much more forthright in having them underline important lines of the speech. This process continued throughout the entire speech.

12 Active Reading Annotation
Question (?): Develop a question in regards to something you don’t understand or you would like to discuss further. Statement (!): Write down a sentence/phrase that you feel is a strong point regarding the purpose of the reading that should be discussed. Relate (R): Write down something that you can relate to, whether it is a belief, an experience, another text, etc. Connect the relevance of your experience back to the text. Summary (S): In your own words, summarize the main point of the selection focusing on important details.

13 Teaching Process-Students Jigsawing Lincoln’s Speech
Cassie: After annotating a bit of the text together (the first few paragraphs), we decided that another great strategy we could incorporate in order to give the kids a little more independence would be to jigsaw the text. We divided the students into groups and had them work through that specific paragraph or part of the text (just a few sentences) by annotating and discussing to create meaning. Then we had the kids come back together and present their specific section to the rest of the class while the other students took notes. ACTIVITY: Jigsaw Cesar Chavez’s text!

14 Teaching Process for this Project
What was Lincoln’s Main Idea? Tiffany: Knowing that the end product of this unit was a written essay, I wanted my students to have a chart they could use to help them write (a one-stop sheet for the most important information). So, I broke Lincoln’s essay up in paragraphs. After we carefully and closely read a paragraph, we would determine the main idea. I let my students discuss the idea among themselves before I gave any of my input. Then I had the kids discuss how they knew that was the main idea, citing a specific sentence from the paragraph. The students also recorded their thoughts; this was to prepare them for writing their essay in order to explain and define quotes they may include. How do you know?

15 Teaching Process for this Project Historical Event Foldable
Tiffany: In order to bridge between the close reading and the creation of a PPT as well as the essay, we had our students create a foldable with the basic elements of the speech defined in their own words. Students answered Who, What, Where, When, and Why (all components of the would be speech). They also needed to find the WOW moment of the speech- this particular sentence or phrase would answer the Guiding Question: What was Lincoln’s Vision for America. At this point we began teaching literary devices that we noticed in the text such as: repetition, questions, figurative language, tone, etc. *There is a handout in your packet that was given to our students which will show the various literary devices we had the groups closely read for. ACTIVITY: Make foldable. Determine what students can closely read for using Cesar Chavez’ speech.

16 Teaching Process – Group Work for Literary Device Analysis
Tone Analysis Group Student groups were assigned specific literacy devices to analyze. From there, students made one slide PowerPoint Presentations which they presented to the class. Students in the audience gave feedback to the presenting groups. Tiffany/Cassie: Briefly mention the chart/graphic organizer we used for students to take notes on their literary device in preparation for giving a short presentation using their PPT.

17 Questions Quotes Main Idea What does it mean?
“Will it be wiser to take it as it is, and help to improve it; or to reject, and disperse it?” “Can Louisiana be brought into proper practical relation with the union sooner by sustaining or by discarding her new state government?” We think that president Lincoln is saying these questions to Louisiana so the south can come back as a state . Quotes Tiffany/Cassie: This is an example of a student-group PPT. (If time, mention that students already knew how to use this Microsoft program because one of our activities is Computer Class). Main Idea What does it mean? Lincoln ‘s main idea for saying the reconstruction speech is to get Louisiana to get them together to help reunite the nations

18 Student Presentations- Video

19 Cassie: One of the primary source documents in your packet is the Dec of Indep which is part of the fourth grade standards. I used this video in one of my content literacy (SS) trainings to introduce the Dec of Independence and get students excited about reading this complex text. ACTIVITY: Watch video https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos/teaching-declaration-of-independence

20 Reading and Writing Go Hand in Hand
Cassie: Again, we began this unit/project with the end in mind and we knew we wanted to the kids to write an analytical essay which would answer those guiding questions about the speech. Everything we taught was with this end writing project in mind.

21 Preparing to Write Tiffany: This was an anchor chart I created with my students to show them what an Analytical Essay was in addition to the basic components they would need to include in their essay.

22 Teaching Process – Study of Mentor Analysis Essays
Cassie: In trainings I’ve done over the course of the last few years, we have discussed using model texts with the question: “What have you read like what you are going to write?” This gives students a good pic of what an end prod should look like. Student read two response essays one was a response to Tante Tina which we pulled from Laura Robb’s Smart Writing. The other was a response from The Old Man and the Sea which is an 8th grade student response from Appendix C of CCSS. Tiffany created this graphic organizer to guide them in their thinking about the essay/student work examples they were reading. The questions came directly from Laura Robb’s Smart Writing book on Argument Essays.

23 Teaching Process-Thesis Statement
Tiffany: Using the model essays, we began teaching students how to identify and write a thesis statement. They learned that the thesis statement needed to directly answer the Guiding Question as well as set up the parameters for how they would support their claim.

24 Writing Paragraph by Paragraph
Introduction Paragraph What was Lincoln’s vision for the United States after the Civil War? - Choose a main topic from the speech to answer the question: equal rights, free the slaves, unify the country, to follow the plan (write a general sentence) - Tell the who, where, and when: Lincoln, Reconstruction Speech, April 11, 1865 - Thesis Statement Tiffany: We took each paragraph a day at a time. To make this type of rigorous writing more approachable to my fifth graders, they helped me create an anchor chart PPT that gave specific direction on how to write the paragraph.

25 Body Paragraph #4 How did Lincoln’s use of (IMAGERY, TONE, ASKING QUESTIONS, CALLS TO ACTION, COUNTER ARGUMENTS or REPETITION) help persuade the north to accept his vision for the United States after the Civil War? - When Lincoln wrote his speech, he was sure to include…. - example (quote from the text) - explain the quote - answer the question

26 Conclusion Paragraph Has Lincoln’s vision come to pass today?
(don’t just say YES) - Turn the question into a declarative sentence. - Give an example / explain Mrs. Abbott Fuller shared President Obama’s President Proclamation from Dec. 31, 2012. Tiffany: We attempted to show how the past does and will connect with events from today. My students watched President Obama’s Proclamation regarding Lincoln and a few students used a line or two from President Obama in their own essay if it helped them to answer the Guiding Question.

27 Teaching Process – Body Paragraphs
Cassie: This is an example of student work from the previous slide. You will have a copy of this in your handouts.

28 Drafting Checklist KEEP ME ON TRACK!!! Checklist
• I chose 1 VISION to focus on. • I found evidence to support that vision. • I explained or clarified each part of evidence. • I wrote well-written sentences with vivid words, adjectives, and adverbs to better explain my thoughts. • I completed the graphic organizer (planning). • I am ready to write my 2nd paragraph onto the drafting paper. • I have finished writing my 2nd paragraph. • I read it. • I looked for spelling errors and corrected each word. • I looked for punctuation errors. • I capitalized PROPER NOUNS. • I have a rich and vivid vocabulary. I used a thesaurus.

29 Publishing Checklist Write your name and date
Indent 5 times (one time for each paragraph). Use " " marks around Lincoln's words only (the evidence). Place page numbers inside (1) after quote. Lincoln stated, "proper practical relations," (3). Check for , before conjunctions (ONLY USE IF THE SENTENCES ON EACH SIDE OF THE CONJUCTION ARE INDEPENDENT CLAUSES) Look for capitalization errors (Lincoln, Reconstruction, etc...) Look for spelling errors. Make sure you use EVIDENCE BASED TERMS/Transition Words. NEAT! NEAT! NEAT!

30 Classroom Anchor Charts
Cassie: This is an anchor chart we used in order to help students develop their paragraphs and make sure they had appropriate evidence from the text to support their claim. If they were talking about equal rights, they needed to make sure the quotes from the text were about equal rights and then write down their thoughts/explanations about the quote on the graphic org. Then they used the graphic org and notes to help them create the actual paragraphs.

31 Anchor Chart- Transition Words

32 Questions


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