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Standards Awareness Activity (Day 1)
Materials:

  1. Slips of paper with “throw away standards” from each grade level on colored paper, maybe grey or dull.

  2. Slips of paper with “brand new standards” for each grade level on colored paper, maybe bright green or pink for emphasis

  3. Slips of paper with New GLEs for Standards printed on them, different colored for each grade level.

  4. New Standards (8 titles) Posted Around the room, laminated.

  5. Large poster of a trash can, laminated

  6. Large poster of sunshine, laminated

  7. Masking tape


Description:

This activity will make participants aware of the differences in the old and new Language Arts Standards. New Language standards are not very different, but are re-arranged into Eight Standards, rather than the simple READING, WRITING, ELEMENTS OF LANGAUGE from the current standards. The new standards are: LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION, WRITING, RESEARCH, LOGIC, INFORMATIONAL TEXT, MEDIA, LITERATURE.

We will “throw away” any grade level expectations or accomplishments which no longer appear on our new Standards, as well as become aware of the “bright, shiny new” grade level SPIs which we will address. References to it’s a new day, sunshine to wake us up to new glorious horizons, etc. would be appropriate.
Step-by Step:


  1. Divide the room into grade level groups, 6th, 7th, 8th.

  2. Give each group their corresponding “throw away standards”. Ask them to look at those and discuss briefly at their table what is no longer in the grade level SPIs at all. Have a ceremony where each group goes to the trash can and literally “throws away” those old standards not being used. Depending on time, you may pause and discuss these briefly.

  3. Give each group their corresponding “shiny, new standards”. Ask them to look at those and discuss briefly at their table what is brand new in the grade level SPIs. Have a ceremony where each group goes to the picture of sunshine and tapes up the new standards, with emphasis on “a brand new day or new horizons” metaphor.

  4. Discuss the new vocabulary of the new standards.

  5. Allow participants to use their standards in the notebook and highlight the new ones which don’t appear on old standards. They also may want to make note of “throw away standards” in the trash can.

  6. Give out new GLEs slips of paper. Have participants post these under the correct new Standard for visual effect.

  7. Use the Six Hat strategy to reflect on this activity. Instructions are included and a transparency.

Say What” (1.0)


Materials:

  • Greeting cards with picture of people on the front.

  • Large Post-It Notes Chart Paper

  • Markers


Description:

The purpose of this activity is to use correct capitalization and punctuation for quotations. TSW also use a variety of sentences to write dialogue, as well as attempt to include elements of language such as hyphens, titles, appositives, noun of direct address, interrupter, colon and semicolons.


Step-by Step:

1. Mount pictures on large Post-It Notes around the room.

2. Divide the participants into groups of two-five people, depending on size of class.

3. Send groups to the various poster stations in the room, with the following directions:



    • Study the greeting card mounted on your poster.

    • Brainstorm in the group what these characters might be saying to one another in a fun dialogue.

    • Write this dialogue on the Post-It Note with markers. Instruct students to make sure they use a variety of sentence structures such as speaker at the beginning of sentence, speaker at end, a divided quote, a quote which ends with a question mark, etc,

    • Instruct students to include in at least one sentence of the dialogue elements of language such as hyphen, title, appositive, colon or semicolon.

    • Students can have no less than four sentences of dialogue on the poster.

4. Have participants move to the Post-It Note Dialogue to the right and check for correct grammar and

punctuation.

5. Students can report out by role-playing the conversations.

Sentence Puzzle (1.0)
Materials:


  • Envelopes with strips containing words for sentence (one envelope per small group)

  • Transparency of questions related to sentence


Description:

Sentence puzzle is a hands-on approach which challenges students to use critical thinking skills to organize words into a coherent sentence and then explain how words work together to create “chunks” of information (i.e. prepositional phrases, dependent clauses). It can also be used to review application of punctuation and capitalization in context. Sentences can be created to address a wide array of skills in Standard 1 Language.


Step-by-Step:

1. Pass out envelope containing strips to each small group. Tell participants that they

should work together to create a coherent sentence from the words in the envelope.

They will notice that there is no capitalization or punctuation to help them. Once they

get the words organized into the best sentence structure possible, they should work

together to answer the questions on the transparency (shown on the overhead

projector). Below is the sentence as it should be organized. (In the South could appear

after during the 1930s.)


I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is the true story of a black girl who grew up in

the South during the 1930s.

2. While participants are arranging words, show transparency of questions so that as they

Finish organizing the words into a sentence, they can move directly to answering

questions.

3. Once participants have finished, discuss the questions.

4. As you discuss the prepositional phrases question, have participants pull the words that make a

particular prepositional phrase out of the sentence (they can simply move them above the rest of the

sentence). This would be a great visual of how prepositional phrases are built—they must begin

with a preposition; they end with the noun/pronoun which answers the question what/whom about

the preposition. It also shows that prepositional phrases communicate small “chunks” of

information in the sentence.

4. Close with a discussion of ways to extend this strategy. Ask participants to share

ways they can think to “re-invent” this strategy by doing something a little different

with it. Below are two examples of extensions.


  • Teacher would create 6 different sentence puzzles which address skills or grammar concepts which have been taught. Set desks in small groups to create 6 stations with one sentence puzzle per station. Students would rotate through each station, working together to organize the words into the best sentence possible and discussing the corrections which need to be made to the sentence. They would then write the sentence on their own paper, making all spelling, mechanics, and grammar corrections required. Once students have visited each station, teacher would lead a large group check/discussion of all sentences.

  • In another variation, teacher could supply each station with a card which instructs students on how to organize information in the sentence (ex. This sentence should begin with a prepositional phrase; This sentence should begin with an introductory adverb clause; This sentence should begin with an infinitive, This sentence should be a compound sentence, etc.)


CONTENT STANDARD 1.0 LANGUAGE
Grade Level Expectations

  • GLE 0801.1.1 Demonstrate control of Standard English through the use of grammar, usage, and mechanics.

  • GLE 0801.1.3 Understand and use correctly a variety of sentence structures.


State Performance Indicators

• SPI 0801.1.1 Identify the correct use of nouns (i.e., common/proper,

singular/plural, possessives, direct/indirect objects, predicate nouns).


  • SPI 0801.1.2 Identify the correct use of verbs (i.e., action/linking, regular/irregular, agreement, perfect tenses, verb phrases) within context.

  • SPI 0801.1.3 Identify the correct use of adjectives (i.e., common/proper, comparative/superlative, adjective clauses) and adverbs (i.e., comparative/superlative) within context.

• SPI 0701.1.5 Identify the correct use of prepositional phrases (place

correctly according to the words they modify within the sentence) within

context.


Materials needed:

• Envelopes with strips containing words for sentence (one envelope/small

group).


  • Transparency of questions related to sentence




Assessment Activity Title: Sentence Puzzle


Description of Activity:

  1. Give each small group an envelope containing strips with words which form a sentence.

  2. Tell students that they should work together to create a coherent sentence from the words in the envelope. They will notice that there is no capitalization or punctuation to help them.

  3. Once the get the words organized into the best sentence possible, they should work together to answer the questions related to the sentence. (Post questions on transparency.) Teacher creates questions which relate to skills which have been taught (i.e. Which words should be capitalized? What punctuation needs to be added to the sentence? How many prepositional phrases are in the sentence? What are the prep. phrases? What is the subject of the sentence? The verb?)

  4. Once students complete the sentence and questions, teacher discusses/clarifies as questions arise.

  5. Teacher can create a sentence puzzle to address multiple skills or just a few certain skills. Sentences can be pulled from texts students are currently reading, grammar books, or the teacher’s brain.


Assignment Extensions:

There are many ways to extend Sentence Puzzle. For example, teacher could create six different sentence puzzles which address skills or grammar concepts which have been taught. Set desks in small groups to create six stations with one sentence puzzle per station. Students would rotate through each station, working together to organize the words into the best sentence possible and discussing the corrections which need to be made to the sentence. They would then write the sentence on their own paper, making all spelling, mechanics, and grammar corrections required. Once students have visited each station, teacher would lead a large group check/discussion of all sentences.

In another variation, teacher could supply each station with a card which instructs students on how to organize information in the sentence (i.e. This sentence should begin with a prepositional phrase; This sentence should begin with an introductory adverb clause.)



i know why the caged bird sings

is the true story


of a black girl


who grew up in


the south during

the 1930s

Sentence Puzzle
Arrange the words in the best order to form a logical sentence.

Complete the following tasks:


  1. List the words which must be capitalized.

  2. What punctuation does this sentence need?

  3. Identify/List the prepositional phrases in the sentence.

  4. Which part of this sentence contains a dependent clause?

  5. What kind of dependent clause is it?

  6. What is the subject in the independent clause?

  7. What is the verb in the independent clause?

What kind of verb is it?

  1. What is the word story functioning as in the sentence?

Key: Questions/answers for the sentence puzzle
Complete the following tasks:


  1. List the words which must be capitalized. (I, Know, Why, Caged, Bird, Sings, South)

  2. What punctuation does this sentence need? (period at end of sentence)

  3. Identify/List the prepositional phrases in the sentence. (of a black girl, in the South, in the 1930s)

  4. Which part of this sentence contains a dependent clause? (who grew up in the South in the 1930s)

  5. What kind of dependent clause is it? (adjective)

  6. What is the subject in the independent clause? (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings)

  7. What is the verb in the independent clause? (is)

What kind of verb is it? (linking verb)

  1. What is story functioning as in the sentence? (predicate noun/nominative)


Sentence Dictation (1.0)
Materials:

  • White boards/expo marker/eraser (should be in goodie bag) or paper


Description:

Sentence dictation is a versatile approach to applying rules of grammar, mechanics, and punctuation while improving students’ listening skills. Sentences can be tailored to address a wide array of skills students should be able to apply to writing. The teacher can create sentences that address specific skills being taught to check for mastery.


Step-by-Step:

  1. Tell participants that dictating a sentence to the class is an engaging way to cover specific grammar skills and mechanics. It also helps students to strengthen their listening skills.

  2. Ask participants to write the following sentence as you dictate it:



My father, the athletic director, coaches girls’ basketball

every day during the winter.
3. Next, ask the following questions:

  • Are there any commas in the sentence? If so, where? (after father and director)

  • Why is the athletic director set off with commas? (appositive phrase)

  • Is father capitalized? Why not? (not used as his name)

  • Is winter capitalized? Why not? (do not capitalize seasons)

  • Is girls a possessive? How should it be written? Why? (apostrophe is placed after the s because the plural form of girls ends in an s.)

  • Can you think of a time when a word which is plural possessive would not have the apostrophe after the s? (children’s—because the plural form of the noun does not end in s, the apostrophe is placed in front of the s)

  • Is every day one word or two? Why is it two words? (because every is an adjective modifying day. If it were written as one word, it would function as an adjective modifying a noun, such as everyday clothes).

  • How is athletic spelled?

  1. For each answer, have participants explain why they think as they do. Point out the importance of having students justify their responses as well.

  2. To close, tell participants that dictation is not only simple, but it is also an excellent strategy to incorporate specific grammar skills and to weave previously covered skills back into the new skills being taught. Remind them that they could also cover things such as subject, verb, prepositional phrases, etc. in their questions for students. The skills which could be covered are endless.


CONTENT STANDARD 1.0 LANGUAGE
Grade Level Expectations

  • GLE 0801.1.1 Demonstrate control of Standard English through the use of grammar, usage, and mechanics (punctuation, capitalization, and spelling).


State Performance Indicators

• SPI 0801.1.6 Identify the correct use of commas within context

• SPI 0801.1.10 Identify the correct use of appositives/appositives phrases

and infinitive/infinitive phrases within context.




  • Materials needed:

    •Paper/pencil.



    Assessment Activity Title: Sentence Dictation

    Description of Activity:

    1. Tell students that you will dictate a sentence to them. They should listen very carefully so that they can write the sentence correctly, using correct spelling, capitalization, and punctuation.

    2. Read the sentence to students. (Below is a sample sentence which could be used, but sentences can be tailored to address the specific skills you are teaching students.)


    My father, the athletic director, coaches girls’ basketball every day

    during the winter.
    3. After students have written the sentence, ask questions related to the

    sentence. For each answer, students should explain why they think as

    they do. Below are examples of questions which could be asked about the

    sentence above.



    • Are there any commas in the sentence?

    • Why is the athletic director set off with commas?

    • Is father capitalized?

    • Is winter capitalized?

    • How should girls be written?

    • Is every day one word or two?

    • How is athletic spelled?

    • What is the subject of the sentence? Verb?

    Assignment Extensions:

    Sentence dictation can be tailored to address all conventions of sentence structure and writing as skills are added.


    SPI 0801.1.13 Form singular and plural possessives using apostrophes correctly.


Excerpts for “I Have a Dream” Speech (2.0)

Oral Presentation
Materials:

  1. Handouts of excerpts from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (one copy per participant) [Locate copy of this speech on the internet or a print source; copyright laws prevent including the speech on the CD]

  2. Transparencies of speech site/presentation (2 transparencies) [Use Google Images to locate photos for use; copyright laws prevent including these photos on the CD]

  3. DVD or VHS tape with clip of “I Have a Dream” speech

  4. TV, DVD or VHS player


Description:

The purpose of this activity is to enhance students’ fluency in reading and speaking as well as address many other standards such as identifying the purpose of a speech and its targeted audience.


Step-by-Step:

  1. Show transparency #1(Lincoln Memorial on the day of MLK speech). Ask participants to write down 5 things they notice. Share/discuss observations. Then show Transparency #2 (close-up of site). Write down 5 things they notice, questions, connections, etc. What kinds of inferences can we make about this event based on “reading” this photograph? Next, ask participants to select a person in the photograph and put themselves in the shoes of that person. What are you hearing and seeing? What emotions are you feeling? What are you thinking? Give participants a little time to jot down their responses and then share with the group. (Viewing the transparencies will provide a springboard for working with the speech.)

  2. Tell participants that we are going to work with selected excerpts of Dr. King’s speech since the entire speech is quite long. Ask participants to form a circle, rotating male/female as much as possible.

  3. Give each participant a copy of the text. Tell participants that we will go around the circle with readers, changing reader every time the number changes. They should not count ahead to figure out their number. The first read through is a cold read and we aren’t expecting perfection or outstanding inflection. We’re just reading to get comfortable with the text. The facilitator reads the #1 section, participant to the left reads #2, and so on around the circle.

  4. After first reading, tell participants we’re going to read it again. They may (and probably will) have a different set of sentences to read, but that’s alright. Again, we’re getting comfortable with the text and working for a little more fluency and expression the second time. Read the speech again. (It might be good to explain to participants that reading through at least two times is important in a classroom because the more times students hear the text aloud, the more comfortable they will be with it. Additionally, the most effective way to improve comprehension is by re-reading. In the classroom, teachers would want to encourage students not to worry about whether they can pronounce everything on the first read—just to do their best with their lines—and then work for more expression with each round of reading.)

  5. Next, presenter assigns each participant a specific set of sentences. Participants form partners to practice their sentences with each other. The goal of this practice is to add all the elements of effective oral speaking (inflection, emphasis on appropriate words, pacing, etc.). Give participants 3—4 minutes to practice their sentences and receive feedback from their partner.

  6. Now, participants will present their final reading of the speech with as much fluency as possible.

  7. After reading, discuss the following standards with participants:

  • Who is the targeted audience?

  • What is the purpose of the speech (to persuade). In your opinion, did Dr. King accomplish his goal?

  • Ask participants to mark what is, in their opinion, the most persuasive part of the speech and write a couple of sentences explaining why. Have participants share with a partner what they marked and explain why. Then share a few with the large group.

  1. Tell participants that we are going to watch a short clip of Dr. King’s speech. As they watch the clip, they should look for how he engages his audience. What are the techniques he uses? After viewing the clip, discuss what he does to engage the audience. What else did you notice about his delivery? How was it similar to your interpretation? How was it different?

  2. Finally, have participants work with a partner to identify and mark with a highlighter one example of each of the following: simile, metaphor, alliteration, repetition, and allusion. Give 3-4 minutes to do this. Then have them get with another pair and share/compare answers to see if they selected the same things or different ones. Finally, ask participants to share examples with the large group. (Share with participants that this strategy is called pair-share. It is an effective strategy because it gives all students an opportunity and responsibility to share their thoughts as opposed to only a few students sharing in the large group setting. The strategy can also be done as think-pair-share by having students work individually first, then with a partner, and then in a small group of four.)

  3. Close by pointing out that we could address even more standards with this speech.

  • Recognize and ID words within context that reveal particular time periods and cultures

  • Determine influence of culture and ethnicity on the themes and issues of literary texts

  • Recognize implied themes/stated themes

  • If we had watched a clip of Dr. King’s delivery of the speech, we could have noted his use of effective methods of engaging an audience during an oral presentation.

  1. A logical extension of this activity is to have students select a topic/issue of their choice, research the issue, write a persuasive speech (3—5 minutes), practice with a partner, and then deliver that speech to the class. (This extension would address multiple indicators in the Communication, Research, and Logic strands. It could even be extended to the Media strand by requiring that students included a visual image that best reinforced their viewpoint or enhanced their presentation.

  2. Tell participants that there is another Reader’s Theater piece covering the brief excerpt Dr. King pulls from the Declaration of Independence and the Gettysburg Address in their workshop materials.


CONTENT STANDARD 2.0 COMMUNICATION
Grade Level Expectations

  • GLE 0801.2.1 Demonstrate critical listening skills essential for comprehension, evaluation, problem solving, and task completion.

  • GLE 0801.2.5 Understand strategies for expressing ideas clearly and effectively in a variety of oral contexts.

  • GLE 0801.2.4 Deliver effective oral presentations

  • GLE 0801.2.7 Participate in work teams and group discussions.


State Performance Indicators

• SPI 0801.2.1 Identify the purpose of a speech.

• SPI 0801.2.2 Identify the targeted audience of a speech.

• SPI 0801.2.4 Determine the most effective methods of engaging an

audience during an oral presentation.


Materials needed:

• Copies of excerpts from “I Have a Dream” speech.



  • Transparencies of speech site




Assessment Activity Title: “I Have a Dream” Speech Readers’ Theater


Description of Activity:

  1. Show transparencies of speech site. Ask students to respond by sharing what they notice, posing questions, making predictions regarding the event, etc. Give brief introduction to speech.

  2. Place desks in a circle. Ask students to rotate male/female in seats.

  3. Tell students that we will only work with selected excerpts since the entire speech is quite long.

  4. Give each student a copy of text. Teacher reads #1 section, student to left reads #2, and so on around the circle. This is a dry read just to get comfortable with the text.

  5. Repeat the process again. Students will probably have a different set of sentences to read this time, which is good.

  6. Assign each student a specific set of sentences. Students form partners and practice their sentences with each other to add all the elements of effective oral speaking. (3—5 minutes practice time with partner)

  7. Students form circle again and read once more, using their best oral speaking.

  8. Ask students who the targeted audience was, what the purpose of the speech was, and whether they believe Dr. King accomplished his purpose.

  9. Have students work with a partner to identify and mark one example of each of the following: simile, metaphor, alliteration, repetition, and allusion. Then have them join another pair and share/compare their answers.

  10. Show film clip of Dr. King’s speech delivery and discuss effective methods he employed to engage the audience.


Assignment Extensions:

Have students select a topic/issue of their choice, research the issue, write a persuasive speech (3—5 minutes), practice with a partner, and then deliver that speech to the class. Students could also be required to include a visual image that would best reinforce their viewpoint or enhance their presentation.




1The Declaration of Independence

July 4, 1776

(Thomas Jefferson)
2We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, 3that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, 4that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

5The Gettysburg Address

November 19, 1863

(Abraham Lincoln)
6Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, 7conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

8Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. 9We are met on a great battlefield of that war. 10We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place 11for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. 12It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

13But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—14we cannot consecrate—15we can not hallow—13this ground. 14The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, 15have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. 16The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, 17but it can never forget what they did here. 18It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here 19to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. 20It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—21that from these honored dead we take increased devotion 22to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—23that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—24that this nation, under God, 25shall have a new birth of freedom, 26and that government Group 1of the people, Group 2by the people, Group 3for the people, Allshall not perish from the earth.

Color-Coded Webbing (3.0)
Materials:


  • Sample essay “Moving My Curfew” from Ideas That Really Work: Activities for English and Language Arts by Cheryl Miller Thurston [Copyright laws prevent including the essay on this CD]

  • 1 green octagon per student

  • 4 yellow triangles per student

  • 4 blue Squares per student

  • 4 orange ovals per student

Description:

The step in the writing process often overlooked by students is prewriting. Research shows that this step is one of the most important steps for organized, thoughtful writing. This activity provides teachers a hands-on approach to prewriting and will certainly appeal to the visuals learners.



Step-by-Step:

1. Tell participants the structure of the basic five-paragraph essay is:

1. Introductory paragraph

2. Body paragraph

3. Body paragraph

4. Body paragraph

5. Concluding paragraph

2. Ask participants:

What would you ask students to do before writing an essay?

(Organize their thoughts using a prewriting strategy such as clustering,

mapping, webbing, or listing)

Why should students prewrite before beginning their writing?

3. Divide participants into groups of three. Give each group a sample essay. Tell them

they will take this essay and work backward to uncover the prewriting process.

4. Tell participants to draw a box around the introductory paragraph and then draw

another box around the concluding paragraph. Next, they should draw a circle

around each of the body paragraphs.

5. Give each group one green octagon, four yellow triangles, four blue squares, and four

orange ovals. Tell participants to write:


  • the subject of the essay on the green octagon,

  • the main idea of the first body paragraph on one of the yellow triangles,

  • the supporting details of the first body paragraph on each of the remaining yellow triangles,

  • the main ideas of the second body paragraph on one of the blue squares,

  • the supporting details of the second body paragraph on each of the remaining blue squares,

  • the main idea of the third body paragraph on one of the orange ovals, and

  • the supporting details of the third body paragraph on each of the remaining orange ovals.

6. Tell each group to organize their pieces into a web for the essay.

7. To close, tell participants that deconstructing the sample essay illustrates the

organization of the essay in a visual way for students. This process also

demonstrates the importance of organizing ideas before beginning to write.




CONTENT STANDARD 3.0 WRITING
Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0601.3.2 Employ a variety of prewriting strategies.



State Performance Indicators

SPI 0601.3.3 Complete a graphic organizer (i.e., clustering, listing, mapping,

webbing) with information from notes for a writing selection.


Materials needed:

(Per student): Sample essay, 1 green octagon, 4 yellow triangles, 4 blue squares, 4 orange ovals, 1 sheet of 9x12 white construction paper



Assessment Activity Title: Color-coded Web


Description of Activity:

1. Discuss the structure of the five paragraph essay including the

introductory paragraph, three body paragraphs, and the concluding

paragraph.

2. Distribute sample essays to students and ask them to put a box

around the introductory paragraph and the concluding paragraph.

Ask students to circle each of the three body paragraphs.

3. Using the sample essay, students identify the subject of the essay and

write it on a green octagon. Next identify the main idea of each of the

body paragraphs. Write the first body paragraph’s main idea on a

yellow triangle, the second body paragraph’s main ideas on a blue

square, and the third body paragraph’s main idea on an orange oval.

4. For the first paragraph identify the supporting details. Write each detail

on a yellow triangle. Repeat this for the second and third paragraph.

5. Take each of the shapes and organize them to create a web on white

paper.


6. Discuss the organization to the essay as it relates to the web.
Assignment Extensions:

Given a writing prompt, students will create a color-coded web as described

above using their ideas. Using the web they will then write the essay.



















Distinguishing Between Primary and Secondary Sources &

Analyzing Impact and Validity of Sources – Civil War Sort (4.0)
Materials:


  • Sets of source cards for each small group


Description:

This activity is designed to help students distinguish between primary and secondary sources as well as analyze the impact of validity of sources used in research.


Step-by-Step:

  1. With the flood of material and sources available to students today, we as teachers must help students distinguish between reliable and unreliable information. We must teach kids to be good consumers of information. This starts by helping them understand the difference between primary and secondary sources, but it extends far beyond that to helping them learn to narrow research topics and then select the most credible sources for use in their research. (Briefly review the difference between primary and secondary sources to make sure participants know which is which.)

  2. Let’s begin by distinguishing between primary and secondary sources. We’ll use the Civil War as our broad topic. Each group will get a bag of cards. Each card will have a source on it. Work with the members of your group to sort the cards into two groups: primary sources and secondary sources. When groups finish, discuss which cards contain primary sources and which contain secondary. Then discuss why primary sources are good to use and what some of the problems associated with them could be (only one perspective, would be colored by emotion, could be biased, may not be an accurate portrayal of events as a whole, etc.). Then discuss the good/bad points of secondary sources.

  3. Tell participants that now we are going to organize the cards in a continuum from the most reliable source to the least reliable source. They should be able to justify their organization of the cards. Before starting, discuss whether we should include the primary sources in the continuum. As a large group, decide whether to use all cards or just secondary source cards. Once they rank their cards, they should be able to justify their rankings. Ask a few groups to share their rankings and justifications. Groups probably will not have exactly the same rankings of the cards, which is fine. However, all groups should have identified the three least reliable sources and why.

  4. Now, let’s think about narrowing the topic from the Civil War in general to a more specific focus. Looking at the cards available for resources, work with your group to identify three focused topics and select at least two resources that might be used with that research. Give groups a few minutes to work. Then ask for volunteers to share.


NOTE: Cards for sort are located as a separate document on the CD as “Civil War Card Sort: Research 4.0”


CONTENT STANDARD 4.0 RESEARCH
Grade Level Expectations

  • GLE 0801.4.1 Define and narrow a problem or research topic.

  • GLE 0801.4.3 Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from Web sites.


State Performance Indicators

• SPI 0801.4.2 Identify levels of reliability among resources (e.g.,

eyewitness account, newspaper account, supermarket tabloid account,

Internet source).

• SPI 0801.4.3 Determine the most appropriate research source for a given

research topic.



  • SPI 0801.4.4 Distinguish between primary (i.e., interviews, letters, diaries, newspapers, autobiographies, personal narratives) and secondary (i.e., reference books, periodicals, Internet, biographies, informational texts) sources.


Materials needed:

    • Packets of source cards for each small group(16 cards/set).




Assessment Activity Title: Civil War Reliability Sort


Description of Activity:

  1. Discuss with students the difference between primary and secondary sources.

  2. Give sets of small cards containing various sources to small groups. (Note: The National Enquirer source is fictional. Its purpose is to help students understand the importance of evaluating validity.).

  3. Tell groups to categorize cards into primary and secondary sources. Then discuss the benefits and drawbacks of both kinds of sources. Next have students rank the sources in a continuum from the most reliable to the least reliable. Facilitate large group discussion about how groups categorized the cards and ranked the validity of the sources. Ask students to select the three most unreliable sources and the three most reliable sources and justify their responses.

  4. Next, students should narrow the topic from the Civil War in general to a more specific focus. Looking at the cards available for resources, they should work with their group to identify three focused topics and select at least two sources that might be used with that research. Ask groups to share and justify their topics and sources.

Assignment Extensions:

Have students bring information (works cited) about the sources they have used for research and place them on a similar continuum.




Author’s Bias (5.0)
Materials:

    • Amazing Americans: The New Nation – Thomas Jefferson (on copy each)

    • Bias graphic organizer


Description:

Behind every text is a writer who has an opinion about the subject. The author’s opinion is the author’s bias. Bias refers to the preference, partiality, or prejudice that the author shows toward the subject. The author’s bias is revealed in the choices made about content and in the tone or mood of the writing.


Step-by-Step:

1. Tell participants, “Every writer has an opinion about the content he writes. That

opinion is the author’s bias. Bias is revealed in the choices the author makes

about the content and in the tone of the writing. When an author shows preference,

partiality or prejudice toward a subject he is showing his bias toward the subject.”

2. Ask participants to turn to page 6 of Thomas Jefferson. Read the page aloud. Ask,

“Why does the author say he admires Thomas Jefferson?”

3. As they read the rest of the text, ask students to consider and take note of the facts

included and how they are revealed.

4. After reading, ask participants,



  • What examples did you find of contradictions between Jefferson’s personal and professional life?

  • Should politicians live their political ideals in their personal lives?

  • What is your opinion about the evident contradictions in Jefferson’s life?

  • Does the reader come away with a positive or negative impression of Jefferson?

  • What proof can you find in the text to support your answers?

5. Give participants a copy of the Bias graphic organizer. Tell participants to record

three positive and three negative examples of the author’s statements about Jefferson

in the boxes. In the center circle, participants should write a summary statement of

the author’s bias.

6. To close, an author’s bias is revealed through the words he writes. By taking note of

an author’s words the reader can determine that author’s bias.



CONTENT STANDARD 5.0 LOGIC
Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0801.5.2 Analyze premises and logical fallacies.


State Performance Indicators

SPI 0801.5.8 Identify instances of bias and stereotyping in print and

non-print texts.


Materials needed:

Amazing Americans: The New Nation – Thomas Jefferson (1 copy per student); Bias graphic organizer



Assessment Activity Title: Author’s Bias graphic organizer


Description of Activity:

1. Discuss bias. Explain to students that bias refers to the preference,

partiality or prejudice that the author shows toward the subject. The words

the author uses and the events that are portrayed can be used to determine

bias. The author’s feelings may be revealed in the choices made about

content. Author’s bias may also be evident in the tone or mood of the

writing.

2. Students read page 6 of the text. Ask them to identify why the author states

he admires Thomas Jefferson. As students read the rest of the text, ask

them to consider what kinds of facts are included and how the information

is revealed.

3. After reading, ask students to provide examples of contradictions

between Thomas Jefferson’s personal and professional life. Students

should consider whether politicians must live their political ideals

in their personal life. Ask them to state their opinions about the

contradictions between Jefferson’s beliefs and politics. Does the reader

come away with a positive or negative impression of the subject? Do

you think the author is pro- or anti-Jefferson? What proof can you

find in the text to support your answers?

4. Give students a copy of the bias graphic organizer. Model how to use

the graphic organizer to record details from the text. Fill in one box as

an example. Tell students to fill in the remaining boxes with information

from the text that shows the author’s bias. Finally, they will write a

summary statement explaining how these statements prove the author’s

bias.
Assignment Extensions:

Using the information from the graphic organizer, students will write about

the differences between Jefferson’s personal life and his personal beliefs

based on the text.


Bias Organizer

























Cause-Effect Relationships (5)
Materials:

  • Planet in Distress, one copy per student

  • Chart paper

  • Marker

  • Cause-Effect graphic organizer


Description:

Informational text is organized in several ways. The text may be organized chronologically or sequentially. It may also take the form of comparison and contrast, problem and solution, or cause and effect. Cause (why something happened) and effect (what happened) structure helps readers understand the relationships between events.


Step-by-Step:

1. Before beginning the lesson, draw a cause-effect chart on a sheet of chart paper.

2. Tell participants one type of informational text structure is cause and effect. The

cause and effect structure helps readers understand the relationship between events

in the text. Why something happened is the cause and what happened is the effect.

Some cause-effect signal words are: because, as a result, so, since, therefore, and



in order to.

3. Tell participants while reading the text they will use a Cause-Effect chart to organize

information in order to see relationships between events.

4. Give each participant a copy of Planet in Distress. Tell them to turn to page 7 and

follow along as you read the first paragraph.

5. Model think aloud by telling participants, “ This paragraph states that global

warming can change the weather. The signal word cause tells me that there is a

connection between two ideas. The idea of global warming is linked by the word



cause to extremes in weather – one is caused by the other. I will write global

warming as a cause in the Cause-Effect chart. I will write the result – Extremes

in weather – in the Effect box across from it.”

5. Ask participants to read the rest of page 7. After reading, ask them to share other

cause-effect relationships on this page. Record their findings on the cause-effect

chart. (Heavy rain  Floods, Less rain; heat  Drought, Dry land  Wildfires).

6. Give each participant a copy of the cause-effect graphic organizer.

7. Tell participants to read pages 8 and 9. As they read, tell them to complete the

graphic organizer.

8. To close, ask participants to share the cause-effect relationships they discovered

during reading of pages 8 and 9. Tell participants that understanding cause and

effect relationships is crucial to comprehending informational text.




CONTENT STANDARDS 5.0 LOGIC & 6.0 INFORMATIONAL TEXT
Grade Level Expectations

GLE 0701.5.1 Distinguish among facts and opinions, evidence, and inferences.

GLE 0701.6.2 Analyze the organizational structures of informational texts.
State Performance Indicators

SPI 0701.5.3 Identify stated or implied cause-effect relationships.

SPI 0701.6.8 Identify the organizational structure of an informational text (i.e.,

chronological, cause-effect, comparison-contrast, sequential, problem-

solution.)


Materials needed:

Planet in Distress (1 copy per student), Cause-effect chart, marker, Cause-effect graphic organizer

Assessment Activity Title:

Cause-effect graphic organizer

Description of Activity:

1. Before beginning the lesson, draw a cause-effect chart on a sheet of

chart paper. Make copies of the cause-effect chart for students.

2. Discuss cause-effect relationships. One way writers organize text is by

cause (why something happened) and effect (what happened). A cause-

effect text structure helps readers understand the relationship between

events. Some cause-effect signal words are: because, as a result, so,

since, therefore, and in order to.

3. Explain to students that you will use a Cause-Effect Chart to organize

information form the text, so that they can clearly see relationships

between events.

4. Read aloud the first paragraph of Planet in Distress on page 7. Model

how to locate the cause-effect structure of the paragraph. In this paragraph

point out the signal word cause. In the cause-effect chart, write “Global

warming” in the cause column and “Extremes in weather” in the effect

column.

5. Have students read the rest of page 7 to find other examples of cause-



effect relationships. Ask students to share the examples they find with

the rest of the class.

6. When the class chart is complete, give students a copy of the cause-

effect organizer. Tell them to read pages 8 – 9. As they read they

should complete their organizer.
Assignment Extensions:

Write cause-effect paragraphs, using Planet in Distress as a model. (Good

models of cause-effect paragraphs can be found on pages 4, 6 – 7, 11. 14.

19, 24, and 26.)



Name: _________________

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