Text Title: We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution

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1 Text Title: We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution Author: David Catrow Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated ISBN 13: Book Description: You definitely don t have to be a grown up to understand what our Constitution s Preamble is about. Through simple prose and vivid illustrations, the author explains the Constitution s Preamble in a kid friendly way. Learning Objectives Learning Objectives: The goal of this one to two day lesson is to give students the opportunity to recognize and define the concepts of the Preamble. By reading and rereading of the text, vocabulary is learned from context, illustration will be a key to author focus, and writing will support a deeper understanding of what is read. Reading Task: Students will listen to the teacher read the text aloud in its entirety at least one time. Students will then, with teacher guidance, revisit chunks of the text to practice continually attempting to clarify the meaning of what they read and making inferences about the text. The teacher will ask questions and solicit student s ideas and thoughts to guide them through purposeful interaction with the text. Speaking and Listening Task: Through the use of text dependent questions and then engaging in whole class discussion based on answers supported by the text, the students will engage in collaborative conversations that will deepen their understanding of key ideas that were presented in the text. Language: Vocabulary Task: Most of the meanings of words in this selection can be discovered from careful reading of the text or using context of the surrounding text and illustrations. Teacher will read and discuss selected words from the story and model how to figures out a word based on the surrounding text and other strategies. Discussion Task: Students will discuss the text in depth with teacher and their classmates, performing activities that result in a close reading of Catrow s text. The goal is to foster student confidence when encountering complex text and reinforce the skills they have acquired regarding how to build and extend their understanding of a text. Writing Task: Students will respond to a series of text dependent questions and then write an explanatory essay. Teachers might afford students the opportunity to rewrite their explanation after participating in classroom discussion, allowing them to refashion both their understanding of the text and their expression of that understanding. Reponses should be one to two paragraphs in length and take 15 to 20 minutes. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 1

2 Common Core Standards: Key Ideas LACC.3.RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. LACC.3.RI.1.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea. LACC.3.RI.1.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect. Craft and Structure LACC.3.RL.2.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area. LACC.3.RI.2.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently. LACC.3.RI.2.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text. Integration of Knowledge and Ideas LACC.3.RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur). Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity LACC.3.RI.4.10 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 2 3 text complexity band independently and proficiently. Text Type and Purposes LACC.3.W.1.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons. b. Provide reasons that support the opinion. c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons. d. Provide a concluding statement or section. LACC.3.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly. a. Introduce the topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension. b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details. c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information. Production and Distribution of Writing LACC.3.W.2.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose. Comprehension and Collaboration LACC.3.SL.1.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one on one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 2

3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail. Vocabulary Acquisition and Use LACC.3.L.3.4a Use sentence level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase. LACC.3.L.3.6 Acquire and use accurately grade appropriate conversational, general academic and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them.). Sunshine State Standards: Grade 3: The students will: Describe how government gains power from the people. SS.3.C.1.2 Explain how government was established through a written Constitution. SS.3.C.1.3 Identify group and individual actions of citizens that demonstrate civility, cooperation, volunteerism, and other civic duties. SS.3.C.2.1 Identify the levels of government (local, state, federal). SS.3.C.3.1 Describe hoe government is organized at the local level. SS.3.C.3.2 Recognize that every state has a state constitution. SS.3.C.3.3 Recognize that the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land. SS.3.C.3.4 Identify cause effect relationships in text. LA Compare and contrast elements, setting, characters, and problem in one text. LA Determine explicit ideas and information in grade level text, including but not limited to main idea, relevant supporting details, strongly implied message and inferences, and chronological order of events. LA Use context clues to determine meanings of unfamiliar words. LA Write informational/ expository essays that contain at least three paragraphs and include a topic sentence, supporting details, and relevant information. LA Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 3

4 Reminders: It is important that the text remains the expert, not the teacher. All answers to questions must be supported with specific text sections or selections. Students must be asked to support their claims by giving specific text sections to justify their answers. Collaborative discussion and processing is an important piece of this lesson. Ask students to share with partners their thoughts and ideas, and then ask them to share out their answer. When possible, the teacher should ask a question, allow partners to discuss an answer that they can support with the text, then allow them to answer. Subsequent partners should be allowed to share additional justified answers before the teacher moves to the next question. The goal is for deep understanding of text and not rushing through the text. Lessons should be completed over the course of SEVERAL days or even multiple weeks. Reading a book to a class once is not sufficient to really enjoy the text and to understand the deeper meanings of the text. When possible, allow students to see the text during the discussion. If each student cannot have his/her own copy, or even share with a partner, the teacher should display the pages so all the students have exposure to the text during discussions. Have the text available to students when it is not being discussed so that they can explore the text independently as their confidence with the text improves and their understanding deepens. You will find students returning for multiple reads of this text independently. Do not front load the text prior to the first read, and do not front load any assignments. It is important that students discover and develop answers on their own or through collaborative discussion with peers. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 4

5 The Text: We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States Exemplar Text Meaning of words/phrase Preamble The first part of something, an introduction We the people of the United States All the people in our country, including kids. In order to form a more perfect Union union ( noun) the act of joining together people or things to form a whole To come together and make things better for everyone who lives in our country. Establish Justice justice (Noun) fairness or reasonableness, especially in the way people are treated or decisions are made. To make things fair and honest for everyone. Insure domestic tranquility Tranquility (adjective) free of any disturbance or commotion To make sure we can all have a nice life and get along with one another. Provide for the common defense Promote the general welfare To protect us from other people or countries who might try to harm us, and to help us if we have been harmed. To help make life good for everybody. Having enough to eat, a place to live, being safe, and having friends and fun times are some of the things that make our lives good. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 5

6 And secure the blessing of liberty To protect our rights and freedoms and not let anyone take them away. Being able to choose our religion, say what we think, and to get together with friends, family, and other people are some of the freedoms we have. To ourselves and posterity Posterity(noun) all future generations For kids, parents, other grown ups, and all the people born in our country after we are. Do ordain and establish this Constitution To write down, then to live by, a list of rules and promises for our government to keep and our people to obey. For the United States of America Our country where we live. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 6

7 Day 1: Instructional Exemplar for We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States 1. Teacher reads the whole passage with minimal commentary. 2. Teacher or skillful reader then reads out loud to the class as students follow along in the text. Teachers can reverse numbers 1 and 2 if they feel students need the support of hearing the text read aloud first. 3. Teacher asks the class to discuss the first set of text dependent questions and perform targeted tasks about the passage, with answers in the form of notes, annotations to the text, or more formal responses as appropriate. 4. Teacher asks the class a small set of guiding questions and the students read and reread the text in response to guiding questions. During rereading, teachers look for opportunities to fade their voices away (by listening to students and noticing support is no longer needed), in order to support independent reading of the text. The Text: We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution Preamble Text under Discussion Directions for Teachers/Guiding Questions For Students 1. Introduce the passage and students read independently. Other than giving the brief definitions offered to words students would likely not be able to define from context or instructional guidance at the outset of the lesson while students are reading the text silently. This close reading approach forces students to rely exclusively on the text instead of privileging background knowledge and levels the playing field for all students as they see to comprehend The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. 2. Read the book out loud to the class as students follow along in the text. Asking students to listen to We the Kids exposes students a second time to the content and structure of the teacher argument before they begin their own close reading of the text. Speaking clearly and carefully will allow students to follow Catrow s story, and reading out loud with students following along improves fluency while offering all students access to this complex text. Accurate and skillful modeling of the reading also provides students who may be dysfluent with accurate pronunciations and syntactic patterns of English. We the People What does it mean We the people? Who are the people of the United States? What makes you a part people of the United States? Why is the dog carrying the heavy load? Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 7

8 in order to form a more perfect Union What are examples of unions? Look at the illustration on the third page. In what way are the characters forming a more perfect union? Why is a perfect union necessary? What might happen if we didn t live in unity? establish Justice, Why are rules important? What is the meaning of the word justice? What does justice mean to you? Who else might be saluted besides the dog in this picture? insure domestic Tranquility, Dogs and cats are domestic animals. What do you think domestic means in this picture? How is the dog showing tranquility in this picture? What are other ways to show tranquility? When have you experienced tranquility in your life? Why are the kids tying each other up with the rope? provide for the common defense, Who provides the common defense? Why do we need a common defense? How does our county provide for the common defense? What are some clues from the illustration that show defending the domestic tranquility? promote the general Welfare, How can you provide for the general welfare in the classroom or school? How does the school promote general welfare? What people in your community provide general welfare? What might happen if the general welfare was not provided? And secure the Blessings of Liberty What are the blessings of liberty? How can we secure the blessings of liberty? What does it mean to be secure? What would happen if our liberty were taken away? Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 8

9 to ourselves and our Posterity, What does it mean our posterity? How is posterity shown in the picture? Why is important to think about our future? How does our past affect our future? do ordain and establish this Constitution Why did the illustrator show the whole community? Why is it important for the community to establish and agree to follow rules? How are our class rules like the Constitution? What in the illustration show that rules are established? for the United States of America What does the United States of America mean to you? What words can you use to describe the United States of America? How can you show pride as part of the United States of America? How might the United States be different without the Constitution? Day 2: Explanatory Writing Assignment for We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States Directions for Teachers and Students Option 1: Write about one idea from the book that stands out to you. How does this part of the Preamble relate to you? Option 2: Divide the class into ten groups. Give each group one phrase from the Preamble and have them discuss the meaning of the phrase. Students must write a one or two sentence summary of the meaning. After the group agrees on the summary, they will design a page together that includes the phrase, their summary, and an illustration that shows the meaning of the phrase. The pages can then be bound together to form a class book of the Preamble or displayed in the classroom. Marion County Public Schools revised: 3/21/2013 Page 9

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