In the Final Analysis Grade Six

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1 Ohio Standards Connection Reading Applications: Informational, Technical and Persuasive Text Benchmark B Recognize the differences between cause and effect and fact and opinion to analyze text. Indicator 2 Analyze examples of cause and effect and fact and opinion. Benchmark C Explain how main ideas connect to each other in a variety of sources. Indicator 3 Compare and contrast important details about a topic, using different sources of information including books, magazines, newspapers and online resources. Lesson Summary: Students experience the concepts of cause and effect and fact and opinion through classroom activities and then through informative articles drawn from Internet sources. After completing an individual article analysis, students meet in groups to find similarities and differences among the articles assigned. Estimated Duration: Three hours Commentary: One reviewer noted, This lesson provides a systematic path to understanding informational text. The analysis form is great! Sixth graders not only carefully examine a nonfiction article, but also share its content with a small group. The combination of individual work and group discussion works well. Pre-Assessment: Ask the students to write one example of an opinion, one example of a fact, and two statements of cause (on any subject). Scoring Guidelines: Tally the number of correct and incorrect responses. Use this information to determine the depth and breadth of instruction on each of the concepts. Post-Assessment: Instructional Tip: Select a number of different articles on the same specific topic. If the class has 25 members, for example, choose five different articles so one reader of each different article can be assigned to a single group for the comparison/contrast phase. Article Analysis: Provide each student a copy of an informational article from an Internet news source. Limit articles to 2-3 pages. Students read the article and complete Attachment A, Post- Assessment: Article Analysis. Students submit completed analysis and copy of article for evaluation. Comparison/Contrast: Assign students to groups, so each group has a member who has read a different article (see Instructional Tip). 1

2 Allot a set time for group discussion and completion of Attachment B, Comparison Frame. Ask students first to share a summary of their article with the group so they can begin to see similarities. Once they have heard all the summaries, the group can determine their bases for comparison which are listed in the first column of their handouts. Circulate among the groups to provide suggestions, e.g., Where did the writers get their information? Who are their sources? The group could then enter SOURCES as a Basis for Comparison and have members report out the sources for their articles. Scoring Guidelines: Article Analysis: See Attachment B, Article Analysis Rubric. Consider the document as a whole and evaluate the picture it provides of student comprehension and analysis. Comparison Frame: Require the students complete a given number of comparisons. (The attachment allows for eight.) Count completion of the group assignment as one portion of the grade for the lesson. Instructional Procedures: Day One 1. Complete pre-assessment. 2. In a class discussion, ask students how fact and opinion differ. 3. Ask volunteers to read their facts and opinions from the pre-assessment. 4. Give the students working definitions of fact and opinion (e.g., a fact is reality or the truth; an opinion is a notion or a judgment). 5. Divide the students into pairs. 6. Ask students share new examples of fact and opinion with each other. 7. Using the definitions, students evaluate the accuracy of their partners statements. 8. Ask students to volunteer clue words that help separate facts from opinion. Record their responses on the board. Prompt students with words that signal opinion like I think, I believe, In my opinion, It seems to me. 9. Ask students to explain how the clue words signaled the correct answer. 10. Return students to the whole group setting, then ask students to share examples of fact and opinion and justify their identifications. (Require all students to participate in this activity or run through a representative sample. Be sure students demonstrate understanding before proceeding.) 11. Confirm or correct the accuracy of each statement. Day Two 12. Distribute four index cards to each student. Ask students to count off by fours. Ones write one fact and three opinions on their cards. Twos write two facts and two opinions on their cards. Threes write three facts and one opinion on their cards. Fours write four facts on their cards. Collect and shuffle the cards. 13. Divide students into random groups of three. Ask groups to designate one student as judge. 2

3 14. The judge reads from each card in turn, asking the others to identify each as fact or opinion. 15. The judge awards the card to the student who answers correctly first. 16. The student with the most card wins. 17. Rotate the cards from group to group, as roles in each group are exchanged. Circulate among the class to check for misidentified cards or inaccuracies. Clear up misconceptions whenever possible. 18. Continue the card game review as needed. Provide closure to this activity by asking students to complete an exit ticket (index card) on which they record their own definition of fact and opinion as well as a tip for distinguishing one from the other. 19. Collect the exit tickets at the end of class. Day Three Instructional Tip: Prior to class, look for a one-minute mystery to share with students. Several collections have been published in book form. Others can be easily accessed on the Internet. Find a story that can be read in one to two minutes and easily solved. 20. Redistribute the pre-assessment to the students and ask them to reread their responses for cause and effect. 21. Ask the students to listen carefully as you read a one-minute mystery. Do not repeat sections or reread the selection. 22. Give the students a moment to ponder the mystery and to write a response on a piece of scrap paper. 23. Ask several students to share their responses. Do not comment on the responses. 24. Ask the class what caused students to draw the conclusions they did. 25. Draw the class to agreement on the correct response to the mystery. Ask them to evaluate the cause and effect aspects of the story. At this point, review or reread the story as necessary. 26. Give them Attachment D, Cause/Effect Worksheet to fill in. 27. Review answers of Attachment D, Cause/Effect Worksheet. 28. Move to the post-assessment. Differentiated Instructional Support: Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the specified indicator(s). Allow students to guide one another in the playing of their original games to review the concepts. Pairs and small groups allow students of different abilities to share and learn at their own rate. Provide fact and opinion cards to students who may need them. Extensions: Students create their own games based on the information from the lesson. Allow students to complete article analyses for assignments in other disciplines or with longer articles. 3

4 Have student design activities of their choice, i.e., creating a game or a graphic organizer, to support their reading in Social Studies and Science. Require students to complete article analyses as a step in preparing a research report. Home Connections: Students read the newspaper at home, cut out an article and highlight examples of cause/effect or fact/opinion. Students decide on a common topic and discuss the topic with their family writing down notes on two facts and two opinions of their family on the topic. Students write a paragraph about a decision that affected on their lives and what they learned from it. Materials and Resources: For the teacher: grade-appropriate informational articles from Internet resources, copies of all attachments, several packages of index cards, one-minute mystery For the students: copies of all attachments Vocabulary: cause effect fact opinion Technology Connections: Students word process a list of directions. If time and computers are available, students could research a self-selected topic and find Internet articles to use for the article analysis. Research Connections: Atwell, Nancie. In the Middle: Writing, Reading and Learning with Adolescents. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook Publishers, Mini-lessons are minutes direct instruction lessons designed to help students learn literacy skills and become more strategic readers and writers. In these lessons, students and the teacher are focused on a single goal: students are aware of why it is important to learn the skill or strategy through modeling, explanation and practice. Then independent application takes place using authentic literacy materials. Brent, Rebecca & Patricia Anderson. Developing Children s Classroom Listening Strategies. The Reading Teacher. pp Active Listening Strategies such as watching the speaker, focusing to block distractions, visualizing, and taking notes are all useful to children as they work to improve their listening abilities 4

5 "BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach." BSCS Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. 23 Dec < The BSCS instructional model is characterized b the 5 E s: engage, explore, explain, elaborate, and evaluate. Each E represents part of the process of helping students sequence their learning experiences to construct their understanding of concepts. 1. Students are engaged by an event or question related to the concept that the teacher plans to introduce 2. The students participate in one or more activities to explore the concept. This exploration provides students with a common set of experiences from which they can initiate the development of their understanding. 3. Students construct their own understanding and the teacher clarifies the concept. 4. The students elaborate and build on their understanding of the concept by applying it to new situations. The students complete activities that will help them and the teacher evaluate their understanding of the concept. This 5-E model is based on a constructivist philosophy of learning Cawletti, Gordon. Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement. Arlington, VA: Educational Research Service, 1999 RESEARCH-BASED BEST PRACTICES Incorporate direct reaching and exhibits key features and systematic steps. Utilize advance organizers that show students relationships between past learning and present learning. Teach students multiple learning strategies that promote met cognition by providing modeled, guided practice and application. Incorporate cooperative learning. LANGUAGE ARTS (Squire 1995) Incorporate extensive reading of varied kinds of material. Foster interactive learning. Extend students background knowledge. Utilizing meaning-making skills and strategies such as summarizing, questioning and interpreting. Teach critical reading/writing skills. Emphasize discussion and analysis. Provide balanced attention to different forms of reading, writing and speaking. Expose students to varied kinds of literature. Provide assessment that reflects the content and process of instruction. General Tips: Read the lesson first and prepare the supplies before you begin. Lesson length may vary. Be prepared to move onto the next step. Ask the librarian to help you find the resources needed for the lesson. Look for gradeappropriate informational texts that support the concepts of fact/opinion and cause/effect. Integrate the lesson by having students read social studies or science class material. 5

6 Attachments: Attachment A, Post-Assessment: Article Analysis Attachment B, Comparison Frame Attachment C, Article Analysis Rubric Attachment D, Cause-Effect Worksheet 6

7 Attachment A Post-Assessment: Article Analysis Directions: Demonstrate your understanding of the assigned article by completing each of the sections below. Attach a copy of the article to this paper before you turn it in. I. Cause/Effect Find five cause and effect statements from the article. Copy them below. Highlight the words that helped you identify the relationship and explain your answer. Cause/Effect Statement Example: Students who purchase vending machine snacks at lunch weigh more than students who bring their lunches from home. Example: Most young people say their parents gave them the idea to go to college Explanation Even though there s no because this sentence seems to point to the vending machine food as the cause of students higher weight. This sentence comes right out and says where the idea came from. The parents were the cause. II. Facts Find five fact statements in the article. Record each below and explain why it is a fact. Fact Example: These giant waves, called tsunamis, devastated coastlines from southern India to the island nation of Indonesia. 1. Evidence/Explanation I can check the definition of tsunami in an encyclopedia or a dictionary and verify the damage on news sites

8 Attachment A (Continued) Post-Assessment: Article Analysis III. Opinions Find five opinions in the article. Record each below and provide evidence to support your choice. Highlight the words that helped you identify the statement or explain including it here. Opinion Example: These awesome athletes not only changed the world of sports, they also changed the world around them as well. 1. Explanation Though many people might agree, this is just one person writing awesome. Also, changing the world could be an exaggeration IV. Putting It All Together What is the author s main purpose in writing this article? Do the author s facts support the stated opinions? (Explain your answer.) Do the cause and effect statements make sense? (Explain your answer.) What is the single most important piece of information you ve gained from this article? (Explain your answer.) 8

9 Attachment B Comparison Frame Basis for Comparison Article 1 Article 2 Article 3 Article 4 Article 5 9

10 Attachment C Article Analysis Rubric Directions: Circle the point value on the continuum that best represents the answers in each category. Negative Point Value Positive Off-target answers Responsive to questions Inaccurate facts Accurate information Little evidence Supports choices with evidence Omits important information Includes key information Poor grasp of topic Fully comprehends topic Misidentifies cause/effect statements Correctly identifies cause/effect statements Misidentifies facts Correctly identifies facts Misidentifies opinions Correctly identifies opinions Understands author s purpose Misses author s purpose Provides little support for opinion Fully supports opinion Teacher comments: 10

11 Attachment D CAUSE EFFECT The fire alarm goes off The wind blows through the window You smell hot apples in the kitchen You have no umbrella in a rainstorm You save money every month You fail a test. You study hard for a test. The door slams from the wind 11

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