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SAMPLE LESSON PLAN with Instructor Commentary

Lesson Plan Template

How Will You Cause Learning Today?

TOPIC Examining Plot Conflict Through a Comparison/Contrast Essay

SUBJECT: English As A Second Language

GRADE: 4/5 PERIOD

DATE: 11/12/07

OBJECTIVES OF THE LESSON

A statement or statements of what students will be able to do AS A RESULT of rather than AS PART OF the lesson.

SWBAT:

* Make predictions about the conflicts in selected pieces of literature, based on selected illustrations from the stories. (You'll want to make sure that this is the skill that you are

teaching, and not merely the activity that students will do as part of the lesson. How to make predictions is a process, so you'll want to structure the lesson so that students invoke procedural/sequential thinking.)

* Identify four types of conflicts in literature (character vs. character, character vs. self, character vs. nature, character vs. society) * Discuss specific conflicts as a small group (Are you teaching students how to discuss conflicts?

Is this just an activity that will take place as part of the lesson, rather than being a learning OUTCOME?)

* Write a comparison/contrast essay, comparing a conflict they have had to one that a character has in one of the stories (Are you teaching HOW to write comparison/contrast essays in

this lesson? Or is that just a product of the lesson?) Four objectives will mean four different B-D-A sequences. Each objective is a statement of the learning you intend to cause, and the only way to make each one happen is through the Before-During-After. But it seems you've only submitted one lesson plan. How will this work? If you understand what's being taught in Reading in the Content Areas, then you know that your first objective has to have a BEFORE, it has to have a DURING, and it has to have an AFTER. Then it must have an assessment that collects evidence from each student that shows the extent to which each has met that objective. Then, your second objective must have a BEFORE, a DURING, and an AFTER, and an assessment that ... well, I think you get the picture.

ASSESSMENT OF THE OBJECTIVES

Describe how you will collect evidence that individual students have indeed met the lesson objectives.

Oral and written responses (How will that be evidence? From whom will you get oral responses? If one kid answers your oral question, does that mean ALL kids now know it? Oral responses are seldom effective or convincing ways to COLLECT EVIDENCE of INDIVIDUAL students' learning in relation to the objectives for the lesson. Please attach the chart you will use to track how each student shows evidence orally for each of your objectives.) Story map to determine how well a student understands character, setting, conflict, and resolution development (Story maps are seldom good ways to collect evidence for the purposes of assessing to see if an objective was met, and here they are the wrong assessment because they do not match up to your objectives.) Conflict map to determine how well the students understand plot conflict, and the four types of conflict that have been introduced. (Wouldn't a conflict map be limited only to a single story? Your objective for identifying conflicts says "in literature," and that would mean they can do this in any story I might hand them that is appropriate to their reading level. This is not convincingly matched to your stated objectives, really.) Comparison and Contrast Essay (Wow...this lesson must accomplish a lot: you will teach students how to make predictions about conflicts based on picture clues; how to identify different types of conflicts; and how to write a comparison-contrast essay. I don't think all that can happen in one lesson.) Having now read both the objectives and your assessment, I'm pretty sure that you had a set of activities mostly in mind, and have tried to write objectives that would go along with them. That's backwards from what you are supposed to be doing! I'm saying this without having read the rest of the lesson, but I bet what I'll see is that you've aligned them with the activities and not with the outcomes. T T

12/17/07

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Raymond C. Jones http://www.raymondjones.org

ReadingQuest.org http://www.readingquest.org

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN with Instructor Commentary

PURPOSE SETTING

BEFORE READING, VIEWING, or LISTENING

MODELING WRITING · focusing attention, laying groundwork, creating interest, sparking curiosity...think of it as setting the stage/setting them up for success · make sure students "get" the purpose (not just agenda) of today; what it will result in or lead to; the "why" of what they'll be doing · strategies to get STUDENTS thinking about what they already know · cause STUDENTS to bring to mind similar ways of thinking, an analogous idea, or previously-learned content or concepts · STUDENTS are caused to think about that element of today's learning that is most close to or familiar to them VOCABULARY ORGANIZING DISCUSSION

TEACHER

STUDENTS

Teacher will develop a four column Conflict Type Chart on large chart paper and make duplicates for the students to have. Make sure students have access to their response journals. Compile fairy tale stories for the students to read. Have samples made of the Story Map, Venn Diagram and Compare and Contrast Map that students will be required to create. (None of this that I've highlighted is about prior knowledge activation. You're not saying they'll read all these fairy tales and fill out these charts yet, are you? That's definitely not a BEFORE activity, and if it's not a DURING, it's most definitely an AFTER. But not a BEFORE reading, viewing, or listening activity.) Spark curiosity in the students by asking the question, "What is plot conflict?", "Have you ever had a problem or conflict with another person?" Have the students answer these orally (Who will respond? How will they respond? Who will be in, and who will be out?) and then respond in their response journals. Students will answer the prompt that is presented by the teacher orally and craft a working definition of plot conflicts in their response journals (so you're saying that a working definition of "plot conflicts" is prior knowledge, and students can do this when they walk in the room without any instruction by the teacher? It's something that they pull from long-term memory and bring into short-term/working memory? [Go back to the Information Processing Model for a reminder about this.]). Verbally discuss (Who? How? What strategy?) the questions in small groups and tell about how they have dealt with problems and conflicts in the past. After giving their initial definition of plot conflict, the students will write their interpretation of each of the four types of conflicts. (Hmmm...this is a REAL problem. You have said that an object of this lesson--something that students don't know before the lesson--is the four types of plot conflicts. And here we are, just in the PRIOR KNOWLEDGE activation stage, and without any DURING at all, they can write interpretations of the four types of conflicts. Is that really prior knowledge for them? If they can do it in the BEFORE, without a DURING where they read, view or listen for information about the four types of conflicts, then that cannot be an objective for this lesson. It seems not to be new learning.)

DURING READING, VIEWING, or LISTENING

Students are provided with Fairy Tale stories to read. After reviewing and reading their stories, the students can add examples from literature of events that fit into the four categories. (That would have to be an AFTER activity, wouldn't it? Where they APPLY/TRY OUT their new understandings of the four types of "plot conflicts?" Oh, no, waitaminute: it's not NEW learning, so maybe this part is still really a BEFORE.) The teacher will read some selections aloud and show illustrations that demonstrate a type of conflict. (This is where you've tried to hide a DURING: students are being asked to pay attention to someone else's ideas. It is always a simple choice in the DURING: you have a strategy that compels students to actively attend to and think about the new information, or they are passive. You have NO strategy for them while you read those selections aloud and show illustrations, and no purpose was set for them either, so the only conclusion we can draw is that you've given them a chance to be passive.)

Raymond C. Jones http://www.raymondjones.org ReadingQuest.org http://www.readingquest.org · · strategy(ies) for active engagement with the new content that's coming what are students doing WHILE reading, viewing, or listening?

12/17/07

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN with Instructor Commentary

The students will receive the Conflict Type Chart and the teacher places her Chart in the front of the room (Why? Who's REALLY going to do this? You, or the students themselves? Teacher-led is teachercontrolled.). The students orally compile and categorize (Who? How? This actually begins to feel like an AFTER strategy, if students are applying their understanding of new knowledge or a new skill. But since you are able to ask them to do this without a focused DURING where they are taught how, then it does not seem to be about new learning.) a list and identify any similarities they see among conflicts, the students then complete their charts and glue them in their notebook for future reference. Students then complete a Story Map (a DURING strategy CANNOT be your assessment...the assessment can only be undertaken once you have taken students all the way through the Before-During-After process, since it takes the B-D-A to cause learning, and the assessment is to see if the learning actually occurred) and Conflict Map that is given to them (a DURING strategy CANNOT be your assessment...the assessment can only be undertaken once you have taken students all the way through the Before-During-After process, since it takes the B-D-A to cause learning, and the assessment is to see if the learning actually occurred). T

PURPOSE SETTING

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ORGANIZING

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VOCABULARY

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UNDERSTANDING

Students will list conflicts that they have had in their own lives in their reading response journals. After they complete their lists they should determine what type of conflict it was, example "character vs. character". While the students are doing this the teacher is making a list of her own on the board (Why would the teacher need to make a list of her own on the board? What is the purpose of that? How does it contribute to--and how does it diminish--the thinking that students need to be doing? I thought the students were the ones who were supposed to be learning. You need to back off and be quiet in the AFTER!). The teacher will then use "think-aloud" (Think-Alouds are always a DURING activity: you are asking students to pay attention to someone else's ideas, so there must be a purpose set and there must be a DURING strategy that students use to thoughtfully attend to what is being modeled for them. Of course, in most classrooms, "thinkaloud" is another way to say that the teacher is going to do it and students will copy it) to demonstrate how to use their previous notes on the Conflict Type Chart to help them. After the students have completed their lists they should brainstorm a title for their Comparison/Contrast paper (which apparently students are able to write without being taught how...which means it was not an objective for this lesson). The students will receive a copy of the Venn Diagram with two overlapping circles and label the circles-one for personal conflict and the other for the conflict in the story that they have chosen. Have the students brainstorm characteristics about the two conflicts and write them in the appropriate circles. Finally, the students will develop a Comparison/contrast essay on conflict in their lives and in literature. ASSESSMENT: Oral and written responses throughout the assignment, Conflict chart, Conflict map, Venn diagram and story map from group work, student essays.

Raymond C. Jones http://www.raymondjones.org

12/17/07

ReadingQuest.org http://www.readingquest.org

WRITING

· · · ·

how will students apply new knowledge in a new way? how will students check to see if their understanding is correct? how will students be prompted to reflect on what they learned? how will students be prompted to reflect on how they learned it? [Also, Please Note: The Assessment Occurs in the After Phase]

DISCUSSION

AFTER READING, VIEWING, or LISTENING

MODELING

SAMPLE LESSON PLAN with Instructor Commentary

RATIONALE

· Why teach the lesson THIS WAY? · Why, given this lesson's objectives, are THESE the best strategies to choose and use? Be specific! · Explain why this sequence of activities best leads to cultivating the behaviors or performing the skills or displaying the knowledge called for by the objectives.

Students use a wide range of strategies to comprehend and evaluate the texts that are presented. They use their prior knowledge, their interactions with others and their knowledge of word meaning and text to complete the assignments to ensure complete understanding. They must communicate effectively what they have learned. Not only do they use different strategies when learning the material but they must use the writing process to appropriately communicate with the audience what they have learned. The comparison-contrast map was used to compare the two concepts (are you sure this sets them up to compare two CONCEPTS?) by looking at the ways they were similar and how they were different. The Concept map was a visually organized word chart for expanding the concept of meaning and enriching the student's understanding of an unfamiliar term. The story map was a graphic organizer that looks at key actors, time and place of events, problems or goals, key events, etc...The Venn Diagram was used to look at the similarities and differences presented. Think-Alouds were used by the teacher as a way to capture the student's (Teacher Think-Alouds are not about the students' thinking; it is a way you reveal and exhibit your own thinking) thinking about the items presented and model them. The response journal was used as a way of writing down key ideas for reflection throughout the process. The essay was used as a way to sum up what was learned during the lesson. All of these activities were used to cultivate the concept of conflict that occurs between characters in a piece of literature. Your explanation of the reasons behind each strategy shows that thought was given to what each strategy could do, but primarily in a disembodied and de-contextualized way. The actual prompt for the RATIONALE section of your lesson asks that you explain why, given THESE objectives, these are the BEST strategies to use. You are to explain why this is the best sequence of activities for achieving the intended outcome. Of course, you're in a tricky place, because this is a lesson that does not involve any true objectives. You simply tell students to do a story map, to do a conflict map, to write a comparison-contrast paper, and they do it. They're not taught HOW to do them (and for our lessons, the strategies are NOT the object of the instruction). And they're not taught any new concepts, because the concepts that this lesson involves are pretty much brought out in the Prior Knowledge activation, which says that kids already know them. Objectives have to be about what students DO NOT already know or what they can NOT already do. Now, I do think you've tried to honor the sequence of the B-D-A, but the B-D-A only matters to us if we're trying to cause learning. Since the lesson itself isn't about new learning, all the rest here ends up being a hodgepodge of activities.

Template may be downloaded from http://www.readingquest.org/pdf/

Raymond C. Jones http://www.raymondjones.org

12/17/07

ReadingQuest.org http://www.readingquest.org

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