After reading, annotating and discussing the article, "Is Summer Break Necessary?", this class returns to the text again to begin forming their own opinions and comparing them to the author and those of other classmates. In collaborative groups, students begin stating their opinions (claims) to answer the question regarding the school calendar, and then using text evidence for support. The teacher furthers students' understandings by posing questions that force students to do the cognitive "heavy lifting." In the lesson following this video sequence, students plan to write letters to a district leader expressing their views, providing an authentic audience for their thinking and writing. The text in this lesson can often be found in libraries or at online bookstores. If you need support finding this text, please reach out to us by clicking the “send feedback” button below.
Is Summer Break Necessary (Bibb)Download
In this introduction of the lesson, the teacher sets the purpose of the day's task which is completely centered on the text, "Is Summer Break Necessary?" Additionally, because this text is difficult for a third grade class, the teacher is rereading it to the class to help center their discussion on the ideas from the text.
Students are reminded of their past readings and discussions of this text in preparation for the day's discussion of the controversial issue of the school calendar. By using evidence from the text, students are orally preparing their arguments for their written letter to a school official. The teacher provides support to ensure these students are mastering the ability to engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions.
Initially, students are discussing their opinions and following the class protocols for collaborative discussions, but are not focused on the text. The teacher poses a question that forces the student back to the text to support his claim for leaving the school year as it is. By holding students accountable for supporting their claims with text evidence, this teacher has created an environment for productive struggle.
Students are successfully making claims and supporting them with evidence, but not all are text based. With prompting from the teacher and an additional question, students are delving deeper into the text for richer claims to support their opinions.
One student changes his opinion after listening to the evidence presented by his peers. After additional discussion, the teacher poses an inferential question regarding the purpose of school, which very successfully brings students back to the text and then gives them back the responsibility for their own discussion.
The whole class is refocused through teacher prompting and effective questioning. Students are given additional time to consider their evidence, text-based inferences, and the evaluation of their claims.
The perfect teacher response to a student's text-based claim: "What in the text makes you say that?" She further probes his thinking and has everyone else in the group help him to process his thought.