Unit 1: Skill Review

In the first unit, the teacher will review skills from the previous grades. This will help students recover information after being on summer vacation. It will also allow for the teacher to reteach the needed skills as necessary. This unit is started the second full week of school. We spend the first week or so building community and teaching expectations.  (Note: Each lesson is meant to fit into my school's ELA block. We have an hour and 45 minutes each day for ELA. However, not every lesson is that long. Some are only 60 minutes and the other 45 minutes are dedicated to writing using Thinking Maps Write From The Begining and Beyond).

Unit 1: Skill Review

Lesson 1 (60 minutes): Find examples of fiction and non-fiction texts. The objective of this lesson is to determine the students' knowledge about the different genres. The students will compare and contrast fiction and non-fiction genres with guidance from the teacher. (Standards: RI6.5 and W.6.6)

Activities: Name That Genre worksheet (This is can be used as a guide when discussing why a book falls into a certain genre), Interactive Notes page on type of genres, teacher models the note-taking process, and social studies textbook hunt worksheet.

Students will go around the rooms with a partner and look at various books (15 minutes).  The teacher will need to model this activity since this is the first time it has been done this year. They will determine what makes it fiction or non-fiction. They will focus on these two genres for now and we will add in more specific genres later in the lesson. As they make their way around the room, students should take note of the differences between fiction and non-fiction text (they can use a blank sheet of paper for this). Students will come back to their table groups and discuss their observations. Together they will add the information into a double bubble map. (10 minutes).

Whole class discussion questions: What is non-fiction? What text features are used to organize non-fiction writing? Note-taking is an important skill for students to learn and the teacher will need to model that skill. Using the discussion questions the class will create notes to answer both questions (30 minutes). Notes do not need to be complete sentences.

With their elbow partner, students will complete the social studies hunt activity. This worksheet has questions about the different features in the social studies textbook. It allows students to get familiar with the text without it being overwhelming. Allowing them to work with someone also helps build our class community as they get to know each other (30 minutes).

Lesson 2 (80 minutes): During this lesson, students will explore the work of archaeologists. The objective of this lesson is to have students determine the theme and main idea of non-fiction articles. Students will learn a new strategy to keep their attention focused on the text and it will help them determine the theme and main idea of a given text. (Standards: RI.6.1 and RI.6.5)

Activities: "Archaeologists: History's Detectives" article, anchor chart for the UNRAVEL strategy, as a class, review text features, use the new strategy on the article as a class.

Students will discuss how paying attention to the text features can help you while reading an article. Turn and talk with a neighbor about the purpose of nonfiction text features. Students share out loud what they know and understand about text features. (10 minutes)

Students will skim through the article with the teachers guidance and look at the different text features. What do we already know about this topic? Quick turn and talk with a partner. Before reading the article we will discuss "How do you stay engaged with a text you are reading because you have to and not because you want to?" Reading is Thinking! ~ If you are not thinking about what you are reading you are not really reading. (20 minutes)

Students will use the UNRAVEL strategy to stay engaged with the reading. This is an anagram for a process to find the meaning in a text. (20 minutes)

U - Underline and read the title, subtitles, headings, and subheadings

N - Notice pictures, maps, charts, diagrams, and captions

R - Remember to number the paragraphs

A - Are the key words (bold, italics, underlined) circled?

V - Venture through the text. Highlight important work. Take notes and summarize in the margins or on post-it notes.

E - Examine difficult parts of the text by rereading and using strategies to help understand.

L - Look back  and check  when answering questions.

Teacher will model this strategy with the students using the article from this lesson. Students will be able to use this strategy independently as the school year progresses. For now they will do what the teacher does. Read the article using the UNRAVEL strategy. Thee teacher will model this process for the students as they work through the article. (30 minutes)

Lesson 3 (80 minutes): Uncover how archaeologists use evidence to reach conclusions. The objective of this lesson is to use annotated text to fill in the main idea and summarize a non-fiction article about the work of archaeologists. (Standards: RI.6.2 and RI6.5)

Activities: "Archaeologists: History's Detectives" article with annotations, flow map for sequencing and ordered steps, quick assessments to check for understanding, summary of the article.

As a class, review what the article is about. Discuss how information in a text can be organized. Examples: Science books - problem/solution, History books - compare/contrast, sequencing, cause/effect, and description. (Add these to non-fiction notes). Students will talk with their table groups and discuss how they think this article is organized (Sequencing or Ordered Steps). (20 minutes)

Using the flow map students will fill it out to describe how archaeologists work. (Study - Develop a Hypolthosis, Make a Plan, Find a Site, Excavate the Site, Analyze the Data, and Come to a Conclusion.) Student will work in groups for this activity with guidance from the teacher. (20 minutes)

Students will take a quick assessment on the article to determine their understanding of what they read. It consists of  8 multiple choice and 2 short answer questions. (20 minutes)

Finally, students will write a summary based of the information in their flow map. They may look back at the article to get the information (20 minutes).

Lesson 4 (60 minutes): What makes a good summary? This lesson will be a review on writing an objective summary. The objective of this lesson is to identify the main idea and details in a non-fiction text in order to write a good summary. (Stadnards: RI.6.2)

Activities: Video with questions to help practice writing a summary, guided practice with follow up articles, journal prompt.

Students will watch the video