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Mentor Text Writing Lesson Plan Assignment

The intent of this assignment is to help you dig a little bit deeper into what goes into planning and thinking
about a using mentor texts to teach writing. Through this assignment, you should think more about how
you can make a lesson unique and effective and how the concepts and ideas we discuss in class can help
you create a lesson that helps the students enjoy and appreciate writing in a way you may not have as a
student.

PART ONE: THE LESSON

A. TITLE OF LESSON (Writing Focus): Beaky

B. RELATED VIRGINIA STANDARDS OF LEARNING


2.8 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of fictional texts.
a) Make and confirm predictions.
2.13 The student will edit writing for correct grammar, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.
j) Use verbs and adjectives correctly in sentences.
C. LEARNING OBJECTIVES

UNDERSTAND - What are the broad generalizations the students should begin to develop?
(These are typically difficult to assess in one lesson.)
Students will understand how to make predictions and come up with an ending for a book.
Students will understand that adjectives make writing more interesting and engaging.
KNOW - What are the knowledge students will gain through this lesson? (These must be assessed
in your lesson.)
Students will know how to write possible endings for a story and connect it to what they already
know.
Students will know that adjectives are an essential part of quality writing.
DO - What are the specific thinking behaviors students will be able to do through this lesson?
(These will also be assessed in your lesson.)
Students will predict an ending to a story they have heard the first half of using adjectives.

D. ASSESSING LEARNING
Students writing will be collected and assessed on two objectives. Their predictions, and their use of
adjectives in their writing. Students will be expected to create and justify their predictions. The students will
also be expected to include adjectives to enhance their writing. Students writing will only be a few
sentences long and should be on topic. The goal is not for students to necessarily create accurate
predictions, but interesting predictions. That said if students predictions are unrealistic when they share
out, students will be asked if they think their prediction is accurate or not. While sharing their writing
students will be asked to identify the adjectives they included in their prediction. For example if a student
writes, I predict that Beaky will turn into a beautiful big red bird. The student will be asked which words
are adjectives. Each students writing will be formally assessed using the Rubric provided below. The rubric
is a three point assignment, a justification of the point should be written in the appropriate box.
Beaky Prediction/Adjective Rubric

Students Name:

Learning Objective
Students writing is unclear/does not include a
prediction 0pt

Students make a prediction/unable to identify the


accuracy of their prediction 1pt

Students make an accurate prediction/able to


identify the accuracy of their prediction 2pt

Students do not include adjectives in writing 0pt

Adjectives used correctly in sentence 1pt

Additional Comments:
PART TWO: LESSON PLAN PROCEDURE

A. CONTEXT OF LESSON
The students have been learning about animals and habitats so the book about a bird fits into their science
curriculum. The students have also been focusing on the parts of stories, so predicting the ending of a
book will be good practice. The students have also been writing short stories and paragraphs everyday so
this activity is not out of their reach. Recently the students have been introduced to adjectives and have
begun using them in their writing. Many students have demonstrated a limited understanding of adjectives
and their purpose. For this reason the students will be asked to include adjectives in the predictions that
they write.
I do not remember where I came up with the idea to have students predict the ending of the book. I may
have come up with it, or I may have heard it in READ class.

B. MATERIALS NEEDED
A copy of the book Beaky by Jez Alborough
Paper for writing

C. PROCEDURE

CONNECT Talk to the students about the end of stories and how
Students learn why todays we do not know what will happen. Tell the students that
instruction is important to them I am going to stop reading the story halfway through and
as writers and how the lesson that they will have to come up with their own ending to
relates to their prior work (if the story.
applicable). The teaching point is Today we are going to make prediction about a book
stated. titled Beaky. I am going to stop about halfway through
Before the book and we are going to go to our desks and make
prediction about what you think will happen at the end of
the book. Something I want you to think about as you
are listening to the story and coming up with your
predictions is how the author uses adjectives in the
story. When it is your turn to make your prediction, I
want you to try to include some adjectives in your
writing.
TEACH I will read the book aloud to the class on the carpet until
During
just before Beaky the bird discovers that he is in fact a
The teacher shows the students bird. During this time I will make sure to emphasize the
how writers accomplish the adjectives used by the author.
teaching point in the mentor text

ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT Students will return to their desks and will be instructed
After we teach something, to come up with an ending to the story on their own.
students are given a chance to After pausing the book I will say, Now we are going to
practice what has just been head over to our desks to write our predictions.
taught with new writing or Remember to use some adjectives in your writing. We
revising a prior piece. (May will write for about 15 to 20 minutes. During this time I
assess during this time) will walk around and assist any students that need help
spelling words, or have trouble staying on task. We
have one student with limited English who I will give the
book to so he can use it as reference as he writes his
prediction. If other students ask to use or see the book I
will ask the ELL student if it is okay for them to take a
look at the book as well. Then we will reconvene and
share some of the students predictions.
I will say, Okay, now that we have written our
predictions, would anyone like to share their writing? I
will call on all students who volunteer, there are only 13
students so this shouldnt take more than two minutes. I
will ask students to identify which of their words are
adjectives after they share their writing. During this time
I will make sure to provide positive reinforcement when
students use adjectives in their writing.
Next I will collect the students writing for assessment.

After LINK We will return to the rug and I will finish the book. After
The teacher reiterates what has the ending we will have a discussion about our
just been taught and gives predictions and whether they were right or wrong.
students an opportunity to share
(May assess during this time)

D. DIFFERENTIATION
Depending on the amount of support students need, I will be there to help guide lesser able students put
their thinking into words. Independent working students will have the opportunity to work on their own.

As previously stated I will give the book to our ELL student for reference. I will spend time with him at the
beginning of the writing time to make sure he understands the directions and is able to do his best.

E. WHAT COULD GO WRONG WITH THIS LESSON AND WHAT WILL YOU DO ABOUT IT?

Students may not be interested in predicting an ending. I will encourage students to do wacky or unrealistic
endings to the book. Students that make purposefully wrong predictions will be asked if they think their
predictions are realistic or not to determine their understanding of predictions.
Students may have trouble integrating adjectives into their writing. There is a posted list of adjectives that
the students came up with posted in the room, I will refer struggling students to examine the list for potential
ideas. I will also refer students to the book if they are still struggling to think of any appropriate adjectives.

Part 3

A:

Like any lesson there will be wrenches flying around. My lesson was no exception. The ESL teacher
who usually comes during a different part of the day had switched her schedule around and was
unexpectedly present for my lesson. This meant that she attached herself to our ESL student while the
students were writing their predictions. Without letting me know she also made a sentence guider that she
placed under the document camera that read, I predict ___________, I think my prediction is
____________. This lead to many of the students following her prompt instead of creating their own
sentences. Her presence also meant that I would not need to worry or spend as much one on one time
with our ELL learner. I also forgot to have the students share their writing while they were at their desks.
Instead they shared out after we had transitioned to the rug to finish the story. This meant that instead of
reading their writing aloud, students had to recall what they had written from memory. Other than that my
lesson went according to plan, the results however, did not.

B:

Some advice my cooperating teacher gave me after my lesson was instead of asking the students to
include adjectives in their sentences, that I should have asked them to use describing words. She told me
that the term adjective is not an SOL requirement for the students to know, and that they have a more
comfortable understanding of the term describing words. My CT also suggested that I highlight or write-
out some of the adjectives used in the book for the students to use in their own writing. My thought that the
students would be able to produce adjectives in their writing without any to reference was not
developmentally appropriate.

C.

My assessment data showed that the expectations I set for the students were not clear. Only one
student out of twelve included an adjective in their prediction. However, that student did not indicate
whether or not they considered their prediction to be realistic or not, which was one of the objectives being
assessed. In total, not a single student met all of the learning objectives. Most of the students did not
indicate in their writing whether they believed their prediction was realistic (I told them they could make silly
or unrealistic predictions, and that they should just write in a separate sentence that they knew their
prediction was unrealistic). 5/12 students identified whether or not they thought their prediction was
reasonable. 1 of those 5 was our ESL student who more or less had his writing dictated to him. Another
one did not state it in writing and instead told me verbally. So in all reality only 1/3 of the students met this
objective. While 1/12 of the students met my adjective objective. This indicates that my instructions were
not clear enough, and that the lesson was not developmentally appropriate for the students.

D.
Something I learned from planning and implementing this lesson is that you can never be too clear with
your expectations. If I could go back I would reiterate my expectations for students to tell me their prediction
AND include a sentence indicating their opinion of the accuracy of their prediction. I also learned that
students will often times need some kind of scaffolded support. I did not provide any examples of
adjectives for the students to use, and the students did not use any adjectives in their writing. This shows
me that I need to put myself in the students shoes while designing a lesson in the future. Just because I
can think of adjectives on my own, does not mean that my students can. This is where I need to provide
more support, I should have given them or at least highlighted in discussion some potential adjectives.

E.

A takeaway I gained from teaching this lesson is the importance of repeating instructions. In an ideal
world, or with older students it is possible to state instructions only one or two times. However, with my
class, I should have stated my expectations while introducing the lesson, while reading the book aloud,
after I read the book, and while the students were transitioning to their desks. Again I need to put myself in
the students shoes. Just because I understand the directions, does not mean the students do. Even
though we had a conversation about making our writing spicy before we read the story, does not mean
that the students were thinking of ways to spice up their writing when they transitioned to their desks 15
minutes later.

F.

A takeaway I took from myself while teaching this lesson is that I need to do a better job scaffolding
instruction. The fact that only one student provided me with adjectives in their writing showed that I did not
do an adequate job supporting the students needs. I also was disappointed that only a third of the
students indicated the accuracy of their prediction. In the future I need to be much clearer about
establishing clear expectations. That being said I was happy with the way I was able to manage the
classroom. There were some behavioral issues in the minutes leading up to my lesson. However, the
students did not have any behavioral issues while I in charge. This made me feel more confident in my
ability to manage a classroom (though I may have just been a bit lucky this time).