COMMON CORE STANDARDS
RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.
Speaking and Listening
SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
SL.3.5 Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.
L.3.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
L.3.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 3 unit titled “Building the Power of Reading (Module 1 Unit 2)” developed by Eleducation.org is intended to be completed in approximately 10 one-hour sessions of ELA /Literacy instruction. In this second of three units in Module 1, students explore their own “powers of reading” that help them access text. In the first half of the unit, students explore fictional accounts of people who worked hard to build their reading powers. Students then refer to the characters in these books as role models of sorts, as they begin to assess their own reading abilities. They use information about their individual strengths and needs as readers to set goals for the development of their reading powers, and write a text-based informational paragraph about their goals. In the second half of the unit, students focus on one specific “reading power”: fluency. They learn about the importance of fluency, set fluency goals, and practice fluency. As a culminating activity, students read aloud a text for an audio recording. To prepare for this assessment, students will have used criteria for fluent reading and will have had multiple opportunities to practice reading aloud.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the unit materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. While most of the resources and materials needed to implement the unit are included, the three texts that are needed by the teacher for Read-Alouds are not and will need to be secured. This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards and to be taught during the literacy block of the school day; however, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies content taught during other parts of the day. While there is a Fluency Criteria Anchor Chart and a Criteria Checklist included in the unit materials, there is no aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the targeted grade-level CCSS standards that are listed for the unit. The End-of-Unit 2 Assessment of students’ reading fluency must be done individually with students. It may be completed within or outside the ELA period of the day. Teachers record students’ reading as time and technology permit. The standard RL.3.11 mentioned on page 4 of the Unit Review does not exist, so it is not included in the list above.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The design and the integrated content of this unit are both exemplary. The unit provides all students with multiple opportunities to engage with texts of appropriate complexity for the grade level. The unit plan is particularly strong in providing important supports in reading, writing, listening and speaking for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below or above the grade level text band. Instruction includes a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Supports are gradually removed, requiring students to demonstrate their independent capacities. The unit materials also contain excellent templates for instruction.