COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
RI.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
RI.2.3 Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.
RI.2.6 Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
RI.2.7 Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Speaking and Listening
SL.2.1 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
SL.2.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.2.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
DESCRIPTION OF LESSON
This Grade 2 lesson titled “RACHEL CARSON AND HER BOOK THAT CHANGED THE WORLD by Laurie Lawlor” and cited on achievethecore.org has a suggested instructional time of 6 days (with a recommendation of two sessions per day, at least 20 minutes per day). In this lesson, students listen to a biography read aloud and use literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening) to understand the central message of the story—one person can make a difference to change the world. For the first of four readings, the teacher reads the entire book with minimal interruptions. With each successive reading, student understanding and analysis of the text is extended through activities that ask students to: answer text-dependent questions, create a character trait chart, make a timeline of Rachel’s life, and learn new academic vocabulary. As a culminating activity, students independently choose one of the main characters and write a retell of the whole story from that character’s point of view.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned that additional time and support may be necessary to meet the needs of some students. While a sample response to the writing is included with lesson materials, a CCSS-aligned rubric should be created to elicit direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate all of the major targeted standards listed above. Since the lesson topic also aligns with the Connecticut Elementary Social Studies C3 Frameworks Standards, these standards could be added. For a direct link to this source, see below:
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This lesson is a good example of how to focus on challenging sections of a complex narrative text. It engages students in a productive struggle through text-dependent questions and other supports that gradually build toward independence. The lesson cultivates student interest and engagement in reading, writing, and speaking about texts. Instruction focuses on building students’ academic vocabulary in context throughout the lesson. The lesson plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Extension activities and other resources are included in the teacher materials.