COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.
RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
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.
L.3.4(d) Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 3 video unit titled “Reading Informational Texts: The Declaration of Independence and the First Fourth of July” from LearnZillion.com is intended to be completed in seven sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. The individual lesson pods focus on: making predictions about what an article will teach by previewing, preparing to read by jotting what you already know, identifying text features in nonfiction, finding the meaning of bold words using a glossary, keeping track of new information by retelling, taking notes as you read, and checking your understanding of a reading by teaching others. The summative assessment asks students to independently apply their knowledge of reading informational texts to a new text.
Connecticut teachers should be aware that the website, as well as the teacher notes and preparation materials, will require familiarity to be used effectively. (For example, the “Slides” button listed under “Resources for This Lesson” contains not only slides of the video pod, but guided practice and extension activities that sometimes require advanced teacher preparation.) There is no aligned rubric to provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance on the summative assessment.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The unit is a good example of how to sequence, scaffold, and support learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Each lesson pod addresses targeted CCSS instructional expectations and is easy to understand and implement. The lessons are designed to be used in multiple ways in school and/or at home to provide appropriate supports for all students—those at grade level, as well as those who are ELL, have disabilities, or who read well below the grade level text band. The use of technology and media allows flexibility for teachers as they plan and deliver their instruction.