Grade 1: Short Focused Research Project – The Moon

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Unit: http://achievethecore.org/page/692/the-moon-research-project-detail-pg

Article about this unit: http://achievethecore.org/content/upload/The%20Moon%20Challenge%20Article.pdf

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Reading Informational Text

RI.1.3  Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

Writing

W.1.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of “how-to” books on a given topic and use them to write a sequence of instructions).

W.1.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Language

L.1.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

L.1.4(a) Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Speaking and Listening

SL.1.1  Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.1.1(a) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

SL.1.1(b) Build on others’ talk in conversations by responding to the comments of others through multiple exchanges.

SL.1.1(c) Ask questions to clear up any confusion about the topics and texts under discussion

SL.1.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

DESCRIPTION OF UNIT

This Grade 1 unit titled “Short Focused Research Project – The Moon” from the Vermont Writing Collaborative and cited on achievethecore.org is intended to be completed in seven to ten days of integrated ELA/Literacy and science instruction. The unit combines observation and work with nonfiction texts and poetry as it helps students employ the science practices of: asking questions; developing and using models; analyzing and interpreting data; as well as obtaining, evaluating and communicating information. Varied modes of assessment are used throughout the unit; the summative assessment asks students to independently demonstrate the major targeted literacy standards and science content.

CAUTIONS

Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that the Next Generation Science Standards listed in the unit document, are not included in this review since they are not part of the Common Core Standards at this grade level. The unit does not include an aligned rubric; however there are assessment guidelines that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance.

RATIONALE FOR SELECTION

The unit plan is a good example of how to integrate ELA/literacy standards with science content. It provides opportunities for students to build knowledge about a topic through analysis of a selection of sequenced, disciplined-specific texts using text-dependent questions. Varied activities cultivate student interest and engagement in reading, writing, and speaking. The unit addresses instructional expectations  and is easy to understand and use.