6th Grade ELA : Unit #11 - Writing a Research Based Argument : Lesson #5

Should Zoos Exist-Day 4

Objective: SWBAT summarize informational text, identify the main idea and supporting details to use in an argumentative essay.
Standards: RI.6.1 RI.6.2
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Advanced Organizer - 5 minutes

Over the past few days, we have gathered a lot of research.  The students have practiced pulling our the main idea and supporting details as well as summarizing informational text.  For the advanced organizer, I will have the students practice with summarizing information without the use of the graphic organizer.  This will help me gradually release them to summarizing text on their own. 

There are multiple practice problems on the  Advanced Organizer I will just have them do 1 and 2 for today's advanced organizer. 


Main Idea
Gradual Release

Up to this point, the students have been very guided with writing their summaries.  I wanted them to practice writing a summary without the graphic organizers and all the structure.  Are they able to write a summary without all the prompting?  Can they recall the skill on their own? 

To answer these questions, I needed short pieces to have them work with.  I also want to mix it up with content.  We have been working very heavily with informational text so I wanted to give them a bit of a break. 

The students did very well with this activity.  I had them share out their summaries within their group.  I circulated through the groups, listening and quickly checking their work.  I would say about 90 percent of the students were successful with writing the summaries! 


2 Guided Practice - 35 minutes

We will be continuing our research and work so we are prepared to make on arguments on the topic of whether or not zoos help endangered species. 

First, I will pass out the article titled Animals in Captivity vs The Wild Article The students will go through the same format as before.  We will read the article aloud first.  Then, I will have the students go through and locate the main idea and supporting details using a method of their choice this time.  They can use a graphic organizer if they choose to, or they can just use their annotations.   

Next, I will have them stop and to a Round Robin to discuss their findings with the group.  This will give them a chance to check their work and also receive feedback from their peers.  It will also give me a quick assessment on how well the students are doing with locating the main idea. 

Then, once the information is checked, the students can write a summary.  For those students who are ready to move on past the graphic organizer, this is when I will allow them to do that.

Once they have written a summary, they will receive a post it note and make a claim based on the information they have as to whether or not zoos are harmful or helpful to endangered species. 

I will ask a few students to defend their claims and discuss their evidence.  This will give students the chance to share their work and receive additional feedback.  It also allows them to hear their peers thoughts on the issues. 

Now that we have gathered quite a bit of research, I want the students to stop and take an assessment of their research. 

To do this, I will have the students create a T-Chart in their spiral and title the page "Organizing Data".  Following my Directions on one side of the t-chart I will have them go through their notes to locate and then list all the evidence/support they have to make the argument that zoos are helpful.  Then, they will go through and do the same to support the argument that zoos are harmful. 

This is important for students to see which side has more support.  It will also be helpful to use in the next lesson, when I have the students create questions from their research to guide their additional, more independent research. 

I will allow the students about 15-20 minutes to do this activity.  I will circulate the room and monitor their progress.  I will allow them to work with shoulder partners, just so they can generate more ideas and validate their work. 

3 Closure - 5 minutes

To help the students see how picking a side of an argument is often done based on the amount of evidence you have, I will have the students reflect on their t-charts. 

What side, harmful or helpful, did you have the most evidence?  If you were to make a claim now, which side would you argue? 

I want the students to see how research can build or destruct an argument.  If time allows, we will share out. I will first have them share in their groups using a Round Robin.  Then, we can share out as a class.