8th Grade ELA : Unit #8 - Close Reading Strategies: Ways to Interpret & Analyze Literary Texts : Lesson #4

Close Reading: Crushing Claim and Evidence Questions in Informational Text

Objective: SWBAT cite textual evidences to support claims of an author's point of view about lyrics in music.
Standards: RL.8.1 RL.8.6
Subject(s): English / Language Arts
60 minutes
1 Bellringer - 10 minutes

To start this lesson, students will engage in defining vocabulary words related to evidence and claims in a text. Knowing vocabulary is so important when needing to understand how to answer questions about details in a story. A list of words such as 

Claim, Insufficient, Evidence,Statement, Relevant/irrelevant, Purpose, Position,Bias

will be given to students to define. To help utilize time effectively in this lesson, I will talk from the Close Reading Skills Vocabulary power point to help students understand the denotation of each word. From here we can start identifying and analyzing claims in a text.

2 Guided Practice: Let's Practice Annotation - 15 minutes

As a class, we will read and annotate John Denver text. I firmly believe that students must have a purpose for doing anything with a piece of text. As students complete their annotation, their papers will look like the following:

Circle statements revealing author's point-of-view or opinions

Draw arrows to statements that convey or support each circled viewpoint

(Next to arrow) explain whether or not the opinion/stance is appropriately presented or supported through the use of diction, figurative language, organization, etc.

3 Independent Practice: Read & Annotate & Organize Information - 10 minutes

Now that students have annotated the article, it's time to organize the claims in a graphic organizer. The use of analyzing and organizing information in this story will build students' comprehension of the accusations in the text. To complete this task, students will work in pairs to complete the claim graphic organizer. See an example, working on graphic organizer for John Denver Testimony, on how students responded to this activity. Even view a sample student organizer to see possible answers for this activity!

4 Wrap-Up: Debate - 15 minutes

To end this lesson, students participate in the strategy Room for Debate where they answer EOG related questions in small groups. To make the debate interesting, each group will be assigned either answer choice A, B, C, or D. After each group answers their questions, the spokesperson will stand and identify claims and examples of how their answer choice is correct or incorrect. This activity allows students to begin justifying why answer choices on the EOG are right or wrong.

Because I ran out of time, check out how I went over answers to each question. Although students were not able to defend their answers, I modeled this identical behavior in the going over answers to John Denver Testimony question video.

Comprehension Questions Reflection
Checks for Understanding

I knew that students would enjoy reading this selection. Because students LOVE music and can recite lyrics easily, I hoped that the claims of the author sparked some emotion in students to connect to the purpose of the selection. The initial annotation required students to circle statements, draw arrows and explain the meanings behind each claim. Since students got into the contents of the selection, we did this annotation aloud. However, the graphic organizer provided in the independent practice section contains the information that should have been annotated in the article. 

Each lesson in this unit is organized to provide two ways to interpret and/or analyze information to build comprehension with text. Since we missed the opportunity in this lesson to annotate the selection, we made up for it in the graphic organizer. I am enjoying the success students are having with completing the organizer for each selection. While some parts of the organizer is easy to fill out, the kinks or harder parts are done whole class to provide additional opportunities for learning throughout the lesson. The answers to the selection were: 13. D, 14. D, 15. A, 16. A, 17. B, 18. A, 19. C, 20. C, 21. A, 22. D, 23. B, 24. D, 25. A, and 26. A.  To continue supporting students who struggle in comprehension, an interactive resource and organizer would have been used to help students grapple with complex understandings of text.