Lesson Plan

Current Events and the Common Core

Meeting Literacy Standards in History/Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects
Donna M.
Classroom teacher
Vista Visions Academy
Vista, CA
Show More
My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects Science, Health & Wellness
Objectives

Students will be able to...

  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
  • Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use  appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
  • Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Subjects
English Language Arts
Science
Social Studies
Grades 6 - 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

The video, http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-to-choose-your-news-damon-brown, explains how different types of news articles and reports are created. It details how opinions and facts get into the news and lists some strategies for evaluating the information.

Watch the video, then list and discuss the strategies that are presented. Include in the discussion how consumers of news might distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation.

2 Direct Instruction

Students read, analyze and present current event articles periodically throughout the school year. The website, JumpRope, tracks their progress in meeting the following Common Core ELA standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, & Technical Subjects:

Key Ideas and Details:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Craft and Structure:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.8 Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 herefor specific expectations.)

Discuss with students what each of these standards mean and what each would look like in an article. Challenge students to find an example of one or more of these from articles they have access to at home or online. Review their findings in a later class.

3 Guided Practice

Choose one of the current event articles from Curriculet to model. Display it on a SmartBoard or screen and as a class, find the following elements:

  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.
  • Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

​While all of these may not be present in the text that is used as a model, any missing elements can be discussed. As students do multiple reports/presentations over the school year, all of the elements will be addressed.

4 Guided Practice

In groups of four, students choose another article from Curriculet website. They work in partners to find the elements:

  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  •  Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.
  • Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

The partners meet in their groups of four to discuss what they have found and come to consensus on examples of each element. The group presents what they have found to the class.

 

5 Independent Practice

Using a variety of resources, students work independently to analyze an article using the elements:

  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • Determin the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
  • Determin the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context.
  • Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
  • Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.

6 Wrap-up

Google Drive
Free, Paid
Animoto
Free, Free to Try, Paid
Prezi
Free, Paid

After analyzing their article, students create a presentation to be shared with the class. Students may choose Google Presentation, Animoto, (website or app), Prezi (website or app), Haiku Deck (app) or some other presentation format. 

During the presentations, the following standards for ELA: Speaking and Listening can be evaluated:

  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
  • Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

The presentation is scored on a rubric for each element. The scores are uploaded to JumpRope. As students present successive articles, and scores are uploaded, teachers, parents and students can see how the students is progressing toward meeting these standards.