Lesson Plan

Dog Lost: Connecting Expository Text to Narratives

Comparing how authors deliver the same main idea in both fiction and non-fiction
Meghan M.
Classroom teacher
James Rutter Middle School
Sacramento, CA
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, English Language Learning

Students will be able to...

  • Find a central idea that is similar in both news articles and a novel and analyze how each author develops them. - RI/RL 7.1
    • FICTION: Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot) - RL 7.3
    • NONFICTION: Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events). RI - 7.3
  • Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text - RL/RI 7.2
  • Write a short story, either real or imagined, that ask students to develop that same central idea. - W7.4
    Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
    Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
English Language Arts
letter or word recognition
reading comprehension
text analysis
using supporting evidence
Grades 7
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/background info

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1.  Teacher creates and shows an Animoto about the animals currently in the local animal shelter.

Student Instructions

1. Students make note of the number and type of each breed.

2 1st read: reading for understanding

1.  Teacher will monitor for understanding.

2.  Teacher uses information from quiz to shape instruction in step 3.

Student Instructions

1.  Using previous information, students will go to their Binder on NewsELA and access the article about pitbulls overcrowding Chicago-area shelters.  They will read it once at the self-designated lexile and then take the quiz to check for understanding and to show teacher where to focus direct instruction.

3 2nd read: read for clarification and to identify central idea (guided practice)

Vocab Smart
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1.  Teacher projects original article.

2. Teacher reads each paragraph aloud and asks students to identify key vocbulary words.

  • Teacher adds challenging vocabulary to Vocab Smart for weekly study

3. Teacher asks students to identify main idea of article.

Student Instructions

1. Students have self-lexiled form of article on Chromebooks.

2.  Students read self-lexiled form and use context clues to clarify challenging vocabulary.

  • Students study as weekly words

3.  Students identify main idea, and find evidence from article to support their claim.

  • Students will keep this on a t-chart

4 Read to compare: Dog Lost (guided practice/independent practice)

Activity: Reading

1. Teacher reads Dog Lost, chapters 1- 10

  • Teachers stops occasionally to ask students to compare.
Student Instructions

1.  As teacher stops, students identify an event in Dog Lost that is similar to one of the evidence choices from the news article.

2. Students will add Dog Lost events to the 2nd side of the t-chart when they see an event that is similar to one in the article

5 Synthesis: prewriting (guided/independent practice)

Activity: Creating

1. Teacher models how to fill in graphic organizer on how to write a story about the key idea in a story.

Student Instructions

Students will fill in an organizer to make specific choices as to setting, mood words, characters (protagonist and antagonist), dialogue choices and action choices.  Extra credit points will be awarded if a student can successfully integrate a direct textual reference to the article AND to the book in their story.

6 Synthesis: drafting and collaboration (independent practice)

Google Drive
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1.  Teacher will monitor student progress and will conference with students to ensure students stories convey central idea  common to Dog Lost and pitbull news article.

Student Instructions

1. Students will use Google Docs to write, share, collaborate, and publish short stories.