Tuesday, August 29, 2023

 Informational Text Reading Selection Lesson Plan Template for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

In this template, you can create a one-period lesson plan in literacy and/or English/Language Arts for any informational reading selection. Simply choose a reading selection from the materials section of the lesson plan template below and apply it to each lesson plan template step.


Grade 2 at https://www.thecorestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/2/
Grade 3 at https://www.thecorestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/3/
Grade 4 at https://www.thecorestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/4/
Grade 5 at https://www.thecorestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/5/
Grade 6-8: same URL for each with grade level replaced in the last character. 

 Objectives/Learning Targets: 

Grade 4 Learning Targets Informational Text


You can use a wide variety of reading materials for this template from websites to ebooks to textbooks. The following is a list of Internet informational reading selections for grades 2-5. 

All grades free (sign-up). Current news articles from major publications/organizations  http://newsela.com 
All grades free for a month then $ at http://www.readinga-z.com/commoncore/informational-text/
Middle school free Black history at http://www.thehistorymakers.com/
Grade 3-8 free Informational Readings with questions by skill at http://teacher.depaul.edu/Skill-Focused-Readings/Summarize_Nonfiction_Fiction.html
All grades $ from Scholastic at http://cc.bigreddog.org/teachers/books/non-fiction
Grades 1-5 free Reading comprehension passages at http://mrnussbaum.com/readingpassageindex#5
Grades 4-5 free Nonfiction text selections with tests at http://d102.org/blogs/kgow/files/2011/05/Nonfiction-Article-Practice.pdf
Grades 3-8 free Flash technology talking books with images at http://www.tumblebooks.com/library/asp/book_details.asp?Category=Non-Fiction&isflash=1
Grades 1-8 free Guttenberg Children's history at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Children%27s_History_(Bookshelf)
Grades 1-8 free Guttenberg Children's biography at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Children%27s_Biography_(Bookshelf)
Grades 1-8 free Children's Instructional books at http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Children%27s_Instructional_Books_(Bookshelf)
To test webpages for reading levels copy and paste paragraph from page and paste into 


Introduction: Introduce title and author (if available) of passage. Discuss what you know about the topic, including identifying it as narration, description, argument, poetry, play, subject area and so on. Relate topic to prior reading and set purpose for reading new selection.
1. Teacher reads selection aloud while students follow along (engagement). A list of websites with reading selections is included at the end of this lesson plan.
2. Teacher elicits from students what they think is the first characteristic (length, difficulty, tone, genre, purpose) they note about the passage. Write the words on the white board or note pad under document camera. (I do; we do; you do method)
3. Have students indicate the words they aren't familiar with (circle, highlight, etc...) Look up word in online or table dictionary and discuss with students, associating it with a concept of the unknown word. (I do; we do; you do method)
If selection is from textbook, go over visuals, headings subheadings, words in bold print/italics and so on). Let students know that this is called the selective attention learning strategy
For ELLs, type names of each word into Google Images, showing students the best representation of the word. 
4. Share out (Think/pair share) vocabulary words/explain in own words. Discuss punctuation/capitalization in passage. (I do; we do; you do method)For more prereading activities see http://web.cn.edu/kwheeler/reading_lit.html
5.Students read selection again silently.

6. Ask critical thinking questions from Bloom's taxonomy at http://www.meade.k12.sd.us/PASS/Pass%20Adobe%20Files/March%202007/BloomsTaxonomyQuestionStems.pdf  Refer back to text when appropriate.


After teaching a few reading selections, create tests on the following skills for the grade level/reading level you teach. 

Monday, June 12, 2023

Relating Critical Theory to Classroom Content Areas

Relating critical theory to critical thinking can focus on classroom activities. With so many different cultures living in California, teachers and administrators drive student engagement by relating many content areas to a variety of cultures' "funds of knowledge

1. The need to forego identity thinking as described by Theodor Adorno (placing people in groups or categories with predetermined roles) in order to give opportunities to others who are not in the dominant culture.

The unit about creating firebreaks in fire-prone areas of California taught us the importance of indigenous cultures active in scientific processes. Conventional thinking might conclude that firefighters developed these methods. Teaching students who assisted in the development scientific processes helps students to understand that the dominant culture is not responsible for all of the ideas used in technology. Our example from Week One proves that methods of creating firebreaks were first developed by indigenous people. Students can research both methods to write a compare/contrast essay of the methods used by both groups. 

2. Lev Vygotsky's ideas of cooperative learning and the ZPD theory, leading to increased critical thinking.

3. Socrates idea of questioning common beliefs: See lesson at https://www.pbs.org/newshour/classroom/2016/10/polling-pitfalls-lesson-plan/

4. Article relating Plato's ideas about social justice applied to science. See https://www.nsta.org/science-teacher/science-teacher-march-2020/social-justice-science-classroom

5. Aristotle's idea that valid syllogistic reasoning can help with research. See video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBUQhkWk9hM

6. Literature and media criticism based upon Aquinas ideas about learning how criticisms is a necessary stage in developing ideas. Using peer reviews to improve critical thinking when writing. See https://ctl.wustl.edu/resources/planning-and-guiding-in-class-peer-review/

7.  Ideas for developing and applying Paulo Friere's social justice theories in the classroom: https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/publications/critical-practices-for-antibias-education/instruction

Integrating social justice into STEM education: https://www.nsta.org/science-teacher/science-teacher-march-2020/social-justice-science-classroom

Friday, May 5, 2023

How to understand, treat and deal with the construct of Whiteness and White Privilege

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is outlawing topics of discussion that he believes would make white people uncomfortable in schools and public institutions. These topics include those associated with past struggles for racial equality and social justice.

The governor is leading a xenophobic movement that misses the point about anti-racist education by ignoring the effects of "white fragility," which is a researched theory about the psychological effects that occur when dominant ethno-racial groups of people learn about historical and current events that have wrecked havoc among the oppressed.  Medical News Today explains that: "White fragility refers to feelings of discomfort a white person experiences when they witness discussions around racial inequality and injustice."

The behaviors and feelings associated with ignorance about social justice among white people are likely to promote racism.  Discussions about race help white people get past their fears and guilt. Researchers quoted in Medical News Today have found that promoting racial stamina through education about oppression, white people may be able to manage racial stressors rather than ignoring or silencing them. Conscious and explicit engagement with people of different races can help break the pattern of fragile behaviors and actions related to race."

It might well be that DeSantis and others are wrong about the assumptions of harm that talking about racism in workplaces and schools might create.

The concept of "white privilege" is tops on the list of "WOKE" education and is being censored by the government in many states. See for yourself two different viewpoints about the term. 

 See the Forbes article, "Anti-Racism 101Clarify 'White Privilege' Once and for All" for more information about how the business community defines the term. 

For a detailed explanation, see Learning for Justice article:
  "What is White Privilege, Really?"