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The Wonder of Seeing the Best in Ourselves- A+ Attitude

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Keywords: Wonder, Technology, Community Project, Social Skills, Writing, Reading, English
Subject(s): Information Skills, Social Skills, Spelling, Technology, Grammar, Writing, Reading, English/Language Arts
Grade 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Northeast Elementary School, Opelousas, LA
Planned By: Rosalyn Spencer
Original Author: Rosalyn Spencer, Opelousas
Lesson Plan Title: The Wonder of Seeing the Best in Ourselves- A+ Attitude
Concept / Topic To Teach: Research Writing/Research using 21st Century Skills, Close Reading and Conflict Resolution
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story's or drama's plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.4
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they "see" and "hear" when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.

General Goal(s): Students will be able to create a research paper using multiple texts by citing evidence not only from the anchor text but additional supporting text.
Specific Objectives: Students will be able to identify examples of using appropriate details in anchor and supporting texts. Students will generate questions about their peer’s topics. Students will be able to add appropriate detail into their writing creating an essay that discusses the adversity and triumphs of their topic reflecting the theme of the novel Wonder. Students will read the novel Wonder and supplemental texts learning theme, perspective, character, tone and mood. Students will work on a character/perspective activity, followed by a research project and an oral presentation. Students throughout the month will also create a citizenship project in which they will help the community creating a real life lesson, a three dimensional learning experience of their theme.

Required Materials: Wonder by RJ Palacio, student independent reading novels, pencils and paper, tablet (e-reader), Hover Cam, poster board, glue and markers. (Supplemental Reading: No Bullying by Samantha McCann, Thank You Ma’am by Langston Hughes, Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut, Caged Bird by Maya Angelou, Dreams by Langston Hughes and Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar)

Anticipatory Set (Lead-In): Start class by reading an excerpt from Wonder. Since novel uses numerous perspectives to highlight and understand theme, characters and motive. The class will read an excerpt from Auggie, Via, Jack and Summer when describing how Auggie looks. This will further highlight the idea of perspective and how this changes the tone and mood of a story.

Step-By-Step Procedures:
1. After looking at the excerpt from Wonder, have a class discussion on the importance of adding details into writing. Ask students what details do for the story (Answers may be: keep reader interest, create an image, add voice, make unique, set a tone or mood, etc).
2. Discuss with students how good writers always use a lot of detail. Have them use their independent reading novels as anchor texts, by looking through them and picking out two or so paragraphs that show great detail.
3. Have students to break into groups and choose a character. Students will choose three details and examples to show perspective, imagery, mood and tone.
4. Introduce pre-writing activity for the work time. The writing topic is: “Write a paragraph on how your characters see Auggie and their relationship with him.” Have students create a discussion circle in which each leader of the group will read their paragraph and the other groups will create questions about their chosen perspective.
5. Explain that having another person ask questions about your topic will help ensure you give enough detail about the topic and how it creates a three dimensional character.
Week Two-Four
Students will create a citizenship project that will list three ways they can be a better citizen, child and students. Students will also choose a school based project such as cleanup and perform tasks to help improve their schools. Students will journal and chronicle their path in becoming a more compassionate person creating an “A+ attitude”.
Students will listen to the audio and read along with the story (tablet or ereaders). Students will also choose a person from the “List of Triumph” (people who have faced adversity and triumphed). Students will use the tablets or the computer lab to research their subject on the internet and databases to choose five sources.
Students will learn the process of creating an annotated bibliography. Students will began the prewriting portion creating a four square chronicling the adversity and triumph of their topics. They will also work in groups to practice and apply their peer editing skills.
Students will gather pictures, and create a poster board about their topic. Students will then read their paper for a short oral project.

Plan For Independent Practice: Students will discuss how perspective changes and adds to the story.
- Closure (Reflect Anticipatory Set): Looking back, students will discuss the importance of compassion and choosing to help others. Students will create a citizenship project, choosing something they can do to help the community (i.e. cleanup, food drive, etc.)

- Assessment Based On Objectives: In order to assess the students’ ability to identify details in writing, the teacher will take note of the students questions and oral skills while observing students during the literature circle.

- Adaptations (For Students with Learning Disabilities): Students will be able to use their own independent reading. Students with reading deficits will be able to use lower level reading texts during the activity. During the independent practice, students can be given a specific amount of details to add.

- Extensions (For Gifted Students): Students will be able to use their own independent reading novels to find supplement texts. Students with advanced reading abilities will be able to use higher level reading texts during the activity.

- Possible Connections to Other Subjects: When writing for other content areas, students will be able to be sure to give enough detail to answer questions. They can start writing by asking what types of questions the reader would want to know.

Teacher Example of Questioning Activity:
1. What can you infer from the passage about Auggie’s condition?
2. What were you thinking when you heard Via’s description of her brother?
3. Do you know anyone who suffers from a disease?
4. How can you help people who are need?
5. Have you ever stepped back and said nothing when hearing something wrong?
6. What goals have you set for yourself?
7. Did you reach your goal?
8. How can you be a better student, child and citizen?
9. What are some things that you can do to help your community?
10. List three steps you can take to become a better citizen.
11. Who do you think is a hero? Why? Give examples of what makes them a hero.

A+ attitude brings about change
In creating a viable learning environment for our students, we at Northeast Elementary are creating a nine month pilot program in which we are teaching our students to become productive members of society through learning, application and service. We will accomplish this by creating a three tier approach

The first tier is education:
We at Northeast Elementary in our goal to provide the best education will seek funding to purchase supplemental materials such as children books, teacher resources and resources to create a school learning library. These resources will be able to be used by all the staff and able to enhance a teacher’s curriculum. In congruence with the core standards and GLE, we will purchase materials that promote reading comprehension, math skills, social skills and the application of science. In adapting the differentiated method of instruction and learning, we will address
• Content – what the student needs to learn or how the student will get access to the information;
The use of materials in the classroom to supplement and enhance the faculty’s curriculum,
i.e. Northeast Elementary Learning Library
• Learning environment – the way the classroom works and feels.

The second tier is application:
Through activities such as a communal vegetable and flower garden, books made by sixth graders for Pre-K and Kindergarten students, a grade level Big Read, essays, reader responses and more, we will allow the student to develop critical thinking skills. Therefore, we are reaching beyond the surface level of simply teaching the standardized test but instead the essential skills needed to not only succeed on a test but in our daily lives. How will this be accomplished?
• Process – activities in which the student engages in order to make sense of or master the content;
The use of education in application through activities will be used in multiple planned projects including:

• Products – culminating projects that ask the student to rehearse, apply, and extend what he or she has learned in a unit; and

• A communal vegetable and flower garden
i.e. Students will learn the process of photosynthesis, crop rotation, the life cycle and agriculture. Students will apply their knowledge in maintain and keeping their garden in which they will not only have to grow the plants but cultivate, harvest and prepare the plants for consumption. This teaches the child about not only basic agriculture but community planning and healthy living.
• The Big Read, will use the novel “Wonder” by RJ Palacio to promote social awareness and disabilities. The students will not only read the novel and make inferences, discuss and do reader responses but for their major project, will create a picture book for Pre-K and Kindergartners that will promote literacy and human compassion. In addition, the students will create a program entitled “A+ Attitude Brings Change” which will introduce and also support the PBIS standards of our parish
The third tier of the is service:
Through education and application, students will not only engage in critical thinking skills but begin to create an A+ attitude that will create future productive members of society. Students will engage in partnerships with not only each other but also with community programs. For example, sixth grade students will use bottle caps to purchase materials for their learning environment and donate the plastic bottles to the Thensted Center in Grand Coteau, La to support the senior citizen program. The food cooked by the students from the garden will be shared amongst family to promote healthy living. Students will write letters to authors thanking them for their writing, reflecting on what they learned and asking what they do for their community—which will promote social awareness and conversation.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Social Studies, Science and Life Skills
Students will continue to create "citizenship projects" throughout the year chronicling their progress of becoming a more compassionate person.
Links: Link to Biography.com
Link to Lafayette Public Library
Materials: Flash Memory Camcorders, Point and Shoot, Portable, MP3 Players, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, CDs and DVDs, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing
Other Items: 25 Wonder, $5.38 each, total of $134.50
52 Composition Notebooks, $1.00 each, total of $52.00
52 Pens, $10.00 each, total of $520.00
52 Poster Board, $55.00 each, total of $2860.00
28 Tablets, $100.00 each, total of $2800.00