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Lesson Plan #6

Unit Working Title: Reading the Reflection

Unit Big Idea (Concept/Theme): Self-Awareness

Unit Primary Skill focus: Reflective Writing

Week 2 of 4; Plan #6 of 12 [90 mins.]

Plan type: __X__Full-Detail ____Summary

Content Requirement Satisfied: Language Concept / Syntax

Critical Learning Objectives (numbered) [from my Unit Preface], followed by Specific
lesson objectives (lettered) being taught in this lesson:

1. Sentence Starter:
2. Mini Lesson on Sentence Smackdown [ based in Mechanically Inclined by Jeff
Anderson ]
3. Application to writing in What Does My Childhood Taste Like
4. SSR / Conferences on Childhood with Students
5. Revision time in class / Conferences on Childhood with Students

Cognitive (know/understand):
2. Students will understand how experiencing things at a distance through literature can help
them navigate their own conflicts and experiences in life.
c. Students will be able to write through an experience of their past in order to share its
value with an audience.

Affective (feel/value) and/or Non-Cognitive:
5. Students will value the ways their peers contribute to a safe classroom space where they feel
supported in their growth and development as readers, writers, and thinkers.
i. Students will engage in discussions with, and appreciate feedback from, teachers to
support their writing.
6. Students will value the print and non-print texts they study as sources of life lessons beyond
the classroom.
b. Students will value language and syntax strategies to clarify their written reflections of
life lessons.

Performance (do):
7. Students will respond to literature through reflective writing practices.
c. Students will apply knowledge of language and syntax to improve the communication
of their narratives and reflections.
8.7 - Writing
The student will write in a variety of forms, including narrative, expository, persuasive, and
b) Organize details to elaborate the central idea

W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas,
concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content

Procedures/Instructional Strategies
[Note: Any words that represent what I would say directly to students appear in italics.]

Beginning Room Arrangement: Noted in the Intro Week Lessons

1. [ 10 mins.] Bridge/Hook/Opening to lesson: Greeting and Sentence Starter

Sentence Starter on the board when students enter:
What is something about you that you are excited to share with the class through the two writing
pieces we have been working on this week?

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. You have about five minutes left to respond to the prompt
on the board. If you are already finished, please take out your SSR book and read quietly.

2. [ 20 mins.] Step 1: Sentence Smackdown (adapted from Mechanically I nclined, pgs.

A. Intro 5 mins.
We are going to move on to a new activity, but please keep your journals out on your desk,
because you will need them for what were going to do next. When you came to school today, you
probably did not realize that you would enter into aSmackdown. Now, Im not talking about a
physical fight of any sort, because we know thats not allowed. Instead, I mean a two-sentence
smackdown. But before we do that, we need to practice identifying the subject and the verb in a
few example sentences.

First, on todays page in your journals I want you to just write a sentence. It could be any
sentence. (Pause.) What did you write? And how did you know it was a sentence? (Take
examples from a few students. They may not be able to explain why they think what they wrote
is a sentence.)

You call can all do this. The simplest formula for a simple sentence = subject + verb. Lets look
at the very basic phrase, They race (and I write it on the board). Is this a sentence? How do
you know?

I explain that the proper strategy comes down to two questions:
-Who or what did something? (The subject is They.)
-What did they do? (the verb is race.)

Again, at the heart of any sentence is a subject and a verb. All you have to do is ask these two
questions to determine if you have a sentence.

B. Explain the activity- 7 mins.

Now, were getting ready for the Smackdown. (Pass out sheets) Right now I am passing out the
sheet you will need to refer to during the activity, and it also provides directions.

The class will be divided into groups of three. One person will be the reader and the two others
will be the subject and the verb. According to your group number, each of you will have a
sentence that you will narrow down to the subject and the verb. You will come up to the front and
demonstrate what you decided during the Smackdown so the rest of the class can check their

First, your reader will read the sentence. You can look at #1 on your sheet. These are all
examples of sentences from a book we are going to be looking at next week. So the reader reads.
Then your subject person who has already written what you all have determined to be the
subject on a piece of constructive paper will smack his or her subject underneath the t-chart
labeled Subject, and yell that word aloud. The verb person will follow and do the same, slap
the piece of construction paper on the t-chart and yell what you all have determined to be the

While each group is doing this, the students in the audience will be checking their own answers
on their sheets, so it is important for you to raise your hand if you have a question.

C. Smackdown! 18 mins.

Students are divided up into groups of threes, work on their individual sentences according to the
sheet, and write out their response on the construction paper. After five minutes

Are you ready for a smackdown? (Maybe put this differently in the classroom, because it could
be interpreted incorrectly. Cue music. 7-8 groups come up and go through the drill while the
other students follow along on their sheets. Any questions from the crowd are addressed

The whole purpose of this exercise was #1 Have Fun and show that grammar does not have to be
dry and boring. #2, we should apply these ideas to our own writing. If a sentence boils down to
the subject and verb, we should use strong verbs especially to make our sentences interesting
and fun to read.

Lets revisit my What My Childhood Tastes Like writing. I have highlighted a few spots where
I think I can improve the strength of my subject and verb combos. Can you help me?

(Students look over highlighted areas of my writing on the overhead.)
3. [ 50 mins.] Step 2: Teacher Conferences / Revision

Now we move into time for workshopping, teacher feedback, and revision.

During the next fifty minutes, you must be occupied with one of two things: independent
revision or a conference with me. Well plan on working with just your writing, What My
Childhood Tastes Like, but you may also bring up your RAFT letters to discuss.

I will be conferencing with all of you for 2-3 minutes (I have read their work up to this
point before class), so I need everyone to be efficient in coming up to my desk when I call
your name. Before and after we discuss your writing, you should be reading, editing, and
revising your two writing pieces. It is also good to be thinking about the work we did
today and how you may improve your writing with stronger 1-2, subject-verb combos.
This is time that you have in class to work on these pieces, and therefore you should try
to be as productive as possible.

Conferences: 2-3 minutes each
(Use rubrics for pieces as a guide; Again, I have read their work so far so I have a sense
of their progress already.)

1. How are you feeling about the piece so far?
2. Do you have any questions for me?
3. Lets look at the rubric together: I noticed you are doing _____ well, but it looks like
you could use some help doing _________ better.

4. [ 10 mins] Closure:
As your exit slip, go back into both of your writings on google docs, and I want you to
highlight in any color other than red places where you have identified and changed your
subject-verb combinations to make your sentences more powerful.

Okay, that was another awesome day! Please put your computers away, and I will see
you tomorrow.

Methods of Assessment:
[How will you know if the intended learning occurred?] List all methods of assessment used in
this lesson or which are related to this lesson and come in a future lesson. After each assessment,
indicate in brackets the number(s) and letter(s) of the unit objective and the related lesson
objectives that the assessment is evaluating.
1. Sentence Starter (2c, 5i)

2. Two-Sentence Smackdown (6b, 7c)
3. Teacher Conference with writing pieces (5i)

Highlight Application of Two-Sentence Smackdown in writing (6b, 7c)
Differentiated Instruction to accommodate one or more of my profiled students:
(This is where you identify specific aspects of this lesson which have been differentiated in order
to address the needs of one or more of your profiled studentsidentify them by name)

Paul Because Paul reads below grading level, the simplified look at sentence structure should
help support his understanding of this concept. The accountability I provide with my conference
as well as the directed Exit Slip activity should also check his understanding. He can especially
benefit from a face-to-face conversation with the teacher when we can speak directly, and he can
ask questions without fear of being unprepared or embarrassed in front of his peers.

Materials Needed:
Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, played via YouTube or iTunes
Construction Paper for Smack Down Groups
Smackdown Subject/Verb T-chart
4 or 5 boxes of markers
Copies of the Smack Down Sheets x 22

Materials Appendix: (e.g., supplementary texts, Ppts, overheads, graphic organizers,
handouts, etc.)

Refer to rubrics for writing pieces during Teacher Conferences:

Rubric F. What My Childhood Tastes Like 4 points total; Revised grade is official grade
Criteria Points: , , , 1 Teacher Feedback
1. Grammar and mechanics
support reading

2. Story is uniquely about you

3. Detailed language transports
the reader

4. Demonstrates to the reader
something you value

Rubric G. RAFT Letter 4 points total; Revised grade is official grade
Criteria Points: , , , 1 Teacher Feedback
1. Grammar, mechanics, and
letter format support reading

2. Shows evidence of inquiry and
minor research.

3. Maintains adopted role of:


4. Demonstrates to the reader
why the person is a role model to
you by describing specific
experiences and details

Sentence Smack Down! Adapted from Mechanically Inclined by Jeff Anderson (p. 162)

Group Directions
1. Identify the subject and the verb of
your groups sentence first.
Underline the subject and put
explosion marks around the verb.
2. Assign roles:
a. Reader:__________
b. Subject:__________
c. Verb:_________
3. Subjects write the subject of the
sentence in large letters on a piece of
construction paper. Verbs write the
verb of the sentence in large letters
on another piece of construction
paper, surrounding it with exploding
marks to connote action.
4. Then identify the subject and the
verb for all the other sentences.

(From Anderson)
Then he lowers his hand.
Who or what does something? (He) What
does he do? (lowers). He lowers.

His ears echo the thousand warnings of his
mother: Dont cross the street.
Who or what does something? (ears) What
do the ears do? (echo). Ears echo.

From The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-
Time Indian
-some have compound subjects and verbs

Group 1: He taught me more than any
teachers ever did.
Group 2: Nobody else comes anywhere
close to that.
Group 3: Mr. P. sometimes teaches in his
Group 4: So I draw cartoons to make him
happy, to give him other worlds to live
Group 5: Of course, I giggled at the idea.
Group 6: She wanted to write romantic
Group 7: I almost gagged when I said that.
Group 8: Tears rolled down my cheeks.
Group 9: You threw that book in my face
because somewhere inside you refuse to
give up.
Group 10: After Mr. P. left, I sat on the
porch for a long time and thought about my

Sentence Smack Down Performance

1. Reader reads groups whole
2. Subject smacks him- or herself on
the wall mat under the Subject side,
holding the construction paper
subject at chest level and yelling the
3. Verb smacks him- or herself on the
wall mat under the Verb side,
holding the sign at chest level,
yelling the verb.
4. Reader reads the sentence again.
5. Players exit as champions to music.
6. As other groups perform, check your
What My Childhood Tastes Like, Revisited with Sentence Smackdown Application

As I woke up on Sunday mornings at home I could count on a host of familiar sounds and smells
to greet me. Shamelessly I tried avoiding going downstairs earlier than planned, because that
meant the dogs two Labradors, Snickers and Chloe would be barking their cries to go
outside. Nine times out of ten, my angel of a mother would hear them first, though, and shuffle in
her nightgown and slippers to the kitchen to let them out. Her appearance was then a stark
contrast to the way she would look an hour later, elegant in her Sunday dress as we would head
out the door to church. But, while she was up, she would put the frozen cinnamon rolls in the
oven, my sign that it was clear for me to come downstairs. And why would I delay? I would wait
in the kitchen, in my own slippers with my slept-on hair, for twenty minutes until I could swing
open the old oven door with a Schoomp! and pull off the aluminum foil to unveil the gooey,
cinnamon-sugar treasure underneath. I felt like I was getting away with a crime, eating this as
breakfast food, when we all really know its a dessert. Similarly our pal, Sister Schubert, the
mastermind behind my beloved Sunday ritual, sure didnt look like a nun and was pulling some
con-artistry of her own. The only benefit to waking up earlier than I had to for church was that I
could claim at least a third especially the gooey center ones of the rolls from the circular pan
before my two older brothers could. My mom would encourage us to eat them all, because for
her, the biggest sin would be leaving enough for my dad to sneak on his way out the door,
reliably running late for the Sunday School class he taught.