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Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University


: English Language Arts (Writing)

LESSON TITLE: Opinion writing-Earth Day
Lesson 1 of 3

Teacher(s): Jessica Barbis/Amanda Todd/Holly Tomesello
Number of Students: 4 students
Grade Level(s): 3
Date: 4/2/13
Time: 3:30-4:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes

Lesson Structure: X Whole class X Small group One-on-one Other: _______________________

Learning Central Focus
Central Focus
What is the central focus for the
content in the learning segment?
The central focus for this learning segment is opinion writing. The learning segment will focus on the essential literacy strategy
(using evidence to support an argument) and requisite skills (e.g., writing paragraphs, using correct verb tense, or using other
NYS/Common Core or
NYSAA Content
What standard(s) are most
relevant to the learning goals?

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1- Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1a- Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational
structure that lists reasons.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1b- Provide reasons that support the opinion.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1c- Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.1d- Provide a concluding statement or section.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.5- With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning,
revising, and editing.
Student Learning
Goal(s)/ Objective(s)
What are the specific learning
goal(s) for student in this lesson?

Lesson Objectives:
Students will be able to read and comprehend the sample opinion piece about Earth Day that will be handed to them.
Students will be able to identify the parts of the opinion piece (topic, opinion, one fact, one reason, and linking words) by the end of
the lesson.
Students will be able to understand and write their own opinion piece after the 3 day lesson about how to persuade the reader to
agree with their opinion.
Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Concepts and

What are the specific learning
goal(s) for students in this lesson?

Relevant IEP Goals and Benchmarks:
Learners 1-4: Students will demonstrate understanding of the opinion piece by identifying the topic, the opinion, one fact, one
reason, and linking words.
Students will write each part independently and then, as a class, we will go over it to make sure every student has the correct

Prior Academic
Knowledge and

What knowledge, skills, and
concepts must students already
know to be successful with this

What prior knowledge and/or
gaps in knowledge do these
students have that are necessary
to support the learning of the
skills and concepts for this lesson?

a) Students will have already learned the step-up-to-writing skills that will help them figure out the 5 parts of identification of
the opinion piece.
b) Students can even highlight the different parts in the same colors as the step-up-to-writing strategy uses to develop this
skill further.
c) Students will also already know how to use appropriate sentence structures, spelling, and punctuation.

Common Errors,
Misconceptions, Partial
Understandings, or
What are common errors or
misunderstandings of students
related to the central focus of this

How will you address them for
this group of students?

Students will have challenges with pulling out the opinion because this seems like a hard concept for students to understand fully.
Students will have challenges with linking words because these always seem to be harder for students to actually know and
understand how they are properly used.
Students may also struggle with comprehension of the opinion piece that they will read and use as an example for them to write
their own piece.

The lesson plan template is intended to be used as a formative process prior to a candidates submission of edTPA materials. The template offers an opportunity for candidates to practice documenting their thinking
when planning lessons leading up to the learning segment they will teach for edTPA. Lesson plans with this level of detail are not necessary and should not be submitted as part of edTPA. It is intended to prepare
candidates to articulate their thinking and justification for plans when responding to the Planning Task commentary prompts
The prompt provided here should be modified to reflect subject specific aspects of learning. Language here is mathematics related. See candidate edTPA handbooks for the Making Good Choices resource for subject
specific components.
Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Instructional Strategies and Learning Tasks
Description of what the teacher (you) will be doing and/or what the students will be doing
Anticipatory Set
_15_ Minutes

How will you start the lesson to
engage and motivate students in

******ALL VERBATIM*******
We will pass out a dessert called dirt. This dessert is made out of chocolate pudding, chocolate cookie crumbs, and a
gummy worm on top. This dessert represents the topic that we will be discussing in class.
First, the students will have a chance to taste the dessert and while they are eating it, the teachers will be asking questions
on their opinion on how the dessert tastes, what does the dessert remind them of, and what do they believe this dessert is
After the students finish their dessert, the teacher will introduce the topic that they will be discussing for the day.
What: Good afternoon gentlemen, I hoped you enjoyed the treat we had for you. Today, we will be discussing opinion pieces. What
was your opinion of the treat?
Why: Boys, we are learning about opinion pieces today because it is important for students to be able to read and comprehend an
opinion piece and identify 5 key parts of the piece. You will need what you learn today when you are preparing to take your ELA
test and when you need to argue your point in a well organized debate.
How: First, I will talk about what an opinion piece is while you follow along with me on the piece of paper I have given you. Then
we will look at an example of an opinion piece. We will read this aloud. Then you will fill in the blanks below independently.

Introduce the topic:
Before we begin, what do you know about opinion pieces?
We will use the SmartBoard to brainstorm what opinion pieces are and how this can relate to the dessert we just had.

___15_ Minutes

What will you do to engage
students in developing
understanding of the lesson

How will you link the new content
(skills and concepts) to students
prior academic learning and their
personal/cultural and community

What will you say and do? What
questions will you ask?

How will you engage students to
help them understand the

What will students do?
******ALL VERBATIM*******

T: Boys, it is important for writers to write opinion pieces that allow the reader to understand what
you are trying to persuade them to do. For instance, if you believe that riding a bike everyday instead
of driving a car would save the Earth from pollution, how would you persuade someone to ride a bike?
S: We could tell them that riding a bike is healthy and doesnt use gas.
T: Lets read about Earth Day. What could be put in the middle of this graphic organizer?
S: We could put planting a tree. We could put recycling. We could put carpooling to save on gas or
ride a bike to not use gas.
T: Those are great answers! Now finish up the rest of the graphic organizer on your own. *The
teachers will walk around to make sure the things they are putting in the graphic organizer are
T: After you have finished the graphic organizer, you will have 25 minutes to start writing your
supporting reasons and facts on the sheet of paper that I am passing out.

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

How will you determine if
students are meeting the intended
learning objectives?

What will other adults in the room

Modeling: Teacher will model writing on the graphic organizer on the SmartBoard, while the
students follow along. The teacher will also model writing a reason and fact to support the reason on
sentence strips just like they did in step-up-to-writing.

Structured Practice and
__25_ Minutes

How will you give students the
opportunity to practice so you can
provide feedback?

How will students apply what they
have learned?

How will you determine if
students are meeting the intended
learning objectives?

******ALL VERBATIM*******

Structured Practice:
Brainstorming that occurred as a whole class to fill in the graphic organizer, that was demonstrated on the SmartBoard.

Independent Practice:
Students will write their own their reasons and facts to support their reasons independently.
Students will be able to ask questions and receive help from the teachers during this time.
The teachers will be walking around to make sure they are on task and not having any trouble doing this task.

Extension or Sponge Activities:
When the students finish their sentences about their reasons and facts to support them, they will be able to start
drafting their 3 paragraphs to form a well-written persuasive paper on why it is important to care for our Earth.

__5__ Minutes

How will you end the lesson?

******ALL VERBATIM*******

We will come together after the teachers tell them that they need to start packing up what they are working on and then face
towards the white board for the next direction. The students will then all stand up and we will toss around a ball that has questions
about what they learned today and what they enjoyed about today. This will be a great way to end the lesson and hopefully help
them remember what they will have to do the following day.

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Planned Support

How will you provide students
with access to learning based on
individual and group needs?

How will you support students
with gaps in the prior knowledge
that is necessary to be successful
in this lesson?

Whole Class:
a) Writing a graphic organizer with the class and then finishing it on their own.
b) Directions will be given orally and visually.
c) Teacher will model on sentence strips.
d) Tactile experience (dirt-dessert, sentences, graphic organizer)
e) Students will all have copies of the materials that are being talked about in class.
f) Students will have highlighters.

Students with IEPs or 504 Plans:
a) Students will be given extra prompting and the use of highlighters to highlight the key points in
the paragraphs.
b) Students will be given extra time for finishing the writing such as taking it home or finishing it
in class once they finish with their homework.

Strategies for responding to common errors and misunderstandings, developmental approximations,
misconceptions, partial understandings, and/or misunderstandings:
All of the strategies listed above.

Student Interactions

How will you structure
opportunities for students to work
with partners or in groups? What
criteria will you use when forming

Students will be able to talk with a peer about the topic and as a whole class.
Students will peer edit another students work after the rough draft is completed.
What Ifs

What might not go as planned, and
how can you be ready to make

If the students are having a difficult time writing on their own, I will have the students to have the chance to write with a partner.
This will then be assessed later on individually. This way it reinforces the concept of opinion and still has the student writing it
down. However, this leads to more collaboration and room for further understanding on the concept because they are working and
communicating together.
Theoretical Principles
and/or ResearchBased
Best Practices

Auman, M. E., & Maureen, E. (2003). Step up to writing. Sopris West.
Maag, J. W. (2004). Behavior management: From theoretical implications to practical applications (2
ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Teachers pay teachers. (2013, October). Retrieved from

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Why are the learning tasks for this
lesson appropriate for your


What materials does the teacher
need for this lesson?

What materials do the students
need for this lesson?

White board
Expo markers
Sentences strips
Pocket chart
Writing paper
Example of an opinion piece
o Chocolate pudding
o Chocolate cookie crumbs
o Gummy worms
o Dessert plastic cups

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Academic Language Demand(s)
Language Function(s)

What language function(s) do you
want students to develop in this
lesson? What must students
understand in order to be
intellectually engaged in the
Language functions: The content and language focus of the learning task represented by the active verbs within the learning
outcomes. I want the students to develop an opinion on a position or point of view about Earth day and how to save the Earth.
Students must understand what an opinion is and how to actually argue their point of view in writing.

Key Vocabulary

What content-specific terms
(vocabulary) do students need to
support learning of the learning
objective for this lesson?

Opinion- based off our feelings or beliefs.
Earth Day- this is a day for us to think about how to preserve, or save, our Earth.

Language Demand(s)

What specific way(s) will students
need to use language (reading,
writing, listening and/or
speaking) to participate in
learning tasks and demonstrate
their learning for this lesson?

Language demands: Students will need to use the vocabulary they have learned and also their ability to pull out important
information from the paragraph. The students will also need to be able to identify the 5 important parts of an opinion piece and put
it in written form.

Language Abilities

What are your students abilities
with regard to the oral and written
language associated with this

The students will be able to orally tell the whole class in their own opinion, what they believe people should
do to save the Earth. They will be able to share right before they will be asked to independently write on
their own.
Support for Language

How will you support students so
they can understand and use the
language associated with the
language function and other
demands in meeting the learning
objectives of the lesson?

Developmental approximations: Students will be able to use a laptop to look up words to spell on a dictionary website. This way
they can use technology to help them write their papers rather than a teacher or another adult. This will help build independency
and confidence.

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Describe the tools/procedures that will be used in this lesson to monitor students learning of the lesson objective(s).
Attach a copy of the assessment and the evaluation criteria/rubric in the resources section at the end of the lesson plan.
Type of assessment
(Informal or Formal)

Description of assessment Modifications to the assessment so
that all students can demonstrate
their learning.
Evaluation Criteria - What evidence of
student learning (related to the learning
objectives and central focus) does the
assessment provide?

Observation during writing
on the graphic organizer
and support your reasons
with facts sheet.
Circulation of the entire room The ability to understand the pre-planning
process for writing that is done on their
graphic organizer.

Students will hand in
finished product of their
opinion piece on the final
copy paper.
Students who need extended time will
receive it and then be able to hand in
their final copy when finished.
The ability to write an opinion piece on
their own using the step-up-to-writing
way. There will also be a rubric that the
students will see and use to make sure that
they are following what the teacher is
asking of them.

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Acquired Data

From your
above, display your
whole (group) class
data in an Excel
form as an

See attached Excel spreadsheet.

Qualitative Description:
Describe what you have learned from the spreadsheet data.


From your
assessments above,
display your whole
(group) class data in
a graph form as an

See attached graph.

Qualitative Description:
Describe what you have learned from the graphical data.

Analyzing Teaching
To be completed after the lesson has been taught

What worked?
What didnt?
For whom?

Student Attainment of Objectives:
Include a narrative description that discusses whether or not your students met the intended outcomes for this lesson. Use the data that was
collected as part of your assessment plan to address this section.

Personal Reflection:
In this section, identify the things you feel you did well in teaching this lesson. Use examples to provide details about those strengths. Discuss
the things that you need to improve upon and why. Also include information on how you could improve this lesson (what you would do
differently?) if you had to teach this lesson again. Incorporate feedback from your teachers and/or instructors observation of your lesson. Use
direct quotes or notes.


What instructional
changes do you need
to make as you
prepare for the
lesson tomorrow?
Description of Patterns of Learning:
Includes both quantitative and qualitative consistencies for different groups of students and individuals across the whole class. Quantitative
patterns indicate the number of similar correct responses or errors across or within student assessments. Qualitative patterns include
descriptions of understandings and/or misunderstandings, partial understandings, and/or attempts at applying a strategy that underlies the
quantitative patterns.

Adapted from Deborah Layzell Illinois State University

Adjustments Based on Patterns of Learning:


If you could teach
this lesson again to
this group of
students what
changes would you
make to your

Whole class:

Groups of students:

Individual students:


Why will these
changes improve
student learning?

What research/
theories support
these changes?
Make sure to cite in APA.

Additional Information

o Auman, M. E., & Maureen, E. (2003). Step up to writing. Sopris West.
o Identifying academic language demands in support of the common core standards. (2012, May 24). Retrieved from
o Teachers pay teachers. (2013, October). Retrieved from


See attached.
Worksheets for the students:
o What is an Opinion Piece? Sheet
o Example of the opinion piece
o Graphic organizer
o Support your reasons with facts sheet
o Draft sheets for paragraphs
o Peer editing sheets
o Final draft sheets