Monday, February 11, 2013

Informational Text--Studying Author's Point of View in Persuasive Writings (Social Studies)

Common core lessons will turn students into detectives as they work in teams, and later on their own, to gather meaning from a wide range of reading materials from all disciplines.  For students to succeed in the world of work beyond high school or college, they must be able to read and analyze demanding written texts. This new feature of the common core will shift the focus from fiction to non-fiction/informational text.  Further, this will no longer fall on English or English language arts teachers to teach reading and writing.  Now, every content teacher will be teaching reading and writing.

So what does a class dealing with informational text look like?   Click on the hyperlink below and see a middle social studies teacher lead a lesson on finding author's point of view.  She does a think-aloud to model the procedure that she wants the students to follow with partners.  As she reads through the first writing, she points out words that describe the author's opinion of the pilgrims.  The class discusses what those words mean and how they display a writer's opinion.

The modeling now sets students up to do this activity with partners.  Students must read, in groups, other the writings of other authors on the same period.  By identifying key vocabulary (highly descriptive nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives), students discuss within the small groups, why they picked certain words and how those words depict an author's opinion.

It is truly difficult to believe that this is a middle school class--they are more mature than many of high school students I know:)




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