Monday, May 5, 2014

Backwards Lesson Design - Regions

      This year I have worked to clarify all of the stages of backwards lesson design.  I am pleased to plan the thinking strategy routines within the learning plan stage, but continue to struggle with whittling down Enduring Understandings and Essential Questions.  As we weave social studies content into the readers and writers workshop, I don't know which Understanding to focus on.  I see the power of focus and continue to determine the best focus for kids.

Regions Nonfiction Unit
Stage 1 – Desired Outcome
Established Goals:
            Reader: Use strategies to make sense of difficult nonfiction/fiction text
Writer: Integrate information from multiple sources to interestingly explain important ideas
Researcher: Build knowledge through primary and secondary investigation of different aspects of a topic
Social Scientist: Compare region’s economy, culture, geography and issues; Create connections
Enduring Understandings:
Overarching understanding:
Researchers use tools of interviewing, reading, searching, etc. to build background knowledge. Questions drive discovery of new topics.

Overarching Understanding:
Multiple sources about a topic may contain conflicting views or biases. We use critical thinking skills to analyze and interpret that information.

Overarching Understanding:
Authors use a variety of nonfiction text features and literary devices to enhance understanding.

Overarching Understanding:
Readers use multiple thinking strategies to make sense of text.

Topical Understanding:
A region’s economy, culture, geography and issues shape the uniqueness of that region.

Topical Understanding:
Each unique region contributes to the U.S. as a whole.
Essential Questions:
Overarching question:
How do researchers build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic?

Overarching question:
How do social scientists discern the difference between opinion/impressions and facts?

Overarching question:
How do writers integrate information from multiple sources to interestingly explain important ideas?

Overarching question:
How do readers make sense of difficult text?

Topical Question:
How do a region’s economy, culture, geography and issues shape the uniqueness of that region?

Topical Question:
How does each unique region contribute to the U.S. as a whole? What is the interdependence of the regions?
Key Knowledge and Skills:
         Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences.
         Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources.
         Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition or understanding.
         Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and evidence.
Apply precise language and domain specific vocabulary
           Activate schema including background knowledge, experiences, and  connections in order to hinge new learning, and remember
           Create sensory images that deepen understanding through details
           Infer the motives, feelings, and perspectives of people to understand and empathize
           Determine importance across texts while considering different perspectives
           Monitor for meaning when analyzing  information to revise thinking
           Synthesize information from a variety of sources to create new understandings

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
6 facets of understandingexplain (generalize, make connections, put in their own words, have a sound theory), interpret (student offers a plausible and supported account of data, text, experience), apply (the student can transfer, adapt, adjust, address novel issues and problems), perspective (student can see from different points of view), empathy (student can walk in the shoes of people/characters,  self-understanding (student can self-assess, see the limits of their understanding, reflect metacognitively)
Performance Tasks:
Students will research one of the regions, compare facts and design a ThingLink or green screen interview to share knowledge. 

After reading several sources, students will write a multi-genre product including information, opinion and narrative to answer the essential question: What makes each region unique and how do the qualities within the regions connect?

Other Evidence:

           As an assessment to activate students’ background knowledge about the thinking strategies, we will use the thinking routine Chalk Talk.  

      The four questions students will answer in a "quiz"  include:  1) What makes each region unique? 2) How do different industries effect regions? 3) In what ways does geography affect the development of towns? 4) How does culture show in food, festivals, holidays, etc.?
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Long Term and Daily Targets (Content Language Objectives)
Learning Plan – What activities, experiences and lessons will lead to achievement (Acquisition, Meaning Making, and Transfer)
Planning Day
April 8
Region overview

How do we learn about new concepts?

Chalk Talk
Researchers/Readers/ Social Scientists/ Writers

Impressions and Interviews – Create questions

What Makes you say that?
Truth/Fact and Impressions/Opinion
Skim and Scan Textbooks

Choose a region with a group

Think Puzzle Explore
April 14
Sort impressions

50 States – Nifty Fifty
Create chart –
Economy, Geography, Issues, Culture


Teach note taking
Note taking and paragraph synthesis
April 21
Zooming In
 Synthesize Research
April 28
 What is synthesis?
 Synthesizing perspective 
 Synthesizing perspective
Practice script
 Practice Script
May 5
 Research and synthesis
 Green Screen Technology
 Review Sources
 Thinglink technology
Assessment Day
May 12
Collaborate in teams to make connections across content
 Write informative essays
Step Inside
 Multi-genre work
May 19
 Headlines about uniqueness of regions
 Chalk Talk connecting all regions
Memorial Day
May 27
Parent Share Night

At our Professional Learning Community, we created a metaphor for Backwards Lesson Design.  This is an image of our metaphor.  It is like creating a pasta dinner as the desired result, the evidence of success would come from the consumers, and the learning plan comes from all the components of recipe, etc.

1 comment:

  1. One of the many things I love about working with you Val is your relentless pursuit for making your own thinking visible. My UBd plan for this unit is not nearly as crisp and clean as yours, yet we are still skipping in the same direction. I love that our conversation during the creation of this beautiful anchor chart led me to keep questioning my own hopes and wishes for the enduring understandings of our kids. Thanks girl!