OUTLINING YOUR FIRST UNIT

LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORERecently I received an Email message from a reader who wanted to know what to include in an “ideal” first unit.

In my new book, Literacy and the Common Core, I offer a sample 5th-grade unit that can be adapted easily for most middle grades.[1] While not a complete unit plan, it will give you a sense of direction:

WEEK 1: (RIT 5.1, RIT 5.4)

  • Teach the Comprehension Process. See The Literacy Cookbook[2] and the TLC “Comprehension 101” page for details.[3]
  • Teach 4 key critical reading skills (paraphrasing, inference, vocabulary in context, inferring main idea). Students practice paraphrasing and inferring from various texts. See The Literacy Cookbook[4] and the TLC “Comprehension 101” page for details.[5]

WEEK 2: (RIT 5.2; W 5.2)

WEEK 3: (RIT 5.2, 5.7, 5.8; SL 5.1, 5.2, 5.3; L 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6; W 5.2)

  • What are the central ideas in this text? How are these supported? (I Do, We Do, You Do)
  • Repeat with multiple texts (from print and digital media).
  • Introduce Socratic Seminar (See The Literacy Cookbook[7] and the TLC “Socratic Seminars” page for materials and a recipe) and students practice discussing the texts.

WEEKS 4 and 5: (RIT 5.5, 5.6; SL 5.1, 5.2, 5.3; L 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6; W 5.2)

Using multiple texts focused on the same topic/event/person/idea:

  • Identify the genre and structure [mini-lessons on genre and structure]
  • Compare and contrast the structures/genres of the different texts.
  • Compare and contrast different points of view.
  • For each text: What are the central ideas, and how are they supported?

WEEK 6: (RIT 5.5, 5.6, 5.9; SL 5.1, 5.2, 5.3; L 5.1, 5.3, 5.4, 5.5, 5.6; W 5.2 and 5.9b)

Use multiple texts to build an argument: Given a question, refer to the different texts to respond to the question in writing (for practice/homework) and in Socratic Seminars.

In addition, here are two other factors you should consider when planning this first unit:

[1] Sarah Tantillo, Literacy and the Common Core: Recipes for Action (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014), 104-5.

[2] Sarah Tantillo, The Literacy Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013), 7-13.

[3] The TLC “Comprehension 101” page can be found at http://www.literacycookbook.com/page.php?id=5.

[4] Sarah Tantillo, The Literacy Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013), 13-43.

[5] The TLC “Comprehension 101” page can be found at http://www.literacycookbook.com/page.php?id=5.

[6] Sarah Tantillo, Literacy and the Common Core: Recipes for Action (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2014), 131-144.

[7] Sarah Tantillo, The Literacy Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013), 125-136.

[8] Isabel L. Beck, Margaret G. McKeown, and Linda Kucan, Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (New York: The Guilford Press, 2002).

[9] Sarah Tantillo, The Literacy Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2013), 28-36.

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About theliteracycookbook

In addition to this blog, I am the creator of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK Website (www.literacycookbook.com) and ONLY GOOD BOOKS Blog (http://onlygoodbooks.wordpress.com/), and the author of THE LITERACY COOKBOOK: A Practical Guide to Effective Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Instruction (Jossey-Bass, 2012) and LITERACY AND THE COMMON CORE: Recipes for Action (Jossey-Bass, 2014). Check out my Website for more information about my consulting work.
This entry was posted in Argument, ELA Common Core Standards, Evidence, Grammar, Inference, Lesson-planning, Literacy and the Common Core BOOK, Main Idea, Nonfiction, Paraphrasing, Reading, Reading Informational Text, Resources, Roots, Socratic Seminars, The Literacy Cookbook BOOK, TLC Website Resources, Unit-planning, Vocabulary, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to OUTLINING YOUR FIRST UNIT

  1. Fiona says:

    This is wonderful, thank you! I will be referring to it as school gets back underway. Thank you for sharing 🙂

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