Shall We Save the Amazon

CPALMS Lesson Plan: Shall We Rescue the Amazon?

In this lesson, students will learn how humans are impacting the environment by reading various informational articles on the topic of saving the rain forests. Students will determine the meanings of unknown content-specific words, and identify the main idea and supporting details within the composition. They will write a summary of the text and respond to a prompt by writing an opinion essay.

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* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.

RELATED STANDARDS (4)

 

LAFS.4.RI.1.2: Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
LAFS.4.RI.2.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.
LAFS.4.W.1.1: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  2. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  3. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance, in order to, in addition).
  4. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
SC.4.L.17.4: Recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment.

 

SUMMARY

 

Title:  Shall We Rescue the Amazon?
Description: In this lesson, students will learn how humans are impacting the environment by reading various informational literature on the topic of saving the rain forests. Students will determine the meanings of unknown content-specific words and identify the main idea and supporting details within the composition. They will write a summary of the article and respond to a prompt by writing an opinion essay.
Instructional Design Framework:  General Lesson Plan
Keywords: habitats, rain-forest, amazon, environment, main idea, key details, vocabulary, graphic organizer, summarize, opinion essay
Intended Audience: Educators
Suggested Technology: Computer for Presenter, Internet Connection, LCD Projector, Microsoft Office
Reading in Content Area: Yes
Subjects:  Science,English Language Arts
Grades:  4
Nature of Instruction:  Direct Instruction,Writing to Learn
Instructional Time:  2 Hour(s), 0 Minute(s)
Special Materials Needed:
Instructional Components: Lesson Plan (Primary Type), Worksheet, Assessment , Text Resource, Formative Assessment
Attachments:  Main Idea Table.docx Opinion Essay Rubric.docx Summary Rubric.docx
Resource Collection: CPALMS Lesson Plan Development Initiative
Uploaded Files: Main Idea Table.docx Summary Rubric.docx Opinion Essay Rubric.docx

ASSESSMENT

 

Formative Assessment:
  • Students will be given sticky notes to record what they know prior to the lesson about the rain forest. Instructor will use a KWL chart that is divided into three sections to define what the learners Know (K), Want to know (W), and Learn (L). This chart should be placed on large chart paper in a visible location for all learners to view. The instructor will ask students to give feedback, sharing what they know about the rain forest.
  • Students will continue completing the KWL throughout the lesson. Instructor will ask learners what they would like to know about the rain forest. These responses will be written by students on sticky notes, then posted under the W section of the KWL chart.
  • Students will complete the L section of the KWL Chart, describing what was learned, after reading texts that focus on the rain forest.
Educative Assessment: Instructor will review the K of the KWL chart to evaluate the comprehension of prior knowledge based on the rain forest topic. Throughout the lesson, the teacher will ask various guiding questions to monitor comprehension and provide immediate feedback to the learner. Students will be monitored during paired activities and provided feedback immediately.
Summative Assessment:
  • Students will use the Main Idea Table to write a brief summary of their text, providing the main idea with supporting details within the summary. The writing expectations for the summary: restates the main idea of the passage, includes at least 3 supporting details, explains how the details support the main idea, includes domain-specific vocabulary, and ends with a concluding sentence. A rubric will be used to evaluate mastery.

NOTE: Students will write the summary prior to writing an opinion essay. This will help the students solidify the main idea and supporting details before possibly using them to support their opinion.

  • Having students express their opinion about a real-world topic is a great way to motivate students to become aware of current issues. To encourage students to develop their argumentation skills, provide this prompt: Which is more important – saving the rain forest or clearing the land to provide more homes, plant grass, or raise cattle? Include at least 3 reasons (including information from the text) to support your opinion. The writing expectations for the opinion essay: states opinion regarding prompt, provides at least three reasons that are supported by facts and details, links opinion and reasons, and provides a concluding statement. A rubric will be used to evaluate mastery.

LESSON CONTENT

 

Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
  • When provided with informational text, students will be able to identify main idea and supporting details.
  • Students will be able to write a summary including the main idea with supporting details based on the text.
  • When given a writing prompt, students will write an opinion essay including supporting details.
  • Students will acquire new vocabulary through the reading of informational text.
  • Students will identify the ways that humans are impacting the environment.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
  • Where are rain-forests located around the world?
  • How are human lives impacted, such as indigenous people?
  • Which animals live in the rain-forest?
  • What do animals need to survive in the rain-forest?
  • What is happening to the rain-forests?
  • Who benefits from deforestation of the rain-forest?
  • How can I influence change?
  • How do I determine the main idea?
  • How do key details support the main idea?
  • How can I use my knowledge of the main idea and supporting details to write a summary about the text?
  • How does context help me determine the meaning of unknown words?
  • What are other strategies I can use when I don’t know a word?
  • Why is it important to support my opinion?
  • What should I include in an opinion essay?
  • How can I use text evidence to support my opinion on a topic?
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
  • Students should have background knowledge about nonfiction/informational text.
  • Students should be able to determine the main idea and supporting details in nonfiction text.
  • Students should know how to work together in small groups and independently.
  • Students should know how to use graphic organizers such a main idea table, vocabulary grids, and a KWL chart.
  • Students should be able to write one or more paragraphs on a topic including grade-appropriate organization, grammar, and conventions.
  • Students should have background knowledge about habitats.
  • Students should know strategies for determining the meaning of unknown words, such as context clues and dictionary use.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?  Hook: Engage students in a pre-reading activity that builds background about the rain forest, such as “Habitats – The Rain Forest” (600L). Pose guiding questions:

  • Where are rain forests located around the world?
  • Which animals live in the rain-forest?
  • What do animals need to survive in the rain-forest?
  • What is happening to the rain forests?

Prior Knowledge: Have students complete the first two sections of the KWL chart (see formative assessment).

  1. Introduce the text being used for modeling: “Saving the Rain Forest” (780L).
  2. Use a graphic organizer to identify and analyze the unknown words (see related resource section for sample graphic organizers). Choose words that students may be unfamiliar with from the modeling text and model the use of the organizer with the whole class. Possible words include extinct and habitat. Ask guiding questions:
    • How does context help me determine the meaning of unknown words?
    • What are other strategies I can use when I don’t know a word?
  3. Re-read the text, this time focusing on determining the main idea and supporting details. Pose guiding questions:
    • How do I determine the main idea?
    • How do key details support the main idea?

Using your Main Idea Table, model how to determine the main idea and supporting details of the modeling text. Be specific on the strategy you are teaching: have students identify key details in the text and then synthesize the details to determine the main idea. Discuss with students how the key details support the main idea.

 

  1. Model using the main idea and key details to write a summary of the text. Ask, “How can I use my knowledge of the main idea and supporting details to write a summary about the text?” Introduce the rubric so students know the expectations for their own writing in the next phase of the lesson.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?  Students will repeat the steps taken in the teaching phase with a different text. Students can work in small groups, with partners, or individually, as long as they are receiving teacher guidance and feedback.

  1. Provide a choice of nonfiction text about saving the rain forest to allow for different levels of readability:
  2. Provide students with the vocabulary graphic organizer. Have them identify unknown words (or the teacher can identify words in advance for each text) and determine the meaning of the words using a variety of strategies.
  3. Provide students with a Main Idea Table and have them find the main idea and supporting details of their chosen text. Remind them to explain how the details support the main idea.
  4. Once students have completed both graphic organizers, allow them to share their ideas with the class. Provide feedback as needed.
  5. Students will identify the ways that humans have impacted the environment in the Amazon, addressing whether each way provides a positive or negative impact. Draw a t-chart on the board or chart paper and label one side negative and the other side positive. Allow students to contribute ideas based on their texts.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
  • Allow students to share their writing.
  • Revisit the guiding questions.
  • Complete the L section (what we’ve learned) on the KWL chart.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
  1. Have students use the graphic organizers completed in the guided practice to write a summary of their text independently. Remember to review the rubric to clarify expectations. (See summative assessment.)
  2. Have students write an opinion essay on the following prompt: Which is more important – saving the rain forest or clearing the land to provide more homes? Include at least 3 reasons (including information from the text) to support your opinion. (See summative assessment.) Again, review the rubric prior to writing. Pose guiding questions:

 

    • Why is it important to support my opinion?
    • What should I include in an opinion essay?
    • How can I use text evidence to support my opinion on a topic?

ACCOMMODATIONS AND MODIFICATIONS

 

Accommodations:
  • Students can use pictures of animals and their environment to describe the rain forest.
  • ELL students may use Spanish-English Dictionaries.
  • Students working below grade level or who have difficulty reading the text may work in pairs to read or listen to the text.
  • Students working below grade level may work in pairs for support to complete the graphic organizer.
  • Break complex information into steps or identify key components.
  • Use graphic organizers to reinforce comprehension of the skill.
  • Repeat, paraphrase, and summarize key information, especially at end of lesson.
  • Use modeling and thinking aloud when teaching.
  • Give student list of important vocabulary.
  • Provide specific questions to prompt the student’s written response.
  • Provide a writing frame for the summary and/or opinion essay.
Extensions:
  • Have students research other ways that humans are impacting the environment in other parts of the world, both positive and negative impacts.
  • They could also research other types of habitats and whether or not they are endangered like the rain forest and why/why not.
  • Students could compare/contrast habitats using a Venn diagram.
Further Recommendations:  Check your science curriculum for additional leveled text about the science topic.

RELATED CPALMS RESOURCES (4)

 

Student Center Activity (Primary Type)  Vocabulary: Looking for Meaning In this FCRR Student Center Activity, the student will use strategies to identify the meaning of words in context.
Student Center Activity (Primary Type)  Vocabulary: Word Share In this FCRR Student Center Activity, the student will identify meaning of words in context.
Worksheet, Teaching Idea (Primary Type)  Distinguishing Main and Secondary Details In this resource students will distinguish main details from secondary details in a paragraph.
Worksheet, Teaching Idea (Primary Type)  Identifiying Topic Sentences and Determining Main Idea In this resource, students will identify the main idea of a paragraph using the topic sentence of a paragraph.

 

* Please note that examples of resources are not intended as complete curriculum.

 

SOURCE AND ACCESS INFORMATION

 

Name of Author/Source:  Sonya Rivers Stevenson
E-mail of Author/Source:  sstevenson@dadeschools.net
Is this Resource Freely Available?  Yes
Access Privileges: Public
License: CPALMS License – no distribution – non commercial

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This lesson was created using the CPALMS Lesson Planning Tool

This document was generated by using CPALMS – www.cpalms.org

 

 

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