As standardized tests take the focus of instruction, unfortunately social studies and science topics fall by the wayside. In my classroom, I try to incorporate social studies and science topics into our reading block. This allows students to practice the skills they learn in reading, but also learn about people, historical events, and scientific discoveries!
This passage outlines the life and accomplishments of William Penn's life. After the passage, there are 10 comprehension questions to check students' understanding of the passage. Students are required to go back and highlight where they found their answer, which increases accuracy, and is a good test-taking strategy. Along with the comprehension questions, I've included 3 different open-ended questions about the passage that requires students to use critical thinking skills. Based on your class, you can choose which one is the best for you. You could also use all three in an "I Do" (model), "We Do" (scaffolded practice), "You Do" (assessment) release of responsibility.
This activity can be used in a center, in partners/small groups, or as an individual assignment. It could even be sent home as homework to accompany a unit on Famous Americans.
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