This 12-lesson unit builds upper elementary students' ability to read technical texts that have few text feature supports and their knowledge of human biology. The focus is on how and why the author groups (or chunks) information and how readers can notice that invisible organization. Students will read independently, make connections across texts, and write about the content and author's choices. The lessons will take between 30 and 40 minutes per day, with a bit of extra time for the written assessment at the end of the unit.
General Lesson Structure for this Unit (Lesson 1 - 8):
• Teaching Point/Objective
• Teacher Model (different ways to chunk info)
• Students Practice in groups (connect to chunking info)
• Student Written Reflection (connect to author’s purpose)
• Students share what they learned across groups (connect to purpose of learning new info)
1. Seymour Simon Books -
• For teacher: The Brain (1 copy/teacher)
• For students: Muscles, Lungs, Guts, The Heart, Bones (depending on resources/student preferences, order enough of these books so each student can have their own or they can share with one other student)
2. Student Unit Packet
3. Document Camera & Projector or Overhead Projector
4. Post-it Notes (at least 25 small notes and 5 large post-its/student)
It is recommended to purchase and use the Seymour Simon Student Unit Packet with this unit.
About the author: I am an accomplished upper elementary literacy teacher who had the highest student growth percentile in the state of Massachusetts two years in a row. My students achieved this growth with curriculum written by me.