SNOW DAYS: An ELA Non-Fiction Mini-Unit

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0.05 MB   |   11 pages

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Add REAL non-fiction into your class on a topic that we ALL care about: snow days!

Use this mini-unit in your regular ELA class, OR assign pieces of it as actual homework on a snow day (especially if your school policy requires it!) Use every assignment, or pick and choose your favorite ones for students to complete.

Based on the essential question of whether or not students should have homework/virtual school on snow days, this Common Core-aligned mini-unit has several components:

RI.1& RI.4: Non-fiction reading: Students read 4 articles from the New York Times’ Room for Debate section with conflicting viewpoints. Then, students answer text-dependent viewpoints about the authors’ main ideas, strength of arguments, and word choices

W.7: Short Research Project: Students get in small groups to research whether or not snow days can be accurately PREDICTED, and if any superstitions WORK.

W.1, W.2, W.3, and W.7: Writing Menu: Students choose 3 out of 9 options and write at least one informative, narrative, and argumentative writing each! Prompts ask students to write about parent, teacher, and personal viewpoints on snow days.

SL.4: Speaking Skills: Once all the writing is done, students choose one of their pieces to read aloud to the class so you can assess speaking skills!

SL.1: Socratic Seminar: Students prepare written responses to 4 questions in advance, and one of them will be their Socratic Seminar discussion topic!

As a BONUS, this unit also includes a poetry activity in the style of my Poetry Mad Libs products; students read Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and create their own parodied versions of the poem. Use this as a competition to motivate students to create poems and share them!

This 11-page download includes up to two weeks* of instruction:
• Teacher’s Page: Includes additional product info, including a sample calendar
• Directions/overview page for students
• Choice writing menu: 9 prompts for all 3 strands of writing
• Unit Rubric: assess everything in one place!
• Non-fiction reading questions & answer key
• Socratic Seminar: preparation and participation sheet
• Bonus poetry activity (optional)

*This estimate varies widely based on your homework policies, how much in-class work time you provide, and how much time you spend on sharing student writing or going over correct answers.

Last File Update: January 17, 2015

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You may also like…

Some of my other non-fiction and research materials:
"Why Grammar?" A non-fiction reading & writing unit
"Why Poetry?" Non-Fiction Mini-Unit
A Christmas Carol: Non-Fiction Reading Activity
Bundle of 10 “Short Research Projects”

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Total Pages
11
Answer Key
Included
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks

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SNOW DAYS: An ELA Non-Fiction Mini-Unit
SNOW DAYS: An ELA Non-Fiction Mini-Unit
SNOW DAYS: An ELA Non-Fiction Mini-Unit
SNOW DAYS: An ELA Non-Fiction Mini-Unit