This lesson plan goes with the Sleuth magazine component of the new reading series, Reading Street, by Pearson. The article referenced is not included in this download.
Included in this download are the Sleuth Lesson Plan, Student Note-taking sheet, Writing Graphic Organizer, and Exemplar Written Response Answer for "The Swap"
Grade 5, Unit 2 Week 4, Main Selection The Summer’s Trade
Many teachers are under the wrong assumption that the writing portion of Sleuth called “Make Your Case” is an opinion writing in which students “get” to choose which side to support. It is not. It is analytical/argumentative writing, which means the text chosen has been specifically chosen for its slant on an issue and the prompt requires the students to analyze the text evidence enough to “see” the slant and present it as their answer. This is a task that requires a high level of critical thinking and a process that many of our students need support in order to “get.” These graphic organizers will help students extract the correct facts from the article in order to lead them to the correct written response to the prompt. Without these graphic organizers, many students are not being “taught” how to answer analytical/argumentative writing prompts and left asking, “Huh?”
Did you know that Sleuth has the potential to be the biggest weapon in your arsenal for amazing test scores? Sleuth can have a huge impact on your students’ ability to think critically…if it’s taught correctly.
In this download you get:
1. Explanation page on "What is Analytical Writing?"
2. 2 page lesson plan on how to teach Sleuth.
3. Blank "Make Your Case" student graphic organizer for students to take notes and learn how to analyze information (the analyzing part) and ANSWERS
4. Blank student writing graphic organizer for students to organizer their written responses (the organizing part) and ANSWERS
5. An exemplar written response answer, color-coded by main ideas
These components are needed because, we can’t just ask students higher level questions, we have to teach them how to think through them in order to arrive at the answer.
I have 20 years of writing training and elementary teaching under my belt. I have spent hundreds of hours perfecting these lessons so that you don’t have to. Reading over my lesson plan, answer sheets, and exemplar response will let you know ahead of time the direction to lead your students for each particular article. And, there's really no second guessing yourself during the lesson as the sheets have all the answers you'll need. It is my hope that this relieves some of the stress and pressure that teachers without this resource may be feeling. You are after all, trying to teach college-level writing to elementary students! I have felt from the start, and still stand by it, that what Sleuth requires of our students is beyond what their little minds are capable of. Without additional support, many of our students are left asking, “Huh?” Help has arrived.
Due to its challenging and cognitively complex tasks, Sleuth actually has the potential to be the biggest weapon in your arsenal for amazing test scores. The graphic organizers and answer key included in this download are individualized for THIS PARTICULAR ARTICLE. This download will help you get the most out of every minute you spend teaching Sleuth, help your lessons flow smoothly, and give your students the solid background they need to become experts in analytical/argumentative writing at the elementary level. Do this weekly, and your students will never look and think about words on a page the same. Keep these resources a secret if you want to blow everyone’s test scores away, or share with your colleagues and make friends forever.