5th Grade Historical Literacy Curriculum outlines the content of social-studies integrated units taught within the readers' and writers' workshop framework and taught daily for 90 minutes. Each six week unit contains standards, teaching points, vocabulary, and assessments. Readers' and writers' workshop naturally differentiates for all learners. By June of 2020, each unit will have a slide deck associated with it that contains the teaching points, integrated grammar work, vocabulary, and strategies for partner practice. Our district places careful emphasis on vocabulary, as we have a high percentage of English Language Learners.
This module—intended to be used in conjunction with a Social Studies unit about Latin America—features a close read of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World (1160L)* by Kathryn Lasky. This beautifully illustrated informational text describes the work of scientists documenting the biodiversity of rainforests. The specific literacy focus is on reading scientific and technical text as well as writing to inform and explain. In the first unit, students build basic background knowledge about the rainforest (particularly those of the Western Hemisphere), and begin to examine how scientists closely observe the natural world to then help them communicate their research through carefully organized and worded scientific text. Unit 2 focuses on a case study of Meg Lowman, the researcher featured in The Most Beautiful Roof in the World. Students then analyze the structure and function of scientific field guides and filed journals determining what quality field guides and journals look and sound like. Students research about a living thing that scientist Meg Lowman may encounter in the rainforest in her research and write with clear and effective word choice about their chosen insect of the rainforest. As the final performance task, students produce an informational report and then field journal–style pages intended for younger readers.
This module begins with a brief study of the importance of sports in American culture over time. The heart of this module is a whole class study of the short but challenging biography Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America (1030L) by his daughter, Sharon Robinson. (Students will read selected segments; some of these will be read aloud.) Students will analyze Jackie Robinson as a specific example of an athlete who served as a leader who broke barriers in society. They will also begin to study argumentative writing, analyzing how the author Sharon Robinson provides evidence to support her opinions. In Unit 3, students then choose to learn about one of three other respected sports figures (Roberto Clemente, Babe Didrikson, or Jim Thorpe). Students will develop their understanding of the cultural context in which these athletes competed and the barriers these athletes broke during the times in which they lived. Students will build their research skills by reading biographical articles and other informational texts and by participating in Webquests. They also will continue to build their skills to write arguments based on multiple sources, focusing on crafting clear opinions and providing sufficient reasons and evidence. For the final performance task, each student will write a letter to a publishing company explaining the need for a biography about their selected athlete, in which they discuss the athlete, evaluate the barriers that he/she broke during the era in which he/she lived, and give an opinion about the importance of that athlete’s impact on American society. They must support their opinions with evidence from their research.
Paraphrasing helps students make connections with prior knowledge, demonstrate comprehension, and remember what they have read. Through careful explanation and thorough modeling by the teacher in this lesson, students learn to use paraphrasing to monitor their comprehension and acquire new information. They also realize that if they cannot paraphrase after reading, they need to go back and reread to clarify information. In pairs, students engage in guided practice so that they can learn to use the strategy independently. Students will need prompting and encouragement to use this strategy after the initial instruction is completed. The lesson can be extended to help students prepare to write reports about particular topics.
Students read and listen to biographies. Students will conduct a research project on a biography of their choosing, make a timeline, write a report and use it to create a seven slide presentation in Google Slides about the Native American person of their choosing.
This is a lesson for tropical rainforests that fits best for third- through fifth-grade students. There are multiple reading and writing strategies implemented within the lesson. Throughout the lessons, there will be opportunities to build upon prior knowledge, write, draw, and listen to sound effects of the rainforest. Students will use graphic organizers and websites to aid in the understanding and learning of rainforests. There are also extension lessons for students to create a list of questions in small groups to research. Throughout these lessons the students will be exposed to multiple media sources.Â