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Engaging Students With Text

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Ashley Sanchez

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Engaging Students With Text

Text One
Engaging Students With Text
Engaging Students with Text
Ashley Sanchez
University of Southern California
October 27, 2013
Education 505
Dr. Stephanie Kim
Text Three
Text Sets Benefits and Game Plan
Students are taught content through various mediums in the classroom. However, the most traditional and widely used are textbooks. Textbooks are the cornerstone of many teacher’s instructional processes and act as conduits of information and provocative thought. As educators, we are responsible to determine how well our textbook meets the needs of our diverse classroom and what we need to do to support it’s deficiencies to create a well-rounded curriculum. Once a teacher surveys their textbook and has determined what the textbook is lacking, they can select other texts to enhance the content. Supplemental texts or text sets can potentially deepen a students understanding of content and create a livelier learning environment that makes the content more accessible. Supplemental texts or text sets are a combination of various mediums all aligned in the same content area. For example, a text set can include other books, historical articles, videos, and photographs (Goodman, 2008). The ultimate goal of text sets is to create a deeper meaning of the content and make concepts more comprehensible and understandable by students (Ivey, 2002). In order to enhance the classroom textbook, History Alive, I have selected three texts that form a text set of Youtube, Hammurabi’s Code, and a Creation Story.
Supplemental texts or text sets are not meant to replace textbooks but are intended to enrich the curriculum with additional resources and scaffolding. Through the selected text sets students will gain a deeper understanding of the religion, law, and culture of ancient Mesopotamia. These texts reinforce the content in the textbook in a manner that makes it accessible to everyone in the class. The teacher is also able to assess areas of weakness and strengths by utilizing different literacy strategies. Combining the textbook, text sets, and literacy strategies a teacher can form a more meaningful and successful curriculum.
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Learning Outcome
Students will be able to create a deeper understanding of an ancient Mesopotamian society through watching a youtube vidoe

Students will be able to display their understanding through the use of Cornell Notes.
Learning Strategy
Text Two
Mrs. Madsen's Sixth Grade social studies class is currently studying ancient Mesopotamia and relying primarily on the textbook “History Alive! The Ancient World” (TCI, 2004). There are a total of 32 sixth graders in Mrs. Madsen’s second period social studies class. Out of the 32 students, 14 are English Language Learners that range from level three to level five. The majority of the EL students are lacking in reading comprehension. There are 32 students in her second period social studies class with 14 English language learners. History Alive is reading age appropriate, however it does push the beyond their comfort by introducing academic language they haven’t been exposed to. Appealing to the student’s ZPD furthers learning but History Alive does not do enough to support the ZPD and retention (Ormrod, 2001). The units are short and packed with a lot of content with very brief chapter summaries that are not sufficient for test preparation. The biggest inadequacies are the text does not include examples that will relate to the students and it requires more scaffolding for English language learners. To supplement the shortcomings of the textbook I have selected a text set to assist in content literacy.
Youtube is a great academic resource for quick supplementary content; aiding the absorption of information. This video assists in creating a visual of ancient Mesopotamia that connects to the students, while providing factual information.
Youtube Video
Page 1
Page 2
Alavosus, L. (ed.), Bergez, J. (ed.), Apple, A. (ed.), Embree, A. (ed.), Stephenson, T.
(ed.), Sanchez, L. (ed.), Kefauver, L. (ed.) (2004). History alive: the ancient world.
Palo Alto, Teachers’ Curriculum Institute Second Edition.

Ormrod, Jeanne Ellis. Educational Psychology: Developing Learners. (7th edition).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill, 2011. Print.
Vacca, R. Vacca, J. Mraz, M. (2011). Content are reading: literacy and learning across
the curriculum (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

(2010, February 17). Sumerian history, mythology, prophecy [web video] retrieved from.
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Learning Outcome
Students will make predictions about the punishments of Hammurabi's code from ancient Mesopotamia.

Students will be able to identify the judgement and punishment of Hammurabi's Code of Laws and gain a deeper understanding of the civilization in ancient Mesopotamia.
Ancient Mesopotamia had very complex civilizations. The textbook shifts from the agricultural advances and jumps right into the reign of Hammurabi. We have supplemented the abrupt transition from farm to Kingdom with giving the students a window into the culture of the people and their creation story. Now we will give them a look into the laws of the land. I felt that there was more to be learned about the people and the civilizations by examining the laws a little closer than just mentioning them. Unfortunately, the student may find it dull so I have created a little exercise where they are given infractions (a word used at their school for breaking the rules) and they have to predict what the punishment was. This prediction exercise draws the students into what they are learning and requires them to tap into their previous knowledge from the text which is in line with constructivist theory (Vaca, Vaca, Mraz, 2011)(Ormrod, 2001). Having a guessing exercise gives students and opportunity to play and learn at the same time. Sociocultural theory encourages play and learning (Ormrod, 2001). This also creates an excitement and anticipationg about what they are going to learn (Vaca, Vaca, Mraz 2011).
The Code of Hammurabi
Common Core
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6 Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Learning Outcome
Students will be able to compare and contrast the creation story of ancient Mesopotamia and the creation story from Christianity.
Learning Strategy
The students have already been introduced to ancient Mesopotamia’s agricultural innovation but have yet to get into their cultural background. The textbook gives a great deal of information but does not provide enough of a story behind it. To begin and introduction to the Mesopotamian culture I chose a unit on creation stories. In order to appreciate the foundation of their religion and cultural practices students need to understand where Mesopotamians thought they came from. The British Museum has done a wonderful job summarizing the creation story with photographs and direct statements that will not confuse the students. This is also great for EL Learners who maybe trouble with academic language. Adding visual, interactive, aids helps ELL’s learn better (Peregoy, Owen, 2013). In order to draw connections to their modern world I provided a creation story of Christianity for them to compare the story to. This will allow them to really examine the differences and similarities and prepare the students to examine future units with the clear knowledge that everyone has a different story. Including Christianity will use their prior knowledge and connect ideas to their prior knowledge as outline in cognitive theory (Ormrod, 2001). Using these stories is also socio-cultural theory because many students will be Christian and or have been exposed to the story through their lifetime (Ormrod, 2001).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.6 Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Learning Strategy
Students will be supplied with a prediction sheet that lists eight of Hammurabi's Codes. They will read the infraction and make a prediction about what they think the punishment was during the time of Ancient Mesopotamia. After completing the predictions they will be supplied with the laws and locate the actual punishments that would have been given by Hammurabi. The teacher will have the students start with the prediction worksheet. Students will be given fifteen minutes to complete what they believe would have happened to those who broke the rules. After fifteen minutes the teacher will then call the attention of the class and hand out a copy of Hammurabi’s code. This will not be a complete listing but will have several of the laws with the answers mixed in. In pairs they will work together to locate the punishments. Working in pairs will help students who may not be able to readily locate the laws and make for a more collaborative learning environment for the students and ELL’s (Ormrod, 2001) (Peregoy, Boyle, 2013). After they have completed the exercise we will have a group discussion about their findings. The instructor will use guiding questions to help students decipher how the laws provide more insight to the culture of the ancient Mesopotamians. The teacher will use the discussion as a formative assessment.

Creation Story
Students will be able to analyze the differences between ancient Mesopotamia and Christianity's creation stories through a compare and contrast diagram.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9 Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
To learn more about the Mesopotamian mythology and religion students will examine the creation story of ancient Mesopotamia from The British Museum that provides a visual and written storyline. They will then visit the University of Southern California’s website depicting the creation story of Christianity. In pairs students will examine both story and determine the differences and similarities using a compare and contrast worksheet. This strategy will give students and opportunity to see how every civilization has a story about where they come from and that many of them have similar themes. Even creation stories they hear today. Once the exercise is completed the teacher will call the students to share what they have found and the teacher will make a large master compare and contrast diagram on the white board. This will allow students to see their peers interpretation of the stories, what they may have missed, and gives the teacher and opportunity to give a formative assessment (Anderson, Krothwohl, 2001) based on their contribution. The assessment is formative because the teacher will be able to determine their progress through the pair and share activity.
Goodman, J.R. (2008). Text Sets: Providing possibilites for adolescent readers. University of South Carolina. Retrieved: October 30, 2013. web
Examples of Text Sets or Supplementary Text
Short nonfiction selections
Picture books
Newspaper articles
Short stories
Biographical information
Internet pieces
Student writing
Mathematical writing

Historical recounts
Primary sources
Song lyrics
Letters and journals
Pictures of artwork
Charts and graphs

(Goodman, 2008)
As stated earlier, History Alive’s chapter summaries are very brief and provide little for a student to reference for studying. In addition, History Alive uses academic language with little clarification. Youtube has become a wonderful resource for teachers and student alike. Many contemporaries and historians have used to Youtube to upload reenactments and shorts to make the content more palatable. This particular video is an overview of ancient Mesopotamia through the voice of a child. This point of view presentation (Vaca, Vaca, Mraz, 2011) directly relates to the students age group and gives them a window into what their life could potentially be like. It is also very informative using academic language and vocabulary that is directly from their textbook. Youtube breaks up the mundane reading out of a book and provides them with both entertainment and education. Watching videos also retells what their textbook has written. By adding this to the text set it provides further scaffolding for students who have trouble reading and are EL learners
History Alive’s approach to ancient Mesopotamia content heavy with little review strategies for students or note taking skills. Students will view this video as a class and take Cornell Notes. Cornell Notes is a great way teach students important note taking skills and help them synthesize what they are learning (Vaca, Vaca, Mraz, 2011). Cornell Notes require students list important themes, idea, events, vocabulary, questions, and to summarize what they have learned at the end of the their note taking page. This process allows students to reflect on their learning and what more they need to know. It is important to develop students metacognition and help they recognize how they learn (Ormrod, 2001) This method provides a teacher and idea where students are still having trouble in understanding so they can scaffold their learning further. This form of note taking helps comprehension of material and teaches students to synthesize, identify main ideas, and reflection. After they take their Cornell Notes students will be allowed to review their notes in pairs to see if they can answer each other’s questions. They will be required to turn in their notes and the teacher will grade their notes for completeness. This will give a teacher an opportunity to see how their note taking is developing, where student’s questions are, and if they need to scaffold learning further.
Students will be able to practice synthesizing information and identifying main ideas through their Cornell Notes.
British Museum. Gods, goddesses, demons and monsters. retrieved: October 29, 2013. web
University of southern california. The origins of humanity: a look at origin stories. Retrieved: October29,2013.web
Students will be able to synthesize what they have found through their compare and contrast diagram in a paragraph answering the question "What can be inferred about ancient civilizations and the world they lived in based on their creation stories?"
The code of Hammurabi is one of the most famous and infamous features of Mesopotamian history. Examining the Codes will be fun and informative. Igniting their curiosity about Mesopotamia
Peregoy, S. Boyle, O. Reading, Writing, and Learning in ESL(6th edition).
Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013. Print.
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