Category Archives: Essay

Pets in the Classroom ~ What’s Your Educated Opinion?

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Join the Great Debate:  Should we have pets in our classrooms?

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Offer Your Opinion:  Share your opinion on this poll prior to researching the matter further.

See what others think :  Using Debate.org, investigate what other people think on the topic:

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Educate Yourself: Watch this video Why Do Dogs Reduce Stress in Classrooms.  As you watch, think about the important ideas and information in the video. Take notes in your Reading & Writing Binder, capturing at least one reason and more than one piece of evidence that the video offers to teach us why dogs reduce stress in the classroom.

Go Deeper:  Study this informational text “Should You Have a Pet in the Classroom?”  Annotate the text, using your “notice and note” strategies.  In your Reading & Writing Binder, write a reason the article gives for why schools should allow pets in the classrooms, and write a quote from the article that explains that reason. Remember to quote directly so that you capture exactly what the text said.

Investigate the Counterargument: Study this Screen Shot 2014-08-09 at 9.30.13 AMinformational text Leave Animals Out of the Classroom, annotating the text as you read.  Choose one piece of evidence the author gives to support the central idea of the article and write it  in your Reading & Writing Binder.  Write to analyze how this evidence supports the author’s position on the topic.

Take an educated position: Researchers, you’ve done some good research now by studying this information and the ideas of these authors.  Now you’ll want to take a position on whether or not to allow pets in classrooms.  First, you’ll want to look over your notes, and the texts as well if you’d like, and decide, based on the best evidence from both articles, which side of the argument you’ll take up.

Then, imagine that you are writing an essay to send to the principal, clearing stating one side of the argument in a convincing way, and supporting that claim with strong evidence you’ve gathered in your research.  You’ll want to include information and details from the articles and video to support your claim.  Be sure to:

  • Quickly plan how you will organize this letter
  • Introduce the claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly
  • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating and understanding of the topic.
  • Use words, phrases and clauses to clarify the relationship among claim(s) and reasons, such as for example, for instance, in addition, moreover, furthermore, etc..
  • Maintain the formal style of a persuasive letter/essay.
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument.
  • Quote directly from the texts that you read and watched.

Put your best effort in your work and ENJOY the process!

Assessment:  Reading Information Texts and Argument Writing Performance Assessment.

Source:  The Reading and Writing Project

 

 

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Israel ~ Destruction and Reconstruction

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Sixth-Grade Scholars,

This week, we begin our Unit of Study on Israel ~ Destruction and Reconstruction.  This four-week unit will integrate our sixth-grade ELA common core standards and our sixth-grade History/Social Studies content standards.  Here are our priority standards for this unit.

Reading Informational Text:hispanic-student

  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; summarize the text.
  • Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Writing:

  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify relationships among claims and reasons.
  • With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Speaking and Listening:Speaking-and-Listening_290x220

  • Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

History/Social Studies:

  • Analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the Ancient 1059-721421Hebrews.

Here are some files we will use in our study.  Check back often, as I will continue to upload files as we proceed.

Documents:

Online Interactive Study Materials:

Dig deep and enjoy the quest, scholars!

Ms. Rankin

4th-Grade Writers Prepare for the Big Mac Attack!

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Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  The upcoming Great Brain Independent Research Project requires a five-paragraph essay about a selected topic of interest.  So, our fourth-grade students are taking their delicious writing skills to the next level by organizing and composing a juicy hamburger essay!    In this post, I will enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essayprovide examples of each yummy ingredient, and give you some tools to help you with your writing.

A five-paragraph essay includes an introductory paragraph which grabs the reader’s attention and states the thesis, three topic paragraphs that support the paper’s thesis, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes the paper’s main ideas.  Here is a Hamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay:

  1. The top bun: introduction (the grabber/hook) and thesis
  2. The tomatoes: thesis support 1
  3. The lettuce: thesis support 2
  4. The meat: thesis support 3
  5. The bottom bun:  conclusion

An example of a five paragraph essay is this very blog post (how very clever!).  Look at my introductory paragraph.  Do you see the grabber or hook?  Right..Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  Now, do you see the thesis?  …In this post, we will 1) enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essay, 2) provide examples of each yummy ingredient, and 3) give you some tools to help you with your writing.  My thesis has 3 topics that I can address in the body of my essay.  In my first thesis-supporting paragraph, I listed the components of a five-paragraph essay.  In my second thesis-supporting paragraph (this one you’re reading now :) ), I give you examples of each component.  In my third paragraph, I share some tools to help you write your hamburger essay.  And lastly, my concluding paragraph summarizes the main ideas of this writing.

Now, here are three handy  cooking utensils to help you in your writing kitchen: a hamburger graphic organizer, aHamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay, and the post “How to Write a Hamburger Essay ~ comparing paragraphs and essays to the beloved hamburger.”  After a few rounds of practice with these tools, you will be able to cook up a scrumptious hamburger essay.

In this post, I shared the ingredients of a five-paragraph hamburger essay, I provided specific examples of each ingredient, and I offered a couple of tools to help cook up a delicious essay.  Writing has never been so tasty.  Bon appetit!

Independent Research Project

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BrainHi Great Brains!

During the next four weeks, you will complete a Great Brain Independent Research Project.  Here are some materials you will need for success:

4th Grade Research Writing (PPT)

101 Research Paper Topics (List)

Bibliography Examples (Examples and Link)

Finding a Passion for Research (Choose a Topic Activity)

Great Brain Independent Research Project (Project Description)

Great Brain Independent Research Project – Spanish (Description in Spanish)

Great Brain Independent Research Project Reflection

GATE Showcase Projects 2012 (PPT)

Independent Study Research Cards (How to Organize Your Folder)

Independent Study Research Folder (Picture of Research Folder)

KWL Chart for Research

Online Essay Map (Website to Make Essay Map)

Outline for a Research Paper

Self Evaluation – 5 Paragraph Essay

Self Evaluation – Bibliography

Self Evaluation – Final

Self Reflection – Index Cards

Self Reflection – KWL Chart

Self Evaluation – Outline

Self Evaluation – Table of Contents and Chapter Notes

What is a periodical?

Writing a Research Report (Example of Writing Stages)

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Here are some videos to get your started:

  1. Choose a writing topic for an informational text
  2. Develop a research question
  3. Find answers to research questions by skimming texts for evidence
  4. Plan writing for an informational text
  5. Group research into categories to plan informational writing
  6. Write an introduction for an informational text
  7. Draft an informational, research-based writing
  8. Organize ideas in informational writing using headingsPicture 3
  9. Write a conclusion for an informational text
  10. Add text features to informational writing

Here are some kid-friendly online research sources:

Awesome Library

Encyclopedia Britannica

Fact Monster

ipl2 for Kids

KidsClick Web Search

National Geographic Kids

Scholastic News Weekly Reader (use Ren login)

Scholastic News (Sweet Sounds of Trash)

Time for Kids

Have fun building greater brains, Great Brains!

Ms. Rankin

Bonus Feature:  http://braingames.nationalgeographic.com (It will blow your mind!)

Our 4th-Grade Writers Prepare for the Big Mac Attack!

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Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  The upcoming GATE Showcase Research Project requires a five-paragraph essay about a selected topic of interest.  So, our fourth-grade students are taking their delicious writing skills to the next level by organizing and composing a juicy hamburger essay!    In this post, I will enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essay, provide examples of each yummy ingredient, and give you some tools to help you with your writing.

A five-paragraph essay includes an introductory paragraph which grabs the reader’s attention and states the thesis, three topic paragraphs that support the paper’s thesis, and a concluding paragraph that summarizes the paper’s main ideas.  Here is a Hamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay:

  1. The top bun: introduction (the grabber/hook) and thesis
  2. The tomatoes: thesis support 1
  3. The lettuce: thesis support 2
  4. The meat: thesis support 3
  5. The bottom bun:  conclusion

An example of a five paragraph essay is this very blog post (how very clever!).  Look at my introductory paragraph.  Do you see the grabber or hook?  Right..Look out for the Big Mac Attack  in a fourth-grade classroom near you!  Now, do you see the thesis?  Right again…In this post, we will 1) enumerate the  components of a five-paragraph (aka “hamburger”) essay, 2) provide examples of each yummy ingredient, and 3) give you some tools to help you with your writing.  My thesis has 3 topics that I can address in the body of my essay.  In my first thesis-supporting paragraph, I listed the components of a five-paragraph essay.  In my second thesis-supporting paragraph (this one you’re reading now 🙂 ), I give you examples of each component.  In my third paragraph, I share some tools to help you write your hamburger essay.  And lastly, my concluding paragraph summarizes the main ideas of this writing.

Now, here are three handy  cooking utensils to help you in your writing kitchen: a hamburger graphic organizer, a Hamburger Model for 5 paragraph essay, and the post “How to Write a Hamburger Essay ~ comparing paragraphs and essays to the beloved hamburger.”  After a few rounds of practice with these tools, you will be able to cook up a scrumptious hamburger essay.

In this post, I shared the ingredients of a five-paragraph hamburger essay, I provided specific examples of each ingredient, and I offered a couple of tools to help cook up a delicious essay.  Writing has never been so tasty.  Bon appetit!