Module 5 Project
These lessons are for an OLC 4O (Grade 12 Ontario Literacy Course) class. This course is designed to teach students who have not succeeded in passing the Ontario Literacy Test the reading and writing skills required to pass the test. The successful completion of the course allows them to graduate without having to rewrite the test.
ii. Students / Reading Challenges: there are 12 students in the course at various levels of reading proficiency. To elaborate:
o 3 students have been identified as non-exceptional, which means they struggled with reading in elementary school but have since proven themselves (through DRA testing) to be at grade level in terms of reading capability. They read faster than their peers in the course and are the strongest students.
o 3 students are reading below grade level as evident in their DRA scores. The three in this group each read at a Grade 8 / 9 level, but can read aloud and very fluently.
o 3 students read at grade level, but are very unmotivated to do so. These students are taking the OLC course primarily because they left sections of the test incomplete due to a lackadaisical approach to their schooling. They are not identified as learning disabled.
o 3 students read at grade level, yet struggle with comprehension of texts. All three of these students are identified as having trouble with short-term memory, which can make reading a challenge.
*Note: in the workshops, one student from each of the above groups will be placed to make 3 groups of 4 students.
The focus of the week’s lessons will be on workshops to read and understand the meaning of a short story by chunking the material and skimming / rereading sections of the text to extract meaning. The class will also produce a summary of this short story collectively in group workshops. The students will then use this knowledge to produce another summary of a different short story independently for submission and evaluation.
2. The Workshop Plans
a. The first lesson will focus on comprehension of a short story through chunking of the story into sections and answering short review questions about the text. The class will also make predictions based on their reading to demonstrate understanding of the text in small groups.
b. The text under study is the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” by Roald Dahl. (See link for full text version).
c. To model the strategy for the class, I would have us all read together the first page of the story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” I will reveal to the students that this story is very suspenseful, and that we will be practicing good comprehension of texts by skimming and rereading sections of the story and filling in the worksheets to find details of character, setting, etc. (see the attached chart) and making by making predictions about what will happen next, based on what we’ve read so far.
• See the attached chart (“Appendix A” page 9 of this document) for a sample model of the first section of the short story. This chart is a slightly modified version of the “rereading for Meaning” exercise that is detailed in the Ontario Think Literacy Document on page 20. (see pdf. link below)
These answers will be put on the blackboard and the students will copy them onto their worksheets. I will reveal to the class that they will be working in groups to read the story for meaning and to make predictions in a workshop. They will also be looking for words and phrases to deepen their understanding of the character and setting.
d) The Grouping: there will be 3 groups of four students, one from each of the groupings listed in Section ii of the overview. The groups will each include one of my non-exceptional students, because they are the strongest readers and can help keep the group focused and offer support. The non-exceptional students, because they read at grade level, tend to get bored with comprehension; however this model will allow them to show leadership, which will keep them actively engaged.
e) The Work:
Following the model I provide on the worksheets, the students will work together in their groups of 4 to answer the questions and fill in their worksheets (see model, Appendix A) for each section of the story.
I will inform the class to pause at the various breaks in the story (after each page, or roughly 300 words) to ask the groups to work together to fill in their charts. These breaks will be posted on the board so the groups know where to stop.
The group of four will have the following tasks, which will be rotated for each section:
i. One member reads aloud the section for the group as the others follow silently.
ii. One member does the “First Reread” (skimming silently) and looks for the answers to fill in the chart to share with their group.
iii. One person does the “Second Reread” (skimming silently) and fills in the appropriate answers for the group.
iv. The last group member does the “Third Reread”, skimming to make the summary.
* All group members are responsible for making predictions to share.
The group members rotate these tasks for each section; therefore every group member will have a chance to do the tasks at least once, most likely twice, before the reading is done. This format allows for students to reread a passage looking for specific criteria to help them understand how rereading and skimming can be beneficial when attempting to extract meaning from a text. My students with memory problems will find this exercise helpful to remembering important details in the story in preparation for their summary.
Sharing the duties of reading aloud helps the students to build confidence, particularly those who have some difficulty or anxiety reading in front of the entire class. All students making predictions will allow them to connect and synthesize their understanding of the section by looking ahead to what’s next, working as a team.
f) As the story is somewhat lengthy, this class will be devoted to just the first half (4 pages). The final section (fourth page) will be read independently by each of the students during the final 10 minutes of class and their worksheets filled in for homework. We will discuss their findings, both as a group and individually at the top of tomorrow’s class.
a) Today’s lesson will focus on continuing to practice comprehension of a short story through chunking of the story into sections and answering short review questions about the text (see Appendix A for model). The class will also make predictions based on their reading to demonstrate understanding of the text in small groups.
b) “Lamb to the Slaughter” – Roald Dahl (second half)
c) The modeling for today’s activity will come from taking up the responses and predictions from yesterday’s workshop. This activity will be twofold: it will provide a good review of the material read (particularly for those with memory problems) and allow for a refocusing to complete the story in the workshops today.
I will ask for the groups to respond, and each group can add feedback for any of the answers if they differ from the answers discussed. The class will be instructed to add to their charts any other information that we cover that may not have been found by their groups.
After taking up the independent section that was assigned for homework, I will ask each class member to voice their prediction for what will happen next. The class will then be instructed to rejoin their groups and continue with the activity for the final 4 sections of the story.
d) The groups will be the same as yesterday to provide continuity to the exercise.
e) The plan for today’s lesson is to finish the workshops and complete the reading of the second half of the story. The group that did the Third Reread yesterday will rotate back to covering the First Reread, etc. As usual, I will monitor the reading time with the class to ensure that the activity is done in a timely manner by floating around to keep the groups on task.
f) I will stop the students right before the final section, the last page of the story. I will ask them to read the final section of the story independently and fill in their worksheets for this final section. They may reread / skim to find each question, and this will be taken up at the beginning of tomorrow’s class.
a) The skill for today will focus on constructing a summary of the short story “Lamb to the Slaughter” as a model for an independent summary of another short story.
b) “Lamb to the Slaughter” – Roald Dahl
c) I will inform the class that today they will be working in their groups to begin writing a summary of the story “Lamb to the Slaughter.” The summary will be approximately 250 words in length, or 4 paragraphs.
I will ask the class to examine their worksheets from yesterday. As a class, we will construct the first paragraph of their summary for “Lamb to the Slaughter.”
I will remind the class to use linking words to connect their sentences, and to only deal with two sections of the story per paragraph to avoid incoherence. The paragraphs should be about 6-8 sentences long.
d) The students will be placed into different groups for today’s activity, however the same method of grouping for the first workshop will apply. One student from each of the groups detailed in the Overview will be placed together (by me). Varying the group members for this task will allow students from the various groups to have some fresh insight and work with new people. Staying in the same groups may make the students feel too comfortable, and may be conducive to them straying off task.
e) In groups, they are to each take 2 sections of the story (there are 8 in total) and construct a paragraph summary of those sections. This will help them to practice the summary format without being overwhelmed by summarizing the whole story all at once.
o Once each group member has completed their sections, they will collaborate on putting each paragraph together, sequentially, to provide a coherent summary of the short story. Each group member is responsible for writing their own summary in full to have a as a model in their notes.
f) When each group has completed their rough summaries, I will ask a spokesperson from each group to read their group’s summary aloud. As a class we will add to or comment on any parts of the summary that need cleaning up in terms of grammar or structure in a free exchange of ideas. The groups will edit any changes on their own drafts suggested by the class.
a) The skill / strategy to focus today’s lesson will be independent summary of a short story. The class will use the knowledge of the skill they practiced in the first two lessons to read a new story.
b) “The Lottery” – Shirley Jackson (see full-text link below)
c) Today’s skill will be independent summarizing and predicting for meaning while skimming chunked sections of a short story (“The Lottery”). I will give the students the entire period to work through the same worksheets they filled in for “Lamb to the Slaughter,” only in this case they will be doing it independently for evaluation. I have chosen a text that is similar in length and readability to “Lamb to the Slaughter” so that the students can apply what they’ve learned in working in the grouped workshops to an independent demonstration of their skills.
d) The students will work individually today for most of the period to work on the worksheets provided. This will allow them to demonstrate the skills they developed while working in the workshop groups while working independently. This component is essential, as the course is designed for the students to develop the ability to read and comprehend stories on their own.
e) I will read the story aloud to the class, pausing for each section “break” while the class works quietly and independently on finding the information to fill in their charts.
o The story selected has much dialogue, and is somewhat easier to read than “Lamb to the Slaughter, which contained a lot of narration. Those who read below grade level should be able to tackle this story without a problem due to its very conversational style, but may need some assistance understanding the somewhat subtle ending. This will come about in a class discussion of the final scene of the short story.
o I will ask the class to read their predictions aloud before we proceed, to ensure everyone is finished.
f) Once we have read up to halfway through the story together, I will leave the class to finish reading the story, stopping at the bottom of each page to fill in their worksheets and make predictions. This will allow them to read at their own pace (those who may have fallen slightly behind with the whole-class read-aloud will have a chance to get caught up) and will be homework if not completed before the end of the period.
a) The skill / strategy for this lesson will be to produce and independent summary of the short story “The Lottery.”
b) “The Lottery” – Shirley Jackson
c) I will ask the class to review the model summary they did for “Lamb to the Slaughter” in their workshops, and we will discuss / review again the various ingredients of a good summary through brainstorming and looking at the summaries they produced. (eg. – concise description of story, including important facts, coherence, transitional sentences and linking words, etc. *See Appendix B for a list of Transitional Words and Phrases to be modeled).
d) The students will work independently on their own summaries, then move into their groups to Peer Edit. Using the same model as before (one student from each category in the Overview) I will place them in a third version of the group workshops foe editing.
e) i. As a class we take up the work done yesterday on Shirley Jackson’s “the lottery.” The class will share their findings and predictions and I will encourage them to add any information they may have missed. I will discuss the subtle ending, and have a question period for any struggles with the plot of the story itself. (especially for those who are reading below the grade 12 level).
ii. I will inform the students that they have the first half of the period to work on a rough draft of a proper summary of the short story, using the points they have already gathered on their worksheets.
iii. Once finished with a rough draft, the students will move into their groups to Peer edit each other’s summaries. The four group members will each be assigned a specific task to edit:
o One member will examine each of the group’s pages for spelling or punctuation errors. (Dictionaries may be needed for correction). (*I would give this task to the students who read below grade level, as they are skimming mainly for proper spelling, and not the ideas themselves.)
o One member will look for any coherence or sentence structure problems. (This task seems fitting for those who are more lackadaisical because it is not a complicated part of editing and may be interesting for them.)
o One member will read to ensure that the summary has all of the points represented for an accurate depiction of the story and weed out any unneeded details. (This task I would tend to give to those students with memory problems, as looking for similarities between the points on their page and the summary will be easier for them than trying to remember how words are spelled, etc.)
o One member will check over the work of the others to ensure the above-mentioned errors have all been found. (*This role I would give to my non-exceptional students, who are strong in writing and have produced very strong work in the past.)
* See Appendix C for a sample of the Summary Checklist for this exercise.
f) Working as an “editing assembly line” the group will work quickly to ensure that each summary is relative error-free. Since each group member is looking for only one or two specific things, the editing process should move swiftly.
The students will then take the comments / corrections on their rough copies to type up and submit a polished copy of the summary for evaluation.
Their completed worksheets for the story will also be submitted to allow me to see how well they’ve mastered the process of extracting meaning from the text while highlighting the most important events.
The summaries will be graded according to the Summary Rubric.
(see Appendix D).
Appendix A: Sample Chart for Modeling
Rereading for Meaning – Tracking My Understanding
Name of Work: “Lamb to the Slaughter” – Roald Dahl
Student Name: T. Chalmers
Section / Part of Story: 1
1 First Reread
a. Make connections to your background knowledge. What do you know already?
b. Ask one or more questions about the situation.
a. We already know that this story is a suspenseful story and that Mary Maloney, the main character seems to be a very loving wife because she waits all day for her husband to come home.
b. Why is her husband so tired?
Why does he drink his drink so quickly?
2 Second Reread
a. Find words said by a character – e.g., two direct quotations – that reveal his/her personal or physical qualities.
b. List two actions of the main character that reveal his/her personal qualities.
c. Find 2 words that describe the setting OR words that help you visualize the story.
d. Any unknown vocabulary words should be recorded here and defined for the group using the dictionary. Words / Actions:
a. “The drop of a head as she bent over her sewing was curiously tranquil. Her skin -for this was her sixth month with child-had acquired a wonderful translucent quality, the mouth was soft, and the eyes, with their new placid look, seemed larger darker than before.”
b. Mary watches the clock, hoping for her husband to arrive which shows she is a loving wife.
Mary also hangs up her husband’s coat and makes him a drink which shows that she is a devoted wife.
c. “warm” “clean” “tranquil”
d. “translucent” - clear; transparent
“placid” – pleasantly calm or peaceful
3 Third Reread
- Summarize the action in this section three points (Use complete sentences)
- Make predictions (1-2) about what will happen next.
Mary Maloney is excited as her husband arrives home.
Mary takes his coat and fixes him a drink which he drinks quickly.
Mary’s husband, Patrick, says he is tired and Mary rises to fix him another drink.
I think Mary’s husband may tell her something important, because he drinks his drink quickly and seems nervous.
Appendix B Transition Words
and Effect Compare
and Contrast Examples
and Emphasis Order Relationship
as a result
for this (these) reason(s)
in other words
compared with (to)
on the other hand
such as finally
to begin with after
at the same time
Appendix C Checklist for a Summary
shown an understanding of my source(s)/original text;
found the main idea of my source(s)/original text and at least two supporting details;
taken the whole text into account;
made appropriate connections to my source(s)/original text;
taken notes on key points.
planned my summary using rough notes.
written my summary in complete sentences;
omitted nonessential information and unnecessary words;
organized my ideas clearly to help my reader follow and understand my summary;
used transitions to link my ideas;
conveyed an effective tone through word choice and level of language;
not included opinion statements;
written an effective paragraph or series of paragraphs;
used third-person point of view consistently;
created a beginning, middle, and end that flow using connecting words and linking sentences;
used a consistent verb tense;
cited my sources, if appropriate.
Revising and Editing
used the stages of the writing process to revise my work;
asked a peer to read and critique my summary;
checked my grammar, spelling, and punctuation;
created a summary that will appeal to my audience and meet my purpose.
neatly and clearly written or typed my final copy.
Appendix D Summary Rubric
Categories Approaching the Required Level of Literacy
(0-49%) Achieving the Required Level of Literacy
(50-64%) Exceeding the Required Level of Literacy
(65-79%) Significantly Exceeding the Required Level of Literacy
- knowledge of form of summary
- demonstrates limited knowledge of form of summary
- demonstrates adequate knowledge of form of summary
- demonstrates considerable knowledge of form of summary
- demonstrates thorough knowledge of form of summary
- knowledge of strategies and processes - demonstrates limited knowledge of strategies and processes - demonstrates adequate knowledge of strategies and processes - demonstrates considerable knowledge of strategies and processes - demonstrates thorough knowledge of strategies and processes
- understanding of materials read - demonstrates limited understanding of materials read - demonstrates adequate understanding of materials read - demonstrates considerable understanding of materials read - demonstrates thorough understanding of materials read
- critical and creative thinking skills (making inferences to find the main idea, selecting pertinent ideas and details, organizing information, forming conclusions)
- demonstrates limited competence making inferences to find the main idea, selecting pertinent ideas and details, organizing information, forming conclusions
- demonstrates moderate competence making inferences to find the main idea, selecting pertinent ideas and details, organizing information, forming conclusions
- demonstrates considerable competence making inferences to find the main idea, selecting pertinent ideas and details, organizing information, forming conclusions
- demonstrates a high degree of competence making inferences to find the main idea, selecting pertinent ideas and details, organizing information, forming conclusions
- communication of information and ideas
- communicates information and ideas with limited clarity
- communicates information and ideas with some clarity
- communicates information and ideas with considerable clarity
- communicates information and ideas with a high degree of clarity
- communication for audience and purpose - communicates ideas and information for audience and purpose with limited effectiveness - communicates ideas and information for audience and purpose with moderate effectiveness - communicates ideas and information for audience and purpose with considerable effectiveness - communicates ideas and information for audience and purpose with a high degree of effectiveness
- use of form of summary - demonstrates limited control of form of summary - demonstrates moderate control of form of summary - demonstrates considerable control of form of summary - demonstrates extensive control of form of summary
- application of language conventions
- uses language conventions with limited accuracy and effectiveness
- uses language conventions with a moderate degree of accuracy and effectiveness
- uses language conventions with considerable accuracy and effectiveness
- uses language conventions accurately and effectively all or almost all of the time
- application of reading strategies - uses reading strategies with limited competence - uses reading strategies with moderate competence - uses reading strategies with considerable competence - uses reading strategies with a high degree of competence
- application of the writing process - uses the writing process with limited competence - uses the writing process with moderate competence - uses the writing process with considerable competence - uses the writing process with a high degree of competence
Appendix E: Resource List / Works Cited
Dahl, Roald. “Lamb to the Slaughter.”
Jackson, Shirley. “The Lottery.”
Course Profile: Ontario Literacy Course, Grade 12.
Ontario Think Literacy Document: Subject Specific Examples. English, Grades 10-12.
Differentiation Through Flexible Grouping : Successfully Reaching all Readers, Michael P. Ford, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. (pp. 3-8)
* Grouping Without Tracking Model used as inspiration for workshop project.