Information Literacy Collaborative Unit

I began this activity by reviewing the Spring 2010 CRCT results for grades 1-5 at Pearson Elementary in order to identify an area of weakness related to information literacy skills. While examining the School Performance Summary Report, I noticed that the third grade students scores appeared low in Reading for Information and Research and Writing Process. In the area of Research and Writing Process, their performance was 74% correct. I then examined the Class Performance Summary Report for third grade. I found that there were 20 test items in the ELA section known as Research and Writing Process. In one third grade class, the class mean # correct was 12.8, which was 64% correct. Another third grade class had a class mean # correct of 11.2, which was 56% correct. This means that most students only answered a little over half of the test items in that section correctly. I then gathered information about the skills that students are expected to learn in the area of Research and Writing Process. The skills include writing with coherence, using sensory details in writing, discriminating between relevant and irrelevant facts and details in writing, and finding good information quickly using a variety of resources. I thought that this would be a good area to target with a collaborative lesson since third grade students take a state writing test each year in addition to the CRCT. Additionally, our school improvement plan is focused on improving the performance of our students with disabilities, and there are several students with disabilities in the third grade this year. When I talked with the third grade teacher who has the inclusion classroom this year, she was willing to collaborate with me for this unit. We agreed that an upcoming unit on persuasive writing would be a good unit in which to address information literacy skills. We discussed the characteristics and skills of the students in her classroom. This information is summarized below: 17 students 9 boys, 8 girls Two students are English Language Learners. One student has repeated a grade. 8 students have Individual Education Plans to address areas of disability 1 student has a 504 Plan with classroom accommodations addressing Attention Deficit Disorder 6 students are receiving support through the Response-to-Intervention tiers due to academic weaknesses and/or speech-language weaknesses. 10 students are considered at-risk in the area of reading 8 students are considered at-risk in the area of math Ethnic composition of the class: White 7 Black 1 Hispanic 8 Multi-racial 1

The teacher reviewed how the persuasive writing unit is generally taught. The students have to gather information to support their topic, and they need instruction in how to find information using books, encyclopedias, the Internet, and other reference materials. The students also need to be taught about plagiarism and how to write in their own words. I mentioned that these were areas of information literacy that I could address in a collaborative lesson. A few days later, I started working on the UbD lesson plan. The teacher and I met a few times to plan our unit. Some of our contact was through e-mail messages. She shared information about the Georgia Performance Standards and the essential questions that are usually addressed in the persuasive writing unit. I shared information with her about the Standards for the 21st Century Learner that could be addressed in the unit. We discussed the various assessments that would be used in the unit as well as the different learning activities that could be used. I revised the UbD lesson plan several times before we were satisfied with the different components. Once our lesson plan was finalized, I began to focus on the activities that were my responsibility. I gathered the information for the lessons and developed the supporting materials. I created a wiki of resources pertaining to research skills. I also created two posters about plagiarism to reinforce the information that was taught during the lesson on plagiarism and note-taking skills. These posters were laminated and displayed in the teacher s classroom after the lesson was taught. I taught the collaborative lesson about plagiarism and note-taking on the day of my site visit by Dr. Repman. The third grade teacher and the special education inclusion teacher were in the classroom during the lesson, and the lesson truly was a collaborative effort. We used the SMART Board during the lesson as well as a circle map, which is an example of a thinking map. The teachers had recently participated in staff development training about using thinking maps in the classroom. The students seemed to be engaged in the different activities that were used in the lesson, and we were able to cover all of the activities in the lesson plan for that day. The information literacy skills that were addressed in the lesson will be assessed later in the unit. After the students have gathered information from different sources, they will turn in their notes. The teachers and I will examine the notes and determine if the students used good note-taking skills and credited the sources of information that were used. The UbD lesson plan for the unit is shown below. Following the unit lesson plan is a list of the procedures and activities used during the collaborative lesson on plagiarism and notetaking. The wiki to accompany the unit can be viewed at

Title: _ Persuasive Writing____________ Subject/Course:___English/Language Arts ________ Topic: __ Writing _________ Grade: 3___ Designers: _ A. Deems / M. Gurley________ Stage 1 Desired Results Established Goals: GPS: ELA3R3 The student uses a variety of strategies to gain meaning from grade-level text. The student d. Distinguishes fact from opinion m. Recalls explicit facts and infers implicit facts o. Uses titles, tables of contents, and chapter headings to locate information quickly and accurately and to preview text p. Recognizes the author s purpose ELA3W1 The student demonstrates competency in the writing process. The student a. Captures a reader s interest by setting a purpose and developing a point of view b. Begins to select a focus and an organizational pattern based on purpose, genre, expectations, audience, and length c. Writes text of a length appropriate to address the topic or tell the story e. Begins to use appropriate structures to ensure coherence (e.g., transition words and phrases, bullets, subheadings, numbering) j. Uses a variety of resources to research and share information on a topic l. Writes a persuasive piece that states a clear position m. Pre-writes to generate ideas, develops a rough draft, rereads to revise, and edits to correct. n. Publishes by presenting an edited piece of writing to others. ELA3C1 The student demonstrates understanding and control of the rules of the English language, realizing that usage involves the appropriate application of conventions and grammar in both written and spoken formats. The student j. Uses resources (encyclopedias, Internet, books) to research and share information about a topic k. Uses the dictionary and thesaurus to support word choices l. Uses common rules of spelling and corrects words using dictionaries and other resources Standards for the 21st Century Learner: 1.1.4 Find, evaluate, and select appropriate sources to answer questions 1.3.1 Respect copyright/intellectual property rights of creators and producers. 1.3.3 Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information. 4.3.2 Recognize that resources are created for a variety of purposes

Understandings: Students will understand that y Facts are different from opinions. y Opinions must be supported with facts in order to persuade a reader. y There are many sources that can be used to find information y It is wrong to use someone else s words or pictures as your own. y It is important to give other people credit for their work and ideas.

Essential Questions: y How can we express our position/opinion about an issue or idea to our readers? y What is the difference between fact and opinion? y What are the strategies of persuasive writing and what type of impact do these strategies have on the reader? y How do authors incorporate voice into persuasive writing? y How is persuasive writing organized? y How can we use facts to support our position/opinion? y How can I find information about a topic? y How do we give credit to others when we use their work and ideas? Students will be able to y Tell how facts and opinions differ y Explain what a persuasive writing is y Write a persuasive text y Tell the meaning of plagiarism y Name different sources of information y Credit the sources used in a report or project y Take notes

Students will know y The difference between facts and opinions y How to write a persuasive text y The meaning of plagiarism y Different sources that can be used to find information y How to give credit for sources that are used y How to take notes

Stage 2 Assessment Evidence Performance Tasks: Other Evidence: y Persuasive writing paper Students y Quiz over facts versus opinions will produce a persuasive writing that y Notes taken by students will be assessed with a rubric. y Drafts of persuasive writing y Informal checks for understanding

Stage 3 Learning Plan Learning Activities: 1. Introduce the standards and essential questions for the unit 2. Present a lesson on plagiarism, how to take notes, and how to credit sources (See plan below) 3. Discuss the difference between facts and opinions 4. Quiz students tell if statements are facts or opinions 5. Teachers work through a persuasive writing sample with the students in whole group setting 6. Media specialist presents lesson on different sources of information 7. Teachers help students work together to produce another persuasive writing in small groups 8. Individual students complete the writing process to produce individual writing samples. 9. Teacher conducts writing conferences with students 10. Students make revisions to their drafts 11. Students complete a persuasive writing text for the state writing assessment 12. Teachers score the writing using the rubric supplied by the DOE 13. Teachers and media specialist examine notes taken by students to assess note-taking skills and crediting of sources

Lesson on Plagiarism and Taking Notes 1. Media specialist (MS) uses information from a lesson titled Whose Property Is This? that was obtained from CyberSmart! ( )to begin a discussion about property and respecting other people s property. From the lesson, the MS will use the Introduce, Teach 1, and Teach 2 sections with some modifications. 2. MS will lead in to a discussion of how property is an issue when doing research using books, encyclopedias, magazines, the Internet, etc. MS will introduce the term plagiarism and explain its meaning in simple terms. Examples will be given copying sentences word for word from a book, printing out information from the Internet, using a friend s work, etc. and turning it in as your own work. 3. MS will then introduce the topic of note-taking when doing research. Emphasis on (1) taking good notes so that you get just the needed information (2) using notes to write in your own words (3) write down the source of information that you used name of book, encyclopedia, web site, etc. These are ways to keep from committing plagiarism. We do not copy word for word from a source. 4. Then MS will use the SMART Board to help students learn to find fact fragments in a short passage of information. The SMART Board screen will display two pages at once. A passage

will be shown in the left page, and a circle map (thinking map) will be shown in the right page. As fact fragments are found in the passage, they will be written in the circle map. The teachers will model this activity and begin listing the fragments on the map. The source of the information will be written on the circle map in the appropriate space. The work on the board will be saved and printed out for display in the room. 5. Next, the students will pair up with their partners and work together to take notes from leveled readers that contain information related to a current science topic. The students will draw their own thinking maps on their paper and fill in the maps with their notes (fact fragments) and source of information. The teachers will circulate around the room monitoring and aiding students as necessary. 6. At the conclusion of the activity, the MS will quickly review the important points of the lesson respecting others property, taking notes when gathering information, giving credit to the source of information. Teachers will emphasize that note-taking and crediting sources are a part of pre-writing that they are learning. These are skills that students will continue to use throughout their school years. Now is the time to develop good skills in taking notes and respecting others property. MS will inform students that they will be required to take notes for their persuasive writing project and the notes will be checked to see if they followed the process used in today s activity no complete sentences, writing down the source, etc.

Circle thinking map:

Reflection on the Unit
This assignment required me to engage in some activities for the first time. Prior to this unit, I had never analyzed standardized test results for an entire grade or class. I had some experience analyzing individual students scores for weaknesses related to speech-language skills, but I had not looked at a group of students to identify overall weaknesses especially weaknesses related to information literacy skills. Also, this was the first time that I used CRCT results to initiate a conversation with a teacher about collaborative teaching. In this instance, the teacher responded very positively to my offer of help in teaching information literacy skills to her students. She seemed to recognize that I may be able to make some significant contributions to her lesson on plagiarism, which she considers a very important topic to introduce in third grade. I realize that the use of information from standardized test results can increase the likelihood that teachers will consider collaborative lessons with the media specialist. I was somewhat frustrated during the planning of this unit because it was hard to coordinate our schedules to have any substantial time to meet and discuss the unit. I am glad that we had a few weeks to work this out before the unit began, but I can see how difficult it would be to have adequate planning time if the unit was to begin within a week or less. I found that I continued to have new ideas for the unit right up until the day of the lesson that I was to teach. On the day of the lesson, I thought of a way to pique the students interest in the unit. Then when I was in the classroom and heard the teacher make her opening remarks to the class, I thought of something else to add to the interest factor. All of the time that was devoted to planning the unit resulted in a lesson that seemed to go exactly as planned. It was very helpful to have the inclusion teacher in the room during the lesson. There were more teachers present to help monitor student behavior and provide assistance during the lesson. I learned several things from the teachers as I completed this activity. I learned about thinking maps and how a circle thinking map can be used in different lessons. I also learned more about how SMART Boards work and how they can be used during instruction. This information will be very useful as I teach lessons in the future.