Second Grade Nest: Making Connections in a Nonfiction Text: Exploring ELA

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Making Connections in a Nonfiction Text: Exploring ELA


It's been about a year since I have written my Exploring ELA Blog Series. I took some time off of writing them to focus on creating my ELA units. Now that the reading units are finished, I can get back into the blog series. So excited to bring you another version of Exploring ELA

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)


So, before we begin, let's look at what Common Core asks teachers to do when they're teaching connections in an informational text. This is not the same as connections in literature where students are asked to find text to self and text to text connections. This is all about connections within an informational text. 

1st GradeDescribe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.
2nd gradeDescribe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text. 
3rd GradeDescribe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
4th GradeExplain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

Buzz Words: 
-describe, explain
-connection
-series of historical events
-scientific ideas or concepts
-steps in a technical procedures

5 Key Tasks for Teachers
1. Introduce the types of connections to look for.
2. Model with a daily read-aloud.
3. Focus on technical procedures.
4. Focus on scientific ideas.
5. Focus on series in a historical event.
6. Give them many opportunities to practice.

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1. Introduce the types of connections to look for. 
(Compare/contrast, cause/effect, sequential order)
There are many different types of connections within informational texts. Common Core asks students to find connections in three types of scenarios:  scientific texts, technical texts, and historical events. Now, within those texts, there are types of connections to be on the lookout for. Sequencing goes hand-in-hand with technical procedures and scientific ideas. Cause and effect texts help introduce scientific ideas and history events. Compare and contrast is also a great way to learn about scientific ideas.

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
Start with an anchor chart. This anchor chart is something you can do to introduce what you're going to be covering with this standard. Review it and revisit it as you introduce new types of texts. 


Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
Start by showing a cause and effect lesson. In this lesson, you will find photographs of real-life events (or use the ones offered in my 1st- 4th mini lesson sets) and have students discuss cause and effect. This is a great way to introduce the idea that when one event or action occurs, another event or action can happen because of it. 




2. Model with a Daily Read-Aloud.
This is a very difficult task for students to grasp. Not only because informational texts on their own are already hard enough for students to understand, but there is a lot of comprehension that is required. Students are asked to comprehend all aspects of the text, THEN find the connections between two events or ideas. This is hard for most elementary aged students who are still learning how to find text-evidence comprehension questions. 
This is why it is very important to model this standard to them often. You can even model the standard prior to your Connections unit!

Primary informational mentor text suggested book list for finding the connections within a nonfiction text- finding technical process, scientific ideas, or historical events connections- RI.1.3, RI.2.3, RI.3.3
Making Connections (RI.1.3, RI.2.3, RI.3.3, RI4.3)
-Key skills to hit- connections within historical events, scientific ideas, or technical processes

All the books that are linked in this blog post are linked to affiliate Amazon links.
Now and Ben by Gene Barretta
How People Learned to Fly by Fran Hodgkins
From Peanut to Peanut Butter by Robin Nelson
School: Then and Now by Robin Nelson
The Magic School Bus Gets Baked in a Cake by Joanna Cole 
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons



3. Focus on Technical Procedures
So, Common Core asks 2nd-4th grade to focus on three things. One of those is technical procedures. These are usually the easiest types of texts to understand because it's usually a step-by-step how-to piece. Or the text is written with a pretty laid out explanation of how the procedure works. This is why I think it's best to focus on technical procedures first.

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)  Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
Two examples are my mini lesson from my 1st-3rd grade units in my RI3 sets and my Making a PBJ passage, which is included in all my 1st-3rd sets (but rewritten at different levels). These are two ways to look at technical procedures and describe them. This is much easier than looking at scientific or historical ideas because there is much more background knowledge on cupcakes and peanut butter and jelly. Take something that they know a little about to relate to when teaching. 




4. Focus on Scientific Ideas
After you focus a bit on technical procedures, try moving into scientific ideas. These get a bit harder because if the scientific idea is a difficult concept to grasp, then adding that on top of the reading comprehension makes this standard even harder. Start your students out with fairly simply texts and scientific ideas. Once they get more comfortable with finding connections within their easier texts and topics, you can start working your way up to harder topics and harder texts.

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)  Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
Once you move onto scientific ideas, it's still smart to start easier rather than on a brand new scientific idea. So, take pumpkin and apple life cycles, which the students have most likely learned about in the past years of school or have background knowledge of what pumpkins and apples are. The lesson on the left is covered in my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade units. The mini lesson on the right is covered in my 1st grade unit. Once the students grasp the ideas of how to make connections between steps in a scientific process, then you can introduce harder topics.



5. Focus on Historical Events
I would focus on historical events last. Some of you may prefer science over history, but not me! Social Studies was never my strong subject, so I think it's easier to teach scientific ideas to elementary students than historical events. There is also a lot of background knowledge you must introduce when you're teaching this part of the standard, too.

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
(Source: 4th Grade RI4.3)



6. Give them many opportunities to practice. 
So, when teaching your ELA standards, it's very important to give the students many hands-on ways to practice it. They need to have different types of texts, such as online websites, videos, read-alouds, picture books, and passages. Finding passages and books that are directly aligned to the standards are tricky, which is why I love using my standards-based resources! 

Ideas for Practicing Making Connections
-Turn and Talk activities whole group
-Task Cards
-Interactive Notebooks
-Passages
-Printables to use w/ real texts 

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)  Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)



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Need connections resources?
Many of the activities in these packs overlap for each grade level, but have higher written text levels for any passages. When purchasing for your grade level, make sure to buy only the grade level you need.

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)  Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
1st Grade 

Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)  Making Connections in an informational text- activities and lessons to teach connections in technical texts, historical events, or scientific procedures- RI1.3, RI2.3, RI3.3, RI4.3 (RI.1.3, RI.2.3., RI.3.3, RI.4.3)
3rd Grade




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