Evaluation for 3.b.3
Over the course of the year, composition convention skills are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing.
The materials provide instruction in composition and convention skills over the course of the year. The materials include systematic instruction and reinforcement of the five steps of the writing process within each unit. Students practice and apply the conventions of academic language both in and out of context. During grammar lessons, students orally respond, practice the writing convention being taught, and apply the skills to the editing process in their own writing. Students utilize revision and editing checklists that remind them to check for correct capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The Program Guide states the writing process and its five steps expand to include sharing and evaluating in fifth grade. It is also noted that beginning in fourth grade and continuing in fifth grade, the writing process is no longer “conceptualized as a series of scaffolded, linear steps”; rather, students move through the steps flexibly, similarly to experienced writers.
In Unit 1, students study strong verbs and adjectives; they “write sentences using strong (specific and descriptive) verbs and adjectives.” The Writing section states: “Students will write a narrative about a moment that includes ‘showing, not telling’ details.” Students learn about personification by building on the previous lessons on strong verbs and adjectives. The materials gradually release students to write a narrative that “shows not tells.” The materials also focus on “writing a paragraph with multiple sensory descriptions.” Students complete an activity page to write sensory descriptions: “Use an adjective and a noun to describe at least two sights you saw, use an adjective and a noun to describe at least two sounds you heard, use an adjective and a noun to describe at least two objects you touched, use an adjective and a noun to describe at least two scents you smelled, and use an adjective and a noun to describe at least two foods you tasted.” During the writing part of the lesson, students are asked to “Write a paragraph describing the worst meal you ever experienced. Include sensory details describing the experience through at least three of your five senses. After writing the paragraph, underline the sensory details you included.” Later in the unit, students brainstorm ideas to write their “Surprise Narrative.” During this lesson, students select a topic and outline events; “Students free write a paragraph about their own names and generate ideas for a more formal narrative.” Students then create a rough draft of this composition. The process lays the groundwork for a formal narrative composition and guides them in writing their narrative.
In Unit 4, students focus on identifying and forming present-tense sentences with pronouns, subjects, and action verbs. Students use prior knowledge from previous lessons to help guide instruction. The teacher provides examples and the students respond thumbs up or down if the examples are correct or not. Students work on an activity page with subjects and verbs;
they correct the verb agreement. Later in the unit, students write a claim and identify the importance of supporting evidence. During the lesson, the teacher reviews opinions and facts. In a previous lesson, students wrote an opinion and backed it up with evidence. This lesson is the beginning of a persuasive essay, which is their unit project. During this lesson, students learn the format in drafting a persuasive essay. Their claim needs to be included in the introductory paragraph and supported with reasons and evidence throughout the essay.
Students practice writing claims. Several lessons later, students begin writing a persuasive essay. Teachers model an introductory paragraph. A Lead/Hooks poster, in addition to a chart, is provided to help students organize the different parts of an introduction as they write.
In Unit 5, the primary focus of a lesson states: “Students will plan an informational paragraph about da Vinci’s ideas and accomplishments by identifying a topic, reasons, and evidence related to the topic.” Students respond to a prompt: “How is the spirit of the Renaissance represented in Leonardo da Vinci’s ideas and accomplishments?” Throughout the lessons, students plan and draft for the prompt. Students also receive instruction on prepositions and prepositional phrases. Students circle the preposition and underline the prepositional phrase. Later in the unit, students “edit an informational piece so it follows the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.”
In Unit 8, students “engage in an extended writing project while continuing to practice the various stages of the writing process. They will write a persuasive essay in which they convince the reader that a chosen image best shows the connection between Native Americans and the land. Students will focus on notetaking, incorporating evidence, and crafting an argument.
Students will also revise, edit, and share their writing.” Students learn about using quotation marks and italics in titles of works; students ask a partner about their favorite books, movies, and songs and write the answers in complete sentences using the correct form when noting the title.