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Topic

Pine Grove Middle School is located in Baltimore County and has a student body of 902
students. Within the school there are full inclusion classrooms, gifted and talented classrooms,
self-contained classrooms for students studying the regular curriculum, and self-contained
classrooms of students in the CALS program.
This is a self-contained English Language Arts class consisting of ten 8th grade students.
Nine of the students in the class have IEPs for either specific learning disabilities or other health
impairments. One student has an IEP for Autism and he is in the CALS program. He attends this
class for social inclusion and does not complete assignments for a grade, but does the same
assignments as the other students with extra accommodations and modifications. All of the
students have reading and writing goals on their IEPs and require a human reader and a scribe.
There is one student who is deaf and a sign language interpreter is in the room to interpret for
him.
This is a class of culturally and linguistically diverse students. One student comes from a
Chinese American family and another student comes from an Indian American family. They have
not lived in the United States their whole lives and have parents whose native language is not
English. Their families follow the customs of China and India. One student recently moved here
from South Carolina and has grown up in a rural environment until now. The class consists of
five African American students, three Caucasian students, one Chinese American student and one
Indian American student.
This series of lessons provides background knowledge on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil
War, the Emancipation Proclamation, John Wilkes Booth and Lincoln's assassination. By the end

of the series, students will begin reading the novel, Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L.
Swanson.
Learning Goals
This unit has three essential questions that relate to the curriculum as a whole. The
curriculum for eighth grade focuses on how authors use varying literary techniques to convey
meaning and present ideas through the text. In this particular unit, students are reading a
nonfiction novel, Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson. The essential questions focus
on how authors respond to conflicting viewpoints, display relevant evidence and make
connections between individuals, ideas and events.
Essential Questions:
1.)

How do authors acknowledge and respond to conflicting evidence or viewpoints


when writing literary nonfiction?

2.)

How do authors present an argument in a way that demonstrates sound reasoning


and relevant evidence?

3.)

How do authors make connections among and distinctions between individuals,


ideas or events?

The objectives and essential questions for this unit and series relate to several Common
Core State Standards for eighth grade Reading and Language Arts in the areas of Reading
Literature, Reading Informational Text, Language, and Writing.
Maryland Common Core State Standards:
RL.8.4. - Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including
figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning
and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
R.I.8.3. - Analyze how a text makes connections and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or
events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

RI.8.6 - Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author
acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
RI.8.7 - Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or
digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
RI.8.8 - Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the
reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant
evidence is introduced.
L.8.4 - Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases
based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
W.8.4 - Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Objectives
There is a series of lessons 4-6 from the unit being taught for this artifact. The three
objectives in this series relate directly to the essential questions for the overall unit.
Series Objectives:
1.)

Students will analyze the connections between fiction and nonfiction resources
about Lincoln in order to analyze the connections made between individuals,
ideas, and events.

2.)

Students will analyze the reasoning presented in a nonfiction text in order to


evaluate the argument and specific claims.

3.)

Students will analyze conflicting viewpoints of Lincoln and Booth in order to


compose a letter which clarifies the connections between individuals, ideas and
events presented in the text.

All of the students in this class have written language development that is well below
grade-level. They have trouble using proper capitalization and punctuation, spelling and basic
grammar. They also struggle to consistently use transition words and conclusion sentences. Most

of the students have good oral language development for their age. Kevin and Rajvir have a
lower oral language development due to being English Language Learners. Ugo has a lower oral
language development due to Autism. All of the students, except for Ugo, are able to express
their ideas sufficiently orally, but Kevin and Rajvir struggle with grammar and word choice.
IEP Goals and Objectives:
All of the students in this class have reading and writing IEP goals. This series of lessons
will assess the students' reading comprehension and writing abilities, which relates to their IEP
goals and objectives. During the lessons, students will read aloud in groups, but the text will also
will be read aloud to them for further clarification. They will use the group reading to practice
their fluency and decoding, but will not be assessed for these things. The object of this series is
for students to comprehend the texts, make connections between ideas, respond to conflicting
viewpoints, and evaluate arguments using sound reasoning. Only the reading comprehension,
written language, and communication IEP goals and objectives will be assessed during this
series. Some students also have behavior goals that relate to the series in that they need to
achieve these goals in order to complete their work. The following IEP objectives for each
student relate to the series being taught.
Stevie
Reading Comprehension:
1. Identify and explain the main idea.
2. Identify and explain what is directly stated in the text.
Written Language:
1. Recognize, recall, and use basic elements of grammar to express thoughts.
2. Use punctuation appropriately in his writing.

Behavior:
1. Given two reminders, Stevie will follow through with directions given by school
personnel within a two minute wait time.
2. Given practice and reminders, Stevie will accept consequences and reminders given
by school personnel.
3. Given instruction, practice and reminders, Stevie will attempt tasks/assignments for
5-7 minutes prior to asking for assistance.
4. Given instruction, reminders, and practice, Stevie will complete assigned work.
5. Given instruction, reminders and practice, Stevie will submit assigned work.
Karl
Reading Comprehension:
1. Given a variety of print and non-print informational texts, Karl will use organizational
structure to locate specific information.
Written Language:
1. Given a variety or texts and ideas, Karl will be able to organize related ideas into a
simple paragraph.
2. Karl will be able to write persuasive text to support a stated opinion.
Jordan
Reading Comprehension:
1. Given a variety of print and non-print texts, Jordan will be able to connect events,
characters and actions in stories to specific life experiences.
2. Given a variety of print and non-print texts, Jordan will be able to respond to text in a
variety of ways.
Written Language:
1. Given information from various sources, Jordan will be able to prepare writing for
display by revising and editing using rules, such as capital letters and periods.
2. Given information from various sources, Jordan will be able to use descriptive words
and other details to expand and improve his own writing.
Darian
Written Language:
1. Use complete sentences to respond to questions.

2. Acquire and use new vocabulary.


Ugo
Communication:
1. In a structured activity, given prompting and 2-3 choices, Ugo will respond to higher
level questions (What if? How? Why? When?)
2. In a structured activity and with minimal prompting, Ugo will use vocabulary to
compare and contrast.
3. In a structured activity and with minimal prompting, Ugo will ask simple Whquestions.
Reading Comprehension:
1. Given a modified grade-level text, Ugo will summarize the text.
2. Given a modified grade-level text, Ugo will identify and/or explain the main idea.
Matt
Reading Comprehension:
1. Ask and answer questions about the text.
2. Periodically paraphrase important ideas or information.
3. Periodically summarize while reading.
Written Language:
1. Generate ideas and topics and make a plan before writing.
2. Improve writing by, maintaining a topic, adding ideas or deleting unrelated ideas.
Behavior:
1. Given instruction, reminders, and proximity control, Matthew will participate by
contributing relevant comments or questions on the current topic 4 times during class.
2. Given reminders and proximity control, Matthew will remain on task for at least 7-10
minutes.
Zoey
Reading Comprehension:
1. Given grade-level text, Zoey will periodically paraphrase important ideas or
information and visualize what was read for deeper understanding.
Written Language:

1. Given grade-level written assignments, Zoey will organize ideas and information into
paragraph form that includes a topic sentence, three supporting ideas and a closing
sentence.
Kevin
Reading Comprehension:
1. Select and apply appropriate strategies to make meaning from text during reading.
2. Identify and explain information directly stated in the text.
3. Draw inferences and/or conclusions and make generalizations.
Written Language:
1. Write a one paragraph essay consisting of a topic sentence and two pieces of support
(evidence and/or explanation).
Dustin
Written Language:
2. Restate the prompt within his response.
3. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says.
4. Revise writing in order to make sure he has correct capitalization and punctuation.
Rajvir
Reading Comprehension:
1. Given instruction, demonstration and practice presented through total communication
and/or printed text at grade-level, Rajvir will identify important details that answer
why and how questions.
2. Summarize text by using important events from the beginning, middle and end of the
text.
3. Identify the main idea and two essential details that support the main idea/theme in a
text.
Written Language:
1. Identify and use verb tenses such as present, past and future with correct endings.
2. Given a visual, verbal and/or written prompt, examine and use basic transitions such
as and, but, or, first, second, and last.

These IEP goals and objectives will be assessed through observation, anecdotal notes,
formative assessments and the summative assessment.
Assessment Plan
The summative assessment for this series will cover the three objectives of the series.
Students will write a letter from the perspective of either John Wilkes Booth or Abraham Lincoln
about their feelings during the prologue of Chasing Lincolns Killer. The prologue takes place
days after the end of the Civil War when many celebrations were occurring in Washington D.C.
The letter must include a relevant character from the prologue to whom either Booth or Lincoln
would write. Characters include David Herold and Lewis Powell for John Wilkes Booth and
Mary Todd Lincoln or Tad Lincoln for Abraham Lincoln. In the body of the letter, students must
describe how they feel by making a connection to another character, the events of the Civil War,
or the idea of slavery coming to an end and the South being defeated. By making these
connections, they should address the conflicting viewpoints of Booth and Lincoln or the Union
and the Confederacy.
After writing the letter, students will complete a self-reflection and self-evaluation of the
letter. They will make note of whether or not they addressed the letter to a relevant character and
if they made a connection to the Civil War, the freedom of slaves, or voting rights for black
people. This will address students abilities to make a connection between individuals, ideas and
events. Then, they will respond to how their feelings would be different if they wrote the letter
the other characters perspective. This question assesses the students abilities to respond to
conflicting viewpoints. Finally, they will respond to whether or not there is sound reasoning
behind their characters feelings. This question demonstrates the students abilities to evaluate
the reasoning of an individual.

The pre-assessment for this series is the performance-based assessment the students
completed prior to the unit. The project required them to research a conspiracy theory and
present evidence to argue either for or against the theory. The students chose between the John F
Kennedy assassination, aliens at Area 51, and the moon landings. The PBA addressed the three
essential questions for the unit and the three objectives listed above. Students created a
presentation that explained the theory or theories and made connections between the events and
ideas. They analyzed conflicting viewpoints by discussing the conflicting theories. They also
evaluated the argument using sound reasoning by choosing which theory they believe and
explaining why.
The formative assessments throughout the lesson include the use of sticky notes to
answer brief questions and brief writing responses about the text. There will also be brief written
responses to the texts that will be read during each lesson. A total of three lessons will be taught
(lessons 4-6 of the unit) and each lesson will last two class periods. For the sticky note
assessments, the scoring tool will be a simple yes or no as to whether they gave a knowledgeable
answer. For the other formative assessments described below, a rubric has been created to score
their responses.
For day one of lesson four, students will make a prediction on a sticky note of what they
think the poem, O! Captain, My Captain will be about. During the lesson, they will learn about
the success and legacy of President Lincoln and they will watch a video clip from the movie
Dead Poets Society. Based on this information, they will be told that the poem is about Lincoln
and they will make a prediction about what the theme of the poem is. On day two of this lesson,
students will create a brief written response comparing Lincoln and a captain of a ship, as well as
making a connection between the poem and events in Lincoln's presidency. The response will be

worth five points: 2 points for making an accurate comparison between Lincoln and a ship
captain, such as Lincoln being a leader; and 3 points for making a relevant connection to
Lincoln's life, such as the ship coming into harbor relating to Lincoln's life and accomplishments
coming to an end.
On day one of lesson five, students will read a text and watch a video about the reasons
behind the creation of the Emancipation Proclamation. Students will begin filling out a chart
about the problems Lincoln faced regarding slavery, his responses and his reasoning. They will
use the chart to evaluate Lincoln's reasoning for each problem and response. At the end of the
first day, students will respond on a sticky note about whether or not they think Lincoln's reasons
to end slavery were sound. On the second day of the lesson, students will continue filling out the
chart together. They will fill out the last section of the chart on their own. They will have to find
Lincoln's response to a given problem, his reasoning behind the response, and evaluate Lincoln's
reasoning. This will be the formative assessment for lesson five. This assignment will be worth
five points: 1 point for stating Lincoln's response to the given problem, 1 point for stating
Lincoln's reasoning for the response, and 3 points for evaluating Lincoln's reasoning.
On the first day of lesson six, students will learn more about John Wilkes Booth and his
reasons behind killing Lincoln. At the end of day one, students will respond on a sticky note to
whether or not they think Booth used sound reasoning in his decision to kill Lincoln. On the
second day, they will complete the summative assessment in which they write a letter from the
perspective of Booth or Lincoln, explaining the characters' feelings during the time of the
prologue of the book. The rubric for this assignment is explained above in the summative
assessment description.

Instruction
UDL checkpoints are listed in italics for each portion of the lessons.
Lesson 4 Lincoln, O' Captain, My Captain
DESCRIPTION
This lesson is expected to last two days, 45 minutes for each period. This is the first
lesson in a three-lesson series. The whole unit is much larger, but for the purposes of this project,
lesson 4, 5 and 6 have been combined into a smaller unit. The objectives for this unit are: a)
Students will analyze the connections between fiction and nonfiction resources about Lincoln in
order to analyze the connections made between individuals and events, b) Students will analyze
the reasoning presented in a nonfiction text in order to delineate and evaluate the argument and
specific claims, and c) Students will analyze conflicting viewpoints of Lincoln and Booth in
order to compose a letter which clarifies the connections between individuals, ideas and events
presented in the text.
PREREQUISITES
Students must have an understanding of the essential questions in the overall unit. 1.)
How do authors acknowledge and respond to conflicting evidence or viewpoints when writing
literary nonfiction? 2.) How do authors present an argument in a way that demonstrates sound
reasoning and relevant evidence? 3.) How do authors make connections among and distinctions
between individuals, ideas or events?
The pre-assessment for this unit is the performance-based assessment they completed
prior to the unit. The project required them to research a conspiracy theory and present evidence
to argue either for or against the theory. The PBA addressed the three essential questions and the
three objectives listed above.

ESTIMATED TIME - 1.5 hours


COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
Classroom Instruction 8 English/Language Arts English Language Arts
Reading: Literature Craft and Structure CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.4 (grade 8): Determine the
meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative
meanings analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies
or allusions to other texts.
Reading: Informational Text Key Ideas and Details CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3 (grade 8):
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or
events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.7 (grade 8): Evaluate the
advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video,
multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS
In this lesson, students will learn about what was happening in history during the time of
Lincoln's assassination. They will explore the reasons why Lincoln was such a beloved and
admired president. They will gain an understanding of the impact Lincoln's presidency made on
the United States and the impact his assassination had on the country. Students will make
connections and distinctions between how people felt about Lincoln and fiction and nonfiction
depictions of his death.
OBJECTIVES
Students will analyze the connections between fiction and nonfiction resources about
Lincoln in order to analyze the connections between individuals and events.

VARIABILITY
Most of the students in this class have similar needs. As per their IEP, they all require a
human reader and a scribe, but they are encouraged to read and write on their own as well. While
reading the poem, students will take turns reading lines aloud. At the end, I will read the poem
again for them in order to give them another chance to think about its meaning.
Checkpoint 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual information
During their formative assessment, they will be asked to write short responses to the
poem. While they are writing, I will be walking around asking them to verbally explain their
answers. I want to make sure they have an understanding of the concept they are to learn, but I
also want them to try their best to get their ideas down on paper.
Checkpoint 4.1, Vary the methods for response and navigation
We will be watching videos and looking at picture slide shows on the topic of slavery and
Lincoln's presidency. Video and pictures are used frequently in the class to keep the students
engaged. Since so much of Language Arts class requires reading and writing, and this is
something that the students struggle with, I want to provide as many opportunities to keep them
engaged as possible.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 2.5, Illustrate through multiple
media 3.3, Guide information processing, visualization and manipulation
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
Students will begin working on a KWL chart that they will revisit during each lesson of
the three-lesson series. This will be used by me to gauge their individual understanding of the
topics we are covering. During discussion, I will also ask every student to respond to certain
topics or questions. This will also help me gauge their understanding of the topics and objectives.

At the end of the first day teaching this lesson, we will have watched a clip from the movie,
Dead Poets Society that will help students understand how people may have felt about Lincoln.
On a sticky note students will make a prediction about what they think the poem will be about.
Checkpoint 5.1, Use multiple media for expression 5.3, Build fluencies with graduated levels of
support for practice and performance
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
At the end of the lesson, students will answer questions about Lincoln and his
assassination based on their reading of "O! Captain, My Captain." Students will write their
responses on paper, but I will also go around to each student and ask for verbal responses as
well. They will be asked to make connections between the events of Lincoln's presidency and
death and the description of the Captain in the poem.
Checkpoint 5.1, Use multiple media for expression 5.3, Build fluencies with graduated levels of
support for practice and performance
OPENING
Introduction: Students will fill out the first two parts of a KWL chart about Lincoln and
the Civil War. I will ask each student one thing that they know about the topic, and we will
discuss those things. Students should address the fact that Lincoln was assassinated by John
Wilkes Booth. We will discuss the possible reasons behind the assassination and the two
conflicting viewpoints that Lincoln and Booth must have had. I will then ask each student one
thing they want to learn about Lincoln, Booth or the Civil War. I will write certain sentences or
names on my own chart, which will be displayed on the Elmo, to help them with spelling. I will
be able to zoom in and out to isolate certain information and make it more visible or easier to
understand.

Checkpoint 1.2, Offer ways of customizing the display of information 1.2, Offer alternatives to
auditory information 2.1, Clarify vocabulary or symbols 2.2, Clarify syntax or structure 3.1,
Activate or supply background knowledge 3.3, Guide information processing, visualization and
manipulation 3.4 Maximize transfer and generalization
Next, I will introduce the objective to students that is written on the board and ask them
what it means. I will clarify by stating that we will be looking at information from nonfiction
sources, as well as a fiction poem, all of which relate to Lincoln's presidency, the Civil War, and
Lincoln's death.
Checkpoint 2.1, Clarify vocabulary and symbols 2.2, Clarify syntax and structure
DURING
First, I will show students a video from history.com that gives an overview of slavery and
its abolition, leading up to the civil war. I will pause the video at times to discuss or point out
important information. We will discuss the video and what this had to do with President Lincoln.
Students will be asked to fill in their KWL charts as we watch and discuss the video. Next,
students will watch another video about how loved and admired Lincoln was by many people
during his presidency. We will discuss why he was so loved and if they think that everyone loved
him and agreed with his policies. Students will continue to fill out their KWL chart.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 2.5, Illustrate through multiple
media 3.1, Activate or supply background knowledge 3.3, Guide information processing,
visualization and manipulation 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 4.1, Vary the
methods for response and navigation 6.1, Guide appropriate goal setting 6.2, Facilitate
managing information and resources 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and authenticity

Students will turn to page 773 of their text books and we will read the short biography of
Walt Whitman. We will talk about the famous poem that he wrote that we will read shortly. I will
then show students a clip from the movie Dead Poets Society that relates to "O! Captain, My
Captain." After watching the video, the students will make a prediction on a sticky note as to
what they think the poem will be about.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 2.5, Illustrate through multiple
media 3.1, Activate or supply background knowledge 3.3, Guide information processing 7.2,
Optimize relevance, value and authenticity
Students will turn to page 777 in their text books. With the other students at their table,
they will take turns reading the poem. Afterward, we will discuss the mood of the poem and what
they think it is about. Then, I will read the poem again, making comments and observations
about each stanza. We will discuss why Walt Whitman would feel this way based on what they
know about the time period from reading nonfiction sources. After reading the poem, I will tell
students that this poem is an allegory and ask them if they can guess what the word means. After
a brief discussion, I will write the definition of allegory on the board for them to copy onto the
KWL chart.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual
information 2.1, Clarify vocabulary and symbols 2.2, Clarify syntax and structure 2.3, Support
decoding of text, mathematical notation and symbols 3.2, Highlight patterns, critical features,
big ideas and relationships 3.4, maximize transfer and generalization 6.1, Guide appropriate
goal setting 6.2, Facilitate managing information and resources 6.4, Enhance capacity for
monitoring progress 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and authenticity 8.3, Foster collaboration
and communication

CLOSING
Students will complete the assessment in which they answer questions about the poem
and make connections to Lincoln's presidency and death. I will read the questions aloud for the
students. Students can use their KWL chart to help them answer the questions.
Checkpoint 1.3, Provide alternatives to visual information 2.3, Support decoding text 4.1, Vary
the methods for response and navigation 7.1, Optimize individual choice and autonomy
After students are finished, we will discuss the KWL chart and the things they learned
throughout the lesson. I will explain to them what we will be doing in the next lesson to continue
learning about Lincoln.
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
O! Captain, My Captain poem from 8th grade Prentice Hall Literature text book, KWL chart,
O! Captain, My Captain assessment, YouTube video of O! Captain, My Captain scene from
Dead Poets Society, History.com video about Lincoln and the Civil War
Lesson 5 Emancipation Proclamation, Problems and Responses
PREREQUISITES
Students will need a brief understanding of the events leading up to the Civil War and
Lincoln's assassination. Students must have an understanding of the essential questions in the
overall unit. 1.) How do authors acknowledge and respond to conflicting evidence or viewpoints
when writing literary nonfiction? 2.) How do authors present an argument in a way that
demonstrates sound reasoning and relevant evidence? 3.) How do authors make connections
among and distinctions between individuals, ideas or events?
ESTIMATED TIME - 1.5 hours
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Classroom Instruction 8 English/Language Arts English Language Arts


Reading: Informational Text Integration of Knowledge and Ideas CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.7
(grade 8): Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or
digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS
Students will read from their textbook about the Emancipation Proclamation in order to
evaluate the argument made for emancipation in the text.
OBJECTIVES
Students will analyze the reasoning presented in a nonfiction text in order to delineate and
evaluate the argument and specific claims.
VARIABILITY
Most of the students in this class have similar needs. As per their IEP, they all require a
human reader and a scribe, but they are encouraged to read and write on their own as well. While
reading the text, students will take turns reading aloud. At the end, I may have to read the text
again for them in order to give them another chance to think about its meaning.
Checkpoint 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual information
During their formative assessment, they will be asked to fill out the last section of the
Problems and Responses chart. While they are writing, I will be walking around asking them to
verbally explain their answers. I want to make sure they have an understanding of the concept
they are to learn, but I also want them to try their best to get their ideas down on paper. If some
students are still struggling, I will scribe for them.
Checkpoint 4.1, Vary the methods for response and navigation

We will be watching videos and looking at websites on the topic of emancipation. Video
and pictures are used frequently in the class to keep the students engaged. Since so much of
Language Arts class requires reading and writing, and this is something that the students struggle
with, I want to provide as many opportunities to keep them engaged as possible.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 2.5, Illustrate through multiple
media 3.3, Guide information processing, visualization and manipulation
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
Students will analyze the reasoning presented in a nonfiction text in order to delineate and
evaluate the argument and specific claims. We will discuss as a class what the students know
about the Emancipation Proclamation. This will be a formative assessment for me to gauge how
much students already know. Students will read parts of the text in groups and share with the
class what happened in their section. I will use this discussion time to gauge their current
understanding of the section they read. Students will record two problems from the text on the
Problems and Responses chart and evaluate their reasoning in groups. I will circulate to each
group, guiding them and making note of their understanding.
Checkpoint 6.1, Guide appropriate goal setting 6.2, Support planning and strategy
development 6.3, Facilitate managing information and resources 6.4, Enhance capacity for
progress monitoring 8.3 Foster collaboration and communication 8.4, Increase masteryoriented feedback
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
The summative assessment will be for students to fill out the last section of the Problems
and Responses chart independently. Students can use their text to help them. Additionally, if

some students seem to be struggling, they can verbally give me their answers and I will scribe for
them.
Checkpoint 4.1, Vary the methods for response and navigation 5.3, Build fluencies with
graduated levels of support for practice and performance
The chart includes four parts: a problem found in the text, Lincoln's response to the
problem, the reasoning behind his response, and the student's evaluation of the reasoning.
OPENING
I will remind students of what we learned in the previous lesson, and introduce the
objective and plan for today's lesson. The objective will be written on the board, as well as the
activities we will be doing throughout the lesson. I will explain the vocabulary in the objective
that may be difficult for students.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual
information 1.4, Clarify vocabulary and symbols 3.2, Activate or supply background knowledge
I will ask students why and when slavery was abolished in the United States and students
will share their responses with the class. Next, I will show students the history.com video about
the Emancipation Proclamation. We will discuss why the Emancipation Proclamation was really
written, and then look at web article, 5 Things You May Not Know about Lincoln, Slavery, and
Emancipation.
Checkpoint 2.5, Illustrate through multiple media 3.1, Activate or supply background knowledge
DURING
After viewing the video, I will introduce the text to the students and read the first two
pages. After reading those pages, I will briefly recap what is happening in the text so far.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual

information 1.4, Clarify vocabulary and symbols 3.2, Highlight patterns, big ideas and
relationships
Students will then be given sections of the text to read together in groups. The first group
will read the next 4 paragraphs after what I read. The second group will read the following 6
paragraphs. The third group will read the final 5 paragraphs. When students are finished reading,
each group will share what happened in their section of the text.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual
information 3.3, Guide information processing, visualization and manipulation 8.3, Foster
collaboration and communication
Next, students will refer to their Problem and Responses chart. The first problem is
completed for them and we will go over what it says in order to model how they are to fill out
the chart. Students will then work in their groups to fill out the next two problems on the chart. I
will circulate around the room to guide students and monitor their progress. If students seem to
be struggling with the first one, I will lead them through the second one.
Checkpoint 3.2, Highlight patterns, big ideas and relationships 8.3, Foster collaboration and
communication
CLOSING
Students will fill out the last problem and response on their chart independently. This will
be their summative assessment for the lesson.
Checkpoint 5.3, Build fluencies with graduated levels of support for practice and performance
When students are finished, we will review what we learned that day about evaluating an
argument and I will briefly introduce what we will be covering in the next lesson.

Checkpoint 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and
authenticity
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
Problem and Responses chart, History.com video, textbook
Lesson 6 Preview of Chasing Lincoln's Killer
PREREQUISITES
Students must have an understanding of Lincoln's presidency, the reasons leading up to
the Civil War, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Students must have an understanding of the
essential questions in the overall unit. 1.) How do authors acknowledge and respond to
conflicting evidence or viewpoints when writing literary nonfiction? 2.) How do authors present
an argument in a way that demonstrates sound reasoning and relevant evidence? 3.) How do
authors make connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas or events?
ESTIMATED TIME - 1.5 hours
COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS
Classroom Instruction 8 English/Language Arts English Language Arts
Reading: Informational Text Key Ideas and Details CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3 (grade 8):
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or
events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Craft and Structure CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.6 (grade 8): Determine an authors point of view or
purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence
or viewpoints.

Language Vocabulary Acquisition and Use CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4 (grade 8): Determine or


clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8
reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Writing Production and Distribution of Writing CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4 (grade 8): Produce
clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to
task, purpose, and audience.
INSTRUCTIONAL GOALS
Students will learn about John Wilkes Booth and his reasons for wanting to kill Lincoln.
They will preview the book, Chasing Lincoln's Killer, and read the prologue as a class. Students
will also preview important vocabulary and write a letter from the perspective of Booth or
Lincoln, expressing their feelings during the prologue of the book.
OBJECTIVES
Students will analyze conflicting viewpoints of Lincoln and Booth as presented in the text
in order to compose a letter which clarifies the connections between individuals, events and ideas
presented in the text.
VARIABILITY
Most of the students in this class have similar needs. As per their IEP, they all require a
human reader and a scribe, but they are encouraged to read and write on their own as well. While
reading the poem, students will take turns reading lines aloud. At the end, I will read the poem
again for them in order to give them another chance to think about its meaning.
Checkpoint 1.3, Offer alternatives to visual information
During their summative assessment, they will be asked to write a letter from Booth or
Lincoln's perspective. While they are writing, I will be walking around asking them to monitor

their responses. I want to make sure they have an understanding of the concept they are to learn,
but I also want them to try their best to get their ideas down on paper. If a student is struggling,
but can verbally explain what they want to write, I will scribe for them. Students will also receive
a rubric for the letter so they can check that they have covered all the pertinent material.
Checkpoint 4.1, Vary the methods for response and navigation 9.3, Develop self-assessment and
reflection
We will be watching videos and looking at picture slide shows on the topic of Lincoln's
assassination. Video and pictures are used frequently in the class to keep the students engaged.
Since so much of Language Arts class requires reading and writing, and this is something that the
students struggle with, I want to provide as many opportunities to keep them engaged as
possible.
Checkpoint 1.2, Offer alternatives to auditory information 2.5, Illustrate through multiple
media 3.3, Guide information processing, visualization and manipulation
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
Students will be sharing ideas with each other about whether or not they think Booth's
reasoning was sound, if he was crazy, if fate lead him to shoot Lincoln, and why did he do it.
During our class discussion of these questions, I will be making observations of what students
are thinking and how they explain their ideas. This formative assessment will give me an idea of
whether or not students can make predictions and present an argument with sound reasoning.
Checkpoint 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 5.3, Build fluencies with graduated levels
of support for practice and performance 8.3, Foster collaboration and communication
After going over the vocabulary words, students will be given sticky notes. They will be
asked to write whether or not they think Booth used sound reasoning when he made the decision

to kill Lincoln and explain why or why not. This will be their exit ticket for the class on the first
day of teaching this lesson. For those students who have significant trouble writing, they will be
asked to verbalize their thoughts.
4.1, Vary the method for response and navigation 7.3, Minimize threats and distractions 9.2,
Facilitate coping skills and strategies
SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENTS
The summative assessment for the unit of Lessons 4-6 will be for students to write a letter
from the perspective of either Booth of Lincoln about their feelings at the time of the prologue.
They will address the letter to another relevant character in the book that either Booth or Lincoln
would have a connection to. Students have significant difficulty writing will have a scribe.
Students will be given a rubric and reflection chart for the letter so they can ensure that they have
included all the necessary information and to show that they understand the objectives of the
unit. The rubric will include the following: Did I address the letter to another relevant character
in the book? Did I make a connection to Booth/Lincoln, the Civil War, voting rights for black
people, or another important idea or event? The reflection will include the following questions:
How would my feelings be different if I wrote the letter from the other character's perspective? Is
there sound reasoning behind my emotions? Why or Why not? The rubric is designed to ensure
that students address the objective of making connections between individuals, events or ideas.
The first reflection question is designed to address the objective of how an author responds to
conflicting viewpoints. The second reflection question addresses the objective of using sound
reasoning when presenting an argument.

Checkpoints 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 4.1, Vary the method for response and
navigation 7.2, Optimize value, relevance and authenticity 7.3, Minimize threats and
distractions 9.3, Develop self-assessment and reflection
OPENING
First, I will introduce the objective written on the board to the students and explain that
since we have learned a lot about Lincoln and the time period, we are now going to learn more
about John Wilkes Booth and the actual assassination of the president.
Checkpoints 1.2, Offer alternatives for auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives for visual
information 2.2, Clarify syntax and structure 3.1, Activate or supply background knowledge
We will watch a video about John Wilkes Booth that explains what he was thinking
before, during and after the assassination. After the video, I will ask students the following
questions: Was Booth insane? Was it his fate to shoot Lincoln? Why did he do it? Did he have
sound reasoning behind his decision? Students will think-pair-share with the people at their table.
Then we will discuss everyone's thoughts as a class. I will ask students to explain what sound
reasoning means and explain it to them if they are unsure.
Checkpoints 3.1, Activate or supple background knowledge 3.2, Highlight patterns, critical
features, big ideas, and relationships 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and authenticity 8.3,
Foster collaboration and communication
DURING
Students will then take a virtual tour of Ford's Theatre, where Lincoln was shot. We will
discuss exactly where it happened and where Booth escaped. I will ask students what they would
have thought or felt if they were an audience member or someone else in the theatre.

Checkpoints 3.1, Activate or supple background knowledge 3.2, Highlight patterns, critical
features, big ideas, and relationships 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and authenticity
Next, I will explain that as we read the novel we will learn a lot about what Lincoln was
thinking and feeling during the time surrounding his assassination, as well as what Booth was
thinking and feeling. All of this will be coming from diary entries, interviews, news articles, and
other primary sources. I will then read the author's background and the blurb about the book
from the front of the book. Next, we will go over some important vocabulary from the prologue
of the book. Students will use the Frayer Model graphic organizer to write the definition in their
own words and provide examples and non-examples of the word. Words that will be included in
the vocabulary to be covered are: inauguration, spectator, anonymous, and malice. Students can
use their phones or the computer in the room to look up the definitions. Additionally, I will
explain to students the meaning of Appomattox, Dixie and rebellion. Students don't need to write
these meanings down, but they will need to know what they are in the context of the book.
Checkpoints 2.1, Clarify vocabulary and symbols 3.3, Guide information processing,
visualization and manipulation 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 4.1, Vary the method
for response and navigation 6.3, Facilitate managing information and resources 7.1, Optimize
individual choice and autonomy 7.2, Optimize relevance, value and authenticity
When we are done going over the pertinent vocabulary, I will give each student a sticky
note. I will ask students if they think John Wilkes Booth had sound reasoning when he made his
decision to kill Lincoln, and why. Students will write the answer on their sticky note and hand it
in to me as their exit ticket for the first part of the lesson.
Checkpoints 4.1, Vary the method for response and navigation 7.3, Minimize threats and
distractions 9.2, Facilitate coping skills and strategies

Next, students will watch a video trailer of the book, Chasing Lincoln's Killer. I will ask
students if they have any questions about the book and what they are hoping to find out in the
prologue and chapter 1. I will read the prologue to students and model making inferences while
reading, or ask them to make predictions or inferences at certain points during the prologue.
Checkpoints 1.2, Offer alternatives for auditory information 1.3, Offer alternatives for visual
information 2.2, Clarify syntax and structure 3.2, Highlight patterns, critical features, big
ideas, and relationships
CLOSING
When we are finished reading the prologue, I will ask if anyone has any questions or
comments about the book. I will ask how they think Booth was feeling and how Lincoln was
feeling during the prologue. Next, students will be instructed to write a letter from the
perspective of either Booth or Lincoln that explains their feelings at the time of the prologue.
Students must address the letter to a relevant character in the book that either Booth or Lincoln
would be connected to. This will be the summative assessment for the unit.
Checkpoints 3.4, Maximize transfer and generalization 4.1, Vary the method for response and
navigation 7.2, Optimize value, relevance and authenticity 7.3, Minimize threats and
distractions 9.3, Develop self-assessment and reflection
MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES
History.com video about John Wilkes Booth, Ford's Theatre virtual tour, Frayer Model for
vocabulary definitions, sticky notes, book trailer for Chasing Lincoln's Killer, Different
Perspectives chart

Analysis and Instructional Decision-Making


The students were pre-assessed for their understanding of the objectives by researching
conspiracy theories, as described in the assessment plan above. Students were assessed daily
throughout the series using formative assessments. Data was taken and progress was monitored
daily, which is described below. Based on the data, instruction was adjusted to ensure that all
students understood the objectives for each lesson before moving on. Below is a description of
the raw data that was collected and the instructional adjustments that were made.

1 From left to right: the sticky note formative assessments for lessons 4, 5, and 6. The samples
on the top row are from students who understood the topic, the samples on the bottom row are
from students who did not meet the objective that day.

Pre-Assessment
Assessment: Presentation of popular conspiracy theories
Goal: make connections between events, individuals and ideas; evaluate and argument or claim
with conflicting viewpoints; and use sound reasoning and relevant evidence.
Connections
Darian
Dustin
Ugo
Matt
Rajvir
Stevie
Karl
Jordan
Zoey
Kevin

Did not complete


no
no
yes
no
Did not complete
yes
yes
yes
yes

Conflicting
Viewpoints

Sound Reasoning

no
no
yes
no

no
yes
yes
no

yes
yes
yes
yes

yes
yes
yes
yes

Lesson 4

Day 1:
Assessment: Sticky notes with a prediction of what the poem is about, based on learning about
Lincoln and watching clip from Dead Poets Society.
Goal: Do they have a good idea of what the poem could be about? (This does not address the
objective of the lesson, but since students will be reading a difficult, allegorical poem, they need
to have an understanding of what the poem is about before reading in order to make connections
to Lincoln's life.)
Darian: yes
Dustin: no
Ugo: no
Matt: no

Rajvir: yes
Stevie: absent
Karl: yes
Jordan: no
Zoey: yes
Kevin: at the nurse

Day 2:
Results and Action: Based on the data, we reviewed how the students in the movie clip felt
about Mr. Keating and how people felt about Lincoln. I wrote descriptions of how people felt
about Lincoln. Then, I wrote a list of how the students felt about Mr. Keating. Then, we read the
short bio of Walt Whitman. Then we made new predictions about what the poems message will
be. All the students had a good idea of what it would be about after re-teaching.
Assessment: Answer these questions: How was Lincolns presidency like the role of a captain on
a ship? What connection can be made between Lincolns life and descriptions made in the poem?
Goal: Did they make an accurate comparison between a captain and Lincoln? Did they make an
accurate connection between a part of the poem and Lincolns life?
Darian: absent
Dustin: yes, no
Ugo: yes, no
Matt: yes, yes
Rajvir: absent
Stevie: absent
Karl: yes, yes
Jordan: no, yes
Zoey: yes, no
Kevin: no, no

2 Lesson 4: This picture shows a sample from a student who showed partial understanding of
the objective. The above picture shows a sample from a student who showed full understanding
of the objective. He wrote that Lincoln was like a captain of a ship because he led the country
through the Civil War like a captain leads a ship through the ocean and storms. He connected
specific lines from the poem about people throwing bouquets of flowers at the ship to people
celebrated Lincoln for his successes.

Lesson 5
Day 1:

Results and Action: The majority of the class made an accurate comparison between a captain
and Lincoln. Jordan didnt make an accurate comparison, but through questioning during the
lesson, I observed that he had an understanding of how Lincoln was like a captain. About half the
class made an inaccurate connection between the poem and Lincolns life. During the next
lesson, we will spend the first five minutes going over the stanzas again and ask certain students
to make a connection orally. I specifically asked the students who did not make an accurate
connection to tell me more about what the poem was about, and they were able to orally make a
connection to Lincolns life.
Assessment: After watching a video and reading an article about the real reasons behind
emancipation, write on a sticky note whether or not you think Lincoln used sound reasoning
behind his decision and why.
Goal: Did they evaluate the argument and give evidence from the resources?
Darian: yes
Dustin: yes
Ugo: no
Matt: yes
Rajvir: yes
Stevie: no (refused to participate)
Karl: yes
Jordan: yes
Zoey: yes
Kevin: yes

Day 2:
Results and Action: Most of the students did well evaluating the argument, but when we started
reading the text together, they had a hard time locating the problem, responses and Lincolns

reasoning. In the next class period, instead of reading the entire text in groups, the groups will
reread specific paragraphs on the first two pages to find problems and responses.
Assessment: Last set of questions from the Problems and Responses chart: A problem that
Lincoln had, his response to the problem, his reasoning behind the response, and the evaluation
of the reasoning.
Goal: Can students effectively evaluate the reasoning of Lincoln?
Darian: absent
Dustin: yes
Ugo: no
Matt: yes
Rajvir: no
Stevie: no
Karl: yes
Jordan: absent
Zoey: yes
Kevin: yes

3 Lesson 5: This student sample shows a full understanding of the objective.

4 Lesson 5: This student showed inadequate understanding of the objective and a refusal to
follow directions to complete work.
Lesson 6
Day 1:
Results and Action: Although there were three people who did not effectively evaluate the
argument, most students were able to do so. Through questioning, Ugo was able to give me a
very superficial evaluation, but he does not take this class for a grade, as his is in the CALS
program. Stevie participates in discussion but refuses to do anything when it is time to do work.
He also will not answer questions if I tried to get him to answer verbally. Rajvir almost
understood, but failed to make a valid argument. In the next class, I asked questions about sound
reasoning as we were watching the videos and learning about Booth and he seemed to make a
good evaluation of Booths reasoning.
Assessment: After learning about the death of Lincoln and a little bit of background on Booth,
write on a sticky note whether or not Booth had sound reasoning to kill Lincoln.
Goal: Can students evaluate the reasoning of Booth?

Darian: yes
Dustin: yes
Ugo: no
Matt: yes
Rajvir: yes
Stevie: no
Karl: yes
Jordan: yes
Zoey: yes
Kevin: yes

Day 2 and Post-Assessment:


Response and Action: All students have an understanding of the objectives so far, so we moved
on to reading the prologue.
Assessment: After reading the prologue and taking notes on the feelings and actions of Booth
and Lincoln, students will write a letter from the perspective of Booth or Lincoln and answer
reflection questions about the reasoning of their character and how their feelings would change if
they wrote from the viewpoint of a different character?
Goal: Can the students evaluate sound reasoning? Can they make connections between
individuals, ideas and events? Can they acknowledge and respond to conflicting viewpoints?
Connections
Darian
Dustin
Ugo
Matt
Rajvir*
Stevie
Karl
Jordan
Zoey
Kevin

Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

Conflicting
Viewpoints
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Yes
Yes

Sound Reasoning
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes

*Rajvir has a language barrier due to being deaf. He often does not look at the interpreter when
directions are being given. As a result, he did not fully understand the assignment. He worked
hard and wrote a good letter, but it did not address the goals, so he was given a chance to rewrite
it after it was explained to him directly and using sign language. He was able to rewrite the letter
and showed exemplary progress meeting the objectives.

5 Lesson 6: This sample shows a full understanding of the objectives.

6 Lesson 6: This sample shows a full understanding of the objectives after the student was given
a second opportunity to complete the assignment a better explanation of the task.

7 Lesson 6: This sample shows a lack of understanding of the objectives.

Lesson 6: The above two pictures are samples of the self-assessment and self-evaluation.

The graph below details the increase in achievement between pre- and post-assessments.
Students were considered to understand the objective if they achieved the goal with at least 60%
accuracy. For the objective of making connections between individuals, events or ideas, there
was a 17.5% overall increase. For the objective of responding to conflicting viewpoints, there
was a 7.5% overall increase. For the objective of evaluating an argument using sound reasoning,
there was a 5% overall increase.

Student Improvement between Pre- and


Post-Assessments
90.00%
75%

80.00%
70.00%

80%

80%
70%

62.50%62.50%

Make
Connections

60.00%
Conflicting
Viewpoints

Percentage of 50.00%
Achievement of
Objectives 40.00%
30.00%

Sound
Reasoning

20.00%

10.00%
0.00%
Pre-Assessment

Post-Assessment

The table below addresses individual student progress toward the IEP objectives that
were addressed in this series.
Student IEP
Objective

Progress (Yes or No)

Stevie

RC1

No. Stevies behavior hindered him from making progress toward this
goal. He refused to listen to or read the text.

RC2

No. Stevies behavior hindered him from making progress toward this
goal. He refused to listen to or read the text.

WL1

No. Stevie did not make progress toward this goal due to behavior and

lack of effort.

Karl

Jordan

WL2

Yes

B1

No. Stevie frequently said that he was going to do what he wanted to do


when given directions for an assignment.

B2

No. Stevie did not accept consequences of his behaviors, arguing that he
will do what he wants.

B3

Yes.

B4

No. Stevie completed classwork, but refused to follow the directions for
how to complete the work, so none of his work related to the stated
directions. If work was completed, he copied answers from the board that
were used to help students write.

B5

Yes. Stevie submitted work, but it was not completed.

Comments

Stevie was suspended from school for the first part of the series. When he
returned, his goal was on turning in work that had writing on it, not
turning in work that he actually thought about. He frequently argued and
bickered with me about what he was supposed to do for the assignments.
His behavior and his unwillingness to think about what we were doing
prevented him from understanding the concepts and making progress
toward his objectives.

RC1

Yes.

WL1

Yes.

Wl2

Yes.

Comments

Karl did not meet the objectives of the unit, but met his IEP objectives.
He was able to locate specific information and wrote a good paragraph,
but it didnt connect with the topics he was supposed to write about. He
asked for clarification on the post-assessment, but still was unable to
follow the directions given.

RC1

Yes.

RC2

Yes.

WL1

Yes.

Darian

Ugo

Matt

WL2

Yes.

Comments

Jordan made fantastic progress toward his IEP objectives. He was able to
write a well-organized and formatted paragraph with descriptive
language and good transitions. He showed great progress connecting the
material to his own life and to other events in the texts.

WL1

Yes.

WL2

No. Darian did not use any of the new vocabulary in his written or verbal
responses.

Comments

Darian was absent for a few days of the series. His motivation and effort
level is also really low, so he only did the bare minimum needed to
complete the tasks.

C1

Yes.

C2

No. Ugo could not effectively compare and contrast between events,
characters and ideas.

C3

Yes.

RC1

No. Ugo was not given a modified text for this class, but the text was
read to him and he was given details of the text, but was still unable to
summarize it.

RC2

Yes. Ugo was not given a modified text, but the text was read to him and
he was given choices and prompting to understand the text.

Comments

This content required higher level thinking about the many individuals
and events surrounding Lincolns presidency and death. Ugo was unable
to make connections and evaluate arguments. He was able to answer
basic questions about the texts with much prompting.

RC1

Yes.

RC2

Yes.

RC3

Yes.

WL1

Yes.

WL1

No. Matt did not maintain topic during his post-assessment response.

Zoey

Kevin

Dustin

B1

Yes.

B2

Yes.

Comments

Matt did a great job overall achieving his IEP objectives. The only thing
he struggled with was maintaining topic in his writing. He had a lot to
say and great points to make, but he always strayed from the actual topic
he was supposed to discuss. When asked to verbally respond, he stayed
on topic.

RC1

Yes.

WL1

Yes.

Comments

Zoey did a great job with her IEP objectives. Her paragraph met the
objectives and she visualized situations to better understand them.

RC1

Yes.

RC2

Yes.

RC3

Yes.

WL1

No. Kevin was struggling to organize his ideas and scratched out his
work a number of times. I ended up scribing for him, but he still was
unable to convey an organized flow of thoughts with main ideas and
details.

Comments

Kevin made a fantastic use of comprehension skills to understand the


texts and content. He made great predictions and inferences with the text.
When it came to writing a well-organized paragraph, however, he
struggled and his thoughts became jumbled when writing and verbally
explaining his ideas.

WL1

No.

WL2

Yes.

WL3

No. I scribed for Dustin for his post-assessment, so he did not need to
revise for punctuation. On his formative assessment responses, he did not
use proper punctuation consistently.

Comments

Dustin did a good job citing textual evidence in his written responses, but
did not restate the prompt and often forgot what he was supposed to be
writing about. For his formative assessments on sticky notes, he did not

use full sentences or proper punctuation.


Rajvir

RC1

Yes.

RC2

Yes.

RC3

Yes.

WL1

Yes, with prompting.

WL2

Yes, with prompting.

Comments

Rajvir did a great job meeting his reading comprehension goals. He was
easily able to provide details from the texts and answer why and how
questions. On his formative sticky note assessments, he did not use
proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. But with prompting, he did so
with his other writing assignments.

Reflection and Evaluation


Through the instruction of this series of lessons, students gained a better understanding of
the objectives. There was an overall improvement in understanding of the objectives based on the
pre- and post-assessment data and based on the formative assessment data. I used multiple
strategies in my instruction, including discussions, watching videos, looking at pictures, reading
various types of fiction and nonfiction text, and assessing students in multiple ways. The students
were very interested in the topic because it is an engaging story, it happened close to where they
currently live and there are many questions about human values involved in the assassination of
Lincoln. I spent a lot of time answering questions students had about the time period, Booths
motives and general facts about Lincoln, Booth and the events surrounding the assassination,
which helped them connect to the material and gain a deeper understanding of the situations we
discussed. Many questions did not directly relate to the topic at hand, but I thought it was
important to answer their questions so that they could be even more invested in the topics.

I influenced student learning by providing them with ample background knowledge about
the topic. Rather than just giving them text to read, I provided them with videos and pictures to
keep them engaged and help them connect more to the material. Students read texts
independently, but all of the students struggle with reading, so I made sure to read it aloud to
them as well and have a thorough discussion of the meaning of the texts. Also, rather than just
reading aloud to them, I acted out many parts of the texts so that students would remain engaged
and gain a better understanding of the meaning through my actions, gestures and facial
expressions. Additionally, I read texts in a think-aloud, so I would stop reading frequently to give
commentary or ask questions.
I looked at the formative assessment data each day. If there were some students who
didnt seem to understand the content, I made sure to have a short discussion the next day about
what they needed to know. I would ask guiding questions to the particular students who didnt
understand the topic to make sure they could verbally explain their understanding before moving
on. If a student was absent, I asked the other students to fill them in, which got the absent student
caught up as well as activated the knowledge from the previous lesson in the students who were
there that day.
I tried to pay particular attention to Rajvir, Kevin, and Ugo. Rajvir and Kevin are English
Language Learners and Rajvir is deaf. Ugo has autism and has a hard time keeping up with the
content in the class. Rajvir and Kevin both have a good understanding of English, so they didnt
need much help to keep up with the language. For Rajvir, I tried to make sure that he was paying
attention to the interpreter during discussions and that he understood what was being asked of
him for the assignments. Sometimes, he has a tendency to get off track with his assignments
because he isnt sure what he is supposed to do, but he doesnt want to ask. So, I made sure to

double check with him that he was answering the right questions. For Ugo, I made sure to check
on him during assignments to make sure he understood what was being asked of him as well. I
would ask him simple questions and provide options of answers. I allowed him to give limited
explanations of the questions being asked, as long as he had a basic understanding of the topic.
There were some limitations during this series. Language Arts requires so much writing,
and for many of the students, their ideas get jumbled when they have to write them down. For
instance, Matt would show a great understanding of the topic during discussion, but when he had
to write a response for his assessments, he would be off topic. I took that into account when
grading the assignments, but it was a limitation because as much as I tried to redirect him to stay
on topic in his writing, he always seemed to quickly get off track. For future activities, I would
choose students who I would assess orally. They would still need to write a response in order to
practice toward their IEP goals, but they would not be graded for the written response. Students
like Matt and Dustin should have been assessed orally because that is the best way to gauge their
understanding.
Another limitation is that Rajvir showed a lack of understanding in some of the
assessments. This turned out to be due to his lack of hearing. Rajvir does not always utilize the
interpreter in class, and as a result, he doesnt understand exactly what he is supposed to do. He
failed his summative assessment because of this. If it werent for my mentor teacher telling me
he should be given another explanation of the task and given a chance to redo it, I would have
given him the failing grade. His second attempt at the assignment showed that he had an
outstanding understanding of the topic and passed with 100%. In the future, when grading
assignments, I will take into account all of the possible barriers that a student faced when
completing the assignment and consider giving them another chance to complete it if they dont

get it right the first time. Additionally, I will try to remove those barriers to begin with so that
students can get it right the first time.
Based on my reflection of the instruction of this series of lessons, I have two professional
learning goals related to the CEC standards.
1. Standard 3: Individual Learning Differences/Learning Styles and Diverse Learners.
a. I will cater to individual learning differences and learning styles by providing
a wide range of instructional strategies that utilize visual and written material,
as well as physical action. I will utilize a wide range of assessment strategies
that will allow students to respond orally, in writing, or through pictures and
visuals. I will ask and answer questions that will deepen student understanding
and provide them with options to access the material in the way that best suits
them.
2. Standard 5: Learning Environment/Learning Environments and Social Interactions.
a. I will foster a successful and productive learning environment by providing
students with many options by which to learn. I will create a social
environment in which students can discuss topics with me and with each other
in order to deepen their understanding. I will make sure that students are
comfortable asking questions related to the material and I will answer all
questions that will give them a deeper global understanding of the topics being
covered. I will ensure that students can connect material to their lives and that
material is presented in an authentic way in order for them to make those
connections and see the value in the material they learn.