This activity emphasizes the importance of teaching reading and writing strategies for students to use with informational text.
Throughout this unit on Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, students practice the same six skills with greater scaffolding and modeling at the beginning, and more independence toward the middle and end. The tasks include: 1. writing to an essential question to access background knowledge; 2. using context clues and root words to determine word meaning; 3. close reading with the aid of a glossary; 4. taking notes one of two graphic organizers (sequence of events and/or empathy map); 5. re-reading to answer text dependent questions; and 6. summarizing the chapter.
In this lesson, students read informational pieces about whether or not schools should teach cursive writing. They will evaluate the arguments presented and then choose a side of the issue. Finally, they will write their own arguments expressing their points of view.
This "jigsaw" activity will give students the opportunity to work in groups to summarize a 1 to 2 page informational text. It "jigsaws" down to 1 class summary and can be done in 2 or 3 days. This plan was designed for a class of 22 students but can be easily modified by varying group size.