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The Reason for the Seasons

Part 1. Description of Setting:


O Grade level: 1
O Subject: Science
O Type of program: sheltered instruction
O Location of school: Salt Lake City, UT
O Student characteristics:
o There are 25 students in this classroom, 10 of which are language learners. Three of the
ELL students are on proficiency level two (Beginning), three are on a level three proficiency
level (Developing) and four are on a level four proficiency level (Expanding) (WIDA). Seven
of the ten ELL students speak Spanish as their first language. Five of these students are from
Mexico and the two are from Peru. The other three ELL students speak Arabic as their first
language. Two are from Iraq and the other is from Jordan. All of the ELL students come
from families of low socioeconomic status.
Part 2. Lesson Description & Explanation
O Standards: Standard 2: Earth and Space Science. Students will gain an understanding of
Earth and Space Science through the study of Earth materials, celestial movement and
weather. Objective 3: Compare and contrast seasonal weather changes.
o WIDA standard 4: The language of science. This standard focuses the development of
English language. Example Topics: Weather. Speaking Level 2 Beginning: Make statements
about weather from pictures or photographs (Its raining). Speaking Level 3 Developing:
Compare/contrast weather conditions from pictures, photographs or graphs. Speaking Level
4 Expanding: forecast weather and provide reasons from pictures, photographs or graphs.
O Fit with the curriculum: Prior to this lesson, students must have an understanding of the
sun and moon, including their rotational patterns. Following this lesson plan, students will
explore weather patterns and characteristics within each season. They will observe weather
and collect information, such as precipitation, sunny, windy, etc.
O Lesson Preparation
Performance Objectives
Content Objective 1: Students will be able to identify characteristics of the seasons by
reading informational texts as a class.
Content Objective 2: Students will be able to compare and contrast the seasons by creating
a Venn diagram individually.
Language Objective 1: Students will be able to use season-specific vocabulary (summer,
fall, winter, spring, warm, cold, hot, rainy, snowy) to write in their Venn diagram
individually.
Our objectives will be displayed on a poster board at the front of the classroom for all the
students to see. At the beginning of the lesson, we will explicitly state the objectives out loud
and ask the students to repeat them as a class. At the end of our lesson, we will review the
objectives to make sure the students understood the material.
Content Concepts: The content concept of this lesson is to understand seasonal changes.
This is applicable to first graders because they can understand that seasons are a part of their
every day lives. Students should be able to understand characteristics of each season and how
it affects them. They can apply their knowledge of the characteristics of each season to their
lives, such as what to wear during the specific seasons. Students will make these
connections as they complete their Venn diagram comparing two seasons. For example, you
need warm clothing in both Fall and Winter, but you will not need to wear snow boots in the
fall.
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Supplementary materials:
Black silhouettes of sun, flower, snowman and leaf. This is appropriate for our lesson and
for ELL students because it offers support through the use of visual materials. We will use
these visuals so students make connections between vocabulary and the visual.
Winter, spring, summer, fall labels. We will provide these labels in English, Spanish and
Arabic. These labels are useful for our lesson and for ELL students because they can see the
word in their first language, and be able to sort characteristics of each season.
World globe and flashlight. This is another use of visual support and helps the students
understand the model they have created.
Venn Diagram. Students will be given a Venn diagram handout. There will also be a Venn
diagram displayed on the board in front of the class.
Informational texts: Its Spring! by Linda Glaser, Its Summer by Linda Glaser, Its Fall! by
Linda Glaser and Its Winter by Linda Glaser. The Reason for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons.
These texts are appropriate for our lesson and for ELLs because they offer information and
pictures for each season.
Paper and coloring utensils for creating class book. This is helpful for ELL students
because they will have a reference to rely on for support down the road.
Adaptation of content: We will provide a word wall with season-specific vocabulary that
contains words in all three first languages spoken in by our students. This includes English,
Spanish and Arabic. The definitions will be in English and a picture will also be provided. We
are not going to adapt our informational texts because we dont feel that we could accurately
translate the material. Instead of adapting the text, we will provide additional support for
explaining the content. For example, when reading Its Spring!, we will model for students
specific characteristics of spring on a Venn diagram.
Meaningful activities: The students will engage in several activities throughout this lesson.
The first activity is a matching activity. The students will be provided with four silhouettes
that represent each season. They will also be given season labels to match with the
silhouettes. Students can work in partners or individually to complete this activity. Our
second activity is a Venn diagram. The students will compare two seasons, writing the
characteristics that they share and dont share. The students will compare fall to winter and
spring to summer. Throughout the lesson, the students will also be engaged in reading the
provided informational texts in small groups. These activities are meaningful because the
students will begin to recognize the differences between each season. They will also be able
to recognize the similarities among the seasons. Most importantly, they will know the
characteristics of each season. Such as: the type of weather, what they should wear, and what
it looks like. These activities provide the students with opportunities to speak and practice
their communication skills.
o Building Background
Concepts explicitly linked to students background knowledge: Begin the lesson with a
short discussion about what the students already know about seasons in Utah. Some students
may only know about some of the seasons, since they are from Mexico, Peru, Iraq and
Jordan. We can have a discussion about what seasons they have seen in their home country
and compare them to Utah. To help make comparisons, we will have pictures of weather in
their home countries and in Utah on the board. These pictures will be projected in the form
of a slideshow.
Concepts explicitly linked to prior learning: Before this lesson, students have talked about
the sun. The students should already know about the changes and appearances of the sun.
This lesson has built a foundation for a discussion about the characteristics of the different

seasons. Students should know that the sun warms the Earth; hence it is warmer in the
Summer than in the winter when the suns light hits the Earth indirectly.
Key Vocabulary: summer, fall, winter, spring, rainy, sunny, windy, cloudy, hot, cold,
snowman, leaf, flower, sun. We will introduce the season names when we ask students to
match silhouettes to the label. We will introduce season-specific words as we read from the
texts. Throughout the entire lesson, we will be sure to use these vocabulary words to model
their use. The vocabulary words will also be posted on a word wall in three languages with
pictures provided. Students will also be required to use the vocabulary words as they do
activities and communicate with peers about the content.
o Comprehensible Input
Speech: The speech that we use for all students, including ELL students will be easy to
understand. We will speak at a moderately slow pace so the students can listen to instruction
and have time to comprehend. We will speak loud enough for all students to hear and use
amplifying tools if necessary. We will speak clearly and be sure to pronounce each sound in
the words. One-way to ensure students are listening to instructions, we will have them repeat
some of the things we say. For example, when introducing the matching activity, we would
say, Match the black picture to the season label it belongs to. You will need to match each
picture with a word. What do you need to do? Students response: Match each picture with
a word. For our Beginning, level two learners, we will need to give one-step instructions for
them to follow. They are at the beginning stages of speaking English, so we will need to
provide instructions in simple speech and with modeling. We will model what is expected of
the students as a whole class before they are to complete the activity on their own. For our
Developing and Expanding, level three and four learners, we will be sure to give clear
instructions that they can understand as well as model what is expected of them.
Clear explanations of academic tasks:
Today, we will be learning about the four different seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer and
fall. Our objectives for today are, (State objectives)
To begin, please get with your partner and together you will match the season labels with
their matching picture. The partnerships have been pre-selected based on whom the student
is sitting by. You will be given 10 minutes to complete this activity. When you are done
fold your arms and smile at the teacher.
Ask the class, How do the seasons change? How does the earth know when it is time for
summer? Winter? Spring? Fall? Give students time to think about these questions. Students
should signal to the teacher that they are done thinking by getting out a book to read.
Students will then discuss with their partner what they thought about.
Instruct students to listen to the story, The Reason for the Seasons. Tell them to listen to
the story closely for the relationship of the sun to the Earth.
After the first two pages are read of, The Reason for the Seasons, point out that the tilt of
Earth in relation to the sun changes throughout the year, which is what makes seasons.
Tell students to watch as the teacher presents a model of the suns rotations around the
Earth. Some students can come up and help the teacher as they present. Teacher will ask
questions and have students discuss with partners of what they are observing.
Discussion about the seasons. For every season, we will begin by asking the students to
list the characteristics that they already know about that season by either writing it down or
talking to a partner. Students will be asked to read the book about each season and add new
information to their list as they read. Next students will be asked to draw a picture that
correlates with their list to share with the class. Make sure to include the characteristics that
you read about in the book.

Explain to the class that you will be creating a Venn diagram together to compare two
seasons. Ask the students for ideas while modeling where specific characteristics go on the
Venn diagram. Ask the students to point out similarities and differences that they noticed.
Students should include characteristics of the seasons such as: the weather, precipitation, the
clothes that they would wear, and what it looks like.
Wrap up by asking students to collaborate with their pictures by putting them together as a
class.
Variety of techniques: We will model for students what is expected of them throughout the
whole lesson. For the matching activity, we will match the flower with the spring label to
show what we want our students to do. We will also ask them to make sure we are correct.
The next technique we will use is a hands-on model of how the earth tilts using a globe and
flashlight. After we have modeled it for the class, we will ask a couple students to come up
and model for the class as well. Another technique we will use is requiring the students to
draw and label pictures about each season and then putting them together to make a book.
Lastly, the students will make a Venn diagram, which is helpful for them to organize
information.
o Strategies
Learning strategies: The students can use a couple of different learning strategies in this
lesson. One strategy we will use is a reading comprehension strategy; question answer
representation (QAR). This strategy is incorporated into the lesson as we read from The
Reason for the Seasons. The teacher reads a few pages, then stops to question the students
and ask questions. These questions can be for content, inferring, predicting, observing and
individual questioning. As the students stop reading and discuss what is happening as a class,
they are learning reading comprehension strategies they can use on their own in the future.
We can ensure the students are using these strategies since they are already built into the
lesson as supplemental activities/materials.
Scaffolding techniques: We have decided to use modeling as one form of scaffolding for
our students. We will demonstrate how to do the matching activity at the beginning of the
lesson by thinking aloud and then showing how we would match the season with its picture.
We decided to use modeling and a think aloud because we think the students will have a more
explicit understanding of our expectations for this activity. We also want to show them how
they could possibly go about thinking through this activity and to be aware of their thinking
process. They may be thinking about things in a different way than the teacher and their
peers, but we want them to know that is perfectly acceptable. By modeling and thinking
through this activity aloud, ELL students will have a chance to see what they are expected to
do. This will take away from the stress of having to read instructions and guess what the
activity is. In this lesson, we will also use modeling to show the students how to compare
and contrast two seasons using a Venn diagram. We want it to be clear how to fill out a Venn
diagram and what we want theirs to look like. We will use modeling and doing several
examples with them before asking them to do a couple on their own. As we do this as a class,
the students will have time to write in their answers and discuss the differences and
similarities between the two seasons under examination. By modeling our expectations of
this activity, ELLs will have a chance to see what is expected of them and they will also be
able to practice communicating with their peers and the class takes time to fill out the
diagram together.
Questioning to promote HOTS: We will ask the students their thoughts about how they
think the seasons change, without giving any information at first. We want to assess what
they already know to guide our instruction for the lesson. Throughout the lesson, we will ask

questions that will provide us with information about student understanding. Since this may
be a brand new topic for many students, we want to be sure each of them has an opportunity
to understand it. We will ask students to write down things they already know about each of
the seasons, again to guide our focus for presenting new information. Finally, we will ask
students questions about how seasons differ or are the same as we fill out a Venn diagram.
We will ensure we are promoting higher order thinking by requiring students to complete
tasks on many levels of the Taxonomy Level Locator. For example, students will be asked
questions that show they know and comprehend content. We also want them to be able to
apply and analyze the information so they can eventually (in later lessons) synthesize and
evaluate what they have learned. In this lesson, we would ask, how would you explain to a
friend how seasons are made and changed? (Comprehend). Compare and Contrast the
differences between Fall and Winter. (Analyze).
o Interaction
Frequent opportunities for interaction and discussion: The students will interact with the
teacher and each other many times throughout the lesson. They will have a discussion in the
beginning of the lesson about their ideas of how seasons change. The students will be able to
think about this, share with a partner and then share their ideas with the teacher/rest of the
class. The students will interact with the teacher and with each other as they talk about the
book, The Reason for the Seasons. They will interact with each other as they make and
discuss an Earth/sun model with the teacher and talk about the seasons around the world at
different times of the year. Students will again interact with the teacher as they write down
and discuss their ideas of characteristics for each season. Finally, students will interact with
each other and with the teacher as they discuss and fill out a Venn diagram comparing and
contrasting two seasons.
Grouping configurations: Students will work as a class, in pairs and individually
throughout this lesson. We will pair students together who are on different language
proficiency levels. Our hope is that students who speak the same language can work together
so upper level students can explain instructions to lower level students and provide an
example of what they are to do. We also want students to work with a partner that can help
them stay on task and do their best. We will be able to choose these groups when we have
gotten to know our students and know who works well together and who doesnt. We want
the students to have opportunities to work in partners so they have speaking opportunities and
chances to help each other and learn from each other. We will do some whole-group
discussions so we can assess whether or not our students understand the content. We also
want to be able to guide the discussion and keep students on task; instead of having them
work in groups where they may get lost and off track.
Wait time: In order to monitor ourselves to ensure we allow appropriate wait time, we will
set a 20-30 second timer before we call on someone to answer. This way, we give everyone
time to think about their responses and the students are aware they have time to think about
the question before we will call on them. Since ELLs need more time to think about their
responses, we will monitor how our students do with only 20 seconds of wait time and extend
it if needs be. The timer will be next to the teacher and when the buzzer goes off, students
know they can answer the question by raising their hands.
Clarify key concepts in L1: Students will have vocabulary words written in L1 to help them
achieve the lesson objectives. The words will be on a Word Wall with pictures and English
definitions. This resource will be made available to students because it will be on display for
the class at all times. The students will also be able to use each other as a resource. Some of
the students speak the same L1, which may be helpful if they are different levels of

proficiency in their L1. They will have access to helping each other in various group work
activities in small groups and in pairs.
o Practice & Application
Hands-on materials and/or manipulatives: For this lesson, we will do several hands-on
activities to demonstrate how the tilt of the Earth affects the changing seasons. We will do a
demonstration for the class that students can be part of using a globe and flashlight to model
the Earths tilt and its impact on the seasons. Students will gain a visual representation of this
scientific concept that may be difficult to understand if only explained through words. They
will have an opportunity to see first hand how seasons are created and how different parts of
the world are affected by the position of the sun and Earth. Finally, the students will use a
Venn diagram to compare and contrast the differences between seasons. This is a useful
hands-on material to help students organize information they have gained throughout the
lesson.
Application: Students will apply what they learn in this lesson as they compare and
contrast the types of clothing that is worn during each season. Their knowledge of the
temperature, precipitation and weather can be applied to how they should dress/ prepare for
specific types of weather. In future lessons, students can apply their knowledge of weather to
collecting data about weather and predicting patterns.
Integration of the 4 skills in practice: Students will use reading skills as they read each of
the season books. For example, they will read Its Spring! to gather information about what
occurs during that season. The students will listen as they read The Reason for the Seasons as
a class. They will also listen as the teacher explains the Earth/sun model, models how to
complete activities and helps students complete their Venn diagrams. Students will write on
their Venn diagram and list things they know about each season. Students will speak in
several places during the lesson. They will collaborate with partners as they complete the
matching activity in the beginning of the lesson, discuss with the class The Reason for the
Seasons and discuss differences and similarities between seasons. The students seem to do a
lot of listening, speaking and reading, but there isnt a very strong writing component in this
lesson. Our hope is that in future lessons, students will have opportunities to write about the
seasons with prompts and questioning to guide them. Perhaps we will ask them to tell us
which season is their favorite and provide a reason why.
o Lesson Delivery
Content objectives align with instruction: In our first content objective, students will be
able to identify characteristics of the seasons by reading informational texts as a class. This
aligns with our instructional materials because we will read, as a class, The Reason for the
Seasons as well as Its Spring, Its Summer, Its Winter and Its Fall. As the class reads each of
these books, the teacher will facilitate discussions, ask students to draw pictures and fill out
graphic organizers to ensure they are able to identify characteristics of each season. In our
second content objective, students will be able to compare and contrast the seasons by
creating a Venn diagram individually. They will complete this with help from the teacher as
well as classmates. The students will learn to see the differences and similarities between
seasons as they fill out this graphic organizer with the support they need.
Language objectives align with instruction: In our first language objective, students will
be able to use season-specific vocabulary (summer, fall, winter, spring, warm, cold, hot,
rainy, snowy) to write in their Venn diagram individually. We will provide a word wall with
the season-specific vocabulary so the students will have a reference from which to use the
words. The students will also be able to use our different texts as a reference for filling out
their Venn diagram.

o Review & Assessment


Formative assessments: We will use multiple formative assessments throughout this lesson.
Our first formative assessment is the matching activity at the beginning of the lesson. This
informs us of students understanding of the characteristics of each season. If students have
mismatched pictures to its season, we know they need more support throughout the lesson.
Another formative assessment is the pictures students will create for the class book. They will
be expected to use vocabulary words to either label (Beginning ELLs), finish sentence frames
(Developing and Expanding ELLs) or describe (mainstream students) the characteristics of
each season. Another formative assessment is class discussions where students can verbalize
what they understand and where there are gaps. Student responses can guide our instruction
throughout the lesson. Lastly, we will ask the students to complete the matching activity to
see if they get them all right. However, if the students completed them correctly the first time,
we will skip this last assessment.
Review key vocabulary: We will review key vocabulary at the end of the lesson by reading
our class book. When the students hear a vocabulary word, they will raise their hands and we
will ask one student to come point to the word on the word wall. Not only are the students
hearing the word, but also they are looking at it and seeing a picture of it. This will help them
recognize that the word is an important vocabulary word that they should remember.
Review and assessment of student learning: To revisit content and language objectives at
the end of the lesson we will restate to the students what they were. We will say the
objectives out loud while pointing to the objectives that are displayed at the front of the
classroom. By doing this, the students are able to hear and see what the objectives were of
the lesson. From our textbooks in this course we have read about the importance of the use
of visuals and repeating of content and language objectives. If the objectives are repeated
throughout the lesson, and then revisited at the end of the lesson, then the students will
deeply understand exactly what is expected of them. We will assess student learning from
this lesson by having them complete formative assessments throughout. Our lesson plan
contains multiple formative assessments that help guide the instruction of the content
material and that help our students progress towards deeper learning. One type of
assessment that we will use to assess whether or not our students mastered and learned the
language and content objectives will be an assessment tool found within the SIOP book. This
assessment is called numbers 3, 2, 1 for self-assessment. We believe that having our students
use a self-assessment, especially our ELL students, will help them be in more control of their
learning. Through a self-assessment, specifically the ELL students will be able to rate their
knowledge of the content and language objectives in a non-threating way. A self-assessment
allows students to assess their own progress and understandings. The numbers 3, 2, 1 for
self-assessment is a quick and easy tool that guides students in recognizing the degree to
which they think they have met the lesson objectives. At the end of our lesson, we will have
the students indicate to show with one, two, or three fingers how well they think they have
met the objectives. If a student holds up three fingers that means that he or she feels like they
have met and can do the objective. If a student holds up two fingers that means that he or she
is making progress but needs more help or practice to meet the objective. Through this type
of self-assessment, we will be able to identify which students have mastered the content and
language objectives and which students need the additional support.
Feedback: Towards the end of our lesson, our students will be creating a class book
containing a characteristic of one of the seasons with a detailed picture. This is considered a
written assignment and we will provide feedback to our students to ensure that they
understand the material. We will conduct teacher-student interviews. We will have our

students show and explain to us what they have created individually. An interview will allow
the teacher and the student the one on one interaction that may be needed to support the
students language development. The interview feedback will be specific and academically
oriented. We will make sure that we give specific comments and communicate to the
students what they have done well on. For example, instead of saying to a student, Good
job! we will say, Sally, I really like you included the characteristic of hot weather when
describing summer. The picture of the sun and the girl swimming in a pool is a wonderful
activity of what someone may like to do during the Summer time. You wrote the word hot
which is a vocabulary term that we have talked about. The second form of feedback is more
specific and effective than the first form of feedback. Along with orally giving our students
feedback on their characteristic page of the class book, we will also write down our feedback
so that the students can refer back to the feedback if needed. We will make sure to provide
effective feedback throughout our entire lesson plan. We will give our students feedback that
supports and validates student learning. This means that our students will be confident to
speak and they will be encouraged to participate and interact in our lesson. In order for our
ELLs to receive teacher feedback, they must be able to provide output. Lastly, we will
explicitly model how to use appropriate English. If a student makes a comment with
incorrect English usage, we will respond by implicitly correcting the statement to the
appropriate English usage. We will make sure that we simply restate the sentence in the
correct form. Through modeling, our ELL students will be able to hear the correct way to use
English words, which they can then use in their own communication.
o Differentiating Instruction & Student Choice: Our lesson plan includes differentiated
instruction for our ELL learners according to the varying levels of English language
proficiency. The ELL students that we listed in our description contain learners who are at
the level two beginning, level three developing and level four expanding proficiency levels.
We made accommodations throughout our lesson plan directed to these three different
language proficiency levels. To meet all of our ELL needs we included supplementary
materials directed to these learners. We included the season terms in the three L1 languages
that our spoken in our classroom. The three languages include: English, Spanish and Arabic.
Along with including the season terms in the L1 language, we also will incorporate a word
wall in our classroom that contains the key vocabulary terms in the L1 languages. Although
the words will be in the L1 languages, the definitions will be in English. A picture will also
be provided next to the word. With the three different language proficiency levels, we will be
aware of their individual needs. To accommodate for the level two beginning students, we
will be sure to give them simple instructions. This means that we will be giving them onestep instructions. Our beginning level students need to be given instructions one-step at a
time to fully comprehend what is being asked of them. For our level three developing and
level four expanding students, we will give them instructions in simple speech with short
phrases. The ELL students at these levels are able to understand short phrases; however, we
still want to make sure that we speak to them in a way that is easy for them to understand.
Another way that we will adapt the material to accommodate according to the different
language proficiency levels is through the class book assignment. Students who are on a
level two beginning and level three developing levels will only be required to draw and label
their picture. Students who are at a level four expanding language proficiency level will be
given sentence frames to help them write their characteristic of a particular season. For
example, During the winter it is ____________________. The class book will allow for
student choice. The students in the class will be given a choice as to what season they would
like to choose to write about. They are also given a choice as to what characteristic they are

going to use to write about and what type of picture they are going to draw. Students will
have learned the content material up to this point, and then will be given the choice as to
what they would like to display for their end piece of work.
Part 3. Lesson Sequence & Materials
O Instructional Procedures:
o Students will match silhouettes to the correct season label. After they have matched the
silhouette to the season, place an example on the board. (7-10 minutes)
o Ask the class, How do the seasons change? How does the earth know when it is time for
summer? Winter? Spring? Fall? Give students time to think about these questions and then
discuss with a partner what they thought about. Finally, have a short class discussion about
the students ideas. (7-10 minutes)
o Read the book The Reason for the Seasons by Gail Gibbons. Start out by reading only the
first two pages. (5 minutes)
o Use a world globe and a flashlight to model the suns rotations around the Earth. (10
minutes)
o Read the next two pages of The Reason for the Seasons and explain how the earth rotates
as it moves around the sun. In other words, when the sun is shining on one side of the earth,
the other side is in darkness. When the earth is in darkness, it is cooler since the blanket of air
is not being warmed. Also, since the earth is tilted, the top and bottom of earth have different
seasons. (5-7 minutes)
o Now we will begin to talk about each season individually. The students will explore
characteristics of each season, such as weather, temperature, activities, clothing, animal and
plant life changes. For each season, students will participate in the following tasks.
Spring: Ask students to list what they already know about spring. Make a list on the board
for the whole class. Read the pages from The Reason for the Seasons about spring and add
any new information to our list. (5 minutes)
Read Its Spring! And add additional information to the list. (15 minutes)
The students will choose one of the characteristics of each season from the chart. Each
student will draw/color and write a subtitle telling about the characteristic he/she has drawn.
Level two and three ELL students will only be required to label their picture. Level four will
be provided with sentence frames to write their description. For example, During the winter
time it is _____________. This same sentence frame will be used but the season may be
changed according to the students choice. The pictures will be put into a class book and
read to the students. Place the class book in the classroom library or on display. (20 minutes)
Students will fill out a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the seasons. (15 minutes)
This lesson could take more than one day to complete. For example, talk about Spring and
Summer on one day and compare them. Then talk about Fall and Winter the next day and
compare them.