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Helen Webb

Topic: Vision
Background and Rationale: This lesson took place in a 5th grade classroom at Great Falls
Elementary school in Gorham Maine. The majority of students in the class are either on or above
grade level for reading and writing, with the exception of 2, who qualify for RTI. There are also
3 students who face challenges related to attention deficit disorder. There are two classes, each
comprised of 25 students, who rotate between two teachers; one for literacy and social studies
and the other for science and math. This lesson was taught to the two groups of students on the
same day, at different times.
In science, students have learned about vitamins and minerals. They have also learned
about how different parts of the body function. The teacher uses Time for Kids articles to support
science content, as well as implement literacy into science instruction. This particular lesson
which I taught was aligned with science content. I also tied the lesson to their recent unit on
persuasive writing.
Standards Addressed:
NAS Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Students will develop an understanding of personal health.
CCSS.ELA-Reading: Informational Text. RI 5.1
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing
inferences from the text.
CCSS. ELA-Reading: Informational Text. RI 5.3
Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or
concepts in a historical, scientific or technical text based on specific information from the text.
CCSS. ELA-Writing: Text Types and Purposes
Write opinion pieces on topics or texts supporting a point of view with reasons and information.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2.D
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Learning Targets:
1. Students will be able to draw information from text and write a persuasive essay based on
what they have learned.
2. Students will be able to discuss ways they can take care of their eyes.
3. Students will be able to identify and describe the different parts of the eye and the
function of each.
Modifications:
1. A microphone is required for one student with a hearing impairment to amplify the
instruction of the teacher as well as the students writing partner.
Materials, Equipment:
1. Time For Kids and/or Eyes and Ears by Seymour Simon
2. Pencils
3. Worksheet
4. Popsicle sticks, one with each of the students names
5. Lined paper

Procedure:
Pass out a copy of the magazine to each student, and have them read the article Eyes on
Vision, filling out the accompanying worksheet. This can be done in class or for homework. In
this case, the reading was assigned for homework.
The next day, we will read the article again as a class. Have students pull out their science folders
and have the magazine and worksheet on their desks. I will first ask what the article was about,
and why they think eye health is important. I will then call on students to read each paragraph,
stopping frequently to ask for leading questions or comments. I will be paying particular
attention to the vocabulary and the diagrams.
Once the article has been read thoroughly, practicing close reading skills, I will randomly select
students to report their answers on the worksheet which should have been completed the night
before. Since everyone has answers in front of them, there will be no cold calling. I will bring the
discussion to a close by asking for volunteers to share something they found interesting that they
did not know before, or something they would like to know more about
At the end of the discussion, have students write a 5 paragraph persuasive essay arguing for
screen free week using information from the text.

Time Students Will...

Directions...

11:00 Get out their science folders


and put the Time For Kids
magazine, and the completed
worksheet on their desks.

Please get out your Time For


Kids magazine and the
worksheet you finished last
night. Show me that you are
ready by having both of these
things on your desks.

Key Questions...
1. Why are our eyes
important?
2. What are some ways we
use our eyes at school?

Now turn to the article Eyes


on Vision which you read for
homework.
11:05 Read through the article
together. One student will be
called on to read each
paragraph

You have all read the article,


now we will read it together as
a class, practicing our close
reading skills. One student will
read each paragraph.
Who would like to start us off?

1. What is myopia and


what causes it?
2. How can we protect our
eyes?
3. How do you think
losing vision effects
people?
4. What are the different
parts of the eye and
what are their

functions?
5. What does the phrase
the jury is still out
mean
6. What are some of the
cause and effect
relationships we are
reading about?
7. How do the diagrams
and pictures help us to
understand the
information?
11:20 Be randomly selected to share Since you have all done the
Questions from the Worksheet
their answers from the
reading and have your answers
1. Which food contains
worksheet with the class.
in front of you, everyone
zinc
should be prepared to be called
2. Which vitamin works
on. I will pull sticks to call on
with zinc to protect
one or more of you to answer
your eyes?
each question.
3. Which food contains
this vitamin?
4. What are the symptoms
of macular
degeneration?
5. What is one food that
may reduce your risk
for the disease?
6. What might be the
effect of having low
levels of the fatty acid
DHA?
7. What can you eat to try
to prevent this effect?
8. Do you think it is
important to start taking
care of your eyes at a
young age? Use
evidence to support
your answer.
11:30 write a 5 paragraph
persuasive essay arguing for
screen free week using
information from the text

Now that we have learned


some information about why
our eyes are important, how to
keep them healthy and some of
the things that can happen to
them, you are all going to write
a persuasive essay, arguing for

What do you remember from


the last unit about writing
persuasive essays?
How will you use those skills
to write this essay?

a screen free week. Pretend


that the principal is considering
issuing a screen free week, and
you are writing this to convince
her that it is a good idea for the
entire school.
12:00 Put away their materials, put
essays and worksheets in the
inbox and line up for lunch

Assessment: Students will be assessed on their worksheets, their essays and their contribution to
class discussion.
Reflection:

Overall, this lesson went well. I was surprised by the number of students who agreed that
a screen free week was a good idea. Many of them believed however, that with all the technology
we encounter in work and school settings, it would be extremely difficult to avoid. We talked
about how this was not always the case and how society is increasing our use and need for
screens.
I was also impressed by how the students were engaged and interested in the material.
Many of them pointed out interesting things about the eye they did not know before. Others
shared personal stories, or expressed how amazed they were by the growing statistics of people
who had eye problems. Someone even made a connection to a recent lesson in social studies
when they learned about photography during the civil war. They compared the structure and
function of the eye to a camera, which made many other students gain more interest and
understanding.
Some students of course, did not agree that it was a good idea. As I anticipated, it was
more difficult to write a persuasive piece if they did not agree with the argument. I intentionally
decided to have everyone write for the same side of the argument so that they could use the text
most effectively, but also, I believe that writing for a side that you do not agree with is a good
exercise in writing, understanding different points of view, and relying on information in order to
get your point across. Students have recently completed a unit on persuasive writing where they
got to choose their side and topic, so this was a way to use those skills they learned in a different
context.
One thing I wish I would have done was incorporated some kind of visuals or media into
the discussion to make the lesson more engaging, and also give the students more material to
draw from for their essays and discussion.

Yes
Is the student
opinion consistent
throughout his or
her writing?
Does the opening
grab the readers
attention and
clearly state the
opinion?
Does the student
provide a range of
evidence to
support his or her
argument?
Does the student
make reference to
the text and
include facts?
Does the student
use transitional
words and
phrases?
Is the opinion
restated in the
conclusion?

Some Evidence

No Evidence

Resources
Cunningham, P. M. & Cunningham, J.W. (2010). What really matters in writing: Research-based
//////practices across the elementary curriculum. New York, NY: Pearson Education Inc.
DSC Collaborative Literacy (2014). Being a writer Vol. 2 (2nd ed.) Emeryville, CA: Developmental
//////Studies Cen Eyes and Ears
Simonter, S. (2015, April, 24) Eyes on vision, Time for Kids, 1(23). pp. 4-5.
Simonter, S. (2005). Eyes and ears. Harper Colins