Monday, February 15, 2016

Informational Text and Social Learning in the Classroom

 Who has the time for social learning? 

   You do! Social learning can be so exciting. Your students will really look forward to cooperative group times. Here is a step-by-step method of incorporating both social learning and information text into your "posh" classroom.  

   Pre-Class - Select the standard that need to be addressed. Let’s say that after testing, you find that most of your students need to work on understanding text information.  So, in this example,  I’ll using informational text as the learning concept from Common Core State Standards.4.RI.3 Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including  what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  Class Day 1   Have students vote on a US president they’d like to learn more about. Say the majority wanted to know more about Abraham Lincoln. That’s great, because Abraham Lincoln is my favorite president! Then, have your students take a student learning style inventory. Here is a free printable version. Look at photos of Lincoln from the Library of Congress and listen to the song, Hero of Tippecanoe, too.

Photos of Lincoln Slideshow (Library of Congress)
Learning Style Inventory
Hero of Tippecanoe  
   An interest inventory helps students to understand how they learn best to include, (a) visual preference (b) audio preference (c) tactile preferences (d) visual modality (e) auditory modality, and (f) kinesthetic/tactile modality. Then provide assignments and/or assessments in each of the needed modes or preferences. But, read on there is more!

Post-Class - Since the students wanted to learn more about Abe Lincoln, collect grade level appropriate materials from the Internet and/or library.

Day 2 Give your students an Abraham Lincoln Pretest.

Abraham Lincoln Pretest Page 1 of 7

Days 3 and 4 - Introduce Abraham Lincoln by using some of the links below.

Time Line of Abraham Lincoln

Emancipation Proclamation

Abe Lincoln Gallery -advanced

Lincoln Library

  Also, you might use the Discovery Education link (above) with suggested discussion questions (on page 2). A short two minute film is presented by National Geographic about Abraham Lincoln (below).

Abraham Lincoln
  As learners read or listen, have them jot down informational text on notebook paper and later discuss them in a cooperative small group or with a partner.

Day 5 - Practice writing down facts. Have your students write or remember 5 to 7 facts while watching one of the below presentations or have small groups find 10–20 facts together.

Abraham Lincoln Fun Facts

Abe Lincoln (advanced)

Days 6-10 - Assessments 

   Have students study for a quiz, create a final project and assess themselves as a cooperative group member.

1.Abraham Lincoln Post Test - Pages 6 & 7

2. Students will use the Abraham Lincoln facts they found for a final project. This might be a partner or group project (timeline, song, short story, PowerPoint presentation, skit or monologue). Here are some examples of a skit and a song about Abraham Lincoln and his opponent in the race for presidency.

Will the Real Abe Lincoln Stand Up? Skit

The Short and Long of It:Or the Complaint of Douglas Song

3. Lastly, fill out this Cooperative Learning Evaluation.

Have fun teaching and learning!

Lynn @ TiePlay Ed.

Common Core State Standards Initiative.(2016) Literacy. Retrieved from
Daily teaching Tools.(n.d).Cooperative Learning: 7 Free PDF Assessment Instruments
Discovery Education.(n.d). A Lincoln Guide. Retrieved from
Discovering Justice.(n.d) Will the Real Abe Lincoln Stand Up?. Retrieved from
Fun FunFacts on Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved from
Gibson, S. (n.d). Learning Styles Inventory. Retrieved from
Library of Congress.(n.d). Lincoln, Abraham (1809-1865). Retrieved from of Congress.(n.d). Abraham Lincoln Papers: Emancipation Proclamation. Retrieved from
National Constitution Lincoln. Retrieved from
National Geographic.(n.d) Abraham Lincoln. Retrieved from
Southern Illinois University Library: Online Collection.(n.d). The Hero of Tippecanoe. Retrieved from
Southern Illinois University Library: Online Collection.(n.d). The Short and the Long of It.
Retrieved from

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