|Unit of Instruction||Persuasive Writing, Reading Aloud Reader's Theater Plays from Writing Camp|
LAFS.7.W.1.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
|Learning Targets and Learning Criteria|
My students will learn how to make logical arguments and write persuasive essays.
My students will present their Submerged Projects (Those who didn’t finish last week will present theirs.)
My students will learn spelling and vocabulary words from their reader’s theater texts.
My students will read aloud reader’s theater plays.
1. broccoli – a vegetable with heads of green that can be eaten raw or cooked
Trouble on the River
The kids, Julie, and Kai are gathered at the rocks.
Julie – Good morning, Mountain Lions! I hope you had a good time at campfire last night. Did you get a good night’s sleep? You’re going to need it today. We’re going on a great adventure.
Oscár – I love adventures. Where are we going?
Julie – (teasing) For now, it’s a secret, Oscár, but I can promise you there will be no broccoli.
Kai – I don’t know about the girls, but the guys were asleep before their heads hit the pillows.
Nick – Dude, that was some serious shut eye. Except somebody, and I won’t name names, snored.
Buddy – Yeah, we won’t name names, but we can tell you he lives on an island and coaches hoops.
Kai – I snored? (grins) Man, that is so not cool. (shakes his head)
Julie – I thought these girls were going to stay up all night talking, but I didn’t hear a peep out of
Roshawn – Need a cool braid? Don’t be afraid. Queen Roshawn will come to your aid. (laughter)
Julie – Before we get into the big adventure, I wonder if someone would like to share from your
Oscár – (anxious) Someone go, because I’m dying to know what the secret of the big adventure is.
Julie – Are you volunteering, Oscár
Oscár – (scoffs) Not me, man!
Kai – Why don’t I go, Julie?
Julie – Good idea, Kai.
Kai – (opens journal, reads aloud) “A new group of Mountain Lions has been placed in my care, and
Julie – (teasing) You goonybird!
Kai – Okay, I went first. Now it’s someone else’s turn.
Roshawn – (reluctantly) Okay…Here goes… “Today was fun. I’m glad I’m in the Mountain Lions.
Julie – Would anyone like to respond to Roshawn? That’s what we do in a writing community.
Mary Claire – I miss my mom, too, Roshawn.
Nick – Hang in there, Roshawn. We’re with you.
Buddy – I think you’re brave. You told the truth in your journal. Probably most of us miss our
Oscár – You let us know a little about your dad. My dad is smart, but he isn’t funny.
Anda – Good job, Roshawn. I hope we ride horses soon, too. I’ve ridden before, so if you want to ride double with me until you get the hang of it, that’s cool.
Roshawn – I don’t even know how you get on one. Thanks.
Julie – I like it that Kai and Roshawn wrote from the heart. I like the way you responded to them, showing respect for their writing and validating their feelings. Would someone else like to share before we end the session? (silence)
Nick – I’ll go. (flips open journal) “Today was pretty cool. Camp Su Mundo. Not too shabby. I’m zonked, though. One day and I’m whooped. It’s time for bed and I’ve got the bottom bunk.
Buddy – (teasing)You slept dry last night, Nick, but I can’t make any promises about tonight! (laughter)
Kai – We’ll make sure you make a pit stop before bed, Buddy. But that’s all we have time for now.
Oscár – Okay. What is it? What is the big adventure. I can’t stand not knowing.
Julie – We’re going canoeing!
Campers – “Yay!” “Wow!” “I’ve always wanted to go canoeing!” “Radical!” etc.
Kai – Head down the path to the dock. You’ll find the canoes waiting, and we’ll draw for partners.
Kai – A little water safety, first. Do you have your life jackets on?
Campers – “Yes!” “Uh huh!” “Yep!” “Sure do!” etc.
Kai – Okay, just checking. What do you do if the boat tips over and you are in deep water?
Campers – (together) Cling to the side of the boat and call for help.
Campers – (together) Pull the boat to shore.
Kai – So, you Mountain Lions were paying attention. Good job.
Julie – Canoeing is great because it helps you learn to work together. It’s a partnership. A duo.
Campers – Ready!
Kai – You’ll see some beautiful sights. Keep your eyes open. Try to observe. Later on you can
Buddy – (getting in canoe) Hey, Sarah, what time is it when a buffalo sits in your canoe?
Sarah – (getting in canoe) I don’t know. What time is it?
Buddy – Time to get a new canoe!
Campers – (teasing) Wah…wah…wah…
Anda – (getting in canoe) Hey, Ben. Knock knock.
Ben – (getting in canoe) Who’s there?
Anda – Canoe.
Ben – Canoe, who?
Anda – Canoe hand me my paddle? We need to get started.
Buddy – (to Sarah) And you thought I was bad…
Roshawn – (getting in canoe) Hey, Nick, what’s green…and little…and goes canoeing?
Nick – (getting in canoe) What?
Roshawn – A boy sprout! (pause) Get it? (pause) Boy sprout?
Nick – (plays air drums) Ba-dump-bump!
Ben – (pretending disgust) Pathetic. You guys are path-e-tic.
Mary Claire – (getting in canoe) (singing) Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream,
Oscár – (singing) Don’t forget to scream! (laughter)
Kai – There once was a fellow in Kalamazoo. He paddled and paddled his yellow canoe…(pause)
Julie – He said with a sigh, “Oh me!” and “Oh my! I’m glad I’m not paddling with Kai from Lanai!”
Kai – (pretending hurt) That’s cold. That’s very, very cold. You are a cruel woman.
Julie – (teasing) And you…are a goonybird! (to campers) And, we’re off! Kids, keep your eyes open. If you see something we all need to see, call out.
Kai – (calling out) Ukali!
Buddy – U-what-ee?
Kai – (calling) Ukali! That’s Hawaiian for, “follow me!”
Mary Claire – Hey, Oscár. There’s fish in this river! Look. The water is so clear you can see them.
Oscár – There’s one that’s yellowish with black spots. Look. Right below us. He’s huge, too.
Mary Claire – And those over there glisten in the sunlight, like they’re sprinkled with gold.
Oscár – This guy’s tail is swishing back and forth…like…like…like a flag in the wind.
Mary Claire – Like a flag in a gentle wind. (pause) Hey, we’re pretty good at describing.
Anda – (to Ben) Are you paddling back there? It feels like I’m doing all the work.
Ben – Sorry. I was slacking off and I didn’t even realize….Have you noticed how the surface of
Anda – (stops paddling) Yeah, now that you mention it. That’s cool. This place is so…pretty.
Anda – I wouldn’t do that, Ben. You aren’t supposed to stand up in a canoe.
Ben – (standing) Says who? I can do it. Check it out.
Anda – Ben, sit down.
Ben – I’m not hurting anything.
Anda – Another canoe is coming, Ben. It’s some of the Eagles! Sit down! (another canoe approaches)
Ben – So what?
Eagle Camper #1 – (speaks to another kid in his canoe) Look everyone, it’s a dumb Mountain Lion.
Ben – Who are you calling dumb?
Eagle Camper #1 – You. Anyone with half a brain would know you can’t stand up in a canoe, dummy!
Ben – You must not have eagle eyesight, because if you did, you’d see that I AM standing up in a canoe.
Eagle Camper #2 – Not for long! (he reaches out and pushes the side of Ben’s and Anda’s
Anda – Hey! (falling into the water)
Ben – You can’t—(falling into the water)
Eagle Camper #2 – That’ll teach you. Mountain Lions should stay on shore.
Anda – (yelling) If you know what’s good for you, you better run and hide!
Eagle Camper #1 – (mocking) Yeah, right. We’re real scared.
Sarah – (to Eagle Campers) What do you think you’re doing?
Eagle Camper #2 – We’re teaching you Mountain Lions a lesson, that’s what!
Buddy – How ‘bout this for a lesson? (he leans over to tip the Eagles’ canoe but as he does,
Sarah – (spurting water) Tell me this isn’t happening! Who are you? Why would you do this?
Eagle Camper #1 – We’re the Eagles, and we did it……because we can! Enjoy your wet sneakers and clothes! (they leave, laughing)
Buddy – (wipes his eyes) I’m ready to unchain my dawg on those two scaly headed varmints!
Julie – (calling ahead) Man overboard!
Kai – (calling back) Ben? Anda? Are you guys okay? Sarah? Buddy? You, too? What happened?
Anda – (angry) It was the eagles! They did it deliberately. We’re soaked.
Ben – Gosh, Anda. I didn’t mean for us to fall in.
Anda – You didn’t, but the Eagles did.
Ben – Yeah, but…I shouldn’t have been standing up in the canoe.
Nick – (astonished) Dude, you stood up in the canoe?
Anda – That’s yesterday’s news. The Eagles tipped us over. On purpose!
Buddy – (holding on to side of the canoe) We need to throw a beatin’ on those flea-bitten scallywags!
Sarah – Payback!
Kai – (sarcastic) When in doubt, why not resort to violence? (he growls) (laughs)
Julie – Never mind that now. (to Buddy, Sarah, Anda, and Ben) It’s too deep to touch right here.
Ben – Yeah. (to Buddy, Sarah, and Anda) Come on, guys.
Kai – It wouldn’t be Camp Su Mundo unless the Eagles tried to get one over on the Mountain Lions and vice versa. They just drew first blood, so to speak.
Nick – Well, they haven’t seen the last of the Mountain Lions. It’s payback, baby.
Julie – I’ve got an idea. We were going to wait until later to do our writing, but let’s all tie our
Anda – With this sun, we’ll be dry in no time.
Ben – Anda, it’s my fault.
Anda – They didn’t hurt us, Ben. Just got us wet, that’s all.
Julie – This writing exercise will take your mind off the Eagles. I packed snacks, too, so you can
Kai – Buffalo wings? I think you mean Eagle wings, Jules. (kids laugh)
Julie – Here, everyone. Take one of these 3 x 5 cards and a pencil. (Kai helps her hand them out)
Sarah – What is this for?
Julie – You’ve had time to notice the beautiful nature both in the river and along the shore. Did you think about how to describe it?
Campers – “Yeah.” “I’ve got some ideas.” “I think so” etc.
Julie – Well, I want you to use one side of the card I gave you to write two sentences. When you
Buddy – And don’t think that just because I’m from the country that I don’t know what the word
Nick – (teasing) Georgia Boy might be a genius after all! (Buddy smiles and flexes his muscles)
Kai – (looking over the cards) These look pretty good. Okay. Here’s a card for each of you to read.
Nick – “The river curves and winds like a silver snake, stretching and bending around the shore. The surface ripples and glows in the sunlight like an iridescent skin.” (applause)
Campers – “Wow!” “Whoa!” “Amazing!” etc.
Nick – That was pretty awesome, to tell you the truth. The author used a simile to help us imagine
Roshawn – Another simile!
Kai – Great job, Nick. Whoever wrote that description got us started off on the right foot. Sarah?
Sarah – (looking at card) Okay. Here’s the description: “Up ahead, Sarah uses the paddle to pull the canoe ahead in the rippling, shimmering water. Her back is as strong as a linebacker’s, and
Campers – “Buddy!” “That was Buddy!” etc.
Sarah – I didn’t know you were looking at me, Buddy. I thought we were supposed to be looking at nature! (disgusted) And how could you call me a linebacker?
Buddy – (shakes head) Women. Nothing you ever do makes them happy.
Kai – Tell me about it.
Sarah – I’m not unhappy. You just were supposed to be looking at beautiful things, Buddy.
Buddy – (sly) Who says I wasn’t?
Campers – Woooooooooo!
Nick – (singing) Buddy’s got a girlfriend! Buddy’s got a girlfriend!
Sarah – Whatever.
Kai – Buddy, how about reading the card you got?
Buddy – My person said…(reading card) “Shiny yellow fish with black spots glow in the sunlight. Their tails swish back and forth like flags in a gentle wind.” (applause) This author used a strong verb, “swish,” and a simile. I like it because I can picture exactly what the writer is
Kai – That’s what we’re looking for, Buddy, vivid writing. Specific details. Oscár, your turn.
Oscár – Okay, here’s the deal: “Our canoe is a Viking ship, skimming over the water. Each stroke
Julie – Good ear, Oscár. Which part was the metaphor?
Oscár – When he said, “Our canoe is a Viking ship.” He didn’t say it was like a Viking ship. He said it is a Viking ship. Using a metaphor is really awesome. Whoever wrote this, you rock! And, by the way, in case you’re wondering, metaphor in Spanish is metáfora.
Nick – Metáfora. (nods his head) That’s wicked, Dude.
Mary Claire – Don’t forget, “shoots us ahead”…that was good, too. It’s more dramatic than saying, “sends.”
Kai – Way to watch, Mary Claire. Anda? Let’s hear the card you picked.
Anda – “A frisky squirrel jumps from branch to branch in the tall chinaberry tree. When we pass him, he stays perfectly still except for his vibrating tail.” (applause) Man, everyone here can write better than I can. I didn’t see the squirrel, but because the author used descriptive language, it’s like I can see it in my mind. (another canoe approaches on the river)
Eagle Camper #3 – (calling from a canoe) Don’t you know Mountain Lions can’t write? Especially
Eagle Camper #4 – (calling) Yeah, we heard that you guys can’t seem to stay in your boats!
Ben – (calling) I wouldn’t go to sleep if I were you. Mountain Lions come out at night!
Eagle Camper #3 – Don’t sing it…bring it!!
Campers – Grrrrowl!!!
Julie – (shaking her head) (pause) Meanwhile, back at the farm…
Kai – Yes, before we were interrupted by Eagles, we were discussing the writing that described a
Mary Claire – This one says, “I see the archer place the arrow in his bow and pull the string back.” (applause) Okay, that was all right for a beginning, but why stop here? Whoever wrote this started with a little description but then…just quit.
Julie – What advice would you give the writer, Mary Claire?
Mary Claire – Like Dory the fish, Just keep writing…Just keep writing….Just keep writing.
Kai – You kids are pretty perceptive. I’m impressed. Roshawn? You’re up.
Roshawn – My person wrote, “Marshmallow cream clouds overhead, sugary sand beneath.
Kai – I had the same thought. Poetry. This writer painted a picture with words. Ben?
Ben – “With one violent tip, Ben went sailing through the air with a look of astonishment on his
Anda – They soaked us to the skin, and I’ve got the wet sneakers to prove it.
Buddy – I say let’s get ‘em back! Mountain Lion Power!
Campers – (paws up) Grrrrowl!!!!
Julie – You really want to get them back? I’d say they’re ready for a lesson in manners.
Campers – Yeah!
Kai – Are you sure? You know, once we retaliate it’s…game on!
Sarah – We’ve got to defend our honor: Mountain Lion pride!
Julie – Well, Ted doesn’t encourage us to participate in any revenge schemes…
Ben – (disappointed) Then, you won’t help us?
Julie – (gleeful) Of course we’ll help! I just said that Ted doesn’t encourage us. I know all the best pranks. Ones they’ll never see coming. Ones they’ll never forget.
Nick – (laughing) Wicked!
Ben – Now we’re talkin’!
Kai – (impressed) Where were you when I was growing up with ten brothers and sisters?
Roshawn – Fasten your seatbelts, Eagles. It’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Monday – Finish Submerged Projects. Persuasive writing. Reader’s theater. Review spelling and vocabulary.
Tuesday – Work on persuasive and argumentative writing. Read reader’s theater.
Wednesday – Independent reading. Work on iReady lessons. NO HOMEWORK!
Thursday – Review spelling and vocabulary. Read aloud in class. Read for author’s purpose and literary devices. Work on persuasive and argumentative writing.
Friday – Spelling test. Vocabulary test. Write book report in class. I will give you a form for your book report.