Explaining Evidence Workshop – Day 1

Welcome back!

Class began the usual way. Students completed a WA that had them reviewing a few grammar concepts by correcting the sentence below:

Incorrect: While running up the stairs my Dad asked “did you remember to take out the trash.”

Correct: While running up the stairs, my dad asked,Did you remember to take out the trash?

Instead of NBT today, we played quizziz in order to get back into the swing of things in language arts and to be reminded of the many concepts we have covered throughout the year.

The main focus of today was on sharpening explaining evidence and RACER skills. I explained that while I was looking at RACER responses over the break, these were the things that I noticed:

  1. If you struggled, it might have meant you were summarizing a piece of evidence instead of explaining HOW it showed the theme.
  2. If you struggled, it might have meant you left out a part of the RACER format.
  3. Some people turned things back in without making the revisions, and I think that is due to comments not showing up consistently on devices. This means you should always check your feedback on a computer if nothing shows up.
  4. Many didn’t turn it back in at all! (Missing in the gradebook)

I showed students an example of a RACER response that received 100%, and I talked through all of the different parts, highlighting each part in a different color. That example is below:

The theme of William de Mille’s “Ruthless” is people shouldn’t take things too far in revenge or there can be awful consequences. The author wrote, “What are they?’ she asked, “Something to make him sick?’ … He seemed fascinated as he saw the Bourbon changing into a deadly drink. … ‘Here, take this. It’ll pull you together.’ A small whiskey glass was pressed to Judson’s lips. Dazed and half-conscious he drank.”(Mille 1-3). This shows that when Judson tried to get revenge on someone for petty theft (by killing them), which was taking things way too far ended up dying by the way he tried to kill the person, so he ended up with death, a awful consequence. If Judson Webb hadn’t poisoned the wine, and instead put up cameras to catch the killer or something less violent like putting a lock on the door, when he drank the wine from slipping on the acorn he wouldn’t have died to it and would’ve been fine. Consequently this evidence shows that the theme of this text is taking things too far in revenge can result in awful consequences. The theme of “Ruthless”, a man trying to kill someone for petty theft and ends up killing himself, is people shouldn’t take things too far in revenge or there can be awful consequences.

Specifically, when it comes to the explanation, I had students read through the example and notice how the explanation doesn’t summarize the evidence; instead, it shows how that piece of evidence proves the theme, even using the language of the theme to really make the connection. I also pointed out how part 2 of an explanation and the last R in RACER are different things. They sound similar, and it may seem a tad repetitive to you to have both; however, that is because we are only working with one paragraph and one piece of evidence right now.

After going through this example, students watched the Pixar short “Feast.”

We used this video as a “text,” analyzing three different explanations.

Best Explanation – Feast and Explaining Theme

Students first looked at these explanations on their own, trying to figure out which one was the best example. I gave them the clue that one of them mostly summarized and suggested they make sure they could find both part 1 and part 2 in the explanation.

Students then worked with a partner to transfer these ideas to some student examples of the RACER response by using the anonymous examples and checklist below.

Ruthles RACER Responses for Evaluation

We will finish this work tomorrow, and students will have a chance to revisit their own writing.

Homework:

  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Complete your book talk reflection IF you need to.