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  • ELA Module - Grade 4: We Are The Ship

ELA Module - Grade 4: We Are The Ship | Rating (star)(star)(star)(star)

Kadir Nelson
New York: Jump at the Sun, 2008

This assessment module is a performance activity to assess how well students can examine complex text and then demonstrate their understanding through writing.

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CORE Assessment Module

Module Overview

 

Purpose and Usage:

This assessment module is a performance activity to assess how well students can examine complex text and then demonstrate their understanding through writing. All modules were developed by practitioners for practitioners. Since the reading expectations are rigorous, some might find the text selections challenging. Please note, however, that the text exemplars that are used as the basis for each module are taken directly from Appendix B of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for targeted grades.

The expectations of the CCSS call on teachers to instruct around complex text so students read closely to accomplish essential skills, such as make inferences, determine themes, and analyze development of ideas. They do so using textual evidence from a targeted complex text. Much like teachers engage students in the writing process to create optimal written products, teachers would likewise plan and conduct a series of comprehensive lessons to help students meet these rigorous reading standards.  These lessons would align to specific reading standards, include a myriad of instructional strategies and formative assessments (e.g., read silently, discuss, listen to, take notes, engage in discussion with peers, write informally and formally, etc.), and center on text-dependent activities and tasks to elicit deep understanding of targeted texts. This assessment module does not replace a formalized series of lessons around complex text as just described, but rather provides a “dipstick” to get a sense of how well students read complex text independently and proficiently. The results are meant to inform teachers about future instruction.

Teachers should use their professional judgment and their district’s recommended guidelines to administer this module as a pre-assessment or formative assessment in order to gather information about a student’s ability to read complex text carefully and construct an organized writing piece that is grounded in evidence from the text. Some teachers might decide to use two modules—one as a pre-assessment and another as a formative assessment to check for understanding during the formalized instructional process around complex text.

We encourage teachers to administer this assessment with colleagues and discuss results together to ascertain next steps in an instructional plan. Teachers can employ additional instructional strategies beyond what is included in this module when administering the assessment. However, colleagues should agree on which strategies to choose so that this assessment is conducted under similar conditions.

 

Scoring:

At this time, use the Smarter Balanced rubrics available at this link: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/wordpress/wpcontent/uploads/2012/05/TaskItemSpecifications/EnglishLanguageArtsLiteracy/ELARubrics.pdf

Smarter Balanced does not have a rubric for each grade for all three writing types; however, later a more detailed rubric for all grades and types will be considered.


 

Content Area

English Language Arts

Text

We Are the Ship , by Kadir Nelson (excerpt)

Grade Level

Grade 4

Target Area

Performance Task, Opinion Piece

ELA Common Core State Standards

RI 4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RI 4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

RI 4.3 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.

W 4.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
  2. Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  3. Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance , in order to , in addition ).
  4. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

*SL 4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts , building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Smarter Balanced Assessment Claims

Claim 1: Students can read closely and analytically to comprehend a range of increasingly complex literary and informational texts.

Claim 2: Students can produce effective and well-grounded writing for a range of purposes and audiences.

Task Overview

This assessment task will be completed in two parts. The prewriting/planning in part one will involve reading, note-taking, and speaking and listening. In part two, students will be asked to draft an opinion piece.

Module Components

1) Directions to Teacher

2) Text Passage

3) Text-Dependent Questions Graphic Organizer

4) Writing Task


*Standard addressed but not explicitly assessed.

 


We Are the Ship Directions to Teacher

 

This Common Core-aligned ELA Performance Task can be given over two to three days depending on class schedules. The directions below outline the steps to follow for a two-day administration.

 

Text: Nelson, Kadir. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball . New York: Jump at the Sun, 2008. From “4th Inning: Racket Ball: Negro League Owners.”

 

Materials:
Text Passage
Text-Dependent Questions Graphic Organizer
Writing Task
Lined paper for writing

Day 1

1.    Reading:

(Approximately 10 minutes)

Give students the excerpt from We Are the Ship and instruct them to read it independently.

 

2.    Note-taking :

(Approximately 10–20 minutes)

Hand out the Graphic Organizer, and ask students to reread the passage and complete the “My Thoughts” and “My Evidence” sections as directed in the graphic organizer. Encourage students to expand their thinking beyond the literal answer to the question.

 

3.    Speaking/Listening Questions:
(Approximately 30 minutes)

In pairs or groups of three, use the “Give One, Get One Protocol” (see below) and give students time to discuss the following questions and add information to the “My Thoughts Now” section of the graphic organizer.

a.     According to the passage, what were some problems that Negro League players faced?

b.    Based on the passage, how would you describe the actions of Negro League owners?

c.     Based on the passage, how were the Negro Leagues and the major leagues similar? How were the Negro Leagues and the major leagues different?

 


Give One, Get One Protocol

  • Students bring their graphic organizer to meet with partner or group.
  • Instruct them to collect one new and different idea from their partner.
  • Then they are to give one new and different idea.
  • If neither has a new and different idea, tell them to brainstorm the topic and try to create one.

 

Day 2

 

4.    Performance Task (Writing Prompt)

Distribute the writing prompt, and let students know the amount of time they have to respond to the prompt in writing. Encourage students to use their graphic organizer to inform their writing.

 

 


 

 


We Are the Ship Text Passage

 

Most of the owners didn’t make much money from their teams. Baseball was just a hobby for them, a way to make their illegal money look good. To save money, each team would only carry fifteen or sixteen players. The major league teams each carried about twenty-five. Average salary for each player started at roughly $125 per month back in ‘34, and went up to $500–$800 during the forties, though there were some who made much more than that, like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. The average major league player’s salary back then was $7,000 per month. We also got around fifty cents to a dollar per day for food allowance. Back then you could get a decent meal for about twenty-five cents to seventy-five cents.

 

Some of the owners didn’t treat their players very well. Didn’t pay them enough or on time. That’s why we would jump from team to team. Other owners would offer us more money, and we would leave our teams and go play for them. We were some of the first unrestricted free agents.

 

There were, however, a few owners who did know how to treat their ballplayers. Cum Posey was one of them. He always took care of his ballplayers, put them in the best hotels, and paid them well and on time. Buck Leonard said Posey never missed a payday in the seventeen years he played for the Grays.

 

Nelson, Kadir. We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball . New York: Jump at the Sun, 2008. From “4th Inning: Racket Ball: Negro League Owners.”

 

 


Text-Dependent Questions Graphic Organizer

 

Directions: After rereading the text, write answers to each question below in the “My Response” section. Support each response by recording textual evidence in the “Evidence From the Text” section. After you are given time to talk to a classmate and share ideas, complete the “My Thoughts Now” section based on your conversation.

 

1.   According to the passage, what were some problems that Negro League players faced?

My Response

Evidence From the Text

 

 

My Thoughts Now

 

 

2.   Based on the passage, how would you describe the actions of Negro League owners?

My Response

Evidence From the Text

 

 

My Thoughts Now

 

 

3. Based on the passage, how were the Negro Leagues and the major leagues similar? How were the Negro Leagues and the major leagues different?

My Response

Evidence From the Text

 

 

My Thoughts Now

 

 


 

We Are the Ship Writing Task

 

Directions : Please respond to the prompt below in writing. You may use your graphic organizer and/or constructed response questions to inform your writing. You may take notes on this paper, but you should write your entire response on the lined paper provided by your teacher.

 

Writing Prompt

After reading the excerpt from We Are the Ship , do you agree or disagree that the Negro League players were treated fairly? State your opinion, and explain the reasons for your opinion. Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

 

Be Sure To:

  • Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which related ideas are grouped to support the writer’s purpose
  • Provide reasons that are supported by facts and details
  • Link opinion and reasons using words and phrases (e.g., for instance , in order to ,
    in addition )
  • Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented

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