Case Study: Reading to Build Expertise about Freaky Frogs
In Unit 2, students will continue to develop their skills through careful reading of informational texts. Class members will extend their expertise beyond the bullfrog and begin studying "freaky frogs": frogs with unusual behavioral and physical adaptations. Students will build their ability to read and understand informational text. The class begins the unit by building basic background knowledge about adaptations as well as learning more about how to use features of informational text when learning about a topic. They read key sections from the central text Everything You Need to Know about Frogs and other Slippery Creatures, to build their expertise about frogs' life cycle, habitat, and the physical characteristics that make some frogs particularly "freaky." Students will be supported to pay particular attention to key vocabulary each day, and will begin a vocabulary notebook.
For a mid-unit assessment students will demonstrate their reading skills through reading a new text about a different species of frog, the spadefoot toad. Next, students will continue with the same central text and build their knowledge by studying three different kinds of freaky frogs: the glass frog, the Amazon horned frog and the water-holding frog. These lessons also will incorporate a routine of reading poetry about frogs to build students' reading fluency. Students then go into more depth about one specific freaky frog, comparing and contrasting how two different authors present information about a particularly intriguing frog: the poison dart frog. As an end of unit assessment, students will write an on-demand paragraph about the poison dart frog, using the expertise they built and drawing from their learning in Unit 1 about vivid and precise language.