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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Informational Text Reading with Graphic Organizers


Here's a great new free item for your science classroom:  
DNA Informational Text Reading with Graphic Organizers

I teach in a Common Core state, and in a school that is really pushing the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  We have to show evidence of this implementation in our classroom.  I obviously have to do what is required of me by my admin, but at the same time, I do not want to lose valuable classroom teaching time and get behind on the vast amount of course content that I am also required to teach.

I recently developed this lesson for my students.  In our unit on DNA, RNA, and Protein Synthesis, I love to tell the history of Watson and Crick and their discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule.  In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick rocked the scientific world with their discovery, and with the publication of their one-page paper in Science magazine describing the DNA molecule.  This one-page paper is a marvelous bit of history, and it is a fascinating read.  It is also a perfect piece of informational text that can be used to teach the Common Core State Standards.

The one-page article can be printed and used in your science classroom.  I developed a 4-page set of graphic organizers to go along with this article.  As students read the article they are required to complete the graphic organizers. You can have your students complete all four organizers (I usually do!) or each graphic organizer can be used alone.

You can, of course, use class time for this activity, but I usually assign this as a homework assignment.  I assign this at the beginning of my unit on DNA, and usually give a week to complete the assignment. The article and the graphic organizers provide great review on the topics I am teaching in class, as well as a lesson in the reading of informational text.  It's a win-win!  (Pssst...This is also a great activity to leave in your sub folder in the event of your unexpected absence from school!)

Here is a look at each of the graphic organizers:




(They look best if printed in color, but print perfectly fine in grayscale.)

This is a free download, and will always remain a free download.  Enjoy!

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