Introducing 4th graders to Academic Language

View the Teaching Channel video listed in this topic’s materials. While watching the video, think through the following questions in order to reflect:

  • How has this teacher accomplished the task of exposing students to academic language and critical thinking skills while addressing social studies standards and current events?
  • What supports were put in place to help students apply critical thinking skills to a real-world current event? What effect did this have on student learning?

Write a 250-500 word reflection, addressing the above questions.…

Part 2: Writing Objectives

Review “Well-Written Learning Objectives in Social Studies” to inform this part of the assignment.

Consider the fourth grade social studies standards applicable to your state. Using those standards and the Teaching Channel video lesson, write four lesson objectives for the content covered in the video.

Utilizing the Depth of Knowledge chart, write one objective per DOK level, and show the standard(s) they are aligned to. Expand upon the lesson, if need be.

Well-Written Learning Objectives in Social Studies

Learning objectives are statements that clearly state what you expect students will be able to do as a result of the learning experience you designed for them. They are written as observable performances that reflect internal knowledge and understanding. They do not merely state what a student will know; rather, they describe what a student will be able to do as a result of having learned and practiced the application of that knowledge.

A poorly written learning objective:

“Students will be able to understand why explorers and settlers came to North America.”

A better learning objective:

“Students will be able to describe why explorers and settlers came to North America.”

Well-written learning objectives reflect worthwhile, life-long skills, rather than lesson activities.

A poorly written learning objective:

“Students will be able to draw a picture of three early American trade routes.”

A better learning objective:

“Students will be able to describe and locate trade routes used in North America in the 1600’s.”

Well-planned learning objectives reflect a variety of cognitive processes. Bloom’s Taxonomy and Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) Chart can assist with writing learning objectives that require different levels of thinking. For example, lesson objectives that only use verbs such as “list,” “state,” or “describe” are limiting. Such lesson objectives may be listed, but should then be followed by learning objectives that will require more in-depth thinking.

A simple learning objective:

“Students will be able to list the states that signed the U.S. Constitution.”

The above learning objective could be followed by a more in-depth learning objective:

“Students will be able to compare and contrast the motivation different states and their representatives had for signing the U.S. Constitution.”

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