Here I have 'Scooped' a framework for a mini-unit on introducing and using text sets in an English classroom. I serves as a good starting point, as it has included Standards covered, considerations for resources and preparation, as well as the layout/sequence of instruction.
However, as is the case with most pre-written lessons and curriculum I have encountered, there also appears to be the potential for gaps in instruction if the lesson sequence were followed without proper modification.
Most pre-written lesson plans and units I have encountered seem to make certain assumptions about students arriving to the lesson with certain competencies which many students I have encountered do not possess.
For example, the second lesson outlines the process of students beginning to add to the basis teacher-created text-sets by searching out materials on their own. However, this is reduced to a single step, with huge assumptions made about the capacities of the student. The step is as follows:
Share the initial resources you've gathered with students and invite them to participate in the collecting. Free time to explore and collect resources in the library as well as using Internet resources is ideal during this class session.
Such a breezy description of this process does not properly acknowledge the many complex and discrete skills that are all lumped into a single step. I have listed below a short list of skills and protocols that, off the top of my head, I quickly realize as student would need in order to succesfully complete this task:
-How to move from assigned seat into group seating for text-set groups.
-How to obtain text sets and distribute texts in an orderly and equitable manner
-How to take note of what specific aspects of a text make it a interesting and useful.
-Expectations and Protocols for text-collection 'free time'
-How to use prior knowledge to guide research focus
-How to use questions about the topic to create guiding research questions
-Understanding the advantages and disadvantages for Internet vs. library-based reserahc, and which form of research might be better suited to specific topics
-How to use key words and phrases to conduct internet research
-How to evaluate both print and electronic sources for reliability
-How to use the Dewey decimal system to find texts on specific topics
-How to use an index to navigate through large books in order to evaluate relevance.
So, as we see, what may have been a 5-day mini-unit for Kathy Egawa's class in Seattle may actually need an entire month dedicated in another classroom in order to acheive similar results. It all deends on the capacities that the students bring to the table, and what skills or protocols may need to be pre-taught, as well as the objectives that make the most sense for your classroom and your curriculum.
The above list is in no way comprehensive, but it does give an idea of the additional analysis necessary for adapting a pre-written lesson for your own students, which is why knowing what they can and can't yet accomplish is of utmost importance.
Via Dan Galvin