As I read from the website, I noted key words and phrases that I felt were important for the public to know about spirit bears. I recorded those ideas on the graphic organizer below (and on the back!)
Students added notes to their graphic organizer from this second source. This graphic organizer is one all disciplines in our school are using to help scaffold the writing process of any informative/explanatory writing task in any subject area. By consistently using the same graphic organizer, our hope is that kids will eventually be able to create one from scratch as they organize their writing in the future when we teachers are not around or aren't allowed to help them (a.k.a. taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment!)
Here is an example of one student's notes from the website about restorative justice/circle justice. Many students made comparisons to this factual information and how Ben Mikaelsen used these facts as part of his novel. My favorite quote from today was, "So, Miss Bongers - spirit bears and circle justice are real things? I thought Ben Mikaelsen just made those things up for his story!" Helping kids see these connections - that real authors pull in facts to write fictional stories will help as we draft our own narratives later.
After students finished reading their second source and taking notes, they read Ch. 6 from Touching Spirit Bear. In this chapter, Cole (the protagonist) encounters the spirit bear for the first time. There is also narrative in this chapter about Cole's circle justice hearing. Our research helped inform students about both of these topics so that their comprehension of the text would increase.
In our next class, students shared the notes they recorded from restorative justice website. Before they discussed with one another, we reviewed our rules for collaborative discussions.
Partners practiced these behaviors during their discussions.
Students recorded any facts their partners shared that they did not have on their own sheet.