Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Cite strong textual evidence to support analysis of the claims made in the news article and determine where the text leaves matters uncertain.
- Integrate and evaluate information from the article and media sources for and against the Guest Assistance Card program at Disney theme parks.
- Evaluate the argument and claims in a text to determine whether the reasoning is valid.
- Distinguish between a claim and a counterclaim.
- Introduce and develop a claim throughout a written response.
- Explain and address counterclaims in a written response.
- Initiate and participate in a collaborative discussion while citing evidence from text and videos.
- Pose and respond to questions that challenge ideas and conclusions and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
- Listen and evaluate their peers' point of view by engaging in a collaborative student centered dialogue on the topic.
- Express an opinion on a topic using evidence and a clear line of reasoning.
- Address opposing perspectives using clear evidence and reasoning.
- Read and comprehend vocabulary in a text using context clues and word parts.
- Read and comprehend nonfiction text in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should know:
- how to use context clues or word parts to help determine the meaning of a word.
- the difference between claims and reasoning.
- how to introduce a claim and establish a relationship between that claim, reasoning, and evidence.
- how to acknowledge alternate or opposing claims and organize reasoning and evidence logically.
- how to establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while they are writing.
- how to pull evidence from a text source that supports their claim.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What claims are the families of disabled citizens making about the cancellation of the Guest Assistance Card program at Disney theme parks?
- What claims is the Disney Corporation making about the cancellation of the Guest Assistance Card program at Disney theme parks?
- What events led to the cancellation of the Guest Assistance Card program at Disney's theme parks?
- How can you use evidence from a text to support your claim?
- Identify examples of faulty reasoning from the text in the argument for and against the Guest Assistance Card program.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by handing students sticky notes or flash cards as they walk into the room. Once all students are seated, ask the students to think about a time when they believe they were punished unfairly because of the actions of others. Ask them to think about what happened to cause the punishment. Ask students how they felt during the punishment. After a minute or so have them participate in a three minute quick write where they describe their experience. Explain the rules of a quick write with students before starting the timer. Remind them that quick writes are not graded for spelling, grammar, or punctuation. They are brainstorming and there is no correct answer. The teacher can use the following instructions to introduce the hook:
- "Close your eyes and think about a time you received a punishment because of the actions of other people. What happened to cause the punishment? Who do you think deserved the punishment? Was there any other possible way it could have been handled? How did it feel? Some of you might be thinking of a time when a group was punished because of your own actions. If you are, how do you think the other people involved felt? Did you think it was fair? Why or why not? Think about as many details about the experience as you can remember."
- "Use your sticky note/flash card to describe your experience. You will write about your situation in a 3 minute quick write. Remember, the rules of a quick write are that you must continue writing for the entire time. If you get stuck, just keep your pencil moving! Repeat your last word or thought until your next thought is ready!"
2. After students have written about their experiences, have students share their experiences with the class or with a partner seated nearby. Explain to students that they will begin researching and examining the debate over a similar issue that is taking place in Disney theme parks. The teacher should tell students that they should keep an open mind throughout the lesson and remember that there are two sides to every story. Tell students that they need to be very critical of the evidence presented to them in order to validate the arguments in which they will be presented.
3. Show students the news clip where an undercover reporter filmed disabled guides selling their fast pass services to healthy families so they can skip the lines. Ask them to share their first impressions of the video. The teacher can use the following questions to begin the discussion.
- What are some things that stood out to you in this short clip?
- What would you do if you were in charge of a Disney theme park and you saw this report?
- How would you feel if a healthy family skipped you in line for a ride using one of those passes?
Explain to students that since this controversy began, Disney corporation has cancelled their Guest Assistance Card program and has created a new program for disabled guests. Share the second video clip with students. This clip provides testimonial from a mother of a child with autism who is unhappy with the changes to the access her child and family will have at the parks.
4. The teacher should ask students to respond to the videos in a 3-2-1. Ask students to record three conflicts or problems they heard or saw, two groups who have an interest in the issue, and one solution they might propose.
Introducing the Lesson
1. The teacher can tell students that they will be reading an article from the Orlando Sentinel which presents some information from both sides of the Disney parks debate. Explain that the article focuses on the reasons why the Guest Assistance Card program has been cancelled and how that affects families that relied on it. Tell students that they will read and analyze the article several times. Explain to students that they will have a different task each time they interact with the text and they will be asked to choose a side after their final interaction.
2. After the teacher has introduced the lesson, the teacher should pass out copies of the article and the first worksheet. The teacher should provide students with directions for their first reading. Explain to students that several of the vocabulary terms have been pre-identified and defined on their worksheets. Their job is to identify any terms they come across while reading that are new vocabulary terms. Any time they identify one of those words in the text they should circle it. Once they have read the entire article, they should chart the vocabulary terms onto their alphabet vocabulary chart. They will write the word in the box that corresponds to the first letter of the word. There are examples on the teacher edition of the worksheet. (Students do not have to find a word for every letter on the sheet.)
Close Read #1:
3. Students should be given enough time to conduct their first reading independent of the teacher, mark their texts, and fill out their vocabulary charts.
4. After a class discussion (in the guided practice section below) about the selected words, students should pick four words that hindered their comprehension the most and fill out the second half of their vocabulary worksheet. Students should not have any access to a dictionary until they have attempted to define their word using context clues. Example words and student responses are included on the teacher version of the close reading #1 worksheet, Charting Vocabulary.
5. Provide time for students to attempt to define their words and then check their answers using a dictionary.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Before students begin defining words, the teacher should create a whole class vocabulary chart of the words students in the classroom chose as challenging. This can be done using a document camera, smart board, or chart paper. The teacher should ask all students to share one word they circled and wrote in their own charts until all of the chosen words have been covered.
2. Students should each share one word they correctly identified and explain how they used context clues or word parts to figure out the meaning of the word. This can be done using a team huddle strategy. Ask students to stand up and hold their vocabulary charts. Explain to students that they will walk around the room to music. When the music stops, they will be given a command in the form of "Huddle ____." The number the teacher shouts after the word "huddle" is the size of the group students need to form. They must form the group as quickly as possible with the students closest to them. If there is an odd man out, the teacher can instruct him or her to join the nearest group. After they've huddled, the teacher will pose a question or a topic that students will discuss as a group. Students should be told to wander again in any direction when the music starts again. This strategy works best with high energy popular music. Sample directions for students are listed below.
"Now that everyone has completed your definitions I want you to stand up and make sure your vocabulary charts are in your hands. I am going to play some music. When the music starts I want you to begin walking around the classroom. You may move in any direction as long as you walk calmly and do not push or shove.
When the music stops I will give you a huddle command. If I say, 'Huddle 3!' then you would need to get into a group of 3 with the people next to you as quickly as possible.
After you are grouped up I will give you a question or topic. Each person in your group needs to discuss the topic until the music begins playing again.
When it starts, reverse direction and then begin mixing again until you hear another huddle command."
Possible topics to pose to huddle groups are:
- Share one example of a word you defined correctly and how you figured it out.
- Share one word you defined incorrectly and what was challenging for you when defining this word.
- Share a word that you think is very important to understanding the article.
- Share a word you have seen before but were not sure about its meaning.
3. The teacher should ask students to come up and place a check mark next to any words on the class chart that they misidentified using word parts or context clues. If there is a word with several checks next to it the teacher might want to conduct a think aloud to help model the correct way to identify that term for students. An example think aloud is below.
"Many of us had trouble with the word 'subtler.' I don't really see any word parts that stand out to me or that I can recognize and define easily so my next step would be to look at the context it is used in. I read that this type of abuse is more common than families hiring tour guides and people are actually faking hard-to-verify handicaps. I think I would be more likely to notice a large group going in the fast pass line with a disabled tour guide than one person going in because they have a heart murmur. I also would have no idea how to check for a heart murmur and would just have to believe that person. This wouldn't stand out as much. Because of this, I think the subtler means less noticeable or less obvious."
Close Read #2
1. The teacher should instruct students that they will now read the article and look for claims for and against the Guest Assistance Card. If they read a statement that supports the argument for reinstating the program, they should code that section of text with a P for pro. If students read a statement that supports the argument against continuing the program, they should code that section of the text with a C for con. Explain to students that they can code words, phrases, or entire paragraphs. The teacher should read the article out loud this time to model fluency for the students. As they listen and read along, they will code their articles.
2. Once students have completed coding the article, they should be given the handout for the second close reading. The teacher should provide students with directions for the handout. Students will be recording claims and counterclaims they came across in the article. For this worksheet, students will classify claims as arguments that coincide with the news article they watched. So any claim would be against the "Guest Assistance" Card program. Any counterclaim would be new evidence in the article that supports keeping the program. After they have cited the claims from the text they will then evaluate that claim. For each claim they write down, they need to think about what other information would be needed to validate the information being presented.
3. The teacher may want to show the videos from the hook again and allow students to fill out examples of claims from the videos before charting the information from the text. The teacher can provide a think aloud while presenting one of the videos to help model the process for students. An example has been provided below, as well as a teacher edition of the worksheet.
"As I watch the undercover news clip, my immediate reaction is disgust that people would do this. This type of abuse is clearly evidence against keeping the program in place. It is evidence against it because it is unfair for customers without the card to have to wait in line behind these people who do not need to use the card. It makes me really angry and as an honest, paying customer, I would want the system removed. However, I have to stop and think about it more. In order to fully evaluate this piece of evidence, I would have to know how often this type abuse is actually taking place inside the parks. It makes a great news story, but how many times does it really happen? How much longer does it actually make the wait for other guests of the park?"
4. Once students have had adequate time to transfer their coding onto their worksheets, the teacher should have students share a claim or counterclaim that they found compelling from the article. The students can use a "Stand and Share" to quickly share their responses. This strategy also allows an opportunity for movement while they begin discussion. This link provides the rules for a Stand and Share.
5. After students have had adequate time to choose a claim to share, they will stand to show they are ready to participate in the Stand and Share. Students can go through several rounds of the Stand and Share depending on how long the teacher wants to spend on this discussion. The following are questions the teacher can pose for each round. Remember once a student responds, they sit down, and any student with the same response sits with them. Once all students are seated, the teacher may move on or bring students back up and ask another question of the group.
- What is the most compelling claim being made by families of persons with disabilities?
- What is the most compelling claim being made by Disney corporation?
- What is the most questionable claim being made by families of persons with disabilities?
- What is the most questionable claim being made by the Disney corporation?
- What is one question you would need answered before you could validate one of the claims you identified?
6. The teacher may want to record a list of claims, counterclaims, and questions that the students pose as they participate in the Stand and Share on chart paper or the white board.
Close Read #3
1. Students will be participating in a Philosophical Chair for their final close reading. Before students begin it is very important that the teacher ensures all students understand the rules and procedures of a Philosophical Chair. This link explains some variations and instructions for conducting a Philosophical Chair. The teacher should arrange the desks appropriately before students begin. This link provides a picture of the seating arrangement.
2. The room should be split into two sides that are facing each other with one or two seats in the middle. One side will represent students against the Guest Assistance Card, and the other side will represent those for keeping the cards. The seats in the middle are for students who are undecided, but students cannot stay there long. Students may get up and switch sides at any time if they hear something that changes their minds.
3. Before any student speaks, they should restate the previous comment and build off what that student said, even if they are disagreeing. Explain to students they are having a dialogue, not a debate, and there is no winner. They should cite evidence from the article and videos to back up their points anytime they participate in the discussion. Students can also pose a question to the entire group. If the conversation dies, the teacher can provide a second dividing question for students. Provide the directions below to students:
- Today you will be participating in a group discussion known as a Philosophical Chair. This is an opportunity to have a dialogue with your classmates about the topic we have been reading about. This is not a debate. You are free to change your mind at anytime and there will not be a winner. You will notice the room is split into two parts. I want you to answer the question; did Disney do the right thing by getting rid of the Guest Assistance Cards? If you answered yes you will sit on the right side of the room. If you answered no you will sit on the left side of the room. If you are unsure you may start in the middle (the hot seat).
- The side with the least amount of people will get to speak first. Share your thoughts about the question but be sure to cite text evidence from the article or videos to back up what you say. Only the person holding the ____(whatever object you would like to use) is allowed to speak. Once the speaker has finished they will pass the object to someone on the opposite side of the argument.
- Before the next person can speak they must restate what the previous speaker said and then present their viewpoint, again, using evidence to support their ideas. The discussion will continue back and forth in this manner.
- Undecided students may stay in the hot seat for no more than a few minutes. After that time they must commit to a side. Anyone can switch sides at any time if they hear a point that changes their mind.
- I am only the facilitator, if necessary. When you are sharing with the group look at your classmates and not at me. If you have the talking object you get to pick who speaks next from the other side. Two people on your side must speak before you can speak again.
- Once we have concluded our discussion we will complete a reflection about how your ideas changed over the course of the conversation.
4. The teacher can use any of these divisive statements if the conversation becomes stagnant. The more divisive or controversial a statement is the more discussion is generated:
- Rules are always unfair to someone.
- It is okay to take privileges away from people in order to prevent bad things from happening.
- People with disabilities should expect that there will be some things they can't do or places they can't go because of their disability.
- There will always be people who ruin things for everyone else.
- Families of people with disabilities should plan different vacations.
- Most people don't care how their actions effect others if they get what they want.
- Most of the school rules are in place because of a small number of people need them.
- Could high school students behave responsibly without rules?
The teacher may want to tie the discussion into policies that are in place in their school. For example, if the school has a no cell phone policy, the teacher could ask students if they think the rule is necessary. Students can discuss reasons why the policy is in place, what are the benefits of the policy, what are negative consequences of the policy, who suffers from the policy, and if it improves the school environment.
5. Once the discussion has finished have students reflect by filling out a Philosophical Chair reflection report. There are many versions available of this report/reflection that teachers can locate online and select the one they would like to use with their students.
6. The teacher may collect any and all worksheets at this point in order to provide written feedback for the final assessment.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Students will now use their marked texts, graphic organizer, and Philosophical Chair reflection to independently compare both sides of the argument surrounding the Guest Assistance Card. Students will also choose one side of the argument and cite evidence to support their reasoning.
Directions for students:
Take a moment to read back through your graphic organizers and Philosophical Chair report for the three close readings of "Parents: Disney Policy Targeting Disabled Punishes Truly Disabled Kids." Which argument is the stronger argument? Which argument is more valid? What are some questions you still have?
Allow some wait time for students to reread their materials and ponder the questions posed.
After they have had several minutes assign them the prompt below.
After reading the article "Parents: Disney Policy Targeting Faux Disabled Punishes Truly Disabled Kids" by Jason Garcia, write a three paragraph response in the form of a letter to the Disney Corporation in which you advocate for or against the "Guest Assistance Card" program. Support your position with evidence from the article and videos. Be sure to address the flaws of the counterclaims when you are developing your argument.
Before students begin writing, go over the rubric with them. Make sure they know how their writing will be assessed. Teachers may want to adapt the rubric if their writing requirements are different. It may be helpful to ask students to identify the difference between the highest level and the next level down for different categories on the rubric before they begin writing. This will help students see what more it will take to reach the highest level.
There are many possible things that students might discuss in their responses. Some of the general topics they might address have been listed below. Students will need to cite evidence from the text (article and videos) to support their explanation no matter which direction their explanation goes in. Students will need to compare both the claim and counterclaim(s) in their response.
Students may write about:
- Negative consequences for people with disabilities and their families if the program is not reinstated.
- Negative consequences for honest park goers who have to wait in line behind people who are abusing the system.
- The consequences for Disney if guests continue to complain about people abusing the system and they do not respond.
As long as students thoroughly support their claim with valid reasoning and evidence from the article they may argue for or against the Guest Assistance Card program. A sample letter has been provided.
This link also provides some information on formatting letter writing. Students and teachers may find it useful.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
After all summative assessments have been completed, the teacher can lead a discussion with the students to wrap up the lesson. The teacher can lead a discussion with students in which they share their final conclusions regarding the debate over the Guest Assistance Card. Students can discuss questions they still have about the debate.
The teacher may also want to have students exchange their writing and participate in a peer review before turning in a final draft. This link from ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English, with support from the Verizon Foundation, provides an excellent document students can use to do a self edit and then a peer review.
Students will use their graphic organizers from the close readings and discussion and their writing from the Philosophical Chair activity to respond to the following prompt.
After reading the article "Parents: Disney Policy Targeting Faux Disabled Punishes Truly Disabled Kids" by Jason Garcia, write a three paragraph response in the form of a letter to the Disney Corporation in which you advocate for or against the "Guest Assistance Card" program.
Support your position with evidence from both the article and the videos. Be sure to address counterclaims when forming your argument.
A rubric has been provided. The teacher should review writing expectations of this rubric prior to student writing time. In addition, a sample letter has been included for teachers to use as a guide for what students may write.
After close reading 1:
The teacher will gather information about students' initial understanding of the article based on their discussion of the topic and vocabulary terms. The teacher will be able to see what vocabulary terms gave students trouble from the class chart of words and will easily be able to tell which words were misidentified the most from that same chart.
After close reading 2:
The teacher will gather information about students' understanding of the claims being made by both sides (Disney and the families of those with disabilities). The teacher will be able to see if students can determine what other facts the author might have included in order to help them better evaluate the claims.
After close reading 3:
The teacher will be able to assess students' comprehension of the controversy based on their discussion in a Philosophical Chair. Teachers will also be able to judge students' ability to scrutinize an argument's individual claims for validity and evidence.
Feedback to Students
After close reading 1:
Students will get verbal feedback from the teacher on their determination of the meaning of their chosen vocabulary words within the context of the article. Students will also receive feedback by checking their predicted definitions (formed using context clues) against confirmed definitions from the dictionary. Graphic organizers may also be collected and the teacher may provide written feedback. This feedback will help increase their comprehension during their second reading and assist them on the summative assessment task.
After close reading 2:
The teacher will provide verbal corrective feedback on students' graphic organizers as they analyze the argument and any faulty reasoning they identify.
After close reading 3:
The teacher will provide verbal corrective feedback to students based on the discussion from the Philosophical Chair activity. The reflection worksheets may also be collected and the teacher may provide written feedback. This feedback will help students be prepared to complete the summative assessment.