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Tabitha Core

Diagnostic Assessment
Name: _____________________
Directions: Answer the questions in complete sentences.
1. What is a fossil?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________
2. What is one example of an organic material AND one example of an inorganic material?
_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________
______________________________________________________

3. What do fossils tell us about the species?


_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

4. Where do we find fossils?


_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

5. What do fossils tell us about the area it was found in?


_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

6. Does everything that once lived get fossilized? Explain.


_____________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________

Directions: Circle the correct answer.


7. Finding fossils in an area can help us learn what about the area?
A. Which places in the region receive the most sunlight

B. The effect of the climate on the soil


C. What modern plants and animals live there
D. The kinds of organisms that lived there long ago
8. If we found a fossil of a tree thats currently in a desert without much life, we might conclude
that, millions of years ago, the area:
A. Was destroyed by strong winds
B. Received enough rain to support a forest
C. Suffered very powerful earthquakes
D. Was destroyed by meteorites

9. What does an organism need to survive?


A. Food
B. Water
C. Air
D. All of the above
10. Based on the chart to the right, which two fossils would likely be
found together?
A. Fish skull and cactus
B. Mouse skull and seaweed
C. Alligator toe bone and fern
D. Sharks tooth and marsh grass

Lesson 1
Title: Introduction to Fossils
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/2/15 (Monday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Students have essentially no understanding of what fossils are and how they are formed based
on the results from our diagnostic assessment. They have never been taught about fossils in
school and any knowledge they have is from outside sources. After the lesson is done, they
should have a basic foundation of what a fossil is, how it is formed, and what can be fossilized.
NC Essential Standard for Science, Math Common Core Standard:
4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the
history of Earth and its changing life forms.
4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to
one another and to living organisms.
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Asking questions; obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Learning Outcomes:
Students will know that fossils are remains turned into stone from plants/animals that lived a long
time ago.
Students will understand that fossils are like rock copies of the organism.
I Can Statement: Written in student language and reflective of the most important learning
outcome just described.
I can describe what a fossil is, where fossils come from, and how fossils form.
Formative Assessment: I will circulate the classroom to see if students are successfully writing
down things from the presentation.
The notecard at the end will allow me to see what students learned today that they didnt know
before, and what they are still confused on so I can teach accordingly.
Resources/Materials: chart paper (2 pieces), computer, Internet, worksheets, markers,
notecards
Essential Vocabulary: fossils, organisms, evidence, environment
Instructional Procedures:
Opener/Link
First, I will read the I can statements to the class and let them know what we will be focusing on.
Then I will hang the charts around the classroom with the questions written on them and read the
questions out loud (2 pieces of paper--What is a fossil? How do fossils form?) and tell the
students we will answer the questions together in a little while
Teacher Directed:
Ask the helpers to pass out a worksheet to each student.
Tell the students that they should use the worksheet to take notes during the video and
presentation.

Watch the video together and then go through the presentation (http://prezi.com/u92spb6hhlml/?
utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy)
Guided Practice:
Tell the students we are going to go over the big pieces of chart paper now and fill out the
answers as a group.
Closure
Have the helpers pass out a notecard to each student.
Tell each student that they should write one thing they learned today, and one question they still
have about fossils before they go to intervention.
Tell them to put their hands on their head when they have finished their notecard and I will come
collect it.
Classroom Management:
Clear Explicit Directions: Write the directions for the closure on the board.
Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary; remind students of the ticket system
Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where do fossils come from? (understand) (conceptual)
How do fossils form? (understand) (conceptual)
How old are fossils? (remember) (factual)
Where can we find fossils? (remember) (factual)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
The video allows both auditory and visual students to process the information.
Students who benefit from writing things down will have the worksheet to process the information
from the video/Prezi.
Students who are struggling to remember the information and generally understand more slowly
than their peers (Chrysia, Camani, XZAVion) will have the chance to do some work individually
on the worksheet, but then have the gaps filled by their peers when we fill out the chart paper as
a class.
The assessment at the end will allow me to see what students are still struggling with so I can
modify my lessons to meet those students needs.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will think about how much they understand when writing down what they learned on the
notecard.
They will also think about what gaps they have in their knowledge when generating a question
they still have for the notecard.
They will be able to see how they compare to their peers understanding when filling out the chart
paper as a group.

Lesson 2
Title: Trace vs. Body Fossils
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/3/15 (Tuesday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Yesterday, the students got a foundation of what fossils are and how they are formed. The
students seemed to understand it fairly well, but there are still a few gaps in their
understanding/questions that need to be answered before moving on as indicated in their closing
assessment yesterday. Students are also struggling with listening to the ideas of others, so
establishing a respectful environment for the classroom debate is key.
NC Essential Standard for Science, Math Common Core Standard:
4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the
history of Earth and its changing life forms.
4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to
one another and to living organisms.
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Asking questions; analyzing and interpreting data; constructing explanations; engaging in
argument from evidence
Learning Outcomes:
Students will understand the differences between trace fossils and body fossils.
Students will be able to explain why they think a picture of a fossil is a trace or a body fossil.
Students will generate examples of trace and body fossils.
I Can Statement:
I can describe and tell the differences between trace and body fossils.
Formative Assessment:
Every time I ask a question about body vs. trace fossils, the colored cards will allow me to see the
percentage of students in the class who know the correct answer.
Calling students up to debate the answers allows me to hear the gaps in their knowledge and
understand their thinking.
The closure where the students write examples of body/trace fossils will allow me to see how well
they understand/how much information they retained during the lesson.
Resources/Materials: Computer, Internet, 25 red cards, 25 green cards
Essential Vocabulary: fossils, organisms, evidence, environment, trace fossil, body fossil,
sediment, decay
Instructional Procedures:
Opener/Link
First, I will read the I Can statements to the class and let them know what we will be focusing
on.
Then, I will open up the Prezi and remind the students that at the end of class the day before,
they wrote some questions/things they were still confused about. All of the questions and answers
are on the Prezi (http://prezi.com/u92spb6hhlml/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy) and
I will explain them to the class.

Teacher Directed:
I will tell the students to take out their notebooks where they put their worksheets yesterday. I will
tell them they can take notes either on the back or on a separate page in their notebook.
Go over the differences between body and trace fossils and explain them through the Prezi
We will review the class norms for a respectful environment. I will ask the helpers to pass out one
green card and one red card to each student. I will explain that, when I show a picture of a fossil,
they should hold up the red card if they think its a trace fossil, and the green card if they think its
a body fossil.
Guided Practice:
If 2 people have differing opinions, they will come up to the front of the class and respectfully
explain to the other why they think it is a body or a trace fossil. Then, we will go over which is the
correct answer and why.
Closure
After we have gone through all of the questions about body or trace fossils, I will ask the students
to write on their cards examples of each--an example of a body fossil on the green, and an
example of a trace fossil on the red.
Classroom Management:
Clear Explicit Directions: Write the directions for the closure on the board. Write that trace is red
and body is green on the board. Go over the norms to establish a respectful environment for the
debate.
Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials. One helper will pass out the
red, and one helper will pass out the green.
Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary, remind students of the ticket system. If it
gets too loud or if it seems like students are looking at their peers to get the answers for holding
up the colored card, I will ask them to close their eyes for when they hold up their cards.
Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where do fossils come from? (understand) (conceptual)
How do fossils form? (understand) (conceptual)
What is a trace fossil? (understand) (factual)
What is a body fossil? (understand) (factual)
How can we tell the difference between a trace and a body fossil? (analyze) (factual)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
Students who benefit from writing things down will have the worksheet/their notebook to process
the information from the Prezi.
Students who understand information and/or recognize their own mistakes by talking things out
and explaining things to others will benefit from the debate format.
Students who need examples to learn will benefit from the many pictures/descriptions of fossils.
Both learners from words (descriptions) and photos are supported in this activity.
The assessment at the end will allow me to see what students are still struggling with so I can
modify my lessons to meet those students needs.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will think about how much they understand when writing down examples of body and
trace fossils at the end of the lesson.
Students will be able to compare their understanding to that of their classmates when seeing
what their peers are saying the fossils are (body or trace).

Students may be able to see the errors in their thinking when explaining their rationale to their
peers.

Lesson 3
Title: Making inferences past organisms environments
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/4/15 (Wednesday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
So far, the students have formed a foundation of what fossils are and how they are formed. They
have learned the basics on how a fossil is formed, the different types of ways something can be
fossilized (cast/mold, stuck in amber, stuck in ice), the differences between trace and body
fossils, and vocabulary related to fossils (paleontologist, sediment, organism, organic). They also
spent several weeks in writing working on making inferences.
NC Essential Standard for Science, Math Common Core Standard:
4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the
history of Earth and its changing life forms.
4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to
one another and to living organisms.
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Writing:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when
drawing inferences from the text.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Asking questions; analyzing and interpreting data; constructing explanations; engaging in
argument from evidence
Learning Outcomes:
Students will recall previous knowledge learned about fossils to add to the class list.
Students will draw conclusions about an organisms environment based on the features observed
in its fossil.
I Can Statement:
I can draw inferences about a past organisms environment from its fossil.
Formative Assessment:
I will see how much of the new information the students have retained based on what they are
able to add to the chart.
I will circulate the room during the inferences worksheet to see how students are doing and work
with students who are struggling.
I will collect the worksheets at the end so I can see how well the students were able to draw
inferences.
The think/pair/share activity at the end will allow me to see how well students can make
inferences about past environments when generating their own examples.
Resources/Materials: Document camera, 5 sets of 6 fossil pictures, 26 worksheets, chart paper
previously filled out
Essential Vocabulary: fossils, organisms, evidence, environment, trace fossil, body fossil,
sediment, decay, inference

Instructional Procedures:
Opener/Link
First, I will read the I Can statements to the class and let them know what we will be focusing
on.
Then, we will review the chart papers we created at the beginning of the the unit with the
questions what is a fossil? and how do fossils form? As we have covered a lot more
information (body fossils, trace fossils, and all of the questions they had after the first day), we will
add as a group more information to the charts. I will ask for volunteers for information to add, and
then if I think of specific things we should add, I will prompt them to offer that information.
Guided Practice:
The helpers will pass out a set of fossil pictures to each group (6 fossil pictures for each of the 5
tables) and a worksheet to each student. On the doc camera, we will use one of the fossils and
make inferences about its environment as a class. I will tell the students to be writing down what I
am writing on the board.
Independent Practice:
I will then tell the students to do each of the fossils and fill out the chart independently and quietly.
(Blooms: create and conceptual)
Guided Practice:
We will review the answers (asking students for their answers and writing them on the doc
camera) after there has been sufficient time for the students to complete the activity.
Closure:
I will tell the students that I am going to need them to use their imagination. This is going to be a
think, pair, share activity.
First, I need them to close their eyes and imagine their favorite animal. After, I will tell the students
to think about if they were to find a fossil of that animal, where they would find it, what it would
like, and why. Think about that for a minute. (Blooms: create and conceptual)
Now, students should turn to their shoulder buddy and tell them what they were imagining and
what conclusions they drew.
I will ask for a few volunteers to share what their partner said (to encourage active listening).
Classroom Management:
Clear Explicit Directions: Going over the inferences chart together will show the students a direct
example of what a correctly filled out chart should look like. I will write the directions for the
think/pair/share on the board so students can look up there if they forget what theyre supposed
to talk about.
Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials. One helper will pass out the
pictures, and one will pass out the worksheets.
Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary, remind students of the ticket system. I
am doing the closure with shoulder buddies because the students already know who their
shoulder buddies are so there should be minimal disruption.
Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where do fossils come from? (understand) (conceptual)
How do fossils form? (understand) (conceptual)
What is a trace fossil? (remember) (factual)
What is a body fossil? (remember) (factual)

Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:


Students who like art will enjoy sketching the fossils in the chart.
It seems that all the students love science, but many do not like literacy/writing. Incorporating the
inferences activity into science may help them be more motivated to do it.
I may need to pull Chrysia and XZAVion to the side table to work with them individually.
Juan can use the computer to type this instead if he would like because he struggles with
handwriting, particularly in small spaces like a chart and performs much better through typing.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will be able to check their inference charts when we go over the answers as a class.
Students will think about how much they remember from before when adding to the chart paper.

Lesson 4
Title: Creating Mold Fossils
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/9/15 (Monday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
So far, the students have formed a foundation of what fossils are and how they are formed. They
have learned the basics on how a fossil is formed, the different types of ways something can be
fossilized (cast/mold, stuck in amber, stuck in ice), the differences between trace and body
fossils, and vocabulary related to fossils (paleontologist, sediment, organism, organic). They have
been able to draw conclusions about an organisms environment based on what they observe in
the fossil.
NC Essential Standard for Science, Math Common Core Standard:
4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the
history of Earth and its changing life forms.
4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to
one another and to living organisms.
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Asking questions; developing and using models; planning and carrying out investigations
Learning Outcomes:
Students will create their own mold fossils.
Students will choose objects from outside based on their knowledge of what is organic and what
is not.
Students will understand how this activity is a reflection of how fossils are formed in nature.
I Can Statement:
I can create a mold fossil from an organic object from outside.
Formative Assessment:
I will see if students understand what an organic material is based on what object they choose
from outside.
I will read the students predictions about the fossils to see if they have a grasp on how fossils are
formed in nature.
Resources/Materials: Whiteboard, clay, objects from outside, students science notebooks, glue,
masking tape
Essential Vocabulary: fossils, organisms, evidence, environment, trace fossil, body fossil,
sediment, decay, rot, groundwater, organic
Instructional Procedures:
Opener/Link
I will remind the students that we were working on learning about fossils all of last week, and that
now, finally, after they have asked for a long time, we will make our own fossils.

But first, we need to review what an organic material is. I will ask one of the students to give the
definition that they glued in their notebooks earlier of organic. I will then get 2 or 3 more
students to restate that definition in their own words. We will then make a T chart as a class with
organic materials we could find outside, versus non-organic materials we could find outside. I will
stress that we only want to pick organic materials for our fossils because the point of fossils is to
tell us about species, so we want to make sure it came from nature.
Independent Practice:
We will take about 10 minutes to go outside and collect our organic materials for our own fossils.
Teacher Directed:
When we come back into the classroom, I will demonstrate how to make a fossil.
First, I take my ball of clay and make it into a pancake shape.
Then, I press my object into the clay. I dont want to press it too hard, because then the
impression might poke through the clay.
After I press my object into the clay, I will then write observations in my science notebook.
(I will ask the students to give some observations about my mold). I will tell them that this
is similar to when organisms are buried by the sediment and leave an impression of itself.
Then, I will demonstrate how to carefully take the object out of the clay. In nature, objects
often rot away because of bacteria. By taking out the object, I am acting like the bacteria.
I will then explain how this is a mold of the object even though the object is gone. The
final step for the day is to add glue and fill the mold with the glue. When the organism rots
away, the space is filled with the mineral groundwater. The glue is acting like the mineral
water that fills the mold.
Independent Practice:
I will pass out clay to each student and allow them to work on it independently, circulating to make
sure they are doing it correctly. As they are working, I will come around and put a piece of tape
with their name on the clay so that tomorrow we know whose fossil is whose.
Closure:
When the students have completed all of the steps, I will tell them to write in their science journals
any other observations about their mold, and what they think will happen when the glue is dry. I
will collect the fossils from them at the end of the lesson.
Classroom Management:
Clear Explicit Directions: I will write the steps to make the fossil on the board so students know
what order to do things in. I will model the correct way to make a fossil so students can see what
to do before they have the materials in their hands.
Materials and Transitions: I will model the correct technique and order before giving the students
the materials so their focus is on me and not on the stuff in front of them. I will be the one to pass
out the clay (as opposed to the helpers) so students are not worried about other students
messing up their clay.
Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary, remind students of the ticket system. To
get the students in front being outside, I will raise my hand and call out, because that is how they
are used to coming in from recess.
Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where do fossils come from? (understand) (conceptual)
How do fossils form? (understand) (conceptual)
What makes something an organic material? (understand) (conceptual)

How is the model I am making similar/different to how fossils formed in nature? (analyze)
(conceptual)
What will my fossil look like when I take out the glue? (create) (metacognitive)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
Students who like art/hands-on activities will enjoy using the clay.
I am going to pass out the clay first to the tables with students who may struggle more with the
activity, so that hopefully the timing is fairly even.
The students who finish more quickly than others (Setarah, Anna, Jackson, Thomas) can write
detailed observations/predictions in their science notebook while the others are finishing up.
Students who have been struggling with the abstract concepts of fossils can apply what theyve
learned to making a real-life model.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will think about how much they know about organic materials when making the list of
organic/inorganic materials as a class.
Students will see how accurate their predictions were when taking out the glue tomorrow.

Lesson 5

Title: Creating and making inferences from cast fossils


Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/10/15 (Tuesday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)

Concept Trajectory:
So far, the students have formed a foundation of what fossils are and how they are formed. They
have learned the basics on how a fossil is formed, the different types of ways something can be
fossilized (cast/mold, stuck in amber, stuck in ice), the differences between trace and body
fossils, and vocabulary related to fossils (paleontologist, sediment, organism, organic). They have
been able to draw conclusions about an organisms environment based on what they observe in
the fossil. Yesterday, they made their own fossil models out of clay and glue and inorganic objects
from the classroom and wrote their observations and predictions.

NC Essential Standard for Science, Math Common Core Standard:


4.E.2: Understand the use of fossils and changes in the surface of the Earth as evidence of the
history of Earth and its changing life forms.
4.E.2.1: Compare fossils (including molds, casts, and preserved parts of plants and animals) to
one another and to living organisms.
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.

Writing:
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.1
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when
drawing inferences from the text.

Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:

Asking questions; developing and using models; planning and carrying out investigations;
constructing explanations; engaging in argument from evidence

Learning Outcomes:
Students will create their own cast fossils.
Students will draw conclusions about a fossilized object based on its features.
Students will understand how this activity is a reflection of how fossils are formed in nature.
Students will connect a text about fossils to what they have learned in class thus far.

I Can Statement:
I can infer what objects my peers used to make their cast fossils based on the features of the cast
fossil.

Formative Assessment:
I will see how well students can make inferences based on how they guess about their peers
fossils.
I will see how strong their understanding of the connections between our class fossils and real
fossils are when discussing the similarities.
I will see individual students connections to the text and our class material when I collect their
papers at the end of the lesson.
I will see what observations students have written about their fossils.

Resources/Materials: Whiteboard, clay fossils from yesterday, students science notebooks,


Sharpies, plastic bag, Nat Geo article

Essential Vocabulary: fossils, organisms, evidence, environment, trace fossil, body fossil,
sediment, decay, rot, groundwater, organic, paleontologist

Instructional Procedures:

Opener/Link
I will remind the students that yesterday, we made our own mold fossils. I will ask them to explain
how the procedures we did were like the process it takes for something to become a fossil.
Object getting pressed into the clay similar to when organisms are buried by the
sediment and leave an impression of itself.
Object being taken out of the clay objects rotting away because of bacteria
Filling the space with glue When the organism rots away, the space is filled with the
mineral groundwater (like the glue)
I will model how to pop out the glue from the mold and explain that that is a cast fossil.
A mold fossil is in the shape of the organism--the empty space represents the shape of
the organism.
A cast fossil is a replica of the organism itself. The clay is a mold fossil, the glue is a cast
fossil. (I will explain this).

Independent Practice:
Each student will pop out the glue and write their name on it in Sharpie. When they have written
their name on it, they will raise their hand and I will come collect it and put it in a bag. Students
who are waiting for others to pop out their glue should write what they observed about their fossils
in their science notebooks. (Blooms: analyze and conceptual)

Guided Practice: When I have collected all of the cast fossils in a bag, I will pull a fossil out. I will
then make an inference about what I think the object that made it was based on its appearance.
After I have made my argument, the student whose fossil it is will tell me if Im right or wrong,
show us the object, and pull a fossil out of the bag. We will continue this until all of the fossils are
completed. I will take the fossils back after they have described them so that each student can
get his or her own fossil back. (Blooms: create and procedural)

Closure:
I will read the National Geographic article on the doc camera so the students can follow along
about the discovery of a fossil in the United States.
On the piece of paper where they wrote about their fossils, each student should write 1
connection they read in the article to something weve talked about in class, and (if they have
one) 1 question they still have. (Blooms: analyze and conceptual)

Classroom Management:

o Clear Explicit Directions: I will model the correct way to pop out a fossil so students can see
what to do before they have the materials in their hands. I will also model how to make an
inference based on the cast fossil I pull out. I will write the questions for the closure on the board
so students know what to write.

o Materials and Transitions: I will model the correct technique and order before giving the
students the materials so their focus is on me and not on the stuff in front of them. I will be the
one to pass out the fossils (as opposed to the helpers) so students are not worried about other
students messing up their fossils. I will organize the fossils by tables before the lesson begins
so I can do it quickly and efficiently.

o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary, remind students of the ticket system.

Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where do fossils come from? (understand) (conceptual)
How do fossils form? (understand) (conceptual)
How is the model I am making similar/different to how fossils form in nature? (analyze)
(conceptual)

Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:


Students who like art/hands-on activities will enjoy using the clay and glue.
The students who finish more quickly than others (Setarah, Anna, Jackson, Thomas) can write
detailed observations/predictions in their science notebook while the others are finishing up.
Students who have been struggling with the abstract concepts of fossils can apply what theyve
learned to making a real-life model.
Students who learn through discussion will be supported in the inferences activity.
I will put the article on the doc cam so those who cant process orally very well will be able to see
the text.

Self and/or Peer Assessment:


Students will think about what they have learned in class so far when connecting it to the text.
Students will evaluate how accurate their predictions about the glue were from yesterday.
Students will find out if their inferences were correct or incorrect about their peers fossil.

Lesson 6
Title: Introduction to Opinion Writing
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/12/15 (Thursday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Students have a basic understanding of what an opinion is, but have yet to have formal
instruction on how to write an opinion piece. The opinion pieces that the students will be writing
are on fossils. By now, they have been taught every lesson on fossils and should have a full
understanding of what they are, how they are made and why they are important.
NC Essential Standard for Science:
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Common Core ELA Standard for Writing:
W.4.1.A: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
information.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
Learning Outcomes:
Students will know how to write an opinion piece.
Students will communicate any clarifications they need on opinion writing.
I Can Statement:
I can say what an opinion piece is and how to write one.
Formative Assessment:
I will show students an example opinion piece and have them complete a ticket out the door to
assess their understanding of it.
Resources/Materials:
document camera; handwritten opinion piece (as example); filled out OREO model (as example);
anchor chart on opinion writing; notecards
Essential Vocabulary:
fossils, organisms, environment, opinion
Instructional Procedures:
Opener:
First, I will tell students that over the course of the next 5 lessons, we will be learning about what
an opinion piece is and that they each will be writing their own. I will tell students that we will be
doing another think, pair, share and to take a minute and think about where they have heard the
word opinion before and what they think it means. After that minute is up, I will tell students to
share with the person next to them. Lastly, I will call on a few pairs to share what their partner
said.
Teacher Directed:
Next, I will share with the class the anchor chart I will have previously created about what an
opinion piece is and what they include.

I will then introduce the OREO model to them. Before I show them my example of it (which will
also be previously created), I will explain to them what their writing prompt will be for their opinion
piece. Next, I will explain to them that I used this graphic organizer in order to write my own
opinion piece on fossils and will show them it using the document camera.
Their writing prompt will be:
Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them where you think it lived and how you think it lived. While there is a correct answer, it is more
important for them to see WHAT you inferred about the fossil and WHY you reached your
conclusions. Good luck!
Closure
I will tell students that I realize I have given them a lot of information today and so our ticket out
the door will be students writing down any questions they have about what opinion writing is or
why we do it on the notecards I will have the helpers pass out.
Classroom Management:
o Clear Explicit Directions: Write the directions for the closure on the board.
o Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary
Questions:
What is opinion writing? (understand) (factual)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
Amari, Hope (if she doesnt have her glasses), and Imonie may need to come sit on the floor in
order to see the doc cam.
I will check in with XZAVion and Chrysia at the end of the lesson to see how they are doing.
Students who learn best by seeing an example will benefit from the example OREO model.
The questions on the notecards at the end will allow me to clear up any confusion before we
proceed tomorrow.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will informally peer assess during the opener when they think, pair share with their
neighbor.
Students will self-assess during the closure when they complete their ticket out the door where
they will think about what they understand and what they do not understand.

Lesson 7
Title: Making OREO models
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/16/15 (Monday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Students will have learned from the previous lesson what an opinion is and how to write an
opinion piece. They will have been introduced to the OREO model. By now, they have been
taught every lesson on fossils and should have a full understanding of what they are, how they
are made and why they are important.
NC Essential Standard for Science:
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Common Core ELA Standard for Writing:
W.4.1.A: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
information.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
Learning Outcomes:
Students will complete a graphic organizer in order to begin writing an opinion piece.
Students will know how a graphic organizer will help them write an opinion piece.
Students will draw inferences about their fossil from the information they are given.
I Can Statement:
I can make inferences about where my fossil might have lived and how my fossil might have
lived.
I can complete an OREO model.
Formative Assessment:

The students ticket out the door will be completed on paint chips. It will tell me how confident
the students are in their progress with the OREO model.
Resources/Materials:
OREO worksheets for every student (and extras); Oreo Cookies, paint chips for each student.
Essential Vocabulary:
fossils, organisms, environment, opinion
Instructional Procedures:
Opener
First, I will tell students that today I will be assigning them their fossils and they will begin to fill out
their OREO model. I will show them the OREO model again on the document camera (and leave
it up there throughout the entire lesson) and remind them of their writing assignment (which will
be on chart paper for them to be able to visualize it better). I will tell students that since it has
been a while since we have learned about fossils, we will review by playing four corners. I will
assign each corner of the room a letter and read a multiple choice question. The questions will
be:
1. What is a fossil?
1. A plant or animal that is alive
2. The remains of an organism that lived long ago
3. The name of a store that sells watches
4. The things you find at the bottom of a lake
2. Where can a fossil be found?
a. In ice
b. In the ground
c. In amber
d. All of these places
3. Which is an example of a trace fossil?
a. A birds nest
b. A shark tooth
c. A leaf
d. An oreo
4. What do you call a scientist who studies fossils?
a. A planetologist
b. A doctor
c. A paleontologist
d. A planetarium
5. What CANT a fossil tell us?
a. Where the organism lived
b. How the organism lived
c. How long ago it died
d. What the flesh/skin of the organism looked like
Independent Practice:
Next, I will hand each student their worksheet with their fossil assignment while having the
helpers hand out blank OREO model worksheets. (I will have previously assigned each student to
a particular fossil - because later in the unit they will be peer conferencing with people who have
the same fossil as them, so we have to be strategic). Students will work quietly to fill out their

OREO model. They can raise their hand to ask questions and Mrs. Sharpe and I will answer
them. Once they are done, they will give it to me and I will give them an Oreo Cookie. When they
are done, I will give them their ticket out the door to complete. Once they are done that, they can
read quietly.
Closure:
I will give each student a ticket and on it they will answer the question, How do you think the
OREO graphic organizer will help you write your opinion paper?(which I will write on the board)
and they will complete this for their ticket out the door.
Classroom Management:
o Clear Explicit Directions: Write the directions for the closure on the board.
o Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary
Questions:
What is a fossil? (remember) (factual)
Where can a fossil be found? (apply) (factual)
What is an example of a trace fossil? (apply) (factual)
What do you call a scientist that studies fossils? (remember) (factual)
What can fossils tell us? (analyze) (conceptual)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
Juan can write out his notes on the computer.
I will work with XZAVion, Savion, and Chrysia to help them.
If a student is really struggling, they can get help/ideas from someone else who is succeeding
with the same fossil as them.
Keeping the example up on the doc cam for the whole time will help the students remember what
they should be doing throughout the lesson as they can look up on the board for a model.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will informally self and peer assess when they complete the opening game of four
corners. The game will also allow me to see how well students understand and see the gaps in
their knowledge.
Students will self-assess during the closure when they complete their ticket out the door where
they will think about how confident they are feeling about their writing.

Paleontologists Name: __________________________________ Date: ______________

Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them WHERE you think your organism lived and HOW you think your organism lived (this
could mean talking about what it ate, what it might have done, who its predators were). While
there is a correct answer, it is more important for them to see WHAT you inferred about the fossil
and WHY you reached your conclusions.
Your fossil is: A FRESHWATER FISH!

Here is some more information:


Your fossil lives in freshwater. It likes to eat algae (the slimy, green stuff on rocks), smaller fish
and insects. It grows to be about 10 inches long. They travel with a bunch of other fish in a group.
(Fun fact: a group of fish swimming together is called a school!) However, paleontologists have
found fossils of your freshwater fish in the mouths and bellies of even bigger fish.
GOOD LUCK, I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB!

Paleontologists Name: __________________________________ Date: ______________


Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them WHERE you think your fossil came from and HOW you think the organism it came
from lived (this could mean talking about what it ate, what it might have done, who its predators
were). While there is a correct answer, it is more important for them to see WHAT you inferred
about the fossil and WHY you reached your conclusions.
Your fossil is: A SHARK TOOTH!

Here is some more information:


Your fossil is about 4 inches long. It came from a shark that was around 30 feet long! The shark
that your fossil came from liked to eat large fish and smaller sharks. This shark lived in warm salt
water. (Hint: Which continent or country is usually really hot? Your shark probably lived off the
coast of there!)
GOOD LUCK, I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB!

Paleontologists Name: __________________________________ Date: ______________


Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them WHERE you think your organism lived and HOW you think your organism lived (this
could mean talking about what it ate, what it might have done, who its predators were). While
there is a correct answer, it is more important for them to see WHAT you inferred about the fossil
and WHY you reached your conclusions.
Your fossil is: A SHELL!

Here is some more information:


Your fossil isnt just a shell, something used to live inside it! You cant see it in the picture of the
fossil, but it would have looked like the one to the right, with two parts that open up. The thing
living inside it is almost like a muscle. It is called a filter feeder which means it eats by straining
food from the water. These are usually found in saltwater and bury themselves in the sand to hide
from predators, like fish, birds (that dive into the water) and starfish.
GOOD LUCK, I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB!

Paleontologists Name: __________________________________ Date: ______________


Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them WHERE you think your organism lived and HOW you think your organism lived (this
could mean talking about what it ate, what it might have done, who its predators were). While
there is a correct answer, it is more important for them to see WHAT you inferred about the fossil
and WHY you reached your conclusions.
Your fossil is: A SNAKE!

Here is some more information:


Your fossil isnt like a regular snake. It lives in warm climates with lots of vegetation (like plants
and trees) and spends almost all of its time in saltwater. They grow to be about 15 inches long
and like to eat fish, frogs and worms.
GOOD LUCK, I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB!

Paleontologists Name: __________________________________ Date: ______________


Congratulations! You have been asked to interview at the Smith Elementary Museum, one of the
best in the world, to be their head paleontologist. In order to get the job, you have to show them
just how much you know about fossils. They will give you a picture of a fossil and have you tell
them WHERE you think your organism lived and HOW you think your organism lived (this
could mean talking about what it ate, what it might have done, who its predators were). While
there is a correct answer, it is more important for them to see WHAT you inferred about the fossil
and WHY you reached your conclusions.
Your fossil is: A LIZARD!

Here is some more information:


Your fossil lives in habitats with dry, hot temperatures and lots of sand and rocks. They like to eat
grasshoppers, worms and crickets. These organisms blend into their environment and are usually
tan or brown in color.
GOOD LUCK, I HOPE YOU GET THE JOB!

Lesson 8
Title: Creating Rough Drafts
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/16/15 (Monday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Students will have learned from the previous lesson what an opinion is and how to write an
opinion piece and how to complete an OREO model graphic organizer. By now, they have been
taught every lesson on fossils and should have a full understanding of what they are, how they
are made and why they are important.
NC Essential Standard for Science:
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Common Core ELA Standard for Writing:
W.4.1.A: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
information.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
Learning Outcomes:
Students will write an opinion piece on where and how their fossil lived.
Students will use at least four transitional words when completing an opinion piece.
I Can Statement:
I can use transitional words in my opinion piece.
I can use my OREO model in order to write my opinion piece.
Formative Assessment:
Becky and I will be going around to each student individually with a checklist to gauge how they
are feeling about their progress and if they have any further questions.
Resources/Materials:
Opinion piece writing templates (and extras); anchor chart on transitional phrases; opinion writing
check-In worksheets for everyone
Essential Vocabulary:
fossils, organisms, environment, opinion
Instructional Procedures:
Opener
First, I will open with reading some of the best ticket out the doors from yesterday. Then, I will
tell students they should take out their OREO models and take the first 10 minutes or so of class
to finish up the OREO models if they have not already done so.
Teacher Directed:
Before we begin writing the opinion piece, I want to introduce them to transitional words/phrases
that I want them to use in their papers on the anchor chart I will have previously created. I will tell
them that I expect to see them use these (at least) 4 times in their paper- once at the beginning of
each paragraph.

Independent Practice:
Once we have done this, I will have the helpers hand out a blank template for the students to
begin writing their piece. Students should work quietly and independently on their essay.
Closure
I will give each student a checklist that I have created to gauge how they think they are
doing/feeling about their writing and if they have any further questions. This will serve as a
formative assessment.
Classroom Management:
o Clear Explicit Directions: Write the directions for the closure on the board.
o Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary
Questions:
What can fossils tell us? (analyze) (conceptual)
Where can my fossil be found? (create) (factual)
How might my fossil have lived?( create) (factual)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
The checklist will show me how the students are feeling about their learning so I can change the
lessons accordingly.
I will circulate and help those who I anticipate will need help with writing.
If someone flies through it, I will ask them to help students who have the same fossils who may
be struggling.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will informally self and peer assess when hearing the exit tickets people did yesterday.
Students will self assess when filling out the checksheet.

Lesson 9
Title: Peer Conferences
Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/17/15 (Wednesday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)
Concept Trajectory:
Students will have learned from the previous lesson what an opinion is and how to write an
opinion piece and how to complete an OREO model graphic organizer. By now, they have been
taught every lesson on fossils and should have a full understanding of what they are, how they
are made and why they are important.
NC Essential Standard for Science:
4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.
Common Core ELA Standard for Writing:
W.4.1.A: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
information.
Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:
Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information
Learning Outcomes:
Students will review and edit the rough draft of a classmate.
Students will be able to utilize the checklist provided to better their classmates work and ensure
that they have all components required.
Students will know what they have to change in their rough draft for their final copy.
I Can Statement:
I can use a checklist to review and edit my classmates opinion piece.
Formative Assessment:
The students individual formative assessment will be at the end of the lesson where they use the
paint chip to mark how confident they are about their progress thus far.
Resources/Materials:
Checklist for each student, paint chip for each student, document camera
Essential Vocabulary:
fossils, organisms, environment, opinion, checklist, peer edit
Instructional Procedures:
Opener
First, we will begin by reviewing our previous lesson and reading the I Can statements. As an
opener, the class and I will work together to create an anchor chart of the expectations of working
with a partner. If they do not reach the following expectations on their own, I will guide them to
these:
Speak in a whisper voice
Be respectful
Listen carefully
Make eye contact
Take turns speaking (Blooms: Apply)

Teacher Directed:
Next, I will go over the checklist with the class. I will tell them that I want them to first read their
partners paper in their head, then read it again and check for any grammatical errors, then read it
a 3rd time while looking over the checklist and making sure everything is there. Once they are
both done, they will discuss with their partner how they did based off the checklist. I will display
these 4 steps on the board using the document camera:
1. Read partners paper in your head (5 mins)
2. Read over partners paper in your head and check for spelling, punctuation and
capitalization (5 mins)
3. Read over partners paper and look for things on the checklist (7 mins)
4. Discuss checklist with partner (5 mins for each person)
Then, I will have the helpers pass out a checklist to each student. I will tell students who their
partner will be and then I will give them 30 seconds to find a place to sit with them at a desk.
(Blooms: evaluate)
Independent Practice: All the students who have been absent will meet with me at the side
table. Then they will work on reading over their paper and completing the checklist. I will set a
timer to make sure that they are on task and being efficient (probably for 25 minutes). As students
are working, I will walk around and make sure that the students are doing what they are
supposed to do. I will also answer any questions they have. If I notice certain words are
repeatedly being misspelled, I will write them on the board. (Blooms: analyze)
Closure
The students ticket out the door will be completing the paint chip. They will sign their name in
the box that they feel describes how they are progressing. (Blooms: analyze)
Darkest chip: I feel ready to start my final draft and have no questions.
Medium chip: I feel ok about starting my draft and have a few questions.
Lightest chip: I still feel confused and have a lot of questions about my final draft.
I will write these on my example paint chip and display it on the document camera.
Students will put their hands on their head when they are done with their paint chip and I will
come collect them. Lastly, we will check off the I Can statements and talk about what their
homework is and what they will be doing the next day.
Classroom Management:
o Clear Explicit Directions: Display directions for closure on document camera.
o Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary
Questions:
What expectations should we have for working with a partner? (conceptual) (apply)
Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:
Students who benefit from giving/receiving feedback will do well in this peer conferencing.
I will conference with students who I know will need a lot of helpChrysia, Juan, XZAVion.
Juan can type his on the computer.
Self and/or Peer Assessment:
Students will peer assess when they are working on their checklist to evaluate their classmates
paper.
Students will self assess when they complete their paint chip during the closure.

Title: Final draft, final lesson!


Grade level: 4th
Date of Use: 11/18/15 (Thursday)
Length of lesson: 45 minutes (10-10:45)

Concept Trajectory:
Students will have learned from the previous lesson what an opinion is and how to write an
opinion piece and how to complete an OREO model graphic organizer. By now, they have been
taught every lesson on fossils and should have a full understanding of what they are, how they
are made and why they are important.

NC Essential Standard for Science:


4.E.2.2: Infer ideas about Earths early environments from fossils of plants and animals that lived
long ago.

Common Core ELA Standard for Writing:


W.4.1.A: Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and
information.

Standards for Mathematical Practice or Science Practices:


Analyzing and interpreting data; obtaining, evaluating and communicating information

Learning Outcomes:
Students will complete a final draft of the opinion piece they have been working on for the past
week.
Students will understand what makes an opinion piece complete and finished.

I Can Statement:

I can write a final draft of my opinion piece on my fossil.

Formative Assessment:
The students individual formative assessment will be at the end of the lesson where they write
one thing they learned about fossils and one thing they learned about opinion writing.

Resources/Materials:
Computer, blank templates, construction paper for ticket out the door

Essential Vocabulary:
fossils, organisms, environment, opinion writing, final draft

Instructional Procedures:

Opener
First, I will tell students that today will be the last lesson in our unit. To reward the students for all
their hard work for this Fossil and Writing Unit, I want to share with them a quick video about
shark teeth that were found on the beaches in Eastern North Carolina, to show them that fossils
are still being found, even in our state!
Link to video: http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/Giant-shark-teeth-wash-up-on-North-TopsailBeach-336445471.html
After that, we will do the I Can statement. (Blooms: understand)

Independent Practice:
Students will spend 25 minutes (I will set a timer) writing the final draft of their fossil unit paper.
They will be working quietly while classical music plays. I will tell them that yesterday we had a lot
of students getting out of their desks to ask questions, and how this behavior is unacceptable. I
will then tell them that if they have a question, they will raise their hand and I will answer it when I
can. (Blooms: create)

I will have the helpers pass out the blank templates to the students.

If students finish early, I will tell them to check for errors and reread their paper again.

Closure
The students ticket out the door will be writing one thing they learned about fossils from this unit
and one thing they learned about opinion writing.

These will be written on cut-out pieces of construction paper in the shape of a dinosaur, with one
answer on the front and one on the back. I will then collect these and thank them for being such
awesome students. (Time permitting, I will share a few)

Then, we will check off the I Can statement.

Classroom Management:
o Clear Explicit Directions: Display directions for closure on document camera.
o Materials and Transitions: The helpers will pass out the materials.
o Getting Students Attention: Clap technique if necessary

Questions:
What is one thing you learned about fossils? (conceptual) (evaluate)
What is one thing you learned about opinion writing? (conceptual) (evaluate)

Meeting Specific Learning Needs of your Students:


For Juan on the computer, I will highlight changes that need to be made in color because I cannot
write on his paper.

Those who do not finish can work on finishing up during intervention time if they do not go to
another classroom.
Those who finish early can help their peers if both parties are willing.

Self and/or Peer Assessment:


Students will self assess informally when writing their final draft, checking for punctuation, spelling
and capitalization.
Students will also self assess when they have to evaluate one thing they have learned about
fossils, and one thing they learned about opinion writing.