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On My Honor Webquest

Subject: Language Arts

Grade Level: 5/6

Materials: On My Honor; The Road Not Taken; Computers; Internet Access; Digital Camera; Advertisements for Breathmakers, Nicorette, and Monster.com; Construction paper and markers; PowerPoint slideshow of The Road Not Taken; Instructions for writing an obituary; Sample obituary; Sample newspaper article about a drowning; Instructions for writing a news article

About: This unit is centered on the reading of Marion Dane Bauer's Newbery award winning novel, On My Honor. Through participation in a variety of engaging learning activities, students arrive at a better understanding of the novel and its themes as a result of the relationship that is established between the reader and the text. The novel discusses a variety of issues relevant to the lives of the students, such as friendship, peer pressure, parental relationships, choices, and losing a loved one. To promote an appreciation for literature within students, it is imperative that these themes be explored through expanding activities. Students utilize technology such as the Internet, PowerPoint, and digital cameras to research information and demonstrate their understanding of the novel's themes through the completion of webquest assignemnts.

The culminating activity for the On My Honor unit is the completion of one of the numerous activities described in the Webquest. The products of the tasks are varied to ensure that the creative talents, skills, and cognitive abilities of ALL students are addressed. Students may choose from a list of activities ranging from acting out a scene to writing an obituary for a character in the novel.

The Internet plays an integral role in the creation and success of this unit, as the myriad resources available permit the teacher to supplement the literature with real life connections. The majority of the proposed tasks direct students to utilize the Internet as a source of information. While conducting research, students learn valuable skills such as how to navigate the Internet, use search engines, summarize information, take notes, and paraphrase. All learning activities are accompanied by group discussions through which students apply the plot and themes of On My Honor to the audio, video, or reading acquired via the Internet. Additionally, technology such as digital cameras permits students to observe themselves and reflect on the product they have created. The creation of a message board encourages students to post comments or questions about the text for review by their classmates. This fosters the establishment of a communtiy of learners that extends beyond the classroom walls. Students also learn to become technologically proficient.

http://teachersnetwork.org/powertolearn/web/butler/index.html

 Objectives
Students will be able to identify with the characters by placing themselves in the minds of the characters by performing an important scene from the book.
Students will be able to conduct research about the setting of the novel and river safety and will incorporate this information into the creation of a warning poster.
Students will be able to write an obituary for Tony by referring back to the text to recall information about his life and the details surrounding his death.
Students will be able to write a news article about Tony's death based on the details provided in the story and will adhere to the proper format for a news article.
Students will be able to write a poem about choices based on their reading of The Road Not Taken and On My Honor.
Students will be able to make connections between their own lives and the events of the story by considering how the decisions they make impact their lives.
Students will be able to consider the friendships they have with others and compare them to the one shared between Tony and Joel.
Students will be able to use technology to gather information, document their work, and communicate with classmates through an online blog.

Websites
Each of the following lessons can be found on the On My Honor Webquest. The webquest includes directions and links to websites and other media used throughout the unit.
http://teachersnetwork.org/powertolearn/web/butler/index.html
The On My Honor message board is available to all students. It permits them to post questions and comments about the text or assignments. Other students can then respond to these posts. The message board extends the classroom community into the home as evidenced by the times that the students posted their thoughts.
http://pub5.bravenet.com/forum/417203774
Text of The Road Not Taken and links to the advertisements.
http://mrcoia.com/school/units/Robert%20Frost/road_not_taken.html
Link to Robert Frost reading The Road Not Taken.
http://dogpile.com/info.dogpl/clickit/search?r_aid=1C0392ECC3D04FF6BEA55487A4D43FC0&r_eop=3&r_sacop=8&r_spf=0&r_cop=main-url&r_snpp=8&r_spp=0&qqn=r9Qfe%2B1Q&r_coid=372669&rawto=http://town.hall.org/radio/HarperAudio/012294%5Fharp%5F01%5FITH.ra

Standards
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding. As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas, discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will interpret and analyze information from textbooks and nonfiction books for young adults, as well as reference materials, audio and media presentations, oral interviews, graphs, charts, diagrams, and electronic data bases intended for a general audience.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will relate new information to prior knowledge and experience
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression. Students will read and listen to oral, written and electronically produced texts and performances, relate texts and performances to their own lives, and develop an understanding of the diverse social, historical, and cultural dimensions the texts and performances represent. As speakers and writers, students will use oral and written language for self-expression and artistic creation.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will identify significant literary elements (including metaphor, symbolism, foreshadowing, dialect, rhyme, meter, irony, climax) and use those elements to interpret the work.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation. As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will present, in oral and written language and from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will analyze, interpret, and evaluate information, ideas, organization, and language from academic and nonacademic texts, such as textbooks, public documents, book and movie reviews, and editorials.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will evaluate their own and others’ work based on a variety of criteria (e.g., logic, clarity, comprehensiveness, conciseness, originality, conventionality) and recognize the varying effectiveness of different approaches.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction. Students will use oral and written language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will listen attentively to others and build on others’ ideas in conversations with peers and adults.
Intermediate
English Language Arts
Students will express ideas and concerns clearly and respectfully in conversations and group discussions.
Intermediate
English Language Arts

Day 1: Lights, Camera, Action!
Objectives
Students will be able to identify significant scenes from the text, determining why they are important to the story.
Students will be able to place themselves inside the minds of the characters, thereby considering their emotions, points of view, and actions.
Students will be able to refer back to the text to develop a performance script based on the words and actions of the characters and the students' own interpretation and ideas.
Students will be able to engage their audience is a performance of a scene from the text by carefully determining their words actions, tone of voice, and body language.
Students will be able to evaluate their own performances by referring back to the video tape and reading the completed peer evaluation sheets.
Materials
digital camera, various props, computer, rubric
Procedures
Students will refer back to the novel, On My Honor, and will select a scene or moment from the story that they find to be particularly noteworthy, well-written, or significant.
Students will analyze the scene they chose and will consider the thoughts and feelings of the characters during this particular moment.
The teacher will draw students' attention to the importance of dialogue and movement when performing a scene.
Students will work with a partner to develop a script for the chosen scene. The teacher will refer students to the rubric so that they can become familiar with the categories upon which they will be evaluated. Students may wish to view short clips from movies or television shows to identify the features that make a scene powerful.
Students will determine the actions of the characters throughout the scene. They will add movements, body language, and facial expressions to their script. Students will select a location to peform their scene and will gather any props that will contribute to their performance.
Students will perform their scenes while their peers assess them using the Critic's Evaluation Sheet. The teacher will record the scenes for review by students. Performers will have the opportunity to view the evaluation forms completed by their classmates and to view their performance.
The teacher will introduce the On My Honor message board. This internet based message board will permit students to raise questions or post comments about the book. Other students will be able to view these posts and respond.
Homework
Choose your favorite performance and write a paragraph stating what you learned from this performance. Consider the new information you uncovered by looking into the minds and hearts of the characters. What insight, if any, did this performance give you into the text, its themes, and its characters. Is there anything about the characters, setting, or plot of the novel that you noticed for the first time as a result of the performance?
Assessment
The script and performance serve as the assessment for this activity. Students' ability to accurately capture the characters and the scene for the audience will be the basis for assessment.

Day 2: The Vermillion River
Objectives
Students will be able to utilize the Internet to locate information about the setting for much of On My Honor, The Vermillion River.
Students will be able to synthesize this information into a warning poster notifying others of the dangers of swimming in a river.
Students will be able to visualize the location where Tony dies, creating an illustration of the river, to demonstrate close reading and comprehension.
Students will be able to establish a connection between the setting of the novel and what happens to Tony, and their own world.
Materials
computers with internet access, large construction paper, markers
Procedures
Students will refer back to parts of the text that specifically refer to the physical features of the Vermillion River. They will generate a list of information that they already know about the Vermillion River and rivers in general based upon their own background knowledge and the information derived from reading the novel. The teacher will introduce students to the poster rubric so that they are aware of the categories on which they will be evaluated: labels, attractiveness, content, and graphics.
Students will visit the list of suggested websites to gather additional information about river safety and, specifically, the Vermillion River.
Students will synthesize this information by recording some important facts on a warning poster. Students will come to a better understanding of the dangers of rivers and the specific measures to be taken to ensure the safety of those who choose to swim in them.
Students will visualize what they see when reading passages from the novel that offer a description of the Vermillion River, whether directly or indirectly. They will then create utilize the information they researched to create a warning poster alerting others of the dangers that rivers pose.
Students will present these posters to their classmates, sharing the information they gathered about rivers and the illustration they selected to draw to represent the hazards.
Homework
Assessment
The completion of an accurate and attractive warning poster will serve as the assessment for this activity. Students will be evaluated based on the criteria set forth on the poster rubric.

Day 3: Obituary
Objectives
Students will be able to read an example of an obituary to come to a better understanding of the features of this particular form of writitng.
Students will be able to write an obituary for Tony, following the guidelines and examples set forth through the model.
Students will be able to characterize Tony by recalling specific information about him that is revealed earlier in the text.
Students will be able to use their imagination and what they know about Tony to construct an obituary that gives readers insight into who Tony was, what his likes and dislikes were, how and when he died, and who his family members are.
Materials
computers with Internet access
instructions for writing an obituary
example of an obituary
obituary rubric
Procedures
Students will brainstorm all that they know about Tony's history, his family, and his death from the text.
They will then refer to the sample obituary found on the webquest. As they read, students will be asked to write a list of the features of an obituary. They will then share the types of information contained in an obituary with the whole class.
Students will review the instructions for writing an obituary found on the webquest. Inform students that because the reader does not know specific information about Tony such as his birthday and where he is to be buried, they can use their imagination to create this information based on what is revealed through the text and their own life experiences.
Before students begin to write, pass out the obituary rubric so that students are aware of the information they must include in the obituary in order to receieve full credit.
Students will turn to a partner to discuss the information they will incorporate into their obituaries. After they have sufficiently discussed Tony and what to include in his obituary, they will work independently to write an obituary.
Students will have the opportunity to include a picture of Tony in the obituary. This picture can be drawn or found on the Internet.
Students will present their obituaries to the class. The audience will have the opporunity to comment on the accuracy of the information and give the presenter feedback as to the obituaries' accuracy and completeness.
Homework
Assessment
The completion of an accurate obituary will serve as the assessment for this activity. Students will be evaluated based on the criteria set forth on the rubric.

Day 4: News Article
Objectives
Students will be able to write a newspaper article following the correct format and using diction appropriate for a news article.
Students will be able to recall and summarize the events leading up to Tony's death.
Students will be able to present the events surrounding Tony's death without incorporating their own comments and opinions.
Materials
Computers with Internet access
Example of a news article written about someone who drowned in a river
Instructions for writing a news article
Procedures
The teacher will open the lesson by presenting students with a number of newspaper articles to review. Students will pinpoint the specific features of a newspaper article, including the format and type of writing an article requires.
Students will then read a sample newspaper article about an actual person who drowned in a river. Students will study this article for ideas to incorporate in their articles.
Students will refer back to the chapter in which Tony drowns in the Vermillion River. They will begin to jot down ideas to include in the article. The teacher will remind students that a good article addresses the five W's: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
The teacher will distribute and review the newspaper article scoring sheet so students know the precise criteria upon which they will evaluated.
Students will write their newspaper articles reporting on the death of Tony. When finished, they will exchange articles with a partner so that they may make corrections and provide comments. Students will have the option to include a picture and caption. The picture may be found on the Internet or can be drawn by the student.
When the final drafts are completed, students will read their articles aloud to the class. The audience will have the opportunity to provide feedback for the reader.
Homework
Assessment
The completion of a detailed and accurate newspaper article that incorporates all of the criteria set forth on the scoring sheet will serve as the assessment.

Day 5: The Road Not Taken
Objectives
Students will be able to read Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken, recognizing the metaphor established to compare the two roads the narrator sees and the choices we make in life.
Students will be able to consider and discuss the choices they make in their own lives and the results of each decision made.
Students will be able to visualize the poem, viewing a teacher created slideshow as a model.
Students will be able to connect the poem to On My Honor, establishing the consequences of the decisions Tony and Joel make throughout the single day that the novel comprises.
Students will be able to analyze the manner in which Frost's poem has been used in advertisements for Breathmakers, Nicorette, and Monster.com.
Materials
Text and Audio of The Road Not Taken
The Road Not Taken PowerPoint slideshow
Copy of magazine advertisements for Nicorette and Breathsavers Access to Monster.com's commercial based upon The Road Not Taken
Computer with Internet Access
Procedures
The teacher will introduce the poet, Robert Frost, giving students some brief background information on him and his works. The teacher will then call students' attention to the theme of choices and decisions that is central to On My Honor. Students will turn and talk with a partner about the decisions that Tony and Joel make and the nature of their outcome.
Students will predict what they think the poem will be about based on its title. The teacher will read the poem aloud to the class several times. Then, play the audio of Robert Frost reading the poem so that students can hear his voice. Students will summarize what the poem is about and how the narrator feels about his position in life. Ask students to consider all of the decisions that they make and to consider a time when there were two choices presented to them. Students will identify the metaphor that the two roads represent.
Ask students to visualize as the poem as it is read. Then, show them the PowerPoint slideshow of each scene from the poem. Students will comment on the pictures and how similar or different they are to what they visualized.
The teacher will show students the advertisements for Breathsavers, Nicorette, and Monster.com. Students will analyze how these companies use the poem to market their products.
The teacher will distribute the poetry rubric outlining the criteria upon which students will be evaluated. Students will write a poem about choices. They may use Frost's metaphor of the two roads, or create their own. The poem may take on any form and does NOT have to rhyme!
Homework
Assessment
The completion of a poem on the topic of choices will serve as the assessment for this lesson.

Claire Casaccio & Tracey Butler

CCasaccio@schools.nyc.gov

Frances Carter School (PS 384)
242 Cooper Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11207

Ms. Claire Casaccio is a first year 5th and 6th grade Academic Intervention Services teacher at PS 384 in Brooklyn. Her training in English has enabled her to meet the needs of struggling readers by presenting them with a variety of creative and engaging activities to supplement the literature. She is dedicated to showing all students how applicable literature is to their own lives and to instilling a sense of confidence and the desire to succeed within all. She is always anxious to find innovative ways to approach the study of literature. Mrs. Tracey Butler is a veteran sixth grade language arts teacher at Arlington Middle School. She loves being a part of the educational process. As a child she dreamed of being a teacher and to support that dream, her parents built and furnished a schoolroom for her in the garage. Although her students are no longer dolls and teddy bears, she still arrives to the classroom with the same enthusiasm and passion. She has dedicated her life to helping students realize their dreams. Her commitment is evident in the after school programs she has developed and the extracurricular activities she has designed. Recently she overheard a student saying he wished a character he was reading about was a real person, and her peals of joy could be heard in the hallway. Mrs. Butler and Ms. Casaccio united their classrooms through the creation of the On My Honor website. Their students were able to communicate through the message board and view each other's work posted on the webquest. Mrs. Butler and Ms. Casaccio are winners of the 2006 Power to Learn Grant for their unit on Jerry Spinelli's novel, Stargirl.


Important documents for this lesson plan.

TheRoadNotTakenSlideshow.ppt

 

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