Shift 1 Balancing Informational & Literary Text
Students read a true balance of informational and literary texts.
Shift 2 Knowledge in the Disciplines
Students build knowledge about the world (domains/ content areas) through TEXT rather than the teacher or activities
Shift 3 Staircase of Complexity
Students read the central, grade appropriate text around which instruction is centered. Teachers are patient, create more time and space and support in the curriculum for close reading.
Shift 4 Text-based Answers
Students engage in rich and rigorous evidence based conversations about text.
Shift 5 Writing from Sources
Writing emphasizes use of evidence from sources to inform or make an argument.
Shift 6 Academic Vocabulary
Students constantly build the transferable vocabulary they need to access grade level complex texts. This can be done effectively by spiraling like content in increasingly complex texts.
So, here is the project I did in relation to the ELA shifts. I did this with 4th grade, but it could definitely be done with other grades and altered in many ways to fit what you might want to do.
I did this project during winter, thus the polar bear theme. Here's how it went:
Day 1: I showed students a power point presentation about polar bears. We talked about where they live, what they look like, and why they are endangered. I also showed them advertisements from Coca-Cola that incorporated polar bears. We looked at the body of a polar bear and figured out how to draw one using shapes. For the remainder of class, students practiced this.
Day 2: On the second day, I gave students the parameters for this project. They had to draw at least one polar bear in an appropriate environment based on what they had learned about polar bears. Students spent the entire period sketching these out. If they finished and I approved of their drawing, I let them take a white oil pastel to start tracing over their pencil lines.
Day 3-5: For the next few class periods, I demonstrated how to blend oil pastels to create value, texture and definition between the white polar bears and the snowy background. I didn't want students to just outline everything in black, like a coloring book, so we ended up using a lot of white and blue pastels.
Day 6-7: Finally, here comes the Common Core part. I passed out an article on polar bears that was grade level appropriate (shift 1). Now, I find it hard to get articles on a certain subject area if it isn't already in a Scholastic art magazine. I spent a night doing searches on polar bear facts that were written for elementary age students. For the last part of this project, I asked students to write a 5-6 sentence paragraph about their artwork while relating back to the article they read (shift 4 & 5). I wanted students to be able to back up the reason why they drew their polar bears the way they did. I had students neatly cut out their paragraph and glue it and their drawing to black construction paper to display in the hallway.