Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
English Language Arts, Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
3
Tags:
  • IRPELA
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    DINOlogic: When Being Wrong Is Right

    DINOlogic: When Being Wrong Is Right

    Overview

    This activity for gifted learners might serve as a writing activity as part of a larger unit focused on scientific and/or historical non-fiction texts. Students will take part in close readings of a variety of informational texts throughout the unit focusing on text structure, sequence of events, cause/effect, use of illustrations/photographs/diagrams/etc. In this activity, gifted learners will work independently to close read Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! By Kathleen Kudlinski.  Using evidence from the book, students will craft an opinion piece arguing that oftentimes (especially in science) “being wrong is actually right,” in other words…it’s a good thing. They will prove this using evidence from Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! and extend the idea to another area of science or history…such as early thoughts about the Earth, moon and sun, or another area of science/history in which they already have an intense interest. This lesson was developed by NCDPI as part of the Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted Instructional Resources Project. This lesson plan has been vetted at the state level for standards alignment, AIG focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Overview

    Brief Description of Lesson/Task/Activity: This activity for gifted learners might serve as a writing activity as part of a larger unit focused on scientific and/or historical non-fiction texts. Students will take part in close readings of a variety of informational texts throughout the unit focusing on text structure, sequence of events, cause/effect, use of illustrations/photographs/diagrams/etc. The whole-group reading of the texts should include independent reading, read aloud, literature circle groups, teacher conferences regarding comprehension, and other activities designed to engage all learners in high-level thinking about the texts.  Writing instruction regarding opinion pieces must be explicitly taught, as well, through the reading & analysis of the structure of various opinion pieces, modeling the writing process for such pieces, group writing, and the creation of a process piece of opinion writing. In this activity, gifted learners will work independently to close read Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! By Kathleen Kudlinski.  Using evidence from the book, students will craft an opinion piece arguing that oftentimes (especially in science) “being wrong is actually right,” in other words…it’s a good thing. They will prove this using evidence from Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! and extend the idea to another area of science or history…such as early thoughts about the Earth, moon and sun, or another area of science/history in which they already have an intense interest. 

    Time Frame: Four to five 45-minute class periods

    Type of Differentiation for AIGs:

    • Enrichment
    • Extension

    Adaptations for AIGs:

    • Content
    • Process
    • Product

    Explanation of How Resource is Appropriate for AIGs: This activity is appropriate for gifted learners, as the complexity level of the task is high:  Students are manipulating the information to identify misconceptions regarding dinosaurs and arguing against something taken for granted or commonly accepted…that being right is good and being wrong is bad. Then, they are extending the concept that being wrong can be a positive thing to other areas of science and history and integrating more than one subject and skill while doing so…literature, history, science, and writing.

    Needed Resources/Materials:

    • Copies of Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! By Kathleen Kudlinski
    • Internet Access
    • Non-fiction books on the Earth, moon, and sun
    • Non-fiction books related to students’ other scientific &/or historic interest areas

    Teacher Notes: In addition to directly teaching the writing of opinion pieces, research skills must be directly taught, as well.  Students need to be taught how to efficiently & effectively search for information, how to assess the credibility of what they find online, how to utilize indexes, & tables of contents, how to paraphrase the information they find, and how to accurately cite their sources.  A variety of research tasks throughout the unit should provide students the experience they need to develop as independent researchers.  

    Stage 1: Engage

    Day 1

    • Teacher polls class asking students if it’s better to be right or wrong (Assumption is most students will automatically say right.)
    • Class discusses the question and teacher encourages students to give evidence or examples to support their thinking in why it’s good to be right
    • Teacher then asks class can they think of any cases in which it’s good to be wrong
    • Class again discusses the question and teacher encourages students to give evidence or examples to support their thinking in why its good to be wrong 
    • Teacher introduces book Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! By Kathleen Kudlinski
    • Students closely read Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! Independently (if possible…if not, teacher can read aloud)
    • After reading, the teacher again asks the question, “Why might it be good to be wrong?” and class discusses the mistakes made throughout history regarding dinosaurs and how those mistakes ended up being a good thing
    • Teacher then asks students if they can extend this thinking to any other ideas, historic events, and scientific domains outside of dinosaurs…
    • Students brainstorm independently 

    Day 2

    • Teacher tells students that over the next couple of days they’re going to write an essay arguing that being wrong can be right, using the reasoning in Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! and research they conduct on misconceptions about the earth, moon, and/or sun throughout history or another scientific or historic topic in which they have a strong interest.  
    • Today the class will help the teacher to create an opinion piece, using Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs!, to convince the reader that being wrong can be right…  
    1. Class together brainstorms introduction and what three points from story will use to convey points  (possibly fossils  found, foot prints found, end of dinosaurs)
    2. Assign groups to paragraph 2, 3, 4, to explain how scientists being wrong in each situation (listed above) helped to lead to a more accurate answer/discovery
    3. Class then returns to present their “paragraphs”…working together to help them transition into one another and to make sure they agree with each other’s logic and evidence.  
    4. Finally, class together writes the conclusion, again emphasizing that being wrong turned out to be right…
    • If time allows, students then begin to brainstorm their own ideas for their essay.

    Stage 2: Elaborate

    Day 3

    • Using yesterday’s class essay and their own brainstorm as a guide, students decide on their essay’s scientific &/or historic topic/focus in arguing that being wrong is right
    • Students then begin any necessary research to help craft their arguments
    • Students create a rough outline as they research, citing sources, important information, and creating the basic form of their five-paragraph essay…much as they did in class yesterday.  

    Day 4

    • If necessary, students continue their research.
    • Students then begin rough draft of their opinion piece. 

    Day 5 

    • Students finish the final draft of their opinion piece.  

    Stage 3: Evaluate

    The students’ writing should be evaluated based on the following criteria using either a rubric or a checklist.  Students can also complete a self-evaluation of their work using the same criteria.  

    • Statement of purpose/focus: The essay clearly states the opinion that being wrong can be right and that opinion is strongly maintained throughout the piece.  
    • Organization:  The essay has a clear organizational structure (five paragraph essay) with a logical progression of ideas from beginning to end…effective introduction and conclusion for audience & purpose.
    • Elaboration of evidence:  The essay provides thorough and convincing support/evidence for the writer’s opinion that includes the effective use of sources, facts & details  (from Boy Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs, other scientifically &/or historically focused non-fiction books, &/or online sources…citation of sources)
    • Language and Vocabulary:  The essay clearly and effectively expresses ideas, using precise language, appropriate for the audience and purpose.  
    • Conventions: The response demonstrates a strong command of conventions – few errors in usage and sentence formation, effective and consistent use of punctuation, capitalization and spelling.  
    • Piece shows effort/students best work & creativity in thinking