Beacon Lesson Plan Library
Why the West Is Burning
DescriptionStudents use the Internet to access a passage and identify cause-and-effect relationships. This activity provides practice for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). ISTE 1, ISTE 3
ObjectivesThe student identifies cause-and-effect relationships in literary texts.
Materials-1 computer per 2-3 students
-Student copies or transparency of Sequence Chart (See Associated File)
-Teacher copy of the Cause-And-Effect Relationship Rubric (See Associated File)
Preparations1. Be familiar with the Website and the appropriate links. (See Weblinks)
2. Schedule the computer lab, if necessary.
3. Give students a basic tutorial on the Website they will be using, if needed.
4. Have handouts of the Sequence Chart available or make a transparency of it. (See Associated File)
Procedures1. Inform students they will be learning about how firefighters battle forest fires while having the opportunity to sharpen their skills for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). They will research the article to be used for the lesson on the Internet.
2. Note: Students work in small groups throughout the lesson, and complete independent activities as well.
3. Assign students to the computers, based on mixed abilities. One student should be responsible for navigating the Website to locate the article.
4. Have students open the Internet browser and go to: http://www.timeforkids.com. (See Weblinks)
5. Students must follow the directions in order to locate the article to be used:
a. Click on Magazine Articles.
b. Click World Report Fall 2000.
c. Click on Issue-September 8.
d. Click The West is Burning.
e. Click Print this story.
6. Have students return to their seats with the article.
7. Discuss forest fires with students. Brainstorm and web on the board words that are associated with this topic. Some words that may need to be discussed prior to reading the passage are crucial, blaze, burnable.
8. Predict with the students what they think this article will be about. Allow 2 or 3 students to share their predictions.
9. Tell students they will be reading the article and highlighting the causes of wildfires.
10. Begin reading the article. The teacher may choose to change the modes of reading throughout the selection from teacher read aloud to buddy reading to independent reading, depending on the readability level of the students.
11. After reading the selection, allow students to revisit their predictions and make any adjustments.
12. Display on the overhead or distribute copies of the Sequence Chart to students. (See Associated File)
13. Model for students how to complete the Sequence Chart using the information they highlighted from the article.
14. Model how to use the Sequence Chart to complete the following frame: _________ happens because …
15. Allow for discussion and think aloud.
16. Encourage students to work with partners in completing their Sequence Charts.
17. After discussion and teacher modeling, provide students with the following cause-and-effect question. Students are to complete the response independently using the strategies modeled. The question is, “What effect do smoke jumpers have on wildfires?”
18. Teacher may use the completed Sequence Chart and performance response to assess the student’s ability to respond to a cause-and-effect relationship question. The Cause-And-Effect Relationship Rubric (See Associated File) includes the criteria for successful performance.
AssessmentsNote: This lesson also addresses ISTE NETS Standards 1 and 3. For more information on these national technology standards, please see http://cnets.iste.org.
1. Use the completed Sequence Chart and performance response to assess the student’s ability to respond to a cause-and-effect relationship question. The Cause-And-Effect Relationship Rubric in the associated file includes the criteria for successful performance.
2. Circulate and formatively assess students as they use the technology tools. Provide assistance for students who are experiencing difficulty and monitor accordingly.
Extensions1. Students can further research forest fires by searching on the Internet.
2. Visuals, such as pictures of forests and fires, can be provided for limited English proficient students.
Web LinksWeb supplement for Why the West Is Burning
Time for Kids
Attached FilesA Sequence Chart that will be used for planning prior to responding the question. The rubric is used for assessment purposes. File Extension: pdf
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