Lesson Plan Critique -- Parts of Speech (3rd grade)
Lesson Plan -- Parts of Speech
Thank you for sharing your lesson plan with me. I enjoyed reviewing the plan and visualizing the lesson being taught in your enthusiastic classroom of third graders. I have provided an overall summary of what I see as the strengths and weaknesses of the lesson plan. I have also given specific suggestions about ways to change out the lesson with the idea of maximizing your ability to meet the needs of a heterogeneous mix of students typical of third grade, and of this school and community.
Strengths and weaknesses of the lesson plan. Overall, the lesson is interesting and could be conducted in a manner that is highly engaging to the students. As it is outlined, the lesson covers several parts of speech. Depending on the experience of the children, this may be too broad for an introductory lesson. I discuss this in more detail elsewhere in this review of your lesson. I appreciate the way that you have structured the lesson plan in its written format; I recognized your application of our coaching session discussion in your outline. Several of the components of the lesson plan could use more detail and specifics to guide you in the event that you put lesson plan away and pull it out to use some time in the future. For example, you have not specified any materials to use for homework -- I can't tell whether you have created your own worksheet or if you will be using a commercially produced worksheet on parts of speech. The same comment applies to the quiz that you will conduct on the day following the lesson. The lack of specificity for assessment is of more concern to me, actually, than the lack of detail...
I would like to see how your assessment plans fit into the larger picture of formative and summative assessment for learning and using the parts of speech. Moreover, it is important for a lesson plan to show the linkage to approved formal learning objectives, with regard to both pedagogy and assessment.
Examples for lesson improvement. Consider whether several concrete examples could be provided to the students that clearly demonstrate the parts of the speech with interchangeable words, prior to the students being asked to give their own examples. It is possible that you have in mind some specific strategies to introduce the parts of speech that will make their functions in a sentence clear, but that is not apparent from your lesson plan example, as it is written here. The theoretical basis for this suggestion is practice with sentence combining (SC) to improve writing skills (Linden & Whimbey, 1990). Sentence combining shows students how to combine simple sentences into more complex ones (Linden & Whimbey, 1990). Here is an example:
Use the word "before" to put these two sentences together:
1. Susan used sunscreen.
2. Susan went swimming.
Possible answers include:
1. Before Susan went swimming, Susan used sunscreen.
2. Susan used sunscreen before Susan went swimming.
Now replace one "Susan" with "she" in each sentence.
3. Before Susan went swimming, she used sunscreen.
4. Susan used sunscreen before she went swimming.
Research has found that sentence combining improves students' writing abilities by reducing grammatical errors and by instructing them in more mature ways to construct informative sentences (Linden & Whimbey, 1990). Moreover, several studies have shown that sentence combining strengthens reading skills (Linden & Whimbey, 1990). You might need to modify your examples for third graders, but I believe you will find that sentence completion can help your students' capacity to handle most forms of written material (Linden & Whimbey, 1990). I offer this as a different way to look at grammar instruction since it differs from conventional approaches by requiring students to put sentences together rather than take them apart (Linden & Whimbey, 1990).
As I indicated above, I think it would strengthen your lesson plan considerably if you added a component that specifically addresses…
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