EL Support Lesson
Problem and Solution Summaries
Students will be able to identify problems and solutions in literature.
Students will be able to retell the problem and solution of a story with conjunctions using a graphic organizer.
- Draw a T-chart on the board and write the word "problem" on one side and "solution" on the other side.
- Share an example of a problem that you had in your life and the solution to the problem. (E.g., "One day, my car broke down while I was driving to pick my son up from school, so I called his school and asked if his friend's mom could take him home until I could get help with my car.") Write the problem and solution in the T-chart.
- Instruct students to turn to their partner and share an example of a problem they had in their life and how they came to a solution.
- Distribute the Glossary worksheet and read the student-friendly definitions for problem and solution. (Note: Consider including cognates or definitions in their home language (L1) if appropriate.)
- Ask students to draw a picture for each definition. Remind students that they may refer to the definition and visuals in their glossaries throughout the lesson.
- Read the language objectives. Explain that today we will find the problem and solution in a story.
Building academic language
- Tell students that asking the 5W + H questions helps readers find the problem and solution in a story. Ask students to turn to a partner and talk about whether they're familiar with any of the question words and, if so, the names for the words. List the 5W + H questions on the board (e.g., who, what, when, where, why, how).
- Refer to the Glossary or Vocabulary Cards worksheets which have the 5W + H questions words, and read each word out loud. Say each question word again in the form of a question about a problem and solution (e.g., "Who caused the problem to happen? What was the problem?").
- Pass out the Part 1: Finding the Problem and Solution with Question Words worksheet. Read the text aloud. Model how to find the answers to the 5Ws + H questions by thinking aloud the reasons for your choices. Underline the 5Ws + H questions in the text and label them.
- Tell students to complete the bottom cards in partners. Circulate around the room to offer assistance as partners work together to complete the worksheet.
- Tell students that once they answer they answer the 5W + H questions, they're ready to summarize the problem and the solution in a story.
- Explain that there are some important words we use when we write a summary, such as a conjunction, which is a type of transition word. Read the student-friendly definition of the word "conjunction" and "transition" from the Vocabulary Cards worksheet.
- Write two simple sentences on a piece of chart paper, such as, "Jose wanted to stay up late. His mom wouldn't let him," and read the sentences out loud.
- Rewrite the two sentences by joining them with a conjunction. For example: "Jose wanted to stay up late, but his mom wouldn't let him." Underline the conjunction "but" and circle the comma. Tell the students that a comma is sometimes needed before a conjunction.
- Model the process again with a different set of sentences: "The dog ran out the front door. Ricky ran after him." (Note: Use the conjunction "so" this second time.)
- Write two simple sentences on the chart paper: "Sarah ran very fast. The other runner was faster and won." Ask students to place a thumb up if they would use the conjunction "but" or "so" to combine the sentences. Combine the sentences with the conjunction "but." Underline the conjunction "but" and circle the comma.
- Have students repeat this process with you using another two sentences that will be joined together with the conjunction "so."
- Tell students that they will be using the information from the worksheet Part 1: Finding the Problem and Solution with Question Words to complete a summary about the problem and the solution. Pass out the worksheet Part 2: Summarizing the Problem and the Solution with a Paragraph Frame and read through the instructions. Clarify any questions students might have.
- Model the use of a paragraph frame with your problem and solution from the beginning of the class. Write the sentences on the board, then underline the conjunctions and circle the commas you use in the summary.
- Assign partners to orally summarize the problem and solution from the worksheet Part 1: Finding the Problem and Solution with Question Words. Circulate throughout the classroom as students complete the worksheet.
Additional EL adaptations
- Allow time for students to share their ideas and definitions in their home language (L1) or new language (L2).
- Pair them with sympathetic partners who will allow ELs to practice their explanations in partners before sharing aloud.
- Allow them to use their home language (L1) or their new language (L2) for all their discussions. Encourage them to use their Vocabulary Cards and Glossary if they need support when using their L2.
- Provide sentence stems and the phrases to complete those stems for the Part 1: Finding the Problem and Solution with Question Words worksheet.
- Give ELs a word bank to help them complete their paragraph frame.
- Allow them to share their answers first to model how to use the paragraph frames in their explanations.
- Challenge them to offer their own definitions for new terms and to give examples of problems and solutions.
- Pair students with similar reading abilities so they can check each other's answers.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(5 minutes)
- Ask students to write their problem and solution summary from the Part 2: Summarizing the Problem and the Solution with a Paragraph Frame worksheet in the paragraph frame.
- Have partners check each other's answers and choose a volunteer to read the paragraph frame answer.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Facilitate a "Fist of Five" activity where students are asked to hold up 1 to 5 fingers, indicating their level of understanding of the following two statements (where 1 finger indicates that a students is unsure about a topic and 5 fingers indicate that a student feels they have mastered the topic):
- I know the 5W + H question words and know how to use them when finding the problem and the solution in a story.
- I can summarize the problem and the solution of a story using a paragraph frame.
- Tell your students that they will be using their 5W + H question words in upcoming activities where they'll find the problem and the solution in various stories.
- Remind your students that these question words will help them understand many different types of texts because they motivate readers to pause and think about what they're reading.