Lesson plan

Many MVPs

Most Valuable Players are the spotlight of every sports season, but do your students know how they can use their own Most Valuable Possessions and Most Valuable Places to inspire their informational writing? In this lesson, students will use a variety of MVPs to examine and elaborate on a topic of choice.
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Students will be able to closely examine a topic, grouping related information and developing facts, definitions, and details. Students will be able to construct a plan for an informative essay that includes detail development.

(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to share their thoughts about what makes an athlete an MVP. What actions are characteristic of an MVP? How would we describe an MVP?
  • Tell the students that they are going to be learning how to write informational texts using other kinds of MVPs. Instead of writing about Most Valuable Players, they will be writing about Most Valuable Possessions and Most Valuable Places.
(10 minutes)
  • Invite the students to think about some of their most valuable possessions.
  • Select an area of expertise (e.g. cooking or hiking) and write that on the board.
  • Think aloud, asking “What is the most valuable possession for this activity?”
  • Create a spider map, cluster, or word web graphic organizer on the board or a piece of chart paper, writing one use of this MVP in the center and additional details or facts in the surrounding circles.
  • Create two additional, similar webs on the board, demonstrating the process of identifying an additional use and a description in the middle of each graphic organizer.
  • Model the process of elaborating on the details.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students into pairs or small groups.
  • Assign a common classroom object to each group and challenge students to think of two uses for this object that make it important for the classroom.
  • Distribute a piece of 11" x 17" tagboard or white construction paper to each group.
  • Refer students to the teacher modeling example and ask students to create three separate graphic organizers on their paper that show a description of the object and two uses.
  • Circulate around the room to assist groups as needed.
  • Once all groups have finished creating their graphic organizers, invite students to share their work with the rest of the class.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask students to complete the worksheet Magnify an MVP.
  • Circulate around the room and provide prompting as needed.
  • Enrichment: Challenge students to write mystery MVPs and to trade with a partner, trying to guess their partner’s topic. Use one of Tana Hoban’s books as a starting point.
  • Support: Provide a set of related words and have students sort words into groups if they are having difficulty grouping similar ideas.
  • Ask students to create digital flow charts that represent information for their informational essays.
  • Give students the opportunity to use a picture search to generate ideas for their selected topics.
(10 minutes)
  • Ask students to brainstorm and group ideas for a Most Valuable Place. (This could be a special location or a place inside their home.)
  • Have students write and organize their ideas in their journals.
  • Circulate and check to ensure that students understand how to generate details for selected informational essay topics.
(5 minutes)
  • Using a page from one of Tana Hoban’s books (such as Look Book) or a close-up picture of choice, ask students to share as many details as they can about the selected picture.
  • Invite students to share what strategies they can use to elaborate and provide details for an informational essay topic.

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