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"Extinction Day" Lesson Plan & PowerPoint

Click below to download the PowerPoint to accompany this lesson.

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Teacher:  Lauren Frisina                                   

Date: February 26, 2004

Subject: English Language Arts / Science

Grade: 3

Class Size: 23                                                                                                                     

ESL Learners: 12


"Extinction Day By Terry Jones




*      Students will review weekly vocabulary as well as vocabulary from the poem using ARL techniques.

*      Students will complete a vocabulary clapping routine as well as an ARL drill

*      Students will view a PowerPoint and infer what all animals have in common

*      Students will listen to the poem, Extinction Day, by Terry Jones, and evaluate the authors purpose for writing

*      Students will brainstorm ways to inhibit further animal extinction using a graphic organizer

*      Students will write a persuasive letter to the author of Extinction Day persuading him to change his opinion on Extinction Day


NY State Standards:


English Language Arts- Standard 1- Student will read, write, listen, and speak for information and  understanding.

                                        Standard 2- Students will read, write, listen and speak for literary response and expression.

                                        Standard 4- Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.

                                        Science Standard 4 Students will apply scientific concepts pertaining to the living environment




*      Extinction Day by Terry Jones

*      Blackboard with vocabulary words in a 9 box matrix

*      Laptop with a projector

*      PowerPoint

*      2 Teacher made PowerPoint presentations

*      Teacher created graphic organizer for each student

*      Computer projected teacher created graphic organizer (Kidspiration)

*      Teacher created writing paper for persuasive letter

*      Persuasive writing sentence starters for students with special needs

*      Rubric


Rationale:  Students will improve their listening, brainstorming, comprehension, and persuasive writing skills through evaluating the poem Extinction Day, by Terry Jones, and writing a persuasive letter to the author.


Expected Pupil Preparation:  Students will have already been introduced to the vocabulary, using ARL strategies, and will have heard and discussed the poem briefly. Lower functioning students and English as a Second Language learners may have trouble verbally expressing ideas to prevent extinction. The students have been learning about extinction, endangerment, pollution, overpopulation and other various related topics to this lesson. Therefore, I expect the students to be able to brainstorm various ways to prevent extinction. In addition, they have had practice in writing persuasive letters so they should be able to demonstrate this skill.  




Anticipatory Set:  Whole class will participate in a review of vocabulary words using ARL strategies. Student volunteers will be asked to locate words by matching the given definition. They will also be required to state the location of this word on the matrix. All students will be asked to do a clapping syllable exercise with these words. The students will then be shown a PowerPoint and asked to find the commonality between the animals in the presentation.


Explanation/ Step-By-Step Procedure:


*        Vocabulary words will be re-introduced to all students

*        Students will all be asked to say and clap the vocabulary words in order to identify syllables

*        Students will read words and identify keys, blends, and digraphs

*        Student volunteers will participate in a vocabulary matrix activity

*        Students will view a PowerPoint to evoke information about endangered species


Guided Practice:


*      Students will listen to Extinction Day and view photographs from a PowerPoint.

*      The whole class will then discuss the authors point of view in the poem.

*      Students will be asked to share their responses based on what the author has written.

*      Students will verbally answer questions pertaining to the poem. They will then write the answers to the questions for homework.

*      Students will be asked to write a persuasive letter to the author of this poem. They will persuade the author to change his opinion on Extinction Day by providing way to help endangered animals from becoming extinct.

*      Students will brainstorm ways to inhibit endangered animals from becoming extinct and fill in a graphic organizer.

*      On the computer projector, the whole class will participate in helping the teacher to fill in the graphic organizer based on their answers.

*      Students will be given a rubric to help them evaluate their work.

*      Before the students are asked to being their letter, we will recapitulate what they learned from this lesson.


Independent Practice:


*      Students will use their graphic organizer to write a persuasive letter.

*      Students will begin writing a rough draft persuasive letter.

*      Students will be asked to refer back to the rubric to ensure they are including all important information.



Closure:  Upon completion of the activities, all students will be asked to come to the carpet. Student will volunteer to share their letters with the rest of the class. We will discuss the letters and then the students will be asked to grade themselves based on the supplied rubric.


Assessment:  The students will be assessed on their persuasive letters, and graphic organizers. They will also be assessed on the homework questions, class participation and student/teacher interactions.


Follow-Up Activities:  Upon completion of the rough draft, the students will peer edit each others papers. During writers workshop, I will help the students edit their work after it has been peer edited. The students will then type their letters in the computer lab.


Classroom Atmosphere:  The classroom is currently set up with students in cooperative groups (3-5 students). Centers are currently being used in the classroom: Listening, Computer, Word Study/ Spelling, Writing, and Reading. These stations are used at least 3 times a week. Science and Social Studies centers have just been introduced to the classroom this week. These will be incorporated into our center routine next week. There is a word wall that contains spelling words, vocabulary words and some high frequency words, as well as a math word wall. The students work is displayed in many different spots in the classroom. There is a technology center in the back of the classroom. This has the work that the students have produced either in the computer lab or on the laptops. We also have a tadpole tank that currently contains one tadpole and one frog. 


Students with Special Needs:  Students who need special assistance will be seated with the teacher and will receive a sentence starter sheet to help them get started with their letters. ESL students that need assistance are seated by students who can assist them if needed.