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ELA G7:M2A:U2:L2

Reading Closely: Introducing Chávez’s Commonwealth Club Address and Considering the Plight of the Farmworker

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We updated this lesson in June 2014 based on teacher feedback. We recommend that you reprint this lesson if you previously downloaded it. To see the specific aspects of this lesson that were updated, please refer to the update summary.

Long Term Learning Targets

  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text. (RI.7.2)
  • I can analyze the organization of an informational text (including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas). (RI.7.5)

Supporting Targets

Learning TargetsOngoing Assessments
  • I can determine one of César Chávez’s main claims and identify the supporting evidence for it.
  • I can analyze the development of a central claim in César Chávez’s speech.
  • I can analyze the structure of Chávez’s speech and explain how each section contributes to his central claim.
  • Students’ annotated text of the Commonwealth Club Address

Agenda

AgendaTeaching Notes

1. Opening

A. Listening for the Gist: Paragraphs 1–15 (15 minutes)

2. Work Time

A. Analyzing the Structure of the Speech (10 minutes)
B. Reading Closely: Paragraphs 1–7 (15 minutes)

3. Closing and Assessment

A. Forming Evidence-Based Claims: Paragraphs 1–7 (5 minutes)

4. Homework

A. Complete the Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer for Paragraphs 1–7.

B.  Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit at home.

  • Unit 2 Lessons 2-7 are adapted from the Making Evidence-Based Claims unit developed by Odell Education. For the original Odell Education unit, go to www.odelleducation.com/resources.
  • In this lesson, students will begin to work with the central text, César Chávez’s Commonwealth Club Address (1984). This text is challenging. Therefore, students will first read and listen to large chunks of the speech for gist. Then they will reread and analyze each selection in greater depth.
  • To help students connect with this powerful text, in this lesson students read along as they listen to a recording of Chávez actually delivering the first half of his Commonwealth Club Address (paragraphs 1-15). (The source of this recording is the Commonwealth Club of California)
  • Then students dive deeper into the first seven paragraphs of the Commonwealth Club Address to analyze one of Chávez’s claims. In Unit 1, students formed evidence-based claims after collecting evidence. Here they reverse that process: they are given the claim but must find evidence to support it. The examples provided in the teacher versions are possibilities meant more to illustrate the process than to shape textual analysis. Instruction will be most effective if the evidence used in modeling flows naturally from the textual ideas and details that you and the students find significant and interesting.
  • Students use a Forming Evidence-based claims graphic organizer (similar to ones they used in Module 1). This graphic organizer is adapted in collaboration with Odell Education based on their Forming Evidence-based Claims worksheet (also see stand-alone document on EngageNY.org and odelleducation.com/resources).
  • In this unit, students often hold their thinking by annotating their text. Because students may have little experience with annotating text, consider displaying your own copy of the text on a document camera and annotating it as you go to provide students with a visual model of what their speech should look like.
  • In this lesson, students begin their work on RI.7.5: understanding how each section of the Chávez speech contributes to his central claim. They begin to work with a graphic organizer that notes the main claim in each part of the speech and has a place to note how each section connects to the central claim of the speech. Keep this as a class anchor chart and also provide students with their own copy to take notes on.
  • Note that in these lessons, the term “central claim” is used to refer to the overall claim of Chávez’s speech. As with any argument, his central claim is supported by a number of smaller claims that add together to create his central claim. These lessons use the language of “main claim in the section …” to refer to the smaller claims that together support his central claim. Both central claim and main claim refer to arguments that are supported by evidence or reasons.
  • Note that Chávez’s central claim is in Paragraph 15, in the middle of the speech. Lead students to understand how this is different from the essays they have written and how a persuasive speech differs in structure from an argumentative essay. In an argumentative essay, the central claim is established early. In this speech, it is introduced in the middle.
  • Review: Commonwealth Club Address, Paragraphs 1–15.
  • Post: learning targets.

Vocabulary

VocabularyMaterials

Structure, central claim, section; tunnel vision, migrant, savage, mortality, implements, chattel, Anglo, Chicano, chattel, union, asserts

  • Recording of César Chávez giving the speech: http://esl-bits.net/listening/Media/CesarChávez/default.html (TM/© 2014 the Cesar Chavez Foundation www.chavezfoundation.org)
  • Text of Commonwealth Club Address by César Chávez (one per student)
  • Commonwealth Club Address Structure anchor chart (one per student and one for display)
  • Commonwealth Club Address Structure anchor chart (for teacher reference)
  • Text-Dependent Questions for Paragraphs 1–7 (one per student)
  • Text-Dependent Questions for Paragraphs 1–7 (Answers, for teacher reference)
  • Forming Evidence Based Claims graphic organizer for Paragraphs 1–7 (one per student)

Opening

OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Listening for the Gist: Paragraphs 1–15 (15 minutes)

  • Distribute a copy of the Commonwealth Club Address by César Chávez to each student. Orient students to the text. Explain that the left margin is where they will take gist notes. These will help them understand what Chávez is saying. Tell them to label that side “What Chávez Says.” The right margin is where they will take notes about how he is saying it. Tell them to label that side “How Chávez Says It.” Refer students to the learning targets. Point out that the left side will help them determine the central ideas and summarize the text, while the right side will help them analyze the development of the ideas.
  • Next, direct their attention to the learning targets for the day. Point out to students that they will work with this text, which explores a fascinating time in American history, over a number of days. They will be noticing what claims Chávez makes, and analyzing how he makes and constructs those claims. Ask students to raise their hands if they can define claim. When many students have their hands up, call on one student to do so.
  • Explain to students that they will do several reads of this text, and that the first read will always be reading silently while they hear Chávez deliver the speech. They will do this in two halves; the first half will be today.
  • On their speech, they will take notes on the left side first. As they listen to the recording of Chávez giving the speech, they should write down the gist of each paragraph. Remind them to write legibly and small. Assure them that you will pause the recording so they will have time to jot down notes without missing the next part of the speech, but they should feel free to underline words or phrases they think are important.
  • Begin playing the recording. At the end of Paragraph 3, pause and model writing the gist of the paragraph. Consider saying something similar to: “In Paragraph 2, Chávez is saying that farmworkers live under terrible conditions. He gives examples from the past and the present to show how terrible it is. So I’m going to write, ‘Farmworkers live in horrible conditions.’ In Paragraph 3, he gives some statistics to show their terrible working conditions, so I’ll write, ‘Terrible working conditions.’”
  • Repeat this process for Paragraphs 1–15. After modeling a few, ask different students to “think aloud” the gist notes. Consider pausing after Paragraphs 4, 7, 9, 12, and 15. Make sure students are adding to their notes.
  • This portion of the speech takes about 10 minutes to read aloud. In the interest of time, limit the students to gist notes. They will have a chance to read each section more closely later.
  • Hearing a complex text read slowly, fluently, and without interruption or explanation promotes comprehension and fluency for students: They are hearing a strong reader read the text aloud with accuracy and expression and are simultaneously looking at and thinking about the words on the printed page. Be sure to set clear expectations that students read along silently in their heads as you read the text aloud.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Analyzing the Structure of the Speech (10 minutes)

  • Direct students’ attention to the third learning target:

*     “I can analyze the structure of Chávez’s speech and explain how each section contributes to his central claim.”

  • Review relevant vocabulary: Remind students that they talked about analysis in Unit 1, and that it means to take something apart or study it closely. Ask them what they think of when they hear the word structure, and listen for them to say: “Building” or “Something that has been built.” Tell them that when we talk about structure, we mean the way the parts work together to form a whole. A house has a structure; there are four walls that hold up a roof, plus doors and windows.
  • It is easy to see the structure of a house, but it is harder to see the structure of a text. Texts, like things that are built with hammers and nails, have structures. They are composed of a number of parts, and those parts fit together in a way to form a whole. For example, the first part of a book is often designed to grab your attention and introduce you to the characters. This is part of the structure of a text.
  • Tell students that understanding the overall purpose of what they are analyzing is an important part of understanding the structure. Offer the example of the house again: Once you know that the purpose of a house is to provide a comfortable place to live, you can figure out that the purpose of the door is to provide a way in, that the windows are to provide light, and that the roof is to keep out rain. Say: “Once you understand the overall purpose of a text, it is much easier to analyze the parts that make it up, and to understand the purpose of each section.”
  • Guide students to see that when we talk about the structure of a text, we often divide the text into sections, such as paragraphs or sets of paragraphs. Then we can ask, What is happening in this section? What is the purpose of this section? How does this one section contribute to or add to the text as a whole?
  • Tell students that they will practice doing this with the Chávez speech and that they will get really good at it. Later, they will show their ability to do this independently by tackling a new text.
  • Distribute and display the Commonwealth Club Address Structure anchor chart. Ask students to find the overall purpose of the speech and put their finger on it. When most students have their fingers in the right place, ask a student to read the central claim out loud. Point out that the central claim is the argument Chávez is making that is the reason for his whole speech: Everything he says is to convince the audience of his central claim.
  • Point out that readers generally can’t say for sure what the central claim of a text is until they’ve read the whole thing, because it doesn’t always appear in the same place in texts. To help them see the structure of the Chávez speech, you are telling them the central claim, which you determined in the same way they will determine the main claims in various sections of the speech.
  • Point out that the students just heard that sentence in the speech when they were listening to the recording. Direct students to Paragraph 15 of the text and ask a student to read aloud Lines 109 and 110. Point out that the speech has about 30 paragraphs, so this is halfway through the text. Ask if this is where they would expect a central claim to be. Ask if this is where they put their central claim when they wrote their Lyddie essay argument essay. Why would Chávez put his central claim here, in the middle of the speech? Why not at the beginning or the end? Listen for students to say he didn’t put it at the beginning because he wanted to build up to it; putting it in the middle gives him the chance to prove it in the rest of the speech. Point out that this is a very common structure for speeches: Unlike in a school essay, the central claim is rarely at the beginning. Instead, speakers build to their central claim, state it, and then prove it.
  • Now ask students to find the part of the anchor chart that shows the main claim of Paragraphs 1–7 and put their fingers on it. When most students have their fingers in the right place, call on one student to read it aloud.
  • Explain that identifying a main claim, or the main topic of a section, is more than gist notes and less than a full summary. Display two poor examples: “Working conditions” and “Statistics show that living conditions for farmworkers are very hard.” Ask students: Why is ‘Working conditions’ not a good way to describe the main claim of this section? Listen for something like: “It gives only a word or two to tell the topic and doesn’t explain what Chávez said about this topic.” Ask students: “Why is ‘Statistics show that living conditions for farmworkers are very hard’ not a good way to describe the main claim of this section? Listen for students to point out that this describes only the content of Paragraph 3, not the whole section.
  • Assure students that they will have a chance to analyze how you determined this main claim, and then they will think about how it relates to the central claim.
  • Careful attention to learning targets throughout a lesson engages, supports, and holds students accountable for their learning. Consider revisiting learning targets throughout the lesson so that students can connect their learning with the activity they are working on.
  • Using an analogy helps to make abstract concepts more accessible to students.
  • Consider writing these questions on the board for struggling learners who benefit from visuals to reinforce discussion.
  • Many students will benefit from seeing questions posted on an interactive white board or document camera.

B. Reading Closely: Paragraphs 1–7 (15 minutes)

  • Arrange students in pairs. Tell them they will now read this section closely to see how you determined the claim and how this section relates to the central claim of the text. Remind students that this is the introduction of the speech, so he is introducing the topic, the farmworkers’ situation, and himself to the audience.
  • Explain that they will read the speech with a partner. To help them understand this difficult text, they will read with some guiding questions. After they’ve discussed the questions, they will write their ideas in the left-hand side of the text, where they wrote their gist notes. You may want to remind them that they will be marking up this text a lot; they should write neatly and not too big so that their notes are legible to them. When students in high school and college read and think about texts, they often mark them up in this way.
  • Distribute the Text-Dependent Questions for Paragraphs 1–7. Ask the students to read along as you read the directions. Clarify any questions. Circulate to help as needed.
  • After 10 minutes, debrief students on the questions. Use the Text-Dependent Questions for Paragraphs 1–7 (Answers, for teacher reference) for a guide.
  • Finally, direct students back to the Commonwealth Club Address Structure anchor chart. Ask them to turn and talk:

*     “How does this section connect to Chávez’s overall claim?”

  • Ask probing questions:

*     “Is he talking about current conditions or about the past?”

*     “Why would he talk about the way things used to be?”

  • Use the Commonwealth Club Address Structure anchor chart—teacher edition to guide students to an understanding of how this section of the speech connects to Chávez’s main claim. Add the explanation of how this section connects to the central claim to the class anchor chart; prompt students to add it to their own copies.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Forming Evidence-Based Claims: Paragraphs 1–7 (5 minutes)

  • Distribute the Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer for Paragraphs 1–7. Point out that students worked with a similar graphic organizer while they read Lyddie; they collected evidence and then formed an evidence-based claim. But here you have given them the claim and they will be finding evidence.
  • Tell students that a speaker chooses evidence to support his claim. The task for students is to find four pieces of evidence in the first seven paragraphs that support that section’s main claim. Students can write direct quotes or paraphrase the information, but they should give the line numbers. Tell them you want them to notice the different kinds of evidence Chávez uses, so only one box can be a statistic.
  • Model the first one together. Consider finding evidence for “Point 2,” as it is a more challenging concept. You may do it yourself (example: “I began to realize what other minority people had discovered; that the only answer, the only hope, was in organizing. Lines 39 and 40”) or consider asking a student to “think aloud” for a piece of evidence she noticed.
  • Providing models of expected work supports all learners, especially those who are challenged.

Assessment

None

Homework

Homework
  • Complete the Forming Evidence-Based Claims graphic organizer for Paragraphs 1–7.
  • Continue reading in your independent reading book for this unit at home.