SERP WORD GENERATION: INFUSING CIVICS INTO EVERYDAY TEACHING

Nov. 26th, 2017

serpinstitute.org

What is Word Generation?
• Tier 1, discussion-rich program suite for grades 4 – 8 focused on discussion of controversial social issues while building grade-level academic skills:
• academic language
• perspective-taking
• argumentation skills
• comprehension
• writing
• science
• social studies

WordGen WEEKLY
72 one-week interdisciplinary units for middle school

Social Studies Generation
18 one-week social studies units for middle school

Science Generation
18 one-week science units for middle school

Word Generation ELEMENTARY
24 two-week interdisciplinary
units for grades 4 & 5

Grades 4 and 5
• Tier 1 program for grades 4 and 5
• For each grade: 12 two-week units organized around a central question (plus a one- week introductory unit)
o 40-50 minute lessons each day
o 5–6 high-utility academic “focus words” emphasized in each unit

serpinstitute.org

Unit Topic
4.00 Introduction to Word Generation
4.01 What is fair?
4.02 Should students share responsibility for each other’s behavior in school?
4.03 Who should decide what we eat?
4.04 Should students be required to wear uniforms?
4.05 Should everyone learn a second language?
4.06 Who cares where we came from?
4.07 Who gets to decide what’s safe?
4.08 Should wild animals be adopted as pets?
4.09 When is it acceptable to break the rules?
4.10 Why do we wear what we wear?
4.11 Why do we buy what we buy?
4.12 Why do we value what we value?

Unit Topic
5.00 Introduction to Word Generation
5.01 Where do I belong?
5.02 Should everyone be included?
5.03 Why should I care?
5.04 What divides us and how can we resolve our differences?
5.05 Why do we fight?
5.06 Do we need to give up our privacy to protect our communities?
5.07 The Power of Power
5.08 Why do communities have different ideas about what brings happiness?
5.09 How can one person influence a community?
5.10 Do we need laws to regulate our behavior?
5.11 What kind of protections justify restricting our freedoms?
5.12 Can we create a better society?

5.11 What kinds of protections justify restricting our freedoms?

restrict amend resistance target reliance persist

Typical Schedule

Day 1: Action News

Allows students to tune into a news report (a critical aspect of becoming an informed citizen).

Simultaneously builds comprehension skills by:
• using aural introduction of content with closed captioning
• using academic language in context
• hearing multiple viewpoints on a single issue.

Day 1: Action News

Day 1: Readers Theater

Students read aloud a dialogue among 4 students in their own everyday language

Grapple with four different perspectives, and the casual reasoning behind them

Day 4: Ask the Expert

Days 5-6: Science/Math/ Articles/Informational Text

Day 7-8: Discussion and Debate
On Day 6 you read about Olly Neal, who stole library books in high school and is now a judge.
Today, you will put yourself in Judge Olly Neal’s shoes and respond to the characters from the Reader’s Theater. Work with a partner to fill in the chart. There are many right answers, so be creative!

Days 9-10: Writing

Fully developed/free resources
• Word Chants
• Vocab Cards
• Letters for Familes (English, Spanish, Spanish, Arabic)
• Rubrics (Debate, Discussion, Argumentative Writing)
• Debate/Discussion Supports for ELLs

WordGen WEEKLY
72 one-week interdisciplinary units for middle school

Social Studies Generation
18 one-week social studies units for middle school

Science Generation
18 one-week science units for middle school

Word Generation ELEMENTARY
24 two-week interdisciplinary
units for grades 4 & 5
WordGen WEEKLY

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People disagree about the specific factors that make a film inappropriate for children in the United States.

Those who like the rating system say it helps people decide if a product is right for them or their children.

Others say ratings are too simplistic, that they ignore the central messages in movies or books.

Some people don’t like rating systems because they can be used for maximizing profits rather than protecting the public.

Furthermore, a young gamer who is stopped from buying a title because it is “too mature” can often get someone older to buy it.

Social Studies Generation

serpinstitute.org
ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF EGYPT, GREECE, AND ROME
Unit 6.1 — Pharaohs: Oppressors or Great Leaders?
Unit 6.2 — Pharaohs: Wise Investors or Wasteful Spenders?
ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF EGYPT, GREECE, AND ROME
Unit 6.3 — Was it better to be an Athenian or a Spartan?
Unit 6.4 — The Legacy of Alexander the Great: Great Leader or Power-Hungry Tyrant?
ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS OF EGYPT, GREECE, AND ROME
Unit 6.5 — Ancient Roman Government: Whose Voice Counts?
Unit 6.6 — Pompeii: An Irresponsible Decision or Unexpected Disaster?

EXPERIENCES OF TWO CHILDREN IN WAR-TORN SUDAN
Unit 7.1 — What happens to your life when you’re uprooted?
Unit 7.2 — Who do you trust when your life is at stake?
Unit 7.3 — Where is home?

EXPERIENCES OF TWO CHILDREN IN WAR-TORN SUDAN
Unit 7.4 — Who will we become?
Unit 7.5 — How do I fit in?
Unit 7.6 — Should we stay or should we return?
COMPLEX QUESTIONS RELATED TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
Unit 8.1 — What are governments good for?
Unit 8.2 — Who gets to say what I need to know?
Unit 8.3 — What is the value of your citizenship?
COMPLEX QUESTIONS RELATED TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
Unit 8.4 — When is a crime not a crime?
Unit 8.5 — Where is the justice in our justice system?
Unit 8.6 — How do we right the wrongs of the past?

Focus Words
agency • pressure • document • resolve • dual • renounce • universal • right

MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing
MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing

 

MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing

 

MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing

 

 

MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing

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MON TUE WED THU FRI

Reader’s Theater
Building Background Knowledge
Building Background Knowledge

It’s Debate Time!

Writing

 

ELA Math Science
Supplementary Activities

Science Generation

Major design considerations:

‣ distinguishing prediction/guess and observation/inference

‣ the idea that “I don’t know” is a terrific first step

‣ learning to describe and construct controlled conditions

‣ using evidence instead of speculation when identifying cause/effect relationships

‣ using mathematics spontaneously, including appropriate units of measurement and graphing strategies

‣ the idea that revising plans is at the heart of what scientists do, but
systematically

‣ working to reduce bias, admitting bias

‣ hands-on WITH… planning, integrated text, creative strategies for capturing and displaying data, varied outcomes, communication

‣ recording data in stages and within processes

‣ the concept that skepticism is not disrespect in science
wordgen.serpmedia.org

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One thought on “SERP WORD GENERATION: INFUSING CIVICS INTO EVERYDAY TEACHING

  1. Pingback: Where Can Teachers Find Resources to Implement the New History/Social Science Framework? | Building Better Schools | Bill Honig

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