Teacher Unit Plan

Unit: History of New York City
Theme: Change over time
Content Areas: Social Studies, English Language Arts, and English as a Second Language

Grade level: 2nd
Language Level: Low intermediate to advanced level and transitional ELLs

Content objectives-
*Students will demonstrate understanding of how NYC has changed over time.
*Students will apply their knowledge of how NYC has changed over time to predict what it will be like in the future.
*Students will evaluate the reasons for how and why
NYC has changed over time.
*Students will compare and contrast NYC then and now.

Language objectives-
*Students will write sentences using cause and effect verbs and phrases to describe how New York City has changed over time.
*Students will verbally discuss how people effect the cultural landscape of NYC as well as are affected by it.
*Students will complete sentence frames to show reading and listening comprehension and visual evaluation.
*Students will use the Future Tense with Will to describe NYC in the future.

Technology objectives-
*Students will use a variety of media as research sources.
*Students will use a variety of media to create products that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the main concept.

ESL Standards:
Standard 1
Students will read, write, listen and speak in English for information and understanding.
P.2. Read, gather, view, listen to, organize, discuss, and interpret information related to academic content areas from various sources.
P.4. Compare, contrast, and categorize, to gain a deeper understanding of information and objects.
Standard 3
Students will read, write, listen and speak in English for critical analysis and evaluation.
P.7. Engage in collaborative activities through a variety of student groupings to read, gather, share, discuss, interpret, organize, and present information. Such groupings include small groups, cooperative learning
P.9. Apply learning strategies to examine, interpret, and evaluate a variety of materials.
Standard 4
Students will read, write, listen and speak in English for class and social interaction.
P.1. Use a variety of oral, print, and electronic forms for social communication and for writing to or for self, applying the conventions of social writing.
P.4. Listen attentively and take turns speaking when engaged in pair, group, or full-class discussions on personal, social, and academic topics.
Standard 5
Students will demonstrate cross-cultural knowledge and understanding.
P.6. Recognize and demonstrate an appreciation of some commonalities and distinctions across cultures and groups (differentiated by gender, ability, generations, etc.) including the students’ own.

ELA Standards:
Standard 1
Students will read, write, listen and speak for information and understanding.
Standard 3
Students will read, write, listen and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Standard 4
Students will read, write, listen and speak for social interaction.

Social Studies Standards:
Standard 1 - History of the United States and New York
-Students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York.
-Students will gather and organize information about the traditions transmitted by various groups living in their neighborhood and community.
-Students will view historic events through the eyes of those who were there, as shown in their art, writings, music, and artifacts.
Standard 2 - Geography
-Students will investigate how people depend on and modify the physical environment.
-Students will analyze geographic information by making relationships, interpreting trends and relationships, and analyzing geographic data.

1. Creativity and Innovation
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
2. Communication and Collaboration
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.
3. Research and Information Fluency
b. locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
a.identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation.
b. plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
Digital Citizenship
b. exhibit a positive attitude toward using technology that supports collaboration, learning, and productivity.

Instructional Modifications:
Repetition, pairing students according to NYSESLAT scores and language ability, use of visual aids, and use of technology.

Materials/ Technologies:
Paper, crayons, markers, venn diagram, Henry Hudson gaphic organizer, Then and Now drawing graphic organizer, sticky notes, MS Word, Scribd, Voki, blogger, YouTube, historical photographs of BayRidge and P.S. 170 and Read Write Think Flipbook Creator.

Mace, A. (March 1997) New York City Buildings (Books for Young Learners). Richard C. Owens
Publishers: New York

Marx, D.F. (March 2000) New York City (Rookie Read About it Geography). Children's Press:

Rotner, S. (October 1999) Citybook. Sagebrush Education Resources: New York.

Yolen , J. (June 1996) Sky Scrape/ City Scape: Poems of City Life. Boyds Mills Press:
New York.

Connection-Students have been learning about the special features of NYC as an urban community, the diverse range of ethnic groups living in NYC, and the different types of transportation that people use in NYC

Motivation-Show pictures of how the school and their surrounding neighborhood has changed over time. Have students describe if they notice any similarities/ differences between the photographs. Have them discuss the reasons behind the changes.

Day 1 Overview- Students will work in groups of 3 to complete a jigsaw activity. Students will learn the early history of NYC as background information. Students will use this information to compare NYC then and now. They will use a variety of online material to research and reflect upon. Sentence frames will be provided to aid language development. The activities, roles, and sentence frames are differentiated according to language level and learning styles.

Day 2 Overview- Students will begin exploring how NYC has changed over time by looking at the evolution of the skyscraper. Students will explore websites, watch short video clips, and read non-fiction books about skyscrapers. They will consider the human and environmental factors that have led to these changes in structural design. They will track their own learning by filling out a KWL chart and using sticky notes to jot down answers to their own questions.

Day 3 Overview- Students will learn about how NYC neighborhoods have changed over time. By exploring websites and watching a video clip, they will evaluate the important changes these neighborhoods have gone through and how their inhabitants feel about them.

Final Project-
Students will create an informational flipbook showing what they have learned about NYC changing over time and apply that knowledge to construct their own vision of how NYC will look like in the future. They will also have to write 5 sentences to justify their decisions and point of view.

Assessment- Students will be graded on their final project. A rubric and checklist is provided for the students at the end of the lesson. They may review it ahead of time.

Welcome Students

Get a Voki now!

Student Post

Dear Class 204,

We will be using this blog to begin an exciting unit on New York City History. Last week we learned that New York City is an urban community with special features. This week we will explore how New York City has changed over time. The city that you live in didn't always look this way. The buildings have changed and so have the people and the neighborhoods. We will discuss how and why these changes have happened. In this unit you will work with a group to complete three activities and a final project. You will also be learning key vocabulary words and sentence frames that you should use when you write and speak about the history of New York City. There is a rubric at the end of this post that you can review. Before we jump into this unit please read my list of expectations below and the description of your Task. When you are finished, start with Activity#1. I hope you enjoy this unit!

Ms. Yam's Expectations
* Use accountable talk during group work.
* Be a good digital citizen.
* Follow the directions. Do not look at websites that are not listed.

New York City has changed over time and will continue to change. The cultural landscape of New York contains old and new features. In the 1600s New York City was inhabited by various Native American groups. Famous explorers like Henry Hudson arrived in New York City and made a lasting change. By learning about New York City's rich history you will learn about how a city grows and how the people living there affect everything from the size of the buildings to the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a neighborhood.

In this unit you will:
1) Explore New York City's Early History
2) Learn about how New York City has changed from the 1600s to present day.

For the Final Project you will:
1) Look at your own neighborhood and think about how New York City will continue to change.
2) Create a flipbook showing what you have learned and how that effects your ideas about how your own neighborhood will change in the future.

How to complete the activities:
1) Look at the Project Job Chart on the wall to see what job you have in your group. Read about what you have to do for that job.
2) Work with your group to complete each step listed under process.
3) You will see this (*) next to tasks that you have to do independently.
4) If you are finished with an activity early, please choose an activity from your stations until the other groups are finished.
5) When you have completed all the activities you may start the final project.


Day 1/ Activity #1 - Early New York City Jigsaw activity
Review these vocabulary words with a partner: stumbled, voyage, passage, explore, sailed, and natives.

Jigsaw activity steps
1) Choose a part that you would like to learn about. There are 3 parts to choose from. Read the short descriptions of each part before you decide.
2) Choose a leader.
3) The leader will be responsible for making sure that everyone is on task.
3) When you have finished learning your part join the other students that have the same part as you.
4) Practice telling each other what you have just learned.
5) Go back to your group and teach them what you have learned.
6) Each group will have 30 minutes to finish this activity.

Part A - Here you will learn about Henry Hudson, an early explorer that arrived in New York City.
1) Click on this link and watch the short video clip about Henry Hudson. You can watch the video as many times as you need to.
2)When you are finished, click on the iPaper button on the Scribd window, print out the character map and fill it out.

Read this document on Scribd: Henry Hudson Character Map

Part B - Here you will look at an old painting of Native American Life during the early history of New York City.
1) Click on this link and study the picture for a few minutes.
2)Use these sentence frames to write about what you see:
a) The natives are ________ because __________.
b) The picture shows how the natives _________ and _________.
c) I think that natives are good at _________ because ________.

Part C - Here you will compare and contrast early New York City with present day New York City.
1) Click on link (a) and study the picture for a few minutes. Then click on link (b) and study that picture for a few minutes.
2) Compare these two maps of New York City. One is from 1639 and the other one is from 2008. 3) When you are finished, click on this link and print out the Venn Diagram. Make sure the diagram is labeled. On one side you should write: "Then-NYC 1639/ What is different." On the other side you should write: "Now- NYC 2008/ What is different."In the middle you should write: "What is the same."
4) After you fill out the Venn Diagram use these sentence frames to describe what you have learned:
a) Compared to 1639 New York is _______ now.
b) One difference that I notice is __________.
c) Now New York is ________, but long ago it was_________.

Day 2/ Activity #2 - Changing New York Part 1
Review these vocabulary words with a partner: constructed, tower, height, taller, and structure.

1) Click on this link to get a copy of a KWL chart. Think about what you already know about skyscrapers and other New York City buildings and also what you still want to learn. Work with your group to fill out the "K" column and the "L" column of this KWL chart.

2) Watch this video showing how buildings have changed in NYC. What did you notice about the buildings from the year 1900 to present day?

3) After watching the video write down 3 questions that you have about how and why these buildings have changed. Turn and tell your group what you would like to learn.

4) Select a book from the book basket. Read independently for 20 minutes. If you find the answers to your questions then jot them down.

Book Selection
5) Visit this website to learn more about skyscrapers: Building Big: Skyscraper Basics. Jot down two interesting facts that you have learned.

6) Share your answers with your group. Then add them to the "L" column of the KWL Chart.

Day 3/ Activity #3 - Changing New York Part 2
Review these vocabulary words with a partner: Culture, ethnic, neighborhood, and traditions.

1) Explore these websites about the changing neighborhoods of New York City.
Museum of the City of New York
Big Apple History

2) Select one important change that you saw or read about and create a drawing about it. Click on the iPaper button on the Scribd window below and hit print. Use this organizer for your drawing. Make sure you complete the caption below.

Read this document on Scribd: How NYC Changed

3) Watch this video about how some people feel about all the changes. Discuss these questions with your group:
a) How do these people feel about all the changes?
b) Why do you think these people feel this way about the changes?
c) Do you think that something can be done so that these people can feel better about all the

After the discussion write a response about your discussion in your sourcebook. You will use these ideas later for your final project.

Final Project
Now that we have learned about the different ways that NYC has changed, you will use this information to create a Flipbook about NYC then, now, and in the future. Before you begin, brainstorm what you think NYC will look like in the future. Answer these questions: Why do you think that NYC will look different in the future? What might cause these changes? What will people need in the future? Will the same type of people live in your neighborhood in the future? Why? Why not?

You should review all the material that you created including: the Venn diagram, the KWL chart, your drawings and your sourcebook response.

Below are the steps to create this Flipbook:
1) Choose an artist, a writer, and a leader.
2) Click on this link to use the Flipbook tool: Flipbook Creator.
3) Create 3 labels: NYC Then, NYC Now, and NYC in the Future.
4) Print out the Flipbook.

Below is a checklist of the elements that you must include in your Flipbook:
1) Drawings representing NYC Then, NYC Now, and NYC in the Future
2) Captions below each picture describing each drawing.
3) On the back of the picture of NYC in the Future write 5 detailed sentences about what made you decide to draw the future that way.
4) Use the cause and effect language and the future tense that we learned two weeks ago to write your captions and sentences.


Below is the rubric for your Final Project.

Read this document on Scribd: Flipbook Rubric


Assignment #6

To build a bridge of communication between students, faculty, and parents I would create a blog that would reflect the culture and interests of these individuals. This podcast would incorporate several different format designs to garner interest and provide the proper platforms for different types of information. In addition, depending on the type of material, I would post weekly and monthly. The main categories that that the podcasts would be listed under would be: School News, Community Events, Connections, In The Classroom, Beyond the Classroom, English for Everybody and DOE News. Under the category "In the Classroom" individual classes would be invited to produce their own material. The material could include teacher created content, student produced shows reflecting on what they are learning, dramatic readings (in different languages) and book reviews. To give both teachers and parents a voice I would conduct monthly interviews and post them under "Connections". I would work with the Parent Coordinator to highlight important Community Events in a monthly calendar podcast and also provide recordings of school performances. To get administration on board I would ask the Principal and Assistant Principal to provide and possibly read a weekly scripted School News Show that discussed overall school achievements, safety issues, and important dates. In consideration of the large ESL population at my school I would invite ESL teachers to create lessons on conversational English for students and parents and post lectures regarding current trends in research for their colleagues. To make the site easily navigable, particpatory, and consistentI would be sure to include a forum, clear labels and descriptive titles, and topics culled from listener feedback. With proper planning, monitoring and active participation this tool could bring together the best aspects of a learning community. The activities that the parents, students, and faculty will be involved with at home and at school to produce the podcasts is both a meaningful and authentic way to bolster literacy, responsibility and ownership.


Assignment #5

A#5 Part 1.a
According to Chapter 16 "Beyond Course Casting", podcasting not only attends to multiple intelligences, but it can also be used as a means to authentically assess students. Podcasting is authentic by virtue of the fact that it can be accessed by anyone anywhere in the world. Podcasting is a robust vehicle which incorporates all four language modalities thereby lifting the role of listening and speaking as an important part of literacy. All too often educators downplay the importance of listening and speaking in the development of good reading and writing skills. In terms of ESL these four language modalities must be given stage time in every lesson plan. Podcasting can be used to discretely assess a student's strengths and weaknesses in these four areas. To bolster the accountability of podcasting as a means of assessment, teachers can create rubrics to accompany assignments. By creating rubrics to analyze a finished student product, teachers can provide well rounded feedback to the student as well as create informed lesson plans for the future. The work involved to use podcasting beyond course casting is exactly the type of technology incorporation that is touted by "Meaningful Learning With Technology." But in order for podcasting to be an effective tool teachers must create lessons where podcasting truly fits and makes sense rather than throwing it in because it is available.

A#5 Part 1.b
The assessment tools described in chapter 10 of "Meaningful Learning With Technology" are becoming increasingly necessary in today's classrooms. These types of tools are not only reflective of our growing dependence on technology they are incidentally correlated with the physical realities of our students. As families face hardships and have to move often, having a digital portfolio of each student can be valuable for sharing student information and progress between schools. Traditional paper assessments are limited due to their temporal nature. Additionally, results from classroom tests showing how each student fared on each question would be hard to transfer from one school to the next or from one grade level to the next if it exists only on paper. In this age of accountability, the use of ePortfolios to track progress and target specific areas for review makes perfect sense. The employment of Clicker tools can also be used to guide instruction as a teacher retrieves instant information on student comprehension. A teacher can know when to repeat, review, change the pace of a lesson, or adjust his/her line of questioning according to student responses. As teachers we all know the gut wrenching feeling at the very end of a lesson when we get a blank stare confirming our wasted efforts. Clickers can partially prevent this. Our students deserve to be measured beyond the standardized testing that the state currently utilizes. They deserve to be seen as multifaceted individuals that know more than what a multiple choice test may indicate; using tools like ePortfolio and Clicker technology are just some of the ways we can encourage authentic assessment.


Assignment #4

A#4 Part 1
Chapter 5 of Meaning Learning with Technology highlights the various Mindtools that enable students to create visual representations of the mental processes taking place while they negotiate the paths to solve a problem or synthesize information. Additionally, the chapter talks about which components to include when creating these mental models. The creation of these models require higher thinking skills, promote metacognition and monitor comprehension. And although I didn't create these models during my academic career in the NYC public school system, I have learned to greatly appreciate the value and effectiveness of these constructions.
In the elementary school that I teach in, concept maps are often used during brainstorming or pre-writing activities, but the arrows linking each node of information are usually not described. In order for ESL students to fully grasp the relationships between each node, coordinating verbs and phrases must be written. At first the usage of these verbs and phrases can be scaffolded by presenting them in a word bank for students to choose from. Students can also be paired based on language level to brainstorm the proper descriptions. The beauty of this exercise is that it is it is collaborative and takes advantage of the efficiency of technology. As students negotiate meaning, descriptions can be altered and rearranged to better suit the semantic network. In addition to concept mapping, I found the section on spreadsheets to be particularly engaging.
Before reading this chapter I had not contemplated using spreadsheet software across the content areas. This type of application has high real-world value. Using spreadsheets not only helps students represent data, but it also helps them identify relationships and predict outcomes. The computing aspect of programs like Microsoft Excel can help students test math facts and simulate real-world problems with a multitude of variables. Since I will be teaching 2nd grade next year, I think I might try using this application to supplement the Math Box components of Everyday Mathematics.

A#4 Part 2
These tasks are structured for the two classes that I will be teaching in the Fall. The Mcgraw-Hill Treasures activities are the actual resources that we use in the school. I have tried to incorporate collaboration, differentiation and independent work. (note: The specific direction given to "Group a" is for the lower language level students.)

Class 202 and 204
We have been talking about friendship. We learned 6 new vocabulary words to help us talk about friendship: friends, playmate, partner, loyal, trust, and traits. Today I would like you to work with a partner to discuss what makes a good friend and what types of activities you enjoy doing with your friends. Please read the steps below to find out what to do. Do steps #1 and #2 with a partner and do step #3 on your own.

With a Partner
Step #1: Click on this link and watch the slide show. Turn and talk to your partner when they ask you to: Treasures Slideshow #1

Step #2: Brainstorm a list of traits that you look for in a friend. Click on this link and print out the chart: Friendship chart. Fill out the chart with your friend.

On Your Own
Step #3: Click on these links and play these two short games: Treasures Activity #1 and Treasures Activity #2. After you finish playing the games write a response about what you like to do with your friends.

Group a: You can use these sentence helpers in your response:
1) I like to play _____ with them.
2) I enjoy _____ with them.
3) We like to go to _______.
4) We always have fun ________ together.

If there is extra time, you can draw a picture to go with your response by clicking on this link: White board. Use your mouse to click and drag the crayons to make a picture. When you are finished drawing, click on the tab that says SEND and send your drawing to me at MsYam@eslbeyond.com.


Assignment # 3

A#3 Part 1.a
The powerful writing tools used to aid organization, collaboration, and process illustrated in chapter #5 of "Meaningful Learning with Technology" are welcomed approaches in my book. I believe that by teaching students to use tools like Microsoft Powerpoint and www.writely.com we can help them better understand and visualize different aspects of the writing process. Some may argue that students (especially 3rd-12th graders) must master essay writing using paper and pencil first before they use wordprocessing programs, but I disagree. I believe that using Microsoft word relieves the tedium of copying over during revision, attends to multiple intelligences, and helps students monitor their spelling and grammar. Additionally, "sloppy copies" can be easily shared, reviewed and commented upon. This type of peer review is said to be more beneficial for students at times then having the teacher look over mistakes and critique the content.
Using technology in the classroom has many authentic applications in the real world. For many people around the world today, programs like Microsoft Word are used for many different types of applications, from writing to-do lists to research papers. Proficiency in using technology to support writing has become increasingly necessary. As educators we not only have to deconstruct abstract concepts, but we must also help our students navigate the many demands of economic success. And learning how to brainstorm a narrative with Inspiration or create a 20 slide presentation on frogs is part and parcel of this type of real world preparation.

A#3 Part 1.b
As an ESL educator I am constantly trying to find new and exciting ways to present materials across the content areas in a meaningful and comprehensible way to my students. The applications outlined in Chapter 14 of "Podcasting for Teachers" are a great introduction to how pocasting can be used effectively to practice listening, speaking, reading and writing. As a teacher created product, a podcast can be used as a study guide, to build prior knowledge, to aid explicit instructions or supplement text books. Students may review the material as often as necessary until they comprehend what is being conveyed or asked. Students may also be asked to take notes or record their own responses to prompts. This powerful tool can transform a class as students are held accountable for the information they learn at home or must perform tasks accordingly. The video podcast mentioned on pg. 222, All About Math is especially useful for ESL students as it incorporates animations and a digital blackboard. The profile of the various applications in the Arts is also suitable for ESL instruction. Step by step instructions on a range of activities could be recorded orally and/or visually for students to play back at any given point. This repetition is highly effective for building listening comprehension. Furthermore, academic language can be fostered by incorporating polysemous words across the content areas. For example: In an elementary level classroom the words table, power, radical, real and rational can be used in context across social studies, math, science and ELA. The varying definitions of each word conveyed orally and visually will help students understand the trickiness of the English language.

A#3 Part 1.c
The blog posted by Tony Erben is a nice introduction to the tips and tricks (instructional strategies) for teaching English Language Learners. This site serves as a nice gateway into second language acquisition for mainstream teachers as well as new ESL teachers. Podcast #3 and #4 outline the first two principles of teaching ESL students. As stated in the principles for creating effective second language learning environments we must create meaningful and varied experiences in listening, reading, writing and speaking for students. More often then not, newcomer and beginner students in a mainstream classroom are thought to be incapable of understanding content or directions. And even intermediate students that are verbally sophisticated are left to the wayside during content area instruction. Many mainstream teachers that are in fact experts in their field simply do not know the language requirements that ESL students demand in order to comprehend what is being taught. Podcasts can be used to bridge the gap between student and content in a variety of ways.
For newcomer and beginner students content can be presented in a podcast in the form of a chant or song. Vocabulary words of the week can be repeated in different intonations so that students can learn the distinctions between stating a question, an imperative and an emphatic interjection. Students can be asked to record their own pronunciations and play them back in comparison to the teacher's recording. Students can also record narratives in their native language that may be translated by peers from the same background thereby validating their own experiences. They can then listen to the two products and look for language patterns. In an intermediate classroom, reading and writing conferences can be maintained via podcasts. That way students can review the strategies at any time. A whole archive of strategies and mini-lessons can be kept for at home review. The steps of writing tasks can be conveyed and examples of the proper usage of the sentence structures being practiced that week can be used for dictation exercises. For advanced students that are more autonomous and can work in collaborative groups without explicit instruction there is an endless range of applications. An on-going literature circle can be held via podcast. Students can work in small groups to present an report or reciprocal teach a new strategy or concept. Their definitions and explanations can be used by lower language level students to aid listening comprehension. Students can also record interviews and narratives that can be critiqued via blog.
As you can see the possibilities are endless. With careful planning, management and a dose of creativity, podcasts can be used effectively to raise the skills of all students.