Mini-literature unit #2 Harvesting Hope

Lesson by Wendy Macadam (created 11/04/09 with the CalStateTEACH Lesson Plan Assistant)





This is a RTI class of 24 students who are reading above benchmark. There are 24 students; 11 boys and 13 girls. Of these students, 12 are classified as Redesignated,  8 English only, 3 Fluent English Proficient, and 1 level 3 CELDT.

Most of these students (18) scored Advanced on the Language Arts portion of the California Standards Test in fourth grade, the rest scored Proficient.

There are 2 students who need extra support to stay on track, one is diagnosed with ADHD. They are seated in the front of the room.

Subject Area(s)

Language Arts (English)


Students will use reading strategies to support comprehension

Students will make inferences


California Academic Content Standards

English-Language Arts, Grade 5
Reading | 2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials) | Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
- Standard 2.3: Discern main ideas and concepts presented in texts, identifying and assessing evidence that supports those ideas.
Reading | 2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials) | Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
- Standard 2.4: Draw inferences, conclusions, or generalizations about text and support them with textual evidence and prior knowledge.


Given paper and pencil, students will be able to answer 2 higher-level thinking questions that draw inferences from the text, scoring at least a 3 on a teacher-created rubric.

Students will speak as they engage in an interactive read aloud, listen as others read, and write answers to questions.


I will ask varying levels of comprehension questions and adjust my teaching based on the students' needs as the lesson proceeds.

I will use both group and individual assessment as I ask questions.

I will provide adequate feedback and guidance as we discuss the story and assure that students are able to achieve the objective.

By varying the way the students will discuss and answer questions, such as using pair share, small group, and whole class, the students with ADHD will be supported.

Prerequisite Background Skills/Knowledge

Reading and writing English at the 5th grade level.

Vocabulary/Language Skills

We learned new vocabulary in the previous lesson, but will continue to review it as we read the story together. Vocabulary words will be posted with pictures in a pocket chart for reference.

Classroom Management

Students will be sitting at desks in groups of 6.This will allow for whole class, small group, pairs, and independent work.

Models of Instruction

Direct instruction will be used for this lesson.


6 copies of Harvesting Hope book, 24 pencils, 24 graphic organizers, 24 printed tests.

Technology Resources

Microsoft Word, Smart Board, projector

I will use Microsoft Word to create a graphic organizer, a test, and to project the 4 reading strategies on the board.

Word Processing (i.e. Word), Projector

Technology Applied

I will create a graphic organizer for the students to use to support their comprehension while reading the story, and I will create a test to use as a summative assessment.

I will project the 4 reading strategies that we will be using during our interactive read aloud lesson.


Open: "Today we are going to read Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. What type of literature do you think this book is? It is a biography - a non-fiction story written about a real person's life. Who remembers something about Cesar Chavez?

Show them the hoe again and the book. What do you remember about Cesar Chavez? Mexican-American, helped the migrant farm workers.

We are going to read the story together doing what is called an Interactive Read Aloud. I will read it and we will discuss the story together. After we read the story I am going to give  you 4 questions to answer.

Body: While we read we will use some reading strategies to help make sure we understand the story and fill out an organizer.  These strategies are predicting, questioning, clarifying and summarizing. Let's start by reviewing these 5 reading strategies."

Who knows what it means to predict? Think of a possibility based on the text clues and personal information. I will project each strategy on the Smart Board using a Power Point presentation as we discuss them.

How do we use the question strategy? Ask yourself questions that can be answered as you read or after you read to help you understand the selection.

What does it mean to clarify? To reread and use photos to help you understand the text. Monitor (check continually, watch closely) your own understanding. To clarify is to make things clear.

And how do we use the summarize strategy? Restate the most important ideas in your own words.

What does it mean to infer? Use personal knowledge along with story clues to understand ideas not directly stated in the text.


Let's make a prediction about what we think the story will be about.Turn to your neighbor and tell them your prediction. Have a few share their predictions. Write down prediction on organizer.

Before we start reading, I have one book for each table to look at while I am reading the story. If you can be quiet and responsible with the book, I will let your table pass it around as I read to you. We'll start with the book at the front corner of the table, and after each page, please pass the book to the left (clockwise).

Read two pages. Ask question: Was Cesar happy living on the ranch in Arizona? Use information from the story to support your answer.

Read third page. Ask question: Describe Cesar's personality.

Let's make a prediction about what will happen next. Pair share with your partner. I will ask for a few predictions.

Read fourth page. Ask: Explain why Cesar's mother cannot stop crying.

Read fifth page. Ask: Compare Cesar's home life on the ranch in Arizona to his home life now.

Read sixth page. Dispute why the working conditions of these migrant farm workers were unfair.

Read seventh page. Define what "White Trade Only" means. Identify why Cesar hated school.

Read eighth page. Relate how it feels to be a farm worker. Explain what the author means by, "Who could battle such odds?"

Work as a table group and write down a summary of the story up to this point.

What did Cesar decide to dedicate his life to?

Identify why people trusted Cesar.

Explain how Cesar planned to fight for justice. Explain what "The Cause" is.

Prediction #3 Turn to your neighbor and predict how Cesar would lead the people to overcome their powerlessness. Share a couple of predictions. Write it on organizer.

Relate how a strike was going to help the farm workers gain power.

Prediction #4 Predict what effect a 300 mile march will have on their cause.

Explain what they mean by, "Yes, it can be done."

Evaluate why they would march until they had blood seeping out of their shoes.

Define what it means that, "the line of marchers swelled."

Evaluate why the publicity was becoming unbearable for the grape company.

Identify why the crowd was celebrating.

Summarize what effect the march had on the farm workers cause.

Close: Okay, to wrap what we just learned, I am going to give you a short test. Please use complete sentences and write one or two sentences for each answer.

After the test, I will invite volunteers to share their answers about what we can learn from Cesar Chavez's example.

"Cesar Chavez was an ordinary man who became aware of how poorly migrant farm workers are treated. He gave his whole life to make a difference through strikes and peaceful marches. He refused to use violence. Although he had little education and money, he made a great impact on the rights of the farm workers and brought about change."


I think this lesson went well. The students seemed engaged and interested.

  • Using the organizer and reading strategies was effective.
  • Changes I would make - ideally I would read the story as a small group of 5 students so that they can read the story themselves and I can ask them each more questions to check for comprehension.
  • I think this lesson was relevant and worthwhile for the students because it was about someone from their culture, the book was at their reading level, and it supported the theme, "Give it All You've Got."
  •  Only 74% of the students scored a 3 or better on their 4 comprehension questions. I would need to review this lesson and discuss their answers to the 4 question test in order to support their comprehension to help all the students achieve the objective, especially before we move on to the poetry and visual art lesson where they must communicate their personal insights through an orginal work of art.