SLASL Unit Template: Text-Based Inquiry 2017

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Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education

UNIT TEMPLATE: Text-Based STEM Inquiry

This template provides an approach for creating a science investigation that includes reading-focused inquiry to build student science literacy skills. The template was created to support library media specialists and STEM teacher cohorts in the School Librarians Advancing STEM Learning project, led by the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management (ISKME) in partnership with Granite State University, New Hampshire, and funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Part I: Unit Title: [Killing cells to save the organism]

Part II: Background on LMS and Science Teacher relationship: This lesson was created by Library Media Specialist [Lauren Schultz]  and [Biology teacher Joanna Schimizzi]. Lauren’s strengths were identified as text-based inquiry and the curation of resources.  She requested to see Joanna model what inquiry looks like in a science classroom. Joanna’s strengths were science content knowledge and she requested to see Lauren model how students can use text-based inquiry.

Part III: Unit Description: This unit includes ___ lessons that culminate in [students designing a scientific research proposal that examines the role of cellular organelles in diseases and treatment].

Using inquiry-based reading, students will [explore an anchor text and then develop their own essential and supporting questions to guide their research].

Over the course of the unit, students will [explore a variety of texts and grow in their knowledge of cellular organelles and in their ability to use informational text to support their inquiry and research].

Part IV: Standards (While you may be addressing parts of many standards, please list the main standards that are accomplished in this unit.)

NGSS/State STEM Standards (list the standards you are addressing by copying/pasting)

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts (choose either Patterns or Cause and Effect - Mechanism and Explanation)

CCSS Science Literacy Standards (list the standards you are addressing by copying/pasting)

Part V: Unit Essential Question  

[Should cellular structures be an increased focus of funding in disease research?]

Part VI: Goals for Using Inquiry: The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students [develop their own supporting research questions around cellular organelle function, examine provided text, select their own additional resources to use, and determine their own solution to the research question]. The science teacher and the media library specialist have selected an anchor text about [the role of mitochondria in disease] and provided support for students [in a set of texts that guide research around different organelles that contribute to disease.]

The goal for using inquiry in this unit is to have students examine the anchor text as an open invitation to inquiry about [insert area specific topic].  Using the anchor text [insert anchor text title] as the base and 1-2 supportive texts [name the texts] about [insert topic], students will develop their own set of inquiry questions (ex: “I wonder…”) for a culminating activity [about…].  Students will narrow down their inquiry questions to one specific, targeted question that they seek to answer through the culminating activity.

Part VII: Summative Assessment Description and Rubric

(The summative assessment should assess both science content and literacy skills.)

Part VIII: Prior Knowledge Needed

(This description should describe both science content and literacy skills.)

Part IX: Student Learning Objectives

(Breakdown of the unit into discrete units of both science content and literacy skills. Please use the format

The student will be able to [identify cellular structures] by [reading and annotating an article about cellular toxins].

The student will be able to [analyze how cellular structures coordinate] by [applying information from the article about cellular toxins].

The student will be able to [evaluate a claim that cellular toxins can be used as therapies for disease] by [using evidence from the text].

The student will be able to [create a scientific research proposal] by [using textual evidence, data and precise details from the article to write write a grant proposal].

Part X: Text Set Description (used to analyze the purpose and goal of each text they provide to the students)

Text Title & Hyperlink

Text Purpose
(discuss complexity of the text along with its purpose/goal )

Text-Dependent Questions (created by the teacher/librarian to help students analyze the text in a specific sequence)

Accommodations for Diverse Learners

ABC Anchor Text

This is my Anchor Text, designed to [provide science content about cellular organelles while provoking student engagement around the essential question].

The ATOS level of the text is [an 11.27, which is appropriate for the middle of a 10th grade year.] Linked here is the Qualitative Analysis of the Complexity.

[1. What question did the author seek to answer?

2. How did she go about her inquiry?

3. What is her primary claim?

4. Did she provide specific and useful evidence?

5. In your opinion, what is the strongest evidence provided?]

[1. Tier Two words will be chosen ahead of time and a definition will be added as footnotes to copies of the text.

2. Specific chunks will be chosen ahead to support students in breaking the reading down into manageable sections.]

Supporting Text #1

{Optional qualitative and quantitative analysis}

[1. Does this reading provide evidence that supports or contradicts information in the anchor text? How?

2. Which data table is most effective at communicating the data collected by the researchers?]

Supporting Text #2

Part XI: Suggested Lesson Breakdown/Pacing


Student Learning Objectives

Aligned Student Learning Task and Suggested Timing

Formative Assessment

Important Accommodations

One (90 minute block)

TSWBAT [identify the functions of cell structures by reading an article about cellular toxins.]

[1. Students read the cellular toxin article on their own using annotation strategies given by the (teacher/LMS).

2. The (teacher/LMS) reads the article aloud, identifying important annotations.

3. Students are given a handout (linked here) to help them identify the cellular components and their functions that are listed in the article.]

4. Students do a think-pair-share to write a sticky note with which cellular organelle was most clearly explained by the article.]

[1. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor students as they read independently to observe the number of annotations made.

2. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor student recording of teacher recommended annotations.

3. The (teacher/LMS) will monitor progress to see if certain areas of the assignment are confusing. The teacher will collect the handout and give feedback before the next class period.

4. The (teacher/LMS)  will randomly choose sticky notes to read aloud, tracking trends and noticing gaps or misconceptions.]

[1. The (teacher/LMS) will provide the article ahead of time to students with high need.

2. The (teacher/LMS) will provide a list of defined vocabulary for the student to use during the 2nd reading.


4.  ]

Part XII: Attachment of Student Work Examples

(Please include links or attachments of 3 work samples that have been scored using your rubric and have feedback from both STEM teachers and the LMS. Consider including both exemplars and samples that have room for improvement. Please do not include student names or pictures.)

Part XIII: Teacher and Librarian Reflection on the Implementation of the Unit

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