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        Reporting from Multiple Sources - The Roles of Dogs in Three Societies

        While watching three videos on dogs' roles in various places on Earth, students will take notes.  They will later use these notes to write an essay.  They will spend time revising and correcting the essay.

        Lesson Summary


        Students take notes to organize relevant facts and ideas from three video segments about the roles dogs play in different cultures or societies. They use their notes to write a multi-paragraph essay. 

        Why is this an important concept?

        Learning involves synthesizing information from various resources. When we can pull information together from multiple resources and write a cohesive essay about what we have learned, we clarify and confirm what we have learned for ourselves and others while we strengthen our expository writing skills. 

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        (3) 60-minute periods

        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        Day 1

        1. Provide the purpose for activity: to understand and note facts about the role of dogs in different cultures for the purpose of writing an essay.

        2. Provide the media focus for the first segment, "The Hunting Dogs of Papau New Guinea," by asking students to take notes about the role of dogs in the New Guinea culture. While viewing, model note-taking on an enlarged Dogs Note-taking handout using an overhead projector or other technology. Think out loud as you model note-taking to demonstrate the thinking process. Ask students to observe and listen.

        3. After viewing the first segment, give each student a copy of the Dogs Note-taking handout. Students copy teacher's modeled notes, adding their own notes if they would like.

        4. Provide the purpose for viewing the second segment, "The Sled Dogs of the Arctic Circle," by asking students to note facts about the role of dogs in the Inuit culture. You may choose to talk about your thinking about note-taking (i.e., "I think that is important, so I'm going to write that down") while taking notes but do not show notes while writing. After viewing the segment, students write their own notes and share with a peer.

        5. Provide the purpose for viewing the third segment, "The Herding Dogs of the United Kingdom," by asking students to note facts about the role of dogs in the Lake District culture. Students continue to take notes on their own. Do not talk or share your notes with students.

        6. Once again, after viewing, students share their notes with a peer. After students have shared their notes, discuss which facts they thought were important and why. You can also share your notes with the class and tell them why you chose the notes you did from the video segments.

        7. After students have seen all three segments and shared their notes, collect and review the notes handouts before Day 2. If necessary, meet with students who need extra support with note-taking during the lesson on Day 2. 

        Part II: Assessment Part I

        Day 2

        1. Write the introduction to the essay as a whole class or have students work with a partner, depending on their abilities and needs. Include a thesis statement.

        2. Point out that each of the sections of the graphic organizer notes will now become a separate paragraph within the body of the essay (paragraphs two, three and four). Begin paragraph two by showing students how to develop their notes into sentences and organize them into a coherent paragraph.

        3. Students complete paragraphs two, three and four.

        4. Meet with students before they begin Part II of the assessment to provide extra support and conference as needed.

        5. If needed, students will complete first draft for homework.

        Part III: Assessment Part II

        Day 3

        1. Write the final paragraph of the essay as a whole class or have students work with a partner.

        2. Distribute the Dogs Essay Checklist handout to each student. Go over how to assess and improve their own and each other's writing as they participate in writing workshop peer conferences.

        3. Students meet in small groups of three to four peers to share their writing and help each other edit and revise as needed using the Dogs Essay Checklist handout.

        4. For homework, students will write their final copies of the essay. Students will hand in their notes, first draft and checklist with final copy. Use the Writing an Essay Using Multiple Sources rubric for grading final product.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        • Meet with students between lessons to support their note-taking and essay writing skills. You may want to arrange time for students to view videos again.
        • Distribute and provide the Dogs Writing Frame handout at beginning of activity so students can visualize the final product they will be working toward. This provides structure to guide students' listening and note-taking.


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