Series: Analyzing Texts


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening
  • 5:  5th Grade
  • 1:  Engage effectively in a range of collaborative
    discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled)
    with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and
    texts, building on others'\x80\x99 ideas and expressing
    their own clearly.

    a. Come to discussions prepared, having read
    or studied required material; explicitly draw
    on that preparation and other information
    known about the topic to explore ideas under

    b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and
    carry out assigned roles.

    c. Pose and respond to specific questions by
    making comments that contribute to the
    discussion and elaborate on the remarks of

    d. Review the key ideas expressed and draw
    conclusions in light of information and
    knowledge gained from the discussions.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RI:  Reading Standards for Informational Text K-\x80\x935
  • 5:  5th Grade
  • 1: 
    Quote accurately from a text when explaining
    what the text says explicitly and when drawing
    inferences from the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Analyzing Texts: Brainstorm Before Writing
Lesson Objective: Engage in small group discussion before writing
Grade 5 / ELA / Discussion
ELA.SL.5.1 | ELA.RI.5.1

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Brewer tailor this lesson to the needs of English Language Learners?
  2. What kinds of questions does Ms. Brewer ask to guide her students' discussions?
  3. How does this activity prepare students for writing?
The strategy she uses is very interesting in that students put the pieces together to form their thoughts
Recommended (0)
I enjoyed the way the teacher initially started the lesson with a the students engaging in a group discussion to work on brainstorming ideas.
Recommended (0)
I like how they share ideas with a small group first before discussing in a large group or writing.
Recommended (0)
This is a great writing technique for them to speak and share ideas before writing anything on paper.
Recommended (0)
This really helps the students plan out what they were going to write about.
Recommended (0)



    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    02:00:00 STACY BREWER: My name is Stacy Brewer.


    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    02:00:00 STACY BREWER: My name is Stacy Brewer. I teach fifth grade at Stevenson Elementary in Bellevue, Washington. TEXT:
    Stacy Brewer
    5th Grade teacher
    Stevenson Elementary – Bellevue, WA
    02:00:05 STACY BREWER: Good morning, good morning Dana [sp].
    02:00:07 GIRL: Good morning.
    02:00:08 STACY BREWER: Good morning Brandy Morning Shia.
    02:00:10 GIRL: Good morning. TEXT:
    Brainstorm Before Writing
    02:00:10 STACY BREWER: Morning Bria
    02:00:11 GIRL: Good morning.
    02:00:12 STACY BREWER: My class has a lot of English second language learners in it. Eight of my students are officially ELL students, but 16 of them speak another language other than English at home.
    02:02:25 STACY BREWER: And I know that my students need lots of opportunities to speak, to move them in their own language development and also for students, in general, to be able to write successfully they need to be able to speak and share those ideas before they can put them on paper.
    02:02:40 STACY BREWER: Thank you so much for following directions so quickly. I really like that I saw students putting their books behind them so they wouldn’t be tempted to open them later, that’s really good decisions.
    02:02:50 STACY BREWER: Today I am going to have my kids talk about the texts that they read. A difficult text that we read about Lewis and Clark. I wanted them to start by talking in a small group to sort of get their ideas started. [Lewis and Clark Book Cover Graphic]
    02:03:05 STACY BREWER: And then we were going to meet in a whole group discussion to share those ideas and those thinking all in preparation for a writing assignment.
    02:03:12 STACY BREWER: So before we come to the circle I want you to start getting those ideas in your head, right? So I want you to get your Journeys books out, if you took notes in your journals, in your Post-its. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
    02:03:22 STACY BREWER: And I’m going to want the blue people with the blue strip on your desk to turn around and talk with your group about what the book made you think about. What could you maybe share in our class discussion?
    02:03:38 STACY BREWER: I start by asking the class to start discussing what the text made them think about. I want them to start sharing with each other what they might bring to the whole class discussion.
    02:03:47 GIRL: On page 639 I predicted that the Shoshone tribe will try to find [inaudible] and they [inaudible words] and my prediction became true. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Provide an oral summary of a text
    02:03:57 BOY: I didn’t write it in the sticky note, but I also predicted that since the last story we read of the Shoshone surprise; I had made a connection of a text to text connection that that tribe was the tribe that Sacagawea’s brother ruled it and so, and it was actually true. And then in the… TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussion
    Common Core:
    Come to discussions
    02:04:29 STACY BREWER: I didn’t know that that was Sacagawea’s brother’s tribe?
    02:04:33 BOY: Is it on the next page?
    02:04:34 BOY: Yeah on page 640.
    02:04:36 STACY BREWER: 640.
    02:04:37 BOY: It says like at the bottom of this page, I think…
    02:04:40 BOY: The big paragraph?
    02:04:41 BOY: It says that the Shoshone also [sounds like] Sacagawea is the lost daughter of, of Cameahwait as her brother whom she had not seen in six years. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Quote accurately from a text
    02:04:53 STACY BREWER : Great. Okay so I could find that in this text without having to already having to read that before.
    02:04:59 BOY: Yeah.
    02:05:59 STACY BREWER : I really want the small group discussion to be student centered and open ended questions. I really open it up to them and ask them what did the text make you think about and I don’t want to guide it. I want them to have ownership and them to share what is interesting.
    02:05:16 STACY BREWER: I feel like I missed part of this and I’m curious what, what was the importance of the eighteen months?
    02:05:22 BOY: When they were longer and when they came back they took [inaudible words]…
    02:05:28 STACY BREWER: It took longer to go back or longer to go there?
    02:05:30 GIRL: No, no it took longer to go there because they didn’t have a map and when they got there they drew a map to go back. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Express ideas clearly and build on others’ ideas
    02:05:34 BOY: Like a map there on their way, it was easier to go back because they knew.
    02:05:39 STACY BREWER : How do we know that it was, took less time to go back?
    02:05:42 GIRL: Because they drew map and they knew where to go.
    02:05:44 BOY: Because they couldn’t get like the one path [inaudible words].
    02:05:52 STACY BREWER : Was there any evidence that we had that told us how long it took them to get back?
    02:05:56 GIRL: It says like to the explorers a six month return journey so that means it probably took six months.
    02:06:01 BOY: Finally they came down March 23, 1806 then on September 23, 1806 the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived safely back in St. Louis, Missouri. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Explain and draw inference from text
    02:06:12 STACY BREWER : Okay. So did that surprise you that it took less time to get back?
    02:06:15 GIRL: But also it says where the journey began more than two years earlier.
    02:06:20 STACY BREWER : Oh, you [inaudible words] question. You don’t need me.
    02:06:25 STACY BREWER: I was really happy with the conversation that I heard when we did the brainstorm, how respectfully the students were speaking with each other and listening to each other’s ideas.
    02:06:37 GIRL: I was surprised that the falls are like a six story building because I think it’s really, really high.
    02:06:45 BOY: And it’s really dangerous so if they, if they hadn’t actually; I think they actually went around but it actually took them a while. So if they went just through the waterfall like just like swam or canoed…
    02:07:03 BOY: They would’ve got killed.
    02:07:04 BOY: Yeah, they could get killed with all those rocks right there.
    02:07:07 STACY BREWER: In the brainstorm the common core standards that we were focusing on were the speaking and listening standard of engaging in a collaborative discussion. And also being prepared for a discussion because it was a way of preparing but also the reading standard of quoting accurately from a text to support your thinking. TEXT:
    Tch Classroom Takeaways:
    Common Core
    Speaking and Listening:
    1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
    2. Come to discussion prepared

    Reading Information Text:
    1. Quote accurately and draw inferences

    Tch Teaching Channel

School Details

Stevenson Elementary School
14220 Ne 8th St
Bellevue WA 98007
Population: 495

Data Provided By:



Stacy Brewer


Teaching Practice

Project-based Learning, PBL, Projects, Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades/ All Subjects/ Culture

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Culture

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement