Grade 4, Module 2A
Researching to Build Knowledge and Teaching Others: Interdependent Roles in Colonial Times
Students learn about what life was like in Colonial America. They go on to study the many roles people played in a colonial settlement and how necessary their interdependence was for survival. Students select one role to explore more deeply through various forms of nonfiction texts. With an emphasis on making inferences, summarizing informational text, basic research (note-taking and pulling together information from a variety of texts), this module will foster students’ abilities to synthesize information from multiple sources and integrate research into their writing. At the end of the module, students participate in several critique experiences during the revision process as they write a research-based narrative that vividly describes an event in a colonist’s life.
Unit 1: In this unit, students learn to answer inferential and literal questions as they build their background knowledge about what life was like in Colonial America. Through primary source documents and other historical texts, students will gain an understanding of the challenges colonists faced and their resourcefulness as they built a new life in America. They will gain a deeper understanding of how colonists depended on each other for survival, and begin to explore gender roles in colonies and colonial households. Students will learn to support their inferences with examples and details from complex informational text. They will practice synthesizing information from multiple sources (including text, pictures, maps, diagrams, and charts).
Unit 2: In the second unit, students further develop their ability to comprehend informational text by hearing and reading a variety of nonfiction sources about roles people played in a colonial settlement (e.g., blacksmith, wheelwright, printer, and cooper) and how necessary their interdependence was for survival. To build students’ background knowledge, the class will work together to study the wheelwright, a colonial trade. They will then work in research Expert Groups as they become experts in one specific colonial trade. Students will select from: shoemaker, cooper, blacksmith, builder/carpenter, or printer.
Unit 3: In Unit 3, students continue building their research skills as they deepen their knowledge about colonial life, specifically the roles of various craftspeople in colonial settlements. Students synthesize information from varied sources they used as they researched Colonial America in Units 1 and 2 to create a historically accurate research-based narrative from a prompt (see Performance Task).