Series Analyzing Texts: Analyzing Texts: Putting Thoughts on Paper


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards K-5
  • 5:  5th Grade
  • 2b: 
    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a
    topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general
    observation and focus, and group related
    information logically; include formatting (e.g.,
    headings), illustrations, and multimedia when
    useful to aiding comprehension.

    b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions,
    concrete details, quotations, or other
    information and examples related to the topic.

    c. Link ideas within and across categories of
    information using words, phrases, and clauses
    (e.g., in contrast, especially).

    d. Use precise language and domain-specific
    vocabulary to inform about or explain the

    e. Provide a concluding statement or section
    related to the information or explanation

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • W:  Writing Standards K-5
  • 5:  5th Grade
  • 9b: 
    Draw evidence from literary or informational texts
    to support analysis, reflection, and research.

    a. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature
    (e.g., \"Compare and contrast two or more
    characters, settings, or events in a story or a
    drama, drawing on specific details in the text
    [e.g., how characters interact]\"\x80\x9D).

    b. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to
    informational texts (e.g., \"\x80\x9CExplain how
    an author uses reasons and evidence to
    support particular points in a text, identifying
    which reasons and evidence support which

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Analyzing Texts: Putting Thoughts on Paper

Lesson Objective: Respond to a text by analyzing an author's viewpoint
Grade 5 / ELA / Writing
ELA.W.5.2b | ELA.W.5.9b


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What structures does Ms. Brewer have in place to allow for effective differentiation?
  2. The class spent a lot of time talking before writing. What effect did this have?
  3. When Ms. Brewer works with the small group, how does she support English Language Learners?


  • Private message to Kelsey Pratt

1.) Most notably, Ms. Brewer incorporated differentiation into the lesson through working closely with a small group of English Language-Learners. This worked because the rest of the students understood the expectation that they were to write independently, and it allowed for Ms. Brewer to help develop the ELLs conception of the word ' viewpoint,' particulalry in relation to how the author of the text viewed Lewis and Clark. Once the students had established that 'viewpoint' meant 'what you think in your mind about a certain topic,' she helped them construct one sentence reflecting the main viewpoint of the author. When students shared that the author thought Lewis and Clark "didn't back down from a challenge" or "weren't afraid of anything," Ms. Brewer helped them to find concise vocabularly words in English that summed up characteristics of the historical figures, such as 'brave' or 'determined.' Since the non-ELL students did not need the small-group scaffold, they were afforded the opportunity to put their critical thoughts from 'text talk time' into writing while working on their own. 

2.) I have interned with a fifth grade classroom before, and I found that it was critical for students to verbally brainstorm their ideas before putting them on paper. In the case of Ms. Brewer's classroom, the 'text talk time' allowed for the students to test the validity of their claims and supporting evidence about the author's viewpoint towards Lewis and Clark. Talking through basic opinions helps for emerging writers to solidify their ideas before they are faced with the task of composing a detailed response. Through participating in a large-group discussion, the students gained the opportunity to consider their peers' arguments and pick up pieces of textual evidence that they might include in their independent writing prompt.

3.) When Ms. Brewer works with the small group, she supports English Language Learners by first assesing their knowledge of the vocabulary necessary to answer the central question - "What is the viewpoint of the author, and how do they feel  about Lewis and Clark as historical figures?" Once the ELL students demonstrated that they understood what the term 'viewpoint' meant in the context of the question, Ms. Brewer asked them to write one sentance that reflected how the author viewed/felt about Lewis and Clark. When a few of the students replied, "The author thought they they were able to overcome anything they set their minds to when they crossed the waterfall," they demonstrated that they weren't familiar with a concise English vocabularly word that could apply. To help them briefly define Lewis and Clark's characters, Ms. Brewer suggested words such as "brave" and "determined" to encourage the students to be more concise in their writing. This was an effective startegy that allowed for the ELL's to connect their excellent thoughts to the written portion of the activity. 

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  • Private message to Briana Coman

This video does a good job of showing how DI is important for students to learn especially when they are in crucial need of support. This is helpful for students as the entire class is not waiting on those who need more time nor do those students left behind. Ms. Brewer is also so kind with her students and lifts them up and encourages them which is awesome to see.

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  • Private message to Nikola Nas

Now is the time that it is easier for me to pay for essay writing to Wr1ter services than to write an essay myself. Very challenging college programs.

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  • Private message to Isabelle Foster

This is a useful exercise that helps students express their thoughts correctly and clearly.

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  • Private message to Briana Coman

Yes, the differentiation is super helpful to students who need that time to process their thoughts. It is especially helpful to students who are English Language Learners or with IEPs or just in need of time and support. It is also great that she is taking the time and using precise praise to actually encourage them and give them more courage in the classroom.

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  • Private message to John Marshall

A very nice video. It is always pleasant to see how people think and try to describe their opinion on paper. But it isn't always easy for a student to get coped with a great amount of writing tasks at school or the university. This question worries me so much because I'm working on the research for my project at University. It is called "The influence of custom essay writing services online on the educational process". I'm getting my bachelor's degree this year and this research is monumental for me. To get things straight I discover the influence of such services as and on the educational process and the attitude of teachers to them. That's why I ask you: what is your opinion about such services? Are they helpful enough or their influence is bad for education? Thanks for participating!

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    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    00:02:00 STACY BREWER: I want to get us


    Common core: ELA
    Delivering and Evaluating a Persuasive Speech
    00:02:00 STACY BREWER: I want to get us started on this quickly because, now that you have all your ideas in your head, I really want you to have an opportunity to put this on paper.
    00:02:08 GIRL: Well, [inaudible words] like [inaudible] like [inaudible words] on your, on your journey? TEXT:
    Writing about a Complex Text
    00:02:13 STACY BREWER: In the next part of my class, I transition them into writing by asking them to respond in writing to the comprehension questions about author’s viewpoint that we just talked about in text talk time. TEXT:
    Stacy Brewer
    5th Grade teacher
    Stevenson Elementary – Bellevue, WA
    00:02:25 STACY BREWER: I want you to know how important your writing is to me and that this is a way of sharing your thinking with me just like you did in text talk time, but in writing.
    00:02:35 STACY BREWER: The questions on your paper are the same questions we just talked about, so nothing is new here. The first one we talked about was how does the author feel about Lewis and Clark. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Write explanatory text to convey ideas and information
    00:02:44 STACY BREWER: I give all my students the same task and most of the students work individually on this assignment while I pull a smaller group who needs more support from me. But, even with the small group, the assignment stays the same. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence in a text
    00:02:56 STACY BREWER: Let’s get started. Would you, before we start answering the questions, will you guys remind me what viewpoint is?
    00:03:01 BOY: It’s like what you see in your, in your mind, like what you think. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions
    00:03:08 STACY BREWER: What you think and what your, so it’s from your point of view?
    00:03:11 BOY: Yeah.
    00:03:12 BOY: That means it’s like your opinion, not someone else’s.
    00:03:16 STACY BREWER: So, I’m hearing a lot of you and your. Is it always just you though?
    00:03:22 GROUP: No.
    00:03:23 BOY: Because [inaudible] this, and like the second one says, what is the author’s viewpoint?
    00:03:28 STACY BREWER: Okay.
    00:03:29 BOY: You can talk about other people and talk…
    00:03:31 STACEY BREWER: …and what they think.
    00:03:32 BOY: Yeah.
    00:03:34 STACY BREWER: The small group that I was working with today are all English language learners, so I knew when I started the group that I wanted to give them more opportunities to speak. The first question I posed to the group was how does the author feel about Lewis and Clark?
    00:03:46 STACY BREWER: Brandon, maybe you want to read that question so we all are clear about it.
    00:03:50 BRANDON: How does the author feel about Lewis and Clark?
    00:03:53 STACY BREWER: Okay. So, you said you have some ideas.
    00:03:56 BRANDON: That they’re really brave. They’re like, they’re like, they’re not like to go like saying, like I don’t want to do this anymore. They don’t change their mind. They’re just like, we’re going to do this and we’re going to go there.
    00:04:09 STACY BREWER: Okay.
    00:04:10 BOY: [inaudible]
    00:04:13 BOY: Their perseverant.
    00:04:14 STACY BREWER: I think that that’s what you were trying to say in text talk time, right, that you were like, they keep going, they don’t give up, they persevere. That’s a great word.
    00:04:24 STACY BREWER: Before we start writing, let’s get our ideas out. Let’s talk about our ideas. When we talk about things, it helps get our brain ready for writing.
    00:04:30 STACY BREWER: Once we’ve had a chance to share some ideas, then I ask them to help me come up with a first, a good first sentence.
    00:04:37 STACY BREWER: So, what’s one good starting sentence that we could come up with? Jesus, I haven’t heard from you yet.
    00:04:44 JESUS: well, something that I would do is, like, I think the author thinks that Lewis and Clark are brave. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Determine main ideas of text
    00:04:54 BOY: They’re like brave and nothing stops them. They’re like…
    00:04:59 STACY BREWER: Like, if nothing stops you, it’s like determined, like you...
    00:05:00 BOY: exactly.
    00:05:01 STACY BREWER: keep going, so you have the one word. What do you think Alan? What are you thinking you’re going to write for your big idea?
    00:05:08 ALAN: I’m going to write about my big idea that nothing stopped them.
    00:05:13 STACY BREWER: This writing task is the culmination of all of the work that we’ve done throughout the week with one shared text.
    00:05:20 STACY BREWER: I was really happy with how excited the kids were when they got to the small group and felt so confident in coming up with evidence to back up their thinking, and they knew what they were talking about.
    00:05:32 STACY BREWER: I had given them so much support that they felt confident in what they were saying and they owned it.
    00:05:38 STACY BREWER: Can you read it to me?
    00:05:40 BOY: From the beginning?
    00:05:41 STACY BREWER: Yeah.
    00:05:42 BOY: The author thought Lewis and Clark were determined. First, they had to cross around the waterfall, but that didn’t stop them, page 637. Then, they crossed the Rocky Mountains, but that didn’t stop them either, page 638. TEXT:
    Common Core:
    Quote accurately from a text
    00:05:58 STACY BREWER: Please. I like how you added that that didn’t stop them either. You’re connecting that to determine so there’s no doubt in my mind.
    00:06:04 STACY BREWER: So, while I was working with the small group, the rest of the class was expected to respond to those questions independently in writing. When they were done with that, they were able to move onto other independent tasks.
    00:06:19 GIRL: [inaudible] packages [inaudible words].
    00:06:20 STACY BREWER: I am super, super, super proud of you. You shared so much good thinking and I’m really excited to read your writing. Just what I got to hear with the small group that I was in, they came up with so many good clues and evidence to support their thinking.
    00:06:36 STACY BREWER: I was so proud of them and I know that this, you’re going to do so well in middle school. I know that your teachers are going to ask you to do this and this will be no problem from [sic] you. You know how to find evidence in the text to support your thinking and I’m so proud to be your teacher.
    00:06:52 STACY BREWER: The two writing standards I focused on today were supporting a topic with concrete details and information and drawing evidence from a literary text or an informational text to support your thinking or reflection about a text. TEXT:
    Tch Classroom Takeaways:
    Common Core
    1. Support a topic with concrete details and inforamtion
    2. Draw evidence to support thinking and reflection about a text
    Tch Teaching Channel

School Details

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

Data Provided By:



Stacy Brewer


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