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Concept-Based Literacy Lessons


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments About the Authors Introduction 1. Curriculum is the Foundation Maximizing Learning Through a Coherent Curriculum WHAT is Concept-Based Curriculum? WHY Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction? HOW Are Concept-Based Curriculum Units of Instruction Designed? The Classroom Setting Summary Extending Thought 2. Designing Concept-Based Literacy Lessons Concept-Based Literacy Lessons Steps in Planning a Concept-Based Literacy Lesson Resources to Guide the Lesson-Planning Process A Flowchart to Guide Thinking Final Product Summary Extending Thought 3. Learning From Model Literacy Lesson Plans Role of Inductive Inquiry in a Concept-Based Literacy Classroom Balancing Inductive Inquiry and Explicit Instruction The Developing Concept-Based teacher Rubrics Learning Through Model Lesson Plans Summary Extending Thought 4. Designing Learning Experiences That Develop Conceptual Understanding Moving Beyond Skills to Conceptual Understanding That Transfers Developing Three-Dimensional Learning Experiences Snapshots of Concept-Based Literacy Classrooms Summary Extending Thought 5. Frequently Asked Questions Resources Resource A: Model CBCI Curriculum Units Resource B: Sample Graphic Organizers Resource C: Student Reflection and Self-Assessment of Process Resource D: Other Tools to Support Concept-Based Literacy Lesson Design Resource E: Developing Concept-Based Teacher/Student Rubrics References Index

About the Author

Lois A. Lanning, PhD, is an independent education consultant. She presents and works with districts at the international, national, and state levels in the areas of literacy and Concept- Based Curriculum design. This book is a natural extension of her three previous best-selling books in the Corwin Press Publisher's Concept-Based collection, including Designing a Concept-Based Curriculum for English Language Arts (2013), by Lois A. Lanning; Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom (2nd ed., 2017), by H. Lynn Erickson, Lois A. Lanning, and Rachel French; and Transitioning to Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction (2014), by H. Lynn Erickson and Lois A. Lanning. In addition, Lois is the author of the bestselling book, Four Powerful Strategies for Struggling Readers, Grades 3-8: Small Group Instruction That Improves Comprehension, a joint publication between Corwin Press and the International Reading Association (2009), and a chapter in The Best of Corwin: Differentiated Instruction in Literacy, Math, and Science (2011), Leslie Laud, Editor. Lois was a classroom teacher, K-12 reading consultant, special education teacher, elementary school principal, district curriculum director, adjunct professor, and finally, an assistant superintendent of schools for the last 12 years of her career in public schools. Lois is the recipient of numerous educational awards and recognitions. Her hobbies include reading, biking, hiking, and traveling. Lois currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband. She has two children and two grandsons, whom she absolutely adores. Tiffanee M. Brown, MS SpEd, is an educational consultant, National Board Certified English language arts teacher, and a teacher-leader in her school district. As an independent Dr. H. Lynn Erickson and Dr. Lois A. Lanning Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction Presenter and Trainer, she presents and works with districts at both the regional and international levels. Through her current position as an Instructional Design Consultant Teacher on the Teaching and Learning Team for Burlington-Edison School District in Burlington, Washington, Tiffanee leads the development of the district's Concept-Based Curriculum in science, social studies, and English language arts, supports K-12 learning design and literacy across the district, and she facilitates the new teacher induction program. Dr. Lois A. Lanning's Designing a Concept-Based Curriculum for English Language Arts (2013, Corwin) forever changed Tiffanee's perspective on teaching and learning, and set her passion for transforming literacy instruction in motion. She is thrilled to be the co-author of this book to support other teachers as they strive to engage the hearts and minds of students. Tiffanee has contributed examples and resources to several recent books published by Corwin including, Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom, 2nd Edition (Erickson, Lanning, and French, 2017), Concept-Based Inquiry in Action (Marshall and French, 2018) and Measuring Human Return (McEachen and Kane, 2018). Before transitioning to her current position, Tiffanee taught English language arts, social studies, reading interventions, service learning, leadership, and various other classes at the middle and high school levels. She is the recipient of numerous educator grants. Tiffanee and her husband currently live in Washington with their two very active children. When she is not taking her kids to soccer tournaments, or basketball games, she enjoys reading, gardening, snow skiing, traveling, and pretty much anything else outdoors.


How fortunate we are as educators to have this brilliant collaboration between Lois Lanning and Tiffanee Brown on Concept-Based Literacy Lesson development! To read their deep thinking and practical applications to Concept-Based Lesson Design, is to realize the critical nature of each student's conceptual understanding and ability to transfer. This book, as well as Dr. Lanning's earlier book (2013) on Designing Concept-Based Curriculum for English Language Arts, are cutting-edge. Literacy is not a decontextualized drill of skills or learning just about "a book." You will highlight, ponder, and tab as you read about the design of Concept-Based Literacy Lessons. You will feel the excitement of this intellectual and engaging approach to teaching and learning. You will create your own exciting lesson plans and will know this is the holistic literacy approach you have been searching for. All students deserve the best literacy instruction-and this IS the BEST.

-- H. Lynn Erickson

"How do we create 'thinking' classrooms and put theory into action? Templates to build lessons, rubrics to guide our thinking, and examples upon examples are used to help us transform rather than replace what we say and do in our classrooms. This is the 'how to' book that will be the treasured resource for 21st century educators."

-- Connie Walser

Moving Literacy Beyond Skills to Understanding and Transfer is a user-friendly text that invites deeper thinking. Even though I lack familiarity with Concept-Based Curriculum, it provided ample explanation and support and made me to want to know more. This is definitely a title I will suggest to our Reading Coach and ELA faculty.

-- Melissa A. Campbell, 4th Grade Classroom Teacher, Williams Avenue Elementary School, Fort Payne, AL

This is an excellent book for teachers of all levels of experience. Each time I felt a bit of confusion about how I would incorporate this into my teaching there was an example or story that helped me. These moments are strategically placed to help teachers understand that they can do this type of work, it just requires a shift in thinking. I would like to use this to help teachers create lessons to foster understanding and transfer.

-- Barbara Smith, Reading Teacher 3-6, Cutchogue East Elementary School, Cutchogue, NY

Moving Literacy delivers what it promises. The easy- to- read chapters lead the teacher from the excitement of understanding Concept-Based Curriculum back to the classroom with concrete examples and tools to design concept-based lessons. It's the all-too-often skipped step in creating meaningful change.

-- Kathleen Swift, High School English Teacher, Newtown High School, Sandy Hook, CT

This is a fantastic resource for teachers eager to learn how to incorporate concept-based learning in their literacy classrooms. By providing a clear unit framework, a wealth of concrete examples of lessons, engaging activities, and coaching tips to apply to your own planning, this book enables you to add a new dimension to your instruction while still maintaining ownership of your own teaching.

-- Caity Lehman, Grade 5-7 English Subject Coordinator, Colegio Anglo Colombiano, Bogota, Colombia

It is well understood that both achievement and income gaps largely disappear between racial groups when factoring in literacy level. We know that our schools must be producing careful thinkers, close readers, and concise writers in order to address the equity issues in our country. But, we have not found a way to translate this understanding into the daily learning experiences of our children...until now. Concept-based Literacy Lessons finally provides teachers with the fundamental learning design and array of strategies that are necessary to help each and every child develop critical literacy skills and understandings. Moving beyond proficiency on standardized literacy assessments, students educated based on the elements of this book will learn to how to leverage their voices, written and oral, in support of their own big ideas. They will understand the true power of being truly literate!

-- K. C. Knudson

The growing consensus among educators of the need for deeper learning and more meaningful lesson design has sparked much in the way of instructional theory and comparatively little in the way of practical instructional support. Lanning and Brown shift the focus to how--this book offers teachers a timely and straightforward approach to the design of dynamic learning experiences that support learning transfer, investigation, and meaning creation.

-- Joanne McEachen and Matt Kane

Concept-Based Literacy Lessons: Designing Learning to Ignite Understanding and Transfer Grades 4-10 provides us first hand experiences in developing and teaching effective Concept-Based units and lessons. Lois and Tiffanee have created this brilliant pathway that incorporates model lessons and scaffolds to effectively support educators in getting to the practicality of "what does this looks like on a daily basis?", while allowing for teachers' creativity, passions and expertise to be honored. This book is like the "user's guide" to Concept-Based, and will lead you step by step to create rich, deep learning experiences that engage our students' hearts and minds.

-- Mischelle Darragh
Where other resources on the market focus on theory alone, Dr. Lois Lanning and Tiffanee Brown's newest book provides teachers with a practical approach to guide literacy lesson design. Co-authors Lanning and Brown emphasize the critical importance of a Concept-Based classroom that blends both inquiry and explicit skill instruction so that students learn to transfer their ideas across content areas. The model lessons and "Snapshots" will inspire teachers who want to design purposeful lessons that cultivate students' conceptual understandings. -- Dr. Lorrie Rodrigue, Superintendent Newtown Public Schools

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