Stephen Krensky in his book Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Journey of John Quincy Adams gives an accurate illustration of John Adams’ journey to France accompanied by his son Johnny Quincy Adams long before he made it as America’s sixth president (Krensky, 2004). The aim of their trip was to gain support during the revolution and affairs between America and England. Before finally reaching the shores of their destination, their trip was, however, marred with sicknesses, attacks by English frigates and multiple storms. Most importantly to note, Krensky used the actual information written by John Adams in his diary. This makes the book an accurate account of the escapades of this great man and his son in the sea. It is an open, exciting, and easy to understand book as the account is given through the eyes of a young boy on his first real tour overseas. Through this book and comprehensive research concerning fluency reading plans, this paper presents a 5-day mini unit of study with a plan for developing students' fluency.
The beginning of the unity of study takes place on Monday focusing on vocabulary words and oral communication. Each student should participate in reading the text aloud in class with the teacher pausing periodically to make a reflection on the choice of the words of the author in relation to the assigned vocabulary. After reading the text, the teacher should use particular vocabulary cards relating to the story to go through ten allotted vocabulary words appearing in the text. Each card should have the word and its definition, particularly where found and a picture. The students should be allowed to individually work on a vocabulary worksheet after the discussion of the vocabulary in class.
Tuesday’s class should focus on word patterns and analysis. The teacher will facilitate a discussion on the reasons and the way every word was utilized in the story. Other discussions will entail how and why they utilize these words in other sentences and also replace them with different though similar words. Later, students should be instructed to rewrite the story in groups. The teacher will issue the assigned pages of the book with the vocabulary words and particular sentences underscored. The students will be asked to substitute the words with similar ones and completely rewrite the picked sentences but still retain the meaning of the story.
The lesson on Wednesday will focus on fluency where the teacher will teach the students the significance of sounding out complex words and make corrections in case they mispronounce them. Students will be required to read their rewritten work as a class. Afterwards, they should be divided into groups of two and given short American Revolution centered books to read out loud to one another. They should help each other to sound out hard words and correct the mispronunciations of one another (Krensky, 2004).
Thursday’s class centers on reading comprehension. The students will be required to read the book as a class for the last time with the teacher stopping them periodically to deliberate cause and effect. Additionally, the teacher will emphasize the significance of visualization and how it considerably increases understanding of the text during reading. Students will then be required to individually complete a worksheet entailing cause and effect problems and text particular visualization.
The unit of the study will conclude on Friday during Friday’s lesson. The teacher will recap all the main lessons discussed during the week along with the text itself. Consequently, each student will be required to work on a five paragraph essay explaining why or why not an individual should read the book Dangerous Crossing: The Revolutionary Voyage of John Quincy Adams. To do this, they must use at least one of the vocabularies discussed during the week in each paragraph and explain what they see as the main cause and effect moment of the story. They will also be required to demonstrate one color picture visualization with an aid of a quote from the text.
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