8th Grade Social Studies

Saturday, November 28, 2015
Here's another addition to my "what inclusion looks like in middle school." In Social Studies, we have been studying immigration. Students were asked to write a personal narrative based on the point of view of an immigrant. Students were to find an image of immigrants arriving in a new country and write from the perspective of someone in the image. The personal narrative had to be five paragraphs.

A student using the guiding questions and sentence starters to assist with his writing.
I immediately began putting together a packet that met independent functioning and learning needs. Here the accommodations and modifications that I provided for students in a packet:


  • Checklist of due dates for smaller parts of the essay
  • Sentence starters 
  • Paragraph organizers
  • Guiding questions
  • Image analysis worksheet
  • Modified rubric
  • Pre-selected images (for students who need this support)
  • Electronic copy of the packet
  • Co-Writer 
Depending on the students level, they had to either locate an appropriate image or were given the choice between three pre-selected images. Students afterwards had to analyze the image using an image analysis worksheet, titled "I notice, I wonder."  This helps students find details they might want to include in their writing. Afterwards, they can research about the things they "wondered" about. This research component will assist with creating a historically accurate personal narrative.  

Students using Co-Writer on the iPad to assist with their writing.
In this instance, the student on the right did not know how to spell a word,
the student on the left wanted to "show off" how to use co-writer and
taught student on the right how to use it. Super cute to watch!
Once students complete their analysis, students had to begin drafting their essay. They were given a chicken foot arp aphid organizer to assist with their thinking. Students had to create a claim, locate details or information they wanted to include in each paragraph. I had instructions or a topic for each paragraph that they had to write. Thus, when inputting information, they had some guidance as to what to write or what information to input. For students who need it, iPads and Chromebooks were a viable for students to use. Co-Writer was used with word prediction assistance, and Quizlet was used for students who wanted to use vocabulary words in their essay for a higher grade.

She finished writing her essay and wanted to type it, but did not like typing on the iPad.
We have Chromebooks available for students to use. Unluckily, hers wasn't charged.
She didn't mind sitting on the floor to type it up, using her packet as reference.
In each paragraph section, there was a topic at the top with permitted prompts, guiding questions, ands entrance starters. Students would write out each section and I would check each section on the due date. After each section was complete, students would peer edit with another person. Once permitting was completed, and changes we're made, students would begin typing. Some students had chosen to type their essay instead of handwriting it in the packet, which I allowed. If they were peer editing, they could easily pull it up on a computer and read. Students were told to bold things that should be changed or comment on things that needed additional analysis. 

A student using Co-Writer to assist with her writing.
Overall this was a success. I asked students to write comment cards on this modification to get a temperature check of whether it was an effective approach or not, on average they all thought it was a good modification/accommodation. I'm now putting this on my TeachersPayTeachers store. Check it out! 

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