Discipline: Social Studies 

Grade Level:6th grade 

Course: World Cultures/Geography 

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Why Canadians Live Where They Live: The Impact of Geography on Population Density in Canada.
  • Cluster 1: Classroom Pre-Instructio
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Cluster 1: Classroom Pre-Instructio

      10 minutes

      Bridging conversation

      Ability to connect the task and new content to existing knowledge, skills, experiences, interests, and concerns.


      In a quick-write, tell which geographic characteristic of Canada has the biggest impact on population density.

      Meets/Does Not Meet

      • None…relies on information from previous lessons. 
  • Cluster 2: Reading Process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Cluster 2: Reading Process

      30 minutes

      Essential vocabulary

      Ability to apply strategies for locating words and phrases essential to key concepts and information.

      Collection of words that students associate with population density 

      Using the phrase "population density," word storm individually, then with your group. See how many vocabulary words you can use.


      • Use various techniques to teach key terms: flashcards, mind maps, pictograms. 
      • Teach word storm strategy (Appendix 1). 

      1 class period

      Active reading and note-taking

      Ability to read purposefully and select relevant information; to summarize and/or paraphrase.

      Written dialog between student covering the facts in the reading

      Read selected articles about population density, have silent conversation about facts in readings.


      • Use silent conversation strategy to focus attention on specific details in reading. (See Appendix 1)

      30 minutes

      Organizing notes 

      Ability to prioritize and narrow notes and other information.

      Completed organizer 

      Use your thesis organizer to write your thesis statement and decide on the evidence that you want to use to support it.

      M/ DNM 

      • See Appendix 2 for thesis organizer.
  • Cluster 3:Transition to Writing
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      10 minutes

      Bridging conversation

      Ability to transition from reading or researching phase.

      Statement identifying most important piece of evidence 

      In a quick write, tell which piece of evidence you think is most compelling.


      • Refer to notes from class and reading to focus on evidence with strongest details.
  • Cluster 4: Writing process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Cluster 4: Writing process

      10–20 minutes

      Initiation of task

      Ability to establish a controlling idea and consolidate information relevant to task.

      Thesis statement

      Write your thesis statement, which should include your controlling idea and the evidence you plan to use to support it. 


      10–20 minutes


      Ability to develop a line of thought and text structure appropriate to an Argumentation task.

      Detailed outline

      Create an outline for your editorial: use the graphic organizer to order your evidence and details in a logical way.


      • Use graphic organizer for persuasive/argumentative writing. (See Appendix 3) 
      • Students use notes and reading from class to flesh out evidence with details.

      1 class period


      Ability to construct an initial draft with an emerging line of thought and structure. 

      Rough draft of editorial 

      Use your graphic organizer to write your editorial. Remember to turn your thoughts into complete sentences!

      Completion grade 

      • Students use web-based writing website (Criterion) to write rough draft and correct grammar/usage mistakes. 

      30 minutes


      Ability to apply revision strategies to refine development of argument, including line of thought, language usage, and tone as appropriate to audience and purpose.

      Drafts demonstrating use of revision strategies to improve initial draft. Stays on task.

      Use checklist on rough draft to revise your essay. Use the activity cards to make sure that your argument is strong and doesn't drift, to use stronger verbs, add adjectives and adverbs and use stylistic devises.

      Completion grade

      • Small and class group reviews 
      • Peer and teacher conferencing

      20 minutes


      Ability to apply editing strategies and presentation applications.

      Presentation demonstrating effective application of an editing strategy to improve some aspect of the essay 

      Demonstrate to your group how you revised or edited a section of your paper and explain why.

      No grade 

      • Proofreading: error analysis, topic focus 
      • Editing methods: sentence combining, eliminating redundancies

      Duration of lesson section

      Final Draft

      Submit your final draft. Did you improve your writing?

      Self assessment 

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