Monday, August 28, 2017

FBI Headquarters: A Reading Assessment

On Friday, I transformed my classroom into FBI Headquarters for a reading lesson on character analysis.  This activity was extremely engaging for my 5th graders, allowed me to formatively assess in a unique way, and aligned with CCSS.

In reading class, we have been focusing on inferring character traits and identifying text evidence to support our claims.  I had guided the students in group discussions, and we had completed various graphic organizers together.  It was time to see what the students could do on their own.

Each student/secret agent was given an FBI Top Secret file with his/her assigned special number on it.
I laminated the files so that I can reuse them, and I included the following letter inside:
When the students returned from special area, they needed to gain clearance to enter our Secret Agent room where they would investigate literary suspects on the loose!
I used the app, Fingerprint Check, to scan each potential agent to ensure they had no criminal background.
Once cleared, the agents signed their badges and received a special pencil before heading inside the room:
Final instructions were shared before the agents were escorted inside by "FBI Director Bowman."  Spy music was playing in the background, and the following picture was projected onto the Promethean board:
The agents used individual flashlights to work in our dimly lit room:
Inside each "Top Secret" file were excerpts from two books along with two graphic organizers:
I used excerpts from the following four books: Frindle by Andrew Clements; Wonder by R.J. Palacio; The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White; and The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O'Connor.  Students who were sitting side-by-side had different excerpts so as to avoid the temptation to copy another's work.  I also adjusted the selections based on my students' reading ability.
The students were SO focused and immediately began working.  They took their jobs very seriously, and I didn't hear a peep out of them for the full 40 minutes that they were allotted!  
A few of the agents did have to ask the FBI Director for some guidance; that was absolutely fine!  I was able to see which students could work independently and which students needed more support.  
Overall, I was impressed with their work and especially with their behavior.  My special agents worked diligently and took their jobs seriously.   
One proud FBI Director.

1 comment:

  1. I love this and want to do it too! I so miss teaching with you!