Appendix E: Differentiation
Throughout the lesson, teachers can differentiate through content, process, product and learning environment according to students' readiness, interest and learning profile. Teachers may incorporate a variety of differentiation strategies to accommodate diverse learning styles.
For more ideas on differentiation, read these tips: Working With Readers at Different Levels (PDF).
Consider grouping students for activities. Group and regroup, considering not only reading ability but also interest level and a student’s ability to work cooperatively.
- Use frequent formative assessments.
- Vary materials.
- Use graphic organizers when needed.
- Be flexible with time in terms of students’ needs.
- Allow multiple options for assignments.
- Value multiple forms of intelligence.
- Scaffold reading.
- Use independent studies.
- Use learning contracts.
- Provide multiple means of engagement.
Lesson Specific Differentiation
Explore the Colonies (student lesson page 3)
Small groups may benefit from a close reading of the settlement descriptions to identify the successes and failures that were due to the settlement’s geographic location. Students may also need to read about the types of diseases that were common in the area at the time so that they can see if there is a connection to the geographic characteristics.
To understand the food source for Roanoke, students will need to understand the geographic location. Students can also identify that starvation could be related to geographic location.
- What was the source of food in Roanoke?
- What could have happened to the food supply?
- What was the source of food in the area of Roanoke?
In the Jamestown description, students should identify that the limited access to fresh water was due to the proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. The success of the Jamestown settlement was partly due to soil that was appropriate for growing tobacco.
Small-group close reading will ensure that students realize that the choice of settling in the Wapanoag village was due to geographic location. Ask students to read closely to identify the geographic features that led to the decision to settle in the abandoned Wapanoag village.
Another option is to ask students to jigsaw the reading. Divide students into four groups and assign each group a settlement to research. Once they have read about their settlement and completed the column on their settlement, form groups of four, with one student from each settlement research group. Have students share their findings with their group-mates.
Circulate to monitor student understanding and gauge whether students need clarification on certain understandings before continuing.
Describe a Settlement (student lesson page 4)
Provide students with a graphic organizer and rubric for informative text.