Today we continued working on paraphrasing text. The point is to read text, comprehend it, and then take evidence from a text to use in written answers.
Today we began reading short sections of nonfiction text discussing tap water. We went through our paraphrasing guidelines (pictured below), numbered the sentences in the section, and then orally rehearsed how we would paraphrase a single sentence.
I shared with students sample paraphrased sentences, and we compared them to the text to see if they were adequately different.
Students quickly realized paraphrasing is harder than it seems. We heard accidental plagiarism several times during oral rehearsal.
Here is the first section of the text:
Tap Water Is Safer Than You Think
(1) Although the taste (and even appearance) may make you believe otherwise, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the U.S. has the safest drinking water supply in the world. (2) More than 286 million Americans get their water from a community water system. (3) These systems are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means that they have to meet strict safety standards. (4) No matter where you live in the U.S., the tap water supply is safe according to EPA regulations.
Here are the paraphrased exemplar sentences I shared with students and that we discussed. Note sentences are numbered so you can see the original and paraphrased version.
(1) People in America might think tap water is bad for you. (2) But the U.S. has the safest drinking water in the world says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Community water systems” provide water for most Americans. (3) To make sure water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency monitors water agencies. (4) The EPA says all tap water in the United States is safe to drink.
Tonight, students need to paraphrase the next two sections of text-a total of 6 sentences.
PLEASE read your child’s paraphrased sentence and compare it to the original text tonight. Is it different? Did they try to use a different verb? Did they try to switch the subject-verb? Did they use their own words? Or did they borrow heavily using quotes or accidentally plagiarize the text?