I am doing a demo lesson on Thursday for 8th grade. I have an advantage because I work at the school already as a para but of course I want to wow them. My guidelines are the topic should be about Ireland and it should involve higher-order thinking. I talked to the current teacher and they are finishing up research papers (not about Ireland) so there is nothing I can really build on from there. They have not started their Ireland unit so they have no "set" background knowledge. I am trying to find an independent inferencing activity. I plan to review inferencing with a "garbage bag" group activity, followed by a quick lesson on the Irish Potato Famine. I am going to copy a passage from Nory Ryan's Song and play the book on CD while we read along. Next, I am going to do some higher-level, inferencing questioning. To end, I am going to do exit slips and ask them to make a prediction. I am not sure what do as an independent activity between the passage and the predictions. I only have 45 minutes so I feel like I have a lot to cover and I could maybe skip the independent work but rumor has it the Ps really like to see a mix of independent and group activities. Any ideas? I'd rather not do a worksheet but I feel like I don't have enough time with them to do any much more complicated! Thank you so much!