As students will have previous exposure to the historical themes and factual information about the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the United States involvement in WWII, and the internment of Japanese in camps throughout the western United States, this lesson exemplar will allow students to participate in critical discussion of two stories that illuminate important, yet divergent, experiences of war and conflict. This lesson exemplar will push students to think critically about the experience of wartime as felt by both soldiers and civilians as they navigated specific trials that were a part of their direct or peripheral involvement in WWII. This close reading exemplar is intended to model how teachers can support their students as they undergo the kind of careful reading the Common Core State Standards require. Teachers are encouraged to take these exemplars and modify them to suit the needs of their students.
Making Evidence-Based Claims ELA/Literacy Units empower students with a critical reading and writing skill at the heart of the Common Core: making evidence-based claims about complex texts. These units are part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Program. This unit develops students' abilities to make evidence-based claims through activities based on a close reading of the first chapter of W.E.B. Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk.
The Listening and Learning Strand consists of a series of read_alouds organized by topics (called domains), many of which are informational in nature. The goal of the Listening and Learning Strand is for students to acquire language competence through listening, specifically building a rich vocabulary, and broad knowledge in history and science by being exposed to carefully selected, sequenced, and coherent read_alouds. The 9 units (or domains) provide lessons (including images and texts), as well as instructional objectives, core vocabulary, and assessment materials. The domain topics include: Fighting for a Cause; Fairy Tales and Tall Tales; Cycles in Nature; Insects; Ancient Greek Civilizations; Greek Myths; Charlotte's Web; and Immigration.
This module uses literature and informational text such as "My Librarian Is a Camel" to introduce students to the power of literacy and how people around the world access books. This module is intentionally designed to encourage students to embrace a love of literacy and reading. There are 3 units in this module. Unit 1 explores the question ĺăĄWhy do people seek the power of reading?ĺăĺ In unit 2 students explore their own ĺăĄpowers of readingĺăĺ that help them access text. And unit 3 explores how geography impacts readersĺăĚă access to books.
These curriculum materials for Grade 7 English Language Arts are separated by the full curriculum Modules (developed by Expeditionary Learning for New York State) and Units in the Developing Core Proficiencies Series (developed by Odell Education for New York State). The resources include Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum: Appendix 1: Teaching Practices and Protocols; Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum: Appendix 2: Graphic Organizers; and a Grades 6-8 English Language Arts Curriculum Map.
These curriculum materials for Grade 8 English Language Arts include Units in the Developing Core Proficiencies Series (developed by Odell Education for New York State) as well as Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum: Appendix 1: Teaching Practices and Protocols; Grades 6-8 ELA Curriculum: Appendix 2: Graphic Organizers; and a Grades 6-8 English Language Arts Curriculum Map.
In Module 10.1, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts and explore how complex characters develop through their interactions with each other, and how these interactions develop central ideas such as parental and communal expectations, self-perception and performance, and competition and learning from mistakes.
In Module 10.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 10.1 and 10.2, students explore topics that have multiple positions and perspectives by gathering and analyzing research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which will serve as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper that synthesizes and articulates several claims with valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.
In this module, students read, discuss, and analyze literary and nonfiction texts focusing on how central ideas develop and interact within a text. Students also explore the impact of authors’ choices regarding how to develop and relate elements within a text.
In Module 11.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative process for research. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 11.1 and 12.2, students explore topics that have multiple positions and perspectives by gathering and analyzing research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which will serve as the early foundation of what will ultimately become a written research-based argument paper. The research-based argument paper synthesizes and articulates several claims using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence to support the claims. Students read and analyze sources to surface potential problem-based questions for research, and develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing.
In Module 12.3, students engage in an inquiry-based, iterative research process that serves as the basis of a culminating research-based argument paper. Building on work with evidence-based analysis in Modules 12.1 and 12.2, students use a seed text to surface and explore issues that lend themselves to multiple positions and perspectives. Module 12.3 fosters students’ independent learning by decreasing scaffolds in key research lessons as students gather and analyze research based on vetted sources to establish a position of their own. Students first generate a written evidence-based perspective, which serves as the early foundation of what will ultimately become their research-based argument paper.
In this module, students will use literacy skills to build expertise—using reading, writing, listening, speaking, and collaborative skills to build and share deep knowledge about a topic. This focus on research intentionally builds on Module 1, in which students explored the superpowers of reading. Specifically, students will seek evidence of culture, which can be thought of as the story of a group of people constructed through the generations; it can be evidenced through ancient and modern-day customs and traditions. The module will begin with a class study of the culture of Japan: Students will read Magic Tree House: Dragon of the Red Dawn, a book set in ancient Japan, paired with Exploring Countries: Japan, an informational text about modern Japan.
In this eight-week module, students explore the questions: “Who is the wolf in fiction?” and “Who is the wolf in fact?” They begin by analyzing how the wolf is characterized in traditional stories, folktales, and fables. Then they research real wolves by reading informational text. Finally, for their performance task, students combine their knowledge of narratives with their research on wolves to write a realistic narrative about wolves.
In this eight-week module, students will learn about poetry and poets through close reading and writing to learn. Throughout the module, they will determine the characteristics of poetry and consider what inspires writers and poets. Students begin in Unit 1 by reading the first half of the novel Love That Dog by Sharon Creech. Students follow the main character, Jack, as he learns about poetry and begins to write his own. Students closely read and analyze poems Jack reads, including “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowing Evening” by Robert Frost. Throughout this unit, students track what Jack is learning about poetry alongside their own learning though these close readings. They also experiment with writing their own poetry inspired by their reading. Students practice summarizing the events in the novel and discuss how the main character’s attitude toward poetry begins to change in this half of the novel. In Unit 2, students engage in deeper analysis of Jack’s character and his inspiration through extended discussion prompts. They also learn to write informational paragraphs in order to summarize larger portions of the text. For the mid-unit 2 assessment, they write a summary of the entire novel.
In this eight-week module, students explore animal defense mechanisms. They build proficiency in writing an informative piece, examining the defense mechanisms of one specific animal about which they build expertise. Students also build proficiency in writing a narrative piece about this animal. In Unit 1, students build background knowledge on general animal defenses through close readings of several informational texts. Students will read closely to practice drawing inferences as they begin their research and use a science journal to make observations and synthesize information. Students will continue to use the science journal, using the millipede as a whole class model. They begin to research an expert animal in preparation to write about this animal in Units 2 and 3, again using the science journal. In Unit 2, students will continue to build expertise about their animal and its defense mechanisms, writing the first part of the final performance task—an informative piece describing their animal, the threats to its survival, and how it is equipped to deal with them. With their new knowledge about animal defenses from Unit 1, students will read informational texts closely, using the same science journal to synthesize information about their animal. Unit 3 allows students to apply their research from Units 1 and 2 to write a narrative piece about their animal that incorporates their research. This narrative will take the format of a choose-your-own-adventure. For their performance task, students will plan, draft, and revise the introduction and one choice ending of the narrative with the support of both peer and teacher feedback. The second choice ending will be planned, written, and revised on-demand for the end of unit assessment.
This module—intended to be used in conjunction with a Social Studies unit about Latin America—features a close read of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World (1160L)* by Kathryn Lasky. This beautifully illustrated informational text describes the work of scientists documenting the biodiversity of rainforests. The specific literacy focus is on reading scientific and technical text as well as writing to inform and explain. In the first unit, students build basic background knowledge about the rainforest (particularly those of the Western Hemisphere), and begin to examine how scientists closely observe the natural world to then help them communicate their research through carefully organized and worded scientific text. Unit 2 focuses on a case study of Meg Lowman, the researcher featured in The Most Beautiful Roof in the World. Students then analyze the structure and function of scientific field guides and filed journals determining what quality field guides and journals look and sound like. Students research about a living thing that scientist Meg Lowman may encounter in the rainforest in her research and write with clear and effective word choice about their chosen insect of the rainforest. As the final performance task, students produce an informational report and then field journal–style pages intended for younger readers.
In this module, students explore how native Inuit and other people of Canada have used the natural resources available to meet their needs. In Unit 1, students read The Inuit Thought of It: Amazing Arctic Innovations, by Alootook Ipellie with David MacDonald, to learn about how the native Inuit people of Canada used natural resources in the Arctic to adapt and meet the needs of their community hundreds of years ago. In Unit 2, students read and view a variety of informational texts and media, including graphs, charts, and maps, to examine how the resources available in Canada today are used to develop products that meet the needs and wants of people in Canada and throughout the Western Hemisphere.
In this eight-week, research-based module, students explore the benefits and harmful consequences of the use of the controversial pesticide DDT. In Unit 1, students begin the novel Frightful’s Mountain (640L) by Jean Craighead George. Students will read closely to practice citing evidence and drawing inferences from this compelling text as they begin to think about the interactions between people and the natural world. They also will read informational texts and watch videos to gather evidence and trace arguments about the uses, benefits, and harmful consequences of DDT, its affects on the environment, and its use in the battle against malaria. At the end of this unit, students will participate in a Fishbowl discussion to begin to articulate their evidence-based opinions about the central question: “Do the benefits of DDT outweigh its harmful consequences?” In Unit 2, students will read the remainder of the novel, focusing on the how the main character, Frightful, is affected by the actions of other people and her own interactions with the natural world. Students also will engage in a research project, continuing to explore the central question of the module. Students will read several complex texts, both print and digital, in order to collect relevant information in a structured researcher’s notebook. To help them grapple with this issue, students learn a decision-making process called “Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making” (see the end of this document for details). This process will help students understand the implications of various choices, and will scaffold their ability to determine—based on evidence and their own values—what they believe can and should happen. Unit 2 culminates with students synthesizing all their reading thus far in order to make and present their own evidence-based claim about the use of DDT. In Unit 3, students choose the most compelling evidence and write a position paper in which they support the claim they made (at the end of Unit 2). As a mid-unit assessment, students will submit their best draft of this position paper. As an end of unit assessment, students will submit a published copy, as well as a reflection on the writing process. As the final performance task, students share their findings by creating a scientific poster and presenting that poster to peers during a hosted gallery.
This eight-week module focuses on a “science and society” topic, engaging students in reading compelling informational text about water sustainability, fresh water management, and how to make evidence-based decisions. In Unit 1, students read the article “Water Is Life” by Barbara Kingsolver as well as excerpts from The Big Thirst by Charles Fishman to build background knowledge about water sustainability and water management. Students determine main ideas and evidence in diverse media and clarify the issue of why humans need to manage water better. They also trace arguments and evaluate the soundness of reasoning and the sufficiency and relevancy of evidence in the texts and media that they engage with in this unit. In Unit 2, students participate in a robust research project in which they investigate the strategies of better agricultural and industrial water management. This research begins with students reading more excerpts from The Big Thirst to scaffold their research skills. Then students conduct internet-based research. To organize their research sources and information, students use a researcher’s notebook. Once they have finished gathering information, students analyze the impact of water management strategies.
In this module, students engage with literature and nonfiction texts that develop central ideas of guilt, obsession, and madness, among others. Building on work with evidence-based analysis and debate in Module 1, students will produce evidence-based claims to analyze the development of central ideas and text structure. Students will develop and strengthen their writing by revising and editing, and refine their speaking and listening skills through discussion-based assessments.