999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

School Board & Administration



CCSD21 is a school district comprised of 13 schools across 6 different communities in the northwest suburbs of Chicago.



School District 21 prides itself on its Professional Learning Community and its rich tradition of professional collaboration, high levels of professional development, and family-like atmosphere. If you see the opportunity to work with colleagues in making a difference in the lives of students and families in a truly diverse setting, School District 21 seeks your application.

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Language Arts

Reading Literature & Informational Text

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Develop an answer to a question or solve a problem by drawing inferences from the text and using explicit text evidence. (RL & RI 5.1, 5.7 & SL 5.4)
  • Analyze and integrate information from several sources in order to display supported knowledge of the topic/concept when speaking or writing. (RL & RI 5.5, 5.9)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Determine and use reading strategies (e.g., ask questions, make connections, take notes, make inferences, visualize, reread) to help understand difficult, complex text
  • Develop answers to questions and solutions to problems
    • Identify the central question or problem in order to strategize and plan for reading/researching
    • Quote accurately from the text to explain what the text says
    • Read closely and find answers explicitly in text and answers that require an inference to find the answer
    • Quote accurately from a text to defend an inference or analysis (“based on what I’ve read, it’s most likely true that…”)
    • Locate and determine which reasons and evidences support which point in a text
    • Use relevant information from various types of resources to answer questions and solve problems quickly and efficiently
  • Analyze and integrate information from several sources
    • Describe the characteristics of text structures such as chronology, comparison, cause/effect, and problem/solution
    • Compare and contrast the overall structure of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts
    • Identify and use the information found in the visual elements in a text
    • Analyze how visual elements add meaning, create tone, and/or contribute to the beauty of a text
    • Recognize and identify that authors use various formats when presenting information (e.g., graphs, pictures, diagrams, charts, media clips)
    • Objectively summarize what a text says highlighting key points, explicit text evidence and no opinions or feelings
    • Locate relevant and important information from several texts on the same topic
    • Determine the most important and relevant information on a topic using evidence from multiple sources
  • Analyze details in a text (e.g., how characters respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic) to determine a theme (author’s overall message)
  • Identify similar themes and topics found in stories from the same genre
  • Compare and contrast stories in the same genre in terms of how that treat a similar theme or topic
  • Determine two or more main ideas of a text and describe how they are supported by key details
  • Compare and contrast two or more characters, setting, or events in a story using explicit details from the text
  • Describe how individuals, ideas, and events within a scientific, or technical text are connected

*”text” refers to any content introduced through written text, audio, visual media (charts, graphs, diagrams, pictures, video, web pages, etc.)

*”explicit evidence” includes direct quotes, graphic details, paraphrasing, summary of author’s words/ideas


Additional Critical Content

  • Language Development
    • Use various strategies (e.g., context clues, root words, affixes, accessing resources) to determine the meaning of words and phrases
    • Identify, explain, and use various forms of figurative languages (e.g., simile, metaphor, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia)
    • Identify the differences between and the purpose of using literal language and figurative language
  • Explain and analyze narrative text using story elements, point of view, and theme
    • Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text
    • Recognize that chapters are found in stories, scenes are found in dramas, and stanzas are found in poems
    • Explain how chapters, scenes, and stanzas fit together to form stories, dramas, or poems
    • Identify basic narrator/author points of view as: first person, second person, or third person
    • Determine an author’s perspective on a topic and explain his/her purpose for writing the text
    • Analyze how various authors develop the same event or topic and determine how each author’s point of view affects the text


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Effective readers use a variety of strategies to make sense of key ideas presented in text.
  • Analyzing texts for structure, purpose, and viewpoint allows an effective reader to gain insight and strengthen understanding.
  • To gain keener insight into the integration of knowledge and ideas, effective readers analyze and evaluate content, reasoning, and claims in diverse formats.
  • Students who are college and career ready read and interpret a variety of complex tasks with confidence and independence.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What do good readers do?
  • What are the strategies good readers use when he/she doesn’t understand what is being read?
  • How do good readers make relevant and supported inferences
  • What makes a resource credible?
  • What is theme?
  • What are the elements of a plot?
  • What are different structures found in fiction and non-fiction texts?
  • What is the difference between citation, quote, paraphrase, and plagiarism?
  • What is the difference between what the text explicitly say and what the text implies?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does a reader monitor his/her own comprehension?
  • What makes some text evidence better than other text evidence?
  • How does the author’s point of view influence the reader’s understanding?
  • What happens to a reader’s ideas as he/she reads various resources on the same topic?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • What makes a story “great”?
  • Why is using more than one source a better way to do research?
  • How much information is sufficient?
  • Is it possible to have an incorrect inference?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Reading as a process

  • Comprehension
  • Main idea
  • Sequence of ideas
  • Supportive details
  • Inference
  • Predicting outcomes
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Recognizing emotions
  • Seeing cause and effect
  • Distinguishing fact from fiction
  • Recognizing propaganda
  • Self-monitoring


Non-cognitive transfer

  • Attention
  • Listening
  • Concentration
  • Persistence
  • Task Completion


Self-esteem transfer

  • Being literate
  • Feeling capable
  • Possessing specific competencies
  • Achieving
  • Believing in one’s ability to learn


Common among all languages

  • Develop Oral Language
  • Match speech to print
  • Contextualized literacy instruction
  • Meaningful
  • Active
  • Comparative
  • Recurrent


English language specific

  • Linear deductive discourse pattern
  • See critical and additional content


Spanish language specific

  • Table of contents located in back of many Spanish texts
  • Dialect
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Figurative language
    • Alliteration
    • Metaphors
    • Similies
  • Narrative story structure
  • Cognate patterns
  • Nouns, adjectives, infinitive verbs, adverbs
  • ApĆ³cope (abbreviations) and contractions
  • Latin and Greek roots
  • Specific affixes
  • Word structures (nouns, verbs)
  • Adjectives, comparatives, and superlatives (bueno, mejor que, el/la mejor)
  • Word patterns
  • Understand speech-print connections between sounds and symbols
  • Decoding accent marks appropriately
  • Heed punctuation
  • Phrasing
  • Expression
  • Fluency
  • Syllabication
  • Asonante consonante
  • Verb conjugation and inflection
  • Verb and adjective gener and number agreement
  • Irregular verbs
  • Code-switching
  • El/La (articles that reflect number and gender)
  • Word order patterns
  • Cognates
  • Dialects (regional dialects)
  • Tildes


English language development

  • Linear deductive discourse pattern
  • Background knowledge to make sense of and communicate what they see and what they read
    • Prior knowledge of English language
    • Use the first language to help with L2
    • Metalinguistic awareness
  • Build academic oral-language foundation
  • Build basic interpersonal language foundation
  • Contextualized and authentic language/literacy


Russian language specific

  • Discourse pattern: Situational, always changes; sometimes one way, next time rearrange story and give different version; may appear to others to be inconsistent because of changes in discourse pattern


Polish language specific

  • Discourse pattern reflective of Polish culture



Informal Assessments are used during the process of brainstorming, drafting, revision and editing or class discussions.

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Demonstrate comprehension by speaking and writing what they read
  • Reading response journals
  • Anecdotal records during 1-1, small group, whole class discussions and/or short writing prompts:
    • Use of text evidence to support thinking
    • Use of academic, domain-specific language
    • Provides focused answers to questions and gives relevant and explicit text evidence as support
    • Identification of main ideas and important supporting details
    • Supports inferential thinking with explicit text evidence from multiple sources
    • Defends why some evidence is better than other evidence
  • Students use of text structures graphic organizers (chronological, compare/contrast, cause/effect, and problem/solution)


Formal Assessments are used as a measure of student achievement towards mastery of a skill and Power Standard. Often a formal assessment will result in a grade.

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Demonstrate comprehension by speaking and writing what they read
  • Produce answers to questions supported by explicit text evidence
  • Produce solutions to complex problems using explicit and supportive text evidence
  • Create an analysis of a topic or idea using information and explicit text evidence from multiple, credible sources