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

  • Ask and answer questions (who, what, where, when why, and how) to determined understanding of key details in a text referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. (RL & RI 2.1, 2.7 & SL 2.3)
  • Recount/retell the main idea, central message lesson or moral by providing text evidence from fiction and nonfiction texts. (RL & RI 2.2 & SL 2.4)
  • Know and use various text features to efficiently locate key facts or information in a text in order to identify the main purpose and understanding of the text. (RL & RI 2.5, 2.6)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Ask and answer who, what, where, when, why, and how questions about texts in a variety of genres before, during and after reading
  • Recount (retell stories, including fables, and folktales from cultures other than one’s own
  • Determine the central message, lesson, or moral (idea an author is trying to share) of these stories
  • Define topic or main idea (who or what the text is mostly about)
  • Read stories with more than one paragraph and explain the topic or main idea of each paragraph
  • Recognize that a story has a beginning, middle, and end
  • Describe how the characters, setting, and action are introduced in a story
  • Describe how the events at the end of a story let one know what happened to the characters
  • Identify and use text features (captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, menus, and graphics) to locate key information in texts
  • Recognize that different characters have different points of view (attitude or feelings) and different voices
  • Show different points of view by changing one’s voice when reading dialogue for each character aloud
  • Understand the main purpose of a text and explain what the author of a text wants to inform, explain, or describe

*”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

  • Identify and describe how characters react to events and challenges from a variety of genres
  • Identify and explain how historical events, scientific concepts and/or steps in a scientific process are connected in a text
  • Define and describe how techniques like beat, rhyme, repetition, and alliteration provide a story, poem, or song with rhythm and meaning
  • Use information and words in a story to help describe the characters, setting, or plot
  • Identify specific points the author makes in a text
  • Describe the reasons the author uses to support each point
  • Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story by different authors and cultures
  • Compare and contrast the most important points presented by two texts on the same topic
  • Recognize when the text being read is too easy or too difficult
  • Use reading strategies (ask questions, make connections, make inferences, visualize or reread text) to find more information or clarify ideas in order to help understand difficult complex text


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Reading texts critically – analyzing the author’s purpose, exploring the relationship between a work’s structure and meaning, and connecting the work to ideas outside the text – improves the reader’s comprehension, thinking and writing.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What strategies does one use to be an effective reader?
  • How does one monitor one’s own comprehension?
  • How does one know one understands what one just read?
  • Author’s choice: Why does it matter?
  • Who’s telling the story? (perspective)

Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • In what ways does author’s purpose impact an audience?
  • How is the story affected by who is telling the story?
  • How does a reader determine the main idea of a text?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • Does the main idea depend of who is reading it?
  • What is more important for understanding text: What the text says or how the reader interprets it?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Reading as a process

  • Understanding speech-print relationships
  • Concepts of words, syllables, sentences and paragraphs
  • Comprehension (thinking skills)
  • Rule governed aspects of reading
  • Study skills
  • Main idea
  • Sequence of ideas
  • Supportive details
  • Inference
  • Predicting outcomes
  • Drawing conclusions


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

  • Figurative language
  • Text structures
  • Cultural norms


Spanish language specific

  • Letters specific to Spanish:
    • Ch, ll, ñ, r, rr
  • Punctuation
    • ¿?
    • ¡!
    • -dialogue-
  • Speech print connection between sounds and symbols
    • Accent marks
    • Diphthongs: various combinations
    • Vowel combinations
    • Dieresis
    • Tildes
    • Alphabets
    • Consonants
    • Syllable pattern (CV and CVCV)
    • Hard and Soft Sounds
    • Stressed syllables
    • Palabras Llanas
    • Palabras Agudas
    • Palabras Esdrújulas
    • Palabras Sobresdrújulas


English language development

  • Background knowledge to make sense of and communicate what they see and what they read.
    • Prior knowledge of English Language
    • Use of first language to help with L2
    • Meta-linguistic awareness
  • Build academic oral-language foundation
  • Build basic interpersonal language foundation
  • Contextualized and authentic language/literacy

Russian language specific

  • See Critical Content above


Polish language specific

  • See Critical Content above



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
  • Anecdotal notes from a variety of settings (whole-group, small-group, independent journal entries) reflecting the students’ ability to:
    • Use of text evidence to support thinking
    • Use of academic, domain-specific language
    • Make logical inferences
  • Ask and answer questions before, during, and after reading a text
  • Reading response journals
  • Use reading strategies to help understand difficult complex text (e.g., ask questions, make text connections, take notes, make inferences, visualize, re-read)


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…

  • Retelling: oral and written
  • DRA2 (English) or EDL2 (Spanish)
  • MAP