999 West Dundee Road
Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

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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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Fourth Grade

Reading Literature & Informational Text

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Use explicit text evidence to describe and draw inferences in order to explain how both contribute to an understanding of the text. (RL & RI 4.1, 4.7 & 4.4)
  • Interpret information presented visually, orally, or qualitatively and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the content. (RL & RI 4.5 & 4.7)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Explain how a reader uses explicit text* evidence* to reach a logical conclusion/inference
  • Find answers and text evidence requiring inference
  • Make a logical inference about a text/author’s words
  • Find, refer to and explain explicit text evidence supporting an inference
  • Explain how the inference deepens understanding of content/information
  • Demonstrate understanding of a text using logical organization of inferential ideas, text evidence, and explanation (orally, written)
  • Identify and understand different structures and purposes of various text genres
    • e.g., prose, poems, drama, fables, folk tales
    • Verse, rhythm, meter
    • Casts, settings, descriptions, dialogue, and stage directions
    • Chronological, compare/contrast, cause/effect, and problem/solution
  • Identify and understand different structures of informational text
    • Chronological, compare/contrast, cause/effect, and problem/solution
  • Determine the important information of content presented in various forms of texts
  • Identify information about and increase understanding of a topic reading chars, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or web pages
  • Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to knowledgeably write or speak about the subject

*”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

  • Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text
  • Summarize a fiction/narrative text
  • Compare/contrast similar themes in different texts
  • Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details
  • Summarize information from an informational text
  • Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions)
  • Provide evidence from the text to explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in historical, scientific, or technical texts
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters/events found in mythology, history and current events
  • Determine the meaning of and use general academic and domain-specific words or phrases
  • Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated
  • Read grade-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings


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 is the purpose for reading?
  • What is an inference?
  • What makes a logical inference?
  • What is the difference between fiction and informational texts?
  • What are the organizational structures of various fiction genres?
  • What are the organizational structures of informational texts?
  • What is a theme?
  • What makes a summary effective?
  • What is an allusion?
  • What are the different types of narrative points-of-view? (1st, 2nd, 3rd person, omniscient…)


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does one understand what one has read?
  • Why is inferential thinking important to understanding texts?
  • What makes evidence effective when defending ideas?
  • What happens to a reader’s ideas as he/she reads various resources?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • How much evidence is enough evidence?
  • Is it possible to have an incorrect inference?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Concepts of words, syllables, sentences and paragraphs


Reading as a process

  • Comprehension
  • Main idea
  • Sequence of ideas
  • Supportive details
  • Inference
  • Predicting outcomes
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Recognizing emotions
  • Seeing cause and effect
  • Distinguising 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

  • Figurative language
  • Text structures
  • Cultural norms


Spanish language specific

  • Text structures
  • Punctuations
  • Word families
  • Cognate patterns
  • Nouns, adjectives, infinitive verbs, adverbs
  • ApĆ³cope (abbreviations) and contractions


English language development

  • Contextualized literacy instruction
  • Scaffold comprehension strategies
  • Multiple readings
    • Set purpose
    • Read for understanding
  • Read for accuracy/expression
  • Use non-linguistic representations
  • Metalinguistic awareness
  • Cross-linguistinc awareness


Russian language specific

  • Text structures
  • Rhyming patterns


Polish language specific

  • Text structures
  • Rhyming patterns



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 notes during 1-1, small group, whole class discussions:
    • Use of text evidence to support thinking
    • Use of academic, domain-specific language
    • Make logical inferences
  • QAR – students can find answers using appropriate text evidence
  • Use sentence frame orally or in writing: “Based on what I’ve read, it’s most likely true that…”
  • Student use of text structure 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
  • Independently respond orally or in writing to inferential prompts
  • Write a summary