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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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Sixth Grade

Reading Literature & Informational Text

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Cite evidence from fiction and nonfiction text to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as the inferences drawn in order to analyze how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated. (RL & RI 6.1, 6.3 & SL 6.1)
  • Compare, contrast, and integrate information from several sources on the same concept/topic in order to express an informed opinion. (RL & RI 6.9)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Analyze texts according to how authors develop individuals/events/ideas
    • Develop logical conclusions based on inferences supported by explicit text evidence
    • Analyze text and determine evidence needed to support answers to explicit and inferential questions and ideas
    • Cite, define, locate and summarize explicit text evidence to support analysis of text
    • Draw inferences to comprehend the central ideas/theme
    • Use explicit text evidence to explain and support how an individual/event/idea is developed throughout a text
    • Explain the characteristics of different forms of texts and genres
    • Explain how plot is developed by key events and episodes experienced by the characters
    • Determine which individual(s), event(s), and/or idea(s) (theme, plot, setting) are essential to the overall meaning of the text
  • Analyze texts in order to express an informed opinion
    • Explain, compare, and contrast information on a common topic presented in a variety of media formats
    • Determine the advantages and disadvantages of using various media formats
    • Analyze, interpret and compare a variety of texts in order to express an informed opinion
    • Compare and contrast texts from cultures worldwide in different forms or genres in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics
    • Develop an informed opinion on a topic based on explicit text evidence collected from several resources
    • Evaluate whether the evidence provided in a text is credible and valid
    • Express an informed opinion using supportive, relevant, and explicit text evidence

*”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

  • Use appropriate reading and note-taking strategies to comprehend complex literary fiction and non-fiction (e.g., visualization, text coding, annotation, skim, scan, text-coding, self-monitor/correct)
  • Compose an objective summary void of opinion in order to communicate the central idea(s) and main details
    • Analyze plot to determine the theme or the author’s message
    • Identify the main details that convey the central idea of a text
    • Analyze how a portion of a text contributes to the development of its theme, setting, or plot
    • Use text evidence (direct quotes) that support the theme, setting, or plot development
    • Determine an author’s point of view and his/her purpose for writing the text
  • Employ various and appropriate strategies to determine the meaning of new words and phrases
  • Identify and use context clues
  • Define word relationships in word meaning (synonym, antonym, homonym)
  • Apply knowledge of word origins and derivations
  • Determine the difference between denotative and connotative meanings
  • Recognize words that have multiple meanings dependent on context and purpose (e.g., “stem” in an article about flowers versus “stem” in an article about cell research)
  • Distinguish between literal language and figurative language
    • Use various forms of figurative language (e.g., simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration, onomatopoeia, analogy)
    • Analyze how an author’s word choice impacts the meaning an tone of a text to create a mood
    • Identify and determine the impact of a speaker’s/narrator’s point of view (e.g., first person, second person, third person limited, third person omniscient)
    • Analyze how an authors develops the narrator’s or speaker’s point of view by revealing thoughts, feelings, actions, and spoken words in a text
    • Explain how the point of view of the author/speaker and audience can influence the delivery and understanding of information
  • Evaluate the argument using the evidence an author provides
    • Identify and explain the sides of an argument an author presents in a text
    • Identify claims that are supported by fact(s) and those that are opinion(s)
    • Determine the credibility of an author or argument
    • Research and synthesize information from a variety of sources on a concept/text to express an informed opinion or support a proposed solution to an authentic problem
  • Explain and analyze narrative text using story elements, point of view, and theme
    • Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters, key people
    • Determine qualities of characters in a text based on direct and indirect characterization
    • Compare and contrast a static and a dynamic character
    • Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience/reader create effects like suspense and horror (i.e., dramatic irony)
  • Compare how authors and illustrators use text and art across material to express their ideas (i.e. foreshadowing, flashback, color)
    • Compare and contrast the experiences of reading a text to listening or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch
    • Compare and contrast a written story, dram, or poem to its audio, video or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (how the delivery of the speech impacted the words)


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?
  • Author’s choice: Why does it matter?
  • What is theme?
  • What are the elements of a plot?
  • Where 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 says and what the text implies?
  • What qualities make an opinion informed?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • In what ways does creative choice impact an audience?
  • What makes an effective argument?
  • How does the reader know he/she understands what is read?
  • How does the author’s word choice influence the reader’s understanding?
  • How does the culture within the context of the story influence the events/characters/messages?
  • What determines credibility for an author/resource?
  • How does the author develop the theme/concept across time/text?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • What makes a story a “great” story?
  • What are the best strategies used by authors to convey a theme/message?
  • What makes an opinion more convincing than another?
  • How might both sides of an argument be correct?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Reading as a process

  • Concepts of syllables, words, sentences, paragraphs
  • Rule-governing aspects of reading
  • Understanding speech-print relationships
  • 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

  • Text structures
  • Cultural norms
  • Figurative languages


Spanish language specific

  • Identify characteristics and authors of various literary forms from Spanish speaking countries and communities
  • Select a variety of materials in Spanish to read for discovery, appreciation, and enjoyment, summarize the readings, and connect them to prior knowledge and experience


English language development

  • Teach students with discourse pattern of American English explicitly along with subject area content
  • Skills and strategies according to proficiency level of student


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
    • Author’s development of the central idea(s)/theme(s) within a text
    • How various media formats affects the audience’s experience
    • Research checklist
  • 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.
  • Provide analysis of how a character is developed or changes over the course of a story and include explicit and relevant text evidence.
  • Provide an analysis of the cause and effects of an event and how the event transpired and include explicit and relevant text evidence.
  • Provide an analysis of the theme or topic of a text including how the theme/topic is illustrated and developed across the text and include explicit and relevant text evidence.
  • Provide an argument supporting an informed opinion on a single topic using explicit text evidence from multiple, credible sources.