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Wheeling, Illinois 60090

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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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Eighth 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 write an objective summary of the text. (RL & RI 8.1;  RL & RI 9-10.2; SL 8.1)
  • Analyze the perspective of multiple primary sources on related concepts/topics and apply evidence drawn from these sources to support proposed solutions to authentic problems. (RI 8.9, 9-10.2)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Locate and summarize strong evidence in the text to support analysis of what the text says
    • Determine the credibility of the author and his/her purpose (who wrote it, when it was written, and why was it written)
    • Read closely and analyze an author’s words to find answers and determine the textual evidence that most strongly supports both explicit and inferential questions
    • Distinguish between what the text explicitly states versus what the text implies, or hints at
    • Use inferences to explain how the text evidence supports a logical conclusion (“based on what I’ve read, it’s most likely true that…”)
  • Recognize how two or more texts can provide conflicting information on the same topic
    • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text
    • Analyze how authors interpret and emphasize different evidence when writing about the same topic
    • Identify where two or more texts on the same topic disagree on matters of fact or interpretation
    • Analyze if the authors’ reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient
    • Identify when irrelevant evidence is introduced and argue why it is irrelevant
  • Determine a central idea or theme of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text
    • Analyze how the central idea/theme emerges in the text and is shaped and refined by specific details
    • Compose an objective summary stating the key points of the text and is void of opinions or feelings
  • Synthesize salient ideas from multiple sources on the same topic into an objective summary of the topic
  • Create a solution to a complex problem using evidence from multiple sources on related topics

*”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

  • Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or events in a story or drama contribute to the action, reveal aspects of a character, or cause a character to make a decision
  • Understand and analyze how an author’s specific word choice affects the meaning and tone of a text and mood for the reader
  • Recognize how an author develops the points of view of characters and narrators by revealing thoughts, feelings, actions, and spoken words
  • Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths and traditional stories including describing how the material is rendered new
  • Analyze and compare/contrast multiple texts according to:
    • How an author makes connections and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events through comparisons (e.g., The Underground Railroad and the Jewish Resistance Movement), analogies (e.g., One-part-per-billion is equal to one sheet in a roll of toilet paper stretching from New York to London.) or categories (e.g., Leader of Change – Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Henry Ford)
    • The benefits of various text structures
    • How a film or live production of a story compares to the original story including how an actor’s or director’s portrayal of the character compares to the author’s portrayal.
    • How authors address conflicting evidence or viewpoints
    • How various techniques used in film or live production of a story or drama can add to or change the experience of the audience.
    • How various authors use different mediums of presentation (e.g., video diary, PowerPoint, visual display).
    • The advantages and disadvantages of presenting a topic or idea using different mediums.


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Reading texts critically – analyzing the authors’ purposes, 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 do good readers do?
  • 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 makes a summary objective?
  • What makes an effective summary?
  • What is theme?
  • What makes evidence more salient than other evidence?
  • Why does research attend to multiple perspectives?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does the reader know he/she understands what is read?
  • What makes a story “great”?
  • Why do authors’ creative choices matter and how do they impact a reader or audience?
  • How does the author develop the theme across the text?
  • How does the author develop a character across time/text?
  • How do different text structure enhance the author’s purpose and the reader’s understanding?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • Why do authors create more than one theme?
  • How can an interpretation of a text be incorrect?
  • Can a logical inference be wrong?
  • Why is it necessary to use multiple primary sources about the same topic/event?


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

  • See above critical content and additional critical content
  • English in the U.S. develops discourse that is deductive and linear: thesis/topic sentence, main idea, support, conclusion.
  • Compound words
  • Greek and Latin root meanings
  • Literary techniques


Spanish language specific

  • Table of contents located in back of many Spanish texts
  • Dialect
  • Idiomatic expressions
  • Figurative language
    • Alliteration
    • Metaphors
    • Similes
  • Narrative story structure
  • Cognate patterns
  • Nouns, adjectives, infinitive verbs, adverbs
  • Apócope (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 gender and number agreement
  • Irregular verbs
  • Code-switching
  • El/La (articles that reflect number and gender)
  • Word order patterns
  • Cognates
  • Dialects (regional dialects)
  • Tildes
  • Diéresis
  • Circular/Spiral


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
    • Supports inferential thinking with explicit text evidence from multiple sources
    • Defends why some evidence is better than other evidence
    • Comparing/contrasting authors’ interpretation of topics/events
    • Author’s development of the central idea(s)/theme(s) within a text
  • 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…

  • Compose an objective summary of a text or topic including key points from the text(s) and void of personal opinion or feelings
  • Compose an objective summary of a text or topic, which includes explicit text evidence of key points
  • Present a proposed solution to an authentic, real-world problem. The solution and the explicit evidence supporting the solution will have been derived from the research of multiple primary sources