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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Eighth Grade

Speaking & Listening

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Defend claims and findings from independent research, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with sound valid reasoning. (SL 8.4)
  • Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats and determine the relevance of an author’s/speaker’s argument, and sufficiency of evidence presented, and express the potential impact of this message on society. (SL 8.2, 8.3 & RL 8.6 & RI 8.6, 8.8)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Effectively participate in one-on-one, group, and teacher-led discussions by
    • Actively listen and observe when information is presented in diverse formats and media
    • Identify and analyze the author’s/presenter’s purpose and motivation
    • Determine the credibility of a speaker
    • Identify claims that are supported by fact(s) and those that are opinion(s)
    • Recognize when an author introduces irrelevant evidence (unrelated to unnecessary evidence) to his/her argument
    • Evaluate if a speaker’s argument is reasonable (sound) and supported by sufficient evidence
    • Utilize strategic speaking strategies when preparing both formal and informal verbal presentations
    • Identify the side of an argument and the salient points presented to support the argument an author presents in a text
    • Support claims and/or findings with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details
    • Present information in a logical sequence using appropriate eye contact, pace/rate, tone, expression, body-language, adequate volume and clear pronunciation
    • Evaluate how differences in the points of view of a character and the audience (reader) of a text can create effects like suspense or humor
    • Evaluate how an author develops the points of view of characters, narrators, and speakers by revealing thoughts, feelings, actions, and spoken words
    • Analyze how an author addresses conflicting evidence or view points

*Other media formats: written text, text read aloud, charts, graphs, web sites, presentations, speeches, movies, articles


Additional Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Effectively participate in one-on-one, group, and teacher-led discussions
    • Collaborate with peers to set guidelines, (norms), goals, and roles for class discussions/group work and adhere to them
    • Discuss and support one’s own ideas, and justify position as needed
    • Draw from and reflect on the ideas of others
    • Prepare for discussions by reading and researching class materials beforehand
    • Use evidence from texts and other research discussion
  • Participate in friendly discussions and decision-making activities
    • Pose and respond to questions that connect to the central ideas of discussion
    • Acknowledge new ideas introduced in a discussion or collaborative activity
  • Clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest by incorporating multimedia and visual components into presentations
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks depending on purpose and audience
  • Demonstrate a command of formal English when necessary


Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Effective listening and speaking skills are critical for communicating, collaborating, understanding and evaluating our world.
  • Presentation of knowledge and ideas is enhanced through appropriate use of organization, style and language for a specific audience using various media formats.


Factual Guiding Questions

  • What will help make meaning when using a variety of sources?
  • What makes a presentation “great”?
  • Why do the rules of language matter?
  • What does effective communication look like?
  • What are the differences in speaking strategies for formal and informal presentations?
  • What makes various media formats suspenseful?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What makes collaboration meaningful?
  • What is motivation?
  • What is humor?
  • How might an audience’s perspective affect the speaker’s strategies in a speech?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • Why does it matter “what I say” versus “how I say it”?
  • What makes an author/speaker credible?
  • How is some evidence more supportive of an argument than others? What makes evidence salient?
  • What is humorous in media?


Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Auditory skills

  • Auditory memory: remember what has been heard
  • Auditory sequencing: ability to see objects in a particular sequential order
  • Auditory discrimination: hear the difference between sounds that are similar
  • Discourse pattern (logical arrangement of ideas) vary depending on the culture and the native language of the speaker


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 is the U.S. develops discourse that is deductive and linear: thesis/topic sentence, main idea, support, conclusion.
  • Gender differences in the U.S.
    • Male – Academic, direct, and confrontative; short, quick to the point
    • Female – Inductive, main idea alluded to, not explicit, receiver is supposed to guess the idea, intent


Spanish language specific

  • Verb conjugation and inflection
  • Verb and adjective gender and number agreement
  • Irregular verbs
  • Code-switching
  • Spanglish
  • El/La (articles that reflect number and gender)
  • Word order patterns
  • Cognates
  • Dialects (regional dialects)
  • Tildes
  • Diéresis
  • Circular/Spiral
  • Distinguish between formal and informal style of speaking according to audience and purpose (Tú vs. Usted).
  • Digression or tangential discourse patterns
  • Romance languages (Spanish) develops discourse by digression
    • Takes lots of time; begin with topic, go off on tangent, contradict tangent, conclude with main idea
    • Flowery, fancy, formal intensifiers
    • Reiteration, say it up to 7 times (average is 3 times) each time gets bigger, better, more flowery than before
  • Respect, honor and teach dialectical differences within culture and regions


English language development

  • Logical arrangement of ideas is culture bound
  • True message is given in the discourse pattern and not in the words
  • Chicano English (2nd to 6th generation) uses an oral, social contact dialect.
    • Conversational in tone
    • Casual register, all social, basic intercommunication skills
    • Used like one is addressing a peer audience
    • Run on sentences’ additive relationships (and then, and the… end with “that’s all I’ve got to say”)
    • Subconscious deviations (I didn’t know they had done it)
    • Little evidence of planning and organizing before writing
    • Stream of consciousness links (one idea links another to topic)
    • Use lexical chains alone to link ideas (vocabulary holds composition together)
    • Redundancy (limited vocabulary) elements of people who don’t read or don’t know academic English.
  • Exposure to American English discourse pattern found in explicitly within subject area content.


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…

  • Anecdotal notes while students are engaged in discussions
    • Answer questions using salient evidence from research/text
    • Use academic language
    • Link one’s own comments to others’
    • Act according to agreed upon discussion rules/roles
    • Use salient evidence to support claims
    • Use logical and explicit evidence to support claims
    • Consistently use complete/complex sentences
    • Demonstrate active listening strategies
  • Student self-reflections, self-assessment
  • Student peer-reflections, peer-assessment


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 and present a formal speech
  • Oral Presentation Rubrics
    • Student generated
  • Student peer evaluations