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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Sixth Grade

Speaking & Listening

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Use formal academic language to report on a topic and respond to questions posed by listeners, sequencing ideas logically to support main ideas or themes. (SL.6.4, 6.6)
  • Engage in authentic, collaborative discussions (whole group, small group, one-on-one), through active listening, appropriate speech, clear verbal expression, and consideration of multiple perspectives. (SL 6.1 & RL 6.6 & RI 6.6, 6.8)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Compose and deliver formal oral reports and speeches using various media formats
    • Use various formats (notes, interviews) to gather and organize information in a logical manner
    • Support claims and findings with reasons/evidence from research (ideas, descriptions, facts, details, and examples)
    • Speak using appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, clear pronunciation and appropriate body language
    • Adapt organization of ideas and speech according to purpose and audience (e.g., formal language, academic and domain specific vocabulary)
    • Respond to questions presented by listeners using supportive and logical evidence from reading/research
  • Identify, describe and evaluate arguments and claim presented in diverse media formats (texts, speeches, movies, articles, etc.)
    • Determine and defend or refute the side or position of an argument
    • Differentiate between claims that are supported by fact(s) and those that are opinion(s)
    • Explain and analyze the credibility of an author’s argument, claims, and evidence
    • Express potential impact of an author’s message on society
  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions through active listening (1-1, small group, teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level texts/topics
    • Link relevant comments to others’ remarks
    • Use academic vocabulary
    • Clearly explain ideas using evidence from text/research
    • Pose and respond to questions which contribute to a discussion
    • Paraphrase, acknowledge, and respond to new ideas and perspectives
    • Participate in and contribute to decision-making activities

*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…

  • Identify and analyze the point of view in diverse media formats (texts, speeches, movies, etc.)
  • Classify the first person, second person, third person limited, and third person omniscient
  • Determine the author’s opinions, values, beliefs, and/or motivation
  • Analyze how an author develops point of view by revealing thoughts, feelings, actions, and spoken words
  • Explain and analyze how an author conveys the purpose


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

  • How does a speaker effectively communicate one’s ideas to the audience?
  • What are the agreed upon rules for discussions?
  • What are the qualities/actions of an active listener?
  • What are the conventions of language?
  • What tools/strategies does an author use to develop ideas in a text or presentation?
  • How can the credibility of an author be determined?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What makes collaboration meaningful?
  • What strategies/tools will help make meaning when listening to a variety of sources?
  • Why do the rules of language matter?
  • What makes a presentation “great”?
  • What makes an argument “great”?
  • How do an author’s opinions and beliefs bias a message?
  • How does the narrator’s point of view (first person, second person, etc.) influence the message?


Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • Why does it matter “What I say” versus “How I say it”?
  • Why do we need to know both sides of an argument?
  • What is most important in an argument, strong facts, strong opinions, or effective communication?
  • How can one actively listen without “looking” at a speaker?
  • How is it possible to have two “right” sides to an argument?


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
  • Background knowledge to make sense of and communicate what was heard or what they will speak
  • Speaking with fluency, tone, expression, rhythm, cadence, volume, eye contact, and body language


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.
    • Male-female differences in the U.S.
    • Male-academic, direct and confrontative; short, quick, to the point, don’t “beat around the bush”
    • Female-inductive, main idea alluded to, not explicit, receiver is supposed to guess the idea and intent


Spanish language specific

  • Digression or tangential discourse
  • Distinguish between formal and informal style of speaking according to audience and purpose (TĂș vs. Usted).
  • Respect, honor and teach dialectical differences within cultures and regions.
  • Identify and match dialectical differences with culture/regions


English language development

  • Contextualized Oral-Language Development
  • Use of visual cues to create and demonstrate comprehension
  • Key skills and strategies according to proficiency level of the 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…

  • Anecdotal notes/rubrics while students are engaged in discussions
    • Use key ideas presented by others
    • Use explicit evidence to clarify the meaning of a topic, text, or issue
    • Use explicit evidence to clarify the meaning of a topic, text, or issue
    • Provide answers to questions using logical and explicit evidence
    • Present information in a logical sequence using appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
    • Use academic language
    • Link one’s own comments to others’
    • Act according to agreed upon discussion rules/roles
    • 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…

  • See critical content
  • Give an oral report on a topic providing opportunities for listeners to ask questions and the speaker to respond
  • Effectively and productively participate in a formal debate or group discussion on a research topic
  • Student generated performance rubrics
  • Student peer evaluations