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.

Learn More


Seventh Grade

Speaking & Listening

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Pose and answer questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations in order to delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluate the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence. (SL.7.1 , 7.3)
  • Analyze the purpose of and motivation behind the author’s/speaker’s message from various formats (i.e., books, movies, speeches, articles, etc.) and present an argument in support or opposition of the author’s view. (SL 7.2, 7.4 & RL 7.6 & RI 7.6, 7.8)


Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Effectively participate in one-on-one, group, and teacher-led discussions by
    • Preparing for discussions in advance (e.g., pre-reading, coding text, collecting evidence through research)
    • Clearly explaining ideas
    • Supporting arguments with evidence from text and other research (e.g., descriptions, facts, details, and examples)
    • Posing relevant questions, responding with evidential remarks to questions, and elaborating on peers’ comments and ideas
    • Making relevant observations and using ideas and comments to bring a discussion back on topic
    • Reviewing key ideas presented by others and integrating salient ideas when appropriate
    • Acknowledging new ideas and perspectives and modifying one’s own views when appropriate
    • Using appropriate fluency, expression, volume and rhythm, cadence, eye contact, body language, and clear pronunciation
    • Outline a speaker’s argument and list specific claims he or she makes
    • Evaluate a speaker’s reasoning and use of evidence
    • Identify and evaluate the side of an argument an author presents in a text
    • Determine the credibility of the author and his/her purpose (who wrote it, when it was written, and why it was written)
    • Evaluate an argument using the evidence an author provides and determine if the evidence provided is relevant and sufficient enough to support the claim
  • Analyze how and why an author develops the points of view of different characters/people by revealing thoughts, feelings, actions, and spoken words
    • First person (an inside narrator tells the story: “I”); gives the reader/listener insight into his/her own thoughts
    • Second person (narrator speaks directly to reader: “you”); draws the reader into the story by talking directly to reader/listener
    • Third person (an outside narrator tells the story: “he”, “she”, or “it”); allows the reader to know all the thoughts of all characters
    • Third person limited (an outside narrator tells the story, but know the though of one character)
    • Third person omniscient (an outside narrator tells the story and knows the thoughts of all characters)

*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…

  • Incorporating multimedia and visual components into presentations (clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest)
  • Use and follow established guidelines for class discussions.
  • Identify and use goals and roles of different group members, follow deadlines, and track progress towards achieving these goals
  • Adapt speaking style and structure according to various audiences


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 one actively listen?
  • what makes collaboration meaningful?
  • What are the characteristics of an effective speech?
  • What strategies and tools help to organize information from multiple resources?
  • What makes a presentation “great”?
  • How does the use of various points of view influence an audience’s understanding?


Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • Why do the rules of language matter?
  • What is motivation?
  • How do effective communication strategies influence others?
  • 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”?
  • How can one’s speech make a difference in society?
  • How is some evidence more supportive of an argument that others? What makes evidence salient?


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


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

  • 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.
  • Skills and strategies according to proficiency level of the student.
  • Background knowledge to make sense of and communicate what was heard of what they will speak
  • Discourse patter (logical arrangement of ideas) vary depending on the culture and the native language of the speaker
    • Logical arrangement of ideas is culture bound
    • True message is given in the discourse pattern and not in the words
    • Usually observed in 4th grade and up


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…

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