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Seventh Grade

Writing & Language

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Write concise, research-based arguments supporting claims about an authentic topic after comparing, contrasting and evaluating two opposing views. (W 7.1, L7.3, 7.4 & 7.6)
  • Write cohesive, research-based explanatory texts about authentic topics using relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, academic vocabulary, and examples and employing the use of multiple resources. (W 7.2, L 7.3, 7.4, & 7.6)
  • Write narratives to reflect authentic experiences or events using precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the impact of the lesson or theme. (W 7.3, L 7.3, 7.4, & 7.6)

*See student writing examples on Appendix C of the Common Core document

 

Power Standards Critical Content

In the language of instruction, students will…

  • Write routinely over extended time frames and shorter time frames for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences
  • Write 3 or more long-form writing pieces to final draft
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
    • Use logical, relevant, and research-based evidence
    • Identify and use similarities and differences between two opposing views
    • Cite credible sources using internal citation for direct quotes and paraphrasing
    • Use precise words/academic vocabulary, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claim(s), reasons, and evidence
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that supports the argument
  • Write informational/explanatory texts that examine and convey ideas, concepts, and other information
    • Create an introduction that preview what is to follow
    • Select and analyze a focused idea, concept, and/or topic
    • Use precise words/academic vocabulary
    • Cite various credible sources using internal citation for direct quotes and paraphrasing
    • Use varied transitional languages to create cohesion and clarify the relationship between complex ideas and concepts
    • Write a concluding statement/section that supports the information presented
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events
    • Use narrative techniques to:
      • provide descriptive details
      • Develop appropriate event sequences and structures
      • Develop experiences events, and/or characters using dialogue, pacing and description
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language
    • Use sensory language that enhances the development of the characterization, setting, events
    • Provide a conclusion that reflects on the narrated experiences or events
  • Gather and use in one’s own writing and citations new academic, technical, and content-specific vocabulary (words and phrases):
    • Determine the meaning of a word or phrase flexibly choosing from a range of strategies (context clues, word parts/origin, reference materials)
    • Define and use common Greek and Latin roots and affixes

 

Additional Critical Content

  • Use the writing process to create powerful writing by:
    • Use organizational/formatting structures (graphic organizers/brainstorming/lists) to plan and develop writing
    • Use simple, compound, complex, and compound complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas
    • Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives
    • Apply revision strategies (e.g., reading aloud, checking for misunderstandings, adding and deleting details, creating new drafts) with the help of peers, other experts, and/or technology to correct issues with passive and active voice, mood
    • Edit writing by checking for errors in capitalization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and verb tense
  • Use effective research techniques to:
    • Conduct short, focused research projects to answer a central question
    • Use search terms effectively when gathering relevant information from multiple print and digital sources
    • Determine credible sources which contain relevant textual evidence to answer the central research question
    • Draw on several sources when conducting research and formulate new questions as needed
    • Analyze the information found in the sources and determine if it provides enough support to answer the questions
    • Avoid plagiarism by correctly citing textual evidence such as quotes (“word for word” support) and paraphrases
    • Use a standard citation format to create a bibliography for the sources

 

Concept-Based Connections

Essential Understandings

  • Effective writing, which communicates clearly to the intended audience and fulfills its specific purpose, provides a means of discovery, of communication, of argument, and of creative expression.
  • Effective writing is the result of multi-stage, collaborative and reflective processes.
  • Research-based ideas and arguments can influence an audience’s understanding and beliefs.
  • Text structures allow writers to communicate with an audience in appropriate and meaningful ways in order to achieve the intended purpose.

 

Factual Guiding Questions

  • What do good writers do?
  • What strategies help a researcher to compare and contrast information on the same topic?
  • What makes a piece of writing focused?
  • What are the qualities of clear writing?
  • What are the qualities of different types of published writing?
  • What do good researchers do?
  • What is the difference between plagiarism, paraphrasing, quotations, and citations?
  • What strategies are useful when understanding new words?
  • What makes a supporting detail “relevant” and “concrete”?
  • What is sensory language?

 

Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • How does the context of the reader affect the understanding?
  • How does an author’s word choice affect the reader’s understanding?
  • How does a writer use what is know to help determine what is yet unknown?
  • How does the use of sensory language enhance a reader’s experience?

 

Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • What makes different writing techniques attractive to readers?
  • Why write?
  • How are the words and tone a writer uses more/less important than the message?
  • Why is it important to understand multiple viewpoint on a topic?

 

Language Considerations

Language General Transfer-Students must draw upon the following…

Common features in writing systems

  • Capitalization
  • Punctuation
  • Lines or other spatial constraints of the writing

 

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
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage with writing
  • English in the U.S. develops discourse that is deductive and linear: thesis/topic sentence, main idea, support, conclusion
  • Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences
  • Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas
  • Use comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old [,] green shirt)
  • Spell correctly

 

Spanish language specific

  • Alphabets
  • Sound-symbol association
  • 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
  • Dieresis
  • Circular/Spiral
  • Spanish specific capitalization and punctuation
  • Distinguish between formal and informal style of speaking according to audience and purpose (TĂș 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
  • Compare language and writing traditions that reflect customs, regions and cultures
  • At grade appropriate level, write to reflect customs and cultures of Spanish-speaking countries and communities, including personal experiences and references

 

English language specific

  • Credibility issue for interpreting (longer in Spanish)
  • Teach students with discourse pattern of American English explicitly along with subject area content
  • Skills and strategies according to proficiency level of student
    • Repeated reading
    • Pause for input
    • Provide Context visuals
  • Use sentence frames/starters

 

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

 

Assessments

Informal Assessments are used during the process of brainstorming, drafting, revision and editing or class discussions.

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Argument
    • Compare and contrast opposing viewpoints of an argument
    • Choose an argument
    • Support the argument with textual evidence (“word for word” support) found in credible sources
  • Explanatory/Informational
    • Identify multiple, credible resources on a topic
    • Select relevant, supportive details about a topic
    • Include explicit textual evidence to strengthen analysis, reflection, and/or research
    • Identify and appropriately use academic vocabulary specific to the topic
    • Create additional focused questions that relate to the original topic and allow for further investigation
  • Narrative
    • Use the appropriate parts of plot when writing a story (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution)
    • Engage the reader by introducing the narrator (first, second or third person point of view), characters, setting (set the scene), and/or the event that starts the story in motion
    • Use descriptive words and phrases that appeal to the senses, capture the action, and help the reader understand the events an the experiences of the characters
    • Write a logical conclusion that reflects on the experiences/events and provides a sense of closure
  • Observe/Collect evidence of student’s use of the writing process
    • Pre-write/Brainstorm
    • Peer-peer and teacher-student conferences
    • Multiple peer and self-revisions
    • Peer edits

 

Formal Assessments are used as a measure of student achievement towards master of a skill and Power Standard. Often a formal assessment will result in a grade.

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Write 3 or more long-form writing pieces to final draft
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • Write informational/explanatory texts that examine and convey ideas, concepts, and other information.
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events.