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Wheeling, Illinois 60090

Phone: 847-537-8270

Superintendent: Dr. Michael Connolly

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Language Arts

Writing & Language

Critical Content

Power Standards

  • Write concise, research-based arguments analyzing and supporting claims about authentic topics recognizing alternate claims about the topics, citing reliable sources and using precise language. (W 8.1, L8.3, 8.4, 8.6)
  • Write cohesive, research-based explanatory texts about authentic topics using demonstrating appropriate use of academic vocabulary and citing reliable primary and secondary resources. (W 8.2, L 8.3, 8.4, 8.6)
  • Write narratives to reflect significant authentic experiences or events using purposeful verb-choice and including the analysis of the causal relationship between events. (W 8.3, L 8.3, 8.4, 8.6)

*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
  • In all types of writing:
    • Plan, develop, and organize writing according to task, purpose, and audience (e.g., formal)
    • Use appropriate transition words and phrases to link ideas
    • Use precise and/or academic language and vocabulary specific to the topic
    • Determine the credibility of a source (who wrote it, when it was written, and why it was written)
    • Include explicit text support/evidence in non-fiction writing pieces
    • Vary sentence patterns to communicate effectively and for stylistic purposes
    • Maintain consistency in style and tone in speaking and writing
    • Edit writing independently, by reading aloud, or wit hthe help of others to check for errors in capitalization, punctuation, grammar, spelling, and vocabulary
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
    • Use logical and relevant evidence
    • Cite credible sources using internal citation for direct quotes and paraphrasing
    • Identify and use salient academic vocabulary according to the idea/concept/topic
    • Use precise words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationship among claim(s), reasons, evidence, and counterclaims
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that supports the argument
  • Write informational/explanatory texts that examine and convey ideas, concepts, and other information.
    • Select and analyze a focused idea, concept, and/or topic
    • Organize salient supporting information/details about focused topic into deeper categories
    • Cite credible primary and secondary sources using internal citation and paraphrasing
    • Incorporate meaningful formatting, graphics, and multimedia into written text
    • Introduce a topic clearly and develop it with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, and/or examples
    • Identify and use salient academic vocabulary according to the idea/concept/topic
    • Use varied transitional language to create cohesion and clarify the relationships between complex ideas and concepts
    • Create a concluding statement or section that supports the information or explanation presented
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events
    • Engage and orient a reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters
    • Use narrative techniques to:
      • provide descriptive details
      • Develop appropriate event sequences and structures
      • Develop experiences events, and/or characters through dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection of casual relationships between events
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language
    • Use verbs in the active and passive voice to emphasize the actor/character or action
    • Use verbs in the conditional and subjunctive mood to express uncertainty or describe a state that’s contrary to fact
    • 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):
    • Define and use common Greek and Latin roots and affixes
    • Use reference materials to clarify word meaning, part of speech, and pronunciation and use new words in text

 

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.
    • Form and use verbs in the indicative, imperative, interrogative, conditional, and subjunctive mood
    • Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice.
    • Use figures of speech such as verbal irony and puns.
    • Use the relationship between words to enhance the message.
    • 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’s my purpose and how do I develop it?
  • What elements are necessary for a published piece?
  • What do good researchers do?
  • What is the difference between plagiarism, paraphrasing, quotations, and citations?
  • How do good writers use new vocabulary?
  • What makes evidence/support more salient?

 

Conceptual Guiding Questions

  • What is the purpose of an argument?
  • How does a writer use what is know to help determine what is yet unknown?
  • How does author’s word choice influence an audience?
  • Why do we need to know/understand both sides of an argument?

 

Engaging/Debatable Guiding Questions

  • What makes different writing techniques attractive to readers?
  • Why write?
  • How does context affect meaning?

 

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
  • English in the U.S. develops discourse that is deductive and linear: thesis/topic sentence, main idea, support, conclusion.
  • Linear sequence patterns: use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequences and signal time and setting shifts
  • Accurately use a comma, ellipsis, or dash to indicate a pause or break.

 

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
  • 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 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

 

Assessments

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

In the language of instruction students will…

  • Write for a variety of reasons and for different lengths of time (e.g., to inform, to describe, to persuade, to entertain/convey an experience)
  • Collect evidence of student understanding and growth throughout the writing process
  • Argument
    • Choose a side of an argument and identify salient reasons that support the choice
    • Determine the credibility of a source (who wrote it, when it was written, why it was written) and the accuracy of the details presented in the source
    • Support a research-based argument with explicit textual evidence (“word for word” support) found in credible sources
  • Explanatory/Informational
    • Select a focused topic, identify and gather relevant information (e.g., well-chosen facts, academic vocabulary, details, quotations, examples) to include in writing
    • Include explicit textual evidence to strengthen analysis, reflection, and/or research
    • Analyze the information, identify vocabulary specific to the topic, and organize information into deeper categories using an appropriate structure
    • Choose several sources (e.g., biographies, non-fiction texts, online encyclopedia) and gather information to answer the research question
    • 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 narrative techniques (dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection) to develop characters and the storyline
    • 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
  • 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.