Making Evidence-Based Claims ELA/Literacy Units empower students with a critical reading and writing skill at the heart of the Common Core: making evidence-based claims about complex texts. These units are part of the Developing Core Proficiencies Program. This unit develops students' abilities to make evidence-based claims through activities based on a close reading of the Commencement Address Steve Jobs delivered at Stanford University on June, 2005.
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This reading comprehension lesson focuses on picking out details from informational texts, selecting viable options that meet requirements for a solution, comparing and contrasting these options to reach a final decision to solve a specific problem. The target audience for this lesson is adults in Adult Basic Education courses at a CCRS Anchor 2, Grade D. This lesson will help learners to effectively review information, and assess the costs and benefits of a final decision they make.
This lesson guides students in an examination of a poet's use of figurative language and word choice to convey themes of belonging and identity. Students will delve into the concept of the unit theme, “Belonging” and the essential question, "In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?" Students will write a short essay analyzing the ways in which a poet uses figurative language and word choice to convey the speaker's sense of him/herself as an individual and as someone who feels he/she is not accepted. Image source: "Attain" by Nick Youngson from TheBlueDiamondGallery.com at http://thebluediamondgallery.com/tablet-dictionary/a/attain.html Creative Commons 3 - CC BY-SA 3.0
This lesson focuses on the chapter “Chinatown” from Laurence Yep’s memoir, The Lost Garden. Students will consider the factors that contributed to Yep’s struggle to find a sense of belonging with his peers and in his community. Students will determine in what ways the essential question (In what ways does our need to feel a sense of belonging conflict with our individuality?) is relevant to Laurence Yep’s experience as he describes it in “Chinatown”.
In this module, students are involved in a deep study of mythology, its purposes, and elements. Students will read Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief (780L), a high-interest novel about a sixth-grade boy on a hero’s journey. Some students may be familiar with this popular fantasy book; in this module, students will read with a focus on the archetypal journey and close reading of the many mythical allusions. As they begin the novel, students also will read a complex informational text that explains the archetypal storyline of the hero’s journey which has been repeated in literature throughout the centuries. Through the close reading of literary and informational texts, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary. Students will also build routines and expectations of discussion as they work in small groups. At the end of Unit 1, having read half of the novel, students will explain, with text-based evidence, how Percy is an archetypal hero. In Unit 2, students will continue reading The Lightning Thief (more independently): in class, they will focus on the novel’s many allusions to classic myths; those allusions will serve as an entry point into a deeper study of Greek mythology. They also will continue to build their informational reading skills through the close reading of texts about the close reading of texts about the elements of myths. This will create a conceptual framework to support students’ reading of mythology. As a whole class, students will closely read several complex Greek myths. They then will work in small groups to build expertise on one of those myths. In Unit 3, students shift their focus to narrative writing skills. This series of writing lessons will scaffold students to their final performance task in which they will apply their knowledge about the hero’s journey and the elements of mythology to create their own hero’s journey stories.
What are “rules to live by”? How do people formulate and use “rules” to improve their lives? How do people communicate these “rules” to others? In this module, students consider these questions as they read the novel Bud, Not Buddy, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, President Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, and informational research texts. At the start of Unit 1, students launch their study of Bud, Not Buddy, establishing a set of routines for thinking, writing, and talking about Bud’s rules to live by. They read the novel closely for its figurative language and word choice, analyzing how these affect the tone and meaning of the text. In the second half of the unit, students engage in a close reading of the Steve Jobs speech, focusing on how Jobs develops his ideas at the paragraph, sentence, and word level. Students use details from the speech to develop claims about a larger theme. During Unit 2, students continue to explore the theme of “rules to live by” in the novel as well as through close reading of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Students analyze how the structure of a poem contributes to its meaning and theme. In a mid-unit assessment, students compare and contrast how Bud, Not Buddy and “If” address a similar theme. Unit 2 culminates with students writing a literary argument essay in which they establish a claim about how Bud uses his “rules”: to survive or to thrive. Students substantiate their claim using specific text-based evidence including relevant details and direct quotations from the novel. In Unit 3, students shift their focus to their own rules to live by and conduct a short research project. Students work in expert groups (research teams) to use multiple informational sources to research that topic. As a final performance task, students use their research to write an essay to inform about one important “rule to live by” supported with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, and examples.
This lesson is designed for adult learners who are pursuing a career in farming. It focuses on reading scientific and technical texts (Grade 6) related to farming and farm loans. This lesson will help learners identify and define technical words specific to farming and borrowing money. The learners will have the opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge in class activities such as reading and analyzing case studies.
This 18 day unit explicitly teaches text structures, summary, text features, reading informational text about Mesopotamia, and writing a book about Mesopotamia. Instruction moves from high scaffolding to moderate scaffolding to independent practice as students become familiar with the various text structures, how to identify them, what graphic organizer will work with each text structure, how to use notes recorded in graphic organizers to write summaries, and how to compile an informational book. Mesopotamia is the content used as an anchor.
Students will have to solve the real world problem of locker smell leakage by building an air filter that will cover the vents on the top of a locker. This project goes well with a curriculum on the particle nature of gases and phase changes.