Reviewed OER Library

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington conducted reviews of OER in full-course mathematics and units in English Language Arts.
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All resources in Reviewed OER Library

English Language Arts 11

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English III, American Literature, explores the literature of America from the narratives of the early colonists to the foundational documents of our forefathers, and the literature of our modern times. In English III, you will gain a firm grasp of the various literary periods throughout American history as well as the ability to analyze different genres and styles of notable American authors. As you progress through the course, you will gain an appreciation for American literature and an understanding of how the literature of the day acted as a reflection of the historical period from which it evolved. This course will also give you the opportunity to hone your own writing skills as you identify the characteristics of effective writing for a variety of different purposes and audiences.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Full Course, Reading, Unit of Study

1900 America: Primary Sources and Epic Poetry

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To better understand the United States at the end of the nineteenth century, this interdisciplinary lesson integrates analyzing historical primary resources with literary analysis. Students work in groups and express themselves creatively through a multi-media epic poem. The artistic models for the students' multi-media epic poem are Walt Whitman's Song of Myself (1855) and Hart Crane's The Bridge (1930). These epic poets capture, interpret, and give meaning to their particular times and places. Students look to do the same with the year 1900, relying upon relevant primary resources -- sound recordings, images, text, and their own creative and interpretative voices.

Material Type: Lesson Plan, Reading, Unit of Study

American Dream and The Great Gatsby

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This lesson extends over several class periods. Students analyze the claim, grounds, warrants, qualifiers and counterclaims in three articles about the American Dream. Students conduct research and find two additional articles about the American Dream. Students then analyze the argument in those articles. Finally, students write their own argument essay about the current state of the American Dream.

Material Type: Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

American Literature and Composition - Colonial Literature

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This module on Colonial Literature explore the essential questions: 1) How does the literature in early Colonial America reflect the customs and beliefs of the Native Americans and Puritans? 2)What kind of literary styles did the earliest writers contribute to American Literature? and 3) How did history have an effect on the types of literature being written? There are audio and visual activities as well as readings.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Diagram/Illustration, Lecture, Lesson Plan, Reading, Unit of Study

Character Analysis and The Crucible

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This set of lessons extends over several weeks and incorporates all acts of Arthur Miller's play, The Crucible. Students will closely read The Crucible. Students will cite textual evidence and make interpretations about character development. Students will combine the textual evidence with their interpretations and write interpretive statements. In the culminating activity, students will write a character analysis.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Unit of Study

Author: Terry Krieger-James

Critical Ways of Seeing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in Context

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Huckleberry Finn opens with a warning from its author that misinterpreting readers will be shot. Despite the danger, readers have been approaching the novel from such diverse critical perspectives for 120 years that it is both commonly taught and frequently banned, for a variety of reasons. Studying both the novel and its critics with an emphasis on cultural context will help students develop analytical tools essential for navigating this work and other American controversies. This lesson asks students to combine internet historical research with critical reading. Then students will produce several writing assignments exploring what readers see in Huckleberry Finn and why they see it that way.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

CC Tasks: On Behalf of Others (Grades 11-12)

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Task Description: This task asks students to write an essay in which they present and defend their beliefs about doing work "on behalf of others" based on the texts they have explored throughout the unit. This packet contains a curriculum-embedded CCLS aligned task and instructional supports. The task is embedded in a 2-3 week unit on documentary work that focuses on creating records or accounts of events, people, and places that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Material Type: Assessment, Lesson Plan

"Picturing" America At the Turn of the Twentieth Century

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Students link together the literature and the history of the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. Questions guide students as they study visual documents. Students also read the teacher's choice of two widely anthologized short stories and an excerpt from a best-selling novel of the period. Two exercises will raise student awareness of the impact that visual images have on their lives: one that is based on internet advertising and a second that results in a student-produced scrapbook.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Scott Culclasure

Reading Closely: Lay Down All My Joys

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This unit develops students' abilities to read closely for textual details and compare authors' perspectives through an examination of a series of texts about the Civil War. Authors of the short readings include Walt Whitman, Ken Burns, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Dr. James A. Burran, Sullivan Ballou, Jefferson Davis, Harriet Jacobs, Harry Macarthy, and Abraham Lincoln.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Reading Closely: Life Steps Almost Straight

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This unit develops students' abilities to read closely for textual details and compare authors' perspectives through an examination of a series of texts about human nature. Authors of the short readings include Charles Schultz, Viktor Frankl, Buddha, Emily Dickinson, Cornel West, Friedrich Nietzsche, Rene Descartes, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean and Jacques Rousseau.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

Reading Closely: Promised Land

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This unit develops students' abilities to read closely for textual details and compare authors' perspectives through an examination of a series of texts about the separation of religion and government in the US. Authors of the short readings include Thomas Jeffereson, Thomas Nast, Justice Stevens, Chief Justice Rehnquist, John F. Kennedy, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Butler Yeats, and Tom Head.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Unit of Study

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald - Teacher's Guide

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Told through the eyes of narrator Nick Carraway, F. Scott Fitzgerald's lyrical masterpiece recounts Jay Gatsby's desperate quest to win back his first love as he struggles to recapture the past. This Big Read Teachers Guide contains ten lessons to lead you through F. Scott Fitzgeralds classic novel, The Great Gatsby. Each lesson has four sections: a thematic focus, discussion activities, writing exercises, and homework assignments. In addition, we have provided suggested essay topics and capstone projects, as well as handouts with more background information about the novel, the historical period, and the author. All lessons dovetail with the state language arts standards required in the fiction genre.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States

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This unit includes four lessons using primary sources to examine continuity and change in the governing of the United States. Lessons one and two are focused on a study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and provide access to primary source documents from the Library of Congress. Lesson three investigates important issues which confronted the first Congress and has students examine current congressional debate over similar issues. Lesson four features broadsides from the Continental Congress calling for special days of thanksgiving and remembrance.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - Teacher's Guide

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Humor, trouble, and adventure follow Tom Sawyer everywhere--from the banks of the Mississippi to the brink of death and back in Mark Twain's first full novel. This Big Read Teacher's Guide contains ten lessons to lead you through Mark Twain's classic novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Each lesson has four sections: a focus topic, discussion activities, writing exercises, and homework assignments. In addition, we have provided capstone projects and suggested essay topics, as well as handouts with more background information about the novel, the historical period, and the author. All lessons dovetail with the state language arts standards required in the fiction genre.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Unit of Study

Building Evidence Based Arguments - Grade 8: E pluribus Unum

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This unit is part of the Odell Education Literacy Instruction: Developing Core Pro8ciencies program, an integrated set of ELA units spanning grades 6-12. Funded by USNY Regents Research Fund, the program is comprised of a series of four units at each grade level that provide direct instruction on a set of literacy pro8ciencies at the heart of the CCSS. Unit 1: Reading Closely for Textual Details Unit 2: Making Evidence-Based Claims Unit 3: Researching to Deepen Understanding Unit 4: Building Evidence-Based Arguments The Core Pro8ciencies units have been designed to be used in a variety of ways. They can be taught as short stand-alone units to introduce or develop key student pro8ciencies. Teachers can also integrate them into larger modules that build up to and around these pro8ciencies. Teachers can also apply the activity sequences and unit materials to different texts and topics. The materials have been intentionally designed for easy adaptation to new texts. Unit materials available at www.odelleducation.com

Material Type: Unit of Study

CC Tasks: Can Animals Think? (Grade 6)

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Task Description: This task is embedded in a 3-4 week unit that uses the topic of animal cognition as a means to teach students how to analyze and navigate informational texts, as well as study the purposeful decisions an author makes to best convey his/her point of view in writing. This unit contains a series of 3 tasks that build in complexity. This task asks students to read an informational text and write an essay in which they use textual evidence to explain how the author develops his/her point of view on the question, "Can animals think?" Responses must adhere to standard English grammar and usage convention, focusing on standard capitalization.

Material Type: Assessment, Lesson Plan

Grade 8 ELA Module 1

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In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees. In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character, Ha, a 10-year-old Vietnamese girl whose family is deciding whether to flee during the fall of Saigon. The novel, poignantly told in free verse, will challenge students to consider the impact of specific word choice on tone and meaning. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text, both in discussion and through writing. They then will read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam, and the specific historical context of Ha’s family’s struggle during the fall of Saigon. In Unit 2, students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’

Material Type: Module

Grade 6 ELA Module 1

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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.

Material Type: Module