COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.7.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
RI.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
RI.7.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
RI.7.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
RI.7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
RI.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
W.7.1(a) Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
W.7.1(b) Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
W.7.1(c) Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.
W.7.1(d) Establish and maintain a formal style.
W.7.1(e) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.
W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.7.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
W.7.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
W.7.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 7 unit titled “Children Have a Right to…” is cited on collegeready.gatesfoundation.org as part of the Common Assignment Study. The unit was developed by integrating the Understanding by Design framework with a Literacy Design Collaborative module to help scaffold and support the development of students’ content literacy. It has an approximate ELA/Literacy instructional time of 4 to 5 weeks. Throughout this unit, students learn and practice the skills to successfully argue a claim by supporting it with logical reasoning, evidence, and explanation from the reading as well as the research of credible sources—all using the context of children’s rights. In the summative assessment, students independently write an essay in which they argue and support their position with evidence on one of the articles from the Children’s Bill of Rights.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that the teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. While many of the student materials used in the unit are included, many are not—but could be supplemented with others. The unit materials state, “Please note that students should have strong command of summarizing skills before moving to the analysis this task (the summative assessment) requires.” Additional supports and accommodations may be needed for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band. Teacher materials suggest that Speaking and Listening standards related to the extension of the assessment (debate, speech, UN meeting, etc.) could be added to the unit. While this unit is written for an English Language Arts course, it could be used in a social studies classroom, as well—College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards are already included with the materials.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This unit is an exemplary example of a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. Activities routinely expect that students draw evidence from texts to produce clear and coherent writing that makes and supports an argument. It provides for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student-directed inquiry, analysis, evaluation and reflection. The unit elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the major targeted grade-level CCSS standards and provides an aligned rubric.