COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading Informational Text
RI.6.1 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
RI.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
RI.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
RI.6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
RI.6.9 Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
RI.6.10 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.6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
W.6.5 Students analyze sources through close reading to deepen their understanding and draw personal conclusions about the Area of Investigation. By the end of Part 3, students will have a series of evidence-based claims addressing their Inquiry Questions.
W.6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
W.6.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
W.6.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Speaking and Listening
SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher- led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 6 unit titled “Researching to Deepen Understanding – Prehistoric Art” from engageny.org is part of the developing core proficiencies program of direct instruction in ELA/Literacy. The process for conducting research outlined in this unit is introduced and developed over a series of activities; as students work through these activities, they create and compile the various parts of their Research Portfolios. Each part of the unit introduces skills associated with the various steps in the research process. The students learn to: understand the purposes and processes of using inquiry and research to deepen understanding; initiate inquiry on a topic through collaboratively generating questions to direct and frame research; analyze sources through close reading to deepen their understanding and draw personal conclusions about the Area of Investigation; as well as analyze and evaluate their material with respect to their Inquiry Questions in order to refine their research. As a culminating activity, students develop and communicate an evidence-based perspective, an analysis of the outcomes of the research, organized and supported by the claims they have developed.
Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the instructional time needed to complete this unit is not stated; teachers will need to complete their own pacing guide. Teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. Because of the rigor of the unit, additional scaffolding and support for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band may be necessary. Although there are several checklists provided with the materials, no formal CCSS aligned rubrics are included to measure individual student performance on the targeted standards; it is suggested that rubrics be developed.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The unit is an exemplary model of a research topic repository for ELA/Literacy instruction that includes a progression of learning where concepts and skills advance and deepen over time. It is structured to provide all of the materials required to lead students through the research process. The plan includes tools and checklists that are available as editable PDF documents. It includes assessment guidelines that provide excellent guidance for interpreting student performance. The Topic Resource Repository provides teachers with a set of sources that students can use to conduct supported research. This unit has been intentionally designed to support student research in a variety of curricular contexts; depending on their needs and goals, teachers can connect the instruction of this unit to texts and topics they are covering in their English classroom, as well as those that students are learning in other academic and technical disciplines.