COMMON CORE STANDARDS
W.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
Speaking and Listening
SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grades 9-10 ELA/Literacy unit titled “It’s My Life: Multimodal Autobiography Project” from readwritethink.org has an estimated instructional time of nine 50-minute sessions and could fit nicely at the start of the school year. The emphasis of these lessons is for students to gather relevant information from print and digital sources (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements), assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question, and integrate information selectively. The summative assessment will be the actual publishing and presentation of their research using PowerPoint slideshows.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The addition of historical events would better reflect CCSS rigor and expectations. More supports and modifications for students who are ELL or have disabilities may be needed. The rubric and assessment guidelines are useful but could be more directly aligned to CCSS. Student access to computers is necessary to complete this unit as intended.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The unit plan is a good example of how to use technology and media to deepen learning and draw attention to evidence and texts, while cultivating student interest and engagement in reading, writing, speaking and listening. It provides for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student-directed inquiry, analysis, evaluation, and reflection. The lessons address instructional expectations and are easy to understand and use. Multiple extension lessons are also included in the plan. The following link provides an example of a class using a fishbowl protocol to practice citing evidence from informational text to support their reasoning.
Students Cite Evidence from Informational and Literary Text (from Expeditionary Learning)—Julia St. Martin’s tenth-grade ELA class at the Springfield Renaissance School in Springfield, MA uses a fishbowl protocol to practice citing evidence from informational text to support their reasoning. Joining the informational and literary texts enhances understanding of the topic for students.