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COMMON CORE STANDARDS
RL.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.
RL.7.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
RL.7.3 Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
RL.7.6 Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
RL.7.7 Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
RL.7.9 Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.
RL.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
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.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
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.7.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
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.7.2(a) Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
W.7.2(b) Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
W.7.2(c) Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
W.7.2(d) Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
W.7.2(e) Establish and maintain a formal style.
W.7.2(f) Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
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. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 7 here.)
W.7.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
W.7.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
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.7.9(a) Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history”).
W.7.9(b) Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “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”).
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.
Speaking & Listening
SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
SL.7.1(a) Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
SL.7.1(b) Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
SL.7.1(c) Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
SL.7.1(d) Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.
SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
SL.7.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
SL.7.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
SL.7.5 Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.
SL.7.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 7 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)
L.7.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
L.7.1(a) Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.
L.7.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
L.7.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
L.7.3(a) Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.*
L.7.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
L.7.5(b) Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.
L.7.5(c) Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).
L.7.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
DESCRIPTION OF UNIT
This Grade 7 unit titled “The Giver” created by the Louisiana Department of Education in partnership with LearnZillion includes approximately 45 days of ELA/Literacy instruction. During this unit, students read dystopian literature and related informational texts to understand and analyze how a theme is developed through characters and their contrasting points of view, as well as to compare and contrast the themes of similar texts. The core activities of the unit focus on how to build independent capacity to read and comprehend a range of complex texts and how to write effectively when using and/or analyzing sources. Students independently write a literary analysis that develops a claim and demonstrates an understanding of the text, supporting their analysis with evidence from the text that includes direct quotations and parenthetical citations. The culminating unit assessment is divided into three tasks: the Writing Task asks students to write a multi-paragraph essay in response to a teacher-directed question; the Extension Task requires students to independently read another dystopian novel of their choice and write an essay comparing and contrasting a theme of their choice novel with a theme of The Giver. As part of this task, students deliver a multimedia presentation of their essay; the final Cold Read Task asks students to read “The Road Not Taken” and Lois Lowry’s “Newbery Acceptance Speech, June 1994” before answering a series of questions.
Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that the website and the teacher notes/preparation materials will require familiarity to be used effectively. While many of the student and teacher materials used in the unit are included, many of the texts required for the unit need to be purchased. Additional supports and accommodations will need to be developed for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level text band. A variety of end-of-lesson formative assessments, including the use of exit slips, is recommended to inform instruction.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
This unit is an exemplary example of how to provide for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student-directed-inquiry, analysis, evaluation and/or reflection. It makes reading text closely, examining textual evidence, and discerning deep meaning a central focus of instruction. The instructional activities focus on challenging sections of the text and engage students in a productive struggle through discussion questions and other supports that build toward independence. Lessons routinely expect that students draw evidence from texts to produce clear and coherent writing that informs, explains, or makes an argument in various written forms. Lesson activities use technology and media to deepen learning and draw attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. The plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Classroom-ready materials, assessments, graphic organizers, and shorter texts are included. Detailed daily teaching notes with suggested pacing, Student Look-Fors, and recommendations for reading support are provided. A Writing Task Rubric and a Multi-Media Presentation Rubric are included in unit materials. Video Overviews of how to use the ELA Guidebooks 2.0 and a Grammar Guide are available on the website.