COMMON CORE STANDARDS
Reading for Information
RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.6.2 Determine a 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.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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 “Making Evidence-Based Claims – Steve Jobs” from Odell Education is part of a developing core proficiencies program that is intended to be completed in one to three weeks of direct ELA/Literacy instruction. The unit’s primary instructional focus is on making evidence-based claims as readers and writers; it is explicitly and intentionally framed as skills-based instruction. The progression of learning for students includes expanding their abilities to organize evidence through a close reading of the text and to develop their ability to use evidence-based claims in writing. As a summative assessment students independently write a final evidence-based writing piece.
Connecticut teachers should be aware that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The unit plans includes specific tips on such topics as differentiation, teacher modeling and extension activities.
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION
The unit is an exemplary example of two key shifts in the CCSS: close reading of a text and text-based evidence. The unit plan focuses students on reading a text closely, examining textual evidence, and discerning deep meaning. It also facilitates rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about a common text through a sequence of specific, thought-provoking, and text-dependent questions. Students are routinely expected to draw evidence from the text to produce clear and coherent writing that informs, explains, or makes an argument. Activities address instructional expectations that are easy to understand and use. The unit regularly elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the major targeted standards. Teachers can easily adapt the unit activities and materials to other fiction and non-fiction texts.