Grade 7: Reading Closely for Textual Details – “At the Pole”


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Reading for Information

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.7.9 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.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

W.7.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Speaking and 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.


This Grade 8 unit titled “Reading Closely for Textual Details – At the Pole from is part of a developing core proficiencies program that is intended to be completed in three to four weeks of direct ELA/literacy instruction. The instructional focus of this unit is on learning to read text closely: attending to details, language, and perspective; posing and responding to text-dependent questions; and analyzing connections and relationships to deepen understanding. The unit also emphasizes informational text while incorporating literary nonfiction and other literary texts. Instruction culminates with students participating in and leading a text-centered discussion, through which they demonstrate both their developing skills of close reading, analysis, and questioning—as well as emerging discussion skills.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively.  While this unit uses varied modes of assessment, including a range of pre, formative, summative, and self-assessment measures, no formal CCSS aligned rubrics are included to measure student performance. (The unit does include detailed checklists for teachers and students that could be used to create rubrics.)


The design of this unit is exemplary. It integrates reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills that meet targeted Common Core standards.  It has been structured to be implemented in a variety of ways. This unit is intentionally designed so that all students engage directly with a series of texts that progress in grade level complexity and activities as the unit unfolds. Students (especially those who are ELLs or are reading well below grade level) are supported through explicit instruction of skills and strategies. Instruction follows a progression that moves from scaffolding and support to independent application. Optional extensions and assessments are provided.