Grades 7-8: Persuasion Across Time and Space – Analyzing and Producing Persuasive Texts (with instructional modifications for English Language Learners)

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http://ell.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/ela_archives/understanding_language_materials_Jan2013.pdf

The English Language Development Standards:  http://www.wida.us/standards/eld.aspx#2012

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Grade 7 Standards Addressed

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.7.6 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.

Writing

W.7.1 Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

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

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.

Grade 8 Standards Addressed

Reading Informational Text

RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.8.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

RI.8.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

RI.8.5 Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.

Writing

W.8.1 Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

W.8.5 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.

DESCRIPTION OF UNIT

This Grade 7-8 ELA/Literacy unit titled “Persuasion Across Time and Space: Analyzing and Producing Persuasive Texts” from the Understanding Language Initiative has an estimated instructional time of 24  forty-five minute sessions.  In this unit, students develop and deepen their understanding of complex persuasive and argumentative texts and how authors communicate their claims and appeals. Learning activities or tasks are carefully sequenced to develop English Language Learners’ understanding and application of the literacies described in the CCSS.  As a summative assessment each student develops a claim, reads an informational article about the issue, identifies relevant evidence to support his/her claim, develops a counter argument, and writes a persuasive essay.

CAUTIONS

Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that this unit was designed for students who have reached at least an intermediate level of proficiency in English. Teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. The Common Core standards listed in the Introduction to Readers, the Unit Overview, and in individual lessons are not always consistent with each other. To remedy this, teachers will need to identify which of the standards will be targeted and assessed in the unit.

RATIONALE FOR SELECTION

The unit plan is a good example of how reading informational texts and writing arguments can be used to deepen and accelerate the learning and instruction of all students at the middle school level, with a special emphasis on modifications for English Language Learners (ELLs). Instructional activities cultivate student interest and engagement in reading, writing, speaking and listening. Lessons focus on challenging sections of text(s) and engage students in a productive struggle through discussion questions and other supports that build toward independence. Lessons provide for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, student-directed inquiry, analysis, and evaluation. Extensive teaching materials include models for differentiation. The unit includes aligned rubrics and assessment guidelines that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance.