8th Grade Historical Literacy consists of two 43 minute class periods. Writing is one 43 minute block and reading is another. The teacher has picked themes based on social studies standards, and a read-aloud novel based on social studies serves as the mentor text for writing and reading skills. More social studies content is addressed in reading through teaching nonfiction reading skills and discussion. Standards reflect CCSS ELA, Reading, and Social Studies Standards for History.
Students will be creating a variety of poetry as well as analyzing poetry. They will work with Language standards and take a performance assessment at the end of the unit.
This three-session lesson focuses on characterization. Students determine how a character's traits reveal particular character traits, using a list of adjectives as a guide. Then, they write descriptions of those characters. Characters from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone are used for modeling.
In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees. In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character, Ha, a 10-year-old Vietnamese girl whose family is deciding whether to flee during the fall of Saigon. The novel, poignantly told in free verse, will challenge students to consider the impact of specific word choice on tone and meaning. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text, both in discussion and through writing. They then will read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam, and the specific historical context of Ha’s family’s struggle during the fall of Saigon. In Unit 2, students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’
In this module, students analyze arguments and the evidence used to support arguments to determine whether sufficient evidence has been used and whether the evidence is relevant in support of the claim an author or speaker is making. They then research to gather evidence to make their own spoken and written arguments. Students will read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (930L), a literary non-fiction text about where food comes from and about making decisions about what food to buy and eat. They build background knowledge about what happens to food before it gets to the consumer, and the different choices the consumer can make when buying food while analyzing Michael Pollan’s arguments and the evidence he uses to support his claims. In Unit 2, students engage in a robust research project in which they further investigate the consequences of each of the food chains and the stakeholders affected in those food chains. To help students grapple with this issue, they use a decision-making process called “Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making” (see the end of this document for details). This process will help students understand the implications of various choices, and will scaffold their ability to determine, based on evidence and their own values, to take a position on which food chain they would choose if they were trying to feed everyone in the US. Students finish the module by writing a position paper explaining which of Michael Pollan’s food chain they would choose to feed the US and why, and creating a poster stating their position. This task addresses NYSP12 ELA Standards RI.8.1,W.8.1, W.8.1a, W.8.1b, W.8.1c, W.8.1d, W.8.1e and W.8.9.
We define common assessments as teacher-developed assessments, designed around courses where the same standards are assessed, questions are asked, and scoring rubrics are used by each course teacher. (We say this: if you cannot score another teacher's assessments, then your assessments are not common.)
This document poses a process with questions for content teachers to discuss, so that they can identify the standards they want to build common assessments around, and begin the work of creating together. In addition to content standards, the assessment needs to include a writing task based on standard W9: citing textual evidence when analyzing, reflecting, or researching.