Discipline: Science

Grade Level: 7

Course: Life Science

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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  • Student Work Samples
    • Within the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) framework, student work samples answer the critical question, "What Results?" The inclusion of student work within the module design provides teachers insight into how to improve the quality of the teaching task and the feedback they give on student strengths and challenges.

  • Informational Assessment Rubric
    • Meets Expectations


      Addresses prompt with a focused response.


      Presents and applies relevant information with general accuracy.

      Controlling Idea

      Establishes a controlling idea that states the main purpose and/or question for the tasks. L2 Addresses the credibility of sources.


      Presents sufficient information in order to examine or convey topics or issues, answer questions, solve problems; identifies salient themes or features; explains key information with sufficient detail. L2 Discusses relevant implications to topic. L3 Identifies a gap or unanswered question.


      Applies a generally effective structure to address specific requirements of the prompt.


      Demonstrates a command of standard English conventions and cohesion; employs language and tone appropriate to audience and purpose. 

      Not Yet


      Attempts to address prompt but lacks focus or is off-task.


      Attempts to present information relevant to prompt.

      Controlling Idea

      Controlling idea is weak and does not establish a purpose and/or address a research question.


      Tends to retell rather than present information in order to answer questions, solve problems; lacks details to develop topic. L2 Implications are weak or not relevant to topic. L3 Does not identify a relevant gap or unanswered question.


      Applies an ineffective structure; composition does not address requirements of the prompt.


      Demonstrates a weak command of standard English conventions; lacks cohesion; language and tone are inappropriate to audience and purpose. 

  • Teacher Work Section
    • Here are added thoughts about teaching this module:

      This task would most likely be integrated into an ecology and/or watershed unit.

      • Due to students misusing the term “biodiversity,” we would include 1-2 instructional days on the topic prior to starting the module.
      • Instead of having students select from a list of online articles, we would provide a list of 3-5 useful articles that students could choose from.
      • Have students translate the grading rubric into their own words.
        Include comprehension strategies, such as active reading and 25-word challenge.
      • Provide students with an exemplary sample essay that would be deconstructed into a sample outline.
      • Provide examples and non-examples of thesis statements and hook sentences.

      Possible variations.

      Add ideas for spin-offs or extensions to the module.

      • Have students draw a cover page illustrating the importance of biodiversity.

        Module instruction can be adjusted for students who may need more support. During the process of individual active reading of the articles on biodiversity, students may be pulled into small groups for more targeted instruction on note-taking and summarizing strategies, thesis development, and rough draft writing. Co-teaching with an instructional coach or special education teacher works well.

  • Appendix
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