Discipline: ELA

Grade Level: 7th grade-GT

Course: 7th grade language arts-GT

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Great Expectations: Growing into a Hero: Informational Module
  • Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      Day 1

      1. Task engagement

      Ability to connect the task and new content to existing knowledge, skills, experiences, interests, and concerns.


      In a quick-write, write your first reaction to the task prompt. What do you think about this assignment? What parts of it do you think you can answer now?


      • Share responses from students.

      Day 1

      2. Task analysis

      Ability to understand and explain the task's prompt and rubric. 


      What do you need to know or be able to do to get an A on this assignment?


      • Create a list of student ideas to post in the room and check them off as we complete them.
      • Establish a time line for the essay's parts.
  • Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      Day 2

      1. Text selection

      Ability to identify appropriate texts


      For each text (two selected by the teacher, one identified online by the student), create a bibliography and identify what makes this a credible source for this essay.

      Identifies author, title, publisher, date, and any other needed information (for example, the volume for a periodical or the editor for an anthology).

      Includes reasonable evidence that work is credible and/or worthy of study.

      • Provide citation guide and discuss why each element of citation is needed.
      • Ask students to brainstorm what makes an author credible and/or worthy of study.
      • Discuss "look-for's" to guide students in identifying their own source.

      Days 2, 3, and 4

      2: Active reading

      Ability to identify the central point and main supporting elements of a text.

      Day 2: Numbered List

      Generate a list of the stages and steps of the Hero Journey.

      Day 3: Notes

      Generate explanatory notes about each stage and step of the Hero Journey.

      Day 4: Notes

      As a class, fill in informational gaps in class notes.

      Notes are thorough and complete.

      • Students brainstorm list of stages and steps with teacher facilitation.
      • Teacher helps to explain the notes with references to a shared student text (Star Wars).

      Days 5-6

      3. Analysis Practice

      Ability to use central ideas of informational texts to practice analysis with short texts and film clips in preparation for writing.

      Short response

      In your notes packet, analyze short film clips for elements of the Hero Journey. Which parts of the texts helped you identify those elements?

      Identifies accurate elements.

      Includes textual information to support analysis.

      • Day 5, complete the activity whole class with modeling from the teacher.
      • Day 6, students complete independently followed by whole class discussion and review.
      • Day 7, student complete independently and receive scoring and descriptive feedback from teacher.
      • Recommended films—Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings


      4. Essential vocabulary

      Ability to identify and master terms essential to understanding a text

      Vocabulary list 

      In your notes packet, highlight words and phrases essential to understanding the Hero Journey. Add definitions for any word or concept you do not understand.

      Highlights appropriate words and phrases.

      Provides accurate definitions.

      • Teacher modeling for the first few steps.
      • Use formative vocabulary quizzes to help them identify words they may not know.

      Day 8

      5. Academic integrity

      Ability to use and credit sources appropriately.

      Definition and strategies

      Define "plagiarism" and list ways to avoid it.

      Provides accurate definition.

      Lists several appropriate strategies.

      • Discuss respect for others' work to assemble evidence and create texts.
      • Discuss academic penalties for stealing others thoughts and words.

      Days 9 and 10

      6. Note-taking 

      Ability to select important facts and passages for use in one's own writing.


      From the novel, the Hero Journey texts, and the notes, make a list of the elements that look most important for answering the prompt. Use strategies to avoid plagiarism.

      Identifies relevant elements.

      Includes information to support accurate citation (for example, page numbers for a long text, clear indication when quoting directly).

      • Provide a worksheet for note-taking.
      • Create works cited page to aid in referencing.
  • Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing

      Day 11

      1. Bridging

      Ability to begin linking reading results to writing task


      In a quick-write, explain what you've learned 'about archetypes and the Hero Journey through your reading.

      No scoring

      • Discuss student answers.
      • Refer to chart developed day 1.
  • Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process

      Day 11

      1. Controlling idea

      Ability to establish a controlling idea and consolidate information relevant to task.

      Opening paragraph

      Write an opening paragraph that includes a controlling idea and sequences the key points you plan to make in your composition.

      Writes a concise summary statement or draft opening.

      Provides direct answer to main prompt requirements.

      Establishes a controlling idea.

      Identifies key points that support development of argument.

      • Provide a worksheet to aid in writing and scoring.

      Day 12

      2. Planning

      Ability to develop a line of thought and text structure appropriate to an information/ explanation task.


      Create an outline based on your notes and reading in which you state your claim, sequence your points, and note your supporting evidence.

      Creates an outline or organizer.

      Supports controlling idea.

      Uses evidence from texts read earlier.

      • Provide a worksheet to aid in writing and scoring.

      Days 13, 14, and 15

      3. Development

      Ability to construct an initial draft with an emerging line of thought and structure.

      Initial draft

      Write a rough draft complete with opening, body, and closing; insert and parenthetically cite textual evidence.

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

      Supports the opening in the later sections with evidence and citations.

      • Model parenthetical citation format.

      Days 16 and 17

      4. Revision

      Ability to refine text, including line of thought, language usage, and tone as appropriate to audience and purpose.

      Multiple drafts

      Revise your draft with a partner. Make sure it makes sense, covers the prompt, uses textual evidence, and cites that evidence. Make sure the conclusion  brings your thoughts to a close and either circles back to the opening or connects your essay to the world outside the novel. Use your partner's suggestions to create a better essay.

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

      Improves earlier edition.

      • Partners use Post-it notes to make suggestions and point out weaknesses.

      Day 18

      5. Editing

      Ability to proofread and format a piece to make it more effective.

      Correct Draft

      Work with a partner to edit the spelling, punctuation, and grammar of your essay. Make sure it says what you mean and sounds like you are talking to your teacher.

      Provides draft free from distracting surface errors.

      • Briefly review selected skills that many students need to improve.
      • Teach a short list of proofreading marks.
      • Assign students to proofread each other's texts a second time. 

      Day 19

      6. Completion

      Ability to submit final piece that meets expectations

      Final Piece 

      Turn in your complete set of drafts, plus the final version of your piece.

      Fits the "Meets Expectations" category in the rubric for the teaching task.

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