Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 8th

Course: Ancient World History

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Alexander the Great: Was He or Wasn’t He a Great Military Leader?
What
Instruction?
  • 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

      .5 Day

      1. Bridging conversation

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

      Short response

      In a quick-write, record your first reaction to the task prompt. What strategies might you use to gain knowledge of the issue and form an opinion?

      No scoring

      • Opener: Students will create a list of at least three historical military leaders (e.g., Julius Caesar, Adolf Hitler, and Napoleon Bonaparte). 
      • Students will complete the quick-write/mini-task in their writer’s notebooks.  
      • The teacher will lead the class through a discussion of how they view the task.

      .5 Day

      2. Task analysis

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

      Short constructed response

      In your own words, write a brief explanation of what the task is asking you to do. What texts (non-fiction, informational, technical, data, maps, etc.) might you consider for this task?

      No scoring

      • Have students share responses so that they can hear examples of what their fellow students are doing; encourage students to help each other when appropriate.  
      • Rubric Translation – Students will be given time with partners to review the rubric and rewrite it in their own words in order to better understand the task expectations.

      .5 day

      3. Project planning

      Ability to plan a task so that reading and writing processes are accomplished on time. 

      Timeline

      Create a project timeline.

      Meets

      Creates a “doable” timeline that paces reading and writing processes.


      Not yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Model a common or sample timeline & homework.
      • Provide students with a timeline template.
      • Discuss the importance of planning.
  • Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process
    • Pacing Skill and Definition Mini-Task Instructional Strategies
      Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...)

      Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process

      .5 day

      Reading “habits of mind”:

      Ability to select appropriate texts and understand reading strategies needed for the task.

      Short Response

      1) Identify sources you will use and note how each source relates to your task.  2) Note sources in bibliographic format.

      No scoring

      • Teacher selects the sources for the students to complete this task. Teacher will explain how texts were selected for this task.
      • Demonstrate reading strategies relevant to a type of text to prepare students for next steps in the ladder.
      • Review sources in bibliography format.

      on-going

      2. Essential vocabulary

      Ability to apply strategies for developing an understanding of a text by locating words and phrases that identify key concepts and facts, or information.

      Vocabulary notebook entries

      In your notebook, identify key words or phrases as you read and define them within the context of the passage in the work you are reading. Add terms we identified in class as the “Key Terms.”

      Meets

      Identifies vocabulary words and phrases, notes their meaning, and, if applicable, their meaning in the context of the passage(s). 

      Writes in readable format.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Encourage the use of dictionaries and other sources to acquire understanding.
      • Teach strategies for understanding words in context.
      • Introduce language of reading and writing relevant to task (e.g., composition, memo, rhetoric, tone, concise, etc.).
      • Introduce or review relevant terms used in the discipline (e.g., empire, civilization, conquest, Hellenistic, etc.).

      On-going

      3. Note taking

      Ability to read purposefully and select relevant information; to summarize and/or paraphrase.  

      Notes & short response

      Using a note-taking method, select information relevant to the task; list each source and relevant information on a note card.  

      If included:

      L2 Identify competing arguments.

      L3  Identify a relevant connection(s) that supports argument.

      What does “plagiarism” mean and what strategies can you use to avoid it?

      Meets

      Accomplishes task by selecting relevant source material to support controlling idea as a claim (include L2 and 3 if applied to task).

      Answers question about plagiarism correctly and provides appropriate strategies for avoiding it.

      Writes notes that are usable.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Review policy for plagiarism and develop students’ understanding of it.
      • Provide students with note-taking methods and templates.
      • Discuss the term “relevant” and what it means to stay on task; both concepts are embedded in the rubric (focus/relevance).
      • Teach strategies for identifying and selecting source material in the form of quotes, passages, data, and so on, as it relates to a controlling idea as a claim and task.
      • Teach strategies for summarizing or paraphrasing.

      2 days

      4. Organizing notes

      Ability to prioritize and narrow supporting information.

      Notes in outline form

      Prioritize relevant information in your notes on which to build your sequence or process.

      Meets

      Provides a prioritized set of notes in an outline format that connects points for logic structure or line of thought.

      Suggests implications drawn from information about the issue or topic.
      Writes notes that are usable.


      Not yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Students prioritize notes from “most important” to “least important” or “most relevant” to “least relevant.” 
      • Introduce graphic organizer, model outlining, and stress the importance of pre-writing planning.
  • 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

      1 day

      1. Bridging conversation

      Ability to transition from reading or researching phase to the writing phase.

      Short response (with bullets), class work

      In a quick-write, write about what you know now that you’ve read about Alexander the Great.  What strategies might you use to ensure your information is accurate?

      No scoring

      • Prior to students writing a thesis, go over the value of a strong thesis statement, as it pertains to making an argument and organizing an essay.
      • Have students work in partners to write a strong argumentative thesis statement, which they will then share with the class.
      • Go over what elements go into constructing a quality introductory paragraph.
      • Students will write a rough draft of an introductory paragraph and then reflect on the improvements they can make using a checklist.
  • 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

      1 day

      Initiation of task

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

      Paragraph

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

      Meets

      Writes a concise summary statement or draft opening that establishes a controlling idea as a claim and identifies key points that support development of information and/or explanation.

      Writes in readable format.


      Not yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Review the rough paragraphs from the “Bridging Conversation” section.
      • Show students opening paragraphs from professional work.
      • Provide a checklist for the “ingredients” of an opening paragraph.
      • Demonstrate methods for L2 and L3.
      • Collectively write a summary demonstrating a controlling idea as a claim with key points that support the development of the explanation.

      1 day

      2. Planning

      Ability to develop a line of thought and text structure appropriate to an argumentation task.

      Outline/plan

      Create an outline including key elements drawn from your reading or research. Order  your key points in a logical way (e.g., chronologically, sequentially, etc.).

      Meets

      Applies an outline strategy to develop reasoning for argument.

      Provides citations and references with elements for correct form. 

      Draws a credible implication from information about an issue or topic.

      Writes in readable prose.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meet.”

      • Use mini-lessons in logic structures.
      • Share examples of structure with class.
      • Use discussion-based strategies to develop thinking relevant to prompt.
      • Have students connect ideas among the arts, literature, and events (past and present).

      2 Days

      3. Development

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

      Opening paragraph and first draft

      Draft an opening for your composition with one or more paragraphs that establishes the controlling idea as a claim and provides a lead in for your reader. Write an initial draft to include multiple paragraphs: an opening, development of your process, an ending to include a comment, conclusion, or implication.  Include L2 and/or L3, if appropriate.

      Meets

      Provides an opening to include a controlling idea as a claim and an opening strategy relevant to the prompt.

      Provides an initial draft with all elements of the prompt addressed. Include L2 and/or L3, if appropriate.

      Writes in readable, paragraph format.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • How to open a strong argumentation composition (e.g., with a claim, counter claim, background information, a question, quote, or grand, sweeping statement). 
      • How to end an argumentation essay (e.g., as a comment about next steps, a restatement of the main argument, or a description of unanswered questions).
      • Use templates for all levels to guide students through first draft.
      • Student-led revision session.

      2 days

      4. Revision:

      Ability to apply revision strategies to refine development of argument, including line of thought, language usage, and tone as appropriate to audience and purpose.

      Revised drafts (two or more)

      Apply revision strategies for clarity, logic, language, cohesion (students should do at least two  drafts).  

      Meets

      Demonstrates use of revision strategies that clarify logic and development of ideas; embeds relevant details; improves word usage and phrasing; and creates smooth transitions between sentences and paragraphs.

      Applies a text structure to organize reading material content and to explain key points related to the prompt.

      Include L2 and L3, if appropriate.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Develop ways to manage the revision process so that students get feedback in timely and helpful ways.
      • Allow for peer feedback on clarity of thinking, development of claim/argument, and conventions.
      • Read aloud to self and peers for feedback.
      • Checklist for embedding information, such as citation methods, quoting, and paraphrasing.
      • Encourage students to refine language and flow.

      2 Days

      5. Editing

      Ability to apply editing strategies and presentation applications.

      Next-to-final draft

      Finalize draft for the readership; apply finishing touches (e.g., visuals, neatness, formatting, copy editing, etc.).

      Meets

      Demonstrates use of strategies that enhance the readability and appearance of the work for presentation.


      Not Yet

      Attempts to meet the criteria for “meets.”

      • Use of error analysis to encourage self-correction of language usage and grammatical errors. 
      • Use of copyediting marks.


      Final Draft

      Submit your final draft before or on due date for scoring and feedback.




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