Discipline: English/Language Arts

Grade Level: 7th

Course: Social Studies/Reading Course: 7th Grade Ancient Civilizations

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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A Cinderella Comparison
  • Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 1.

      Pacing Skill and Definition Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...) Instructional Strategies

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      10 - 15 minutes

      1. Bridging conversation

      Ability to establish knowledge base and assess skills and strategies necessary to manage task.

      Prompt: In a quick write, explain in your own words what culture is. What characteristics of the story might you use to identify what makes culture unique?

      Product: short response

      No scoring

      • Conduct a class discussion to help students focus on the task's question or ideas and to open their minds to possible ways of thinking about the prompt.


      • Discuss in detail the type of writing you will use.
      • Do the task to ensure understanding of the demands and cognitive processes embedded in the task.
      • Create a template for students to use during the writing process.

      5 - 10 minutes

      2. Task analysis

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

      Prompt: In your own words, write a brief explanation of what the task is asking you to do.

      Product: Short constructed response

      No scoring

      • Have students share responses so that students can hear/know what one another are doing, and encourage them to help each other when appropriate.
      • Review each student's response to ensure she/he understands the task. Ensure relevant reading material is selected or provided.
      • Discuss in detail the prompt, type of writing and structure, the product, and the rubric.


      • Collaboratively plan the task: How much time to teach each step? How much time to score? How to conduct scoring? Do we need any training on specific aspects of the task? What resources can support teaching? Who has the expertise?

      3. Student project planning

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

      A timeline for completion of the project will be provided by the teacher.



      • Provide students with a timeline.
      • Discuss the importance of planning.


      • Create timeline to support student planning.
  • Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 2.

      Pacing Skill and Definition Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...) Instructional Strategies

      Skills Cluster2: Reading Process

      1. Reading "habits of mind"

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

      Prompt: Identify/review the literary elements of a story and how they might reflect cultural values or differences.

      Product: class discussion

      • Have students decide which literary elements to focus on as they read; which would give students the best insight into the country's culture? Example: Plot, setting, and characters' actions.
      • Demonstrate reading strategies relevant to a type of text to prepare students for next steps in the ladder.


      • Discuss and analyze the appropriateness of texts for specific tasks; teachers select text for students based on student lexile scores/levels.
      • Review and discuss reading strategies that pertain to specific types of texts (e.g. literary, information, technical) and to the task.
      • Review and discuss literary elements so students have consistency of terminology within the grade level.
      • Agree on a bibliographic format.
      • Plan for students who need extra time, resources, or assistance.

      1 class period

      2. Note-taking 1

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

      Prompt: Use a graphic organizer to identify the geography, culture/customs, government/economy, and other categories of social studies for both versions of Cinderella.

      Product: graphic organizer


      • Accomplishes task by selecting relevant source material to support controlling idea as a claim.
      • Writes in readable manner.
      • Provide students with a note taking method and template (Comparing Cultures in Cinderella).
      • Model how to read a chunk of the story, applying reading strategies to find literary elements and apply them to the elements of culture on the graphic organizer.
      • Discuss the term "relevant" and what it means to stay on task—two demands embedded in the rubric.
      • Teach strategies for identifying and selecting source material in the form of quotes, passages, data, and so forth as it relates to a controlling idea as a claim and task.


      • Strategies for teaching note-taking skills.

      1 class period

      3. Note-taking 2

      Ability to prioritize and narrow supporting information.

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

      Product: notes and graphic organizer


      • Provides a prioritized set of notes that connect points for logic structure or line of thought.
      • Suggests implications drawn from information about the issue or topic.
      • Use the graphic organizer and a highlighter/colored pencils to identify differences in the story elements that may reflect cultural values and characteristics.


      • Strategies for developing cognitive strategies as well as practical ones for prioritizing ideas, supporting evidence.
  • Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 3.

      Pacing Skill and Definition Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...) Instructional Strategies

      Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing

      10 minutes

      1. Bridging Conversation

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

      Prompt: What are three similarities and differences between the two stories? What do those differences tell you about the culture in which the story was written?

      Product: short response (with bullets) class work

      No scoring

      • Have students refer to their prioritized notes to identify the top three elements of culture. What conclusion can they draw about cultural values based on this information?
      • Discuss the prompt and what students need to do to complete the writing portion.
      • Refer to rubric- point out demands and qualities of performance, such as "substantive and credible, clear, thorough, relevant," etc.
  • Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 4.

      Pacing Skill and Definition Product and Prompt Scoring (Product "Meets Expectations" if it...) Instructional Strategies

      Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process

      1 class period

      1. Initiation of Task

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

      Prompt: Write an introductory paragraph that clearly states your thesis (claim).

      Product: Paragraph


      • Paragraph identifies key points that support development of information and/or explanation.
      • Writes in readable prose.
      • Provide a checklist for the "ingredients" of an opening paragraph for an argumentative essay.
      • Model the process for writing a hook, definition of culture and fairy tale, and thesis statement (claim).


      • Deconstruct the demands and qualities of performances embedded in the rubric. What strategies or methods can help students acquire these skills and qualities of performance?

      1 class period

      2. Planning

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

      Prompt: Complete a graphic organizer that outlines the key elements for each paragraph.

      Product: graphic organizer


      • Applies graphic organizer strategy to develop reasoning for argument
      • Draws a credible implication from information about an issue or topic
      • Writes in readable prose
      • Use mini-lessons in logic structures.
      • Use discussion-based strategies to develop thinking relevant to prompt.
      • Have students connect ideas among the arts, literature, and events.


      • Teachers develop templates
      • PD in discussion-based strategies, questioning and logic structures

      1 class period

      3. Development

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

      L2: Ability to analyze competing arguments.

      L3: Ability to make clarifying connections and/or provide examples.

      Prompt: Write an initial draft of the five-paragraph essay that includes topic and concluding paragraphs.

      Product: First draft


      • 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
      • Writes in readable prose
      • How to open and end an argumentation composition (with a claim, counter claim, background information, a question, quote, or grand sweeping statement)
      • How to end a composition (e.g., as a comment about next steps, a restatement of main finding or a description of unanswered questions)
      • Use of template for all levels to guide students through first draft
      • Student-led revision sessions


      • Drafting strategies—conferencing and whole group
      • Discuss use of technology to manage some of the feedback to students

      1 - 2 class periods

      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.

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

      Product: Revised drafts (two or more)


      • 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

      Not yet: Attempts to meet the criteria for "meets"

      • Develop ways to manage revision process so that students get feedback in timely and helpful ways
      • Draft study (students volunteer a segment for class or small group help and discussion)
      • Peer feedback on clarity of thinking and development of claim/argument
      • Read-aloud for peer and adult feedback
      • Strategies for embedding information— citation methods, quoting, paraphrasing


      • Identify strategies for revising for IDEAS and LOGIC before editing grammar. Strategies such as individual & group mentoring, "what's good, what's needed" feedback and peer feedback

      1 class period

      5. Editing

      Ability to apply editing strategies and presentation applications.

      Prompt: Finalize draft for the readership: apply finishing touches (e.g., visuals, neatness, formatting, copyediting).

      Product: Next to final draft.


      • 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 mark


      • Editing strategies
      • Technology and publishing methods

      Final Draft

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

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