Discipline:  English/Language Arts

Grade Level: 10

Course: Sophomore English 

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Good Readers and Good Writers
  • 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.

      Short Response with Bullets

      In a quick write, write your first reaction to the prompt What are the qualities of a good reader and writer?  What do you need to know to form an opinion? What skills do you need to respond to this prompt?

      No Scoring

      • Link this task to earlier class content.
      • Discuss student responses.

      Day 1

      2. Task analysis

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


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

      No Scoring

      • Pair students to share and improve their individual bullets.
      • Check to make sure that students understand the scope of work.
  • 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

      Day 2

      1. Text selection

      Ability to identify how each text supports the student’s argument.


      For each text, list the needed bibliographic information.  

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

      • Provide citation guide and discuss why each element of citation is needed. 
      • Ask students to brainstorm what makes a good reader and a good writer before delving into the texts.
      • Provide access to research sources for students to assess the texts.
      • Model reading Nabokov’s essay focusing on annotating the text using a Purpose Question.
        • Students will read another essay on their own. These essays have been chosen for the students based on their individual reading abilities. 

      Days 2, 3, 4, and 5

      2a. Active reading

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

      Short reflective entry for each text

      What is the author trying to accomplish? Which parts of the text show you that?

      Annotate each text using the Purpose Question (PQ): What are the qualities of a good reader and writer?

      Answers questions with credible response.

      Includes reasonable evidence through annotations to respond to the Purpose Question.

      • Invite students to share and discuss their answers and annotations for each text.
      • After the discussion, allow them to add to their entries.

      Days 2, 3, 4, and 5

      2b. Active reading

      Ability to summarize key supporting details and ideas in a text.

      Summary Notes

      For each text, create a summary using the Summary Notes format.

      Provides thorough summary of text.

      • Provide a model summary response.
      • Have students work in pairs to create a summary for one of the texts before students begin to work on this individually.


      3.Essential vocabulary

      Ability to identify and master terms essential to understanding a text.

      Vocabulary list 

      Using the Cornell note format, list words and phrases essential to the texts.  Add definitions, and (if appropriate) notes on connotation in this context.

      No Scoring

      • Teach Cornell notes for note-taking.
      • After compiling terms, ask some students to share definitions of terms that they believe are key to the text.
      • Be willing to provide direct instruction or guide a cloze reading to work through a key phrase most students missed.

      Day 3

      4. Academic integrity

      Ability to use and credit sources appropriately.

      Definition and strategies

      Review “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.
      • Provide resources for students to use when documenting their sources.

      Days 2, 3, 4, and 5

      5. Note-taking

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


      From each text, make a list of the elements that look most important for answering the prompt.  Reference the strategy list toavoid plagiarism.

      Identifies relevant elements.

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

      • Teach Cornell notes for note taking.
      • Check that early student work is in the assigned format (or in another format that gathers the needed information effectively).
  • 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 1: Preparing for the Task

      Day 6

      1. Bridging

      Ability to begin linking reading results to writing task.


      Revisit your list from day 1 about what makes a good reader and good writer. Add to this list or revise it based on the readings we have studied the past few days.

      No scoring

      • Small group discussion using question.
      • Whole class discussion using question.
  • 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 6

      1. Claim

      Ability to establish a claim 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.

      • Offer several examples of opening paragraphs.
      • Ask class to discuss what makes them strong or weak.
      • Review the list that students created earlier to identify needed elements (from Cluster 1, skill 2).

      Day 6

      2. Planning

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

      Uses evidence from texts read earlier.

      • Provide and teach Burke’s Argument Organizer.
      • Invite students to generate questions in pairs about how the format works, and then take and answer questions.

      Day 7

      3. Development

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

      Initial draft

      Write an initial draft complete with opening, development, and closing; insert and cite textual evidence. 

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

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

      • Encourage students to re-read prompt partway through writing, to check that they are on track.
      • Have students underline their claims, italicize their evidence from the texts, and bold their commentary in each paragraph to help develop their thesis.

      Day 7

      4. Documentation

      Ability to integrate information without plagiarizing.

      In-text Citations & Works Cited Page

      Incorporate sources within text of paper without plagiarizing. Write a Works Cited page.

      Uses in-text citations correctly

      Drafts an accurate Works Cited page.

      • Offer examples of papers documenting sources correctly.
      • Offer examples of Works Cited pages.
      • Refer students to MLA resources.

      Day 8

      5. Revision

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

      Multiple drafts

      Refine composition’s analysis, logic, and organization of ideas/points. Use textual evidence carefully, with accurate citations. Decide what to include and what not to include.

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

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

      Improves earlier edition.

      • Assign students to provide each other with feedback on those issues. Use colored pencils to have peer editors pick out the writer’s claims, evidence, and commentary. 
      • Provide and teach Peer Editing Exercise. Model appropriate responses using a sample paper.
      • Conference with students who need one-to-one help.

      Day 9

      6. Editing

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

      Correct Draft

      Revise draft to have sound spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.  Adjust formatting as needed to provide clear, appealing text.

      Provides draft free from distracting surface errors.

      Uses format that supports purpose.

      • 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 10

      7. 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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