Discipline: Social Studies

Grade Level: 11th, 12th

Course: Economics

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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Comparing Economic Systems
  • Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 1.

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

      Skills Cluster 1: Preparing for the Task

      1 class period

      1. Task engagement

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

      Short response

      In a quick-write response, what is your first reaction to the task prompt? What strategies did you use to interpret this prompt?

      No scoring

      • Opener—students will complete an opening journal entry and discussion in order to review the content on economic systems. Example: "What would be the positive and negative effects if America chose to eliminate public schools in favor of an all-private system?"
      • Students complete the quick-write in their Writer's Notebook.
      • Socratic Seminar—After the quick-write, students will engage in a short Socratic Seminar to help shape their individual views and understanding of the task using dialogue instead of debate.
      • Extra Support—Provide struggling students with sentence starters and frameworks for their quick-writes.
        • Example: I believe a _____ system would be the best type of system because ________.

      1 class period

      2. Task and rubric analysis

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

      Short response

      In your own words, write a brief explanation of what the task is asking you to do (students respond below the quick-write).

      Rubric translation

      Students will translate the rubric in their own words.

      No scoring

      • Have students share responses so that students can hear how others are interpreting the task and encourage them to help each other when appropriate.
      • Rubric Translation Activity—Introduce rubric to class. In small groups, students will translate their assigned piece of the rubric in their own words. Students will then participate in a jigsaw and gallery walk to share/take notes on rubric translations.
      • Extra Support—Specifically plan groups to provide ideal peer-support for students who need it.
      • Teacher work—Review each student's responses (task analysis and quick-write) to ensure she/he understands the task.
  • Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 2.

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

      Skills Cluster 2: Reading Process

      1 class period

      1. Pre-reading

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

      Reading strategy list

      1) What strategies do you use to help you process your reading?

      2) What information do you already know about the topic of the first article: the healthcare debate and how taxes are related?

      List of 5-6 strategies for reading (can be strategies of others as well).

      Participates in class discussion of reading strategies and current knowledge of article topic.

      • As individuals, students write 1 or 2 strategies that they use to help them understand what they read. Students share responses in pairs then must find 3 other strategy ideas from classmates to add to their lists ("give one, get one" activity).
      • Create a class list of reading strategies and content knowledge of first article.
      • Extra Support—Create bookmarks or laminated cards of reading strategies, so students have consistent reminders of strategies.

      The following skills, Active Reading and Note-Taking, are completed in conjunction with each other for each text.

      3 class periods

      2. Active reading

      Ability to understand necessary reading strategies needed for the task and develop an understanding of a text by locating words and phrases that identify key concepts and facts, or information

      Annotated articles

      Use annotation techniques and other reading strategies to demonstrate your reading process and your level of interaction with the text.

      Vocabulary list

      In your notebook, list words and phrases essential to the texts. Add definitions, and (if appropriate) notes on connotation in this context.

      Annotated or "actively read" article has a variety of marks (circles, underlining, stars, highlights, etc.).

      Annotation also includes written questions, connections, and insights in the margins. *Use annotation rubric to provide students feedback on their reading.

      • Front-load vocabulary synonyms for market and command economies. Students record in Vocabulary Notes section of their Writer's Notebook.
      • Instruction for the first article ("Should the U.S. have a National Healthcare System?") should be very explicit and include group/partner work and teacher modeling.
        • Teacher reads first 3 sentences of the article, modeling active reading and strategies.
        • Students finish reading the rest of the article using a "think aloud" process with a partner.
        • Teacher asks for a list of vocabulary with which students struggled, and class discusses strategies for understanding words in context. Students record new vocabulary in the Vocabulary Notes section of their Writer's Notebook.
      • Students actively read and annotate the next 3 articles mostly independently, with some teacher guidance and reflection in pairs.

      (Same 3 class periods)

      3. Note-taking

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

      Notes and short response

      Summarize the articles and respond to focus questions to demonstrate depth of understanding.

      Summaries contain "who, what, where, when, and why."

      Focus questions have an appropriate response—emerging or clear opinion is evident.

      Writes in readable prose.

      • Conduct a brief review of summary writing strategies.
      • Use a variety of reading/writing activities to help students improve processing skills of main idea and significance.
        • 25-word summary; Question, Answer, Relationship (QAR); reciprocal teaching, etc.
      • Students get independent work time to respond to focus questions after completing the summary. Focus questions should lead students to take a stance on the market and command aspects of the article's subject. When possible, students should discuss responses in pairs or as a group.
      • Extra Support—These activities are designed to provide support for all reading levels.

      1 class period

      4. Organizing notes

      Ability to prioritize and narrow notes and other information.

      Notes and graphic organizer

      Prioritize relevant information in the "Organizing Notes" section of your Writer's Notebook.

      Creates a prioritized set of notes that categorizes evidence.

      Suggests implications drawn from information about the economic systems.

      Writes in readable prose.

      • Students place relevant information from the texts and their own background knowledge into the graphic organizer.
      • Students prioritize the information in the graphic organizer by identifying the pieces of evidence they will use in their essay.
      • Extra Support—Provide students with specific examples of what kinds of information belong in each section of the graphic organizer. Create a list of "leading questions" to help guide students in the process. Example: "What is one fact you learned from the healthcare article that supports a market system?"
  • Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 3.

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

      Skills Cluster 3: Transition to Writing

      1 class period

      1. Bridging conversation

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

      Short response

      In a quick write, compose a brief overview of your essay. How will it be constructed? What is your central argument?

      No scoring

      • Review professional or other samples of writing type and structure.
      • Students will deconstruct and evaluate the article "As Cuba Gives Capitalism a Try, Experts Ponder Future" using the rubric to guide critique.
        • Demonstrate patterns of development (e.g., from most important to least important).
        • Note the difference between an "explanation" and an "argument."
        • Evaluate effectiveness. Do you get the information and explanation you expect? Why?
      • Discuss the process for writing the essay.
      • Extra Support—Struggling readers should focus on fewer rubric components, such as Reading/Research and Controlling Idea.
  • Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process
    • Click here to download a pdf version of Skills Cluster 4.

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

      Skills Cluster 4: Writing Process

      1 class period

      1. Initiation of task

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


      1) Write a formal claim in your Writer's Notebook using your quick-writes, notes, and article information to ensure a strong controlling idea.

      2) Write a draft introduction that will set the context for your claim.

      Writes a claim that establishes a controlling idea and identifies key points that support development.

      Writes a draft introduction that sets an appropriate context for the claim.

      Writes in readable prose.

      • Before students write their formal claim, review qualities of a strong claim as a class: must be an argument, include simple defense of the argument, and include categories to lead reader and organize essay.
      • In pairs, students will edit sample claim statements provided by the teacher. As a class, go over each thesis statement, asking for volunteers to identify the strong and weak characteristics of each statement.
      • After students have finished writing a formal claim, review the qualities of a strong opening paragraph: HOTT—Hook, Overview, Thesis, Transition.
      • In pairs, students share their claim statements and introductions. Student volunteers share their claims and introductions with the class for critique.
      • Extra Support—Provide students with sentence frames to help write the claim. For example: A __________ economic system is the ideal system because it provides a country with ___________ and __________ (choose two "goals" from your notes).

      1 class period

      2. Planning

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


      Create an outline including key elements drawn from your research and order them in some logical way (e.g., chronologically, sequentially).

      Applies an outline strategy to develop reasoning for argument.

      Draws a credible implication from information about the differences between economic systems.

      Writes in readable prose.

      • Review text requirements: Students must use evidence from a minimum of 3 different texts in their essays.
      • Students independently write an outline using the template in their Writer's Notebook.
      • In small groups, students share how they will organize their essays.
      • Extra Support—Students will focus on providing evidence from only one or two texts in their outline.

      1 class period

      3. Development

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

      Rough draft

      Write a rough draft of your essay consisting of 4-5 paragraphs. (Includes an introduction, 2-3 body paragraphs and a conclusion.)

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

      Provides an initial draft with all elements of the prompt addressed.

      Writes in readable prose.

      • Review strategies for constructing body paragraphs: TEST—Topic sentence, Evidence, Significance, and Transition.
      • Create stations where students can get guidance on certain aspects of the essay: introduction, claim, evidence/analysis, and conclusion. Assign a strong student-writer at each station to help guide discussion and provide peer review. Teacher spends time at each station assisting students.
      • Extra Support—Teacher leads"station" for students who need extra support in developing the essay.

      2 class periods

      Revision and editing

      Ability to apply revision strategies to refine development of argument, including line of thought, language, tone, and presentation.

      Revised draft

      Apply revision strategies for clarity, logic, language, cohesion, appearance, and conventions.

      Demonstrates use of revision strategies that clarify logic and development of ideas, includes 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.

      Provides complete draft with all parts.

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

      Improves earlier edition.

      • Students give each other feedback on rough drafts using the "peer review template."
      • Students can e-mail essays to teacher for efficient and basic feedback.
      • Discuss strategies for citing information using the Writer's Notebook—MLA citation methods, quoting, and paraphrasing.
      FINAL DRAFT: Submit your final draft before or on due date for scoring and feedback.
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