2020 COVID-19 Addendum
Due to the worldwide interruption that is the COVID-19 pandemic, seventh grade modified their curricular focus to best fit the Google Classroom online platform. Due to lost in-person time and inequitable access to texts, this academic year students will not engage in the “Historic Fiction” book club unit. Instead, we will focus on the argumentative essay unit for the remainder of the year, along with some reading comprehension practice. Additionally, students will have guidance and support to continue to develop their independent reading life and creative writing through journaling.
As mentioned above, Google Classroom is our main platform through which students will access texts, viewing instructional videos and complete assignments.
Google Classroom links
Eighth Hour Eighth Hour
Course DescriptionIn this course, students will expand their critical, creative, and analytical reading, writing, and thinking skills. Students will explore and develop their ability to closely read and interpret and respond to increasingly complex texts. Students will also engage in the writing process to produce compelling, organized and elaborate writing pieces.
Key Course Learning Experiences
Realistic Fiction Story: Writers will create a story that they wish existed in the world. This story will include aspects that resemble parts of real life.
Argumentative Essay: Writers will take a side on an issue, and through the essay format, argue their thesis.
Companion Book: Writers will use the skills learned throughout this unit to create a book that explores their thinking in regards to a chosen novel. This book can be read alongside their novel as a prequel, sequel, or additional resource for the reader.
TED Talks: Based on the extensive research students carried out during the “Essential Research Skills for Teens,” students will write and present their findings in the form of a TED Talk.
Book Tastings: At the beginning of each unit, students will have several opportunities to explore the variety of titles within the genre of reading study.
Gallery Walks: At the end of each unit, and sometimes mid-unit, students will have the opportunity to share and celebrate their work through displaying it for their peers, and classmates from the opposite “House,” to view and give compliments.
Essential Learning Goals
Reading: Using the workshop model (mini-lesson, independent practice, small group and conferring) students will gain the ability to read closely to determine what the text says explicitly/implicitly and to make logical inferences from it. Readers will cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. Students will interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative and figurative meanings and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning and tone. Finally, students will learn how to analyze and evaluate texts using knowledge of various literary forms.
Writing: Through the workshop model (mini-lesson, independent practice, small group and conferring) students will demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and skill when writing in a variety of formats (narrative, expository, informative, persuasive, argumentative) over different periods of time (on-demand as well as short and extended time frames), adapting and applying their writing for a range of tasks, audiences, and purposes.
Major Assessments and Success Criteria
The middle school English Language Arts Department believes that learning by doing is the best way to gain new skills and expand existing critical, creative, analytical, and evaluative skills; consequently, this class is largely a performance-based class, a class that guides students through the process of creating something (presentation, portfolio, project, etc.) that demonstrates their mastery of and ability to apply key skills and concepts.
Students will evaluate their own progress while in the process of completing assessments, and teachers will provide feedback which students can use to upgrade their assessments. Assessment directions, minimum requirements, and success criteria will be provided at the introduction of each major assessment.
Skills and concepts that transfer from one assessment to others: Students effectively convey ideas and information, orally and in writing, to enhance communication; students interact appropriately for a variety of classroom situations; students make connections between and among a variety of texts: fiction, informational, and visual.