Where the Science of Reading and Great Literature Meet
An overview of the unit Essential Questions and related texts provides the genre and focus skills.
Each unit wraps up with a Writing Lesson and Performance Task.
Each chapter is focused on an overarching learning objective and carefully scaffolded to maximize student success.
Connections: English Language Arts utilizes a close reading model and scaffolded instruction. Using the close reading routine, students develop a toolkit of strategies to tackle the specific tasks in a lesson.
The First Read, Second Read, and Third Read have a very intentional focus and purpose. This page provides that explanation to the student.
Essential Questions make learning relevant. Thought-provoking questions provide the purpose, relevancy, and the connective thread for critical reading of complex texts in each unit.
Each unit includes five chapters with texts and lessons that connect back to the Essential Question. Goals are provided for the student to clearly identify the learning objectives of the unit.
Preview Concepts and Making Connections help to engage students, develop context, and introduce academic vocabulary.
Chapter Goals provide the learning objectives for the chapter and in support of the overall unit goals.
Each chapter guides students through three close readings of text.
The First Read is the first exposure to the complex text excerpt where students will focus on a key standard as they read and respond to the text. With the First Read, students are encouraged to discover the text without prefatory discussion or notes, although a purpose for reading is given.
During this First Read, students are prompted with a purpose and instructions to annotate the text. They capture their notes and questions in the sidebar section under My Thoughts.
After reading, students complete a First Response activity, recording their initial reaction and observations of the text based upon the purpose for reading and pulling from their First Read notes.
Each lesson in a chapter contains a set of Focus On activities to build understanding and proficiency with a standards-based skill or strategy.
Students learn and practice the skills of summarizing, inferring, and using textual evidence through writing and speaking activities. Concepts are often presented visually in graphic organizers for enhanced comprehension.
During the Second Read, students reread the selection, hear the text read aloud, or read it with a partner with a different purpose or skill focus presented with a new Focus On skill.
Depending upon the difficulty of the text, the lesson may concentrate on main ideas or move to a deeper analysis of the craft and structure. Students discover how language, structure, and point of view create meaning in a text. Students will be asked to demonstrate the skill either through a speaking and listening activity or a writing activity.
With the Third Read, the lesson may return to analysis or move on to synthesis, connecting the chapter themes to another text within the unit or to a text read outside class. At this point, students understand the text at a level enabling them to make connections among several different texts. A new Focus On skill will be the purpose for the Third Read. Students have the knowledge base to confidently evaluate arguments and analyze multiple interpretations of a story.
The Write activity will have a language skill as the focus where students can focus on an integrated grammar activity within the context of what they read in the chapter.
Differentiated writing and communication activities provide choice and an opportunity for students to demonstrate understanding as a formative assessment. Project-Based Assessments challenge students to create their own works with research, writing, and presentation projects
The skills covered in the chapters are practiced in Connect to Testing which mirrors the types of test questions students are expected to answer on state exams.
The unit wraps up with a writing activity where
students will focus on a writing mode connected
to the Essential Question.
Each writing activity starts with the Writing Prompt where the writing mode and criteria for the final product are presented.
Prepare to Write helps students dissect the
Writing Prompt to ensure they understand the purpose, audience, content, and other requirements.
Writing Process takes students through each of the following steps to scaffold the building blocks needed for the final written product. Graphic organizers help gather information and keep content structured in such a way to make the finish product the best it can be.
Students read multiple texts in the unit summative Performance Task. The Performance Task evaluates students’ ability to comprehend selections of literature or informational text and then demonstrate their knowledge in writing. The task often begins with several multiple-choice or short answer questions on key vocabulary and the central ideas of the passage(s). The task culminates with a writing assignment.
Connections: English Language Arts provides student choice or a chance to bring in longer works, movies, or novels thematically connected to the text from the chapter.
This page provides an explanation of the close reading process and how to introduce it to students. Additional practice activities are provided as an example to introduce the close reading and annotation skills for the program using a grade-appropriate text.
An Essential Question introduction where teachers will have additional side notes to help introduce the unit Essential Question and unit goals. Suggestions are provided for introducing the unit.
ELL Support can be found in the bottom channel of the Teacher Edition page for the corresponding Student Edition content. Additional resources may be referenced to support instruction.
Preview Concepts & Making Connections offer supportive in-class notes and instructions for introducing the chapter are provided in the side margins of the Teacher Edition.
Chapter Goals provide suggestions for previewing the goals of the chapter and academic vocabulary.
Chapter PowerPoints—note the Target Icon in the side margin. These are provided online and direct the teacher to the corresponding lesson slides.
Lesson Support features for Reads 1, 2, and 3 include:
Before Reading—Checking for understanding and close
read modeling notes are provided at point-of-use.
Text-Based Discussion Questions—Opportunities to pause the reading and engage students in a discussion of the text. PowerPoints—Presentations for in-class demonstration and modeling. Specific presentations for the lesson are noted in the side margin. PowerPoint Presentations are provided for vocabulary, reading, and language skills covered during the chapter.
Background Information—Historical information, or additional information for context, is provided for the teacher and can be helpful to make sense of references within a selection.
Remediation—When students may need additional practice or scaffolding, Remediation tips are provided in the bottom channel.
Connect to the Essential Question—References back to the unit Essential Question are provided at certain points within the reading to help students make connections to the bigger picture.
Tech-Connect Suggestion—Additional weblinks are provided for research or further exploration when students may be interested in a topic.
Teacher support for utilizing the Project-Based Assessments and Connect to Testing features. With the Project-Based Assessments, the supports in the Teacher Edition can assist in helping students select one of the two options to complete based on different learning styles to demonstrate understanding. This provides flexible assessment options based on teacher and/or student preferences.
ELL Support—Provides modifications for ELLs for the Project-Based Assessments and Connect to Testing.
Lesson Support—In addition to the writing support provided on the Student Edition pages, the Teacher Edition also provides teacher notes and supports for guiding students through the writing process. Writing
PowerPoints—Presentations for whole class demonstration and modeling are referenced at point of use.
Units end with a Practice Performance Task. Teacher supports the use of the Performance Task as an assessment. Additional PowerPoint presentations are provided online for this feature.
Reproducible Writing and Project Rubrics are provided. These can beshared with students prior to completing a writing activity or project as well as for final evaluation.
Unit and End-of-Course Summative Assessments are reproducible and measure student understanding of the skills taught in the units and program using fresh reads. Vocabulary is assessed using objective questions. Students will also read a piece of literature and information text. Following the reading selection, students respond to objective as well as short and extended response questions.
Suggestions for implementing or utilizing certain technology resources are provided. Additional websites that may be useful in the classroom are referenced.
Planning guides provide suggestions for time to allocate for each part (or sub-lesson) of the chapter. When integrating Connections: Writing and Language into your instruction, related chapters are provided here as well.