Evaluation for 3.b.3
Over the course of the year, writing skills and knowledge of conventions are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing.
Over the course of the year, writing skills and knowledge of conventions are applied in increasingly complex contexts, with opportunities for students to publish their writing. The materials facilitate students’ coherent use of the elements of the writing process to compose text in all four units and in the stand-alone supplemental materials. The materials provide opportunities for practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing. Within and across units, grammar, punctuation, and usage are taught systematically both in out of context. Each chapter and unit of the materials presents text-based tasks that address conventions and usage, while the “Composition Practice” materials present drills and strategies out of context to help student writing grow in depth and complexity across units. For example, students start the year by writing about themselves in a personal narrative and end the year with a research paper presenting a human rights issue and a solution in which someone of their age could participate.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each of the four units ends with a writing assignment that engages students in the stages of the writing process through varied genres.
In Unit 1, students are asked to think about a time when they were truly frightened. Then, they write a personal narrative in which they explain why this experience was significant and what they learned. The students gather ideas, use graphic organizers and an outline to organize their writing, write the first draft, participate in peer review, revise, edit, and then prepare a final draft.
In Unit 2, students write an argumentative essay, answering the question “What is an issue that you feel strongly about?” Students make a claim about the issue, support their position with strong reasons based on research and focused on logical appeals, and include a counterclaim and a response to the counterclaim. Students must also “include one example or quotation from a text” they read in the unit.
In Unit 3, students write a comparative essay by conducting an inquiry into an issue faced by a minority group in America. Students must clearly explain two different sides or perspectives on their topic in an unbiased way. First, students brainstorm and generate ideas; then, once a topic is picked, students begin to research and take notes; next, students use graphic organizers and outlines to organize their writing and cite their sources; they write the first draft, participate in peer review, revise, and edit; finally, they prepare a final draft.
In Unit 4, students write a research paper: “Take a stand on a human rights issue that you feel strongly about.” Students pick a topic that interests them and inspires them to make a change. The paper will “address the problem, identify how human rights are being violated, and suggest one or more solutions to the problem, including how students your age can help.” Students start by gathering ideas and evaluating sources; they conduct research and organize the ideas found from the research; they learn about the MLA format and create an outline for the first draft; they participate in peer review, revise, and edit; finally, they prepare a final draft.
Each chapter provides opportunities to learn about, practice, and apply specific conventions of academic language tied to the texts students read.
In Unit 1, Chapter 3, the “Language” section addresses voice and tenses in verbs. For example, it goes over the difference between active and passive voice. Then, it explains how to change the verb from a passive verb into an active verb and when to change an active verb into a passive verb. The teacher’s edition asks, “How does the meaning of the sentence change based on the voice used?” Next, it goes over the tenses of verbs and uses the in-context lesson on Dracula to explain present-tense writing.
In Unit 2, “Understanding Persuasive Language” addresses capitalization. In this lesson, specific lines from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” are used to show capitalization rules and usage, such as “Though he is catholic and I am protestant, we are both Christians.”
In Unit 3, I Will Fight No More Forever by TobyMac and Michael Tait provides for an in-context lesson about using apostrophes. First, the text gives the rules for using apostrophes. Then, it gives sentences from Mac and Tait’s text, and the student is asked to add apostrophes, if needed, to their writing, such as “Instead he was here, huddled in a makeshift camp at the foot of the Bears Paw Mountains in Northern Montana….”
In Unit 4, Night by Elie Wiesel provides for an in-context lesson on the pronoun-antecedent agreement. The lesson starts by pointing out how the author uses pronouns and their antecedents. Then, it gives three rules and the correct and incorrect use of the pronoun and its antecedent. Finally, the student is asked to read a statement and correct any pronoun mistakes, if needed.
The materials also include a wealth of stand-alone supplemental teacher resources, including the “Writing and Language Teacher’s Guide,” which provides detailed lesson plans, vocabulary, tests, and other materials on composition, grammar, mechanics, and usage. The materials also include two accompanying student books, “Composition Practice,” and “Language Practice,” with instructional and practice materials on the writing process, grammar and mechanics, and usage (such as parts of speech, misplaced modifiers, clauses, subject/verb agreement, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling). The “Writing and Language Handbook,” a resource on the foundational skills of writing for students, is also included. Chapters 1–4 and 12–24 include vital information on the writing process. Chapters 1–4 cover the writing process, the writer’s craft, writing well-structured paragraphs, and writing effective compositions. Chapters 12–24 address parts of speech, grammar, and sentence structure.