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The quality review is the result of extensive evidence gathering and analysis by Texas educators of how well instructional materials satisfy the criteria for quality in the subject-specific rubric. Follow the links below to view the scores and read the evidence used to determine quality.
Section 1. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) and English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Alignment
TEKS Student %
TEKS Teacher %
ELPS Student %
ELPS Teacher %
Section 2. Texts (what students read, see, and hear)
Section 3. Literacy Practices and Text Interactions: Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening, Thinking, Inquiry, and Research
Section 4. Developing and Sustaining Foundational Literacy Skills (Grades K-5 only)
Section 5. Supports for Diverse Learners
Section 6. Ease of Use and Supports for Implementation
Section 7. Technology, Cost, and Professional Learning Support
|Grade||TEKS Student %||TEKS Teacher %||ELPS Student %||ELPS Teacher %|
The materials include well-crafted texts of publishable quality and cover a range of student interests. The texts encompass a range of topics across disciplines, and the materials contain increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts. The materials cover a range of student interests, such as survival, justice, love, and futuristic experiences. The materials are written by well-known authors, such as Camille Dungy, Cesar Chavez, Amy Tan, and Margaret Walker.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 2, classical and diverse texts are represented with selections like “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., accompanied by an in-depth examination of the structural components of the informational-genre argument and of the text’s historical and cultural background. Also, there is “Senor Noboa” by Raul Luis, a Latin American selection with a complex theme. These selections provide complex cultural language and content.
Unit 3 contains traditional and classical texts: Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare and Pyramus and Thisbe by Ovid. Both of these high-quality selections lend themselves to a study of romance and poetic language and contain complex vocabulary and literary conventions that are appropriate for the grade level, such as paraphrasing and characterization.
In Unit 4, students read the classical text The Odyssey by Homer and the graphic-novel version of The Odyssey by award-winning author Gareth Hinds. Background information on the historical presence of ancient Greece within literature is provided in the materials. These high-quality selections contain complex language and elements of the epic form. The opportunity to read this difficult text in two different forms helps students understand the author’s purpose.
In Unit 5, which focuses on humankind’s future, students read contemporary pieces, such as “The Nuclear Tourist” by George Johnson and “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Elliot. These selections provide rich explorations into science-fiction language and context. The vocabulary is beyond that expected at this grade level and provides students with exposure to an advanced segment of fiction. The authors of these selections are experts in the field of literature.
The materials contain a wide variety of literary and nonfiction texts across themes. The materials have appropriate print and graphic features. Overall, the materials provide enriching content with a broad scope and survey of various text types, genres, topics, and interest levels. Literary texts are strongly connected to the TEKS and allow for varying levels of complex analysis and connection. The texts to read as well as the opportunities to compose are varied and do meet the English I requirements for literary and informational texts.
Examples of literary texts include but are not limited to:
“Incident” by Natasha Tretheway (poetry)
The Odyssey by Homer (epic poetry)
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (drama)
“There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury (science fiction short story)
“By the Waters of Babylon” by Stephen Vincent Benet (post-apocalyptic short story)
“The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami (short story)
“To Build a Fire” by Jack London (short story)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
“The Cost of Survival” by the publisher (argumentative)
“Romeo and Juliet Is a Terrible Play, and David Leveaux Can’t Change That” by Alyssa Rosenberg (literary criticism)
“The Nuclear Tourist” by George Johnson (informative magazine article)
“The Secret Bunker that Congress Never Used” by NPR (informative news article)
“The Writing on the Wall” by Camille Dungy (informative blog post)
“1963: The Year That Changed Everything” by the publisher (informative)
“There and Back Again: A Traveler’s Advice” by the publisher (explanatory)
“Seven Steps to Surviving a Disaster” by Jim Y. Kim (expository nonfiction)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, there are videos such as “The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors” by Shankar Vedantam and “Amazing Stories of Rescues and Survival in Nepal.”
Unit 2 provides photos of authors and symbolic representation for each text. For example, “For My People” by Margaret Walker contains a portrait of Walker and a photo of children playing and holding hands. “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” by Martin Espada contains a photo of Espada and yellow notebook paper behind the title of the poem.
In Unit 4, the “Application for a Mariner’s License” provides application practice. This entry-level position application for a job on a ship is thematically linked to The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds. The introduction to the activity contains photos of a ship and allows for the teacher to provide guidance on “Media Vocabulary: Print and Graphic Features,” which contains words such as grid, section heading, and checkbox.
The materials include texts appropriately complex for English I students, with quantitative and qualitative text-complexity analyses. The quantitative analysis includes Lexile level and text length; the qualitative analysis rates “Content Knowledge Demands” (CKD), “Text and Sentence Structure” (TSS), “Language Conventions and Vocabulary” (LCV), and “Ideas and Meaning” (IM) on a scale from one to five.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The “Unit Overview” in the teacher’s edition and each text’s introductory materials for shared reading (whole class, peer group) contain Lexile levels, pacing, and purpose analyses.
In Unit 2, the Unit Overview includes texts with Lexile levels that range from 820L to 1220L. The “I Have A Dream” speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has a Lexile level of 1140, CKD of 3, TSS of 3, LCV of 4, and IM of 4. The pacing is set for three days and focuses on establishing the purpose of reading based on the genre of the text.
In Unit 3, Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare has a Lexile level of NP (non-prose), CKD of 5, TSS of 5, LCV of 5, and IM of 3. The pacing is set for five days, and the purpose is to have students use text evidence, paraphrase the text, and read and respond to British literature.
In Unit 5, texts range in Lexile level from 520L to over 1200L. “The Nuclear Tourist” by George Johnson has a Lexile level of 1130, CKD of 3, TSS of 3, LCV of 3 and IM of 3. The pacing is set for three days and focuses on making connections to society and synthesizing information across two texts and a variety of sources.
The materials contain questions and tasks to support students in analyzing and integrating knowledge, ideas, themes, and connections within and across texts. The tasks include making connections to students’ personal experiences, other texts, and the world around them. The majority of questions and tasks build conceptual knowledge and are text-dependent. The units integrate multiple standards throughout.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, post-reading questions for “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami begin with questions labeled “Personal Connections.” One question is based on the theme of the unit and reads, “Does their friendship ring true to you? Why or why not?” Students are asked this question so that they can make a connection and relate the relationship they read about—between the character K and the seventh man—to themselves. Also, students are asked, “What qualities help us survive? What have you learned about the concept of survival from reading this editorial?” This question is asked after students read and discuss three selections as a whole group; students record the answer in their notes and build on this theme across texts.
In Unit 2, after students view the video “Remembering Civil Rights History, When ‘Words Meant Everything,’” featuring the poet Natasha Tretheway, questions range from making connections to personal experiences to discussing the big ideas. Questions like “What detail or event [in the video or reading] did you find most interesting?” progress into questions such as “What strategies did you use to monitor your comprehension as you watched the newscast?” Then, an analytical question asks students, “How does the stop at Tougaloo College help demonstrate the purpose of the pilgrimage to viewers?” To answer, students must make inferences and monitor comprehension about both the stop and the pilgrimage aspect of the story, think critically about why people take pilgrimages in general and connect that to this text and its context, and analyze people’s motives in order to understand their decisions. These questions and tasks build on students’ conceptual knowledge of comprehension and are text-dependent, as students are to provide textual evidence to support the analysis.
In Unit 3, in the questions and tasks section for Act 1 of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, there is a “Literary/Text Elements” subsection that discusses dramatic conventions; specifically, the section covers dialogue and stage directions. Students complete a chart with different characters’ dialogue and analyze what this dialogue reveals. Alongside the chart, students are told: “Identify three examples of stage directions from the text that do more than simply dictate characters’ movements on and off stage. Explain the function of each example—what it shows about the characters and the action.” This enhances student knowledge of dramatic conventions.
In Unit 5, prior to “There Will Come Soft Rains,” the “Prepare to Read” section includes pre-reading directions for thinking: “As you read, notice the details that help you make inferences.” This level of analysis requires students to make multiple types of connections while reading, such as connecting the text to other, similar types of texts; making personal connections to the unusual “characters” or “plot” of the text; and making connections that require critical thinking, relating the topic and theme of the text to world events in order to make sense of the reading.
The materials contain questions and tasks designed to support analysis of the literary and textual elements of texts. The variety of tasks and questions provide opportunities for students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts. Students make inferences about the author’s purpose and provide evidence from the text to support their understanding. Students analyze the author’s choices and how they influence and communicate meaning, including the language used within the text. In addition, students compare and contrast the purposes of different authors’ writing on the same topic. The questions and tasks also require students to study the differences between genres.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, students read the narrative nonfiction piece “The Voyage of the James Caird” by Caroline Alexander. In the “Literary/Text Elements” section, students are given an informational paragraph about the author’s purpose and message. Then, they are asked the following: “The story of the Endurance was famous even before Alexander wrote her book. Why do you think the story was worth retelling? What, most likely, was her purpose for writing? Cite specific aspects of or details in the text that lead you to your conclusion.” These questions support students’ understanding of the author’s choices; students draw conclusions about the author’s purpose.
In Unit 2, guiding questions focus on the author’s purpose; students have opportunities to make sophisticated and subtle inferences about complex ideas. The guiding questions for “I Have a Dream” include “What do [the images in the text] reveal about the speaker’s view of both the present and the future?” For “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” questions include “Why does King revisit this word? What is he trying to show….” These questions check students’ understanding of the language in the selections.
In Unit 3, students are asked to compare and contrast elements and author’s choice in “Pyramus and Thisbe” by Ovid and Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Students make connections between the two texts: “As students read, encourage them to pause every so often to record connections between ideas in this text and ideas in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet….” This type of exercise provides scaffolding for the timed writing and short-response questions in the assessment following “Pyramus and Thisbe”; in the assessment, students analyze the “archetypal ill-fated love” that appears in both pieces.
In Unit 4, “The Return” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o contains culture- and dialect-specific vocabulary; this is part of the author’s choice of developing an authentic piece that honors and accurately represents his culture. A pre-reading task in the vocabulary section given prior to the text suggests using “base words” plus context to decipher unknown or unfamiliar words, such as askari as used in paragraph 8 of the text. While these words are in an African dialect, students can practice decoding unknown vocabulary using the “base word” strategy with more familiar words, like serpentine, in the “Reinforce” section of the text. This activity lends itself to a discussion about the author’s choice to include non-English words in an English text in order to authenticate the voice in the text. This supports student understanding through complex language development.
The materials provide opportunities throughout the year for students to build their knowledge of academic vocabulary and apply their understanding in the context of written and oral responses. Opportunities for students to interact with and build key academic vocabulary are present in and across texts. Selections allow for students to demonstrate their ability to analyze context by determining the meaning of content-specific vocabulary words. Teachers receive guidance on differentiation for key vocabulary development to meet the needs of diverse learners.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the teacher edition, academic vocabulary is highlighted prior to each text read in the unit. The “At a Glance” section provides ways to apply words in appropriate contexts, including scaffolding supports. Vocabulary development opportunities are found within the “Word Study” literacy component and addressed during whole-class instruction and work with the text. In addition, the teacher edition contains a “Concept Vocabulary” focus within the peer/small-group shared learning/text components.
In each unit throughout the materials, five to ten contextually focused vocabulary words are provided. Definitions for the concept vocabulary words are given in the text’s margins, next to where the words appear in the text. At the conclusion of each selection, under “Study Language and Craft,” the materials explain the importance of the concept vocabulary; a practice activity and a “Word Study” task provide opportunities for a written response.
In Unit 1, academic vocabulary related to argumentative texts is embedded in the materials. The terms used in the mentor sentences are evidence, credible, valid, formulate, and logical. Students make use of this vocabulary when working on a linked task in the introduction, answering the unit’s “Essential Question,” “What makes a survival story compelling?” Students also complete a “Word Network” activity: An interactive link shows students how to collect words related to a particular topic, allowing them to build key vocabulary. These words are also found in the “Tool Kit” at the back of the book. For example, students start with the word survival, and form a web of vocabulary words from the mentor text, “The Cost of Survival.”
In Unit 2, concept vocabulary instruction includes studying patterns of word changes; for example, “When added to a base word, the suffix -tion, changes a verb to a noun.” Students also study the Latin root plac-. The “Peer Group Learning” section contains a “Word Study” subsection on word etymologies in vocabulary related to mythology as well as context-clue work with the Latin roots -trem- and voc- and the word etymology. A variety of words are available for study within and across texts in the unit, such as stagnation and complacency in “Letters from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr., and omnipotent, stentorian, and authority in “Senor Noboa” by Raul Leis. To provide for scaffolding, vocabulary words for “Letters from Birmingham Jail” are defined in the margins of the text, with minimal additional instruction. “Concept Vocabulary” guidance is given in the teacher edition; teachers are encouraged to “reinforce students’ understanding of concept vocabulary with show-you-know sentences.” Scaffolding for vocabulary learning in “Senor Noboa” is clearly evident, as no definitions for concept vocabulary are included with the passages. Instead, a small piece of guidance is given in the margin: “Use context clues or apply another strategy to help you determine the meanings of concept vocabulary.”
In Unit 5, “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury includes the following concept vocabulary: chimed, attending, delicately, fluttered, manipulated, and tremulous. Definitions are given for all words in the margins of the text so students and teachers can be aware of it as they read. In the post-reading “Concept Vocabulary” section, students appropriately apply these words via two questions and a task. The questions are “How do the concept vocabulary words help readers understand both the automated house and the society that created it?” and “What other words in the selection connect to this concept?” The task consists of two parts: Use each concept word in a sentence that demonstrates your understanding of the word’s meaning; then, rewrite the sentences, replacing each vocabulary word with a synonym.
Materials provide a plan to support and hold students accountable as they engage in independent reading. Procedures and/or protocols, along with adequate support for teachers, are provided to foster independent reading. Materials give students the opportunity to self-select text and read independently for a sustained period of time, and they include planning and accountability.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In every unit, materials provide a plan for students to self-select text and read independently for a sustained period of time, including planning and accountability for achieving independent reading goals. These opportunities are provided in each unit’s “Independent Learning” section. Students are given five different selections based on the “Essential Question” for that unit. Each selection is accompanied by its genre/form classification and a sentence explaining what students can expect the selection to be about. Students are asked to self-select a text to read independently. Additionally, the “Realize” component of each unit contains a “Social and Emotional Learning” video that addresses developing independent learning strategies.
Unit 1, for example, includes a section between the “At a Glance” and “Unit Goals” sections—the “Book Club” section—which suggests titles from the online library provided by the publisher. The titles suggested for this unit are Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, The Call of the Wild by Jack London, In Darkness by Nick Lake and Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand. Beneath each suggestion, materials specify how the selection can be used; for example, a selection can “Supplement the Unit,” “Substitute for Unit Selections,” or “Extend Independent Learning.” Independent reading selections tie in with the whole-group texts through their alignment with the unit’s “Essential Question.”
In Unit 2, the “Essential Question” is “How can words inspire change?” The independent reading section, “Integrating Novels,” contains thematically linked texts, such as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, accompanied by summaries. The other three book options are given without summaries: Sold by Patricia McCormick, The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas, and I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. These books represent a variety of genres and offer opportunities to self-select for group or individual reading. Materials provide opportunities for accountability, such as suggested methods for reading with indicated pacing, and discussion or work opportunities to compare these novels to the core, whole-class texts.
In Unit 4, materials discuss some real-world uses for independent learning strategies and present a chart. The chart contains three strategies: create a schedule, practice what you have learned, and take notes. Along with these strategies, action plan tips are given, such as “Understand your goals and deadlines” and “Use a variety of comprehension strategies to monitor your comprehension and deepen your understanding.” The independent-reading selections the students have to choose from consist of a poetry collection, the short story “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Andersen, a photo essay, the memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, and the short story “Golden Glass” by Alma Villanueva. The closing accountability activity allows students to share what they learned; this gives the teacher an opportunity to assess if the text was independently read and analyzed. Students must connect, discuss, and explain what they gained from their annotations and class discussions, tying their discussion to the unit’s “Essential Question.”
Materials provide students the opportunity to develop writing skills across multiple text types for a variety of purposes and audiences. Students have opportunities to write literary texts expressing their ideas about real or imagined people, events, and ideas. Students have opportunities to write informational texts to communicate ideas and information specific to audience and purpose; students also write correspondence in a professional or friendly structure. Materials provide students opportunities to write literary and/or rhetorical analysis.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, students write a formal letter to the producers of the radio broadcast “The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors,” in which they explain their thoughts on the episode and provide reasoning. Students plan a response that is logical and comprehensive, supporting original commentary with evidence from the broadcast.
Unit 2 contains opportunities to write literary texts through the use of real or imagined people, events, and ideas. After reading the short story “Senor Noboa” by Raul Leis, students write a retelling of the short story from a different character’s point of view. They are given two options: They may choose either the point of view of one of the laborers from the story or the point of view of Senor Noboa himself. During this assignment, students are asked to incorporate genre characteristics and craft, such as a clear narrative point of view, descriptive details, and vivid word choices. Students also have opportunities to write argumentative texts to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience on a specific issue. Students craft two brief position papers in response to Chavez’s primary claims in “Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” In one of the position papers, students defend the author’s claim; in the other, they challenge the author’s claim. Students are asked to evaluate the evidence within the text as well as choose an effective argument organization strategy from a list of three that includes text order, order of importance, and Nestorian order.
Unit 4 provides students with opportunities for argumentative writing. The questions for the poem “Ithaka” include a “Take a Position” question: “Do you think people have a responsibility to journey to ‘Ithaka’ in their own lives? Why or why not?” Later in the unit, students express themselves creatively by writing a personal essay. This essay allows for both factual and embellished writing to accompany personal reflection on the prompt “Can a journey matter more than the destination?” Students also have the opportunity to write using the building blocks of rhetorical analysis in tasks associated with “The Writing on the Wall” by Camille Dungy. In the “Author’s Craft” analysis section after the piece, students make a chart with sound devices used in poetry and prose. Students trace how Dungy uses these devices—“alliteration, assonance, and consonance”—in her blog post. Students also have opportunities to write informational texts to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences for specific purposes. Students write a brief biography of Odysseus based on the details given in The Odyssey. In this biography, students must include key informational facts from the life of Odysseus, emphasizing dramatic situations with vivid details. Students are given guidelines to include indirect characterization, direct quotes from the text, and vocabulary that reflects the time and place; they must also present the character’s story from beginning to end.
Most written tasks require students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts. Materials provide students with opportunities to use text evidence to support individual opinions and claims. Materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate in writing what they have learned through reading and listening to texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Students are offered numerous opportunities to learn how to build a claim based on acquiring strong evidence and support from the text, experts, etc. Teacher guidance and modeling of this is important; in Unit 1, in the performance task of the research report, Kelly Gallagher’s “expert’s perspective” and teacher notes are helpful in modeling for students how to collect evidence for writing argumentative or sound informational texts. In the “Planning and Prewriting” stage of writing, Gallagher suggests teachers model the following: “Brainstorm for evidence and ask students to add their own ideas to your list,” and then “list types of evidence you would use.” This is followed by some clearly delineated planning questions for developing a research plan: “Where will I find the evidence that I need?” and “What kinds of sources can I use?” These kinds of questions are critical to finding strong evidence for a researched argument. “Conference” guidance is for teachers to help students with finding appropriate and powerful evidence to support their claims; some questions teachers can ask in a writing or research conference include: “Do you need to add further support for this idea?” and “How could you show the connection between this evidence and your thinking?” In the “Write Your Claim” exercise, students use clear and concise information demonstrating knowledge gained through text analysis and synthesis: “Consider what you most want your audience to understand about the topic and why that message is important. Then, express your view in a clear, definite statement.” This is completed in the “Planning and Prewriting” section of their “Unit Performance Task: Write an Argumentative Essay.” The task prompts: “Write a focused, structured and coherent argumentative essay in which you state and defend a position on the following question: Should people in life-or-death situations be held accountable for their actions?” In order to produce a well-developed claim, students use their notes for evidence from the selections in this unit: “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami, “The Moral Logic of Survivor’s Guilt” by Nancy Sherman, and the radio broadcast “The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors” by Shankar Vedantam.
In Unit 2, students respond to Cesar Chavez’s “Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by writing two position papers: one supporting the author’s claim and the other challenging it. Within these papers, students develop “logical, well-supported positions on two sides of a question” by evaluating and using text evidence from Chavez’s speech. Students also read the magazine article “The Many Lives of Hazel Bryan” by David Margolick and then analyze and draw conclusions about the text in response to text-based questions. For example, one question asks, “How would you describe the author’s tone, or attitude toward Eckford and Bryan? Does the author appear to be biased or objective in his reporting? Explain, citing details.” Students respond to these questions, in writing, in their notebooks.
Quickwrites in each unit provide students opportunities to respond using their background knowledge before reading the selections the unit will offer. Unit introductions often include a video along with the mentor text and unit overview. The quickwrites reference all of these experiences and pull them together. For example, in Unit 3, the quickwrite topic is the unit’s “Essential Question,” “What is true love?” Students are instructed: “Record your first thoughts,” “Work to develop your ideas,” and “Remember there are no right or wrong answers.” Students are guided: “Consider class discussions, presentations, the video, and the mentor text as you think about the Essential Question.” The video used in the introduction of this unit to activate schema is “A Modern Take on Romeo and Juliet,” and the mentor text for this unit is the argumentative model “Romeo and Juliet: A Tragedy? Or Just a Tragic Misunderstanding?” written by the publisher.
In Unit 4, students read The Odyssey by Homer and then analyze and draw conclusions about the text in response to text-based questions. For example, one question asks, “Are Odysseus’ actions in dealing with the suitors consistent with his actions in earlier episodes of the epic? Explain, citing evidence from the text.” Students respond to these questions, in writing, in their notebooks.
In Unit 5, after students read “There Will Come Soft Rains” by Ray Bradbury, they respond to “Comprehension and Analysis” questions. They record their responses in their digital notebook: “Answer the questions in your notebook. Use text evidence and original commentary to support a range of responses.” Questions include: “What has happened in the world before the story opens?” and “Cite two inferences you made as you read the story and the textual evidence that supports each one. In what ways did making inferences deepen your understanding of the text?”
Over the course of the year, students apply writing skills and knowledge of conventions in increasingly complex contexts and have a chance to publish their writing. Materials facilitate students’ coherent use of the elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Materials provide opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language when speaking and writing, including punctuation and grammar. Systematic instruction in grammar, punctuation, and usage is present both in and out of context, growing in depth and complexity within and across units.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each unit includes a section on conventions that provides students with both in- and out-of-context practice. Unit 1 focuses on punctuation (colons, semicolons, and dashes). After students read “The Moral Logic of Survivor’s Guilt” by Nancy Sherman, they identify the different types of punctuation within given sentences from the text. Students then use a previously written essay and edit it to add colons, semicolons, and dashes where needed.
In Unit 2, students practice the writing process in its entirety. The writing process is scaffolded in the teacher notes and in the activities for students. Following “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and “I Have a Dream” by Dr. Martin L. King, Jr., students are asked to develop a research report on topics related to both the readings and on various aspects of social justice. For “prewriting,” students are asked questions like “Where will I find the evidence that I need?” This is followed by clear planning activities that build through drafting a research plan, completing a source tracker, creating a thesis, drafting commentary to accompany selected evidence, and revising, where students allow themselves to “read like a writer” an excerpt that models revising strategies they can then use in their work. The teacher notes suggest that the teacher should “model at every stage of the writing process” what students need to do. By the time they arrive at the performance-based assessment at the end of Unit 2, where they are writing an informative essay, they have already practiced in detail all of the steps they would need to take to complete that essay with not only proficiency, but also with clear attention to detail and craft. At the end of Unit 2, students write an informational essay in response to the “Essential Question” “How can words inspire change?” There is a topic, a planning guide, and a graphic organizer for “reviewing and evaluating evidence” from notes taken throughout the unit. Students are encouraged to “use new vocabulary” from the unit as well as “revise and edit” their work, showing it uses the entire writing process. Students are encouraged to, after “writing your first draft...make any changes needed to strengthen your thesis, use of language, craft, and conventions….” All of these items are scaffolded across the unit in various tasks and activities and create coherent use of the writing process.
In Unit 4’s “Study Language and Craft” section, students are given instruction on active and passive voice including example and their effect within a text. Under the “Conventions” subheading, students are then asked to identify verbs within sentences from “The Return” by Ngugi wa Thiong and then state whether the sentence contains active or passive voice. Once they complete this, students are tasked with writing a brief paragraph about “The Return” in passive voice. Once they complete their paragraph, they are asked to go back and edit the paragraph so that it is now in active voice and then discuss the effects these edits made on their writing within a group.
At the end of Unit 4, students write a personal essay for the end-of-unit performance-based assessment. After planning, prewriting, and drafting, students edit their essays for fragments, run-ons, missing verbs, and comma splices. There is also content on the same page about parallel structure and syntax so that students can “add interest to [their] writing or to emphasize specific ideas.”
The materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts and provide opportunities for students to demonstrate comprehension of texts. Most oral tasks require students to use clear and concise information and well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate the knowledge gained through analysis and synthesis of texts.
Examples include but are not limited to:
After students analyze the text, materials provide speaking and listening opportunities that allow them to focus on the texts being studied as they plan with their group. Directions given for the Unit 1 task state: “Review the prompt with your group, and discuss situations in the selections you’ve read so far in this unit. Analyze the dangers rescue workers faced or might have faced in each situation. Formulate questions you will explore through research.” At this point, students have read “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Murakami, “The Moral Logic of Survivor Guilt” by Nancy Sherman, and “The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors” by Shankar Vendantam.
In Unit 1, after students read “The Cost of Survival” (a mentor text by the publisher), the materials recommend a “Four-Corner” debate as an icebreaker activity. Students are instructed to consider the statement “Adventurers should be held responsible for their rescues.” Without any class discussion, students are asked to vote whether they “strongly agree,” “agree,” “disagree,” or “strongly disagree” with this statement. After voting, students are told: “Form a group with other students who voted as you did. Students who voted for other positions will form similar groups.” Within these groups, students discuss their reasons for voting as they did; they also discuss either evidence from the mentor text or prior knowledge that led them to take this position. After the group discussion, a representative from each group shares a summary of what was discussed. After all opinions are given, students vote again on whether they agree or disagree with the previous statement and to what degree. If they changed their opinion, students must be ready to explain why.
In Unit 2, students complete oral tasks using text-supported claims to demonstrate comprehension. For example, students craft a formal research report on a research question that they develop around the unit’s theme of justice. During the “Publishing and Presenting” section of this assignment, students are given the opportunity to deliver a formal presentation using their report as the foundation. This section gives tips for students as they take their report and turn it into a presentation, such as defining technical terms for your listeners and providing visual aids.
Unit 3 provides an additional opportunity to use text evidence to support individual opinions and claims at the conclusion of Romeo and Juliet. Students are told: “Start a discussion by expressing your opinion with evidence from the article and examples from the play.”
In Unit 4, the “Speaking and Listening” section for The Odyssey by Homer provides the oral task of a debate. Students debate in response to the question “Should Odysseus be prosecuted for the murders of Penelope’s suitors?” Students split into two teams and a panel of judges. This opportunity allows for the use of well-defended text-supported claims by the debaters and for analysis by the judges.
The materials engage students in productive teamwork and student-led discussions, in both formal and informal settings. Materials provide guidance and practice with grade-level protocols for discussion to express students’ own thinking. Materials also provide opportunities for students to give organized presentations/performances and speak in a clear and concise manner using the conventions of language.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Each selection has an “Analysis and Discussion” section, and there are directions in the margins that provide guidance: “Discuss your responses to the Analysis and Discussion question with your group. Listen actively to one another’s ideas. Reflect on and adjust your responses when your peers present valid, convincing evidence. Use clear, respectful language to respond appropriately. Adjust your communication as needed; for example, rephrase comments the group finds unclear.”
Unit 1 protocols for discussion are located in the student-directed learning portion called “Share Your Independent Learning.” Guidance and practice opportunities are present in the instructions to students prior to discussion; for example, in the “Prepare to Share” piece of the collaborative task, “One of the most important ways to respond to a text is to notice and describe your personal reactions.” Students are also asked in this same task to “Learn from Classmates” in the “Discuss” portion of the task, providing for a productive collaborative discussion.
In Unit 2, students are given guidance on engaging in student discourse. Students discuss, “If you see an injustice in your community, how might you start to change it?” The materials provide instructions on strategies to support meaningful discussion, which include listening actively, responding appropriately, and adjusting communication based on audience and purpose. Additionally, in Unit 2’s introduction, under the subheading “Icebreaker,” students are given two positions related to the unit’s theme of justice: “Social progress is possible only if you have a powerful leader” and “Social progress is possible only if it comes from the people.” Students are instructed by the materials to choose one of the positions and write down reasons that support their opinion. Students are then asked to find two other students who share their opinion, discuss the reasons behind their opinion, and choose the three strongest reasons that were discussed. Once all groups have posted their strongest reasons behind their chosen positions, guidance for a class discussion to evaluate the posted reasons’ validity is given.
Materials present a variety of ways to give presentations or speak publicly in class, either in whole-class discussions, peer-group conversations, or during opportunities to share independent learning and reading. Such tasks are present after each piece in various analysis, close-read, and inquiry-and-research components and tasks, and can be spoken, presented, written, or collaborative. It is not explicitly stated that these “Teach” section tasks need to focus on any single communication or presentation skill, but they could be extended or adapted to any of the five skill sets emphasized by the new TEKS.
In Unit 3, students could take tasks like the “Literary/Text Elements” section in the “Teach” part of the unit, following the text of Romeo and Juliet, Act 4. In this task, students are encouraged to have a debate where they “Take a Position”; students evaluate the traditional text and take a side: “Critical writings across centuries describe tragedies as sad but uplifting because they show the nobility of the human spirit. Do you think that is true of this play? Why or why not?”
In Unit 4’s “Share Ideas” section, under the subheading “Speaking and Listening,” students are given an assignment to hold a debate after reading The Odyssey, Part 2, by Homer. This assignment asks that students divide into two teams of lawyers and a panel of judges to debate the following question, “Should Odysseus be prosecuted for the murders of Penelope’s suitors?” Guidelines are given to assist students in engaging in discourse. These guidelines include listening actively to all participants, responding appropriately, and adjusting your communication to your audience.
Throughout the curriculum, students are also encouraged to frequently give presentations; they are challenged to keep their presentations concise, focused, and helpful to classmates for learning. Unit 5 contains instructions about reading and communicating in reference to the text as well as optional scaffolds for a performance task. The teacher guidance includes information on discussions: “Remind students that communicating and collaborating in groups is an important skill that they will use throughout their lives.” It also recommends that teachers “encourage students to do some preliminary thinking” about their poster presentation to help “focus their subsequent reading and group discussions.”
Materials engage students with opportunities for both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes. Materials provide student opportunities with research skills, such as evaluating sources and synthesizing information during these tasks and the opportunity to practice these skills utilizing primary or secondary sources. Materials support practice opportunities in organizing and presenting information according to the audience and research purpose.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 2, after reading the primary source “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Martin Luther King, Jr., students write a brief report on one of the allusions Dr. King makes within this letter, such as the allusion to the biblical figures Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. In the report, students explain how their research helps them understand Dr. King’s text more deeply. The materials provide practice with the research skill of synthesizing information; students use at least two sources, primary or secondary. One direction to help students properly synthesize information says, “Evaluate, eliminate, and combine ideas and details to express your own new insight.”
In Unit 2, students read “The Many Lives of Hazel Bryan” by David Margolick and create a research report about another iconic image from the Civil Rights Movement. Students are guided through the stages of finding their topic, researching it, and choosing a mode of delivery. Students may access a chart that allows them to choose the best mode of delivery based on their research findings. For instance, if students find a great story about an image and its background history, they are asked to consider delivering an oral report with shared presentation roles as a group. Students also read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and write a brief report on the 1963 March on Washington and the social context of the time. Students are taught to evaluate sources for bias; they are given a list of elements of biased text. For example, one element includes “omissions of facts that don’t fit the opinion.” While explaining their research findings during their brief report, students are asked to describe the quality of the sources that they used. During the “Performance Task,” students write a formal research report in which they develop and explore a research question that relates to the unit theme of justice. Procedures on the research process, with guidance on writing with a purpose, addressing select audience, and selecting an appropriate organizational structure, are present. Students deliver a formal presentation and receive support on how to modify their report for presenting.
In Unit 4, students read an excerpt from The Odyssey: A Graphic Novel by Gareth Hinds, locate two reviews of Hinds’s adaptation, compare them, and examine them for credibility and bias. The task requires students to summarize both sources and explain similarities and differences as well as the results of the student’s examination for bias. After reading The Odyssey, Part 1, by Homer, students work with a partner to prepare and deliver a researched presentation on either of these two related topics: Greek sailing ships and navigation or Greek weaponry and military tactics. As they craft this presentation, students are given support for the organizing and presenting part of the task. Materials guide students in understanding audience, purpose, and occasion as they write and in effective communication as they deliver the presentation.
The materials contain interconnected tasks that build student knowledge while providing opportunities for increased independence. Throughout the text, questions and tasks help students build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. Coherently sequenced sets of high-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts and across multiple texts in the materials. Opportunities for increased independence are evident in the tasks, which include vocabulary, syntax, and fluency components as needed.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 2, several interconnected tasks accompany and follow the mentor text for the entire unit. On the opening pages of the mentor text—“Isn’t Everyone a Little Bit Weird?”—there is a section titled “Cross Curricular Perspectives.” In this section, teachers guide students to complete a research task about Benjamin Franklin’s “contributions to science” and write an essay about those contributions. Following the mentor text, there is an interactive “Icebreaker” task called “Snap Judgment.” In this task, students discuss and complete a “Quickwrite” on whether “people need to belong,” in which students annotate the text, reflect on multiple modes of text from this unit or from the previous unit (e.g., readings, media, videos), complete a graphic organizer, and then reflect and discuss their learning. These tasks help students build knowledge about the unit topics and themes as well as develop both collaborative and independent learning skills. In Unit 2, students also participate in a close read of the Poetry Collection, which includes poems such as “For My People” by Margaret Walker, “Incident” by Natasha Trethewey, and “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” by Martin Espada. Students select interesting and important passages from these poems. In a group, students discuss questions, observations, and conclusions they reached during their reading. For example, students might focus on Lines 1–21 of “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” with the discussion prompt “Discuss the differences between the language used in these lines and the speaker’s underlying emotions.” After the group discussion, students complete a written reflection on any new ideas or insights obtained during their second reading of the texts.
Unit 4 contains a “Compare Across Genres” section in which students compare texts from the Poetry Collection; for example, they compare “Caliban” by J.P. Dancing Bear and “En el jardín de los espejos quebrados” by V. Suarez to the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The teacher guidance suggests students review themes and gather details to first compare the two poems, and then the poems and the play. These tasks help prepare students for a compare-contrast essay they write on the subject of Caliban’s (a character in all three texts) characterization across the two poems and the play. Graphic organizers provided in this section support annotations and evidence collection and focus on various aspects of characterization in the texts as students develop their thesis. Some of the guiding questions include “What theme does Caliban’s characterization help to develop in the play?” and “How are the themes the two works express similar or different?” Within these several writing tasks, students discuss, reflect, think critically, and work both in groups and independently towards success on the tasks. Students use knowledge and concepts learned in the current unit and in previous units. All of the tasks are interconnected and align with the goal of building student knowledge. In Unit 4, students also have the opportunity to engage in increasingly complex tasks that promote independence and integrate various interactive and responsive skills through the “Peer Group Learning Overview” section just prior to the Peer Group Learning reading selections. While this section’s overall purpose is to introduce or review collaborative group work behaviors and tasks for engaging in small-group reading and learning, the “respond to the texts” part of this section gives an array of opportunities to speak, listen, think, and write. Students can “discuss and write” both “implicit and explicit meanings” as well as read a brief mentor text that scaffolds the complex analysis. Implicit meaning analysis involves high levels of inferencing and critical thinking that may require clear modeling and small-group practice prior to doing it independently or with mastery; this task provides an opportunity to dive into a complex metacognitive task related to both complex and simpler texts so that students can move in the progression of gradual release and independence in thinking, writing, and discussion-based analysis.
The materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice opportunities by supporting distributed practice over the course of the year, including scaffolds for students with the integration of spiraling literacy skills. The opportunity to scaffold presents itself in units that address previous objectives and offer practice that build on previous knowledge.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Units 1 and 5, students are provided the opportunity to write a compare-and-contrast essay in which they explore the effects of two types of plot development. In Unit 1, this is based on the linear approach of “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing and the nonlinear approach of “The Seventh Man” by Haruki Marakami. In Unit 5, this is based on the linear approach in “There Will Come Soft Rain” by Ray Bradbury and the nonlinear devices in “By the Waters of Babylon” by Stephen Vincent Benet. The materials provide support for students on how to understand the characteristics of the different types of plot development and on how to analyze the text with gathered evidence. For gathering evidence, students receive guiding questions that direct them to story components that help identify differences in the plot development for each story.
In Unit 1, as students prepare to read “Through the Tunnel” by Doris Lessing, the teacher can use scaffolds based on the student’s level of comprehension. The section “Differentiate for Text Complexity” provides two subtopics of these scaffolds: “Content Knowledge Demands” and “Ideas and Meaning.” In terms of “Content Knowledge Demands,” students performing below grade level are given a task to scaffold back to the understanding of setting: They read the “Background Note” and scan images. Students that are performing above grade level analyze the idea of symbolism and compare the text to a similar story they read. In terms of “Ideas and Meaning,” to understand the context of the story, students performing below grade level are instructed to discuss their schema of a competition or athletic event. Students that are performing on level are given an image to analyze; they think about the skills necessary to perform the task and how those skills can be developed. These scaffolds are provided to support students as they practice the literacy skill of comprehension and study literary elements (setting, plot) and symbolism.
In Unit 3, in the teacher’s edition, teachers receive guidance for scaffolding instruction about the “Literary/Text Element: Dramatic Conventions.” Students reread lines 155–165 of the first scene in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The teacher is provided instruction on scaffolding to understand how dialogue contributes to characterization. For students performing below grade level, the teacher reads to the students while identifying key ideas. Students performing on level work with partners to identify a line that helps understands the familiarity between the characters’ exchange. Students performing above grade level read to the end of the exchange, identify character traits, and, in partners, discuss the traits and character relationships.
In Unit 5, as teachers prepare for students to complete tasks in the “Literary/Text Elements” section, scaffolding opportunities focus on “Author’s Purpose,” “Audience,” and “Message” in “The Nuclear Tourist” by George Johnson. Students analyze details in paragraphs 9–11 and infer the message the author conveys. Students performing below grade level are read guiding questions by the teacher; students performing on grade level are given guidance to key details; students performing above grade level are provided time to further their understanding by identifying instances where the author minimizes the danger of Chernobyl.
In the “About the Program” section located at the beginning of the teacher’s edition, unit scaffolds provide for student demonstration of literacy-skill integration throughout the year. Each unit begins with a “Unit Introduction,” which includes the unit’s “Essential Question” and an accessible mentor text along with academic vocabulary and icebreaker activities. The design leads teachers and students through a section titled “Whole-Class Learning,” where teachers lead a whole-class read of the anchor texts. In this section, teachers model close reading and provide skill instruction. After this section is completed, students are given a “Writing Performance Task.” Next, in a section titled “Peer-Group Learning” students “practice positive interdependence working in small groups as they explore texts” and teachers “facilitate and encourage collaboration.” After this section is completed, students are given a “Speaking & Listening Performance Task.” Then, students enter the “Interdependent Learning” section, where they “choose a text to read independently”; teachers “advise and encourage students as they implement close-reading strategies.” Students get an opportunity to share their independent learning and then are given an individual “Performance-Based Assessment” and “Unit Reflection” at the end of the units.
Each unit provides an opportunity to revisit skills, such as creating mental images, paraphrasing, and using text evidence to support comprehension. For example, the “Comprehension Strategy” section addresses comprehension practices such as to create mental images to deepen understanding, evaluate details to determine key ideas, paraphrase, and generate questions. Literary text elements include but are not limited to analyzing linear and nonlinear plot development, paraphrasing, and using text evidence to support comprehensive responses. Word study convention practice is also included in each unit.
Literacy skills are focused on through the mentor text in each unit and are repeated throughout the various texts of that unit as well as other units year-round. Each time literacy skills are presented, materials give a brief mini-lesson and pose guided questions that reiterate the task focus to reinforce the given skill. These skills are used in “Analysis Questions,” “Performance Tasks,” and “Written Tasks.”
Materials include supports for students who demonstrate proficiency above grade level. Materials present planning and learning opportunities (including extensions and differentiation) for students who demonstrate literacy skills above that expected at the grade level.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 2, when students read “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an extension for students performing above grade level is provided in the margins of the teacher’s edition. This extension has students focus on the content of paragraphs 2 and 3 of the text, where Dr. King identifies his role as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SLSC), and on how Dr. King was jailed as a result of demonstrations that were part of the Birmingham Campaign, a movement organized by the SLSC. Materials further present an opportunity to research and learn more about the Birmingham Campaign, specifically the various demonstrations, the city’s responses, and the outcome of the campaign. Then, teachers are to invite students “to share the information they gather with the class to build background for all students.”
In Unit 2, when students read “Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper” by Martin Espada and “For My People” by Margaret Walker, the materials provide differentiated instruction for students performing above grade level: “Have students jot down brief comparisons between the structures of ‘Who Burns for the Perfection of Paper’ and ‘For My People.’”
In Unit 4, while reviewing the “Application for a Mariner’s License” by the United States Government, all students read the chart in Section II, identify connected or repeated details, and then write a statement of a key idea based on those details. In the margins next to the application, the materials suggest addressing differentiated instruction for students performing above grade level: “After students complete the task, have them discuss why the key ideas are so important in the evaluation of the applicant.”
Materials include supports for students who perform below grade level to ensure they are meeting the grade-level literacy standards. Materials include teacher planning and supports throughout.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
In Unit 2, before students read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, materials provide supports for students who demonstrate literacy skills below grade level. Teachers are instructed to select and then pre-teach unfamiliar words or terms from the speech. Because the speech contains several metaphors, teachers are also advised to help students “decipher the metaphorical meanings by first making sure they understand the literal meanings.” A metaphor from paragraph five of the speech is provided as an example for teachers to use: “insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity.” The materials recommend that teachers should help students define the individual words of the metaphor first, before discussing the metaphorical meaning of the phrase. This task creates an extension from addressing unfamiliar words to defining metaphors.
In Unit 2, after reading the Poetry Collection, the materials provide a differentiated-instruction learning opportunity for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. Under the subheading “Literacy/Text Elements,” students look at and analyze the pantoum structure of “Incident” by Natasha Trethewey, with a series of questions. To support their learning, teachers are given a recommendation: “Suggest that [students] closely examine the lines of the poem to see whether they notice a pattern of repetition.” The teacher guidance gives specific lines and stanzas for teachers to direct their students to examine lines 2 and 4 in the first stanza and lines 1 and 3 in the second stanza. Then, the support advises teachers direct students to the repetition in the first and last lines of the poem and ask them to consider the effect of this repetition.
Unit 4 provides supports for students who demonstrate literacy skills below grade level before they read Camille Dungy’s “The Writing on the Wall.” Teachers guide students who are “likely to be confused by the unpredictable structure of the text” through a preview of the text structure. During this preview, students are given the learning opportunity to take note of the following elements: information about the immigrant experience, descriptions of the Angel Island Detention Center, historical information, and examples of the poetry on the walls. As students are previewing the text structure, the differentiated-instruction supports recommend that teachers encourage students “to identify which section gives each type of information.”
The materials provide support for English Learners (ELs) to meet grade-level learning expectations. The supports are commensurate with the various levels of English language proficiency as defined by the ELPS (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High). The materials include sentence frames, graphic organizers, a Spanish glossary, and a Spanish literary terms handbook, but do not provide scaffolds for cognates. The materials do include Spanish summaries and Spanish translations for some text selections. Materials encourage strategic use of students’ first language, when the language is Spanish, with a literary terms handbook and a vocabulary glossary. Opportunities to connect vocabulary with context discourse are present.
Evidence includes but is not limited to:
The materials include accommodations for English Learners, aligned with the ELPS, in the margins of the teacher’s edition, both before each text selection and throughout the reading of the text selections. The accommodations correspond with the ELPS levels (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High). In addition, a Spanish academic/concept vocabulary glossary and a Spanish literary terms handbook are provided in the “Glossary” section of the materials.
In Unit 2, a Spanish summary is provided for all text selections. The following texts also include a Spanish translation: “Senor Noboa” by Raul Leis, “Lessons of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” by Cesar Chavez, “The Many Lives of Hazel Bryan” by David Margolick, “How the Children of Birmingham Changed the Civil Rights Movement” by Lottie L. Joiner, “Sheyann Webb” by Frank Sikora, and “Traveling” by Grace Paley.
In Unit 2, after reading “Senor Noboa” by Raul Leis, accommodations are provided for ELs as they complete the “Close Read” activity in groups. Sentence frames are given for the teacher to display; these frames serve to assist students in sharing information. Sentence frames include “I found...interesting because….” For Beginning ELs, instructions are given for the teacher to read aloud or paraphrase the instructions for item 2 of the close-read activity and have students use sentence frames to share their insights. Intermediate ELs work in small groups to share their insights while using the sentence frames as needed. Advanced and Advanced High ELs partake in extended conversations in their groups over their insights on the text. It is recommended for teachers to share phrases to help students respond to each other and ask questions; these phrases include “I agree with ...that..., but /and I think.” Before beginning the “Peer-Group Learning” section, supports are given for ELs to use “content-area and academic words in speech to internalize new English words.” Teachers are instructed to display the following words for students: tone, reasoning, and illogical. Teachers model the use of context clues, dictionaries, or glossaries to help students find the meanings of these words. It is suggested that teachers challenge students to use each word once a day for one week. Further differentiated instruction supports are given depending on students’ ELPS English language proficiency level.
In Unit 4, a Spanish summary is provided for all text selections. The following texts also include a Spanish translation: “The Return” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, “The Writing on the Wall” by Camille Dungy, “The Hero’s Adventure” by Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers, “Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan, “The Ugly Duckling” by Hans Christian Anderson, “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, and “Golden Glass” by Alma Villanueva.
In Unit 4, before students read “The Rules of the Game” by Amy Tan, accommodations are provided for ELs to connect prior experiences to the ideas needed to understand the story. For Beginning ELs, teachers read aloud the title and explain that the story is about a girl growing up in a Chinese-American immigrant family. Teachers guide students in making connections by asking questions such as “How do immigrant parents share their culture from their home country?” For Intermediate ELs, teachers are instructed to follow the same steps as they did for Beginning ELs, but to allow them to discuss these questions and complete the graphic organizer in small groups. Advanced ELs scan the title and author’s note to make a prediction on what the text will be about; then, they work in pairs to discuss how these ideas are related to their experiences and complete the graphic organizer. Advanced High ELs brainstorm how the text relates to their prior experiences and complete the graphic organizer independently. While reading The Odyssey, Part 1, by Homer, supports are given for ELs to “expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by using the illustration on page 514 to help them retell the story of the Sirens.” Depending on their ELPS English language proficiency level, lines 745–756 are to be read aloud by either the teacher (Beginning and Intermediate) or individually (Advanced and Advanced High). Students then retell the story by paraphrasing, in writing; Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High ELs are to listen to their partner’s retelling, make notes on their use of vocabulary, and provide feedback.
The materials contain formative and performance assessments that are aligned to and reference the TEKS and content material. Materials provide guidance for teachers and administrators to monitor progress through the “Realize Online Assessment” and “Examview Assessment Suite”; data can be gathered and then synthesized through several report options. Assessments connected to the reading selections and tasks are provided. Administrator views help administrators track and monitor student progress.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Assessments in the materials provide data that can be gathered, tracked, and aligned in purpose, intended use, and TEKS emphasis. The publisher uses the “Realize Online Assessment” and “Examview Assessment Suite” for digital formative and summative assessment. Some of the assessments available digitally are scorable through this platform, providing data that can be gathered and tracked through this platform as well. Reports can be run to help with interpreting student growth. For example, in the “About the Program” section of the textbook, reports that can be assessed include “Class Mastery by TEKS,” “Student Mastery,” “Average Mastery,” “TEKS Item Analysis,” “Progress by Student,” and “Usage by Student.” Remediation resources are available digitally if students are struggling with concepts on exit tickets and unit tests. Throughout the formative and summative assessments, “Monitor and Adjust” as well as “Reteach and Practice” sections assist teachers in responding to student performance.
The materials provide different breakout forms for teachers and administrators to select from. Teacher guidance is provided for performance tasks according to mastery, progress, and student usage. Teachers can obtain assessment scores by question and student response. Materials provide Examview Assessments - Unit Tests connected to reading selections and tasks; reports can group students according to mastery level. The materials also provide information (in both the student and teacher editions of the materials) on how teachers should respond when students do not meet grade-level expectations. The “Unit Test Answer Key” and “Interpretation Guide” provide teachers TEKS assessed and domains of knowledge. The materials provide remediation pages aligned to the assessed TEKS; administrators can utilize additional reports provided on the platform.
myPearsonTraining provides administrator training on reports and interpretation of reports and data yielded. Administrator access through the Realize digital component Data tab provides reports that measure student progress over the year. Realize Reports allow administrators to utilize Dashboard Reports and functionality according to school trends, roles, schools, classes, and subjects assessed, helping administrators track and monitor student progress.
The materials include year-long plans and supports for teachers to identify the needs of students and provide differentiated instruction to meet the needs of a range of learners to ensure grade-level success. Teacher edition materials include annotations and resource materials that assist teachers to monitor and support student learning. Online and print resources are provided for teachers.
Examples include but are not limited to:
An overarching year-long plan is included for teachers to engage students in multiple grouping structures to facilitate differentiated instruction in each unit. Before each reading selection, there is a “Differentiate for Text Complexity.” This section provides a “Text Complexity Rubric,” differentiated instruction suggestions related to the “Text Complexity Rubric,” and English Learner (EL) learning strategies and scaffolded tasks. The grouping opportunities include “Below-Level,” “On Level,” and “Above-Level” for English proficiency as well as “Beginning,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High” for ELs. According to the “About the Program” section in the textbook, along with the text selections and the tasks, “support and strategies for all learner levels are available at critical instructional points.” EL and ELPS notes are also included throughout the text selections and tasks for students who are acquiring English, providing them with “a range of supports, including cultural context, background information, and help with specific language challenges such as slang, puns, and idiomatic language.” Materials provide exit tickets to check students’ learning, “Monitor and Adjust” sections for students struggling with specific skills, and “Research and Practice” sections for remediation. The materials provide students with several opportunities to learn skills and showcase their knowledge through reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks.
A pacing plan is provided in the “Introduction” section’s margins. This plan includes a timeline for reading selections and their activities as well as “Performance Tasks,” “Performance-Based Assessments,” and “Unit Tests.” Based on students’ performance on these assessments and tasks, remediation opportunities are suggested and provided through the digital platform. For instance, a “Test Interpretation Guide,” included for all unit tests, provides assistance in assigning resources based on gaps in students’ learning. For students taking the test online, remediation will automatically be assigned based on test results. Within text selections, the “Reinforce” and “Anticipate” margin blurbs cover comprehension strategies and literary/text elements respectively. Each blurb includes differentiated instruction methods for students performing below grade level, on level, or above grade level to access the specific TEKS being taught.
Each unit provides a year-long plan for multiple grouping structures and contains a clear pacing plan for the unit that balances whole-group instruction, peer-group learning, and individual learning or reading. Information about pacing is located in three places in the teacher edition. In Unit 1, for example, prior to the unit title page spread or “Introduction,” titled “Survival” (on page 2), there are two supplemental pages. One is called the Unit 1 “At a Glance,” and it contains a table graphic that specifies the three reading level or grouping options mentioned above; the suggested number of days for pacing; instructional strategies across most critical areas of instruction and guidance from the teacher (vocabulary, comprehension, author’s craft, and composition); and a list of all text options in the unit in rows. This table also includes pacing and placement of performance assessments and tasks in the unit. Another helpful pacing tool is the “Flexible Pacing and Information” teacher notes (following the “At a Glance” section, underneath the “Book Club” options for each chapter), which are ancillary materials that can supplement, accompany, or substitute for unit content. These materials can be found in the publisher’s online library options and can also be purchased to accompany material review and adoption. These notes include helpful information on how to differentiate pacing based on student need, reading levels, and even economic levels to take into account where students can or should read at home throughout the unit.
The materials provide implementation supports for teachers, including a pacing guide for each individual unit and unit-by-unit TEKS-aligned scope and sequences as well as pacing guidance and routines that explicitly support a 180-day or 220-day schedule. Materials provide support to assist administrators in supporting teachers in implementation.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In the teacher’s edition, a list of the 9th-grade English TEKS is provided alongside the digital textbook; hyperlinks connect TEKS with the tasks and activities that cover that TEKS. Included with the materials is a document titled “TEKS Correlation,” which also provides a breakdown of each TEKS and a hyperlink and page number where tasks and activities that cover that TEKS are located. Day-by-Day Pacing Guides, page numbers, assessments, and resources are available at the same hyperlinked location.
Materials provide a TEKS-aligned scope and sequence chart at the beginning of each unit in a section titled “Unit at a Glance.” The scope and sequence is broken down into five categories: “Introduction,” “Whole-Class Learning,” “Peer-Group Learning,” “Independent Learning,” and “End of Unit.” A list of contents, a pacing guide, the genres of the contents, and Lexile levels are provided with the chart. TEKS are sorted into the following five categories: comprehension strategies, vocabulary/word study, literary/text elements, author’s craft/conventions, and composition/research/speaking and listening. Under these categories, the specific skill is noted as well as the specific TEKS, if applicable. A note with suggested pacing is given at the bottom of the page; pacing is for 40–50 minute class periods, with the suggestion to combine days to meet varying scheduling needs.
Materials are customizable to district or classroom-specific needs that administrators and teachers can utilize to implement materials as intended. The Teacher’s Edition Flipbook in the Tools section of myPerspectives provides resources for implementation, and the Professional Development Center provides additional resources that support teachers in need of remediation opportunities. Additional supports are provided at the bottom of the teacher’s edition pages including expert suggestions and differentiated instruction ideas, and the Program Activation Workshop for principals and administrators provides these stakeholders with tools for supporting teacher planning, implementation, and instructional support with the program.
The visual design of the materials’ student edition is neither distracting nor chaotic. Materials include appropriate use of white space and design that supports and does not distract from student learning. Pictures and graphics are supportive of student learning and engagement without being visually distracting.
Examples include but are not limited to:
The materials’ design uses shapes, colors, and different fonts to visually separate different sections of the materials from others. Information is presented in a logical order and is succinct. Keywords and titles are identified using bold font and colors that correspond to the section they represent. For instance, titles associated with the “Whole-Class Learning” section are in green; titles associated with “Peer-Group Learning” are in teal; and titles associated with “Independent Learning” are in purple. Vocabulary words within selection texts are noted in bolded blue font, and definitions are located next to the word in the margins.
Pictures and graphics accompany each text selection, relate to the information being presented, and aid in students’ general comprehension of the story. Alongside the introduction in each unit, a large picture and video (available on the materials’ digital platform, Realize) are presented, which relate to the “Essential Question” of each unit. Icons are unobtrusively used throughout the materials to identify additional content through Realize.
Pictures are linked to the text that is presented and give a visual representation of the setting, a plot point, a character, or the overall meaning. Pictures are placed accordingly in the flow of the text. Photos of the authors precede texts, and an image that represents the text is given on the first page of the piece. For example, in Unit 2, there is a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as the author and another image of Dr. King gazing out the window of a jail for the piece “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Another image of Dr. King being arrested follows, with a caption that explains what is occurring in the photo. A photo of the protest at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church is also in this text. Dr. King was in jail in Birmingham from arrests that occurred during the protests that he led; the images show what he went through, which is also explained in the selection.
Technology components are present, appropriate for grade-level students, and provide support for learning. Technological components are present in some form in every lesson, whether it be in the mentor text, whole-group/peer-led instruction, or the performance task. Technology integration is suggested through the use of an icon in various parts of the lesson. This small icon does not distract from learning and is addressed in the teacher’s manual guidance.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Materials are on a digital platform. Materials are appropriate for English I students and provide support for learning. There is an option to print hard copies. Digital tools are located in a tab at the top of the page to help students highlight and/or annotate and bookmark information. There is also a tab for students to opt for a plain-text transcript. If you double-click on the materials, the materials can zoom in. Double-clicking twice in a row will zoom out of the materials.
Realize, the digital platform that accompanies the materials, allows for teachers to curate lessons, assign formative and summative assessments, and show media such as videos, pictures, and graphics. When students interact with texts online through Realize, they can take notes and annotate texts by using online highlighting tools. Within Realize, selection audio as well as background, author, and TEKS information is available through buttons at the top of the page with each text selection. A pop-up window appears for glossary terms, which are defined with audio, in English and Spanish. It is noted that all units on Realize are downloadable for offline access.
Read the Full Report for Technology
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