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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. Among these varying selections are high-quality texts such as The Tempest by William Shakespeare and “Blind” by Fatima Naoot. The materials cover a range of student interests such as fears, acceptance, and failure.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Unit 1 provides a well-crafted selection of high-quality texts and also includes heavy scaffolding and context-building for accessing older, more complex texts. The core text, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” is rich in vocabulary. The unit contains both an introduction to Gothic literature in its mentor text, a personal essay titled “My Introduction to Gothic Literature,” as well as visual infographic texts like “How to Tell You Are Reading a Gothic Novel—In Pictures” to back-build context students might need for a Poe text. Students also read poems by current, living authors like Joyce Carol Oates (“Where Is Here”), and informational texts like “Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear” by A Ringo, published in the Atlantic in 2013. The texts present a variety of different kinds of authorship and explore authors’ personal backgrounds, focus, and purpose, all scaffolding towards reading a difficult text together as a class.
Unit 2 includes materials from authors from varied backgrounds, different time periods, and with differing styles of writing. Selections include “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut, widely regarded as one of the greatest writers of the 20th century; a contemporary selection, “The Censors” by Luisa Valenszuela, a Latin American author focusing on her culture; and the unit’s main selection, the German classic Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
Unit 3 includes a variety of well-crafted selections that present various historical and cultural contexts, such as the classical piece “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant, which uses advanced literary elements like situational irony, and the traditional piece “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe, which explores setting and characterization. There are also complex selections with advanced vocabulary, such as “The Golden Touch” by Nathanial Hawthorne and an excerpt from “King Midas” by Howard Moss. There is also an informational selection—a photo essay on archaeological discoveries titled “Fit for a King: Treasure of Tutankhamun.”
Unit 4 presents a mix of classical, traditional, contemporary, and diverse texts focusing on vengeance and forgiveness, with pieces like “They are hostile nations” by Margaret Atwood and The Tempest by William Shakespeare. The theme continues across the unit with texts by experts like Maria Arana, author, editor, and journalist for the Library of Congress; W.S. Merwin, who twice received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry; and Fatima Naoot, a contemporary Egyptian poet persecuted for her work. Later in the unit, students read V. Suarez’s contemporary poems about growing up in Cuba and J.P. Dancing Bear, a Native American author and poet. Students have an opportunity to return to components of The Tempest via a contemporary context and modern language. Also in this unit, there are contemporary texts by Margaret Atwood and Desmond Tutu, which provide a fresh perspective on the universal themes explored by Shakespeare. This unit provides a broad-brush approach to reading a classical text, with connections made to today’s culture through authors representing different genders, backgrounds, and historical moments.
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 II requirements for literary and informational texts.
Examples of literary texts include but are not limited to:
“The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant (short story)
The Tempest by William Shakespeare (drama)
Oedipus by Sophocles (drama)
“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe (gothic story)
“House Taken Over” by Julio Cortazar (magical realism story)
“The Soldier of Mictlan” by Rigoberto Gonzalez (poetry)
“Fences” by Pat Mora (poetry)
Examples of informational texts include but are not limited to:
“Understanding Forgiveness” by PBS (informational)
“My Possessions, Myself” by Russell W. Belk (magazine article)
“Let South Africa Show the World How to Forgive” by Desmond Tutu (speech)
“Revenge of the Geeks” by Alexandra Robbins (argument)
“The Thrill of the Chase” by Margie Goldsmith (magazine article)
“The Neglected Senses” by Rosemary Mahoney (memoir)
Examples of print and graphic features include but are not limited to:
For every selection, there are images, a graphic organizer tailored to the text selection, and a link to an online resource that has an interactive component option. There are pictures for the introduction of the text, relevant information in the margins throughout the text that supplement the instruction, pictures of authors, and representative pictures of selections that are the focus of peer-group activities. Some selections with additional teacher instruction have media components.
In Unit 1, the informational graphic from “How to Tell You’re Reading a Gothic Novel—in Pictures” by Adam Frost and Zhenia Vasiliev aligns with the introduction of advanced fictional selections to ensure learners are comprehending literary elements. Also, the materials contain photographs from The Dream Collector by Arthur Tress.
In Unit 3, the photo essay “Fit for a King: Treasures of Tutankhamun” by the publisher provides rich graphics for students to understand the content.
In Unit 5, the independent reading option—the media newscast “Dr. Geoffrey Tabin Helps Blind Ethiopians Gain Sight” by ABC News—provides an audio-visual component that helps students make connections to the themes of the unit.
The materials include texts appropriately complex for English II students with quantitative and qualitative text-complexity analyses. The quantitative analysis includes Lexile level and text length; the qualitative analysis measures Content Knowledge Demands (CKD), Text and Sentence Structure (TSS), Language Conventions and Vocabulary (LCV), and Ideas and Meaning (IM) on a scale ranging from 1 to 5.
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 1, the informational selection “Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear?” by Allegra Ringo has a Lexile level of 1180. Within the suggested three days of pacing, the purpose is to practice making predictions. The qualitative measures are CKD: 3, TSS: 2, LCV: 3 and IM: 3.
In Unit 2, “Harrison Bergeron” by Kurt Vonnegut has a Lexile of 810 and paces over the course of three days. The focus for this sci-fi selection is on creating mental images, author’s purpose, and satire. The qualitative measures for this piece are CKD: 4, TSS: 2, LCV: 3 and IM: 4.
In Unit 4, “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe has a Lexile level of 820 and a suggested pacing of three days. The selection focuses on establishing author’s purpose and has higher qualitative measures—CKD: 4, TSS: 3, LCV: 4 and IM: 4.
In Unit 5, the selection “The Country of the Blind” by H.G. Wells has a Lexile level of 1170L and suggests pacing over 4 days. Throughout that time of instruction, students focus on monitoring comprehension and understanding literary structure though plot development. The qualitative measures remain high at CKD: 4, TSS: 3, LCV: 4 and IM: 4.
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, students are asked to compare the text “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe and “House Taken Over” by Julio Cortazar. In the “Synthesize Across Texts” section, students are directed: “Discuss the theme and its development in one story, and then the theme and its development in the other story. For both, explain how characterization and plot, as well as each work’s literary style and culture, contribute to the theme.”
In Unit 2, important teacher guidance on scaffolding is provided within anticipatory activities that not only layer TEKS into their scaffolds but also allow students to build important schema to access and engage with a very difficult and complex whole-group text like the excerpt from Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. For students performing below grade level, this guidance suggests asking students to find the scientific meaning of metamorphosis. Without this important step in comprehension, research/inquiry, and response (multiple TEKS strands in one task), students will not be able to participate in the analysis of the unit’s “Essential Question,” “Do people need to belong?”
In Unit 3, in the “Analysis and Discussion” section for “Fences” by Pat Mora, students are asked, “What irony do you find in the phrase ‘But all was dead’ in line 26?” Also in this unit, students read “The Censors” by Luisa Valenuela and are asked, “Explain how the story’s opening sentence, an exclamation, is an example of verbal irony?” Students are also asked to read the magazine article “My Possessions, Myself” by Russell W. Belk. In the “Response” section, students connect their personal life to a big idea in the piece: “Which of your possessions do you value the most? Why?” This question ties into the topic of materialism, which is the overall theme of the unit.
In Unit 4, students are asked to read the informational text “Understanding Forgiveness” by PBS. In the “Response” section, students are asked, “What do you find most surprising about the research findings?” Students use their personal experiences to reflect on the text. After reading Desmond Tutu’s speech “Let South Africa Show the World How to Forgive,” students are asked, “What motivates us to forgive?” and “What have you learned about forgiveness related to this speech?” These questions drive students to refer to the text as they answer with their own conclusions and beliefs; they also facilitate a discussion space for students to make connections across this text, personal experiences, and other texts. Behind these simple questions, there is a high level of complexity: The culture, history, and important events of South Africa’s past and present play a critical role in thinking about these questions, and students have a chance to delve into their understanding of empathy and forgiveness.
In Unit 5, students focus on concepts, themes, and text samples that promote deep discussion, argument, decision-making, and thoughtful contemplation about the self and society. The “Essential Question” about what it means to really “see” is both figurative and literal. By asking students, in an anticipatory discussion, about their understanding and definitions of “blindness” versus “sight,” students have an opportunity to draw powerful connections and insights about universal themes; this type of discussion is valuable not only for learning within the textbook, but also in the real world. Students are asked to read a collection of poems containing “Blind” by Fatima Naoot, “The Blind Seer of Ambon” by W.S. Merwin, and “On His Blindness” by Jorge Luis Borges, and then consider how analogies affect a poem’s message, or theme. Students are asked, “What do the speaker’s feelings of longing mixed with acceptance suggest about the poem’s message?” Students use their knowledge to analyze the theme of the collection as it relates to the author’s purpose.
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, after students read “House Taken Over” by Julio Cortazar, they create a chart that includes characters, setting, and events and categorize details as realistic or fantastic. After completing the chart, students analyze: “How does the author’s choices of diction and syntax contribute to the tone in those paragraphs? Explain, citing specific details.” This question gives students an opportunity to examine the author’s choices and how they communicate meaning to the reader.
In Unit 2, students read two short paragraphs about satire in the “Analyze and Interpret” section, after they read “The Censors” by Luisa Valenzuela. Students think about the author’s purpose: “What do you think was the author’s main purpose for writing this story? Explain, citing details from the text that support your answer.” Then, students evaluate the function of satire in the text: “Do you think that satire is an effective way of achieving that purpose? Explain your reasoning.”
In Unit 3, students read the short story “The Golden Touch” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the poetry excerpt “King Midas” by Howard Moss. Students are asked to consider both texts: “How are King’s Midas’s reactions to receiving the golden touch similar and different in the story and the poem?” In the “Short Response,” students are asked, “Which of the two texts is lighter and gentler in tone and which is more serious or darker? Explain your thinking.” A question that digs deeper asks, “How do the tones of the two works reflect differences in the messages they express?” Students thus compare and contrast language across genres. Later in the unit, the questioning after the King Tut photo essay in the “Building Insight/Analysis” section suggests a comparison point that allows for crossover across texts on the same topic: “What do our possessions reveal about us?” To answer, students can compare several texts they have read: Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”; Achebe’s text on Nigeria, “Civil Peace”; and the photo essay on King Tut’s treasures, “Fit for a King.” While the question doesn’t explicitly ask to compare the texts, teachers could easily make this connection and encourage such a clear, reflective, and easily-scaffolded discussion.
In Unit 4, students complete a vocabulary task after reading Act 1 of The Tempest; this is a multi-dimensional opportunity to think and learn about diction in the text. The task, “Why These Words,” encourages students to find similar words to the words about “betrayal” found in the text. Students thus learn and make linguistic connections.
In Unit 5, the overview for Helen Keller’s ironically titled essay “The View from the Empire State Building” includes a thought-provoking, loaded question: “Can one have sight but no vision, or vision but no sight?” This type of relative questioning is interesting for students to debate; connections can be made to various texts read in the section. The question also serves as a cultural connection to the blind population and facilitates insights on the author’s choices.
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:
A cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact with and build key vocabulary is present across texts, as noted in the “At a Glance” section at the beginning of each unit in the teacher edition. For example, concept vocabulary is developed as part of the “Word Study” literacy component during whole-class instruction and work with the text. The peer/small-group shared-learning/text components cover more specific vocabulary skills, which may be different from the concept vocabulary.
Unit 1 includes the concept vocabulary denotation and connotation and a study of media vocabulary. In a “Word Study” section after “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe, students analyze denotation versus connotation in the passage. Students use context “to determine how each vocabulary word is used,” identify any denotation or connotation in the text, and then determine if the word is “being used in a figurative sense.”
In Unit 2, the “Peer-Group Learning” section gives supports for teachers to differentiate vocabulary development for all learners. A subsection provides help with differentiated instruction for English Learners (ELs), allowing teachers to scaffold for “Beginning,” “Intermediate” “Advanced,” and “Advanced High” ELs. This support suggests that teachers provide cloze sentences for a varying number of content-area and academic words depending on student Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS) levels.
Unit 2 (with an informational text) and Unit 4 (with an explanatory text) provide opportunities to write academic vocabulary words using contextual comprehension. Students recreate a chart shown in the textbook in their individual notebooks; the chart has the headings “Word”, “Mentor Sentences,” “Predict Meaning,” and “Related Words.” Students are asked to complete the chart and write a sentence using at least one of the academic vocabulary words in context.
Materials provide a clearly defined plan supporting and holding 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. Various forms for reading and opportunities to self-select for group or individual reading are present in every unit. Selection suggestions, suggested methods for reading with pacing, and discussion or work opportunities to compare these novels to the core whole-class texts in the materials are present.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In each unit, there is a section titled “Independent Learning.” Students are given a table of contents with reading options to choose from and the direction “Choose one selection.” There are memoirs, newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, short stories, biographies, nonfiction, poetry, and a multimedia/magazine option. All the selections are tied to the unit’s “Essential Question,” so students are able to choose a text that is of interest to them and relates to the unit’s goals. 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. The selections are provided online, on the Realize platform.
In Unit 1, students are given a “Close Read Guide” to help them record their ideas as they read their independent reading selection. The “Close Read Guide” allows students to record the title of their selection, the purpose behind reading, and the minutes they spend reading. In the “Close Read the Text” subsection, students annotate and ask questions about the text; in the “Analyze the Text” subsection, they consider the author’s use of literary elements, craft, and structures; in the “Quick Write” subsection, they choose a paragraph from the text that grabbed their interest and write to explain why it did so. The selections that students have to choose from are “How Maurice Sendak’s ‘Wild Things’ Moved Children’s Books Toward Realism” by Gloria Goodale, “Sleep Paralysis: A Waking Nightmare” by Lexi Tucker, “The Feather Pillow” by Horacio Quiroga, “Stone Age Man’s Terrors Still Stalk Modern Nightmares” by Robin McKie, and “Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist” by Kathleen Alcala.
In Unit 3, the “Independent Learning” selections are varied in their genres and include the following options: a media collection, the infographic text “The Gold Series: A History of Gold” by Jeff Desjardins, the news article “Ads May Spur Unhappy Kids to Materialism” by Amy Norton, the short story “A Dose of What the Doctor Never Orders” by Ihara Saikaku, the news article “Heirloom’s Value Shifts from Sentiment to Cash” by Rosa Salter Rodriguez, and the short story “The Three-Piece Suit” by Ali Deb. Each has its own driving question or thematic statement that aligns with the “Essential Question” of the unit, “What do our possessions reveal about us?” For example, the question accompanying “Heirloom’s Value Shifts” is “Can you put a price on memories?” Instructions for teachers specifically guide how to “assign” the reading, either online via Realize or via a “printout of the selection” if students “do not have digital access at home.”
In Unit 5, the “Integrating Novels” section provides opportunities for students to read novels that are thematically linked to the “Essential Question” “What does it mean to see?” These novels are available on Realize, along with background information on the author, reading comprehension strategies, and TEKS-aligned questions and projects. The selections consist of The Miracle Worker by William Gibson, Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, King Lear by William Shakespeare, and She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick. The first two novels are accompanied by a summary, an explanation of the connection to the “Essential Question,” and an idea of how they can be compared to another text in the unit’s selections. For example, The Miracle Worker is compared to “View from the Empire State Building” by Helen Keller. There is also guidance for “Flexible Pacing” and “Implementation” for the novels within the timeline of the unit. The options include “Supplement the Unit,” “Substitute for Unit Selections,” and “Extend Independent Learning.”
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 have the opportunity to express their ideas and feelings in a fictional narrative, written for a specific audience and purpose. Students have the option of writing a prequel, sequel, or police report for the story “Where Is Here?” by Joyce Carol Oates. Students are asked to pay special attention to structuring their plot and are given a graphic organizer similar to a plot diagram to help them outline their narrative before drafting their piece. Later in the unit, students are asked to write a compare-and-contrast essay in which they rhetorically analyze themes similar to those expressed in the two short stories “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe and “House Taken Over” by Julio Cortazar. Within the essay, students consider the author’s use of characterization and plot to develop the theme; they also explore thematic differences that reflect the literary traditions (gothic fiction and magical realism) and cultures of the two stories. The unit also provides opportunities to write informational texts. Under the “Share Ideas” section, subsection “Composition,” students write a professional letter, responding to parts of the photo gallery “The Dream Collector” by Arthur Tress. Students have two options: to write to a museum to convince them to purchase one of the photos for their permanent collection or to write to the artist and ask questions about his inspiration and techniques. To guide students, the materials provide an explanation of the professional letter format with definitions of each part; they also give tips for revising and editing.
In Unit 3, students write a timed explanatory essay on a quote by Orson Scott Card: “Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.” Students are asked to interpret the quote in their explanatory essay and express their own understanding “of the value of unspoken words.” The assignment leads students through the planning, drafting, and reviewing stages of the writing process specific to an explanatory essay. Also in this unit, there is a unique opportunity to engage in “argument” or debate with an author by “challenging or defending the author’s claims.” In the “Response to Texts” task prior to the peer-group selection overviews for the readings, students are encouraged to “engage with an argumentative text by evaluating an author’s claim and testing it against your own knowledge and sense of logic.” The new TEKS suggested response always includes writing, as well as other things, and the flow chart on this page does provide clear guidance on how to go about developing an argument for or against an author. This could easily translate to a writing task even if it is not explicitly stated.
In Unit 4, students write an interpretive essay based on the play The Tempest by William Shakespeare. This assignment requires students to explain their “analysis and interpretation of a literary work.” Specifically, students are told to analyze The Tempest’s uneasy ending. The reference component of a typical romance is included, which is to evoke their schema while provided with textual context based on the discordance of harmony when Prospero is giving up his powers and Prospero “forgives” Antonio.
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:
In Unit 2, opportunities are provided for students to use text evidence to support their opinions and claims in writing. Students read Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and complete an “Inquiry and Research” activity. The activity addresses the lingering open question of the text: “What kind of bug does Gregor become?” Students are instructed: “Research this question, consulting a variety of sources. Then, synthesize information to write a response.” Students write their responses in their digital notebooks and integrate “facts and ideas from multiple sources to arrive at new insight,” which is the provided definition of synthesizing.
In Unit 3, students craft a response to literature after reading “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe and a self-selected piece by another Nigerian author. Students must discuss the influence of the historical and cultural settings on the characterizations, plots, and themes of each text; they must also provide a plot summary including details from each text and their original commentary. When students read “The Necklace” by Guy Maupassant, they respond to comprehension questions in writing, in their notebooks; for example, “At the beginning of the story, why is Madame Loisel unhappy with her life? What steps does Madame Loisel take to dress for the party in the way she feels is appropriate?” Students must use text evidence and original commentary in their responses.
In Unit 4, students read an excerpt of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and paraphrase it, in writing. Students analyze lines 395–402 of Ariel’s song in Act 1 and engage in a mini-lesson about the meaning of critical lines from the song; they learn, for example, that “Full fathom five thy father lies” means “Your father has drowned in the ocean.” Students use this knowledge to compose their paraphrase. They reflect upon the text and their paraphrase by responding to two questions: “Do you think Ferdinand would respond to your paraphrase in the same way he responds to Ariel’s song? Explain.” “Using this exercise as an example, explain what is lost and what is gained by paraphrasing a text.” These questions provide more opportunity to cite textual evidence to support the students’ opinions.
In Unit 5, students read Oedipus the King, Part 2, by Sophocles and respond to comprehension and analysis questions in writing. One question asks, “Cite one example of an inference you made as you read the text. What text evidence supports your inference? Explain.” Students are directed to cite textual evidence as well as provide original commentary.
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:
The materials include mini-lessons on conventions of varying complexity and depth across the units. Convention topics such as prepositional phrases, denotative and connotative meaning, pronoun-antecedent agreement, parallel constructions, and punctuation are covered. Topics are based upon mentor texts and the corresponding author’s word choice and use of syntax and diction.
In Unit 1, student opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language are present in reference to sentence structure and variety. Students read the text “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe, identify clauses from the text as either independent or dependent, and identify sentences from the text as simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex sentences. Students then revise the simple sentence “Madeline wanders in a distant hallway” and expand it to create other types of sentences.
Each unit includes an end-of-unit performance-based assessment that often involves formal writing, facilitating students’ coherent use of the elements of the writing process. In Unit 3, students write a research report addressing a question related to the unit’s theme of materialism and possessions. Students go through each phase of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) with special emphasis on genre characteristics for a formal research report. For example, during the planning stage, students develop questions for their research through activities such as completing a free-write, conducting an online search, and checking their background knowledge by filling out a chart that includes categories such as “What I know” and “What I want to learn.” During the drafting stage, students are guided through writing a thesis statement, choosing an appropriate organization structure, creating coherence by using transitions, and citing information ethically. During the revising stage, students "look at their writing in a new light" and check for the following elements: clarity, development, organization, style, diction, and sentence effectiveness. After revising, students edit their research report by looking for punctuation and grammar errors, with a specific focus on the correct use of passive and active voice in their writing. Lastly, students are guided to turn their research report into a formal presentation that they will deliver to their classmates.
In Unit 5, opportunities for the practice and application of the conventions of academic language are addressed when working on writing. Students learn about punctuation (colons, semicolons, and dashes) and explain the function of each type of punctuation in given sentences. Students then revisit a previously written piece and edit it to set off phrases and clauses, using colons, semicolons, and dashes appropriately.
Materials support students’ listening and speaking about texts by providing opportunities that allow students to focus on texts being studied in class. Students demonstrate comprehension, for example, by writing and delivering podcasts, presenting debates over unit literature, and creating talk shows that address character positions. Analysis and synthesis tasks further support the inclusion of well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate knowledge gained.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1’s “Share Your Independent Learning” section, students have the opportunity to connect, discuss, and explain their thoughts based on their independent reading and the “Essential Question,” “What is the allure of fear?” The independent reading selections are thematically linked to the unit’s focus on elements of fear. Selections include: “Sleep Paralysis: A Waking Nightmare” by Lexi Tucker, “Stone Age Man’s Terrors Still Stalk Modern Nightmares” by Robin McKie, and “Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist” by Kathleen Alcala. Students are given an opportunity to prepare for class discussions and to respond to their self-selected text with the following questions: “What similarities and differences do you see between the text and your own life?” and “How do you think this text connects to the Essential Question?” Both questions allow students to describe their observations and ideas, share ideas about the text they explored on their own, and note new ideas that seem important. After reading “Where Is Here?” by Joyce Carol Oats, in the “Build Insight” section, under the “Analysis and Discussion” subheading, students are given questions to answer in their notebooks. After students complete their written responses with text-evidence for support, they discuss these responses within a group. During the discussion, students are asked to adjust their communication as needed to make sure that their group members are clear on the commentary and information being delivered.
In Unit 3, after reading “In La Rinconada, Peru, Searching for Beauty in Ugliness” by Marie Arana, in the “Analyze and Interpret” section, under the “Close Read” subheading, with a group, students share passages from the article that they found interesting along with observations that they made and conclusions that they reached. During this group discussion, students are asked to use text evidence to support their responses.
In Unit 5’s “Share Ideas” section, tasks require students to present well-defended text-supported claims to demonstrate knowledge gained through their analysis and synthesis of Oedipus the King, Part 2, by Sophocles. For “Speaking and Listening,” students hold a mock trial for Oedipus; they are instructed: “Gather evidence and specific details from the text to support your role during the trial. Prepare speaking notes to use during the trial itself.” In the “Performance Task,” after writing a short story that explores one of two options for prompts, students lead a class discussion. In the teacher’s edition of the materials, teachers are instructed to allow students to read through the performance task’s instructions before pairing students up to reread the mentor text for the unit, “The Blue Stones” by Isak Dinesen. As students reread, they are to identify and note elements of short stories within the mentor text. Then, the instructional support recommends, “Lead a brief class discussion about short stories and what makes them interesting and effective.”
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.”
In each unit, there is an introductory instructions page for peer-group learning. It contains suggestions on how to productively work in small groups and on how to speak and listen, specifically. Each of these introductions has a table/chart with guidance on it for students, paired with a connection to the online resource “Collaboration Center” for small-group online interaction. Each unit also has a “Performance Task” with speaking and listening elements.
In Unit 1, students engage in small-group discussion after an ice breaker in which they consider “Why might exceptionally talented people be perceived as odd?” Students discuss their responses and consider the similarities and differences between their own responses and those of other group members. Discussion protocols include recording their position on the question, explaining their thinking, and finally discussing responses that may be similar or different. After the discussion, students choose a group member to present a summary of the conversation. Many of the response sections of the materials include guidance on keeping presentations meaningful, concise, clear, and focused.
Unit 1 introduces the concept of “Accountable Talk” to students in the “Peer-Group Learning” section of the unit, on the “Respond to Text” page. When students are communicating, especially in groups, the materials encourage them to use Accountable Talk with statements that are framed as “remember to” reminders followed by “which sounds like” statements. For example, students need to “remember to...reflect on the ideas of others,” and then use framing statements like “which sounds like…” or “When...said...it occurred to me that….” In these situations, students are being encouraged to use complete sentences and thoughtful statements that keep their audience in mind. Unit 1 further presents opportunities to give an organized presentation. The focus is on utilizing clear and concise language in order to have a thesis that isn’t vague or wordy. Students write an essay and may record the essay as a podcast, post it, invite commentary from peers, and respond to their questions and feedback; students may also transform the essay into a video format or graphic. Also, in the “Performance Task: Writing Process,” students are walked through the steps to write grade-level-appropriate assignments. After students carefully craft, draft, and revise, they’re tasked with focusing on a convention of language. For “Unit 1: Write a Personal Essay,” the conventions task is creating coherence within the essay. Examples of sentence fragments, missing subjects, and missing verbs are given incorrectly and correctly for editing purposes. The students then revise the essay with a focus on clarity, development, organization, style, diction, and sentence effectiveness. Multiple opportunities are given for students to refine their language. The assignment concludes with the “Publishing and Presenting” portion. By this stage, the essay has been clarified and packaged in a concise manner.
Unit 4 contains a chart for students to set goals for themselves and track their progress on what they are learning in the unit. There is some teacher guidance on how to complete and work on these tasks, particularly in the area of speaking and listening, and on how discussion will help students grow in this area, with indicators including “collaborate, build on other’s ideas, develop consensus and communicate effectively.” Teacher notes state: “Explain to students that they will work together to build on one another’s ideas and communicate with one another.”
In Unit 5, after reading “The Neglected Senses” by Rosemary Mahoney, students are asked to prepare and deliver, in a group, complex oral instructions to teach listeners a skill. Students are given three options of skills they could teach or the option to choose another skill that relates to the text. Students are given guidelines on how to draft their instruction, as well as how to organize and present instructions to the class: “Speak clearly and observe your listeners. If they seem confused, use simpler words or synonyms to get your ideas across.” In Unit 5’s “Performance Task,” students work in a group to develop and present an oral response to the question “Can one have sight but no vision, or vision but no sight?” After crafting a thesis using evidence from the unit’s selections and penning a draft, students are given information under the subheading “Rehearse, Revise, and Present” on how to effectively communicate their oral response to literature to the class.
Materials engage students with opportunities for both short-term and sustained recursive inquiry processes. Materials provide students with 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 provide students with opportunities to examine sources for credibility, bias, and/or faulty reasoning. 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 1, students read “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe and “House Taken Over” by Julio Cortázar and conduct research on the following question: “How did Edgar Allen Poe’s work influence Julio Cortázar’s fiction?” Materials provide information on how to locate relevant sources; students must find two sources. Students then write a summary of their findings along with a list of the sources they consulted.
In Unit 3’s “Performance Task,” students create a formal research report in which they develop and explore a research question related to the unit theme of materialism and possessions. As part of the “Planning and Prewriting” section, students are given a “Source Tracker” chart. This chart has headings such as “Source Title,” “Type: Primary or Secondary?” and “Relevance: How Is This Source Useful?” Students gather a variety of sources and identify on the chart whether they are primary or secondary. Then, students assess the relevance of the sources by seeing if they speak directly to the research question; they answer the questions “How can I use this source?” and “How does this source relate to other information I found?” Following the completion of the tracker, students follow the “Guidelines for Examining Sources” and examine each source for credibility, bias, and faulty reasoning.
In Unit 5, students read Oedipus The King, Part 2, by Sophocles and research ways in which the concept of the tragic hero has changed over time. Within this assignment, students locate at least three relevant sources and then write an explanation in which they synthesize information from all three sources to create a new understanding.
Throughout the materials, there are several opportunities for students to conduct research on subjects that relate to the selections. After gathering information from a variety of sources, students examine the sources for relevance and credibility, bias, and/or faulty reasoning. Then, students are given practice in selecting a mode of delivery that matches their research findings. Possible modes of delivery include a written report, an oral report, or a multimodal report. After selecting a mode of delivery, students finalize their reports and share them with their class. The selections that provide this opportunity are Unit 2’s “Encountering The Other: The Challenge for the 21st Century” by Ryszard Kapuscinski, Unit 4’s “Let South Africa Show the World How to Forgive” by Desmond Tutu, and Unit 5’s “View from the Empire State Building” by Helen Keller.
Materials contain interconnected tasks that build student knowledge while providing opportunities for increased independence. Throughout the text, questions and tasks build and apply knowledge and skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language. Coherently sequenced sets of high-quality, text-dependent questions and tasks requiring students to analyze the integration of ideas within individual texts and across multiple texts are evidenced 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 1, students process and respond to learning and reading in a variety of ways through the “Facilitate” section, in the “Close Read” portion after “The Value of a Sherpa Life” by G. Schaffer. The close-reading tasks allow students to complete individualized work through writing, discussion, speaking, listening, and thinking. The first part of the task encourages students to have an oral discussion and then focus on a few passages from the text about Sherpas, accompanied by text-dependent questions. The close-read task also contains a writing reflection piece and some vocabulary practice. Also in Unit 1, after reading “Where Is Here?” by Joyce Carol Oates, students write a fictional narrative that extends the scope of the short story. Students write a prequel, sequel, or a police report based on text-dependent details from the selection. Once students have completed their fictional narrative, they discuss their brief writings within a group, as well as listen to other group members’ work.
In Unit 3, after the short story “American History” by J.O. Cofer, the section titled “Build Insight” includes various tasks for writing, discussion, and independent or small-group processing of the text. It includes text-dependent questions, such as “What does Elena’s mother mean when she says that Alena is ‘heading for humiliation and pain’?” It also includes more conceptual or thematic questions that give students an opportunity to connect texts across genres and in more complex reading environments. In the “EQ Notes” portion of this page, students can explore the textual connections to the unit’s Essential Question, “What do our possessions reveal about us?” There is also the online resource “Interactive Notebook,” which helps students develop their skills individually to share in a group as noted by their teachers. Additionally in Unit 3, within the “Share Ideas” section, after having read from the Poetry Collection, including the poems “Avarice” by Yusef Komunyakaa, “The Good Life” by Tracy K. Smith, and “Money” by Reginald Gibbons, students write a short story in a group, based on a question left open by one of these poems. For example, for the poem “Avarice,” the text-dependent question asks, “How does the young woman acquire eight engagement rings?” While writing their short story, students are asked to consider the genre characteristics of a short story, such as characters, setting, and conflict. In the drafting section of this composition, students are provided options on how to organize the writing process within a group: “For example, you may decide to have everyone in the group write a version of the story, and then pull the best parts of each one into a final product. Alternatively, you may have one person write the first paragraph and then pass it on to someone else to write the second paragraph, and so on.” Once students have completed the task, they share their work with the class.
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:
During each unit introduction, students are given an “Essential Question” with a video and discussion prompt. Then, they are provided with a mentor text to model the writing-portion task. Goal setting for individual pacing is also expected to take place in the introduction. Key vocabulary is also presented. Then, each unit goes into “Whole-Class Learning” with anchor texts and close-reading questions; this is followed by “Peer-Group Learning” to reinforce what was learned from the teacher, to practice with peers, and to clear up misconceptions that may have occurred. Before going into “Independent Learning” with self-selected texts, students have practiced the necessary skills several times. Shared-learning tasks allow students to reflect, evaluate, and share what they have learned during the unit. Students are able to engage and interact with the task and TEKS in multimodal ways before any form of standardized assessment is given. By repeating this model with every unit, materials give students distributed practice over the course of the year.
In Unit 1, after reading “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe, students receive an informative chart about sentence structure and variety. The chart includes elements of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences with an example of each. Scaffolding and practice opportunities occur: Students reread a passage from the story and identify independent and dependent clauses before classifying the sentences by variety. Next, students take a simple sentence and expand it to a compound sentence, a complex sentence, and a compound-complex sentence. This sentence-structure practice is distributed throughout the materials.
In Unit 1, scaffolding opportunities are present in an excerpt from the informational graphic “How to Tell You’re Reading a Gothic Novel—In Pictures” by Adam Frost and Zhenia Vasiliev. After reviewing the informational graphic, students answer comprehension questions and complete a teacher-guided close read. Students then create their own informational graphic, individually, on a genre of fiction. Once complete, students present this graphic to the class.
In Unit 3, after reading “The Golden Touch” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, students have opportunities to demonstrate literacy skills with information about dependent clauses. The focus is narrowed into types of dependent clauses such as adjective, adverb, and noun clauses. First, students identify dependent clauses within sentences taken from the story. Then, students write a short descriptive passage that contains dependent clauses. Once this is complete, students revise their piece by experimenting with the placement of dependent clauses. Scaffolding opportunities are found in the text-dependent analysis and inference questions after students read the short story “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe. After a whole-class reading of this short story, students answer comprehension questions. Once complete, students are led and scaffolded through several teacher-guided tasks, such as examining the author’s craft and concept vocabulary. Next, students create an oral interpretation of an excerpt from “Civil Peace,” on their own, and present it to the class.
In Unit 4, after reading “Let South Africa Show the World How to Forgive” by Desmond Tutu, students receive information about another type of dependent clause, the relative clause, which scaffolds on dependent-clause knowledge presented in Unit 3. Using sentences from Tutu’s speech, students identify the relative clause. Then, using short sentences given by the material, students revise these sentences using a relative clause, demonstrating integration of literary skills.
In Unit 5, students are scaffolded through the play Oedipus the King, Parts 1 and 2, by Sophocles. After a whole-class reading of each part of the play, students answer comprehension questions. Then, as a group, students hold a mock trial of Oedipus. Once this is complete, students write a short story, individually, which explores a prompt related to the selection and overall unit theme of blindness and sight: “Your main character’s reflection in the mirror changes overnight. How? Why? What happens next?”
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.
Examples include but are not limited to:
In Unit 1, as students begin to view an excerpt from the photo gallery “The Dream Collector” by Arthur Tress, instructional guidance is provided in the margins, which differentiates the whole-class task for students demonstrating above-grade-level proficiency. In the whole-class task, students read the background note and the caption for Photo 1 and then review the details in the image. Students focus on how these details relate to their personal experiences. The differentiation for students performing above grade level states: “Have students pair-share about connections they can make between details on this page and their personal experiences, ideas in other texts, and society.”
In Unit 3, after students read the poem “Avarice” by Yusef Komunyakaa and while they read the poem “The Good Life” by Tracy K. Smith, instructional guidance is provided in the margins, which differentiates the whole-class task for students demonstrating above-grade-level proficiency. In the whole-class task, students visualize an image from “The Good Life” and then explain how focusing on this image helps to understand the meaning of the poem’s title. The differentiation for students performing above grade level states: “Have students complete the activity above. Then, ask them to compare the two people in this poem with the ‘she’ in the poem ‘Avarice.’”
In Unit 5, after reading “The Neglected Senses” by Rosemary Mahoney, students answer comprehension and analysis questions. In the margins of the teacher’s edition, materials provide an extension for students who demonstrate literacy skills above grade level. The extension states: “Have students think of a time when they visited an unfamiliar place. Ask students to write about the way they felt there. Students may include information about why they were there, how they got around, and what they learned from their experience.” After students complete this task, teachers can pose the question “What can you learn from visiting a new or unfamiliar place that you can’t learn in your everyday surroundings?”
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 1, while students read “Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear” by Allegra Ringo, a differentiated-instruction learning opportunity is provided for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. Teachers are instructed to give groups of students the phrases fight-or-flight and brain chemistry to define, first in a print dictionary, and then in a digital resource. After students have completed these tasks, teachers are given question prompts, including “Were you able to find the definitions in a print dictionary?” and “Why not?” Likely student responses are given so that the teacher may help guide the discussion.
In Unit 3, supports for students who demonstrate literacy skills below grade level are provided prior to students reading “The Thrill of the Chase” by Margie Goldsmith. Teachers are instructed to guide students who “have difficulty with complex sentences” by helping these students break down sentences into smaller chunks; this helps their understanding of a sentence’s meaning. During this break-down of sentence structure, students highlight unfamiliar words and phrases. Then, as a group, teachers can extend this activity by working with students to define the terms and phrases students may have found difficult.
In Unit 5, while reading “The Country of the Blind” by H.G. Wells, a differentiated-instruction learning opportunity is provided for students who demonstrate literacy skills below that expected at the grade level. To help students better understand irony, teachers are instructed to guide students through “a literal interpretation of paragraphs 52–61.” Questioning prompts are given to teachers after students have completed this task. For instance, a guiding question asks if students think the villagers are making a correct interpretation about Nunez. The differentiated-instruction support goes on to say, “Help [students] think about the gaps in understanding that would be likely between a modern person and a group of people who have not had sight or contact with the outside world in many generations.” Once students have identified the misunderstandings between Nunez and the villagers, the differentiated-instruction support recommends that students now try and identify the irony in the situation.
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.
Examples include but are 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 1, a Spanish summary is provided with all text selections. The following texts also include a Spanish translation: “Where Is Here?” by Joyce Carol Oats, “Why Do Some Brains Enjoy Fear?” by Allegra Ringo, “How Maurice Sendak’s ‘Wild Things’ Moved Children’s Books Towards Realism” by Gloria Goodale, “Sleep Paralysis: A Walking Nightmare” by Lexi Tucker, “The Feather Pillow” by Horacio Quiroga, “Stone Age Man’s Terrors Still Stalk Modern Nightmares” by Robin McKie, and “Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist” by Kathleen Alcala.
In Unit 1, while reading “House Taken Over” by Julio Cortazar, accommodations are provided for ELs to “enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language.” Beginning ELs listen to the teacher as the teacher reads the text aloud and gestures to illustrate phrases. Teachers then read the definitions to the students and provide further explanation, if needed. Intermediate ELs identify unfamiliar words as the teacher reads the text aloud. Students then find definitions for those words by using the definitions in the book or in a dictionary. Then, students have a discussion about the terms’ meanings. Advanced and Advanced High ELs divide into pairs and take turns reading the text aloud. Students pause when reading a challenging word or phrase and use the definitions in the margins or dictionaries to help them understand meanings. Students then explain the terms. Before students read “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allen Poe, accommodations are provided for ELs to “develop the vocabulary needed to comprehend the story.” Using a “Word Map” graphic organizer, teachers select words from the story based on students’ English proficiency. Examples of words given are dark and day (Beginning ELs), dull and imagination (Intermediate ELs), melancholy and desolate (Advanced ELs), and sublime and grapple (Advanced High ELs). Beginning and Intermediate ELs repeat the words aloud; then, the teacher helps them complete their “Word Map.” Advanced and Advanced High ELs are divided into pairs as they work on their Word Maps together; teachers provide support to the pairs as needed.
In Unit 3, a Spanish summary is provided for all text selections. The following texts also include a Spanish translation: “In La Rinconada, Peru, Searching for Beauty in Ugliness” by Marie Arana, “The Golden Touch” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Thrill of the Chase” by Margie Goldsmith, “My Possessions, Myself” by Russell W. Belk, “Ads May Spur Unhappy Kids to Embrace Materialism” by Amy Norton, “A Dose of What the Doctor Never Orders” by Ihara Saikaku, “Heirlooms’ Value Shifts From Sentiment to Cash” by Rosa Salter, and “The Three-Piece Suit” by Ali Deb.
In Unit 3, after students read “The Golden Touch” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, accommodations are provided for ELs to “ask for information using high-frequency and content-based vocabulary,” for an “Analysis and Discussion” question under the heading “Build Insight.” Depending on a student’s English language proficiency level, teachers are to display different content-based words for students to use to verbally describe a treasure room from the story. Content area words include dark, dreary, and dungeon (Beginning ELs); dark, dreary, dismal, obscure, and dungeon (Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced High ELs). Peer and teacher support is scaffolded based on English language proficiency level. For example, Beginning ELs are in a whole-group situation with the teacher; Intermediate ELs are in groups with teacher support; Advanced and Advanced High ELs are working in pairs. Before students read “My Possessions, Myself” by Russell W. Belk, accommodations are provided for ELs to “read and comprehend sentences with two or more clauses and challenging vocabulary.” Teachers are instructed to point out when sentences have two or more independent clauses. Mentor sentences are taken from the text and used to show that sentences with two or more independent clauses can be separated into two sentences. This activity is scaffolded based on the student’s English language proficiency level by the complexity of the vocabulary in the mentor sentences and by the amount of support given by the teacher and peers.
In Unit 5, a Spanish summary is provided for all text selections. The following texts also include a Spanish translation: “View From the Empire State Building” by Helen Keller, “The Country of the Blind” by H. G. Wells, “The Neglected Senses” by Rosemary Mahoney, “Blindness” by Jose Saramago, “Blind, Yet Seeing: The Brain’s Subconscious Visual Sense” by Benedict Carey, “Experience: I First Saw My Wife Ten Years After We Married” by Shander Herian, and “Visual Neuroscience: Look and Learn” by Apoorva Mandavilli.
In Unit 5, before students read “The Neglected Senses” by Rosemary Mahoney, accommodations are provided for ELs to “understand English language structures used in written classroom materials.” Teachers are instructed to point out the use of past-tense verbs and time-signal words by memoir writers. A “Series of Events” flowchart is provided in the “Texas ELPS Toolkit.” The activity is scaffolded based on the student’s English language proficiency level by the amount of teacher and peer support students receive when they identify past-tense verbs and complete the “Series of Events” flowchart. While reading “The Country of the Blind” by H. G. Wells, accommodations are given to ELs who may experience difficulty with the domain-specific vocabulary in the story. Teachers are instructed to review paragraph 3 and the following terms within it: isolated, basin, civilization, generation, and heredity. Students locate these terms, read each term in the context of its sentence, and then paraphrase the sentences by replacing each term with its definition.
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. “Performance-Based Assessments” are given in each unit, which monitor students’ critical thinking and synthesis of the unit’s theme with a specific focus on the “Essential Question” for the unit. These performance-based assessments for each unit are broken down into a “Writing Performance Task,” “Speaking and Listening Performance Task,” and an “End-of-Unit Performance-Based Assessment,” which contains a composition and a revising-and-editing section. Teachers and administrators can run reports to help interpret student growth. For example, in the “About the Program” section, reports listed include, “Class Mastery by TEKS,” “Student Mastery,” “Average Master,” “TEKS Item Analysis,” “Progress by Student,” and “Usage by Student.”
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 several opportunities to learn skills and showcase their knowledge through reading, writing, listening, and speaking tasks.
The teacher edition includes annotations and support for engaging students in the materials as well as support for implementing ancillary and resource materials. Each unit contains the section “Introduce,” located in the margins of the textbook, which includes the following subsections: “Motivate and Engage,” “Teacher Resources,” and “Pacing Plan.” Throughout the unit’s selections, as teachers use the materials, they are supported by the “Facilitate” annotations, which have the following subsections: “Learning Objectives,” “Concept Vocabulary,” “Comprehension Strategy,” “Differentiated Instruction,” “Close Read,” “Word Study,” “Cross-Curricular Perspectives,” “Vocabulary Development,” and “Digital Perspectives.” These subsections have answer keys and possible responses for the questioning tasks at the end of each text selection. Also included in the “Facilitate” annotations are supports for using the ancillary and resource materials. Throughout the materials, digital lessons’ resource icons denote available audio, video, interactive lessons, downloadable content, and assessments, which come with suggestions on how to implement these resources with the content. For example, a “Home Connection Letter” in both English and Spanish is noted to be available on the Realize platform, in the introduction section of all five units. Another example is the “Independent Learning Strategies” margin subsection, located in the “Independent Learning” section of all five units, which provides a video of strategies for working independently and instructional support on how to use this video in the classroom.
The materials provide annotations to support student learning and assistance for teachers. For example, a pacing plan is provided in the “Introduction” section’s margins. This 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” for all unit tests is available to help teachers assign resources based on gaps in students’ learning. For students who take 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 in order for students performing below grade level, on level, or above grade level to access the specific TEKS being taught.
In Unit 3’s “Introduction,” teachers can use the following online ancillary tools and resources for this unit on “All that Glitters”: the “Unit 3 RP Remediation Answer key,” the “Home Connection Letter” in English and Spanish, a Unit 3 “Lesson Planner,” introduction and discussion videos, the publisher’s digital tools, and “Listenwise” current-events audio resources. These same materials appear in every unit in the opening unit pages of the teacher edition and suggest grouping options for reading in each unit; the content of these consistent tools varies by unit topic.
There is also task-option differentiation guidance for teachers embedded in the tasks associated with each text in a unit. Guidance for grouping for reading options in the text-set is also present in the “Peer-Group Learning” section. The notes suggest forming groups that consist of “students with different learning abilities” to make the experience “dynamic and productive.” Within the reading options, there are other resources to support learners who struggle or who need some enrichment or extension of learning to challenge them. In the “Prepare to Read” portion of the overview of “In La Rinconada, Peru, Searching for Beauty in Ugliness” by Marie Arana, teachers can use the following ancillary online resources, in instruction or for personalized learning, to support background knowledge or access to text: an audio summary in English and Spanish, reading selection audio recording, accessible “leveled text,” and a Spanish translation. “Reinforce: Comprehension Strategy: Generate Questions” are differentiated questioning or instructional suggestions available to accompany the general teacher-guided questioning suggested by the materials. These are embedded in the margins of each text for “stop and share” discussion or written formative assessment strategies.
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 10th-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 provide 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 the texts, and an image that represents the text is given on the first page of the piece. For example, in Unit 4, there is a photo of J.P. Dancing Bear prior to the poem “Caliban.” Above the poem, is a picture of driftwood on a beach, partially in water, which supports several lines of the poem: “There was water singing over the roots of ash, over stones./Mother, I am a dead thing….”
Images are not present on “Performance Tasks” unless a mentor text reference is made, and that image is linked to the aforementioned text.
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 II 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.
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