Evaluation for 3.e.2
Materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice.
The materials provide spiraling and scaffolded practice by supporting distributed practice over the course of the year. The materials include scaffolds for students to demonstrate integration of literacy skills that spiral over the school year.
Examples include but are not limited to:
Students complete sequential lessons that spiral the skills being learned. This world literature curriculum “focuses on the basics of literary analysis, using textual evidence to explicate literary and informational texts, putting together short argument essays, and writing short narratives.” Using various texts, students study skills that grow in complexity, identifying elements of John Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, investigating cultural influence, and identifying major themes like “war, heroism, mortality, and power.” They then apply close-reading strategies and complete text-analysis activities with modern texts, speeches, and forms of rhetoric. Students’ thinking shifts from a basic understanding of stories and writings to an understanding of their value and purpose. In addition, supplementary “Essay Labs” guide students through numerous types of essays, including argumentative, analysis, informative, and persuasive. Essay Labs offer scaffolds to support the entire writing process: prepare (focus on prompt to create title), plan (develop thesis and gather text evidence), write (draft with organization), and finish (revise and edit).
In Unit 1, students begin by exploring myths about creation, the apocalypse, and heroes from various parts of the world including Greece, Japan, and Europe. They analyze the narrative patterns of the stories in an effort to determine their importance to their cultures and to learn more about each culture and its values. Also, students begin practicing “the basics of creating writing.”
In Unit 2, students focus on “the biggies of literary analysis: characterization, theme, and figurative language,” using epics such as the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, and The Iliad. They also “continue to master [the] narrative writing technique.”
In Unit 3, students continue to hone their analysis skills on literary and informational texts through close readings of Sophocles’ Oedipus the King; they also learn to write literary argumentative papers.
In Unit 4, students read Hamlet by William Shakespeare, analyze Shakespeare’s style, and read different outside texts about the play as preparation to compare and contrast Shakespearean and Sophoclean (Aristotelian) tragedy.
Unit 5 staggers well-known speeches and lectures to encourage students to apply their rhetorical analysis skills; Steve Jobs’ commencement speech is paired with Barry Schwartz’s TED talk, “Using Our Practical Wisdom.” The materials interweave and integrate informational texts, academic texts, and literary texts, so students synthesize information and perspectives. Students compare Plato’s “The Apology of Socrates” to Scott LaFee’s “Words to the Wise: Experts Define Wisdom.” With these paired texts, students practice close reading “rhetorical and persuasive speeches and texts, both ancient and modern,” mastering speech analysis, explaining the rhetorical strategies used, and understanding what rhetoric and argument look like in modern media.
In Unit 6, students explore how Erich Maria Remarque structures his masterpiece All Quiet on the Western Front to portray a realistic view of war and conduct a short research project on his life.” Students complete a character chart that includes the character name, information about how students know the character, and proof from the text to support that information. This character chart gets filled in throughout the entire novel, and this activity is found for each novel the students read.
Unit 7 asks students to add an audio clip or a video to a PowerPoint™. This lesson helps students recall and apply the knowledge of informational texts and informal diction that they acquired in Unit 5. At the end of this unit, students focus on how survivors process the trauma of the event through writing different types of media (speeches, oral histories, memoirs, letters); then, students exhibit new learning by creating and giving a multimedia oral presentation.
Finally, at the end of Unit 8, after reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, students compose a literary analysis paper. Students focus on literary techniques, including “how [the novel] uses characterization and plot structure to draw out its major themes” and researching how the “work is a response to imperial literature.”