Appendix B - Foxborough Regional Charter School

Appendix B - Foxborough Regional Charter School
Foxborough Regional Charter School
English Language Arts
Grade 8
2012 – 2013 Reading Curriculum Map
20 Total CORE Standards
The purpose of curriculum is to focus instruction in a grade level content / skill area.
The development of this curriculum map is a result of months of research, collaboration and hard work on the part of the entire Teaching &
Learning Division. The document itself is a living document; it is meant to be revisited on an annual basis by all those who use it: teachers,
paraprofessionals, special educators and other staff.
This particular model is a ‘back to basics’ approach to curriculum. The FRCS curriculum model is focused on standards based, measureable
learning objectives for all students. Our curriculum outlines the core knowledge base in a grade level; what a student should know and be able to
do by the end of a given year in a specific subject or skill area.
The FRCS curriculum model does not subscribe to any one boxed program or canned curriculum. Rather, FRCS develops its own curriculum and
employs a variety of instructional materials and learning experiences to facilitate student achievement of our learning objectives. Our curriculum
is thoughtfully designed to identify the core skills and knowledge that students need to be successful in each subsequent grade at FRCS and
The enclosed document includes a complete subject area curriculum for one grade level as well as an overview of a vertical curriculum
articulation. The vertical articulation provides the context for this grade level curriculum; outlining what a student should have mastered prior to
entering this grade and what he or she will master upon promotion to the next grade level.
Vertical Curriculum Articulation
What is vertical articulation?
Vertical curriculum articulation is education-jargon for a map of standards that students will learn at each grade level in a particular content or skill
area. It is organized in a variety of forms, but the simplest (and easiest to read) is just a chart of standards and the years in which students should
master each standard in that subject.
What is the purpose of vertical curriculum articulation?
Vertical articulation gives curriculum direction and purpose. And in terms of this single grade level curriculum, it provides the context for the
learning objectives outlined in this map. It outlines what students have learned in the past and what they will be expected to learn long after
completing this grade level. ‘Backward design’ (another great education-jargon term for the 21st century)
How is this applicable for my classroom?
No matter which grade you teach, you are but one point in a child’s learning experience. The vertical curriculum articulation found on the next
page outlines where your role lays in the entire progression of students’ learning in this subject. As students arrive in your class this year and you
begin your pre-assessments, this vertical articulation will help you identify which concepts and skills your students still need and which
Curriculum Map Overview: How to read your grade level Curriculum Map
Organization of Map
 The scope and sequence of this curriculum is organized into 3 terms. Each term is organized into units of instruction
 Each unit has the following elements and each element is described on the following pages
 Teachers develop unit plans to articulate the EXPERIENCES they will facilitate for students to achieve learning objectives within the
State Standard:
Each unit of curriculum identifies the state standards mandated by the state of Massachusetts at each grade level range for that subject area.
Measurable Student Learning Objective: (“The Students Will Be Able To”):
For each state standard, FRCS curriculum identifies measurable student objectives that chunk the standards into lesson sized, teachable objectives.
The objectives should drive every lesson plan and should drive the instruction each day. These are the objectives that an instructor should
communicate to students each day prior to the start of a lesson.
Each student objective is a measurable learning goal that focuses lesson planning and instruction. The learning objectives are your: TSWBAT (the
student will be able to) list; they are your lesson objectives. These learning objectives should drive both instruction and assessment. If we focus
instruction on a specific learning objective and develop formative assessments to assess that objective, we create a seamless transition between our
expectations for learning and actual student learning experiences. Essentially, these objectives help focus our instruction on our students’ core
understanding. They identify what students need to know to be successful this year and beyond. Please note that these objectives are the
minimum expectation for students and that by no means does this limit your ability to add additional content, activities and experiences for your
students. However, before going beyond or deeper into content areas, please ensure that your students have mastered the basic learning objectives
for a given standard first.
The learning objectives in our curriculum should also drive your assessments. Each objective is purposefully designed to be inherently
measurable. Upon completing a lesson, the objectives lend themselves to formative assessments. For example, if you do a lesson with the
objective: TSWBAT: “Compare and contrast the Igneous and Metamorphic rocks”, then your formative assessment (ie: exit slip) at the end of that
lesson can be as simple as the open response question: “Compare and contrast the Igneous and Metamorphic rocks.” If a student can do or
demonstrate the learning objectives for a specific standard, then the student demonstrates understanding of the objective. When a student
demonstrates understanding of ALL of the associated objectives with a given standard, the student demonstrates understanding of the standard
itself! At that point, if time permits, students can explore the topic greater depth through enrichment learning.
To help you create formative assessments for these objectives, we have included a list of all of the measurable action verbs that were used in
development of this curriculum. They are the same words that are used in each of the measurable learning objectives so that as a school system,
we use the same vocabulary to talk about teaching and learning. These definitions (and formative assessment suggestions) can be found at the end
of this curriculum in Appendix A: “Assessing Student Objectives”. Please take some time to review this and see your IL with follow up
questions. Measurable learning objectives are the singular most important element of any curriculum; without it, we are just teaching activities.
As departments develop objectives based benchmark assessments, the same vocabulary of measurable action verbs will be used to consistently
communicate the depth of learning and the assessment expectations for students at each benchmark point. For example, if the learning objective
indicates that a student should be able to simply “identify” some set of concepts, the depth of learning is really only recognition and thus lends
itself to a multiple choice assessment of that understanding. However, if the objective indicates that a student should be able to compare and
contrast two major concepts, the expected depth of learning is significantly greater. Thus the expectation of the assessment is also greater; perhaps
an open response or Venn Diagram explaining the two concepts.
With the entire district speaking the same language when it comes to what students will learn, how deep their learning will be and how they will be
assessed for understanding, we are able to create a comprehensive, cogent curriculum that develops a students’ knowledge right up Bloom’s
Taxonomy. As a result, we will be able to better educate our students grade to grade and check for understanding with confidence, quickly
identifying any learning gaps and addressing them so that every student successfully assesses our curriculum!
Learning Plan: Resources, Activities and Experiences
This is where the great instruction happens! For every student objective, our curriculum identifies and suggests resources, activities and
experiences that will help your students master it. Instruction is more than a textbook and this section of the FRCS curriculum provides instructors
with resources and suggested lessons beyond the textbook. While the text is a resource, it is only one of many.
The resources and ideas in this section have been developed by veteran instructors, colleagues and instructional leaders. They are in our
curriculum map because they’ve been tried and they work for kids. This element of the curriculum map is an excellent resource to differentiate an
instructional approach to reach different populations of your students. .
The Instructional strategies and lesson suggestions are open ended so that you may modify them to meet the needs of your students and classroom.
If after reviewing your curriculum map and your ancillary resources, you are still looking for creative ways to help your students achieve a
learning objective, please don’t hesitate to contact your instructional leader! Your IL can provide additional resources, strategies, ideas or even
model a lesson for you or co-teach the lesson with you. This element of the curriculum is designed to be periodically updated and improved so
please feel free to contribute your strategies and ideas and support your colleagues by emailing them to your instructional leader any time!
Vital Vocabulary:
These are the words students must know in order to understand each objective. Students should be able to use these words appropriately and
within the correct context, not necessarily recite textbook definitions. To be able to use vocabulary appropriately is more valuable than
memorizing a definition. This list is not exhaustive, so please feel free to add vocabulary to meet your students’ needs. However, mastery of these
words and the underlying concepts is critical for students to understand and master the learning objective.
Essential Question(s):
This acts as the starting point (pre-assessment) as well as a summative assessment for each unit. At the beginning of each unit of instruction, this
question acts as the activator and initiates the discussion of the topic. At the end of the unit, students should be able to answer the essential
question(s) and demonstrate they have achieved understanding the learning goals/objectives. How you assess this question is left to you as the
classroom instructor, be it a written essay, oral, a report or a classroom discussion. You may also consider restating the essential question as an
open response question at the end of each unit.
Ongoing skills to be addressed throughout every term:
State Standard
RL. & RI. 8.1. Cite
the textual evidence
that most strongly
supports an analysis
of what the text says
explicitly as well as
inferences drawn
from the text.
RL. & RI. 8.4.
Determine the
meaning of words
and phrases as they
are used in a text,
including figurative
and connotative
meanings; analyze
the impact of specific
word choices on
meaning and tone,
including analogies or
allusions to other
Student Learning
Objective(s) [The
Student Will Be Able
a) Utilize the term
inference when
discussing their
b) Identify when a
question requires
making an inference
or finding the answer
within the text.
c) Cite textual evidence
to support inferences.
a) Interpret analogies or
allusions to other
texts with accuracy
when presented with
necessary background
b) Accurately select the
term with the
connotative meaning
to fit the message
c) Utilize context clues
to determine the
meanings of
unfamiliar terms.
Learning Plan
Suggested Activities, Resources & Experiences
Throughout the year, provide opportunities for students to make
inferences about their reading, but also to use textual evidence to
support their inferences. This will occur most often during the reading
of 8th grade novels, such as Animal Farm, To Kill a Mockingbird,
and MAUS. Students can be provided a variety of question types
from questions found “right in the text” to “putting it together” to
“making inferences”. When students do make an inference in order to
answer a question, they should be required to identify it as such.
Present unfamiliar vocabulary from current novel. Model utilizing
context clues by using surrounding examples, non-examples, part of
speech, context, and synonyms in the sentence to determine a logical
meaning. Then, provide students a list of five additional terms (and
page numbers) from the text. In THINK-PAIR-SHARE format, have
students determine the meanings of those terms from context. Lastly,
compare results to a dictionary as a class.
Vocabulary%20List.doc Potential vocabulary list for Animal Farm
• Potential vocabulary
list for To Kill a Mockingbird
• Potential
vocabulary list for MAUS along with a BINGO game for retention.
• Before reading
chapters with allusions that students may be unfamiliar with, provide
a brief historical/background information session. This link contains a
list and explanation of allusions found within the novel.
Reading Curriculum Map: Grade 8- Term 1
State Standard
RL.8.3. Analyze how
particular lines of
dialogue or incidents
in a story or drama
propel the action,
reveal aspects of a
character, or provoke
a decision.
RL.8.6. Analyze how
differences in the
points of view of the
characters and the
audience or reader
(e.g., created through
the use of dramatic
irony) create such
effects as suspense
or humor.
RI.8.5. Analyze in
detail the structure of
Student Learning
Objective(s) [The Student
Will Be Able To]
a) Analyze the impact of
selected lines of
dialogue from fiction.
b) Determine the indirect
developed through
c) Select lines of dialogue
that provide evidence
of motivation, a
decision, or a certain
way of thinking by a
a) Determine the point of
view of a given piece
of literature.
b) Analyze the differences
in points of view
between characters.
c) Determine the intended
audience of a piece.
d) Discuss the difference
in point of view about
the subject of the piece
between the audience
and speaker.
a) Analyze the purpose of a
specific paragraph to the
Required Vocabulary
Learning Plan
Suggested Activities, Resources & Experiences
Students each select a line of dialogue that they feel has
importance to To Kill a Mockingbird as a whole or to a
particular character’s development. They will then explain the
reasoning behind their choice and what that line of dialogue
reveals. The lines of dialogue can be posted as dialogue
bubbles in the classroom with explanatory paragraphs below
siness/mckillip_-_dh/characterization.pdf This activity
instructs students to categorize the quotes about Atticus
from To Kill a Mockingbird as one of various types of
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus says that "You never really
understand a person until you consider things from his point
of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it"
(Lee 36). Project this quote on the Smartboard, and instruct
students to write a response/reflection, using this prompt as
inspiration. For students who struggle with so little
instruction, a more concrete prompt, such as “Explain what
this quote means and any experience you have had that
connect to the meaning.” For others, it may be more beneficial
to leave it openended.
point of view
first person
second person
third person
third person
Next, students will each be given excerpts from the current
novel of study to rewrite in another’s character’s point of
view. The next day, students should read their rewrites to the
class, so the class may make educated guesses as to the new
speaker of the piece.
key concept
text structure
nts/instResources/LA_res_TxtStruc_ORS_Module.pdf Page
a specific paragraph
in a text, including the
role of particular
sentences in
text structure as a whole.
b) Determine the role of
particular sentences in
developing a key concept.
a) Evaluate the choices
made by the directors of
filmed or live drama.
b) Compare and contrast
drama to the narrative
version of the story.
three provides a student friendly explanation of various text
structures and their components. These activities would be
multi-purposeful for students if textbooks from other core
subjects were used as the teaching texts for the lessons. For
example, the history text could be used for a lesson about
headings and text features while the science textbook could be
used for a lesson about the role of supporting details in
refining a concept.
developing and
refining a key
RL.8.7. Analyze the
extent to which a
filmed or live
production of a story
or drama stays
• This link provides pre, during, and post
activities for the filmed version of To Kill a Mockingbird.
These activities are not intended to be used as a whole. Rather,
it would be more purposeful to select particular scenes from
the video to show for comparison purposes instead of having
the class view the entire film. The activities presented are also
high level in terms of analysis and critical thinking and would
be best suited as whole class discussion activities instead of
independent work. The relevant sections begin on page 27 of
the link provided.
Extension activity: Students may create a filmed preview/
trailer for an “upcoming” filmed version of To Kill a
Mockingbird. Their trailers should reflect the tone, theme, and
key characterization found within the novel. The following
link may provide a model for this
ingbird/lynch.html Students will read clippings from
newspapers that detail topics and time periods relevant to To
Kill a Mockingbird. They will write an objective summary of
what they have read and provide examples from the text that
support the main idea. Teachers will need to choose
newspaper clippings with their current students’ profiles and
sensitivities in mind as this was one of many tragic moments
in history.
faithful to or departs
from the text or script,
evaluating the
choices made by the
director or actors.
RI.8.2. Determine a
central idea of a text
and analyze its
development over the
course of the text,
including its
relationship to
supporting ideas;
provide an objective
a) Determine the central, or
main, idea of a given text.
b) Analyze the
development of a central
idea throughout the course
of a text.
c) Write an objective
summary of a text.
d) Analyze the connection
between the central
idea and supporting
central idea/
main idea
summary of the text.
Reading Curriculum Map: Grade 8- Term 2
State Standard
RI.8.6. Determine an
author’s point of view
or purpose in a text
and analyze how the
author acknowledges
Student Learning
Objective(s) [The Student
Will Be Able To]
a) Determine the author’s
perspective on the subject of
the text.
b) Analyze how the author
acknowledges counter-points
or conflicting evidence.
Required Vocabulary
Learning Plan
Suggested Activities, Resources & Experiences
point of view
conflicting evidence
Students will read text about or related to the holocaust
to support their understanding of MAUS. The texts will
be written from various historical perspectives:
survivors from various countries/ backgrounds, German
officers, etc. The Library of Congress’ website provides
helpful primary sources for such activities. After reading
each article, students will analyze the author’s point of
view about the subject and determine the author’s
purpose for writing the piece.
a) Analyze the purpose
behind selecting a particular
medium to present a topic.
b) Evaluate the advantages
and disadvantages of using
different mediums.
As students read MAUS, they will evaluate the
advantages and disadvantages of the graphic novel to
present the given subject. A
variety of discussion questions and extension activities
are provided within this link for supporting this
a) Determine the claim of a
b) Analyze the text in order
to construct the argument
being made.
c) Assess whether or not the
reasoning is sound and the
evidence is relevant.
d) Differentiate between
and responds to
conflicting evidence
or viewpoints.
RI.8.7. Evaluate the
advantages and
disadvantages of
using different
mediums (e.g., print
topic/ subject
or digital text, video,
multimedia) to
present a particular
topic or idea.
RI.8.8. Delineate and
evaluate the
argument and
specific claims in a
text, assessing
whether the
reasoning is sound
and the evidence is
After learning about the key vocabulary at left, students
will read and annotate a persuasive piece on the
Smartboard as a class. They will use Smartboard
features to highlight and comment on examples of each
of the key terms at left. Involve as many students as
possible in being part of this process.
relevant and
sufficient; recognize
relevant and irrelevant
when irrelevant
evidence is
RI.8.9. Analyze a
case in which two or
more texts provide
information on the
same topic and
identify where the
texts disagree on
a) Analyze the conflicting
information provided in two
or more texts on the same
b) Identify where the two
text disagree.
c) Analyze disagreements to
determine whether they are
factual or interpreted.
Return to the texts used for standard RI. 8.6. Follow up
this activity with an analysis of the conflicting
information found within the texts. Discuss whether the
conflict is due to factual disparity or a matter of
interpretation of information.
An extension activity would be for students to write a
fictional conversation (about the subject at hand)
between the authors of these two texts.
matters of fact or
Reading Curriculum Map: Grade 8- Term 3
State Standard
RL.8.2. Determine a
theme or central idea
of a text and analyze
its development over
the course of the text,
including its
relationship to the
characters, setting,
and plot; provide an
objective summary of
Student Learning
Objective(s) [The Student
Will Be Able To]
a) Determine the theme of a
piece of literature.
b) Analyze the
development of a theme
throughout the course of
the text.
c) Verbalize the theme of a
piece of literature in a
complete thematic
d) Analyze the relationship
between the theme and
Required Vocabulary
thematic statement
Learning Plan
Suggested Activities, Resources & Experiences
Students will be provided with a list titled “Top Ten
Quotes from Animal Farm”
tml) . Then, they will be required to read and analyze
the quotes with a partner. With that same partner, they
will discuss and decide upon one thematic statement
for Animal Farm. Independently, they will justify in
writing how the quotes support the theme they
verbalized. They will not be required to use all of the
quotes, however, they will get additional points for as
many quotes as they can logically and clearly connect to
the text.
RL.8.9. Analyze how
a modern work of
fiction draws on
themes, patterns of
events, or character
types from myths,
traditional stories, or
religious works such
as the Bible, including
describing how the
material is rendered
the characters.
a) Analyze a modern work of
fiction for evidence of
common themes, patterns of
events, of character types.
b) Describe how the
common themes, events, or
character types from
traditional works are
reinvented in a modern piece
of literature.
their thematic statement.
character type
As students read Animal Farm, they will analyze the
archetypes that are portrayed in the novel. One way
students may practice this concept is by matching the
titles of the archetypes (trickster, helper, etc.) with
images of the characters in Animal Farm. The link
below includes creative images for such a purpose. It
also includes explanations of the archetypes found
within Animal Farm below each images, which may be
helpful as a follow up discussion or for students to
check their own
Appendix A:
Assessing Student Learning
Measurable Action Words & Formative Assessment Types
As educators, it is vital that we are consistent and transparent with our learning expectations. This section provides us with a common set of
terminology associated with student learning objectives and assessment. It will help you design your unit and lesson plans with the end in mind;
developing assessments for student objectives and then developing lessons and units to help your students achieve these objectives. We don’t
want to teach to a test, but we do want to ensure that we assess our students’ learning of the core skills and knowledge outlined by the state. This
section standardizes the vocabulary that we all use to identify not only what our students should know, but the depth of knowledge they should
attain and the means through which we assess their understanding.
Objectives and assessments:
Each standard has at least one associated student objective. These objectives should act as your lesson objectives and should be the learning goal
of your students. In order to assess student learning of these objectives, it is important that we are using common terminology. A list of
measurable action verbs used in this document as well as a description of what level of understanding students should be able to demonstrate to
achieve such objectives is located on the next page. In addition, recommendations for developing your own formative assessments to check for
understanding of each objective are included. These definitions are broad so that you may apply them to your own assessments as needed.
Developing formative and other classroom assessments:
 Less is more: While essay assessments take more time to correct, they provide more insight into your students’ depth of understanding.
You don’t need to give nearly as many questions and students are required to really show what they know.
 Assess the objectives as the core knowledge and leave the ‘nice-to-knows’ off the formal assessments
 Teach to the objective and standard, not the text. Text and text assessments are not specific to MA and thus don’t always assess what
DESE identified standards. This doesn’t mean you can’t assess knowledge outside of them, but assessment should focus on the standards
and objectives
 Assess each day: a quick 1 question exit slip gives you a good idea if a student grasps the concept.
Reading the chart below:
 Each heading indicates a depth/level of understanding aligned with Bloom’s Taxonomy
 “Skill definition” is the action verb for a given objective. It’s what the student should be able to do
 “Assessment format expectations and suggestions” are just that: the kind of formative assessment you can use to see if a student can
demonstrate the particular level or depth of understanding
Analytical & Evaluative Skills
Skills Definition
Analyze: Given or collect information or data to support a
Categorize / Rank: Students are given or collect a set of
examples or specimens and must sort them into appropriate
groups or classes based on their characteristics.
Compare & Contrast: Identify and explain the similarities
and differences of two or more concepts
Differentiate Between: Students describe the differences
between two or more concepts, specimen, examples or items.
Simplify: Summarize
Evaluate: Determine the significance
Assessment format expectations and suggestions
Expectations for analysis are some form of explanation based on given or collected data.
Written assessments are usually in the form of a lab report (ie: conclusions section)
Students usually test the examples or specimen to determine their characteristics. Students
organize their categorization in a table and support with data and written or oral
Expectations for this skill focuses on writing about science concepts: essay or graphic
organizer form (ie: Venn Diagram)
This can be done using a ‘T-chart’ or other graphic organizer. This can also be
incorporated into a written response
Written or oral explanation of a concept in students’ own words
Usually assessed in written form. Students support their evaluation with data or
background knowledge
Synthesis & Application Skills
Skills Definition
Determine: Decide upon or identify
Diagram / Illustrate: Students create a drawing that includes
labels and written explanation.
Solve / Calculate: find the answer or solution (usually
Design / Create / Develop / Construct: Make or build
Demonstrate: show
Assessment format expectations and suggestions
Pick out the correct term or concept from a group. Provide and fill in the correct term or
Expectations are that students can generate scientific diagrams or illustrations. Labels and
explanation should be included.
Given some data set, students find the answer or solution. Include work and units.
Formulas are provided by instructor
This is very broad, but the expectation is that a performance assessment of some kind is
The expectation for this is that students physically show a skill or demonstrate an
understanding in written form.
Comprehension Skills
Skills Definition
Assessment format expectations and suggestions
Classify: Arrange and assign to a category
Describe: Students’ written or oral description
Explain: Written explanation, usually with a diagram
Predict: Forecast or hypothesize an outcome based on
supporting data or background knowledge
Summarize: Paraphrase content into simpler terms
Distinguish Between: Determine differences between
The assessment expectation is that students can arrange examples into appropriate categories.
This may be matching or listing and may or may not include a brief explanation
Expectations are that students can describe (orally or written) a concept in their own words.
‘Describe’ objectives focus more on broad comprehension than explanation of detailed
Students should be able to explain a concept in detail and provide supporting fact and/or data;
diagrams often accompany this in sci.
This is usually done as the hypothesis for a lab or sci fair project. The expectation is that
students support hypotheses with ‘why’.
Summaries are usually written and often act as follow up assessments to a passage that is read.
The expectation is that students can accomplish ½ of the compare-contrast essay by identifying
key differences between two (usually similar) concepts or ideas. Usually written.
Recall Skills
Skills Definition
Define: Provide a definition.
Label / Name: Provide or choose a name for an item,
object or concept.
Recognize: pick out from a variety of possible choices
Sequence: Place the concepts or items in a specific,
relevant order
Identify Select or list (usually characteristics) label, list
or identify
Organize / List: Put associated concepts in order
Assessment format expectations and suggestions
Assessing this skill is more effective if put in the student’s own words or description. Matching or
student generated definitions
The expectation is either to match or write in a label for a given diagram or fill in the blank
Multiple choice is the most common recognition skill assessment
Expectations are that students can either select or write a series of concepts in an appropriate and
accurate sequence
Students should be able to select or write in the appropriate concept or vocabulary word
Students create an order that may or may not be based on a standard criterion. This can be written,
oral or physically done
Appendix B:
FRCS Unit Plan Template
FRCS Unit Plan
Unit Title
Essential Question(s): _________________________________________________________________
Grade Level
Length of Unit
Student Learning Outcomes/Objectives (SWBAT):
Learning Experiences:
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