Alignment: Overall Summary

The instructional materials for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations of alignment. Discrete standards and skills instruction and practice are mostly present, providing students opportunities to practice reading closely, writing and speaking in different modes, and demonstrating comprehension. Texts included over the course of the year are high quality and appropriately rigorous, and provide some opportunity for students to build knowledge of topics and themes. The materials partially support this knowledge building consistently, and the teacher may have to supplement to give more time and practice on deep vocabulary and integrated skills practice.

See Rating Scale
Understanding Gateways

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
28
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
24
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Usability

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Not Rated

Not Rated

Gateway 3:

Usability

0
23
30
34
N/A
30-34
Meets Expectations
24-29
Partially Meets Expectations
0-23
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality & Complexity and Alignment to Standards Components

Meets Expectations

+
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Gateway One Details

The materials for Grade 10 meet the expectations of Gateway 1. Texts are high quality and appropriately rigorous, and associated tasks and questions assure students will have to read closely. Writing instruction is provided consistently and attends to appropriate depth and breadth of modes, genres, and types. The teacher may have to do some supplementing to assure each student has applied practice with language and grammar, although some lessons are present. Speaking and listening actions are mostly focused on the texts being read and studied, although  the teacher may have to supplement with some of the instruction in these areas. 

Criterion 1a - 1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.
15/16
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-
Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 10 include appropriately rigorous and complex high quality texts for students to build their reading and comprehension. Texts include different genres and modes to assure a breadth and depth of reading appropriate for the grade.

Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.

The materials contain anchor texts that are well-crafted, content rich, and include a range of student interests, engaging students in careful reading. While skills-based Chapters 1-4 do not include an anchor text, the majority of the text excerpts included in the chapters are of publishable quality. All of the anchor texts included in the thematic Chapters 5-11 are published works.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, students read excerpts from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. The autobiographical graphic novel considers childhood in unstable times during and after Iran’s Islamic Revolution. Her coming of age novel is a high interest text with immersive illustrations and rich calls for empathy.
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking about Synthesis, students read from “An Animal’s Place” by Michael Pollan. The excerpt is from a 2012 New York Times article that makes a case for Polyculture farming. The article is part of a series of texts that engage students on the ethics of eating meat. Diet and health is a relatable, interesting topic for students. 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. This Central Text has the relatable topic of peer pressure. It was written by a renowned author of several classic and widely-read novels. The story contains interesting primary source photographs to engage readers.
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, students read “The Case Against Perfection” (abridged) by Michael Sandel. This Central Text focuses on the thought-provoking and engaging idea of the potential of designing babies in the future. It contains rich, challenging language and complex ideas. 
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)communication, students read Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. This Central Text is a classic story in which most students are familiar. It features interesting characters and relatable themes. The language is rich, and the text contains many cultural and historical references.

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.
*Indicator 1b is non-scored (in grades 9-12) and provides information about text types and genres in the program.
0/0
+
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The materials include texts are an appropriate mix of informational and literary texts. A wide variety of informational and literary texts are integrated throughout each chapter. Anchor and supplementary texts result in a wide distribution of genres and text types as required by the standards, including, but not limited to: nonfiction articles, poetry, art autobiography, graphic novel, comic strip, journal, mythology, fantasy, pamphlet, data, speech, memoir, interview, essay, opinion, and satire. 

Thematic chapters include anchor and supplementary texts that support the topic of the chapter. Though the balance of informational and literary reading selections does not fully adhere to the recommendations in the Common Core State Standards for Grade 10, students read an adequate balance of text types. There are more informational texts, but they are often paragraph excerpts, while literary texts are full-length texts.

Examples of literary texts include, but are not limited to:

  • Chapter 1 - “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand (poem)
  • Chapter 2 - from A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry (drama)
  • Chapter 5 - “Zolaria” by Caitlin Horrocks (short story)
  • Chapter 6 - Macbeth by Shakespeare (drama)
  • Chapter 7 - “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” Gabriel Garcia Marquez (short story)
  • Chapter 10 - “Robot Dreams” by Isaac Asimov (short story)

Examples of informational texts include, but are not limited to:

  • Chapter 1 - from Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (autobiographical graphic novel)
  • Chapter 3 - “Challenger Speech” by Ronald Reagan (speech)
  • Chapter 4 - “U.S. students lag behind international peers” (data table)
  • Chapter 5 - “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell (essay)
  • Chapter 8 - “My Enemy, Myself” by Karim Ben Khelifa (photo essay)
  • Chapter 9 - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass (autobiography)
  • Chapter 10 - “Civil Peace” by Chinua Achebe (journal article)

Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).

The materials include a majority of anchor texts that are appropriately placed for the grade level. Most anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and the relationship to their associated student task. Chapters 1-4 do not have anchor texts, rather text excerpts that are used to teach reading and writing skills. The excerpts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level. In the thematic chapters, most texts are within the Grade 9-10 Lexile band. Those that are above or below the band have appropriate qualitative measure, and the related tasks are appropriately connected to the text. 

Examples of anchor texts that are within the Lexile band for Grade 10 include:

  • In Chapter 5, students read “Shooting an Elephant” which has a Lexile of 960L.
  • In Chapter 6, students read The Tragedy of Macbeth. Though the text does not have a Lexile rating, it is a classic text for Grade 10.
  • In Chapter 7, students read “The Case Against Perfection” which has a Lexile of 1270.
  • In Chapter 9, students read Cyrano de Bergerac. Though the text does not have a Lexile rating, it is a classic text for Grade 10.

Examples of anchor texts that are above or below the Lexile band, but are appropriate based on qualitative measures and related tasks include:

  • In Chapter 8, students read “When the Emperor was Divine.” The quantitative measure is 680L. The text is not difficult to read; the diction and syntax are often reflective of the age of the boy, but the historical context and nonlinear plot line may cause some difficulties. The related task is questions about character, plot, and theme. The questions are not difficult but are on grade level and require analysis.
  • In Chapter 10, students read “A Small Place.” The quantitative measure is 1490L. It is appropriate for students to be challenged with a text of this complexity by the end of the year. The related task is questions that analyze diction and purpose to further develop student’s ability to analyze texts rhetorically.

Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).
4/4
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-
Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The materials are intentionally designed and organized to encourage and support the development of specific skills for interacting with texts of increasing difficulty across chapters and throughout the year. To accomplish this, texts are grouped and structured to build knowledge and fluency. The organization of each chapter into Conversations and Workshops allows students to read and analyze increasingly complex texts while practicing discrete, identifiable skills. The range of text complexities, subjects, and types provides opportunities for growth. Additionally, the materials provide the necessary prompts and supports for students to become metacognitive and reflective about their growth as a reader, writer, thinker, speaker, and listener. 

The first four chapters “establish the core skills for college-level academic work: reading closely, thinking analytically, and writing persuasively. Each chapter uses brief and accessible texts to introduce key concepts, then provides multiple opportunities to practice those skills.” The skills that students learn in the first four chapters are woven throughout the rest of the chapters through instruction and assessment in reading and analyzing texts in a variety of genres and modes. The remaining chapters are organized into thematic readings that range in difficulty from approachable to challenging as the chapter and year progress.

Skills build on one another, as well as the complexity of the texts to support students’ literacy skills. In the genre/mode chapters, there is a full range of the Lexile stretch band providing opportunities to challenge students. The complexity of anchor texts support students’ proficiency in reading independently and analyzing text at grade level by the end of the school year, as required by grade level standards. The Teacher’s Edition of the materials includes teacher tips for organizing and differentiating instruction to meet the standards and the demands of a variety of learners.

Example of how reading skills are taught over the course of the year to meet grade level standards:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, students are introduced to the process of analysis: making observations, recognizing patterns, and drawing a conclusion. In a practice Activity, students practice analysis with a basic task: “Choose a topic that you know well or encounter often, such as a sports team you watch regularly, your boyfriend or girlfriend, your school, the weather in your hometown, your favorite singer or musician, or a video game you play often. Now, apply the analysis process to your topic, being sure to start off with a focused observation.” 
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, students read The Tragedy of Macbeth and practice more in-depth analysis skills. While reading Act I, Scene 5, students engage in a  Close Reading activity that is suggested in the Teacher’s Edition: “After reading the letter, Lady Macbeth ponders her husband’s character (ll. 11–26). She provides a number of observations about Macbeth and specifically mentions his level of ambition. Have students provide an analysis of Macbeth’s character as seen by Lady Macbeth, referencing specific details from her speech.” 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, students complete a Reading Workshop at the end of the chapter where they analyze author’s choices of diction and tone. After instruction on how to analyze tone and how diction influences tone, students complete an Activity: “Look over the following excerpts from readings in this chapter and try to express the tone each writer takes in at least two words; be sure to identify the subject to which the author’s tone is directed. Then, point to what diction in the excerpt most reveals the author’s tone.”

Example of how writing skills are taught over the course of the year to meet grade level standards:

  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, students read “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” by Martin Luther King Jr. and an excerpt from An Ideal for which I am Prepared to Die by Nelson Mandela (1330L). During reading, a Teaching Idea further helps students construct argument by analyzing the authors’ techniques: “Students could create an argument that would attempt to persuade Mandela to choose a course of nonviolence rather than violence, using specific evidence from Mandela’s speech as counterarguments. Or they could contrast Martin Luther King’s positions with Mandela’s and assess the effectiveness of their rhetoric. Or, they could assess how successfully Mandela addresses each of the charges against him, as enumerated in the Key Context.” After reading, students answer the following question: “How does opening with a counterargument help Mandela establish his overall purpose?” At the end of the chapter, students complete a Writing Workshop for an argumentative essay. Included in the assignment description is a detailed six-step process of writing argument. During Step 4: Writing Your Opening, students are reminded to “think back to rhetorical appeals discussed in Chapter 3, you can see that a successful hook often relies on an appeal to pathos—emotion.” Examples of sample steps of an essay are provided as models.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, students complete a Writing Workshop at the end of the chapter where they write a rhetorical analysis of the text, “Free to Be Happy” by Jon Meacham. Using the three-step process of analysis they learned in Chapter 1 and have practiced throughout the year, students respond to an Activity: “Identify and analyze at least two strategies that Meacham uses to appeal to pathos. How do these strategies help him achieve his purpose of emphasizing the public and communal nature of happiness? Consider Meacham’s overall (‘big picture’) approaches, but also such elements of style as connotative language and allusions.”

Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.
1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level. 

The materials include text complexity analysis for most texts. Quantitative data is included in the Lexile Text Complexity Measures spreadsheet organized by text, author, and chapter found in the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive. This analysis includes Lexile score only. Qualitative information is included in the Chapter Overview section for each thematic chapter and provides an overall summary, surface-level feature description, and anticipated challenges of the Central Text and each text in the Conversations section. This information provides “a description of the challenges each text may pose for students based on the language complexity, time period, unfamiliar contexts, or other factors.” Additionally, in the forward of the textbook, the texts are described as “a blend of fresh and familiar selections”, but the materials do not provide text-specific qualitative analyses. 

Overall, rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level is not provided in the Teacher’s Edition or ancillary resources. Although the Lexile level for each prose text is provided and some potential difficulties are mentioned, the materials do not include a purpose or rationale for placing the texts in the grade level or in the Conversation sections other than how they are related to the topics within chapter or Conversations. 

Examples of how the materials provide text complexity analysis and rationale include, but are not limited to:

  • In the forward of the textbook, the structure of the chapters is described: (1) each skill-building opening chapter “uses brief and accessible texts to introduce key concepts;” (2) each thematic chapter provides “a central text—a major work by a world-renowned author—is a rich text that anchors the chapter” and “two clusters of texts in conversation focus on the skills needed for the AP Literature course and the AP Language course respectively.” 
  • In Chapters 1-4, the texts are chosen to help students focus on literary analysis skills. The Guided Tour section at the beginning of the textbook states, “Each chapter [1-4] uses brief and accessible texts to introduce key concepts.” However, no detailed text complexity analyses are provided and Lexile levels are not included for these texts.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, the Chapter Overview provides qualitative information for the Central Text, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell: “This can be a challenging text for sophomores because of the distant time period and context, but it is also surprisingly accessible because of its applicability to students’ own experiences facing pressures to act in ways they might rather not.” Quantitative information Orwell’s “Shooting an Elephant” is provided at 960L. The purpose of the accompanying texts in the two Conversation sections is also provided. The first Conversation, Changes and Transformations, includes “Coming of Age” readings;  the second Conversation, The Individual at School, focuses on students’ identities. A brief summary is included for each text with additional qualitative information. For instance, the summary for “The Devils Thumb” states, “The text, while long, is an engaging one, especially for boys or reluctant readers.”  
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, the Chapter Overview provides a description and qualitative information about the Central Text, from “The Case Against Perfection,” an essay by Harvard professor Michael Sandel “who writes about a time in the not-so-distant future when we will be able to design our own babies. We cut the lengthy essay in half to give students a chance to wrestle with each of the major components of his argument separately, and give you opportunities to assess how well your students comprehend the text. While Sandel writes in a very accessible style, the complexity of this essay is in the sophisticated moral calculus that Sandel performs. His allusions and references will need support and scaffolding for most tenth grade students.” The quantitative rating is 1270L.
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, the Chapter Overview provides a description and qualitative information about texts from the second Conversation, Socially Networked: “The lightest and most humorous piece in this conversation is ‘Do You Like Me? Click Yes or No’ by Jason Harrington. Harrington retells the short-lived romance between two young people through the online posts they make. While the language and social media references will be familiar to students, the satirical tone may pose a challenge, especially since Harrington is also mocking corporate jargon.” The quantitative rating is 860L.

Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Across the materials and within individual chapters, students have access to texts from a variety of genres and levels of difficulties that support students’ individual growth as readers. In addition to the core suggested texts, teachers have access to additional texts that can be assigned to developing grade-level readers. Throughout each chapter, students read a variety of text types and lengths from a range of disciplines with appropriate levels of support. The texts are arranged to increase in difficulty as the students progress through the chapter. The materials incorporate three text sections which include a volume of texts at increasing complexity: foundational, grade level, and challenging.  These scaffolded text sections encourage reading independence at grade level and beyond. Text types include personal narratives, short stories, magazine articles, poetry, excerpts from books, excerpts from essays, photo essays, classic texts, and short nonfiction pieces. 

Examples of the range and volume of reading that meet the criteria for this indicator include, but are not limited to:

  •  In Chapter 1: Reading the World, students read informational chapter material, a variety of images, social media messages, diagrams, charts, a musical score, a menu, the poem “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand, an excerpt from the nonfiction text, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, and an excerpt from the autobiographical graphic novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. 
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, students read the anchor text, William Shakespeare’s, Macbeth, and supporting texts the poems “Musée des Beaux Arts” by W. H. Auden and “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by William Carlos Williams, an excerpt from Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII,” “Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed” by Jeffery Kluger, “Rules of the Game”,  a short story by Amy Tan, speeches from Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, an excerpt from Thomas Paine’s, Common Sense, and a speech from George Orwell’s satirical novel “Animal Farm.”
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Conversation: Stories of War, students read an excerpt from “The Storytellers of Empire” by Kamila Shamsie, a poem “Dulce Et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen, “The St. Crispin’s Day Speech” from Shakespeare’s Henry V, and the short story “The Man Who Stained His Soul” by Vu Bao. In Conversation: Displacement and Assimilation, students read an excerpt from Jean de Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer, a Newsweek article titled “A Quilt of a Country” by Anna Quindlen, a poem “For a New Citizen of These United States”by Li-Young Lee, a personal narrative titled “My New World Journey” by Nola Kambanda, and excerpts from a hybrid of print text and visuals by Maira Kalman titled And the Pursuit of Happiness.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, students read the anchor text, A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, and more than a dozen supporting texts: a short story, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. LeGuin, a poem, “Nikki-Rosa” by Nikki Giovanni, a nonfiction article, “Free to Be Happy” by Jon Meacham, short stories from “Robotic Dreams” by Isaac Asimov, an opinion article, “Are Humans Necessary?” by Margaret Atwood, and a nonfiction article, “Is It OK to Torture or Murder a Robot” by Richard Fisher.

Criterion 1g - 1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
13/16
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Criterion Rating Details

The materials for Grade 10 support text-focused reading, writing, speaking, and listening, providing students with consistent questions and tasks that require close reading. Culminating tasks provide the teacher understanding of which standards and skills students have mastered, and how deeply they understand the text. Writing practice and instruction attends to text-based writing as well as developing strong writing process. Structures for speaking and listening may require the teacher to supplement with other supports. Language and grammar instruction may require the teacher to do extra work to assure that students are receiving comprehensive, consistent practice.

Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the expectation that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text). 

The materials include questions and tasks that require careful reading over the course of a school year in which students must provide evidence from texts to support claims. Most questions, tasks, and assignments require students to answer literal and inferential questions and complete tasks with text evidence. Students also work independently and collaboratively to respond to and generate text-specific questions. In the first four chapters, lessons are focused on skills associated with one type of task per chapter: Starting the Conversation, Writing, Reading, and Using Sources. In these four chapters, students are not required to answer text-dependent questions about specific elements of text, rather they engage with texts by applying skills referring to the texts they read. The following seven genre-based chapters require students to regularly answer specific, text-based questions. During reading, students refer to the text to answer Close Reading and Check for Understanding questions. After reading selections, students refer to the text for Understanding and Interpreting questions; Analyzing Language, Style, and Structure questions; and end-of-chapter multiple choice exams.

Additionally, Culminating Activities are text-dependent. Test bank items are both literal and inferential text-dependent questions that require students to gather text evidence about the roles of specific details, the meaning of specific phrases, character development, and vocabulary analysis. The process supports a text-centric curriculum and an approach to multiple literacy skills.

While some questions are not text-dependent, they appropriately access prior knowledge, make text-to-self connections, and require reflection; most questions, tasks, and assignments require that students engage directly with texts. 

Examples of text-dependent questions, tasks, and assignments include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, students analyze a variety of texts. In the Culminating Activity, they read the poem, “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand, and answer Questions for Analysis: “Draw conclusions: Why does the poet have the speaker behave like he does? What evidence from the text supports your conclusion? What does this have to do with the title, ‘Eating Poetry’?”
  • In Chapter 3: Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, Section 2: The Rhetorical Situation of an Argument, Activity: Identifying Rhetorical Content, students read Ronald Reagan’s, “Challenger Speech” and answer Check for Understanding questions: “President Reagan addresses multiple audiences in this speech. You might call attention to the paragraph when he speaks directly to the schoolchildren who witnessed the tragedy. Why does he do that? Does addressing different audiences fragment and thus diminish the impact of the speech? Or is it an effective strategy? How does this shifting affect Reagan’s role as speaker?”
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Section 1, students read the central narrative text, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. After reading, students answer the following questions:
    "Understanding and Interpreting: George Orwell was stationed in Burma and left the police force soon after his time there. What specific evidence from the text can you find that might suggest why he left the police force? Identify the speaker’s attitude toward the inhabitants of Burma at the following three places in the text: the first paragraph, the paragraphs just before he shoots the elephant (pars. 9–10), and the last paragraph." 
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition and Restraint, Section 2: Conversations, students read the poem, “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” by William Carlos Williams, and answer: “Seeing Connections: How does each painting reflect a different interpretation of the significance of myth? Base your response on details you observe. If Auden and Williams wrote poems about this painting, how would their poems have to change? Understanding and Interpreting: What effect does placing Icarus’ death in spring have on the ideas in the poem as a whole? What ideas about mythology as a whole does Williams offer by minimizing the significance of this event? What is the speaker’s conclusion about Bruegel’s interpretation of the fall of Icarus?” 
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, students read the Central Text, Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. During reading, students complete a close reading according to these guidelines: “What are we supposed to understand about Cyrano’s character through the exchange with the Orange-Girl (who handles refreshments at the theater)? What can you conclude about his character based on how he spent his money and the pittance of food he accepts from the girl?”
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, Culminating Activity, students read either a speech or a letter and respond to the following prompt: “Write a rhetorical analysis of this text. Your essay should focus on the rhetorical strategies (including appeals, evidence, and style) that the writer employs to achieve his/her purpose. It should include a clear thesis statement and specific references to the text to support your analysis.”

Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding
2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials containing sets of sequences of text-dependent/text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding.

The materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent questions and activities that build to culminating tasks. Each chapter has one or more culminating tasks that the Teacher’s Edition suggests be used as a formative assessment. The tasks provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they know and are able to do. Students follow a sequence of tasks that is text-dependent, such as using the text as model for writing or having questions that allow students to analyze rhetorical appeals of a nonfiction text. These sequenced activities lead to a culminating task which asks students to incorporate the skills they learned in the culminating activity and writing workshop. 

Chapters 1-4 include a culminating task that requires students to put into practice the skills they acquired throughout the chapter through readings, text-dependent questions, and activities. The thematic chapters include two Workshops that serve as culminating tasks - a reading workshop and a writing workshop that includes Summative Assessment Prompts that guide students through the writing process in the genre and analyzing writing in the theme. Workshops are designed to help students synthesize and apply their learning in an engaging and authentic way. The workshops require students to use integrated skills to read, discuss, and answer text-dependent questions. Specifically, the reading workshops require students to analyze elements of a reading selection; the writing workshops require students to write narrative, argumentative, synthesis, interpretation, and analysis modes. After each text, the Seeing Connections; Understanding and Interpreting; Analyzing Language, Style, and Structure; and Topics for Composing include text-dependent/specific prompts that provide many opportunities for students to learn and practice integrated skills specific to each genre.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, Culminating Activity, students answer the prompt,  “Read the following texts that are typical of the kinds of pieces you encounter in an English class, and respond to the questions that guide you through the analysis process. Before each text, you will see that some context has been provided for you, along with a focus for your initial observations.” Prior to the culminating task, students practice  analysis with three prompts, such as “a. Make a list of everything that you have read or written so far today. Consider all kinds of ‘texts,’ including videos, advertisements, text messages, cereal boxes, and so on. Then, try to categorize the texts you have encountered or created. What commonalities and patterns do you notice? How do these texts illustrate ‘literacy’ in the twenty-first century?”
  • In Chapter 2: Thinking about Literature, Culminating Activity, students complete a three-part task similar to the free-response questions for the AP Literature Exam. In Activity: Literary Elements and Theme in Fiction, students work through the analysis process in preparation for their culminating activity: “Carefully read the following excerpt from The Scarlet Letter, the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne that Melinda, the narrator from Speak, was complaining about. For your focused observation, be sure to consider how Hawthorne uses point of view, characterization, plot and conflict, setting, and symbol. To recognize patterns, be sure to look for curiosities, repetitions, opposites, and links. Lastly, draw a conclusion about what Hawthorne might be suggesting about guilt and punishment in this excerpt.” 
  • In Chapter 3: Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, students complete tasks to identify and analyze rhetorical appeals and argumentative writing. Students answer text-specific writing prompts: “What potential bias or logical fallacies do you find in the following argument opposing granting voting rights (called suffrage) to women? How do Wiesel’s stylistic choices convey his challenge to take action, rather then remain silent, in the face of injustice?” In the culminating task, students read the article, “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” by Lenore Skenazy, analyze the rhetoric, and create an argument for their position on nine-year-olds traveling alone in their community. 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Writing Workshop: Writing a Personal Narrative, students write a personal narrative throughout the workshop. Students generate ideas for a topic, develop the ideas, begin to draft their opening paragraph, character development, and constructing dialogue. These activities help students develop their personal narrative draft by exploring texts, such as analyzing quotes, examining works of art, comparing selections with and without dialogue, and synthesizing dialogue for the graphic novel, Friends with Boys by Faith Erin Hicks. 
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, Reading Workshop, students use the skills they learned in the chapter to read and analyze figurative language in varied texts. They also complete a Writing Workshop where they use what they learned about presenting arguments to write their own argument essay on a chosen topic. 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Summative Assessment Prompt, students read a text with a cultural conflict then write an essay where” cultural conflicts reveal one character’s values and lead us to a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole.” Earlier in the chapter, students read “In the Hot Zone,” students answer text-dependent/specific questions: “How does the section called ‘The Embed’ serve to establish Sites’s ethos? Why do you think Sites chooses to include this section early in the piece? How does it influence your understanding of what happens later?” Students gather information from reading multiple texts prior to the Summative Assessment Prompt.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, students read and analyze how diction influences tone in a variety of selections. At the end of the chapter, a Reading Workshop requires students use the skills of analyzing author’s tone from earlier in the chapter. They also complete a Writing Workshop where they use what they learned about an author’s use of rhetoric to write a rhetorical analysis of “Free to Be Happy” by Jon Meacham.

Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials include routine opportunities for text-dependent and text-specific academic conversations; however, these discussions do not consistently incorporate students' use of rich academic vocabulary and syntax.  Supports to build students’ skills in speaking and listening in general are strong, but guidance and support for practicing the application of academic vocabulary and syntax is minimal and inconsistent across the school year. In the Teacher’s Edition, ideas for different discussions types are included throughout each chapter, such as Think-Pair-Share, to encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax. Notes in the Teacher’s Edition wrap occasionally suggest that teachers could have students discuss a text, but there are no directions or protocols given for such discussions. 

In each of the theme-based chapters, there are two Conversation sections that contain a collection of texts with instruction and activities focused on the discussion of a topic and associated essential questions; however, the activities and directions suggest little actual discussion, nor are there protocols for evidence-based discussions. In some of the chapters, students might engage in a post-reading discussion or performance task, but these are infrequent opportunities. 

While there is a seven-part Guide to Speaking and Listening in the appendix, it mainly focuses on crafting presentations and speeches. Two topics that could provide opportunities for specific instruction on discussion are Listening Effectively and Effective Group Communication. The Listening Effectively section provides many tips to help students; however, the information in Effective Group Communication is largely theoretical and fails to provide clear, student-friendly models or protocols. Overall, the Grade 10 materials lack adequate protocols and opportunities to support students in evidence-based discussions. 

Examples of how the materials provide multiple opportunities and questions for evidence-based discussions include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Section 3: Entering the Conversation, Activity 3: Finding and Evaluating Sources, the Teacher’s Edition suggests, “Have students work in pairs to research, then add the sources(s) they’ve found with responses to the three questions about bias and share what they found electronically with the whole class.” 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students are asked to read the Central Text, “Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell. The Teacher’s Edition in a Close Reading supplement suggests, “Working in groups or pairs, students might start listing out such unsettling references as the basis for a discussion of whether the narrator Orwell is himself racist — or the extent to which such rhetoric reflects his fear and discomfort with the unfamiliar.” 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Conversation: Stories of War, students read a selection from “The Storytellers of Empire” by Kamila Shamsie and participate in a Think, Pair, Share outlined by the Teacher’s Edition: “After they talk in pairs, rotate them to groups. The groups should develop their ideas and consider exactly how they want to present the range of ideas to their classmates. They could work to express their ideas visually.” 
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, students use the following discussion prompts to open the chapter on communication: “Think of a situation in your life, current events, or history when the pen (or the spoken word) was mightier than the sword. What happened and what part did language play? What made language such a powerful force in this situation?” The associated Teaching Ideas activities help extend discussions and transition into small group discussions: “The more personal, the better here. Encourage students to explain in a narrative the nature of the situation. Was it a sermon a local minister delivered, a speech in front of thousands on the steps of the U.S. or state capitol? Was it a eulogy at a relative’s or friend’s funeral or memorial service? Was it a humorous or satiric piece that made you rethink a viewpoint? Was it advice from a family member? Was it a poem posted in the subway or on a bus? Was it something you read online from someone you’ve never met? Set a brief time limit, say three minutes, but take some time to listen to and share these in a relaxed, nonjudgmental setting that will lay the foundation for the conversation on ‘language and power.’”
  • In the Guide to Speaking and Listening appendix, detailed descriptions of evidence-based discussion skills include: Steps to Creating a Speech, Informative Speeches, Persuasive Speeches, Citing Sources in Speeches, Presentation Aids, Listening Effectively, and Effective Group Communication. Additionally, the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive includes protocols for the following discussion strategies: Think-Pair-Share, Socratic Seminar, Silent Discussions, and Fishbowl.

Examples of opportunities that do not adequately address and promote students’ ability to master grade-level speaking and listening standards include, but are not limited to:  

  • Chapter 3: Thinking about Rhetoric and Argument is devoted to constructing good arguments in writing; however, it does not provide instruction on evidence-based, argumentative discussions. Students could make the connection to apply rhetorical skills to conversations, but the materials do not include instruction on how to transfer them to discussion.
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Section 2: Working with Multiple Sources, Activity 6: Role Playing, a Teaching Idea suggests an alternate option for the activity where students simulate the conversation: “Another possibility for this Activity is to simulate a literal conversation. Give students name tags, an even number for each of the sources (e.g. Amanda Ripley, Kai Sato), and have them circulate as though they were at a party or reception and speak in character to another. You might assign them a specific number of interactions with other sources. Encourage discussion and challenges! Time frame for this might be five minutes or a little more. Then come back as a group to discuss what they learned: to process the process.” There are no protocols included for the teacher to teach how to encourage discussion or process.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read the Central Text, “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. After reading, the Topics for Composing section, “Discussion or Performance” activity states, “Hold a mock trial to debate the speaker’s actions. There should be a prosecutor who is trying to convict the speaker of property damage, a defense attorney who is trying to justify the speaker’s actions, a judge, and a jury to determine guilt or innocence. Be sure that all of the evidence you consider comes directly from the text itself and any relevant research you conduct on the time period and location.” There are no guidelines provided for conducting a mock trial or debate.
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition and Restraint, Conversation: Risk and Reward, students read an excerpt from Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. In the Teacher’s Edition, a Close Reading aside suggests: “To help them examine Sancho Panza’s character and ethics, ask students to examine paragraph 32. Is he a victim here or does he on some level deserve his punishment? Sancho Panza said earlier that ‘all laws, human and divine, permit each one to defend himself whenever he is attacked’ (par. 22): students could debate whether he is the attacker or the attacked in this scene.” No specific protocols are included for how to conduct a debate.
  • In the Guide to Speaking and Listening appendix, Section: Effective Group Communication, the following topics provide definitions and information to students: Setting an Agenda, Understanding Small Group Roles, How to Frame Disagreements, Resisting Groupthink, and Group Decision Making.  However, there are no specific models or explanations for how those strategies could be used in a conversation. For example, in Group Decision Making, students are encouraged to utilize the argumentation strategies of devil’s advocacy and dialectical inquiry in order to make the best decision for the group, but only a description of the strategy is provided.

Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The materials support students’ listening and speaking skills through working in pairs, small groups, and whole class discussion on shared readings and research. The Teacher’s Edition includes Teaching Ideas, Building Context notes, and Close Reading activities in the margin that often suggest ways the teachers can engage students in classroom discussion to enhance their understanding of a text. Discussions occur before, during, or after reading. In the Teacher’s Edition, most chapters provide suggestions for speaking and listening activities, such as Socratic Seminars, Think-Pair-Share, Synthesis Roleplaying, Philosophical Chairs, and Fishbowl. These activities require students to speak and listen about what they read and research and often require students to support with evidence from the text. They often present their findings to other students, either in a small group or to the whole class. A Speaking and Listening Appendix includes instruction for creating a speech, making a presentation, listening effectively, and using effective group communication. 

Evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • In Chapter 3: Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, Section 2: The Rhetorical Situation of an Argument, students work with a partner to complete a close reading activity: “Pair up and find a recent short text that is an argument. Annotate the article to focus on SOAPS.” The text offers student supports on the structure of the SOAP activity in the text and information for the teacher on how to effectively use the SOAPS activity on the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive: “Working in groups, have students focus on just one of the elements of SOAPS.  One group reads/listens to the speech and focuses on the occasion, another on speaker, an so on. Then each group, after some time to discuss, reports to the full group.” This supports developing student discussions on a shared project. 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Conversation: Changes and Transformations, students read “The Devils Thumb” by Jon Krakauer. Teachers are offered the suggestion: “You could have a Socratic Seminar on risk-taking following this reading: how should we manage risk in our lives? How have we seen people in our lives successfully and unsuccessfully manage risk?”
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. The Teacher’s Edition suggests in a Close Reading supplement, “Have students pair up and decide, ‘Do you believe him?’ When Orwell writes, ‘A sahib has got to act like a sahib,’ does he make you stop and reflect or turn away? To what extent do you feel empathy for him?” This activity encourages students to discuss a shared text that was read by the class. Another Teacher Note states, “Students might feel comfortable (or at least familiar) with Orwell’s self-professed hatred of the British Empire, but might have difficulty with his attitude toward the Burmese. Descriptions like ‘the evil-spirited little beasts’ (par. 2) with ‘sneering yellow faces’ (par. 1) and others of the Burmese will likely raise some eyebrows. Working in groups or pairs, students might start listing out such unsettling references as the basis for a discussion of whether the narrator Orwell is himself racist—or the extent to which such rhetoric reflects his fear and discomfort with the unfamiliar.”
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Section 1: Stories of War, students read a selection from “The Storytellers of Empire” by Kamila Shamsie and participate in a Think-Pair-Share outlined in the Teacher’s Edition: “After they talk in pairs, rotate them to groups. The groups should develop their ideas and consider exactly how they want to present the range of ideas to their classmates. They could work to express their ideas visually.” The Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive also provides information on how to conduct a Think-Pair-Share activity, including an overview of the procedure with some examples of possible dialogue teachers may have with students. 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, students read an excerpt from “A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid. During the reading, a Teaching Idea gives a suggestion for discussion: “The ground shifts a bit in paragraph 5 as Kincaid acknowledges that the ‘ugly tourist’ is probably not so bad back home. To explore her reasoning here, have students read aloud: one student reads the main narrative, while another reads the parenthetical comments. Separating the two into separate voices offers a chance to hear Kincaid in her own head, as she asserts, then modifies the assertion. Engage students in discussion of whether she softens at all or, in fact, becomes more aggressive in her criticism.”
  • In the Speaking & Listening Appendix, Part 4: Citing Sources in Speeches, students are instructed to provide evidence in discussions using relevant sources and include citation of sources within the flow of their speeches.  Students are provided the following sentence frames: “According to . . . ,” use another phrase for the next. “As reported by . . .”; “In the opinion of . . .”; and “Wired journalist Emily Dreyfuss writes that . . .”

Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.

The materials include a mix of both on-demand and process writing that cover a year’s worth of instruction, including short, focused projects that incorporate digital resources where appropriate. Writing tasks and projects are aligned to the grade-level standards. The writing activities offer frequent opportunities for a variety of writing activities ranging in length and depth, though consistent opportunities are missed to revise and edit. Students are taught revision skills in isolation that are not applied to on-demand, process writing, or summative assessments. 

After reading the Central Texts of each chapter, students respond to Topics for Composing which include extended essay ideas in a variety of modes. In the Teacher’s Edition, these prompts are bolstered by pedagogical details for teachers. For example, Teaching Ideas throughout the chapters suggest that students participate in quickwrites, journals, brief responses, and reflections in order to deepen their understanding of texts. Teachers are also provided with teaching tips and close reading prompts to extend the embedded on-demand writing. 

Each thematic chapter includes a Writing Workshop that focuses on a particular mode of writing: personal narrative, argument, synthesis argument using multiple sources, interpretation of character and theme, close analysis of prose, and rhetorical analysis. Students develop and write detailed, multi-draft pieces of writing on academic topics. Also, in the Workshops, students practice the skills needed for the chapter's summative assessment, but the assessment is not a refined piece students work on through the entire project. 

Examples of short or on-demand writing activities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, in the Thinking About Literacy section, students learn about “Literacy Communities” and complete an on-demand writing activity: “Describe the latest movie you saw, game you played, or song you listened to. Write one description directed to a close friend, one for a parent or grandparent, and one for your teacher who is going to grade you based on the level of detail you include in the description. Afterward, look back at the language choices you used and examine what is similar and different between the pieces. How do your language choices represent the differences among your literacy communities?”
  • In Chapter 6, Ambition and Restraint, Connecting, Arguing, and Extending, after reading Macbeth, students answer, “Letters written from the battlefield have long been a part of how civilians at home learn about the events that soldiers experience in war. Imagine you were at the battle that Macbeth just fought. Using details from the Captain’s description in Scene 2, write a letter to someone at home about what you witnessed.”
  • In Chapter 10, Utopia/Dystopia, Opening Activity 1, students complete an on-demand writing task: “On one side of a blank piece of paper, briefly describe your own utopia. What specific qualities of the society would make it “perfect”? Try to be as specific as possible. Then, sketch out a rough picture that illustrates your utopia. Leave the back of the paper blank.” 

Examples of longer, process writing activities include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Entering the Conversation, students read multiple texts on the topic of high school sports. After reading, students write a multi-paragraph essay: “Write a draft of an evidence-based synthesis essay explaining [their] view on whether the role of sports in American high schools should be re-evaluated.” 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Writing Workshop: Writing a Personal Narrative, students participate in various activities to help develop their personal narrative. Activities include, but are not limited to: In Activity 3, students choose a few of the topics they selected in a previous brainstorming activity and “write a line or two about what you would be likely to reveal about yourself in the story.” In Activity 6, students think about a person who may appear in their narrative and “write a paragraph about this person using details that will make the person come alive for a reader who does not know him or her.” In Activity 9, students return to their narrative and find a place to include dialogue: "Using the format and suggestions on pages 244-45, write a few pieces of dialogue and think about how the dialogue makes your narrative more effective.” The Summative Assessment Prompt states, “Write a narrative about an experience that you had in school—a positive or a negative one— that influenced some aspect of your identity.” The activities allow students to practice the skills of writing a narrative, but do not directly build to the summative assignment.
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, Writing Workshop: Using Sources to Write a Synthesis Argument, students write an essay using a ten-step process that guides them through all aspects of creating a multi-draft essay: “analyze the sources, put the texts in conversations, take a stand, and integrate the sources into your own argument.” Prior on-demand writing tasks build to the synthesis essay.

Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The materials provide multiple opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards for a whole year’s use. Types of writing include narrative, analysis, argument, research, and exposition.  Writing activities connect to Central Texts and accompanying text sets either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports. While journal activities are often metacognitive or reflective, the majority of opportunities are text-dependent and require text evidence. 

For each Central Text in the chapters, students complete Topics for Composing in response to reading selections that cover a variety of modes/types such as exposition, analysis, argument, synthesis, research, narrative, and multimodal. Each lesson offers a purpose for the writing, a teaching and modeling section, examples to help guide students, and independent writing time. The thematic chapters include a Writing Workshop with a step-by-step process on how to write a variety of academic essays (such as personal narrative, argument, synthesis argument using sources),  interpretation of character and theme, close analysis of prose, and rhetorical analysis. The Writing Workshops are intended to build upon the skills that students learn in the first four chapters: Reading the World, Thinking About Literature, Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, and Thinking About Synthesis. In addition, the distribution of writing is apparent within individual chapters. For example, Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, provides students with argumentative, expository, and narrative writing tasks throughout the chapter. Summative Assessments are included for Chapters 7, 9, and 10 and require students to write a synthesis, literary analysis, and rhetorical analysis, respectively. 

The Teacher’s Edition only offers some opportunities to monitor progress as indicated in the Chapter Overview skills development pathways, including writing rubrics, reflection sections of Workshops, and Checking Understanding and Teaching Ideas. However, rubrics are only provided for Summative Assessments, not for any of the other writing assignments. The Teacher’s Edition provides annotations for discussing the provided writing models with students. 

Examples include, but are not limited to: 

  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, Culminating Activity 1, students read a poem and answer an on-demand questions: “Read the poem carefully. Then write a response in which you analyze how the tone of the speaker is developed through such devices as diction, syntax, figurative language, and imagery.” The attached Teaching Idea states that the activity is styled like an AP Exam free-response question and suggests that teachers time the questions to determine if students are on track with literary analysis skills. There are two more analysis Culminating Activities, after which a Teaching Idea suggests students complete a reflection.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, the Chapter Overview explains that the accompanying Writer's Workshop will lead students “through the entire process of writing their own personal narrative with a focus on effective narrative elements, such as details, dialogue, blocking, and reflection.” In the Unit Planner’s skills development pathway, the chapter offers opportunities to monitor students’ progress in writing: “Ask students to complete the Composing Q7 (p.123) for ‘Shooting an Elephant’ to determine how students’ skills in narrative writing have improved and where additional support is needed.” The skills development pathway also suggests that students use “Shooting an Elephant” and the accompany texts as models of narrative writing.
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, The Writing Workshop “leads students through the entire process of writing their own synthesis essay, balancing their voices with the ideas presented in outside sources.” Students start by brainstorming ideas then work through a four-step process that includes sentence starters for writing a clear thesis and student models for how to integrate sources.
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures and Conflict, Chapter Overview, Unit Planner: Writing a Thematic Interpretation, the Skills Development pathway provides some evidence for opportunities to monitor progress and connect texts within the chapter to student writing as models. For example, in the Practice Text section of the Skills Development pathway the Tasks state, “Each of the following is an example of a literary text that students can use as an opportunity to practice their literary analysis skills,” and in the Formative Writing section the pathway states, “Ask students to complete Analyzing Q1 (p.556) for Paft 2 of When the Emperor was Divine to see how well students are doing in their ability to analyze theme.” 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Writing Workshop: Writing a Rhetorical Analysis, students complete a rhetorical analysis that focuses on “how the writer uses rhetorical strategies to achieve his or her purposes,” which addressed the genre of informative/explanatory writing. The Teacher’s Edition offers supports in the Check for Understandings and Teaching Idea, however, these supports do not directly connect to a writing task.  Only the Teaching Ideas suggest peer critiques, but on the topic of “specifics of paragraph development—topic sentence, examples, evidence—as well as analysis,” which is unclear on how this is acting as a support for the students’ writing.

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

The materials provide frequent opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence. Students practice identifying claims and supporting with evidence through Activities, Teaching Ideas, Check for Understandings, Culminating Activities, and Workshops. Additionally, students answer a variety of evidence-based questions in the Understanding and Interpreting; Analyzing Language, Style, and Structure; and Connecting, Arguing and Extending sections. While these prompts could be used in discussion, the annotations in the Teacher's Edition support their use as routine evidence-based writing prompts. Activities that accompany Central Texts provide many opportunities for students to complete evidence-based writing in the Topics for Composing section. Summative assessments for each chapter require students to write argumentative, analytical, and synthesis essays. 

Student writing is focused on analyses and claims developed from close reading texts and working with sources. After close readings Central Texts and text sets, students routinely apply evidence collected from texts to support their responses and/or synthesized written products. As an additional support, teachers are provided with Close Reading prompts that ask students to analyze portions of the texts in detail.

Two of the introduction chapters, Chapter 2: Writing and Chapter 3: Using Sources, focus specifically on providing instruction and examples for developing evidence-based writing. Each thematic chapter includes at least one writing activity that requires evidence to support analysis, argument, and/or synthesis; a reading workshop and a writing workshop to practice analysis and argument; and two Conversation sections to practice synthesis through reading and analyzing a set of texts grouped by topic. In addition to text-specific prompts, at the end of each Conversation, students answer higher-level thinking prompts in the Making Connections and Synthesizing Sources sections where they take evidence from what they have read across multiple texts and practice evidence-based writing skills. Throughout the sections of a chapter, students read short excerpts that relate to the texts in the Seeing Connections component. These components include evidence-based writing tasks that prompt students to synthesize texts.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, students learn that “the act of interpreting literature is about seeing how the details add up to a big idea; thus, the most important part of analyzing literature is that you build your interpretation using evidence from a careful observation of the text.” In Activity: Identifying Theme, students identify a theme and provide evidence from the text to support their interpretation: “Choose one text from the following list of fairy tales, fables, and films that you may have heard, read, or seen, or choose one of your own. Briefly summarize the plot of the text, identity the theme, or central idea of the work, and provide evidence that you remember from the text that supports your statement of theme. Remember, the theme may be explicitly stated, but it is more likely to be implied throughout the work.”
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Synthesizing Sources, after reading the text set in the Changes and Transformation Conversation, six prompt options require students to demonstrate evidence-based writing and synthesize texts: “One of the key factors in shaping our identities is the role that parents, guardians, teachers, and other adults play in our lives. Write an essay in which you examine the influence — good or bad — that parents, guardians, or other adults have in the development of the identities of young people. Refer to two or more texts in this Conversation.” Another prompt states, “What is the most significant factor in determining one’s identity? Culture, family, friends, or something else? Refer to your own experiences, as well as at least two texts in the Conversation.”
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, Writing Workshop, students practice using evidence in an essay, and the materials “leads students through the entire process of writing their own synthesis essay, balancing their voices with the ideas presented in outside sources.” The three texts from the chapter focus on performance-enhancing drugs in sports. They analyze the sources, synthesize them, take a stand on the issue, and integrate the sources into their own argument with evidence. 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Reading Workshop: Analyzing Character and Theme, Culminating Activity, students read a selection from “The Man Who Stained his Soul” by Vu Bao and “Make a claim about the two main characters—the narrator and Vinh—and support your claim with evidence from the excerpt. Then, explain what the characters reveal about a point the author might be making about war and bravery.” Students analyze the text, find supporting evidence, and apply it to their written response. 
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, Topics for Composing: Argument, after reading the Central Text, Cyrano de Bergerac, students respond to the following prompt by providing evidence from the text: “In most enduring novels or plays, a character (or characters) experience a change: we watch the arc of a journey the protagonist takes toward greater self-awareness, stronger character, more courageous actions, and so on. Which character do you believe changes most significantly in this play—Christian, Cyrano, or Roxane—and how does he or she change? Be very specific in your references to the text.”
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, Writing A Rhetorical Analysis, students analyze the text “Free to Be Happy” by Jon Meacham.  In Step 2: Choose Textual Evidence, Activity, students are instructed: “Using the thesis on Meacham’s use of pathos that you developed in the previous Activity (p. 957), write a body paragraph analyzing how Meacham’s use of pathos serves his purpose. After you develop your topic sentence, you might try using this graphic organizer as you plan your paragraph.” The organizer requires students to identify a strategy, provide text evidence from Meacham, and then provide an explanation of how that evidence links to his purpose.

Indicator 1n

Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 do not meet the criteria for materials including instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for the grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

The materials reference grammar content; however, they do not provide instruction on grammar and conventions or provide opportunities for practice and application. Although the materials do offer a resource to show the correlation between the text and the standards dealing with conventions, examples of clear instruction, practice opportunities, and application opportunities are not present. The materials do not explicitly focus on the instruction and practice for the use of punctuation and mechanics. The only example of direct instruction is through the use of dialogue in story creation. Also, when rubrics include conventions as a summative measure, no practice was given within the section to promote and build students’ ability to apply these conventions to the summative assessment. Although the materials do provide a Guide to Language and Mechanics that explains grammatical concepts such as effective sentences, word choice, punctuation, and mechanics; it acts more as a reference than an instructional tool that promotes student fluency and application to their own writing. Specific instruction and assessment is not embedded in the day-to-day content of the materials, nor is the instruction and application made explicit throughout the materials. Few opportunities are provided for students to demonstrate some application of skills outside of essay-length writing tasks; and no opportunities to learn or practice discrete grammar and conventions skills within the context of readings are provided.

The resource section of the materials provide extensive lists of Grammar exercises (quizzes) to assess their grammar skills and Grammar Girl podcasts that explain grammar concepts, but these are not part of instructional materials. In the box site, a Correlation Guide to the CCSS for Grade 10 cites the Writing Workshops and Guide to Language and Mechanics as the sources of instruction and practice. However, within the Writing Workshops students are not provided with explicit grammar instruction or opportunities for application of skills in and out of context. The Writing Workshops simply provide students with opportunities to grow in their language fluency through practice and application.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Writing Workshop: Writing a Personal Narrative, Activity 9, students return to the narrative they have been working on throughout the Workshop and include a dialogue exchange. Although not explicitly stated in the Activity, proper use of dialogue is covered in the preceding section, which includes placement of punctuation within quotation marks. 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Chapter Overview, Summative Assessment Rubric, students are held accountable for conventions: “The response demonstrates consistent and effective use of grade-level conventions.” However, it is not clearly stated which conventions. The Writing Workshop: Writing a Personal Narrative states that students “ought to be ready to either compose a final draft of the one they were working on here, or to complete the narrative assessment identified at the beginning of this chapter in the Teacher’s Edition.” However, aside from activities on dialogue, there were no other examples of students applying or practicing conventions.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Writing Workshop, students are provided with a three-step summative assessment for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis: Step 1: Craft Your Thesis Statement, Step 2: Choose Textual Evidence, and Step 3: Draw Your Conclusions. While this culminating task requires understanding of language, the materials do not provide opportunities for students to apply specific grammatical principles through explicit instruction, application, or practice. The most in-depth encounter with conventions is provided through a Teaching Idea suggestion: “At this point, students might workshop with peer critics to discuss the specifics of paragraph development — topic sentence, examples, evidence — as well as analysis.” This idea fails to address the mechanics of writing that allow for the development of a paragraph. 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, Writing A Rhetorical Analysis, students analyze “Free to Be Happy” by Jon Meacham. In Step 2: Choose Textual Evidence, students are instructed, “You’ll notice in the second sentence that we had to quote a quote. This happens pretty frequently when analyzing logos and ethos, since it often involves evaluating the writer's or speaker’s use of sources. In that case, as you see here, the convention is to use single quotation marks to cite the material the writer quoted, within the double quotes you use to mark the writer’s quotation. Punctuation is placed within both the single quotes and doubles.” This is an authentic use of conventions in student writing; however, it is incidental to this specific task. Other grammar and conventions are not systematically instructed or applied. 
  • In the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive, Correlation, Common Core State Standards - Grade 10.pdf., the materials state examples for the standard for the conventions of Standard English occur on specific pages (241-249, 399-409, 529-533, 657-663, 845-851, and 951-1000). However, there is only mention of dialogue on pages 241-249 in an Activity without explicitly mentioning punctuation, and on pages 529-533, there is no mention of Standard English conventions in the Activities or Teacher Edition annotations like Teaching Ideas and Check for Understandings. 
  • In the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive, the Guide to Language and Mechanics offers examples of different standards, such as Grammatical Sentences, Effective Sentences, and Punctuation. Instruction is provided on a variety of topics, such as sentence fragments: fragments as phrases, fragments as subordinate clauses, fragments containing particles, and fragments in compound predicates; comma splices and fused sentences; semicolons. However, the Guide to Language and Mechanics is just a reference tool that does not give students the opportunity to demonstrate application in reading or writing or to show growth in language fluency. 
  • In the Teacher Resource section, in the first Avoiding Sentence Fragments exercise, students answer a series of multiple-choice questions that ask them to “choose the option that does NOT include a fragment.” This is a stand-alone activity.
  • In the Grammar Girl podcast series, students can listen to and learn about sentence fragments by watching a podcast on sentence fragments. A transcript is available for download.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The materials for Grade 10 partially meet the expectations of Gateway 2. Texts are organized together to build students' knowledge of topic and theme, and consistent attention is paid to engaging with close reading in service of this. Writing instruction is structured to be comprehensive and build skills that are clearly accelerated over the course of the year. While culminating tasks are present, they inconsistently serve to build knowledge with the content of the texts being studied, instead focusing more on the separate skills being learned. Vocabulary instruction and building independent reading is also present, but is inconsistent, and the teacher may have to supplement to assure all students receive comprehensive support in these areas.

Criterion 2a - 2h

Materials build knowledge through integrated reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language.
24/32

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students’ knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

The materials include a logical sequence of texts and sufficient lesson scaffolds to ensure students are able to comprehend and analyze complex texts. In each chapter, the texts are connected by a theme or topic. Due to the number and increasing difficulty of texts, the ways in which they interact with the texts, and the topic-driven opportunities for synthesis, students build knowledge in the topic and are able to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently and independently.

The first four chapters are skill-based and focus on the topics of Reading the World, Thinking About Literature, Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, and Thinking About Synthesis. The chapters are organized into a series of lessons and activities focused on the skill targeted in the chapter. 

The second set of chapters are each connected to a unifying theme: Identity and Society, Ambition, Ethics, Cultures in Conflict, (Mis)Communication, and Utopia & Dystopia. The thematic chapters begin with a series of essential questions and a Central Text, followed by accompanying texts. Texts are centered around topics like high school sports, causes and effects of cheating, and artificial intelligence, and all the texts support the theme. Chapters are divided into four sections: two Conversations and two Workshops. In the Conversation section, students complete activities to analyze the language of the text to build proficiency in comprehension. Texts are arranged in a sequence leading up to a culminating activity that asks students to analyze points made within the readings of the text set. The Workshop sections include one reading workshop and one writing workshop where students analyze a selection and write in a certain mode. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, students complete a series of lessons and activities to prepare them for analyzing many aspects of literature: analyzing literature, theme in literature, literary elements, analyzing literary elements and theme, language and style, and analyzing style and theme. These lessons lead to a culminating activity where they practice what they learned through analyzing the poem, “The Tyger” by William Blake, and an excerpt from the short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. In each activity and connected text, students practice the skills of reading literature, which serves as the topic of the chapter.
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Section: Working with Multiple Sources, students read a series of texts on the topic of high school sports. The materials state: “using the following group of texts, we’ll examine this issue and develop an opinion that goes beyond a simple pro-or-con stance [...] Each text you’ll read in this Conversation introduces ideas or issues you might have not considered. And in the process, your thinking about the issue will become more informed, nuanced, and sophisticated.” In the Culminating Activity, students read a series of texts on “the ethics and economics of eating meat” and include an explanation: “After reading and analyzing them as you have done with the texts on sports, explain your position on the ethics of eating meat.” The materials are focused on topics and sequence activities to engage readers’ ability to build knowledge about the subject. 
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, the essential questions are “What does ‘identity’ mean? How is one’s identity formed? How do personal experiences affect our identity? To what extent do institutions emphasize conformity at the expense of individuality?” Students read the Central Text and participate in two conversations: “Changes and Transformations” contains mostly coming-of-age literary pieces and “The Individual in School” that contains mostly nonfiction texts about the positive and negative ways that school influences students’ identities. All of the activities and texts are related to and build understanding of the topic of identity.
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, Conversation: The Cheating Culture, students read a series of texts dealing with the causes and effects of cheating. The Teacher’s Edition includes Vocabulary exercises, Close Reading, Teaching Ideas for class activities, and Check for Understandings to build student comprehension and analysis of the texts and associated vocabulary. For example, when reading “Cheating Upwards” by Robert Kolker, one Check for Understanding suggests “Teachers might want to be sure students know what ‘proprietary knowledge (par.23) is.” Also, the Vocabulary activity includes exercises that are found on the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive. 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, the essential questions for the chapter are “What defines ‘culture’? What causes cultures to come into conflict with each other? Who gets to tell the story of a conflict? How do cultures respond to change and to outsiders? What is lost and gained by assimilating into a new culture?” Students read the Central Text and participate in two conversations: “Stories of War” that contains mostly literary pieces about the stories of war and “Displacement and Assimilation” that contains mostly nonfiction texts and poetry about the historical and contemporary issues related to immigration, specifically into the United States. All the activities prepare students to analyze character and theme in a selection and write a literary analysis style interpretation of character and theme. 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Conversation: Our Robotic Future, students read a series of texts on the rise of automation and artificial intelligence. The introduction to the Conversation explains that students “will read about and consider the implications of robots in the future and not-so-distant future.” In the Teacher’s Edition, students use various activities to help them comprehend the text: Close Reading, Key Passage, Teaching Idea, Vocabulary, Building Context, and Suggested Responses. For example, while reading “Are Humans Necessary?” by Margaret Atwood, vocabulary exercises are offered in the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive and the Key Passage offers an annotated handout also in the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive to help students understand the key vocabulary in connection with the topic of the chapter.

Indicator 2b

Materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain sets of coherently sequenced higher order thinking questions and tasks that require students to analyze the language (words/phrases), key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts in order to make meaning and build understanding of texts and topics.

The materials have higher order thinking questions in the form of both text-dependent and text-specific questions. These questions are embedded in student activities and used as guides when analyzing texts. The questions, tasks, and guided reflections connected to multiple, related texts do the following:  provide evidence of student understanding of definitions and concepts, help students make meaning and build understanding of texts, prepare them for culminating tasks. The materials offer opportunities for students to analyze the language, craft, and structure of texts; students build understanding by exploring higher order thinking questions. 

In each chapter, questions require students to analyze the language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure of several texts, which allows students to build understanding of texts with increasing sophistication. The thematic chapters are organized around the Central Text and two groups of additional texts and activities called Conversations. Conversations are designed to prepare students for the demands of AP (one for AP Language and one for AP Literature courses). The texts range in difficulty from approachable to highly challenging, and each of the texts is connected to reading activities that require rigorous, guided analysis. The Teacher’s Edition also includes questions for Vocabulary, Close Reading, and Check for Understanding to ask during reading. After reading, students answer increasingly complex questions for each text. The types of questions include: Understanding and Interpreting questions which progress from comprehension to interpretation,  Analyzing Language, Style, and Structure questions which analyze author’s craft and structure. Also, after reading the Central Text, the Topics for Composing prompts offer different ways students can write or speak about texts. 

Examples of sequenced higher order thinking questions include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, Activity: Style and Tone, students read “My river runs to Thee” and complete the task: “Read this poem by Emily Dickinson and analyze how the diction, syntax, figurative language, and imagery help to create the speaker’s tone.”
  • In Unit 6: Ambition and Restraint, Section 2: Voices of Rebellion, students read “Speech to the United Nations Youth Assembly” by Malala Yousafzai .  Then they  answer Analyzing Language, Style, and Structure questions: “What does this approach add to her message and how does it build her ethos? What was Yosafzai’s rhetorical purpose in presenting this perspective? What attitudes does she express toward these efforts, and what connotative words provide evidence of this attitude? What is the specific effect of each of these examples of anaphora? Why are these metaphors particularly appropriate for the content of her speech and the specifics of her experience?” The Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive also provides a handout with the following task: “Read and analyze the following passage from ‘Speech to the United Nations Youth Assembly,’ using annotation to investigate how Yousafzai uses language and style to convey her meaning effectively.” 
  • In Unit 8: Cultures in Conflict, Section 1: Stories of War, students read an excerpt of the Central Text, When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka, and answer analysis questions while reading: “Throughout the novel, the main characters are identified only as ‘boy,’ ‘girl,’ ‘mother,’ and ‘father.’ How do you interpret the reasons for this choice?” Later, students read a selection from “The Storytellers of Empire” by Kamila Shamsie and answer questions about the author’s craft: “Identify one place where she inserts her own story into the argument and evaluate how effective or ineffective this section is at helping to convince her audience. What information does she share about her homeland, and how does this establish her ethos as a writer? How would you characterize Shamsie’s tone toward America?” Students also consider language with the questions: “A key word that Shamsie uses is ‘appropriation.’ How does she use this term to illustrate the theme of the piece? What patterns do you identify and how does her use of pronouns relate to her purpose for writing?”
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, Culminating Activity, students reread “Facebook Sonnet” by Sherman Alexie and answer, “Identify examples of verbal and situational irony. How do these ironies lead you to an understanding of the argument Alexie is making in this poem? Pay special attention to the ideas of ‘church.com’ and ‘the altar of loneliness’ (ll. 12 and 14) as you develop your interpretation.”
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Section 1, while students read the Central Text, the first chapter of the extended essay, “A Small Place” by Jamaica Kincaid, they answer analysis questions: “In the long opening paragraph, what assumptions does Jamaica Kincaid make in order to characterize ‘a tourist’? What characteristics does she ascribe to tourists in general?” In Section 2: Our Robotic Future, students read “Robot Dreams” by Isaac Asimov and answer questions on analyzing language: “How does Asimov use diction to illustrate the differences between Calvin and Rash? How does this use of diction reveal their different attitudes toward Elvex? Elvex repeats the line, ‘So it is in reality, Dr. Calvin. I speak of my dream.’ (pars. 57 and 63) What is achieved through this repetition” The Teacher’s Edition also extends this analysis of structure through Close Reading supplements: “Ask students to look at the structure from paragraph 79 on. How is the dialogue structured? What is the effect on the reader when dialogue is presented in this way?”

Indicator 2c

Materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts.

The materials include sets of questions and tasks that provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts. Most sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas. Across the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is embedded in students’ work. Students have opportunities to learn about and analyze the content and structures of a variety of texts of increasing complexity. They have frequent opportunities to practice these developing skills and demonstrate their knowledge and ideas. Students are expected to apply what they learned from the text sets by using individual and multiple texts in their culminating tasks that focus on analysis of ideas found within the topics of the texts sets.

Each chapter contains text-dependent questions and tasks that require students to integrate knowledge and ideas both in individual texts and across multiple texts. The Seeing Connections sections of each chapter allow students to compare ideas across texts. The two Conversation sections in each chapter are specifically designed to provide an opportunity for students to synthesize their understanding of a group of texts on a subtopic related to the overall topic of the unit. The two literacy workshops at the end of each chapter ask students to draw on texts that they read in the two Conversations. After reading a selection, students have the opportunity to respond to prompts in a Connect, Argue, and Extend section in order to practice the skill of synthesizing across texts. At the end of each Conversation, students also complete writing prompts on Making Connections and Synthesizing Sources. Additionally, Chapter Four: Thinking About Synthesis is dedicated to building the skills students need to create an analysis across texts. 

Between the text-specific activities, culminating activities, teaching ideas, and workshops, the materials contain coherently sequenced sets of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. Each of the chapter-specific instruction and skills are reinforced across texts through discrete and routine practice. While the majority of questions and tasks are text-dependent and/or text-specific, some are metacognitive or reflective tasks that continue to build knowledge and integrate ideas.

The Teacher’s Edition provides support for teachers to monitor student skills and understanding through suggested activities in sections called Building Context, Close Reading, Check for Understanding, and Teaching Idea. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Chapter 1: Reading the World, Culminating Activity, after students read three texts, a Teaching Idea suggests student compare and contrast the texts: “Each of the three texts is about literacy in some way. What commonalities and differences do you notice about what the author’s are saying about literacy?” Opportunities for analysis of content through Questions and Analysis are provided at the end of each reading. For example, after students read from “The Shallow: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains,” they answer, “What are some of the significant differences Carr identifies between reading books and reading online?” This question supports the culminating activity where students discuss literacy. 
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, for the Culminating Activity, students read five texts and answer the prompt: “Following are several texts on the ethics and economics of eating meat. After reading and analyzing them as you have done with the texts on sports, explain your position on the ethics of eating meat. Reference at least three of the sources in your argument.” Students practiced the skills of synthesis with the articles on sports to build to the independent culminating activity on a different topic.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Conversation: The Individual in School, students answer questions in a culminating activity titled Entering the Conversation: The Individual in School.  Students make connections between the texts read in the text set. For example, one question prompts “While Horace Mann clearly values universal education (p. 213), John Taylor Gatto suggests that compulsory education turns citizens into ‘servant’ (p. 211, par. 15). How would Mann respond to Gatto’s arguments, and which position do you support? Why?” In this example, a culminating activity has students to consider more than one text. 
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, the Unit Planner guides teachers through supporting students in building reading and writing skills related to the argument/persuasive genre: “While the entire chapter focuses on questions of ambition, several texts, especially those in the second Conversation, are persuasive texts, which lend themselves well to a close study of argument. Below we suggest a skills development pathway, rough pacing, prompt, and rubric for a unit that culminates in such an assessment of students’ persuasive writing abilities. In addition to using some, though not all, of the texts in the chapter, this pathway suggests using or re-examining portions of Chapter 3, and strongly recommends the use of the two Workshops found at the end of the chapter.”
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Conversation: Stories of War, before starting the Conversation, students read an overview of the knowledge demands: “In this Conversation, you will consider the difficulty of telling the stories of war by reading poems by soldiers who fought and, in some cases, died in battle, an essay that challenges the right of the victor to tell the story for the loser, and short stories that ask us to determine the truth of other people’s stories. Because of the nature of the topic, many of the texts will not be comfortable to read and will challenge your notions of war and truth.” After each text, students answer text-specific questions and writing tasks. In addition, at the conclusion of the Conversation, students answer questions and prompts that integrate ideas across the texts in the Synthesizing Sources section: “In an interview with the Paris Review, author Chinua Achebe remarked: ‘There is that great proverb— that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.’ In other words, history is written by the victors. Is this really how history works?” Students write an argumentative position essay using at least two sources in the Conversation, the Central Text, and an example from history to support their claim. 
  • Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Conversation: Our Robotic Future, students read a text set and answer questions in the Entering the Conversation: Our Robotic Future that compare and contrast multiple texts: “According to Kevin Kelly (p. 910), James Barrat (p. 932), and Rose Brooks (p. 936), should we fear robots in the future? Choose at least two of these authors and compare and contrast their views?” In addition to the supports offered while reading the individual texts, students are given the opportunity to show understanding in a culminating activity.

Indicator 2d

The questions and tasks support students' ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills (e.g. combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

The materials include culminating tasks that require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a topic. The associated questions and tasks support students as they prepare for the culminating task and provide teachers with information of whether students are on track to complete the task. However, though students read and respond to texts and demonstrate skills of different standards while reading (writing and speaking), the culminating tasks lack variation in the standards they address and no culminating activities use speaking and listening skills. The types of tasks that are missing are in-depth research, multimodal presentations, and demonstrations of speaking and listening. Peer reviews are used as suggested speaking and listening activities, but are not a required part of the culminating tasks. 

The culminating tasks for the introductory, skills-based chapters require students to read a text and compose a written response. The culminating tasks in the thematic chapters also are similar across the year - analysis of a specific genre and writing in a specific genre. In the thematic chapters, the workshop structure of the chapters incorporates practice of integrated skills with formative activities that lead to the culminating tasks. The chapters include a Central Text, two Conversations, and a Workshop. The curriculum has different culminating activities that are used as both formative and summative assessments. The Summative Assessment Prompts are culminating tasks that guide students through the process of writing in this genre and analyze writing in the theme. 

The material’s culminating activities have many examples of reading and writing tasks, but do not include listening and speaking as a culminating activity. The Teacher’s Edition suggests ways to use speaking and listening skills during the Conversation sections of the chapter, but they are not required in culminating tasks. Although the Socratic Seminar in Chapter 3 does offer the opportunity to practice listening and speaking skills, this is not a part of the final culminating task of writing an argumentative essay. 

Examples of culminating tasks that do not integrate all skills include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, Culminating Activity, students “Read the following texts that are typical of the kinds of pieces you encounter in an English class, and respond to the questions that guide you through the analysis process. Before each text, you will see that some context has been provided for you, along with a focus for your initial observations.” The Teaching Idea provides an extension: “After students have completed the Culminating Activity, you may want to have them write a reflection using one or more of the following questions: 1. Which text was easiest and most challenging to read and analyze? Why? 2. How would you evaluate your overall analytical abilities at this point? Why? 3. Each of the three texts is about literacy in some way. What commonalities and differences do you notice about what the authors are saying about literacy?” Students integrate reading and writing skills, which demonstrate mastery and understanding of the topic. 
  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, Culminating Activity, students read the poem “The Tyger” by William Blake and complete a written analysis of of how the speaker’s tone is developed. There are not other options or ways that students can demonstrate their understanding of the skills they learned throughout the chapter.
  • In Chapter 3: Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, Culminating Activity, students are asked to read the newspaper article, “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone" by Lenore Skenazy. Before starting the culminating writing activity, the Teacher’s Edition’s Teaching Idea suggests students participate in a Socratic Seminar, where they discuss the text in groups and as a whole class. Next, students write an argumentative essay in which they analyze the rhetorical appeals of the piece and then argue “whether you believe a nine-year-old in your community should be allowed to travel (on a subway, bus, bicycle) without adult supervision, and if so, to what extent.” The tasks use reading, writing, listening, and speaking to successfully complete a culminating activity, though the culminating task is writing.
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Culminating Activity, students are asked to read a series of texts on the ethics of eating meat and synthesize an argument that uses at least three of the sources. This culminating task builds on the texts that students analyzed and discussed on sports. Students integrate reading and writing skills , which demonstrate mastery and understanding of the topic.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, Workshop, students complete two culminating activities: a reading workshop where they analyze the effects of point of view in various texts in the chapter and a writing workshop where they compose a narrative. Even though students have completed formative activities such as “develop a brief video juxtaposing the ideas/words of Orwell in ‘Shooting an Elephant’ with those of Aung San Suu Kyi in her Nobel Peace Prize speech,” the only option they have for demonstrating their knowledge at the end of the unit is through the analysis and narrative writing assignments. 
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, the Summative Assessment Prompt requires students to write an essay on the following topic: “Read the sources provided carefully. Then in an essay that synthesizes at least two of the sources, explain your position on whether boxing should be preserved as it is, should be changed to make it safer for participants, or should be banned altogether as a competitive sport.” Students integrate reading and writing skills, which demonstrate mastery and understanding of the topic.
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Culminating Activity, students read from ‘The Man Who Stained His Soul’ by Vu Bao and make a claim with evidence from the text. “Then, explain what the characters reveal about a point the author might be making about war and bravery.” Students complete a Summative Assessment Prompt: “In literary works, cultural conflict often functions as a crucial motivator for characters and generates much of the conflict that drives the plot. Select a novel, play, short story, or epic poem in which cultural conflicts are an important topic. Then write a well-developed essay analyzing how those cultural conflicts reveal one character’s values and lead us to a deeper understanding of the meaning of the work as a whole.” Students integrate reading and writing skills to demonstrate understanding of the topic.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia and Dystopia, the Summative Assessment Prompt requires students to write an essay on the following topic: “Write a rhetorical analysis of this text. Your essay should focus on the rhetorical strategies (including appeals, evidence, and style) that the writer employs to achieve his/her purpose. It should include a clear thesis statement and specific references to the text to support your analysis.” Students integrate reading and writing skills to demonstrate mastery and understanding of the topic.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/ language in context.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that materials include a cohesive, consistent approach for students to regularly interact with word relationships and build academic vocabulary/language in context.

The materials provide some opportunities for students to learn and practice vocabulary in a single context, however, opportunities to utilize vocabulary is missing. Words are not identified, practiced, and applied consistently throughout the materials. Students learn some academic vocabulary related to their reading, but are not supported in applying them to speaking and writing tasks. Attention is paid to domain-specific vocabulary essential to understanding each text and to analyzing the purpose of specific word choice and is applied in reading, writing, and speaking tasks. However, vocabulary is not consistently repeated in various contexts (before texts, in texts, etc.) and across multiple texts. 

Challenging vocabulary words are identified for most texts in the Vocabulary Exercises and students are asked to determine the meaning and reflect on the author’s word choice. The worksheets that are paired with reading to address challenging vocabulary words are a means of assessment only. While the thematic chapters teach the vocabulary terms related to the ELA genre of the chapter, the opening four chapters do not mention vocabulary. In the Teacher’s Edition, the Building Context, Instructional Strategies, and Teaching Ideas often provide examples of how to incorporate contextual language and domain-specific vocabulary instruction in relationship to texts; however, opportunities for students to build academic vocabulary through lessons and formative activities tied to these lessons are missing. 

The online Launchpad Learning Curve section provides stand-alone vocabulary quizzes for students. This platform allows the teacher to track students’ progress with details of their performance. Though the materials provide vocabulary lessons and an online vocabulary quiz, these activities are not connected to the lessons or reading in the materials.  

Examples of vocabulary instruction that meets the requirements of the indicator but only for a single text or out of context include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read “The Devil’s Thumb” by Jon Krakauer. A teaching note for Building Context suggests that the teacher divide students into three groups to research and define vocabulary from the text in the categories of equipment, techniques, and terrain such as crampons, pitoncraft, and frost feathers.  
  • In Chapter 5, the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive, Student, Vocabulary Worksheets, a pdf provides six challenging words from Shore’s “Happy Family” and asks students to “determine the meaning of the word in the context of the poem, and then describe the effect of the word: how the author’s word choice contributes to the meaning and tone of the poem.” The vocabulary terms include compatible, unsheathed, somber, rusty, translucent, and flesh. The same worksheet is used for all texts with different words.
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition, students read “Ambition: Why Some People Are Most Likely to Succeed” by Jeffrey Kluger and determine meaning of vocabulary. A Close Reading suggestion to teachers states, “To help students develop their skills at inferring vocabulary from context, ask students to define temperamental determinism here.” 
  • In Chapter 9: (Mis)Communication, students read an excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. The Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive contains a vocabulary worksheet for use with this text. The exercises on this worksheet require students to “determine the meaning of the word in the context of the sentence, and then describe the effect of the word: how the author’s word choice contributes to the meaning and tone of the sentence(s),” such as “It is due, however, to my mistress to say of her, that she did not adopt this course of treatment immediately. She at first lacked the depravity indispensable to shutting me up in mental darkness.” The same worksheet about word choice is used for all texts with different sentences.
  • In the Lauchpad, Learning Curve Activities, Vocabulary, students are provided multiple choice questions on prefixes & suffixes, root words, and words in context with feedback. One question states: “Which of the following roots means ‘earth’?”

Examples of domain-specific vocabulary instruction include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, Section 1: Thinking About Literacy, Activity: Recognizing Different Literacies, students are asked to consider their own symbol systems and their relationship to these language systems: “Explain how each of the following texts demonstrates unique literacies and try to describe the symbol systems used to communicate the information. Are you or people you know ‘literate’ within the communities that use these symbol systems? What can you understand and what can you not?”
  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, students are introduced to a series of elements of fiction beginning with theme. A Teacher’s Edition Teaching Idea suggests students engage in a jigsaw activity to practice and apply themes with the purpose of distinguishing theme from plot. Other examples include a Check for Understanding when students are introduced to literary elements: “After reviewing each of these elements, you could ask students to paraphrase the definitions of each and apply their knowledge to another text that they know well.” 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, the Reading Workshop: Analyzing Characters and Theme identifies terms that are essential to learning and achieving the goals of the workshop. For instance, terms like protagonist, antagonist, dynamic, static, and foil are defined for the reader. Students participate in activities that have them apply the terms used to new contexts.

Indicator 2f

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan to support students' increasing writing skills over the course of the school year, building students' writing ability to demonstrate proficiency at grade level at the end of the school year.
4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 meet the criteria that materials contain a year long, cohesive plan of writing instruction and practice which support students in building and communicating substantive understanding of topics and texts. 

The materials include writing opportunities and instruction aligned to grade level standards that span the whole school year, such as argument, narrative, and expository. Students have frequent opportunities to learn through explicit instruction and practice writing skills needed to communicate their understanding of texts and topics through a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models. Support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development include peer review resources, evaluative criteria, use of rubrics, whole class discussions, and proctoring of peer-group writing workshops. 

In the first four skill-based chapters, students learn the importance of analysis and the skills of literary analysis, close reading, rhetorical analysis, argument analysis, persuasive writing, and synthesis. Over the course of these chapters, students have opportunities to write informally to demonstrate their skills and also complete a summative Culminating Activity to demonstrate understanding of the writing skill. The skills that students learn in the first four chapters translate to the following six theme-based chapters where they are given frequent opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge of texts and a topic. These writing prompts are organized into categories: Understanding and Interpreting; Connecting, Arguing and Extending; and Analyzing Language, Style and Structure. After reading the Central Text in each chapter, students also complete Topics for Composing, covering a variety of modalities, including analysis, personal, research, argument, and analysis. At the end of each of the six theme-based chapters, students complete a reading and writing workshop that both result in writing in a particular genre/mode on the topic of the chapter. 

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 1: Thinking about Literacy, Activity: Thinking About Literacy Communities, students write about a topic to multiple audiences and examine their choices: “Describe the latest movie you saw, game you played, or song you listened to. Write one description directed to a close friend, one for a parent or grandparent, and one for your teacher who is going to grade you based on the level of detail you include in the description. Afterward, look back at the language choices you used and examine what is similar and different between the pieces. How do your language choices represent the differences among your literacy communities?”
  • In Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, Culminating Activity, students read the poem “The Tyger” by William Blake and answer, “Read the poem carefully. Then write a response in which you analyze how the tone of the speaker is developed through such devices as diction, syntax, figurative language, and imagery.” 
  • In Chapter 3: Thinking About Rhetoric and Argument, students complete activities to improve their writing. For example, in Activity: Finding The Claim, students examine models of texts: from On Being a Cripple by Nancy Mairs, from Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, and “The Case for a Higher Minimum Wage” by New York Times Editorial Board. The Teacher’s Edition includes a Check for Understanding to have students reflect on how they are taught writing as they read the texts provided. In Activity: Shifting The Rhetorical Situation, students examine and create their own scenarios to build to the Culminating Activity where students analyze the rhetoric of Lenore Skenazy’s “Why I Let My 9-Year-Old Ride the Subway Alone” and write their own argument on “whether you believe a nine-year-old in your community should be allowed to travel [...] without adult supervision, and if so, to what extent.”
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read the story “Zolaria” by Caitlin Horrocks. After reading, students answer Connecting, Arguing, and Extending prompts, such as “It is apparent that even years after the events the narrator has still not forgiven herself for her actions (and inactions) toward Hanna. Is the narrator truly responsible for her actions, or should she be excused because of her youth and other factors? Support your response with direct evidence from the story.”
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, Writing Workshop, students read multiple texts on boxing and are guided through the “entire process of writing their own synthesis essay, balancing their voices with the ideas presented in outside sources.” The Summative Assessment prompt states, “Read the sources provided carefully. Then in an essay that synthesizes at least two of the sources, explain your position on whether boxing should be preserved as it is, should be changed to make it safer for participants, or should be banned altogether as a competitive sport. You may quote from the sources directly or paraphrase them. Remember that the sources should inform your opinion, but your own voice should be central to the argument.” A scoring rubric is provided. 
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, students read the Central Text, from When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. After reading the selection, students complete a series of Topics for Composing writing tasks, such as “Creative/Exposition: This chapter is told from the perspective of an eight-year-old boy. Choose a short passage from the chapter and rewrite it from the perspective of the girl, the mother, or the father. Then, explain what changed when you changed the perspective of the narration.”
  • In Chapter 9: Writing Workshop: Writing a Close Analysis of Prose, students follow a five-step process to write an analysis essay: analyze a passage, find a focus, develop a strong thesis to guide the analysis, provide textual evidence, and address the “So What?” Many of the key elements of the analysis steps come from Chapter 2: Thinking About Literature, such as analyzing diction, figurative language, and point of view. The Workshop builds on skills learned throughout the year and offers opportunities for instructors to model and gauge students abilities. For example, in Check for Understanding, it suggests the instructor model the analysis of stylistic choices in the reading “Children as Enemies” by Ha Jin.

Indicator 2g

Materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that materials include a progression of focused, shared research and writing projects to encourage students to develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials.

The materials provide some support for teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic. Students develop and synthesize knowledge and understanding of a topic using texts and other source materials through the use of the Connecting, Arguing, and Extending questions found after reading the Central Text. 

Occasionally, resources for student research are suggested to aid instruction. Few structured opportunities for students to apply reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language skills to synthesize and analyze multiple texts and source materials about a topic. Topics for Composing at the end of texts often include research prompts, and informal research tasks  that can often be found in the Teacher’s Edition in the Building Context and Teaching Idea sections.  In many cases, the topics are used only to build knowledge of the texts and are not always relevant to students' interests. In addition, some of the Writing Workshops require research; however, many of these prompts are generally short, focused projects and do not require significant engagement or research in long projects independently. Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills across chapters that build to student independence. Research tasks are absent from the culminating activities at the end of the chapters, and students do not engage in longer research projects that stretch across multiple texts and/or sections of chapters. Generally, opportunities for challenging, progressive projects are missed throughout the materials, and few research prompts are included in the Student Edition. 

Examples of short research activities or suggestions in the Teacher’s Edition include, but are not limited to:

  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, a Building Context activity suggests that students generate a list of issues they would need to know to develop an informed argument on school sports and if the information provided is enough, if not, “they’ll be motivated to do further research on their own.” In a following Activity: Finding and Evaluating Sources, students find an additional source that is relevant to the topic of finding the value of high school sports: “You might look for a viewpoint that is directly relevant by searching for responses to Amanda Ripley via Google or a database that you have access to through your school or public library. Or you might research more broadly, considering the impact of sports on character, for instance, or the correlation between academic achievement and participation in sports.” 
  • In Chapter 4: Thinking About Synthesis, Conversation, Activity: Finding and Evaluating Sources, the Teaching Idea suggests, “To develop the collective knowledge of your classroom community, have students work in pairs to research, then add the source(s) they’ve found with responses to the three questions about bias and share what they found electronically with the whole class. You might return to the list of questions students generated at the outset—information they’d like to have in order to develop an informed argument—and examine if the sources in this chapter and others students have found have provided that information.” This is an example of a research suggestion which does specify a student product. However, no additional guidance on conducting research is provided for teachers or students.
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, students read “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell. A Building Context box suggests a research activity for students prior to reading the text: “Orwell’s classic essay requires quite a bit of context. While we’ve provided some in the headnote, you might have students do some additional research before diving into the essay. You could split the class into four groups and assign one topic for each group to research: 1. British imperialism in Burma (or in the world in general). 2. the role of British police officers in Burma. 3. the use (and value) of elephants as work animals in Burma. 4.) George Orwell himself, including his politics, his views on writing, and his other works (including Animal Farm and 1984). Then have each group present their findings to the rest of the class.”
  • In Chapter 6: Ambition and Restraint, Writing Workshop: Writing an Argument, Step 2: Gather Information, Activity, students conduct research to begin their argumentative writing project: “Returning to your question, begin conducting research in order to identify the following: 1. Who are three to five experts in the fields that your question relates to? These will be the names of people who are referenced in many articles or in the bibliographies of multiple Wikipedia pages. 2. What are the most controversial parts to your question? Why is there controversy? 3. What are two or three of the most interesting or surprising facts or results of research studies that relate to your question? If you cannot find a wide range of information or controversy about your question, consider choosing a different topic. It is far better to switch topics at this point than to continue forward with one that might not work well.”
  • In Chapter 7: Ethics, students read the article, “Cheating Upwards” by Robert Kolker. A Teaching Idea suggests, “Teachers may want to have students do some quick research on the ‘testing life’ of a typical student in their school district. Students might look up what tests are taken, how often, where the scores go, etc.”
  • In Chapter 8: Cultures in Conflict, Central Text, Building Context, students are encouraged to research a series of topics to help students understand the context of Julie Otsuka’s selection from When the Emperor Was Divine. At the end of the reading, students are given several opportunities to conduct research to help extend their learning in the Connecting, Arguing, and Extending section: “Conduct brief research on Emperor Hirohito, or, as he was known after death, Emperor Shōwa. Research the prejudices that Japanese (or another immigrant group) faced in U.S. society before and during World War II.” These tasks are short research projects that help develop an understanding of aspects of the historical context of the story. 
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Central Text, in a Building Context box before reading the selection from A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid, students are encouraged to “[...] research on their own some of the colonial past of specific countries — including Antigua.” The materials also suggest if someone in class is familiar with the Caribbean to encourage a class discussion. A Teaching Idea suggests students research, using Google, the term “volunteer tourism” to explore the “vast economic gap between residents and visitors,” which will help students understand Kincaid’s text. In addition, a Building Context box suggests “research newspaper articles and particularly photographs of Queen Elizabeth’s 1985 visit to Antigua that is referenced in A Small Place.” Finally, at the end of the reading, students answer a Topics for Composing Research question: “Research the things that Kincaid describes and discuss whether they remain the same today. Is the library open? Is the sewer system developed? Then comment on how your research has informed your view on whether it is right or wrong to be a tourist in Antigua.” All of these short research projects help students develop the historical context of the text through reading with options of listening and speaking.  These projects help students analyze the materials presented and prepare them for the Topics for Composing question.

Indicator 2h

Materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.
2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 10 partially meet the criteria that materials provide a design, including accountability, for how students will regularly engage in a volume of independent reading either in or outside of class.

The materials include possible opportunities for independent reading that spans a wide volume of texts at grade level and within the grade band; however, there is little guidance for how students read the texts. All independent reading is with the selections in the materials and assumed to be completed in class, though there are suggestions for novels that pair with the texts and themes of the chapters. Through the Central Texts, Conversations, and Seeing Connections readings, a wealth of texts are presented for students. These formative experiences lay the groundwork for students to be able to read and analyze texts independently for culminating tasks.

While the structure of the materials suggest that all texts provide students the opportunity to read independently, it is the instructor's decision on how to use the scaffolding supports, such as the Teaching Ideas and Building Context asides, to support and foster independent reading.  These Teaching Ideas suggest teacher read alouds and pair, small group, and whole class readings as stepping stones independent reading. One such strategy, Interrupted Reading, can be found in the Teacher’s Resource Flash Drive. Although there are opportunities for gradual release, such as in the Chapter 1 example below, this is only one instance and not part of a larger procedure found in the materials. 

Chapter introductions and forward materials suggest additional reading selections to further students’ independence; however, there are no specific instructions on what students read independently and what is read as a class; it is assumed that students will read the texts independently unless otherwise directed to read with a partner. Students are provided opportunities to read independently within an assigned task, but there is not a proposed schedule that tracks how well students are growing as independent readers. There is little direction within the materials to help teachers consider how to deliver a balance of reading inside and outside of class or whole group and independently. Additionally, there are no schedules, systems of accountability, or tracking systems for independent reading and little evidence that independent reading actually occurs. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Contents, the Teacher’s Edition suggests a commonly taught pairing of texts for Chapters 5 through 10. For example, for Chapter 6: Ambition and Restraint, the Teaching Ideas suggest using Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Although the materials do not suggest how to use these texts, it could create an opportunity for students to read inside and outside the classroom with supports and independence. 
  • In Chapter 1: Reading the World, for the Culminating Activity, students read three texts: the poem “Eating Poetry” by Mark Strand; an excerpt from the book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr; and an excerpt from the graphic novel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi; and they practice the skill of analysis. A Teaching Idea in the margin of the Teachers’ Edition suggests that “One way of working through these three texts is by using the gradual release of responsibility approach. Practice the analysis process with the poem as a class, then complete the nonfiction piece in pairs, and the third—the graphic novel—could be analyzed independently, used as an early formative assessment.”
  • In Chapter 5: Identity and Society, a Teaching Idea provides “commonly taught novels [which] pair well thematically with this chapter”: John Knowles, A Separate Peace; J.D.Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye; William Golding, Lord of the Flies; John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men; Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis; Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha; Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. No other guidance is provided how to use the texts. Similar pairings are listed in all thematic chapters.
  • In Chapter 10: Utopia/Dystopia, Chapter Overview, Conversation—Our Robotic Future, the sections review the texts selected for the Conversation section. When introducing the piece from “Our Final Intervention” by James Barrat it explains “[...] students should not find his language too technical to read independently or with minimal scaffolding.” This evidence suggests that all texts provide students the opportunity to read independently and it is the instructor's decision on how to use the scaffolding supports such as the Teaching Ideas, Building Context, and others to support and foster independent reading. Similar suggestions are found in all chapters.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

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Gateway Three Details
This material was not reviewed for Gateway Three because it did not meet expectations for Gateways One and Two

Criterion 3a - 3e

Materials are well designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing.

Indicator 3a

Materials are well-designed (i.e., allows for ease of readability and are effectively organized for planning) and take into account effective lesson structure (e.g., introduction and lesson objectives, teacher modelling, student practice, closure) and short-term and long-term pacing.
N/A

Indicator 3b

The teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding.
N/A

Indicator 3c

The student resources include ample review and practice resources, clear directions, and explanation, and correct labeling of reference aids (e.g., visuals, maps, etc.).
N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials include publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items.
N/A

Indicator 3e

The visual design (whether in print or digital) is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject.
N/A

Criterion 3f - 3j

Materials support teacher learning and understanding of the Standards.

Indicator 3f

Materials contain a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials. Where applicable, materials include teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning.
N/A

Indicator 3g

Materials contain a teacher's edition that contains full, adult-level explanations and examples of the more advanced literacy concepts so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject, as necessary.
N/A

Indicator 3h

Materials contain a teacher's edition that explains the role of the specific ELA/literacy standards in the context of the overall curriculum.
N/A

Indicator 3i

Materials contain explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.
N/A

Indicator 3j

Materials contain strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the ELA/literacy program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.
N/A

Criterion 3k - 3n

Materials offer teachers resources and tools to collect ongoing data about student progress on the Standards.

Indicator 3k

Materials regularly and systematically offer assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3l

The purpose/use of each assessment is clear:
N/A

Indicator 3l.i

Assessments clearly denote which standards are being emphasized.
N/A

Indicator 3l.ii

Assessments provide sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.
N/A

Indicator 3m

Materials should include routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation.
N/A

Criterion 3o - 3r

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards.

Indicator 3o

Materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3p

Materials regularly provide all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with extensive opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade-level standards.
N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials regularly include extensions and/or more advanced opportunities for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies.
N/A

Criterion 3s - 3v

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Digital materials are accessible and available in multiple platforms.

Indicator 3s

Digital materials (either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum) are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome, etc.), "platform neutral" (i.e., are compatible with multiple operating systems such as Windows and Apple and are not proprietary to any single platform), follow universal programming style, and allow the use of tablets and mobile devices. This qualifies as substitution and augmentation as defined by the SAMR model. Materials can be easily integrated into existing learning management systems.
N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate and providing opportunities for modification and redefinition as defined by the SAMR model.
N/A

Indicator 3u

Materials can be easily customized for individual learners.
N/A

Indicator 3u.i

Digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations.
N/A

Indicator 3u.ii

Materials can be easily customized by schools, systems, and states for local use.
N/A

Indicator 3v

Materials include or reference technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other (e.g. websites, discussion groups, webinars, etc.)
N/A
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Additional Publication Details

Report Published Date: 10/16/2019

Report Edition: 2018

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Teacher's Edition for Advanced Language & Literature 978-1-31901-246-5 Bedford, Freeman & Worth High School Publishers 2016
Advanced Language & Literature 978-1-45765-741-2 Bedford, Freeman & Worth High School Publishers 2016

About Publishers Responses

All publishers are invited to provide an orientation to the educator-led team that will be reviewing their materials. The review teams also can ask publishers clarifying questions about their programs throughout the review process.

Once a review is complete, publishers have the opportunity to post a 1,500-word response to the educator report and a 1,500-word document that includes any background information or research on the instructional materials.

Educator-Led Review Teams

Each report found on EdReports.org represents hundreds of hours of work by educator reviewers. Working in teams of 4-5, reviewers use educator-developed review tools, evidence guides, and key documents to thoroughly examine their sets of materials.

After receiving over 25 hours of training on the EdReports.org review tool and process, teams meet weekly over the course of several months to share evidence, come to consensus on scoring, and write the evidence that ultimately is shared on the website.

All team members look at every grade and indicator, ensuring that the entire team considers the program in full. The team lead and calibrator also meet in cross-team PLCs to ensure that the tool is being applied consistently among review teams. Final reports are the result of multiple educators analyzing every page, calibrating all findings, and reaching a unified conclusion.

Rubric Design

The EdReports.org’s rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of standards alignment to the fundamental design elements of the materials and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum as recommended by educators.

Advancing Through Gateways

  • Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators to move along the process. Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment. Are the instructional materials aligned to the standards? Are all standards present and treated with appropriate depth and quality required to support student learning?
  • Gateway 3 focuses on the question of usability. Are the instructional materials user-friendly for students and educators? Materials must be well designed to facilitate student learning and enhance a teacher’s ability to differentiate and build knowledge within the classroom. In order to be reviewed and attain a rating for usability (Gateway 3), the instructional materials must first meet expectations for alignment (Gateways 1 and 2).

Key Terms Used throughout Review Rubric and Reports

  • Indicator Specific item that reviewers look for in materials.
  • Criterion Combination of all of the individual indicators for a single focus area.
  • Gateway Organizing feature of the evaluation rubric that combines criteria and prioritizes order for sequential review.
  • Alignment Rating Degree to which materials meet expectations for alignment, including that all standards are present and treated with the appropriate depth to support students in learning the skills and knowledge that they need to be ready for college and career.
  • Usability Degree to which materials are consistent with effective practices for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, and differentiated instruction.

ELA HS Rubric and Evidence Guides

The ELA review rubrics identify the criteria and indicators for high quality instructional materials. The rubrics support a sequential review process that reflect the importance of alignment to the standards then consider other high-quality attributes of curriculum as recommended by educators.

For ELA, our rubrics evaluate materials based on:

  • Text Quality and Complexity, and Alignment to Standards with Tasks Grounded in Evidence

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

  • Instructional Supports and Usability

The ELA Evidence Guides complement the rubrics by elaborating details for each indicator including the purpose of the indicator, information on how to collect evidence, guiding questions and discussion prompts, and scoring criteria.

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