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MCU. Juried Curriculum from Massachusetts . Literacy Design Collaborative. Supported by ASCD. Literacy Design Collaborative (ASCD) Sample Modules English Language Arts Science & Technical Subjects History/Social Studies.

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Juried Curriculum from Massachusetts

Literacy Design Collaborative (ASCD)
  • Sample Modules
  • English Language ArtsScience & Technical SubjectsHistory/Social Studies
ldc sample components
LDC--Sample Components
  • Specific and scaffolded tasks with materials to accomplish the major task.
  • L1: How do authors use character relationships to develop theme in a story? After reading Hamlet and related texts, write essay that explains how the relationship between Hamlet and another character illustrates an important theme in this tragedy. . What conclusion or implications can you draw? Cite at least two sources, pointing out key elements from each source. A bibliography is required.
    • 1: Summarize: The Speaker's State of Mind (Lines 129-137 to "possess it merely").Summarize the speaker's words/thoughts in section 1 of the soliloquy.
    • 2: Jarring Contrasts (Lines 138-155 to "She married.") Complete the graphic organizer contrasting the speaker's tone/attitude toward his father, mother and uncle based on the images, analogies and words and phrases associated with each character in this section of the soliloquy.
    • 3, LONG CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE In the middle section of the soliloquy, the speaker frequently interrupts himself. Why does he do this? How has the speaker’s state of mind been affected by the actions of others? Use evidence from the text to support your analysis. Formulate an answer to these questions in a thoughtful brief essay (approximately a page).
  • Rubrics
  • Standards
  • The entire teaching sequence with suggested techniques and materials
odell education
Odell Education

Juried examples

odell provides
Odell provides
  • Theme-based texts ready for duplication
    • The specific projects are not determined; it’s up to teachers to make those decisions
    • Materials include digital and video texts
    • A variety of text types: Informational, narrative, historical documents, and literary
  • How to read closely
  • How to compare multiple texts
    • Guides for teachers
    • Guides for students
  • Handouts
how to read closely odell http odelleducation com reading closely
How to Read Closely—Odell
  • Part 1.  Students learn what it means to read a text closely by attending to and analyzing textual details. Students analyze visual-based texts.
  • Part 2. Questioning Texts: Students learn to use questions to guide their approach to, reading, and deeper analysis of texts. Students read and analyze informational texts.
  • Part 3. Analyzing Details: Students learn to analyze textual detail as a key to discovering meaning. Students read, analyze, and compare texts.
  • Part 4. Explaining Understanding: Students learn how to summarize and explain what they have learned from their reading, questioning, and analysis of texts. Students read and analyze three related texts.
  • Part 5. Discussing Ideas: Students learn the characteristics of an effective text-based discussion and demonstrate skills in leading and participating in one.
reading closely units odell http odelleducation com reading closely
Reading Closely Units—Odell

The curriculum is free.

  • Grade 6: “The wolf you feed”
  • Grade 7: “At the Pole”
  • Grade 8: “We had to learn English.”
  • Grades 9-10: “Brain Gain”
  • Grades 9-10: “Modern battlefield”
  • Grades 11-12: “Promised Land”
  • Grades 11-12: “Lay down all my joys”
  • Grade 12: “Life steps almost straight.”
making evidence based claims units odell http odelleducation com making ebc lesson


  • Part 1. Understanding Evidence-Based Claims: Students learn the importance and elements of making evidence-based claims through a close reading of part of the text.
  • Part 2. Making Evidence-Based Claims: Students develop the ability to make evidence-based claims through a close reading of the text.
  • Part 3. Organizing Evidence-Based Claims: Students expand their ability into organizing evidence to develop and explain claims through a close reading of the text.
  • Part 4. Writing Evidence-Based Claims: Students develop the ability to express evidence-based claims in writing through a close reading of the text.
  • Part 5. Developing Evidence-Based Writing: Students develop the ability to express global evidence-based claims in writing through a close reading of the text
evidence based claims odell education http odelleducation com making ebc lesson
Evidence-Based Claims Odell Education
  • Grade 6 Unit: Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford University Commencement Address
  • Grade 7 Unit: Cesar Chavez’s 1984 California Commonwealth Club Address
  • Grade 8 Unit:Ain’t I a Woman?, Sojourner Truth; Equal Rights for Women, Shirley Chisholm; and Wimbledon Has Sent Me a Message: I’m Only a Second-Class Champion, Venus Williams
  • Grade 9 Unit: Plato’s Apology (updated unit containing a new translation of the text posted on September 2, 2013)
  • Grade 10 Unit: Nobel Peace Prize Speeches of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama
  • Grade 11 Unit: W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk
  • Grade 12 Unit: President Ronald Reagan’s First Inaugural Address and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s 2011 APEC Address
  • ********************************************************************************************
  • Making Evidence-Based Claims about Literary Technique Grades 9-12
  • The Grades 9-12 Making EBC about Literary Technique Units adapt the Making EBC Framework for teaching claim-making about the effects of authorial choice and craft on the meaning of literary texts. The units are built on literary texts from the NYSED 9-12 Text List.
  • Grade 9: “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber,” Ernest Hemingway
  • Grade 10: “Because I could not stop for Death,” Emily Dickinson; “Home Burial,” Robert Frost
  • Grade 11: “The Red Convertible,” Louise Erdrich; “On the Rainy River,” Tim O’Brien
  • Grade 12: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” Raymond Carve
research odell http odelleducation com literacy curriculum research
  • Part 1. Initiating Inquiry: Students learn the purposes and processes of using inquiry and research to deepen understanding. Students initiate inquiry on a topic through collaboratively generating questions to direct and frame research.
  • Part 2. Gathering Information: Students learn how to conduct searches, assess and annotate sources, and keep an organized record of their findings.
  • Part 3. Deepening Understanding: Students analyze key sources through close reading to deepen their understanding and draw personal conclusions about their areas of investigation.
  • Part 4. Finalizing Inquiry: Students analyze and evaluate their material with respect to their Research Frames and refine and extend their inquiry as necessary.
  • Part 5. Developing and Communicating an Evidence-Based Perspective: Students draw from their research and personal analysis to develop and communicate an evidence-based perspective.
research odell education http odelleducation com literacy curriculum research
Research—Odell Education
  • Research Unit Grade 6(Topic Resource Repository: Prehistoric Art)
  • Research Unit Grade 7 (Topic Resource Repository: Water)
  • Research Unit Grade 8 (Topic Resource Repository: Human Animal Interaction)
  • Research Unit Grades 9-10 (Topic Resource Repositories: Music and Technology)
  • Research Unit Grades 11-12 (Topic Resource Repositories: Design and Food)
ccsso model text sets http www ccsso org navigating text complexity showroom models html
CCSSO: Model Text Sets
  • Middle School

The ConstitutionAnchor Text: Words We Live By (excerpt)

  • High School

Taking a Stand

Anchor Text: The Lottery

Leaving a Legacy: Eulogies of Civil Rights Figures

Anchor Text: Remarks on the Assassination of MLK

the lottery ccsso example
The Lottery: CCSSO example
  • The Lottery: Taking a Stand
  • 9-10 Grade Band Text Set
  • Line of Inquiry: In this text set, students will explore fiction and nonfiction texts that are connected through a common idea: “Taking a stand is often difficult and costly, but not taking a stand more often extracts a greater toll.” The anchor text, The Lottery, addresses the consequences of blindly following tradition. Language and descriptions throughout imply that the citizens no longer understand why they conduct the lottery and even suggest that other towns have done away with it. Despite this doubt, the citizens follow the tradition of the lottery and the consequences are certainly dire. The related texts in this set offer different perspectives on and increase student opportunities to think about what it means to take a stand.
connected texts to lottery and taking a stand
Connected texts to Lottery and Taking a Stand

Speech to the Second Virginia ConventionBy: Patrick Henry

Henry’s famous speech ending in “I know not what course other may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” documents a pivotal moment in US history. When other colonists suggested waiting to hear from the English monarchy in an attempt to reconcile, Henry argues for the colonies to form a militia and take a stand against British rule.

Conscientious Objector By: Edna St. Vincent Millay

Millay, Edna St. Vincent. "Conscientious Objector." Wine from These Grapes. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1934. N. pag. Print.

Millay’s poem takes a stand against participating in any activities which will lead to death of others. The title has military connotations and suggests a protest against military action.

The Jungle (excerpts) By: Upton Sinclair

Genre: Fiction

Sinclair, Upton. The Jungle. Cambridge, MA: R. Bentley, 1971. Print.

Sinclair’s searing critique of the meatpacking industry, contained within a novel about the lives of immigrants in America, remains a powerful document in US history. While the novel itself doesn’t necessarily promote taking a stand, the act of writing and producing an honest portrayal of industry at the time represents a protest against the inhumane conditions present in the industry.

Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)

The Supreme Court decision handed down in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka declared the “separate but equal” law established by Plessy v. Ferguson unconstitutional. Taking a stand against unfair practices was not well received in some places, but it was worth a larger moral victory in the end.

Animal Farm By: George Orwell

Orwell, George. Animal Farm; New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1954. Print.

Satirical and cautionary, the tale of Animal Farm depicts the improbability of a system run for the collective good. The ideas explored in the novel add another perspective to the line of inquiry not explored in the other texts—those who take a stand can easily succumb to their own vices and take over the role of those they once fought against.


Guide to creating your own text sets

guided tour of parcc scaffolded research simulation task rst grade 11 sample
October 2013 PARCC

Guided Tour of PARCCScaffoldedResearch Simulation Task (RST)Grade 11 Sample
understanding the research simulation task
Understanding the Research Simulation Task
  • Students begin by reading an anchor text that introduces the topic.
  • EBSR and TECR items ask students to gather key details about the passage to support their understanding.
  • Students read two additional sources and answer a few questions about each text to learn more about the topic, so they are ready to write the final essay and to show their reading comprehension.
  • Finally, students mirror the research process by synthesizing their understandings into a writing that uses textual evidence from the sources.
texts worth reading
Texts Worth Reading?
  • Range: Example of assessing reading across the disciplines and helping to satisfy the 70%-30% split of informational text to literature at the 9-11 grade band (Note: Although the split is 70%-30% in grades 9-11, disciplines such as social studies and science focus almost solely on informational text. English Language Arts Teachers will have more of a 50%-50% split between informational and literary text, with informational text including literary non-fiction such as memoirs and biographies.)
  • Quality: The texts in this set about Abigail Adams represent content-rich nonfiction on a topic that is historically significant.
  • Complexity: Quantitatively and qualitatively, the passages have been validated and deemed suitable for use at grade 11.
sample multiple choice item 1 part a vocabulary connected to final analysis
Sample Multiple Choice Item #1—Part AVocabulary (connected to final analysis)

In paragraph 8 of “Abigail Smith Adams,” Abigail Adams is called an “advocate for females.” What is the meaning of advocate for females as used in this paragraph?

  • promoter of women’s rights *
  • counselor for women who lack rights
  • revolutionary demanding women’s control of government
  • campaigner for women running for political office
sample item 1 part b vocabulary from the context connected to analysis
Sample Item #1—Part BVocabulary from the Context (connected to analysis)

Which of Abigail Adam’s actions described in the biography best shows her being an advocate?

  • “She read any books that were available and became knowledgeable about a variety of subject matters most women never considered.”
  • “Abigail Adams supported the revolution as fervently as John, and she arguably suffered more because of it.
  • She asked Warren to petition Congress with her and request that Congress establish some laws that favor women.”*
  • “While her main focus was on her family and home, Adams remained in correspondence with several political figures…”
sample item 2 part a evidence
Sample Item #2—Part AEvidence

Which question below is left unanswered by the biography “Abigail Smith Adams” because insufficient evidence is provided?

  • Why did John Adams suffer less from the war than Abigail Adams did?
  • Why did Abigail Adams write a letter to Mercy Otis Warren?
  • Why did Abigail Adams ask John Adams to “remember the ladies” when creating the new nation?
  • Why did John Adams fail to respond to Abigail Adams’ pleas for better treatment of women?*
sample item 2 part b connected questions
Sample Item #2—Part BConnected questions

Which statement is true about the biography and best supports the answer to Part A?

  • The biography indicates that John Adams was often in a safer location than Abigail Adams was but never explains why she was in danger.
  • The biography indicates that John Adams respected his wife’s opinions but never explains why he agreed or disagreed with her.*
  • The biography indicates that Abigail Adams corresponded with other women but never explains why she wrote the letters.
  • The biography indicates that Abigail Adams wanted her husband to think about the treatment of women but never explains why she thought changes should be made.
sample item 3 part b claims and evidence
Sample Item #3—Part BClaims and Evidence

Which two sentences from “Abigail Smith Adams” best support the answer to Part A?

  • “She read any books that were available and became knowledgeable about a variety of subject matters most women never considered.” (paragraph 2)
  • “From the beginning, it was she who managed their farm and took care of business so that he could devote himself to politics.” (paragraph 3)
  • “Through his letters it is clear that he trusted his wife to take care of his business matters and admired her self-sufficiency.” (paragraph 4)
  • “…Abigail Adams began to refer to their property and other affairs as her own instead of ‘ours.’” (paragraph 4)
  • “In these letters one can tell that they were close friends and often Adams advised her husband on matters of politics.” (paragraph 5)*
  • “She was an advocate for females and expressed original feminist theory, as well as insightful political thought.” (paragraph 8)*
sample item 4 part b author s purpose
Sample Item #4—Part BAuthor’s purpose

Why does Abigail Adams most likely use this specific language about men?

  • to show that she believes her husband likely will not be able to convince lawmakers to include rights for women as part of the fight for independence
  • to emphasize that men have an obligation to ensure rights for women as dictated by a Supreme Being
  • to indicate that she is grateful that John Adams is fighting for independence from a government that she believes treats people, especially women, unfairly
  • to point out the similarities between the Colonies’ fight for freedom from unjust domination and women’s fight for freedom from unjust domination*
sample item 5 part a one of the two critical ideas independence
Sample Item #5—Part AOne of the two critical ideas: independence

How does paragraph 2 of Abigail Adam’s letter to her husband most strongly contribute to the text as a whole?

  • It introduces Abigail’s main argument for independence, which is discussed more thoroughly in later paragraphs.*
  • It identifies the religious principles Abigail believes the Colonies are fighting for, which are discussed more thoroughly in later paragraphs.
  • It establishes Abigail’s belief that the colonies are losing the fight for independence because those fighting do not truly understand the importance of winning, which is discussed more thoroughly in later paragraphs.
  • It demonstrates that Abigail is certain that the Colonies will be a strong country if they win the war, which is discussed more thoroughly in later paragraphs.
sample item 5 part b close reading
Sample Item #5—Part BClose Reading

In which two paragraphs of the letter are the ideas in paragraph 2 discussed more thoroughly?

  • paragraph 3
  • paragraph 4
  • paragraph 5
  • paragraph 6
  • paragraph 7
  • paragraph 8
sample item 6 part a detail
Sample Item #6—Part ADetail

Which two statements best summarize Abigail’s ideas regarding the occupation of Boston, based on the letter to her husband?

  • Disease wiped out many of the residents of Boston during the occupation of their town.
  • Many of the homes that were occupied in Boston were left in better condition than expected.*
  • It is likely that another town in the Colonies will be similarly occupied in the near future.
  • Only the president’s and solicitor general’s homes were left unharmed by those who occupied Boston.
  • The people of Boston do not know whether or not they should return to their homes.
  • As long as citizens of other towns take steps to avoid what led to the occupation in Boston, they should be safe from a similar fate.*
sample item 4 part a vocabulary in context
Sample Item #4—Part AVocabulary in context

In paragraph 7 of the letter to her husband, Abigail Adams states that “all men would be tyrants” and in paragraph 8 she states that men are “naturally tyrannical.” Which statement defines the word tyrannical correctly using the context of the letter?

  • Tyrannical can be defined as formal and ceremonious, as indicated by the words “laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make.” (paragraph 7)
  • Tyrannical can be defined as considerate and nurturing, as indicated by the words “more generous and favorable.” (paragraph 7)
  • Tyrannical can be defined as overbearing and oppressive, as indicated by the words “cruelty and indignity with impunity.” (paragraph 8)*
  • Tyrannical can be defined as vigilant and possessive, as indicated by the words “under your protection.” (paragraph 8)
sample item 6 part b evidence
Sample Item #6—Part BEvidence

Choose two quotations that best support the answers in Part A.

  • “I am fearful of the small-pox, or I should have been in before this time.” (paragraph 3)
  • “I find it has been occupied by one of the doctors of a regiment…” (paragraph 3)
  • “…some individuals discovered a sense of honor and justice, and have left rent of houses in which they were, for the owners, and the furniture unhurt, or, if damaged, sufficient to make it good.” (paragraph 4)*
  • “…whether we could rest in our own cottages or whether we should be driven from the seacoast to seek shelter in the wilderness…” (paragraph 5)
  • “Though we felicitate ourselves, we sympathize with those who are trembling lest the lot of Boston should be theirs.” (paragraph 6)
  • “They have time and warning given them to see the evil and shun it.” (paragraph 6)*
sample item 7 part b close reading
Sample Item #7—Part BClose Reading

Which quotation from the text best reflects the meaning of “through all the gloom, I can see the rays of ravishing light and glory”?

  • “You will see in a few days a Declaration setting forth the causes which have impelled us to this mighty revolution, which will justify it…” (paragraph 1)
  • “…I am surprised at the suddenness as well as greatness of this revolution.” (paragraph 2)
  • “It is the will of Heaven that the two countries should be sundered forever. It may be the will of Heaven that America shall suffer calamities still more wasting, and distresses yet more dreadful. (paragraph 2)*
  • “I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.” (paragraph 5)
sample item 8 part a claim close reading
Sample Item #8—Part AClaim; close reading

What claim does President Adams make about the timing of the declaration of Independency”?

  • The declaration should have been made several months earlier, as many months of hardship were endured for no reason.
  • The declaration is being made prematurely because the Colonies are not prepared for the consequences.
  • The delay of the declaration actually worked out well, as it allowed the colonists to truly unite behind one idea.*
  • The delay of the declaration was unnecessary and can be contributed to a lack of understanding on the art of the colonists.
sample item 8 part b close reading
Sample Item #8—Part BClose reading

Which excerpt from the text best supports the answer to Part A?

  • “We might, before this hour, have formed alliances with foreign States...” (paragraph 3)
  • “Time has been given for the whole people maturely to consider the great question of independence, and to ripen their judgment, dissipate their fears, and allure their hopes…” (paragraph 4)*
  • “…by debating it in assemblies, conventions, committees of safety and inspection, in town and county meetings,…” (paragraph 4)
  • “I am well aware of the toil, and blood, and treasure, that it will cost us to maintain this declaration, and support and defend these states.” (paragraph 6)
sample item 9 part a analysis
Sample Item #9—Part AAnalysis

Select the claim that both Abigail and Adams make in their letters and drag it into the box labeled “CLAIM.”

sample item 9 part b close reading connecting claim and evidence
Sample Item #9—Part BClose reading; connecting claim and evidence

Choose two quotations, one from each letter, that provide evidence for the claim made by both Abigail and John Adams. Drag each quotation into the appropriate box.

9 text structures modes of discourse expository forms
9 Text Structures, Modes of Discourse, Expository Forms
  • n Definition: explaining the explicit and implicit meanings of a concept, topic or idea
  • n Description: providing details that illustrate a character, place or event
  • n Procedural-Sequential: relating chronological or sequential events in some order
  • n Synthesis: summarizing; integrating important elements of an idea, concept or topic
  • n Analysis: examining by breaking down the elements of an idea, topic, concept issue or theme
  • n Comparison: contrasting similarities and differences
  • n Evaluation: providing a point of view based on a set of principles or criteria; critiquing; recommending
  • n Problem-Solution: examining a problem and proposing a solution(s)
  • n Cause-Effect: identifying a cause for an event or condition and examining the effect(s)
sample item 10 analytical essay freedom and independence as defined from two different perspectives
Sample Item #10Analytical essay: freedom and independence as defined from two different perspectives

Both John and Abigail Adams believed strongly in freedom and independence. However, their letters suggest that each of them understood these terms differently based on their experiences.

Write an essay that explains their contrasting views on the concepts of freedom and independence.

In your essay, make a claim about the idea of freedom and independence and how John and Abigail Adams add to that understanding and/or illustrate a misunderstanding of freedom and independence.

Support your response with textual evidence and inferences drawn from all three sources.

sample item 7 part a paraphrase
Sample Item #7—Part AParaphrase

In his letter, John Adams tells his wife that “through all the gloom, I an see the rays of ravishing light and glory.” Which paraphrase explains what Adams means by this statement?

  • Although I see the gloom (the announcement of independence), I also see the light and glory (the fighting we will have to do against Great Britain).
  • Although I see the gloom (the war we must continue to fight), I also see the light and glory (the complete independence of our new country from Great Britain).*
  • Although I see the gloom (the disgrace of declaring independence from Great Britain), I also see the light and glory (the many causes of the revolution).
  • Although I see the gloom (the hope with which independence from Great Britain was declared), I also see the light and glory (the approval of future generations).
sample item 3 part a two critical ideas
Sample Item #3—Part ATwo critical Ideas

Which statement accurately describes the relationship between two central ideas in the biography “Abigail Smith Adams”?

  • Abigail Adams had a significant amount of political influence for a woman of her time, and she used her influence in several ways, including trying to gain rights for women.*
  • Abigail Adams was given many opportunities to prove that women could handle the same tasks as men, and she studied a wide range of topics so that she could show that women could also be educated.
  • John Adams loved and respected his wife, and the letters they wrote each other are important because they show how a typical family was able to survive during the Revolutionary War.
  • President John Adams often called upon his wife Abigail for counsel on personal and political issues, and he encouraged her to help him determine his policy on women’s rights.
guided and scaffolded text sets close reading units guided research units
Guided and Scaffolded Text SetsClose Reading UnitsGuided Research Units
  • Juried materials that meet text complexity standards
  • Thematically related
  • Provide a context and theme
  • Some provide precise lessons (MCU and LDC)
  • Others (Odell and CSSOO) provide a theme and juried text sets that a teacher can shape
  • PARCC provides an assessment which you can use to teach in your classroom.
  • Other un-juried: New York Times provide weekly paired texts ELA, science, and social studies.
California Group Performance Assessments
core performance assessments
Core Performance Assessments
  • Provide some units for ELA and Math
  • Provide good examples of teacher and student instructions
  • Include writing to text modules in ELA
new york times
New York Times

Text to Text | ‘The Book Thief’ and ‘Auschwitz Shifts From Memorializing to Teaching’

  • Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.
  • See all in Language Arts, Social Studies, Sciencelesson plans »
  • Over the years we have written extensively about the Holocaust, and linked in our lessons to just a tiny fraction of the thousands of articles on the topic that can be found in The Times’sarchives.
  • For this edition of our new Text to Text series, we are focusing on just one Times article, paired with one powerful literary passage from the often-taught 2005 work “The Book Thief.”