English with Mrs. Lueck

  • reading


    EOC Test Day May 11


    LEAP Test

  • Grade 8 English Units

    Students read literary and informational texts about knowledge and intelligence to understand what happens when humans try to manipulate the minds of others and how our understanding of intelligence has evolved over time. Students express their understanding of these ideas by exploring how authors draw on traditional stories and develop characters and themes to teach us about ourselves and others.
    Students read literary and informational texts to understand the impact that sugar production and trade had on the economic and social course of world history. Students express their understanding by exploring conflicting information about sugar through research, determining text credibility, and comparing and contrasting texts to make informed claims.


    Tell-Tale Heart

    Students read literary and informational texts to understand the role of the narrator and point of view. Students also understand how the narrative voice of a text can blur the line between fact and fiction. Students express their understanding through writing in different points of view and examining motives and bias in various media.




    English I Units

    Unit 1- Telling Details


    Unit 1 focuses students' attention on the telling details in the short stories they read. These details unlock clues to meaning, purpose, and author's craft that students can use to write insightful literary analyses. The collection of short stories in Unit 1 provides a wide range of literary elements and writing styles for students to analyze and then emulate in their own original short stories. By reading closely and working through the writing process carefully, students will learn to be more attentive readers and more confident writers.


    Instructional Sequence

    The first part of the unit provides students with the opportunity to read and analyze a wide range of short stories. The short stories cover several different genres and employ a variety of narrative techniques that force readers to pay attention to the small but important details. Through the use of sentence frames and other sentence writing strategies, students develop the ability to think and write analytically about literature in an appropriate register and tone. Composing a literary analysis paragraph in Activity 1.15 calls on all of the skills students have built to that point.

    As the unit progresses, students' study of short stories deepens through the exploration of literary elements and devices such as irony and allusion. They read stories, answer text-dependent questions, and work with others to make meaning and analyze author's craft. The work culminates in a longer literary analysis piece for Embedded Assessment 1.

    The final weeks of the unit focus on the creative writing process and revisiting the short stories from the first part of the unit as inspiration for students' own original stories. By reading about the writing processes of two professional writers and comparing literary elements across previously-read short stories, students move from being readers to being creators, applying their knowledge of author's craft for Embedded Assessment 2: Writing a Short Story.


    Unit 2- Pivotal Words and Phrases


    About the Unit


    Unit 2 takes students on a journey from poetry to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and back, all the while focusing on words and phrases that give texts meaning on the page and in performance. Students will explore how poets express deep meaning using only a few words, how performance choices affect a text's meaning, and how Shakespeare's language can be interpreted and reinterpreted centuries after he wrote his plays. Over the course of the unit, students will have the chance to write literary analysis essays and original poems and perform scenes from Shakespeare.

    Instructional Sequence

    The first part of the unit introduces students to the concept of pivotal words and phrases by asking them to analyze a found poem that is based on a short story they have read previously and write their own found poem. They then explore a poet's writing process and watch as a written poem comes alive through performance. As students transition into their study of Romeo and Juliet, they focus on how a good analysis of the text is necessary to create a good performance. After reading and performing a single scene, students are asked to reflect on their performance choices and write an analysis of another short passage, describing two ways they would interpret the lines as a director.

    As the unit progresses, students return to the beginning of Romeo and Juliet to study the play in its entirety. As part of Acting Companies they choose and analyze a scene to perform for Embedded Assessment 1.

    The final weeks of the unit return to the study of poetry, this time focusing not only on performance but also poetic form and prosody. After reading a diverse set of poems, students again work in groups to create and present literary analyses, original poems, and other creative products in a cohesive collection for Embedded Assessment 2.


    Unit 3- Compelling Evidence


    Unit 3 focuses on compelling evidence in both informational and argumentative texts. Through reading and analyzing personal essays, news articles, and opinion pieces, students explore the ways in which authors use anecdotes, facts, and data to develop their theses and support their claims. Students finish out the unit by working through the research process and creating a presentation about a career that interests them.

    Instructional Sequence

    The first part of the unit introduces students to the concept of compelling evidence through reading several essays, articles, and informational graphics that explore the value of work for young people. Students dissect different authors' arguments and bring the authors into a conversation by determining how each would respond to the others. Students ultimately write a multiple-paragraph analysis of how an author builds an argument.

    The study of evidence continues with an exploration of the value of college and culminates with students writing their own compelling arguments for Embedded Assessment 1.

    The final weeks of the unit allow students to identify a career that interests them and conduct research into it. Students apply analytical skills they have learned throughout the unit to sources they find independently, and then they present their findings in an appropriate format for Embedded Assessment 2.


    Unit 4- Powerful Openings


    Unit 4 focuses on novels—how authors build worlds for their characters to inhabit and draw their readers into those worlds. By examining the opening lines and paragraphs of several novels, students see how authors set the scene and get their readers to keep reading. Students then transition to studying the literary elements and themes of one novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The unit concludes with a deep investigation into the historical and cultural context of both the novel's story and publication.

    Instructional Sequence

    Unit 4 opens with an exploration of fictional openings, both in film and in novels. By reading just the openings of several novels, students gain an appreciation for the ways in which writers lure their readers in, one line at a time. Along the way students develop their literary analysis skills and write analysis essays that include powerful introductions and satisfying conclusions. After reading the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird, they write a multiple-paragraph essay analyzing Harper Lee's characterization of Scout.

    After reading the opening of To Kill a Mockingbird, students continue on reading the novel and analyzing Maycomb, its characters, and the many events that unfold there. Their study culminates in a literary analysis essay on a self-selected passage for Embedded Assessment 1.

    The final weeks of the unit deepen students' understanding of the novel by exploring the historical and cultural context in which the book is set, as well as the one in which it was written. Students apply analytical skills they have learned throughout the unit to sources they find independently, and they work collaboratively to present their findings in an appropriate format for Embedded Assessment 2.