Grade 8 English Language Arts



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2012-13 and 2013-14 Transitional Comprehensive Curriculum

Grade 8

English Language Arts


Unit 3: Laughing Out Loud—Humorous Fiction/Essays


Time Frame: Approximately four weeks


Unit Description

This unit focuses on reading and responding to humorous essays, humorous fiction, comic strips, and political cartoons. The characteristics of humor are defined, and a comparison/contrast of narrative elements is included. Writing humorous anecdotes and humorous persuasive essays provides an opportunity for student application of a writing process. Vocabulary development and grammar instruction occur within the context of the literature and student writing.



Student Understandings

Humor allows one to see the fallacies of human nature in a nonthreatening manner. The essence of humor is surprise. Humor techniques also include exaggeration and understatement. Humor may often be culture based. What is funny to one may not be funny to another. Through reading, discussions, assignments, and activities, students will make real-life connections to humor across cultures.



Guiding Questions





  1. Can students identify the techniques of humor: exaggeration, understatement, and surprise?

  2. Can students distinguish types of irony: verbal, situational, and dramatic?

  3. Can students draw inference from context clues in humor?

  4. Can students relate humor to personal experiences?


  5. Can students develop a personal anecdote and apply the standard rules of usage and sentence formation?


Unit 3 Grade-Level Expectations (GLEs) and Common Core State Standards (CCSS)


Grade-Level Expectations

GLE #

GLE Text and Benchmarks

01a.

Develop vocabulary using a variety of strategies, such as use of connotative and denotative meanings (ELA-1-M1)

01b.

Develop vocabulary using a variety of strategies, including use of Greek, Latin, and Anglo-Saxon roots and word parts (ELA-1-M1)

02a.

Interpret story elements, including stated and implied themes (ELA-1-M2)




02b.

Interpret story elements, including development of character types (e.g., flat, round, dynamic, static) (ELA-1-M2)

02c.

Interpret story elements, including effectiveness of plot sequence and/or subplots (ELA-1-M2)


02d.

Interpret story elements, including the relationship of conflicts and multiple conflicts (e.g., man vs. man, nature, society, self) to plot (ELA-1-M2)

02e.

Interpret story elements, including difference in third-person limited and omniscient points of view (ELA-1-M2)

02f.

Interpret story elements, including how a theme is developed (ELA-1-M2)

03a.

Interpret literary devices, including allusions (ELA-1-M2)

03b.

Interpret literary devices, including understatement (meiosis) (ELA-1-M2)

03c.

Interpret literary devices, including how word choice and images appeal to the senses and suggest mood and tone (ELA-1-M2)

03d.

Interpret literary devices, including the use of foreshadowing and flashback to direct plot development (ELA-1-M2)

03e.

Interpret literary devices, including the effects of hyperbole and symbolism

09a.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including sequencing events to examine and evaluate information (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2)


09b.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including summarizing and paraphrasing to examine and evaluate information (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2)

09c.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including interpreting stated or implied main ideas (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2)

09d.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including comparing and contrasting literary elements and ideas within and across texts (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2)

09e.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including making inferences and drawing conclusions (see ELA-1-M2)

09f.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including predicting the outcome of a story (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2

09g.

Demonstrate understanding of information in grade-appropriate texts using a variety of strategies, including identifying literary devices (ELA-7-M1) (see ELA-1-M2)

12.

Evaluate the effectiveness of an author’s purpose (ELA-7-M3)


13.

Analyze an author’s viewpoint by assessing appropriateness of evidence and persuasive techniques (e.g., appeal to authority, social disapproval (ELA-7-M3)

15d

Write complex, multiparagraph compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics organized with elaboration (anecdotes, relevant facts, examples, and/or specific details) (ELA-2-M1)

17a.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include word choices (diction) appropriate to the identified audience and/or purpose (ELA-2-M2)

17b

Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include vocabulary selected to clarify meaning, create images, and set a tone (ELA-2-M2)

17c.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include information/ideas selected to engage the interest of the reader (ELA-2-M2)

17d

Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include clear voice (ELA-2-M2)

17e.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions on student- or teacher-selected topics that include variety in sentence structure (ELA-2-M2)

18a.


Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as selecting topic and form (ELA-2-M3)

18b.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as prewriting (e.g., brainstorming, researching, raising questions, generating graphic organizers) (ELA-2-M3)

18c.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as drafting (ELA-2-M3)

18d.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as conferencing (e.g., peer and teacher) (ELA-2-M3)

18e.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as revising based on feedback and use of various tools (e.g., LEAP 21 Writer’s Checklist, rubrics) (ELA-2-M3)

18f.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as proofreading/editing (ELA-2-M3)

18g.

Develop grade-appropriate compositions by identifying and applying writing processes such as publishing using technology (ELA-2-M3)

19.

Develop grade-appropriate paragraphs and multiparagraph compositions using various modes of writing (e.g., description, narration, exposition, and persuasion), emphasizing narration and exposition (ELA-2-M4)


20c.

Use the various modes to write compositions, including essays defending a stated position (ELA-2-M4)

21.

Develop writing using a variety of literary devices, including understatements and allusions (ELA-2-M5)

22a.

Write for a wide variety of purposes, including persuasive letters that include appropriate wording and tone and that state an opinion (ELA-2-M6)

22b.

Write for a wide variety of purposes, including evaluations of advertisements, political cartoons, and speeches (ELA-M6)

23.

Use standard English capitalization and punctuation consistently (ELA-3-M2)




24a.

Write paragraphs and compositions following standard English structure and usage, including varied sentence structures and patterns, including complex sentences (ELA-3-M3)

24b.

Write paragraphs and compositions following standard English structure and usage, including phrases and clauses used correctly as modifiers (ELA-3-M3)

25a.

Apply knowledge of parts of speech in writing, including infinitives, participles, and gerunds (ELA-3-M3)


25b.

Apply knowledge of parts of speech in writing, including superlative and comparative degrees of adjectives (ELA-3-M4)

25c.

Apply knowledge of parts of speech in writing, including adverbs (ELA-3-M4)

26.

Spell high-frequency, commonly confused, frequently misspelled words and derivatives (e.g., roots and affixes) correctly (ELA-3-M5)

32.

Adjust volume and inflection to suit the audience and purpose of presentations (ELA-4-M3)

34.

Determine the credibility of the speaker (e.g., hidden agenda, slanted or biased materials) (ELA-4-M4)

35.

Deliver grade-appropriate persuasive presentations (ELA-4-M4)

36.

Summarize a speaker’s purpose and point of view (ELA-4-M4)

ELA CCSS

Reading Standards for Literature

RL.8.1

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


RL.8.3

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

RL.8.6

Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.

RL.8.7

Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the

choices made by the director or actors.



RL.8.10

By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band

independently and proficiently.



ELA CCSS

Reading Standards for Informational Text

RI.8.1

Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

ELA CCSS

Writing Standards

W.8.1a,b,c,d,e


Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  1. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

  2. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

  3. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

  4. Establish and maintain a formal style.

  5. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

W.8.2a,b,c,d,e,f


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

  1. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

  2. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

  3. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

  4. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

  5. Establish and maintain a formal style.
  6. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.


W.8.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well

as to interact and collaborate with others.



W.8.7

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

W.8.10

Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for

a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.



Speaking and Listening Standards

SL.8.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

  2. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

  3. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.


  4. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented

Language Standards

L.8.5a,b,c


Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

  1. Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.

  2. Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

  3. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

L.8.6

Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.




  • Please note that Bulletin 741 currently states that the minimum required number of minutes of English Language Arts instruction per week for Grade 8 is 550 minutes for schools with a six-period day and 500 minutes for schools with a 7-period day.



  • In Grades 6-8 the notations [R] for Reading and [E] for English (writing) are used to indicate the focus and intent of each activity.





  • Students advancing through the grades are expected to meet each year’s grade-specific standards and retain or further develop skills and understandings mastered in preceding grades.




  • It is strongly recommended that a teacher preview websites before students access them.



: documents -> common%20core%20standards
documents -> Friendship unit
common%20core%20standards -> Grade 5 English Language Arts Unit 4: Short Stories—Adventure Time Frame: Approximately five weeks Unit Description
common%20core%20standards -> Grade 6 English Language Arts Unit 2: Fiction: Realistic Fiction Time Frame
common%20core%20standards -> Unit 9: Spring Study Focus
common%20core%20standards -> Unit 8-1: Community Study Focus
common%20core%20standards -> Unit 5-1 : Families Study Focus
common%20core%20standards -> Refer to Unit 1 for blms
common%20core%20standards -> Grade 3 English Language Arts Unit 6: Reading and Writing Nonfiction Texts
common%20core%20standards -> Unit 7: Winter Study Focus
common%20core%20standards -> Unit 3: The Writing Process Time Frame: Approximately six weeks Unit Description


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