Alignment: Overall Summary

Mirrors & Windows Grade 11 materials partially meet the expectations of alignment to the Common Core ELA standards. The materials include some instruction, practice, and authentic application of reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language work that is engaging and at an appropriate level of rigor for the grade.

Alignment

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Partially Meets Expectations

Gateway 1:

Text Quality

0
15
28
32
20
28-32
Meets Expectations
16-27
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway 2:

Building Knowledge

0
15
28
32
16
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
15
22
25
N/A
22-25
Meets Expectations
16-21
Partially Meets Expectations
0-15
Does Not Meet Expectations

Gateway One

Text Quality and Complexity and Alignment to the Standards with Tasks and Questions Grounded in Evidence

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway One Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the expectations for high-quality texts, appropriate text complexity, and evidence-based questions and tasks aligned to the standards. Although the Mirrors & Windows program includes a literature anthology of full texts and supporting excerpts that support exploration of literary and informational texts, materials do not meet the distribution of text types required by the standards. Some texts are appropriately complex for the grade level. Although the program utilizes a gradual release of responsibility reading model, students often do not receive support as texts become more complex. The progression of complexity does not increase across the year. Students read a variety of text types and have choice in their independent reading selections. Oral and written text-specific and text-dependent questions support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied. Materials support teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions. Materials provide frequent speaking and listening opportunities for students, with some opportunities for teacher modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax; however, materials lack evidence of speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. While materials provide opportunities for students to demonstrate what they are reading through various speaking opportunities, including opportunities that require students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these tasks are optional. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. While process writing includes opportunities for students to revise their work, Writing Workshops rarely include explicit instruction. While students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Explicit evidence-based writing instruction is largely absent. Materials include limited explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage. Materials miss opportunities to address standards or address standards that are included in a subsequent grade level. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Criterion 1a - 1e

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.

10/14
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the expectations for text quality and complexity. Materials include high-quality texts; however, text types do not reflect the balance informational and literary texts as required by the standards. Some texts are not appropriately complex and the progression of text complexity does not increase across the year.

Indicator 1a

Anchor texts are of high quality, worthy of careful reading, and consider a range of student interests.

4/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for Indicator 1a. 

Instructional materials contain a wide range of high-quality fiction and nonfiction text types that are rich in content, relevant, and engaging for students. Selections were chosen with the intention that students be able to learn more about themselves and the world around them, while making many cross-curricular connections. Additionally, texts are organized around and speak to universal themes. Each unit covers a specific historical period and is divided into subsections highlighting different writings of the era. Each subsection includes its own anchor text. 

Anchor texts in the majority of chapters/units and across the year-long curriculum are of high quality, consider a range of student interests, and are well-crafted and content rich, engaging students at their grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Renaissance 1800–1850, students read the lyric poem, “Thanatopsis” by William Cullen Bryant, an excerpt from the essay, “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and the short story, “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving.  Both the poem and essay are high quality, content rich texts, and the short story is an exemplary piece of narrative writing.

  • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read an excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass, an excerpt from the preface to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman,  and the poem, “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman. These thought-provoking anchor texts contain rich and relevant content.

  • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, anchor texts include an excerpt from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “A Wagner Matinee” by Willa Cather, and “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and ‘I, Too, Sing America” by Langston Hughes. These classic texts are thought-provoking, rich in content, and contain universal themes and cross-curricular connections.

  • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, subunit Conflict and Conformity, the anchor text is the classic play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. Students explore the impact of mass hysteria on a community in this story of the Salem Witch Trials. 

  • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students read “Though We May Feel Alone,” “Dream,” and “My Mother’s Blue Bowl” by Alice Walker followed by selections from other authors who explore various cultures, races, ethnicities, and writing styles. Students dive deeply into the style of Alice Walker and her universal theme of ancestral connections. 

Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Narrative Evidence Only
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 do not reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level. 

Text selections support American Literature coursework and include articles, drama, history, mythology, opinions, editorials, speeches and poetry. Although materials contain a variety of text types, materials do not reflect an appropriate balance of informational and literary texts. Of the 154 core and supporting texts students read during the year, 52 of the selections are informational, resulting in a 34/66 balance of informational and literary texts.

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the grade level standards but do not reflect a 70/30 balance of informational and literary texts. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • In Unit 1, Shaping the New World,Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read an excerpt from Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin. Students read a total of 24 core and supporting texts, including 12 informational core texts and three Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 63/37 balance of informational and literary texts. 

  • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read the short story, “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. Students also learn about the historical connection of the work to the Salem Witch Trials and the literary connection to another of Irving’s works, “Rip Van Winkle.” Students read a total of 22 core and supporting texts, including five informational core texts and two Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 32/68 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read three lyric poems by Emily Dickinson as part of the Author’s Focus section. Students read a total of 23 core and supporting texts, including six informational core texts and three Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 39/61 balance of informational and literary texts.  

  • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865-1916, students read “Keeping The Things Going While Things are Stirring,” a speech by Sojourner Truth. Students read a total of 26 core and supporting texts, including 11 informational core texts and four Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 58/42 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 7, The American Dream, sub-unit Conflict and Conformity, students explore a government document ,U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Brown vs Board of Education of Topeka.Students read a total of 18 core and supporting texts, including three informational core texts and three Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 33/67 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 8, Social Transition, sub-unit Personal Challenges, students read the short story, “The Rockpile” by James Baldwin. Students read a total of 25 core and supporting texts, including five informational core texts and two Informational Text Connection selections, resulting in a 28/72 balance of informational and literary texts.

  • In Unit 9, New Challenges, sub-unit Contemporary America, students explore the literary non-fiction text, “On the Mall” by Joan Didion. Students read a total of 28 core and supporting texts, including nine informational core texts, resulting in a 32/68 balance of informational and literary texts. 

Indicator 1c

Core/Anchor texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation should also include rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1c. 

Grade 11 texts quantitatively range between 320L–1550L for the year. Most texts that fall outside of the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band have qualitative measures that make them appropriately complex for the grade. The relationship of the quantitative and qualitative analyses to the associated reader task is not appropriately complex. While some Extend the Text tasks serve as associated reader tasks, these tasks are optional and may not occur during core instruction. Although materials include text complexity information for quantitative and qualitative measures, the documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. 

Core/Anchor texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to documented quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task. Documentation does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Anchor/Core texts do not have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative and qualitative analysis and relationship to their associated student task. 

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1950–1865, of the twenty-four selections students read, fourteen do not have a Lexile level. Four selections fall below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band, four fall above, and two fall within the stretch band. Students read an excerpt from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself, by Frederick Douglass (1070L). This text has a Reading Level of Moderate and falls below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. Difficulty Considerations include vocabulary, while length is listed as an Ease Factor. This text is paired with a Literature Connection selection, “Frederick Douglass,” a lyric poem by Robert Hayden (NP). While reading, students explore stereotypes and tone and engage in historical research. Students “[f]ind the stereotype Douglass mentions in this excerpt, and note how he dispels it. In addition, trace how the tone of the narrative changes from beginning to end. Jot down words and images that express tone.” Guidance also directs students to “be on the alert for cause-and-effect connections in Douglass’ narrative.” After reading both selections, students respond to Analyze Literature prompts addressing stereotype and tone. Students are not directed to use the notes they took while reading to complete this task nor do any post-reading tasks address cause-and-effect.    

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, of the thirty-four selections students read, twenty-six do not have a Lexile level. Six texts fall below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band and two fall within it. Students read an excerpt from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1170L). The text falls slightly below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band and has a Reading Level of Moderate. Some difficulty vocabulary is identified as a Difficulty Consideration, while Ease factors include dialogue and easy conversational style. As a learning objective, students understand and analyze the narrator and describe the setting, extending their thinking to understand how the narrator and setting work together to create a sense of a particular time and place. Students use a two-column list to “record details indicating the setting, characters, narrative, or theme” while reading the text. Students ``[a]lso identify the narrator and determine his relationship to Gatsby. Consider why Fitzgerald chose this character to tell the story.” After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature questions addressing setting and narrator. Students do not use their two-column list to respond to the questions. During the Creative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students ``[c]hoose one of the scenes from the party, and rewrite it to be set in the current time. In a one-paragraph description, include details that indicate the scene’s new setting.” This associated reader task is optional and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.   

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, of the twenty-five selections students read, thirteen do not have a Lexile level. Nine fall below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band, two fall within, and one falls significantly above the stretch band. Students read John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” (1340L). This text falls within the Grades 11–12 Lexile Stretch Band and has a Reading Level of Moderate. Difficulty Considerations include historical context and vocabulary and the Ease Factor is length. While reading, students analyze the author’s purpose and use of repetition. In addition, students explore the relevance of issues in a historical context. After reading, students respond to Analyze Literature questions addressing purpose and repetition. Extend the Text options do not address purpose or repetition. 

  • Anchor/Core texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by an accurate text complexity analysis; however, the text complexity analysis does not include a rationale for educational purpose and placement in the grade level.

    • The text overview page for each selection includes the following text complexity information: Reading Level and Lexile level, Difficulty Considerations, and Ease Factors. Materials do not explain the educational purpose of the text and the reason for its placement in the grade level.

Indicator 1d

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1d. 

While series of texts are largely at a variety of complexity levels, the complexity levels of anchor texts and supporting texts students read do not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to grow across the year. Extend the Text tasks, while optional, often do not provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the focus area. When provided, associated reader tasks do not increase in complexity over the course of the year. While the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model “emphasizes scaffolded instruction,” it is unclear which texts are Directed Reading selections and which are Independent Reading selections, as the Reading Support levels are not identified on the Scope & Sequence guide or on the text overview pages. 

Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band to support students’ literacy growth over the course of the school year. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • The complexity of anchor texts students read does not provide an opportunity for students’ literacy skills to increase across the year, encompassing an entire year’s worth of growth. 

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, texts range from 920L–1950L. Students read an excerpt from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Seven Years Concealed, an autobiography by Harriet Jacobs (Linda Brent) (920L). This text is significantly below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. The Reading Level for this text is listed as Moderate with background information on slavery and high-level vocabulary identified as Difficulty Considerations and sympathetic narrator, first-person point of view, and compelling story. During the Independent Reading selection, students focus on irony, characterization, and chronological order, responding to Analyze Literature prompts addressing the aforementioned literary elements. Writing Options tasks do not address irony, characterization, and chronological order nor do the questions and tasks address the requirements of the standard: “Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.”

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, texts range from 740L–1370L. The second of four anchor texts is “A Wagner Matinee,” a short story by Willa Cather (1370L). This text is slightly above the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. Materials list the Reading Level as Moderate with references to the narrator’s youth listed as a Difficulty Consideration and length identified as an Ease Factor. To frame students’ work with analyzing the narrator, point of view, and characterization, the Set Purpose section of the text overview includes this guidance: “As you read, consider what information is provided by Clark, the narrator, and whether it is reliable. On what does he base his opinion of his aunt? Consider, too, the other ways Cather creates the character of Aunt Georgiana. Make predictions about what you think will happen, based on the narrator’s point of view. Correct or confirm those predictions as you read.” Although students respond to various Analyze Literature questions that address the aforementioned literary elements during reading, Extend the Text options do not provide an opportunity for an associated reader task that addresses the elements of focus or their associated standard: “Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).”

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, texts range from 860L–1430L. At the start of the unit, students read “The Life You Save May Be Your Own,” a short story by Flannery O’Connor (990L). This text is significantly below the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. Materials list the Reading Level of this selection as Moderate with dialect identified as a Difficulty Consideration and style listed as an Ease Factor. Materials define characterization and dialect and direct students to “analyze the characterization techniques [O’Connor] uses to develop the characters in the story.” Students also “analyze her use of dialect in creating characters, “writ[ing] down specific examples of dialect in the story.” Students examine and discuss Analyze Literature prompts and notes that address characterization and dialect both during and after reading. During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students "[w]rite an essay analyzing the complexities of the character of Mr. Shiftlet,” organizing their analysis “in terms of the direct and indirect characterization techniques, devoting a paragraph to each.”  

  • As texts become more complex, some scaffolds and/or materials are provided in the Teacher Edition (e.g., spending more time on texts, more questions, repeated readings, skill lessons)

    • The front matter of the Teacher Edition explains the program’s gradual release of responsibility reading model: “Close Reading Models walk students through the selections and demonstrate how to analyze literature and apply reading skills and strategies to each genre.” Next, the gradual release reading model transitions students to Directed Reading. During this stage, “the teacher begins to transfer responsibility to the students. Students are directed through explicit pre- and post-reading instruction, but during-reading support is reduced to encourage students to practice reading skills and monitor comprehension on their own.” The reading model concludes with Independent Reading. This stage “advances the total release of responsibility from the teacher to the students, who can now apply the skills and knowledge required to read increasingly more difficult selections on their own.”

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read an excerpt from the preface to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman (1950L) and an excerpt from “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman (NP). Materials list the Reading Level of the preface excerpt for Leaves of Grass as Challenging with metaphor; background needed; more description than action; formal language; and long, complicated sentences identified as Difficulty Considerations. The quantitative measure places this text far above the Grades 11–CCR Lexile Stretch Band. The Reading Level for the excerpt from “I Hear America Singing” is listed as Easy with personification listed as a Difficulty Consideration and length and simple language listed as Ease Factors. The Build Background section of the text overview provides literary context for both selections. The Analyze Literature inset of the text overview defines Romanticism and free verse. The after-reading Analyze Literature inset includes additional context on elements of Romanticism and free verse. Materials do not provide support for the remaining Difficulty Considerations. 

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” (1340L). The Reading Level for this text is listed as Moderate with historical context and vocabulary identified as Difficulty Considerations. The Build Background section of the text overview includes some historical context information. The text overview includes a list of Preview Vocabulary words. Materials include footnotes that define these words as students read the text.

Indicator 1e

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading.

2/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for Indicator 1e. 

Students read texts of varying difficulty and lengths within units and across the entire year as they explore American history. As part of the gradual release of responsibility model, each unit has subsections that focus on forms of literature from the time period under study, with Directed Readings followed by Independent Readings. The end of each unit contains a section called For Your Reading List, a collection of suggested titles with brief summaries from which students choose for reading outside the classroom. Besides the Independent Reading selections found in the Teacher’s Edition and the Student Editions, the eSelections ancillary provides a collection of additional Independent Reading selections along with programmatic instruction. More Independent Reading selections can also be found in the eLibrary, an online collection of PDFs of excerpts and full texts, as well as through StoryShares, an online third-party resource of free materials searchable by interest and grade level. The Program Planning Guide contains a blank Reading Log that students can use to track their outside reading. This document includes columns where students can fill in the date, title, author, pages read, and summary/reactions each week.

Materials provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to support their reading at grade level by the end of the school year, including accountability structures for independent reading. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and support for students to engage in reading a variety of text types and genres.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, in the Crisis of Ideals subsection, students read two autobiographies, two lyric poems, a short story, a speech, and two letters. 

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, in the Facing Grim Realities subsection, students read two literary nonfiction excerpts, a novel excerpt, a letter, a short story, a speech, a biography, a lyric poem, and advertisement, and a memoir. 

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students read the following texts:”“Though We May Feel Alone,” a poem by Alice Walker, “The Names of Women,” an essay by Louise Erdrich, “Mother Tongue,” an essay by Amy Tan, “Straw into Gold: The Metamorphosis of the Everyday,” an essay by Sandra Cisneros, “Throughput,”an excerpt from Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, “On the Mall,” literary nonfiction by Joan Didion, and “Couplet: Old-Timers’ Day, Fenway Park, 1 May 1982,” a lyric poem by Donald Hall. 

  • Instructional materials clearly identify opportunities and supports for students to engage in a volume of reading.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, in the Realism and Naturalism subsection, students read three short stories, an essay, a memoir, four lyric poems, and a piece of process writing over the course of nine regular class periods or 4.5 block schedule periods. 

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, in the Southern Renaissance section, students read five short stories, a speech, an excerpt from a novel, and an essay. The Visual Planning Guide allots eleven regular class periods to cover these texts.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read a volume of texts, including short stories, elegies, lyric poems, essays, eulogies, memoirs, and newspaper articles. Materials list instructional supports, such as Unit and Selection Resources and Differentiated Instruction manuals, in the Visual Planning Guide.  

  • There is sufficient teacher guidance to foster independence for all readers (e.g., proposed schedule and tracking system for independent reading).

    • The Program and Planning Guide contains a Reading Log for students to track their reading. In addition, each unit contains a Visual Planning Guide that begins with the Directed Reading selections and ends with the Independent Reading selections. This guide provides lesson and pacing suggestions.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, in the For Your Reading List section, students choose from a list of suggested works from the time period to read outside the classroom. Text selections include: Great Short Works of Herman Melville by Herman Melville, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, American Women Poets of the 19th Century edited by Cheryl Walker, Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West by Stephen E. Ambrose, The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, and The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Students track their reading progress on a weekly Reading Log that is included in the Program Planning Guide. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, in the For Your Reading List Section, students choose from a list of suggested works from the time period to read outside the classroom. Text selections include: Quiet Strength: the Faith, the Hope, and the Heart of a Woman Who Changed a Nation by Rosa Parks with Gregory J. Reed, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle by Charles M. Payne, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era by Elaine Tyler May, A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'Connor, Invisible Man by Ralph Waldo Ellison. Students track their reading progress on a weekly Reading Log that is included in the Program Planning Guide. 

  • Independent reading procedures are included in the lessons.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, the first independent reading selection is an excerpt from Snow-Bound, a poem by John Greeneaf Whittier. The Teacher’s Edition includes objectives for reading the selection, a suggestion for how to launch the lesson, a Mirrors & Windows question, prompts for analyzing the text, a suggestion for critical viewing, targeted reading skills, text-dependent questions and writing options.

    • In Unit 3 , A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, within the Independent Reading portion of the unit, the For Your Reading List section contains student guidance and suggestions for selecting and reading texts independently. In addition, the Teacher’s Edition provides recommendations for how teachers can assign students to small groups to choose one of the independent reading selections to present as a dramatization. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, the first Independent Reading selection is “Once More to the Lake,” an essay by E.B. White. The Teacher’s Edition includes objectives for reading the selection, a suggestion for how to launch the lesson, a Mirrors & Windows question, prompts for analyzing the text, suggested reading skills, text-dependent questions and writing options.

Criterion 1f - 1m

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

10/18
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the expectations for evidence-based discussions and writing about texts. Materials include oral and written questions and tasks grounded in the text, requiring students to use information from the text to support their answers and demonstrate comprehension of what they are reading. Materials do not include speaking and listening protocols. Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers; however, materials lack relevant follow-up questions and supports. Although materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing, writing opportunities in each mode are unevenly distributed. Writing Workshops include revision and editing opportunities; however, materials rarely include explicit writing instruction. Although students have opportunities to write about what they are reading, including opportunities to support their analyses and claims using evidence from texts and/or sources, many of these opportunities are optional. Materials lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction. Materials miss opportunities for explicit instruction of grade-level grammar and usage standards. Opportunities for authentic application in context are limited. Although materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts, materials do not outline the program’s plan for vocabulary development or provide teacher guidance to support students’ vocabulary development.

Indicator 1f

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, 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 materials reviewed for Grade 11 meet the criteria for Indicator 1f.  

The majority of the oral and written questions, tasks, and assignments require students to cite textual evidence to support their responses and claims. The Teacher’s Edition contains ample direction for teachers to follow in guiding these activities and in understanding what to look for in students’ work through sample student responses and Critical Thinking Discussion Guides. Text-specific and text-dependent questions can be found before and during reading in the Guided Reading section and after reading in the Directed and Independent Reading sections. Boxes alongside the text, labeled Close Read, contain text-based questions that students respond to during reading. The Teacher Wrap also contains questions of this nature even when the Close Read questions drop away as students move into Directed Reading. Each text contains an after reading section with text-specific and text-dependent questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge levels. Refer to Text questions require students to recall facts and Reason with Text questions require students to apply higher level thinking skills. Analyze Literature questions focus on a particular literary element or compare literature. Comparing Texts questions require students to analyze two reading selections by comparing and contrasting literary elements. Text to Text questions consider the relationships between literature, informational texts, and primary source materials. 

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text-specific and/or text-dependent, 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). Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Text-specific and text-dependent questions and tasks support students in making meaning of the core understandings of the texts being studied.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read and compare two nonfiction texts, an excerpt from The General History of Virginia by John Smith, and an excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. After reading both texts, students respond to text-dependent prompts in the Compare Literature: Point of View section: “What point or points of view does each writer use? What effects does the writer's choice have on the telling of the story? Consider which story seems more real or compelling.”

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read an excerpt from the essay, Walden by Henry David Thoreau. After reading, students answer a series of text-specific questions such as “Why did Thoreau go to the woods? Why did he leave the woods? Compare and contrast the two reasons.”

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read the informational text, “ Battle for the Belle of Amherst”  by Daniel Terdiman as part of a connected text set containing a series of poems by Emily Dickinson. After reading, students answer review questions, such as “Identify each designer's concept for a video game based on Emily Dickinson. Why would major video game designers be interested in creating a game based on a very private poet like Dickinson?”

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read the dramatic monologue, “The Love Song  of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T. S. Eliot. The Teacher Edition contains a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide prompt: “As Prufrock describes himself, he is insecure and self contemptuous. Would the character have been more believable and more sympathetic if he did not present himself in such an unflattering light? Explain your response.”

  • Teacher materials provide support for planning and implementation of text-based questions and tasks. 

    • Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson. The Analyze Text Organization section includes the following teacher guidance:  “Review with students the problem/solution organization of the Declaration of Independence” to compare and contrast ideas expressed in different paragraphs.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. The Teach the Selection section includes an Analyze Literature: Plot and Exposition task.  Teacher guidance includes: “Have students note where the exposition ends and the rising action begins to develop the conflict.” 

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read “Much Madness is divinest Sense,” “I heard a Fly buzz when I died,” “Because I could not stop for Death,” and “This is my letter to the World” by Emiliy Dickinson.  Within the Teach the Selection portion of the materials, students complete several summary tasks. During the Analyze Literature section, students complete a personification activity associated with “Because I could not stop for Death.” Teacher guidance includes: “Students may note that the speaker appreciates the civility of Death and, by extension, of the process of dying. Personification appears twice in the final lines: The Horse's Heads (probably an allusion to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse) are facing Eternity.”

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the short story, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London. During reading, teacher guidance in the Teacher's Edition includes, “Explain that a foil is a character whose attributes contrast with and therefore highlight the attributes of another character. Ask students to explain how the dog can be seen as a foil for the man, his owner. What characteristics of the man are highlighted? Answer: the dog relies on its instincts, which tell it that it is too dangerously cold to be venturing outside.” The inclusion of possible student responses supports teachers with planning and implementing text-based questions.

Indicator 1g

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1g.

The materials provide frequent opportunities for students to engage in speaking and listening activities and projects. Materials also include directions for conducting such exercises; however, there are no protocols for these activities and projects found in the core materials, nor is there guidance for how or when teachers should model speaking and listening techniques. At the end of each unit, materials include a Speaking and Listening Workshop where students can practice, present, and actively listen to oral presentations. These Workshops include steps on how to conduct a particular speaking and listening project, as well as a rubric and speaking and listening tips. 

Materials provide frequent opportunities for speaking and listening; however, speaking and listening opportunities do not include protocols. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials do not provide varied protocols for speaking and listening to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills across the whole year’s scope of instructional materials. 

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, in the Speaking & Listening Workshop, students learn how to present a literary work. The Workshop includes explanations for each of the following steps: select a work, familiarize yourself with the work, practice the work aloud, memorize the work, present the oral interpretation. Materials provide a Speaking and Listening Rubric for Content and Delivery that includes these elements: “The literary work is appropriate for the audience. The volume, pace, and enunciation (clarity of speech) fit the selection. The tone (emotional quality) and emphasis of delivery are effective.” Although materials include directions for students to complete this Workshop, there is no evidence of protocols for students to conduct the speaking and listening task and develop their speaking and listening skills.  

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the paired texts, “I Will Fight No More Forever,” a speech by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce, and “I am the Last of My Family,” a speech by Cochise of the Chiricahua. In the Extend the Text section, students “Address a Jury” during the Critical Literacy activity. Directions for the activity include: “Imagine that you are an attorney representing the Nez Perce in a lawsuit against the U.S. government. Prepare an address to a civil jury, stating what Chief Joseph’s people have lost and how they should be compensated. Ask six of your classmates (the number of people on a civil jury) to be jurors and listen to your presentation. The jurors should take notes on your position and the evidence to support it. After the presentation, ask the jurors for their feedback and questions. Discuss as a group.” Although materials include directions for students to complete this optional task, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read “The Life You Save May Be Your Own” by Flannery O’Connor. The Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on self-generated questions. Students work in pairs and “reread a section of the text and write down any questions that arise during their reading.” As a class, students go back through each section of the text and discuss the questions. While the Teaching Note includes directions for the activity, there is no evidence of a specific protocol used to support students’ developing speaking and listening skills. 

  • Teacher guidance includes modeling of academic vocabulary and syntax during speaking and listening opportunities.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Renaissance 1800–1850, students read an excerpt from Nature by Ralph Waldo Emerson. As the students analyze the text, the teacher defines aphorism, “a short saying that makes an often witty observation about life.” The teacher and students examine sentences in the passage, and the teacher encourages students to identify the sentences as aphorisms. The class then discusses “how such concise statements allow the writer to convey important ideas briefly and in a way that challenges readers to reflect on them.” 

    • In Unit 5, Progress & Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read excerpts from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls. When framing the readings, the teacher instructs students on point of view using examples from The Great Gatsby and For Whom the Bell Tolls to illustrate first-person and third-person points of view. The teacher uses the following questions to facilitate discussion on the narrator of each work: “Who is telling the story? What is the narrator’s relation to the other characters? Is the narrator’s perspective, or point of view, limited in any way? Is the narrator reliable?”

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” The teacher explains the contextual use of argument, a “logical reason for accepting or rejecting a provable statement of belief or course of action,” using King’s argument supporting the march in Birmingham. During a discussion, students “consider the arguments for and against civil disobedience as a means of protesting unjust laws” as they respond to the following question: “Under what conditions is this approach to social change justified, and when might it not be justified?” 

Indicator 1h

Materials support students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1h. 

Materials include opportunities for stand-alone and text-based discussions. Students may respond to Close Reading, Analyze Literature, Use Reading Skills, Refer to Text, and Reason with Text questions in writing or orally as instructed by their teacher. Where appropriate, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains Critical Thinking Discussion Guides, which provide opportunities for text-based discussions. Although the Discussion Guide includes a series of text-specific questions and suggested answers, materials do not provide evidence of follow-up questions or supports, such as entry points for students who may have difficulty initiating or engaging in conversation. Some Extend the Text options include speaking and listening opportunities; however, the enactment of these activities are based on teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. Mirrors & Windows, and Use Reading Skills: Make Connections questions are often stand-alone in nature, allowing students to reflect on personal experiences while discussing sub-themes and topics related to texts of study. Materials do not include evidence of teacher guidance for monitoring students’ speaking and listening opportunities. Explicit speaking and listening instruction occurs during the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop; however, this Workshop is not a part of core instruction.

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

  • Speaking and listening instruction includes some facilitation, monitoring, and instructional supports for teachers.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes the following guidance for a close reading of Walt Whitman’s “I Hear America Singing.” “As you lead a class discussion on Whitman’s ‘I Hear America Singing,’ begin by asking a student to read the poem aloud. Remind students to listen for these elements of poetry: rhythm and repetition of initial consonant sounds (alliteration) and of internal vowel sounds (assonance), of words, and of grammatical structures. Ask students to consider the effects of the various elements when they are heard aloud. For instance, the catalog of workers emphasizes their number and suggests their contribution to American life.” Though the materials include these directions, there is no evidence of teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussion or instructional support for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversation.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition contains a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide for the oral history excerpt from Black Elk Speaks by Nicholas Black Elk and John G. Neihardt: “Write this statement from Fire Thunder on the board in large type: ‘I was not after horses; I was after Wasichus.’ Ask students to imagine that this was the headline in a newspaper for a white American audience at the time of the battle. How might readers have felt about the Lakota after reading this headline? What stereotypes might this statement have created? Discuss whether knowing the rest of the story might change attitudes. Ask students to think of contemporary examples in which a so-called sound byte gives one impression, while knowing more of the story gives a different impression.” Materials include suggested answers, but there is no  evidence of guidance for monitoring the student discussion or for supporting any learners struggling in taking part in the discussion. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read Allen Ginsberg’s lyric poem, “A Supermarket in California.” During the Collaborative Learning Extend the Text option, students work in small groups of three or four to discuss at least two of the following text-based questions: “What literal and/or figurative meanings does each question seem to have? Is the question rhetorical, or does the speaker actually seek an answer?” Materials do not include evidence of  teacher guidance on monitoring the student discussions or instructional supports for students who may be having difficulty starting or engaging in the conversations. The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

  • Students may have multiple opportunities over the school year to demonstrate what they are reading through varied speaking and listening opportunities. Instruction occurs during the Extend the Text section, that contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read “The Devil and Tom Walker” by Washington Irving. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Critical Thinking Discussion Guide that directs teachers to “Discuss with students the concept of the Faustian bargain, or selling one’s soul to the devil.” The questions in this guide include “Although this is an age-old moral question, in what forms does it appear today?” and “Are there situations in which crime (or immorality) does pay? Explain.”

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, in the Extend the Text section for the dramatic monologue,“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Eliot, students have the option of writing a situation comedy: “Work with a small group to write an episode of a situation comedy about a man like J. Alfred Prufrock. Change the tragic elements of his psychological profile into humorous traits. Perform the episode for your class.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, while reading Act I of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, the teacher leads a discussion of the role of Rebecca Nurse in this scene by asking the following questions:

      • “What role does Rebecca Nurse play in this scene?

      • Who agrees with her?  Who disagrees with her? What opinion do her opponents express?  Why might they be unwilling to listen to her? 

      • When have you been the ‘voice of reason’? 

      • When have you failed to listen to the voice of reason?” 

  • Speaking and listening work requires students to utilize, apply, and incorporate evidence from texts and/or sources.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read “Much Madness is divinest Sense,” “I heard a Fly buzz - when I died-,” “Because I could not stop for Death-,” and “This is my letter to the World” by Emily Dickinson. Students also read “Battle for the Belle of Amherst,” an article by Daniel Terdiman. In the Extend the Text section, the optional Collaborative Learning task directs students to compose a speech: “Should governments support writers financially? Work with a small group to present your position to the class in a formal speech, using evidence and rhetorical devices to persuade the audience. As you listen to other groups, identify the evidence they use to support their positions. How does this evidence affect your perspective on the issue?” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, students read an excerpt from John Steinbeck’s novel, The Grapes of Wrath. During the Lifelong Learning Extend the Text option, students use print and online sources to “find historical accounts of people’s lives during the Depression.” Students use the following questions to guide their work: “What hardships did many people experience in the Depression? Did the Depression affect people differently in urban and rural areas? What lasting effects did the Depression have on people’s lives?” Students use the information they gather to “prepare and present a speech in which [they] analyze the differences and similarities of historical accounts,” using “excerpts from the accounts to support [their] analysis.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose and as a result, may not occur during core instruction.   

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, in the Critical Literacy Extend the Text option for “Report From Part One,” “To Black Women,” and “The Explorer” by Gwendolyn Brooks, students celebrate African-American women: “With a small group of classmates, plan a celebration of the works of African-Americam women poets. Write an introduction for each poet; then select one of her poems to share with the group or the class. Explain the themes the poet writes about and how one or more are evidenced in the poem you selected.” The Extend the Text section contains four options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1i

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g., multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1i. 

Materials offer both on-demand and process writing opportunities for students primarily in post-reading Extend the Text tasks and End-of-Unit Writing Workshops. Extend the Text sections contain two, mode-specific writing prompts, and each Writing Workshop focuses on a specific mode of writing. The Workshops guide students through the entire writing process—prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, and publishing. Materials also include a student model and instructional guidance for teachers in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher’s Edition; however, there is no guidance to indicate where students should compose their writing. The Writing and Grammar Handbook offers in-depth lessons that expand on these Writing Workshops, and the Writing section of the Language Arts Handbook also offers detailed information for students on the writing process and modes and purposes of writing; however, these ancillary materials are not part of core instruction. Because teachers have the choice of which Extend the Text exercises to complete, there is no guarantee that students will complete the writing opportunities offered. Materials utilize digital resources where appropriate.

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

  • Materials include on-demand writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students complete a Writng Skills task as part of the Test Practice Workshop. During this on-demand timed writing task, students respond to the following prompt: “The outcome of Aesop’s fable, ‘The Tortoise and the Hare,’suggests that ‘Slow and steady wins the race.’ Some people agree with this belief, suggesting that being thorough and working steadily toward a goal will ensure success. Others argue that in today's fast-changing world, doing things quickly and with flash or style is more important. In general, whom do you think will do better in high school: the student who is thorough and steady or the one who is fast and flashy? Take a position on this question. You may write about one of the two perspectives given, or you may present a different perspective on this question.” The Test Practice Workshop is an optional activity and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, in the Extend the Text section for “Poetry” by Marianne Moore ,and “Arts Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish, one of the post-reading writing options is an argumentative writing task that asks students to imagine they have been debating the ideas expressed in the two poems. Students “write [their] friend a paragraph explaining which view of poetry—Moore’s or MacLeish’s—most corresponds with your own and why.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, in the Extend the Text section for “The Rockpile,” by James Baldwin, students may complete the following informative writing task: “In developing characters, authors sometimes portray how one character’s behavior affects the other characters. Analyze this cause-and-effect relationship among the characters in ‘The Rockpile’.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher may choose. As a result, this activity may not occur during core instruction.

  • Materials include process writing opportunities that cover a year’s worth of instruction. Opportunities for students to revise and edit are provided.

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students complete a Writing Workshop on descriptive writing, during which they “plan, write, and revise a description of a setting.” The Workshop directions include the purpose and audience for the scene and guide students through the entire process of writing the scene: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, publishing, and presenting. Materials include a Student Model to support students’ revision work. 

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students complete a Writing Workshop on narrative writing: “Plan, write, and revise an application essay telling of an experience that led to personal growth or self-discovery.” The Workshop directions include the purpose and audience for the essay and guide students through the entire process of writing the essay: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing and proofreading, publishing, and presenting. 

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, the Writing Workshop focuses on writing a research paper. Materials provide guidance during each stage of the writing process. During the revision stage, materials support students with evaluating their draft and revising their work for content, organization, and style. Guidance emphasizes developing the opening, middle, and end of the story. Materials include an annotated Student Model based on the Revision Checklist. The Writing Follow-Up provides guidance on publishing and presenting, as well as approaches to students reflecting on their writing. 

  • Materials include digital resources where appropriate. 

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read the lyric poem, “Thanatopsis,” by William Cullen Bryant. During the Media Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to create an art exhibit: “As explained in the Art Connection on page 92, the painting shown at the start of this selection is an example of the Hudson River School of painting. On the Internet, locate a few other paintings done in this style; if possible, print them. For each painting, give the name of the artist and the dates of his or her life; then provide a brief description of the painting.” 

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the short story, “To Build a Fire,” by Jack London. During the Critical Literacy Extend the Text option, students use digital resources to read and write about Jack London’s letters: “Much of what we know about famous people and their time comes from their letters, which are primary sources. Go online to find letters written by Jack London. Take notes on the biographical data you collect. Then write a paragraph explaining what you learned about London.”

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read the play, The Crucible, by Arthur Miller. During the Critical Literacy Extend the Text option for Act IV, students use digital resources to study the judicial system: “Using the Internet and library sources, locate materials that explain what a person should do when accused of a crime. Synthesize, or combine, the information to create a one-page guide to navigating the judicial system for defendants.”

Indicator 1j

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1j. 

Materials provide some opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply different writing modes during on-demand and longer process writing tasks across the school year. Materials include  on-demand creative, narrative, informative, and descriptive writing opportunities during the post-reading Extend the Text section. Because these tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, there is no guarantee students will complete the provided tasks. Other opportunities for writing occur when students read eSelections that are available in Passport, a digital component of the materials. With access to Passport, students have the ability to use Criterion, which is an online writing evaluation tool; however, it is unclear how to access it or use it. Without access to the digital platform, it is unclear how and where students compose their writing. Process writing instruction and tasks occur during the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops; however, explicit instruction is limited and materials do not meet the required distribution required by the standards.

Materials provide some opportunities for students to address different text types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:  

  • Materials provide some opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply different genres/modes/types of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. 

    • Materials include the following Writing Workshops— one informative, four argumentative, three descriptive, one narrative—resulting in an uneven distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards.

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students learn about narrative writing during the end-of-unit Writing Workshop. Students learn how to “write a college application essay of five hundred words that tells how an experience you had led to your personal growth or some discovery about yourself.” During the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information, organize their ideas using a graphic organizer, and write a thesis statement. Students use a three-part framework—introduction, body, and conclusion—to write their essay. Students use the provided Revision Checklist to evaluate their draft before publishing, presenting, and reflecting on their work. Materials include Draft Stage and Revise Stage models, as well as a Student Model. Teacher guidance includes, “Direct students’ attention to the model. Point out the side questions that focus attention on major parts of the essay: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.” Although materials do not provide any other opportunities for students to learn and apply narrative writing, students do have opportunities to practice narrative writing during optional activities, such as on-demand Extend the Text writing tasks and End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshops.

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, students “[p]lan, create, and edit a multimedia presentation” on a “topic related to World War II or the Depression '' during the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop. During the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information, write a controlling idea that conveys their overall message, and organize their ideas chronologically. During the Draft stage, students compose the introduction, body, and conclusion of the script they will use when delivering or recording their presentation. In the Revise stage, students evaluate their draft and make revisions to content, organization, and style using the provided Revision Checklist. In the final stage, Deliver or Record, students practice presenting their final product and either deliver the presentation to the class or record the presentation for future viewing. Materials include a Writing Follow-Up rubric that includes presentation and reflection criteria. Although materials do not provide further opportunities for students to learn and apply informative writing, students do have opportunities to practice informative writing during optional activities, such as on-demand Extend the Text writing tasks and End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshops.

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students return to argumentative writing as they learn how to write a research paper during the end-of-year Writing Workshop. During the Prewrite stage, students select a topic, gather information using a working bibliography, write a thesis statement, and organize their ideas using a list and a formal outline. Students use a three-part framework—introduction, body, and conclusion—to write their research paper, and focus on avoiding plagiarism and their use of quoting, paraphrasing, and summarizing. Students follow the Modern Language Association (MLA) style to document and cite sources. Materials direct students to reference the style guide “for additional examples of types of sources as well as complete Works Cited lists.” Students use the provided Revision Checklist to evaluate their draft before publishing, presenting, and reflecting on their work. Materials include a Student Model. Teacher guidance includes, “Read through the model with students. Discuss the answers to the margin questions in the model to help students identify the thesis, see how the topic is developed, and recognize a strong conclusion.” The teacher also uses the Works Cited page of the student model “to review formatting for different kinds of sources.” Materials provide three more opportunities for students to learn, practice, and apply argumentative writing—when defending a viewpoint during the Unit 1 Writing Workshop, when solving a problem during the Unit 3 Writing Workshop, and when reviewing a film or play during the Unit 7 Writing Workshop.

  • Different genres/modes/types of writing are distributed throughout the school year; however, there is no core instructional path. Writing opportunities may not occur during core instruction. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in argumentative writing. 

      • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read two selections by Abraham Lincoln, “The Gettysburg Address” and “The Second Inaugural Address.” Afterwards, students ``[a]nalyze two contemporary political debates for logical fallacies, such as non sequiturs, circular logic, and hasty generalizations” and use their analysis “to write an essay that cautions the president against using logical fallacies.” Students must cite “examples from the debates [they] studied and adjust [their] responses when valid evidence warrants.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

      • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, after reading “A Noiseless Flash," an excerpt from Hiroshima by John Hersey, students write in response to the following prompt: “Write one page in which you argue which would be more effective: a novel about the bombing of Hiroshima, told by a fictional character in the story, or a nonfiction account about the survivors, written from a journalist’s perspective. Address the benefits and drawbacks of each type of work.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

      • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read a paired selection containing Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail," and Foster Hailey’s “Dr. King Arrested at Birmingham.” During one of the Extend the Text options, students write in response to the following prompt: “Write a brief analysis of King’s arguments, identifying their strengths and weaknesses and explaining why you agree or disagree. Include and defend inferences and conclusions drawn from King’s ideas and the way he organized them.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in informative/explanatory writing. 

      • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read “Song of the Sky Loom," a tribal song by Tewa. After reading, students may complete an Informative Writing task in which they write an essay comparing and contrasting the characters and text structure of the song and a contemporary work. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, in the Extend the Text activities for the excerpt from Black Elk Speaks by Nicholas Black Elk and John G. Neilhardt, students respond to the following Informative Writing prompt: “Write an essay suggesting why the autobiography became so significant. Support your opinion with details from the selection.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read the short story, “The Life you Save May Be Your Own” ,by Flannery O’Connor. After reading, students have the option of writing an informative essay: “Analyze the complexities of the character of Mr. Shiftlet, and organize the analysis in terms of the direct and indirect characterization techniques.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

    • Students have opportunities to engage in narrative writing. 

      • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read the digital eSelections, “There’s a certain Slant of Light," “My life closed twice before its close," and “The Soul selects her won Society,"  all poems by Emily Dickinson. After reading the poems, students may complete a Narrative Writing task in which they rewrite one of the poems as a short story. Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

      • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the speech, “I Will Fight No More Forever," by Chief Joseph. After reading, students may complete a Narrative Writing task during which they “[w]rite a paragraph explaining what happened to the Nez Perce after Chief Joseph’s surrender in October 1877.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode.

      • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read an excerpt from the novel On The Road by Jack Kerouac. After reading, students may complete a Narrative Writing task: “[w]rite your own narrative about a recent trip you took. Model the narrative after On The Road in terms of writing style, tone, narration, and degree of detail.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, students may not have the opportunity to practice writing in this mode. 

  • Where appropriate, writing opportunities are connected to texts and/or text sets (either as prompts, models, anchors, or supports).

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read “Beat! Beat! Drums,``''By the Bivouac’s Fitful Flame,” and the preface to Leaves of Grass  by Walt Whitman as part of an author study alongside the informational text, “Mathew Brady: Civil War Photographer.” After reading all of these texts, students may complete a Creative Writing task: “Civil War photographer Mathew Brady (see the preceding Informational Text Connection)  photographed many famous Americans from the 1840s through the 1860s, including Walt Whitman. Write a dialogue that might have occurred between the two men. What would they say about the war, photography and poetry, and the American people?” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read the paired poems, “America," by Claude McKay, and “A Black Man talks of Reaping," by Arna Bontemps. After reading, students may complete a Creative Writing task: Imagine that you are Arna Bontemps and have just read CLaude McKay’s ‘America’. Write a letter to McKay, telling him what you think about the ideas expressed in ‘America’.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read the poem, “The Explorer,” by Gwendolyn Brooks. After reading, students may complete an Informative Writing task: “Visualize the setting of ‘The Explorer’, and assume the role of the man tripping down the halls of the building. Then write a paragraph analyzing the role of the setting, or environment, in the poem and what it might represent to the man in the poem.” Because this is an optional Extend the Text task, this writing opportunity may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1k

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

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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1k. 

Materials provide practice and application opportunities for evidence-based writing but lack explicit evidence-based writing instruction with the exception of some Writing Workshop tasks. During some post-reading tasks, students cite evidence from the text in their written tasks, make claims, and defend their claims using their comprehension and analysis of texts. Extend the Text tasks are optional and based on teacher choice, so there is no guarantee students will engage in evidence-based writing opportunities when offered. Other opportunities sometimes include the Writing Workshops students complete at the end of each unit, additional writing assignments found in the Grammar and Writing ancillary, and the Analyze Literature prompts. It is important to note that many of the writing activities are optional and do not consistently require students to support their analyses and defend their claims using textual evidence.

Materials include some opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials provide limited opportunities across the school year for students to learn, practice, and apply writing using evidence.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, after reading “The Gettysburg Adress” and “The Second Inaugral Address” by Abraham Lincoln, students may complete this Extend the Text Argumentative Writing task: “Analyze two contemporary political debates for logical fallacies, such as non sequiturs, circular logic, and hasty generalizations. Use your analysis to write an essay that cushions the president against using logical fallacies. Cite specific examples from the debates you studied and adjust your responses when valid evidence warrants.” However, there are no materials for the teacher to use to teach students about logical fallacies. This is the only writing opportunity in the unit that explicitly requires evidence, and the task does not include explicit instruction on standards-aligned, evidence-based writing. This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, in the Extend the Text section for “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “I, Too, Sing America” by Langston Hughes, students may complete the following Informational Writing task: “Write a two-paragraph analysis of the significance of “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” and “I, Too, Sing America” to the Harlem Renaissance Era. How do these poems reflect key issues among African-American artists of the time? Use specific examples from the selections to support your analysis.”  However, the materials do not provide background on the Harlem Renaissance Era. Materials include a one-page author’s study on Langston Hughes, as well as introductory content for the two poems, but neither of these pieces contains the information on The Harlem Renaissance needed to complete the assignment. There are no additional materials or support available in the Teacher’s Edition or ancillary materials. This task does not include explicit instruction on standards-aligned, evidence-based writing. This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, after reading an excerpt from Great Plains by Ian Fazier, “Seeing” from Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris, and the LIterature Connection, “So This is Nebraska” by Ted Kooser, students may complete the following Informative Writing task: “[w]rite a comparison-and-contrast essay relating the characters and structure of the twenty-first-century poem “So This is Nebraska” with those of a classical poem or epic. Cite evidence from both texts to support inferences and conclusions that you make in your analysis.”  However, this task does not include explicit instruction on how to write an analysis. This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • Writing opportunities are focused around students’ analyses and claims developed from reading closely and working with texts and sources to provide supporting evidence.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read nonfiction excerpts from The General History of Virginia by John Smith and Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. After reading, students may complete an Informative Writing task: “Both Smith and Bradford were successful leaders, but Smith left Virginia and Bradford stayed in Plymouth. For each man, write a paragraph that explains how his choice relates to his character and the motivation that drew him to the new world. Then write a paragraph making logical connections between the two situations. Support your ideas with examples from the text.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, after reading the short story, “To Build a Fire” by Jack London and the informational texts, “How to Build a Campfire” and “How to Be Sure Your Campfire Is Out” by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, students may complete this Informative Writing task: “Write a literary criticism comparing and contrasting the discussions of fire in London's short story ‘To Build a Fire’ and the two informational text articles on fire. Focus on how effectively the style, tone, diction, and text organization of each selection advance the author's purpose and perspective (theme). Include details to support your inferences and conclusions.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instructio

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students read “Throughput” from Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. After reading, students may complete the following Argumentative Writing task: “As a member of a book club that has read Fast Food Nation, you need to prepare for discussion of how workers are treated in the fast food industry. Write a paragraph in which you agree or disagree with Schlosser’s assertions about throughput and its effects on the hiring and treatment of workers. Use evidence from the selection to support your opinion.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 1l

Materials include explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for application in context.

1/2
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1l. 

Each unit contains several Grammar & Style Workshops, which have sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and extending the skill. The lessons connect to selections students read just before the workshop. Units also contain Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops with sections on understanding the concept, applying the skill, and spelling practice using words from unit text selections. Workshops may not occur during core instruction, as their enactment is contingent upon the teacher selecting the activity from the Lesson Plan for the text selection. On occasion, materials include informal grammar and convention activities listed in the Teaching Notes of the Teacher’s Edition. Although materials include an array of instructional components, there are missed opportunities for grade-level grammar and usage instruction, practice, and authentic application in context.

Materials include some explicit instruction of the grade-level grammar and usage standards, with opportunities for authentic application in context. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Students have opportunities to apply the understanding that usage is a matter of convention, can change over time, and is sometimes contested. 

    • No evidence found 

  • Students have opportunities to resolve issues of complex or contested usage, consulting references (e.g., Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage, Garner's Modern American Usage) as needed. 

    • No evidence found

  • Students have opportunities to observe hyphenation conventions. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students complete a Grammar & Style Workshop on hyphens, ellipses, and italics. In the Understand the Concept section, students learn the definition of hyphens and look at examples of hyphenated words. In the Apply the Skill section, students identify the need for hyphens, ellipses, and italics during a sentence-level exercise, such as: “Salzman lies and tells Leo that Lily is only twenty nine years old, but she is really in her mid thirties.” The statements in the exercise are connected to the text selection that students just read, the short story “The Magic Barrel” by Bernard Malamud. Students also complete an application exercise where they write a short fictionalized account of an event in their lives using ellipses, italics, and at least two compound words or expressions requiring hyphens. 

  • Students have opportunities to spell correctly. 

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students complete a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on suffixes. The teacher begins the lesson by having students recall their knowledge of suffixes and root words and then explains how certain suffixes are added to indicate people who perform certain jobs or are experts in certain areas. The class studies how making these additions often requires spelling changes. In the Apply the Skill section, students use their knowledge of root words to identify the type of work done by a list of people, use a suffix to create a word that describes the person who does the type of job in a list, and use correct suffixes to write a paragraph about jobs they might like to have after school. Students also have the opportunity to practice their spelling of consonant blends and digraphs using words from the preface to Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, the selection before the exercise. Materials do not include opportunities for authentic application in context.

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students read the poem, “So This Is Nebraska,” by Ted Kosser. Following the selection, materials include a Vocabulary & Spelling Workshop on Common Spelling Errors. In the Understand the concept section, students learn spelling rules for adding affixes. In the Apply the Skill section, students identify troublesome spelling words and create mnemonic devices to help them remember the correct spelling. Materials do not include opportunities for authentic application in context.

Indicator 1m

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to interact and build key academic vocabulary words in and across texts.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 1m. 

At the beginning of each unit, materials include an overview of all vocabulary words, academic vocabulary, and key terms. These words are also listed in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition alongside the corresponding selection. Words listed as Preview Vocabulary are taken from sentences within selections and are defined in the side margin or at the bottom of pages where they appear. Words listed as Selection Words are additional words from the reading that may be challenging, but are not central to the selection. These are Tier One words that can easily be understood by using context clues. Words listed as Academic Vocabulary are words that are used in the directions about the lessons. These are Tier Two words that explain what students should focus on, help establish context, clarify meaning of literary terms, and define goals or instructional purpose. Words that are listed as Key Terms are domain-specific Tier Three words. The repetition of these words throughout the program helps to ensure student mastery. 

Materials include two Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops within each unit. These Workshops correlate to two of the unit selections that use vocabulary words from the text that precedes the Workshop and contain instruction followed by practice exercises. The enactment of this Workshop is based on teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. The Unit & Selection Resources ancillary also includes vocabulary preview activities and lessons for each unit. The Vocabulary & Spelling ancillary also has lessons that build word study skills and instruction based on vocabulary words from selections. Although materials include multiple elements that address vocabulary acquisition and practice, these elements are not cohesive nor do materials provide teacher guidance on a year-long plan to support students’ vocabulary development. Additionally, ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials include opportunities for students to interact with key academic vocabulary words in and across texts; however, the year-long vocabulary plan lacks cohesion. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Materials do not provide teacher guidance outlining a cohesive year-long vocabulary development component.

    • There is no explanation of a year-long cohesive plan for vocabulary instruction; rather, materials include multiple components that address vocabulary, and it is up to the teacher to decide which components to use for instruction. For instance, at the beginning of each unit, materials provide Tier One, Tier Two, and Tier Three vocabulary word lists with the corresponding pages for where the words occur in text. Materials also list the vocabulary words in the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition with the corresponding page number in the section where they occur. Materials define the vocabulary words at the bottom of the selection in which they appear. Each selection includes a short Preview Vocabulary section where students try to unlock the meaning of underlined words from the selection before reading. Occasionally, the Teacher Wrap of the Teacher Edition includes instructions for helping students understand the meaning of words. Materials include two Vocabulary and Spelling Workshops which focus on vocabulary skills instruction. If teachers want to explore selection vocabulary in more depth, they must use the Unit & Selection Resources ancillary. Since it is up to teachers to choose which of these program elements to include in instruction, there is no guarantee that the vocabulary development supports offered will occur during core instruction.  

  • Vocabulary is repeated in contexts (before texts, in texts) and across multiple texts; however, it is unclear how materials build students’ vocabulary development of Tier One and Tier Two words during core instruction.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, the Tier Three term tone appears in the before-reading material for the paired excerpts from Common Sense and from The Crisis, No. 1 by Thomas Paine. Materials define the word tone in the Analyze Literature section of the text overview page.  The word tone is used throughout the end-of-unit Speaking & Listening Workshop, as students “determine the mood and tone of the work” and “[c]onsider which tone of voice, facial, expression, gestures, pace (speed) of speaking, and volume (loudness or softness) are most suitable for each part of the work.” The term tone repeats during the Test Practice Workshop: “Context clues also can come from the tone of the section. 

    • In Unit 6, Hard Times, Depression and World War II 1929–1945, the Tier One Selection Word impervious occurs in “The Watch” by Elie Wiesel and in “A Rose for Emily” by William Faulkner. Materials do not identify or define the term in either text. 

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, materials define the Key Term characterization in the Analyze Literature section of the text overview page of “The Rockpile,” a short story by James Baldwin. The term is used again as materials explain memoirs in the Understanding Literary Forms pages: “The memoirist also uses characterization techniques to portray other people in the account—for instance, describing their appearance or behavior or revealing what others say or think about them.” During the Analyze Literary Elements section of the Reading Skills portion of the Test Practice Workshop, materials define characterization when listing literary elements “commonly found in various types of literature.” 

  • Attention is paid to vocabulary essential to understanding the text and to high-value academic words (e.g., words that might appear in other contexts/content areas). 

    • At the beginning of each unit, materials include lists of the Tier Two and Tier Three vocabulary words students will encounter over the course of each unit in the Teacher Edition. Each word is followed by the page numbers where the words appear. At the beginning of each selection, materials list Tier One and Tier Two words under the heading Words in Use followed by page numbers for each vocabulary word. Tier Two and Tier Three words often appear in the before reading information and in Vocabulary & Spelling Workshops. Materials repeat certain Key Terms (Tier Three words) throughout the unit to give students more exposure to and practice with vocabulary words. 

  • Students are supported to accelerate vocabulary learning with vocabulary in their reading, speaking, and writing tasks.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850-1865, students read “The Gettysburg Address” and the “Second Inaugural Address” by Abraham Lincoln. The Analyze Literature section of the text overview page explains the Tier Three word parallelism. During the reading of both texts, students note instances of parallelism. The subsequent Grammar and Style Workshop focuses on parallelism. Materials provide directions and opportunities for student practice, including a creative writing activity: “Write a letter to the president in which you relate your feelings and observations about national events. Use five examples of parallelism in your letter.” 

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read an excerpt from the memoir Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Materials introduce the Tier Three term memoir in the Analyze Literature section of the text overview page to ensure students understand the genre. During reading, students identify words and phrases that signify the work is a memoir on two separate occasions. After reading the text, students perform an analysis of the term memoir. Students contrast a memoir and autobiography, decide if it is acceptable for an author to embellish their memoir, and compare the writing in Twain’s memoir to that of his fiction and essays.

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read “Morning Song” and “Mirror,” lyric poetry by Sylvia Plath. The text overview page introduces and defines the Tier Three term enjambment. While reading, students “examine Plath’s use of enjambed versus end-stopped lines.” After reading the poems, students identify the examples of enjambment they found in both poems and comment on how the use of enjambment versus end-stopped lines affects the reading and understanding of the poems.

Gateway Two

Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks

Partially Meets Expectations

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Gateway Two Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks. Although texts are organized by theme, a historical period, and an essential question or guiding statement, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the theme. While students closely read and analyze literary and informational texts, lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task. The majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard, and these tasks often do not integrate literacy skills. Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. Although the Visual Planning Guide for each unit includes suggested pacing for each text, there is no suggested timeline for the pacing of units nor for the curriculum as a whole over the course of the year. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. Due to limited teacher guidance on selecting activities, the volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Criterion 2a - 2f

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

12/24
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Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for building knowledge. Texts are organized by units of study that feature a theme, historical period, and essential questions or guiding statements; however, it is unclear how the texts build students’ knowledge of the theme and answer the essential questions or guiding statements, as these items are not revisited during the unit. Close reading lessons do not always include a coherently sequenced series of high-quality questions that lead to a final task, and the majority of tasks are optional. Culminating tasks do not always fully address the associated standard and often do not integrate literacy skills. While instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development, materials lack teacher guidance on the use of ancillary and optional writing supports. While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a cohesive topic(s)/theme(s) to build students’ ability to read and comprehend complex texts independently and proficiently.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2a. 

The materials are organized into nine thematic units of study which are aligned with a historical period in American history and progress chronologically. Each unit begins with a unit opener that “introduces the genre and connects students to the literature,” includes a “thought-provoking quote [that] gives insight into literature,” features “fine art and photographs [that] connect with the unit theme,” and introduces “essential questions related to the unit theme [that] generate interest and set the stage for learning.” Although the focus of each unit is a historical time period, as well as a theme related to that time period, each unit also includes a section titled Understanding Literary Forms that introduces a genre for quick study. The opening pages of this section include an illustrated timeline, an introduction to the historical period, and notable statistics from the period. Subsequent lessons are divided into sections, during which students explore various selections in the literary form and literary criticism as it is applied to a previously read selection; however, these activities are not connected to the essential question or guiding statement for the unit. The Scope and Sequence Guide lists sub-themes that connect to many of the selections. The Mirrors & Windows questions that accompany selections address these sub-themes, but they do not connect to the overall theme of the unit, and there is no explanation or guidance on how the unit theme and the Mirrors & Windows sub-theme work together. The individual components included in the program are not connected in a cohesive way that would build students’ knowledge of a topic or theme. 

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

  • Texts are connected by a grade-appropriate cohesive topic/theme/line of inquiry. Texts miss opportunities to build knowledge, vocabulary, and the ability to read and comprehend complex texts across a school year.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, the introduction to the unit contains a quote by John Smith, “Everything of worth is found full of difficulties,” and instructions for students to navigate the unit, “As you read the selections in this unit, think about what beliefs and values are reflected in the literature written during the creation of this new country.” Materials include a timeline of important events during the time period and readings on the historical background and the literary form of oral tradition; however, this unit does not have an essential question. Some selections connect to the unit theme, Shaping the World, while others do not. For example, after students read the paired texts “Song of the Sky Loom” by the Tewa ,and “Prayer to the Pacific” by Leslie Marmon Silko, students make text-to-text connections that relate to beliefs and values: “What [natural] elements do the two works have in common? What elements have a revered position in each culture?” In the Analyze Literature section, students answer questions about “Song of the Sky Loom,” including “What is the overall metaphor used to portray the natural world? Discuss what it suggests about Tewa culture and values.” However, the next selection, “A Journey Through Texas” by Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, which is an anchor text, does not connect to the guiding question for the unit. The Mirrors & Windows theme has students focus on the relationship between Europeans and Native Americans: “After reading Cabeza de Vaca’s account, what can you infer about the future of Native American and European relationships?” The after-reading text-dependent questions and Extend the Text options also do not connect to the theme. 

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, the introductory material includes an overview of the hallmarks of the Progressive Era; however, there is no essential question: “As you read the selections in this unit, think about times when you have had to deal with conflict in order to achieve something important to you and what the consequences may have been.” Most selections and tasks do not connect to the unit theme. For example, when students read an excerpt from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Reader’s Context prompt is as follows: “Think of a time you have gone to a party or other event where you didn’t know the host or many of the guests. What was it like? Would you do it again? Why or why not?” This does not align to the unit theme. When students read excerpts from The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, the Reader’s Context task directs students to “Think of a time when you were in a difficult situation and could do nothing to improve or otherwise change things,” which does connect to the unit theme and essential question. Students also examine the central conflict in each of these excerpts in the Analyze Literature section. The unit theme is not addressed in any of the other selections, embedded Close Reading questions, or the Extend the Text task.

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, the unit overview notes, “Though the struggle for equality still continues for many Americans, authors are utilizing their talents to honor ancestors and celebrate cultural diversity.” The essential question is “How does the diversity that characterizes Americans themselves also characterize contemporary American culture?” Unit selections, embedded Close Reading questions, and Extend the Text tasks do not connect to the unit theme or essential question. For example, early in the unit, students read “Mother Tongue” by Amy Tan. The Mirrors & Windows question for the selection is as follows: “What do people assume about you? Are they right or wrong?” The Analyze Literature questions and Extend the Text activities do not relate the selection's main idea about the impact on language when growing up in a home of non-native English speakers to the overall unit’s focus on diversity. In the middle of the unit, students read “Throughput” from Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which focuses on “the speed and volume of a factory’s production” to the fast-food industry. The topic of the selection does not fit with the unit topic of diversity or to the essential question. The unit ends with an author’s focus on the poet Donald Hall. The Reader’s Context questions for the poems “Couplet: Old-Timers’ Day, Fenway Park, 1 May 1982,” and “Letter in Autumn” are “ How do you handle loss? What helps you find comfort in difficult times?” These questions do not connect to the unit theme or essential question.

Indicator 2b

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2b. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. Materials do not consistently include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of these literary elements. Tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section and may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. At times, questions and tasks do not meet the requirements of the correlated standard. 

Materials require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high quality questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • For most texts, students analyze key ideas and details and craft and structure (according to grade-level standards). 

    • The materials contain some coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address key ideas and details.

      • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read “The Fall of the House of Usher,” a short story by Edgar Allen Poe. While reading, students focus on details. Early in the story, students “pay close attention to descriptive details about the mansion” and “consider how these details reflect the state of the Usher family.” Next, students “collect details that contribute to” the “very dark, haunted atmosphere” described in the text. After reading the text, students respond to an Analyze Literature prompt that addresses Gothic fiction: “How does Poe set the scene for his tale of Gothic fiction? How do the descriptions of the house and grounds, as well as the characters, contribute to the plot?” Students work in small groups to adapt the text into a weekly TV show during the Collaborative Learning Extend the Text option. Students must “agree upon a set of criteria for a successful TV show, “ including “[w]hat elements (such as sets, actors, and plots) are necessary to make it interesting.” Then, students “work together to write a proposal for the drama,” “evaluate [their] proposal against the agreed-upon criteria, and make revisions as needed. This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result,may not occur during core instruction.

      • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, under the Close Reading The Novel section of the Teach the Form page for the excerpt from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, materials include the following guidance to support students with identifying theme: “Without reducing the novel to a single moral or lesson, look for its central message. Think about what is suggested by how the conflict is resolved at the end of the story. Also consider the outcome of the story for the various characters, especially the protagonist. When you have finished reading, monitor your comprehension by summarizing your understanding of the theme.” The text does not contain further questions that address the theme. During the informative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students complete the following task: “Write an essay in which you relate the text structures and characters of the excerpt from the classical twentieth-century novel The Great Gatsby to those of a twenty-first-century American novel, play, or film with a similar theme. Cite examples from both works to support inferences and conclusions about the treatment of this theme across time periods and, if appropriate, across genres.” While these tasks address theme, neither task meets the requirements of the standards, which state that students must determine “two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account.” This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..

    • The materials contain coherently sequenced questions and tasks that address craft and structure. 

      • In Unit 4, Unification and Growth, Expanding Frontiers 1865–1910, the Set Purpose section of the Preview the Selection page for “To Build a Fire” by Jack London directs students to “consider how London uses this setting to set up the central conflict of the plot. Identify the primary struggle in this story and make predictions about how it will be resolved.” Teacher guidance explains that “the setting functions as a character and establishes the conflict of the plot.” Students “describe the setting as if it were a character” and “discuss what conflict the setting creates.” During the reading, guidance in the Teacher Wrap points out a point of high intensity in the plot development Students “identify where the present point in the narrative might be located on a plot diagram.” After reading “How to Build a Campfire” and “How to Be Sure Your Campfire Is Out,” two Informational Text Connection pieces by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, students respond to Analyze Literature: Setting, Plot, and Conflict questions that include, but are not limited to, the following: “In examining the plot, what is the external conflict, or outside force, against which the main character struggles? How does he fare against that force? How does the dog, a creature of nature, fare? Does the main character face any internal conflicts?” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students write a literary criticism that compares and contrasts the short story and the two informational articles on fire. The literary analysis must include details to support inferences and conclusions and “[f]ocus on how effectively the style, tone, diction, and text organization of each selection advance the author’s purpose and perspective (theme).” This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

      • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945-1960, students read Act 3 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller. During the reading, students respond to a number of Analyze Literature prompts and questions addressing the three types of irony—dramatic, verbal, and situational—and mood. Students distinguish what is stated from what is meant as they analyze irony and mood in the text. Examples of prompts and questions include, but are not limited to: “Ask students to identify the irony in Danforth's boast that his signature put some four hundred people in jail and condemned seventy-two to be hanged.”; “Ask students to identify the mood in Danforth’s speech beginning ‘Indeed not.’ How would students rephrase the statement ‘We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment’ in ordinary speech?”; “Ask students to identify the type of irony in Danforth’s response to Hale’s dialogue ‘Your Honor, I cannot think you may judge the man on such evidence.’”; “Have students identify the loaded word that is repeated in the dialogue between Hale and Danforth. What mood does the exchange create? Why?”; “What makes Proctor’s angry response to Parris’s words ‘poppets hid where no one ever saw them’ an example of verbal irony?”; and “Ask students what evidence enables them to identify the type of irony in the stage direction ‘They all watch, as Abigail, out of her infinite charity, reaches out and draws the sobbing Mary to her, and then looks up to Danforth.’ What two motives does Abigail have in behaving as she does?” Students ``[w]rite an essay that analyzes themes and characteristics (such as structure and mood)” in The Crucible and “a modern American drama from a different period.” Students must “[c]ite examples to support [their] inferences and conclusions about similarities and differences between the plays.” This Informative Writing Extend the Text option is one of four after-reading activities from which the teacher may select and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction..  

  • By the end of the year, these components (language, word choice, key ideas, details, structure, craft) are embedded in students’ work rather than taught directly.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students focus on psychological fiction and flashback when reading “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” a short story by Ambrose Bierce. Guidance directs students to “be on the lookout for the hero’s extended interior experience.” When reading Section II, students respond to the following questions that address flashback: “What is the setting of the narrative? Has the story moved forward or backward in time? How can [you] tell? What do [you] learn about Farquhar’s feelings toward the war? How might these emotions affect his actions?” When examining a specified passage of the text, students discuss “which detail suggests that the events are a fantasy.” Students also discuss the role of fantasy in the story using questions from the Critical Thinking: Discussion Guide. During two different passages of the story, students ``characterize the atmosphere of the setting” and discuss what the last paragraph reveals about Farquhar. After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Psychological Fiction and Flashback questions: “Analyze the impact of narration when the point of view shifts from the narrator’s own thoughts to Farquhar’s thoughts within the story. How does this shift exemplify psychological fiction? What kinds of information do you learn from the narrator’s thoughts? from Farquhar’s? In what ways does the flashback advance the plot? What necessary information does the flashback provide? How would the story be different if told in regular chronological order?” During the Media Literacy option in the Extend the Text section, students watch the 1962 film adaptation of the story, directed by Robert Enrico and “[a]nalyze how the different elements in the film (music, camera, angles, dialogue) interact.” Students consider how the different elements impact their understanding of the short story and write a review of the film. This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and may not occur during core instruction, as a result.

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910-1929, students examine plot and motivation as they read excerpts from two Ernest Hemingway selections, The Sun Also Rises and For Whom the Bell Tolls. Students discuss the “deeper conflicts, in addition to the obvious struggle between matadors and bulls, Belmonte experiences,” “explain Belmonte’s motivation for coming out of retirement,” “explain what motivates Romero as he displays his skills,” “explain why Brett is concerned that Romero must fight a nearly blind bull,” and discuss “why the crowd did not want the bullfight ‘ever to b finished,’ explaining how the crowd’s desires conflict with that of the matadors, while reading The Sun Also Rises. While reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, students discuss “why Robert Jordan does not want to read the other letters.” After reading both texts, students respond to the following Analyze Literature: Plot and Motivation questions: “What is the central conflict in each novel excerpt? How is it developed? Is it resolved by the end of the excerpt? If not, predict how the conflict might be resolved in the rest of the novel?  What is the motivation for Romero in The Sun Also Rises? What is the motivation for Robert Jordan in For Whom The Bell Tolls? How is each character’s motivation reflected in thoughts and actions?  Support your opinion with details from the text.” During the Informative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students read the Literary Connection section  to learn “about the origin of Hemingway’s title The Sun Also Rises.” Then students “identify a character from mythic, traditional, or classical literature and write an essay explaining how that character’s confrontations with mortality compare and contrast with Romero’s.” The essay must “[d]iscuss whether the structure of Hemingway’s story draws attention to the theme of mortality and whether it is effective compared with the structure of the related myth, traditional work, or classical work.” This Extend the Text activity is one of four from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

Indicator 2c

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2c. 

As part of the Close Reading Model, materials embed text-specific and text-dependent questions that require students to analyze the key ideas, details, craft, and structure of individual texts and paired selections or text sets. While materials include coherently sequenced questions that build to a task in which students demonstrate their understanding of knowledge and ideas, tasks often occur during the Extend the Text section. Extend the Text tasks may not occur during core instruction, as these tasks are options from which the teacher may select. 

Materials require students to analyze the integration of knowledge and ideas within individual texts as well as across multiple texts using coherently sequenced, high-quality text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Most sets of questions and tasks support students’ analysis of knowledge and ideas.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read the Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson paired with the Bill of Rights. Students examine text organization during both texts and respond to Critical Thinking Discussion Guide prompts and questions to analyze and evaluate the government documents: “Encourage students to discuss what the nation’s founders meant when they said all men have the ‘unalienable rights’ of ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ while knowing that large segments of the population were denied those rights.” and “Ask students why the freedoms provided by the First Amendment are essential in a democracy.” After reading both texts, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection question: “Does the Bill of Rights guarantee the unalienable rights described in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Try to name a specific amendment from the Bill of Rights that supports each of these three unalienable rights, or explain which of these unalienable rights is not addressed in the Bill of Rights.” During the Informative Writing Extend the Text option, students “[w]rite an analysis of the problem/solution organization of the Declaration of Independence. Include examples from the text, and explain what you can infer and conclude from Jefferson’s use of this type of organization.” This activity is one of four Extend the Text activities from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read an excerpt from Black Elk Speaks by Nicholas Black Elk and John G. Neihardt. While reading, students use a chart to “track the main information shared by each speaker” as they analyze the sequence of events in the narrative and explain how specific individuals and ideas interact and develop throughout the text. Students respond to questions such as, “Why did the authors break up the narrative into different perspectives this way? How does this structure relate to the way the narrative was told?”; “What seems to be the relationship between adults and children in Oglala society? What details lead you to these conclusions?”; and “What point is Black Elk making when he says, ‘You can see that it is not the grass and the water that have forgotten’? Whom is he criticizing?” After reading, students respond to the following Analyze Literature questions: “How do the recollections and views Black Elk presents in his narrative differ from those of Fire Thunder and Standing Bear? Does having three people describe the same events give you a better understanding of them? Why or why not?” During the Lifelong Learning Extend the Text option, students choose an important historical family event and create a story about the event to share with the class. To craft their story, students make notes to present the story events in chronological order and include necessary background information to ensure the audience understands their story. This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

  • By the end of the year, integrating knowledge and ideas is embedded in students’ work (via tasks and/or culminating tasks). 

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read “Speech in the Virginia Convention'' by Patrick Henry. The Teacher Wrap lists ways in which “Henry’s reliance on reason in this speech include his insistence on exercising the right to debate freely.” Students identify rhetorical questions in several paragraphs and “identify the purpose of using rhetorical questions: to encourage readers or listeners (1) to think about the questions and the issues they raise and (2) to realize that the responses are self-evident—thus, to ask the questions is to answer them.” Students respond to Critical Thinking Discussion Guide questions, such as “What does Henry’s use of this allusion suggest about his feelings toward the English king?” and “What types of freedoms and privileges does he probably have in mind?” After reading, students respond to Analyze Literature: Rhetorical Question and the Enlightenment questions including: “What is effective about letting people answer these questions for themselves, rather than telling them the information directly? What indiciations did you find that Patrick Henry was familiar with classical rhetoric, or persuasive communication? Where does he support the importance of using reason as a guide to action? What prediction does he make based on observable phenomena? Analyze the different ways Patrick Henry supports his conclusions.” During the Media Literacy option in the Extend the Text section, students choose “another historically significant American speech” and “[t]ake turns reading it aloud in a small group.” While listening, students “note the position taken and the evidence supporting that position, as well as the clarity and coherence of the speech.” Then, students are asked to “analyze the rhetorical features and other elements that make the speech memorable” and “[i]dentify passages from the speech that illustrate your points.” After sharing their findings with the class, students go online to find an audio recording of the speech, if one is available, and listen to the recording, noting “how the speaker’s diction and syntax affect [their] understanding and appreciation of the speech.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read the lyric poem, “Midway” by Naomi Long Madgett along with the Informational Text Connection piece, the U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Students analyze tone in the poem and summarize each paragraph of the court case. After reading the informational text, students respond to Review Questions, such as “1. What is the Court’s position on segregation in public schools? Analyze the evidence the Court provides to support its position. What else, if anything, could the Court’s opinion have stated? 2. According to Chief Justice Warren, why is providing public education important in a democratic society? Evaluate whether Warren’s argument is still valid today.” During the Lifelong Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students research “media coverage of an event in the Civil Rights Movement that occurred in the months and years following the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling. Analyze a few different types of media and evaluate the objectivity of each source. Summarize your findings in a short essay.” This activity is one of four options from which the teacher may choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • Sets of questions and tasks provide opportunities to analyze across multiple texts as well as within single texts.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read an excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and an excerpt from Poor Richard’s Almanack by Benjamin Franklin. Materials pair these selections with the Informational Text Connection piece, “Ben Franklin: Scientist and Inventor” (author not cited). While reading the autobiographical excerpt, students “create charts to record what they learn about Franklin’s life and character” and determine “which details are facts and which represent Franklin’s opinions or feelings.” While reading the excerpt from Poor Richard’s Almanack, students “identify Neoclassical traits such as reasonableness and simplicity, as they read the aphorisms from [the text].” When reading the informational article, students “create detail maps or webs” in which they “write the name of one of Franklin’s inventions” in each major circle and”record the minor details that give more information about the invention” in the smaller circles that connect to the major circles. After reading all three texts, students respond to the following Text to Text Connection: “What parallels do you see between Benjamin Franklin’s role as a scientist and inventor and his role as writer, publisher, and statesman? What seemed to motivate Franklin to try new things on both personal and professional levels?” Students also respond to Analyze Literature: Autobiography and Neoclassicism questions including, but not limited to: “What Neoclassical ideals run throughout Franklin’s life and work? In particular, how do the sayings from Poor Richard’s Almanack reflect these ideals? How did Franklin use wit (dry humor) to make these lessons more appealing to readers?”   

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the speeches, “I Will Fight No More Forever” by Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce and “I am the Last of My Family” by Cochise of the Chiricahua Apache. During both texts, students analyze purpose, discussing prompts, such as “Ask students to identify the purpose of redundancy in the speech. Then discuss why Chief Joseph might have phrased his final intention as he did, rather than saying ‘I will not fight any more.’” and “Ask students to compare Cochise’s comments about fighting with whites with Chief Joseph’s remarks about fighting. Discuss the purpose of each speech and how each leader’s talk of fighting affects his purpose.”  After reading both selections, students respond to Analyze Literature: Oral Tradition and Purpose questions which include: “What purpose or purposes did Chief Joseph have in speaking? What purpose or purposes did Cochise have? Compare and contrast the speakers’ purpose and how well they achieved them.”

Indicator 2d

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit's topic(s)/theme(s) through integrated literacy skills (e.g., a combination of reading, writing, speaking, listening).

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2d. 

Individual, paired, and text set selections conclude with Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions; an Analyze Literature, Compare Literature, or Text-to-Text Connection prompt; and four task options in the Extend the Text section. Earlier questions are incoherently sequenced at times and do not always build to a task. Teachers can choose from two writing options and two other types of tasks, such as Collaborative Learning, Critical Literacy, Lifelong Learning, and Media Literacy, in the Extend the Text section. Extend the Text tasks do not consistently relate to reading selections and are sometimes stand-alone in nature. Because there is no true core instructional path, completion of these tasks is optional and contingent upon teacher selection. As a result, there is no guarantee that all students will access the opportunities offered. 

Each unit concludes with three Workshops: Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Test Practice. Most of the Writing and Speaking & Listening Workshops are not connected to the literary form of study and do not require students to draw upon their knowledge of the texts in the unit. The Test Practice Workshops are not connected to unit content and are designed to help students practice taking standardized tests. The three Workshops are not integrated.

Culminating tasks require students to demonstrate their knowledge through integrated literacy skills; however, it is unclear how tasks relate to the unit’s topic/theme. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Culminating tasks are evident and varied across the year and they are multifaceted, requiring students to demonstrate mastery of several different standards (reading, writing, speaking, listening) at the appropriate grade level, and comprehension and knowledge of a topic or topics through integrated skills (reading, writing, speaking, listening).

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, during the Speaking & Listening Workshop, students present a literary work. Students “present a poem or a work of prose, such as a short story, a brief chapter from a novel, or an essay.” Students “read the work carefully several times, until you can identify the following elements: the speaker in a lyric poem; the speaker, characters, and action in a narrative poem; the characters and action in a short story or chapter; or the main idea in an essay.” Afterwards, students practice reading the work aloud and memorize the work, if required. Students present the oral interpretation and evaluate the task using a Speaking & Listening Rubric. This task integrates reading, and speaking and listening. 

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, during the Writing Workshop, students “create a profile using a combination of narration, biography, and oral history.” Students select a person to serve as the subject of their profile and develop a list of questions to ask the subject during an interview. Students take notes during the interview and use their notes to “produce an accurate, absorbing account,” using either a narrative structure or a chronological structure to organize the information. After writing their organizing statement to focus their work, students draft the introduction, body, and conclusion of their profile and evaluate their work using a Revision Checklist. Students may self-evaluate or exchange their work with a peer for feedback. Students “read their profiles aloud to the class, accompanied by either a photo of the subject or an object identified within the profile.” Students evaluate their work using a Writing Rubric. This task integrates writing, and speaking and listening. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, during the Writing Workshop, students review a film or play. Students may “review a film or play with which you are very familiar or a work entirely new to you.” Students may also “focus on a specific aspect of a film or play, such as the performance of a particular actor or the authenticity of the production.” While watching the film or play, students use a note-taking chart “to record supporting details for your analysis” and organize their ideas. Students also use their Film/Play Review Chart to develop their thesis statement and draft the introduction, body, and conclusion of their writing. Students exchange their work with a peer and evaluate their drafts using a Revision Checklist. Then, students read their final reviews to the class and evaluate their work using a Writing Rubric. This task integrates reading and writing.   

  • Earlier text-specific and/or text-dependent questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced and will not give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness (or whether they are “on track”) to complete culminating tasks.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read and compare an excerpt from The General History of Virginia by John Smith and an excerpt from Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford. Students examine point of view, responding to questions and prompts, such as “Have students locate Smith’s judgmental descriptions of Powhatan and his people, such as ‘more like a devil than a man’ and ‘stern barbarians.’ Ask students to consider why Smith uses such descriptions, and what part his background might play in his view of Native Americans.” and “Ask students to consider the effect of point of view on the telling of the story of the ‘very profane young man’ who died and was the first to be thrown overboard. Ask students how the story might be different if told from his perspective, from the perspective of one of his friends, or from the perspective of a less religious person aboard the ship.” During the Informative Writing option in the Extend the Text section, students complete the following task: “For each man (Smith and Bradford), write a paragraph that explains how his choice relates to his character and the motivation that drew him to the New World. Then write a paragraph making logical connections between the two situations. Support your ideas with examples from the texts.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Speaking & Listening Workshop in which they give an oral interpretation of a literary work.

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read the short story, “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County '' by Mark Twain, and analyze dialect and features of frame tales. Students respond to questions and prompts, such as “How does the narrator’s word usage contrast with that of Simon Wheeler? What does Wheeler’s dialect reveal about him?” and “Ask students to identify elements of the story Simon Wheeler tells that seem to be characteristic of a tall tale, such as exaggerated, unrealistic elements.” During the Collaborative Learning option in the Extend the Text section, students “[s]elect an excerpt from a piece of fiction by Twain and prepare an oral interpretation of it. Draw inferences from the details to decide what tone, speaking rate, volume, enunciation, language conventions, facial expressions, and gestures you will employ to communicate the characters, theme, and other literary elements.” Later in the unit, students read and compare two speeches: “The Destructive Male” by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and “Woman’s Right to Suffrage '' by Susan B. Anthony. Students examine argument and rhetoric while reading both texts, responding to prompts and questions, such as “Ask students to consider the quotation from Stanton’s speech on page 310. Ask them what points might be used to support this argument.” and “Ask students to identify examples of parallelism in Anthony’s speech and to explain what ideas she calls attention to by using this construction.” After reading both texts, students may complete the following Descriptive Writing option in the Extend the Text section: “Write a paragraph for your school newspaper in which you introduce Stanton and Anthony and summarize their arguments for women’s rights. Research each woman further to identify what she contributed to the movement.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop in which they write a profile of a person.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945-1960, while reading Act 2 of The Crucible by Arthur Miller, students analyze characterization and allusion, responding to prompts and questions, such as “What action by Elizabeth, described in the stage directions, suggests this mood? What does the dialogue after the stage directions indicate is the reason Elizabeth is upset with Mary?” and “Ask students what the reference and the description of the court scene suggest about Elizabeth’s feelings toward Abigail and the people of Salem.” During the Critical Literacy option in the Extend the Text section, students ``find a modern American drama from another period” and “compare and contrast the themes and characteristics of this drama with those in The Crucible.” Later in the unit, students read “A Supermarket in California,” a lyric poem by Allen Ginsberg. Students focus on features of free verse and allusion and respond to questions and prompts, such as “Ask students to identify features of free verse in Ginsberg’s poem, including sentence fragments and the paragraph-like structure of the lines.” and “Ask students to identify the primary allusion in the poem. Why does the speaker speak of Whitman’s enumerations?” During the Informative Writing Extend the Task option, students ``[w]rite a paragraph explaining why Whitman has influenced so many poets.” These questions and tasks are not coherently sequenced to build to the culminating task. It is unclear how these tasks give the teacher usable information about the student's readiness to complete the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop in which they write a review of a film or play.

Indicator 2e

Materials include a cohesive, year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2e.

The writing program design includes two on-demand, post-reading writing prompts selections. Prompts span creative, argumentative, informative, narrative, and descriptive writing modes. While some prompts are stand-alone tasks, others connect to texts students read and sometimes require students to use textual evidence in their responses. Each unit also includes an End-of-Unit Writing Workshop. During the Writing Workshop, materials explain what students should do during each step of the writing process but rarely provide instruction on the writing mode of focus. Writing Workshops include various supports and tools for monitoring writing development, such as rubrics, student models, literary models, graphic organizers, and checklists. Unlike their on-demand counterparts, these process writing tasks do not connect to the unit theme and are stand-alone in nature with some tasks requiring students to use evidence from sources. Materials include practice opportunities in the Writing Skills section embedded within the End-of-Unit Test Practice Workshop. During this Workshop, students practice timed writing responses and revision and editing skills. As with the Writing Workshops, Test Practice Workshop activities span various genres but are not connected to the unit text selections. The Writing & Grammar workbook may be used to supplant Writing Workshops, as the ancillary resource includes an additional in-depth writing workshop for each unit. Writing & Grammar activities begin with a Learn From a Literary Model section. This section draws upon one of the unit text selections. The Writing Rubrics ancillary contains four PDF files: a narrative writing rubric, an informative writing rubric, an argumentative writing rubric, and a four-point general writing rubric. Materials lack teacher guidance on enacting ancillary and optional writing lessons and tasks. 

Materials include a year-long plan for students to achieve grade-level writing proficiency by the end of the school year; however, cohesion is lacking. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Materials include limited writing instruction that aligns to the standards for the grade level and sometimes supports students’ growth in writing skills over the course of the school year.

    • While there is an evident structure to the writing aspect of the program, including frequent opportunities for students to write in various modes and for various purposes, supports, and tools for monitoring student writing development, the structure lacks cohesion. Materials include the following Writing Workshops— one informative, four argumentative, three descriptive, one narrative—resulting in an uneven distribution of explicit instruction on the writing modes required by the standards. Test Practice Workshops do not include explicit instruction and their mode of focus differs from that of the Writing Workshops. It is unclear how writing instruction and tasks build upon each other to promote growth in students’ skills over the course of the unit and across the year.

    • While materials offer a number of writing opportunities, explicit writing instruction is largely absent. During the End-of-Unit Writing Workshops, students spend three regular schedule days or one and a half block schedule days transitioning through the writing process as they complete a process writing task on a specific mode of focus. Writing Workshop tasks include:

      • Unit 1—Argumentative Writing: Defend a Viewpoint

      • Unit 2—Descriptive Writing: Describe a Setting

      • Unit 3—Argumentative Writing: Solve a Problem

      • Unit 4—Descriptive Writing: Create a Profile

      • Unit 5—Narrative Writing: Write an Application Essay

      • Unit 6—Informative Writing: Create a Multimedia Presentation

      • Unit 7—Argumentative Writing: Review a Film or Play

      • Unit 8—Descriptive Writing: Write a Descriptive Poem

      • Unit 9—Argumentative Writing: Write a Research Paper

  • Instructional materials include a variety of well-designed guidance, protocols, models, and support for teachers to implement and monitor students’ writing development.

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, in the Writing Workshop, students plan and write an argumentative essay defending a viewpoint that expresses an informed opinion about a topic that interests them. The Workshop includes a Writing Rubric, an Argument Chart for prewriting, a side-by-side example of the Draft and Revise stages, a Revision Checklist, a Writing Follow-Up checklist, and a Student Model. 

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students write an essay that explains a problem and suggest one or more solutions. During the Draft stage, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on addressing counterarguments: “Point out how, in the body of her essay, the student identifies an opposing view and then refutes it. This shows that she has carefully considered her topic and looked at opposing points of view before coming to her own conclusions. Ask students to do the same in their problem-solution  essays. They might do so by offering alternative solutions to the problem they posed, and then explaining why their solution is the best one.”

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students write an application essay during the Writing Workshop. During the Draft stage, the Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on maintaining an appropriate tone: “Point out to students that their application essays should reflect their unique perspective and character. Also caution them not to use the essay to oversell themselves. The tone of the essay should be thoughtful, serious, and respectful of readers.”

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, as part of the Test Practice Workshop, students practice addressing alternate viewpoints when writing a reflective essay. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Reflective Essay Rubric which contains the following criteria: Content, Organization and Development, and Grammar and Style. 

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980–Present, students write a research paper during the Writing Workshop. The Teacher Wrap in the Teacher Edition includes a Teaching Note on refocusing or refining a Topic: “As students gather information, they may decide that they can refocus or refine their topic. If a topic is too broad, they will not be able to make their point effectively. If a topic is too narrow, they may not have enough to say. Encourage students to choose a focus for their research but to be flexible and make adjustments if research in a particular area interests them or if new information leads them to a different focus.”

Indicator 2f

Materials include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials.

2/4
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Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2f. 

While materials provide frequent opportunities for short research tasks connected to the texts students read, materials do not include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards. Short research tasks do not include standards-aligned, explicit instruction and typically occur during one of the post-reading Extend the Text options. These tasks are optional and may not occur during core instruction. Students have one opportunity in each grade level to conduct a long research project—during the Unit 6 Writing Workshop. During this end-of-grade level task, materials include directions to guide students through each step of the research writing process but provide limited explicit instruction of standards-aligned research skills. 

While materials provide opportunities to expand the Extend the Text research tasks, teachers must access the Extension Activities ancillary to do so. Materials also include a Language Arts Handbook ancillary with a section on Research and Documentation, but there is no guidance on how to use this handbook for instruction or how it ties to the specific tasks students complete. Ancillary resources are not a part of core instruction.

Materials do not include a progression of focused research projects to encourage students to develop knowledge in a given area by confronting and analyzing different aspects of a topic using multiple texts and source materials. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Research projects are not sequenced across a school year to include a progression of research skills according to grade-level standards.  

    • While there are frequent opportunities for students to complete informal research tasks, materials lack teacher guidance to support students with completing these tasks. The Teacher Edition does not provide information on how to teach the research skills necessary to complete the after-reading research tasks, and it contains limited guidance for the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop research project. Materials do not include a sequence or progression of research skills, nor is there explicit instruction of research skills that aligns to the standards. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, students complete research tasks as outlined in the standards but receive limited explicit instruction when doing so. While the research-focused Writing Workshop provides detailed process steps to complete the task, the Workshop rarely includes explicit instruction or scaffolding during each step of the research writing process.

  • Materials provide limited support for teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. 

    • There is no evidence of the instructional materials providing support to teachers in employing projects that develop students’ knowledge of different aspects of a topic via provided resources. Research-oriented Extend the Text tasks are not accompanied by instructional support for teachers to guide students through what they are being asked to accomplish. For example, after reading the poems “The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls” and “A Psalm of Life” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students may complete a Lifelong Learning Extend the Text task in which they research life expectancy: “Conduct research on life expectancy in the United States to determining trends over the last two hundred years and to project trends in the near future. Also identify factors such as gender, race/ethnicity, disease, and lifestyle that affect individual life expectancy. Synthesize information from a variety of sources, examining them for accuracy, bias, and credibility. Summarize this information in a newsletter intended for someone your age.” Materials do not include guidance for teachers or students to conduct this research, such as where to look for such information; how to synthesize the information; and how to evaluate sources for accuracy, bias, and credibility. During the one in-depth research project per grade level, teachers receive limited support for helping students complete the steps of the research project such as how to write a thesis statement, incorporate parenthetical citations, paraphrase, or construct citations or a Works Cited page.  

  • Materials provide many opportunities for students to synthesize and analyze content tied to the texts under study as a part of the research process. 

    • In Unit 1, Shaping the World, Origins of the American Tradition to 1800, students read the Declaration of Independence  by Thomas Jefferson. In the Extend the Text section of the after-reading activities, students research how the original passage condemning slavery was worded and why it was removed during the Lifelong Learning task. Students also conduct research to discover what other changes were made to the original document, then write an essay explaining their findings. This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction. 

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read “I Will Fight No More Forever” by Chief Joseph ,and “I am the Last of My Family” by Cochise. In the optional Extend the Text section of the after-reading activities, teachers may choose to enact the Lifelong Learning activity, during which students research a Native American Treaty: “Do research to identify a treaty that the U.S. government made with a Native American tribe in your region. Find out about the events leading up to the treaty, the terms of the agreement, and whether both groups fulfilled the terms. Also determine the current status of the tribe and identify problems or disputes faced by modern-day members. Prepare a written report that students might read during Native American history month at their school.” This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read the play, The Crucible by Arthur Miller. After reading Act I, students may complete a Media Literacy Extend the Text task on researching mob hysteria. “Investigate the phenomenon of mob hysteria. What different theories explain its origins? Why does it become difficult, if not impossible, for one individual to stand up to a mob? Support your answers using real-life instances of mob hysteria.” This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

  • Students are provided with opportunities for both “short” and “long” projects across the course of a year and grade bands.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read the poems “By the Bivouac’s Fitful Flame” and “Beat! Beat! Drums” by Walt Whitman. After reading, students may complete a short, one- to two-class period Media Literacy research task: “Make a list of five websites that provide valuable information about the Civil War and give it to your school’s media center. To evaluate the websites, create a checklist of criteria. Each website should be objective, factually accurate, and use an appropriate tone and level of formality for the intended audience and purpose. Turn in your list of criteria with your list of websites so that others will know they are credible.” This is one of four Extend the Text options from which the teacher can choose and, as a result,may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read an excerpt from On the Road by Jack Kerouac. In the Extend the Text section, the Media Literacy task is as follows: “Research the history and importance of “be-bop,” a style of jazz music made popular in the 1940s, including its association with the Beat movement. Then draft a plan for a website about be-bop. Decide whether the site will serve as an introduction to the general public or be geared more toward jazz enthusiasts.” This is a shorter project that would likely require students one to two class periods to complete; however, the enactment of this research task is contingent upon teacher selection and, as a result, may not occur during core instruction.

    • In Unit 9, New Challenges, Contemporary Era 1980 to Present, students “[p]lan, write, and revise a research paper that presents an argument about immigration” during the End-of-Unit Writing Workshop. The body of the research paper must “[support] the thesis with detailed evidence gathered from research.” This long research project spans three class periods.

Criterion 2g - 2h

Materials promote mastery of grade-level standards by the end of the year.

4/8
+
-
Criterion Rating Details

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 11 do not meet the criteria for coherence. Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. Questions and tasks do not consistently align to grade-level standards or meet the full intent of the standards. It is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. There is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards. The amount of material cannot reasonably be completed within the suggested amount of time and is not viable for a school year. The volume of optional tasks distracts from core learning. Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

Indicator 2g

Materials spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2g. 

Instruction, practice, and assessments are based on teacher selection from a list of options. As a result, there is no true core instructional path. The Lesson Plan for each text includes the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, After Reading. Within each section, teachers select or choose activities from a list of core and ancillary resources. Most ancillary resources, such as Unit & Selection Resources, do not provide explicit instruction nor do they identify correlated standards for the provided content. Some questions and tasks align to grade-level standards while others do not align or do not meet the full intent of the standards. Because assessments do not identify the standards addressed, it is unclear if the majority of assessment items align to grade-level standards. Although the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers covering the standards in each strand, without a true core instructional path and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, there is no guarantee that materials repeatedly address grade-level standards within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standards.

Materials do not spend the majority of instructional time on content that falls within grade-level aligned instruction, practice, and assessments. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Over the course of each unit, some instruction is aligned to grade-level standards.

    • In the Digital Teacher Edition, the Grade 11 Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page numbers for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language; however, the page numbers listed do not always contain opportunities for explicit instruction or address the correlated standard. 

      • For example, the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists page 730 in the EMC Pages That Cover the Standards column for RL.5 “Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure specific parts of a text (e.g., the choice of where to begin or end a story, the choice to provide a comedic or tragic resolution) contribute to its overall structure and meaning as well as its aesthetic impact.” This page contains Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions, an Analyze Literature: Realism and Climax prompt, and the four Extend the Text options for the short story, “Ambush” by Tim O’Brien. The page also contains an Analyze Literature inset that includes information on realism and climax. While this inset notes and explains occurrences of realism and climax in the text, materials do not provide an opportunity for explicit instruction on the correlated standard.      

  • Over the course of each unit, some questions and tasks are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Questions often focus on comprehension strategies, such as Make Connections, Ask Questions, Draw Conclusions, and Visualize. These comprehension strategies do not align to grade-level standards. Some Extend the Text tasks align to grade-level standards, while others either do not align or do not meet the full requirements of the standards. Because post-reading questions and tasks do not have correlated standards identified, it is not always clear which question or task addresses the standard listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document. 

      • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read “Lucinda Matlock,” a dramatic poem by Edgar Lee Masters. During reading, students observe shifts in tone and note elements of free verse. The text also includes an Art Connection piece on two paintings, “Stone City, Iowa” and “American Gothic,” both by Grant Wood. Students respond to the following Critical Viewing question: “Examine the paintings “American Gothic” and “Stone City, Iowa” (see page E209). What techniques does Wood use to make the scenes seem realistic? What qualities of his work seem especially middle American?” These questions do not address the correlated standard: “Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.” 

  • Over the course of each unit, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

    • Materials do not identify assessed standards on Selection Quizzes, Lesson Tests, Unit Exams, or Formative Surveys. As a result, it is unclear whether the majority of assessment questions are aligned to grade-level standards. 

  • By the end of the academic year, standards are not repeatedly addressed within and across units to ensure students master the full intent of the standard.

    • Because the page numbers listed on the Correlation to Common Core State Standards document for each standard in Reading: Literature, Reading: Informational Text, Writing, Speaking & Listening, and Language are not always the standard addressed and because the majority of questions and tasks do not align to grade-level standards, materials do not consistently provide students with multiple opportunities to address standards within and across units to ensure mastery. It is also unclear which items address the correlated standard, because standards are not identified at the question or task level.  

      • The Correlation to Common Core State Standards document lists the following page numbers for SL.3 “Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.”: 51, 55, 325, 789, H33–H34. On page 51, the Text Overview page for Patrick Henry’s “Speech in the Virginia Convention” defines rhetorical question and the Enlightenment and sets the purpose for reading: “While reading his speech, write down four rhetorical questions Henry asks to appeal to people’s hearts and minds. Also look for evidence of his knowledge of classical rhetoric, or persuasive communication, and other Enlightenment principles.” On page 55, students respond to Refer to Text and Reason with Text questions, but it is unclear which questions address the correlated standard. Students also respond to an Analyze Literature prompt addressing rhetorical question and the Enlightenment: “Review the four rhetorical questions you wrote down from Henry’s speech. Next to each, write down the answer that Henry assumes his listeners will infer. What is effective about letting people answer these questions for themselves, rather than telling them the information directly?” During the Media Literacy option, students work in small groups, taking turns reading aloud “another historically significant American speech.” While listening, students “note the position taken and the evidence supporting that position, as well as the clarity and coherence of the speech.” Students then “analyze the rhetorical features and other elements that make the speech memorable,” identifying “passages from the speech that illustrate [their] points.”

Indicator 2h

Materials regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards.

2/4
+
-
Indicator Rating Details

The materials reviewed for Grade 11 partially meet the criteria for Indicator 2h. 

The materials include an overwhelming number of components with no guide for teachers to understand how to navigate and integrate the many ancillary resources. The Program Planning Guide includes the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level VI (Grade 11), an alternative implementation schedule that focuses on selections and workshops necessary for students to “master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments.” Given the amount of time suggested and allotted for the core materials to be covered, there is little surplus time for covering the many extension activities, workshops and assessments located within and outside of the core materials. As a result, it is unclear how to assure grade-level standards are covered methodically or evenly when incorporating optional tasks or ancillary materials into daily lesson planning. 

Materials do not regularly and systematically balance time and resources required for following the suggested implementation, as well as information for alternative implementations that maintain alignment and intent of the standards. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following: 

  • Suggested implementation schedules and alternative implementation schedules do not consistently align to core learning and objectives. 

    • In Unit 2, Expressing a National Spirit, American Resistance 1800–1850, students read the short story,“The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe. The Scope and Sequence Guide outlines the lesson components, including the Literary Element: Gothic fiction and foreshadowing, and the Mirrors & Windows theme: isolation. Although students identify elements of gothic fiction several occurrences of foreshadowing in the text, students also engage in conversations about several other skills and elements, including determining the importance of details, noting the influence of French culture on word choice, describing the atmosphere of the story, comparing and contrasting the uses of a verb, analyzing the effect of diction on mood, identifying an allegory, and aking predictions, all while reading the text. After reading, students respond to questions on Gothic fiction and foreshadowing, but materials do not address or assess the other skills and story elements students analyzed during reading. The optional Extend the Text tasks do not connect to any of the skills or elements discussed in the lesson. Tasks include creating a children’s version of the story; writing a health column for a local newspaper; developing the story into a weekly TV drama; and comparing and contrasting the story to a modern novel, play, or film. 

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read the lyric poems, “Poetry” by Marianne Moore, and “Ars Poetica” by Archibald MacLeish. The lesson for these selections includes studying theme and stanza and making inferences while reading the poems. During-reading practice exercises and after-reading questions support these skills; however, the optional Extend the Text tasks do not align to these core learning objectives. For example, during the Creative Writing option, students write a dialogue between Marainne Moore and Archibald MacLeish, focusing on the attitude they might have towards each other. 

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students read the short story, “Ambush” by Tim O’Brien. Goals for this lesson, as outlined in the Before Reading section, include a study of realism, climax, and identifying multiple levels of meaning. During-reading activities and questions support the development of these skills, and after-reading questions assess students’ acquisition of the skills; however, the optional Extend the Text activities teachers may choose to assign do not serve to deepen students’ understanding of the core learning. For example, students may write a persuasive paragraph in response to the question of whether the draft should be mandatory.

  • Suggested implementation schedules cannot be reasonably completed in the time allotted. 

    • The Program Planning Guide notes the overabundance of material: “To help you meet the diverse needs of your students, the Mirrors & Windows program offers a wealth of material—much more than you can teach in one school year. As a result, one challenge you will face is identifying the resources that are best suited to your particular situation.” 

    • As an alternative to the Scope and Sequence Guide provided in each unit, materials include the Mirrors & Windows College & Career Readiness Curriculum Guide Level VI (Grade 11): “The selections and workshops listed here represent the core course of study students need to master critical skills that appear on state and national assessments. To ensure standards coverage, students who are having difficulty may concentrate on only these selections and workshops. Students on and above grade level may read more selections.” When utilizing this abridged course of study, the teacher must still select which instructional activities to enact during each Program Planning Guide lesson plan.

    • The Program Planning Guide contains lesson plans for each text selection and the three End-of-Unit Workshops. Text selection lesson plans include the following sections: Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading. In the Before Reading: Preview and Motivate section, teachers “[c]hoose from the following materials to preview the selection and motivate your students.” The During Reading section contains two sub-sections, Teach the Selection(s) and Differentiate Instruction. Teachers choose from a list of resources to teach the selection and consider “alternative teaching options to differentiate instruction.” The After Reading section contains two to three subsections: Review and Extend, Teach the Workshop(s), and Assess. Teachers select activities from a list of options and resources to extend learning and teach the Workshop included, where applicable. Teachers do not select from a list of options during the Assess subsection. The lesson plan does not provide guidance on how many minutes each option should take or how long the lesson should last. Pacing guidance is limited to the number of regular or block schedule days the lesson should take. 

  • Optional tasks distract from core learning. 

    • In the Writing section of the Writing & Grammar ancillary, materials provide instruction on writing a lyric poem to accompany Unit 3 content. This resource is an intensive workshop that includes a large number of steps, which could impact the suggested pacing of unit selections. While students read many lyric poems over the course of Unit 3, this workshop does not support students’ deeper understanding of the poems under study. 

    • In Unit 5, Progress and Conflict, Early Twentieth Century 1910–1929, students read an excerpt from the novel The Sun Also Rises by F. Scott Fitzgerald. During reading, materials include a Differentiated Instruction activity in which students choreograph movements based on the description in the bullfighting scene. While this opportunity allows students to be physically active while learning more about bulls and bullfighting and recalling the scene, the activity does not allow students to practice skills related to reading the text or contribute to a deeper understanding of the text. 

    • In Unit 8, Social Transition, Early Contemporary Era 1960–1980, students study imagery and simile while reading two lyric poems by Yusef Komunyakaa, “Camouflaging the Chimera” and “Monsoon Season.” The Extend the Text task options at the end of the selection do not connect to these skills. Tasks include writing a diary entry as a soldier in one of the poems, writing a compare and contrast essay about the poems and Tim O’Brien’s story, “Ambush,” communicating with a Vietnamese school, and preparing an explanation of one of the poems featuring unrelated text features. 

  • Some optional tasks are meaningful and enhance core instruction.

    • In Unit 3, A Nation Divided, Slavery and the Civil War 1850–1865, students read an excerpt from the preface for Leaves of Grass and an excerpt from “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman. The Unit & Selection Resources ancillary provides additional options for student work, but these options do not enhance the instruction of these texts. Students complete an out-of-context vocabulary exercise in which they use words from the text to practice how synonyms affect connotation; read a new selection by William Wordsworth in the same genre and compare it to the selections read by filling out a chart; and write an essay comparing the two author’s Romantic ideals.  

    • In Unit 4, Expanding Frontiers, Unification and Growth 1865–1910, students read “The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” a short story by Mark Twain. Guidance in the Teacher Edition suggests teachers launch the lesson by having students research frontier mining camps and make a scale model or drawing of a camp. The Before Reading material contains the historical context of the story and includes a map of the mining district. Completing this task would be redundant and would not enhance core instruction. 

    • In Unit 7, The American Dream, Postwar Era 1945–1960, students read the play The Crucible by Arthur Miller. During the reading of Act I, materials include an enrichment activity during which students research scapegoating and answer a trio of historical questions about scapegoating. This task supports students with understanding the discrimination and prejudice present in the reading.

Gateway Three

Usability

Not Rated

Criterion 3a - 3h

The program includes opportunities for teachers to effectively plan and utilize materials with integrity and to further develop their own understanding of the content.

Indicator 3a

Materials provide teacher guidance with useful annotations and suggestions for how to enact the student materials and ancillary materials to support students' literacy development.

N/A

Indicator 3b

Materials contain adult-level explanations and examples of the more complex grade/course-level concepts and concepts beyond the current course so that teachers can improve their own knowledge of the subject.

N/A

Indicator 3c

Materials include standards correlation information that explains the role of the standards in the context of the overall series.

N/A

Indicator 3d

Materials provide strategies for informing all stakeholders, including students, parents, or caregivers about the program and suggestions for how they can help support student progress and achievement.

N/A

Indicator 3e

Materials provide explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identification of the research-based strategies.

N/A

Indicator 3f

Materials provide a comprehensive list of supplies needed to support instructional activities.

N/A

Indicator 3g

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3h

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3i - 3l

The program includes a system of assessments identifying how materials provide tools, guidance, and support for teachers to collect, interpret, and act on data about student progress towards the standards.

Indicator 3i

Assessment information is included in the materials to indicate which standards are assessed.

N/A

Indicator 3j

Assessment system provides multiple opportunities throughout the grade, course, and/or series to determine students' learning and sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up.

N/A

Indicator 3k

Assessments include opportunities for students to demonstrate the full intent of grade-level/course-level standards and practices across the series.

N/A

Indicator 3l

Assessments offer accommodations that allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills without changing the content of the assessment.

N/A

Criterion 3m - 3v

The program includes materials designed for each child’s regular and active participation in grade-level/grade-band/series content.

Indicator 3m

Materials provide strategies and supports for students in special populations to work with grade-level content and to meet or exceed grade-level standards that will support their regular and active participation in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3n

Materials regularly provide extensions to engage with literacy content and concepts at greater depth for students who read, write, speak, and/or listen above grade level.

N/A

Indicator 3o

Materials provide varied approaches to learning tasks over time and variety in how students are expected to demonstrate their learning with opportunities for students to monitor their learning.

N/A

Indicator 3p

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

N/A

Indicator 3q

Materials provide strategies and supports for students who read, write, and/or speak in a language other than English to meet or exceed grade-level standards to regularly participate in learning English language arts and literacy.

N/A

Indicator 3r

Materials provide a balance of images or information about people, representing various demographic and physical characteristics.

N/A

Indicator 3s

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student home language to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3t

Materials provide guidance to encourage teachers to draw upon student cultural and social backgrounds to facilitate learning.

N/A

Indicator 3u

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Indicator 3v

This is not an assessed indicator in ELA.

N/A

Criterion 3w - 3z

The program includes a visual design that is engaging and references or integrates digital technology (when applicable) with guidance for teachers.

Indicator 3w

Materials integrate technology such as interactive tools, virtual manipulatives/objects, and/or dynamic software in ways that engage students in the grade-level/series standards, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3x

Materials include or reference digital technology that provides opportunities for teachers and/or students to collaborate with each other, when applicable.

N/A

Indicator 3y

The visual design (whether in print or digital) supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject, and is neither distracting nor chaotic.

N/A

Indicator 3z

Materials provide teacher guidance for the use of embedded technology to support and enhance student learning, when applicable.

N/A
abc123

Report Published Date: 2021/08/26

Report Edition: 2021

Title ISBN Edition Publisher Year
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Student Edition Grade 11 978‑1‑5338‑3668‑7 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021
Mirrors & Windows 2021 - Teacher's Edition Grade 11 978‑1‑5338‑3675‑5 EMC School, Part of Carnegie Learning 2021

Please note: Reports published beginning in 2021 will be using version 1.5 of our review tools. Version 1 of our review tools can be found here. Learn more about this change.

ELA High School Review Tool

The ELA review criteria identifies the indicators for high-quality instructional materials. The review criteria supports 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 review criteria evaluates 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 review criteria 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.

The EdReports rubric supports a sequential review process through three gateways. These gateways reflect the importance of alignment to college and career ready standards and considers other attributes of high-quality curriculum, such as usability and design, as recommended by educators.

Materials must meet or partially meet expectations for the first set of indicators (gateway 1) to move to the other gateways. 

Gateways 1 and 2 focus on questions of alignment to the standards. 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).

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

Alignment and usability ratings are assigned based on how materials score on a series of criteria and indicators with reviewers providing supporting evidence to determine and substantiate each point awarded.

For ELA and math, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to college- and career-ready standards, 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.

For science, alignment ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for alignment to the Next Generation Science Standards, 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.

For all content areas, usability ratings represent the degree to which materials meet expectations, partially meet expectations, or do not meet expectations for effective practices (as outlined in the evaluation tool) for use and design, teacher planning and learning, assessment, differentiated instruction, and effective technology use.

Math K-8

  • Focus and Coherence - 14 possible points

    • 12-14 points: Meets Expectations

    • 8-11 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 8 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 18 possible points

    • 16-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 11-15 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 11 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 38 possible points

    • 31-38 points: Meets Expectations

    • 23-30 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 23: Does Not Meet Expectations

Math High School

  • Focus and Coherence - 18 possible points

    • 14-18 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Rigor and Mathematical Practices - 16 possible points

    • 14-16 points: Meets Expectations

    • 10-13 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 10 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 36 possible points

    • 30-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 22-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 22: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA K-2

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 58 possible points

    • 52-58 points: Meets Expectations

    • 28-51 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 28 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 3-5

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 42 possible points

    • 37-42 points: Meets Expectations

    • 21-36 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 21 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

ELA 6-8

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 36 possible points

    • 32-36 points: Meets Expectations

    • 18-31 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 18 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


ELA High School

  • Text Complexity and Quality - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meets Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Building Knowledge with Texts, Vocabulary, and Tasks - 32 possible points

    • 28-32 points: Meet Expectations

    • 16-27 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 16 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 34 possible points

    • 30-34 points: Meets Expectations

    • 24-29 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 24 points: Does Not Meet Expectations

Science Middle School

  • Designed for NGSS - 26 possible points

    • 22-26 points: Meets Expectations

    • 13-21 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 13 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Coherence and Scope - 56 possible points

    • 48-56 points: Meets Expectations

    • 30-47 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 30 points: Does Not Meet Expectations


  • Instructional Supports and Usability - 54 possible points

    • 46-54 points: Meets Expectations

    • 29-45 points: Partially Meets Expectations

    • Below 29 points: Does Not Meet Expectations