Fort Dodge Community School District

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The Reading/Language Arts curriculum for eighth grade follows a balanced literacy approach which provides experiences for students in reading, writing, listening and speaking. Balanced literacy is a research based approach which has shown to increase student achievement. Within the balanced literacy approach, students participate in whole group instruction with grade level text as well as small group instruction in which a student works with text at his/her instructional level. Small group instruction consists of a student-teacher ratio of no more than 6 students per teacher. Students are instructed in the research based five components of reading which include phonics, phonemic awareness, fluency, comprehension and vocabulary.

By the end of eighth grade, students will be proficient in the following Iowa Core Standards:  

Reading Literature (Fiction)

  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision
  • Employ the full range of research-based comprehension strategies, including making connections, determining importance, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, summarizing, and monitoring for comprehension
  • Read on-level text, both silently and orally, at an appropriate rate with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts
  • Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style
  • Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor
  • Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors
  • Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new
  • By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently

Reading Information

  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text
  • Determine the central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text
  • Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories)
  • Employ the full range of research based comprehension strategies, including making connections, determining importance, questioning, visualizing, making inferences, summarizing and monitoring for comprehension
  • Read on-level text, both silently and orally, at an appropriate rate with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts
  • Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept 
  • Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints
  • Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
  • Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation
  • By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently

Writing

  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose and audience
  • With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed
  • Use technology, including the Internet to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others
  • Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration
  • Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
  • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences

Speaking and Listening

  • Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly
  • Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation
  • Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasonng and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced
  • Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
  • Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate

 

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