9 10th Grade Quarter 1 Latin American Literature



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Language Mini-Lessons

  1. Academic Vocabulary:

  • Note: See the following for an overview of information on vocabulary instruction.

  • Learning Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Evaluate their understanding of terms specific to this unit by completing a self-assessment.

    • Acquire and use academic language in reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities by using various resources (such as the Literary Toolbox) today and throughout the year.

  • Activities:

    • Students can be given the literary elements pre-assessment to complete during class. The test contains 25 matching questions based on the terms/definitions in the Literary Toolbox (see below) that apply to this unit.

      • Note: This assessment is intended to be a diagnostic and instructional tool. If desired, teachers can score or have students self-score, but students should understand that this is a pre-assessment and will not be graded in the traditional way.

    • Or at the beginning of the year, teachers may provide students with a list of academic vocabulary words they will need to know for this unit and allow them to self-score themselves as follows:

      • 1) I have never heard or seen it.

      • 2) I have heard of it but don’t know it.

      • 3) I recognize it as somehow related to _____________.

      • 4) I know it when I read it but not sure I can use it correctly when writing or speaking.

      • 5) I know it and can use it as a reader, writer, speaker, and listener.

    • Students should continue to acquire and use accurate academic language and domain-specific words and phrases in reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities all year.

      • Teachers and students can reference the Literary Toolbox throughout the year for terms and definitions and apply knowledge on the graphic organizer (see below).

      • Academic vocabulary can go on a Word Wall as terms are learned or expected to be used.

    • Teachers should regularly include structured student talk activities that provide opportunities for students to practice using academic language and domain-specific words in writing, speaking, and listening.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • After scoring, if students demonstrate a lack of understanding, teachers can use the results of the pre-assessment to do a variety of follow-up activities, including:

      • Design differentiated bellwork activities or mini-lessons around the literary terms that need the most focus.

      • Students could be required to complete a Frayer Model for the terms they do not understand or did not get right.




  1. Parallel Structure

  • Learning Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate command of conventions by applying parallel structure in their writing.

  • Activities:

    • Teachers may find the following helpful in teaching students how to use parallel structure.

      • Recognizing parallel structure when you see it

      • Parallel Structure Infographic

      • Parallel Structure Cartoon - What NOT to do

    • Teachers should conduct mini-lessons on parallel structure conventions throughout the quarter. These can be done as 5-minute “bell ringers,” “exit slips,” or in the context of the works they are studying or writing.

    • Teachers could give students a sentence per day or week that lacks parallel structure. Students can be asked to correct the sentence.

    • As students read a text in class, they can be asked to identify sentences that contain or lack parallel structure. They can be asked to discuss how it affects the flow and sound when read.

    • Students should have opportunities to practice and refine their knowledge of parallel structure through simulations and feedback.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • Teachers can set up quizzes or exit slips on Socrative to get immediate information about who has it and who doesn’t.

    • In their common writing assignment, teachers can ask that students demonstrate command of parallel structure, which will be scored under the “Language and Clarity” criteria.

    • If students demonstrate a lack of understanding, teachers may want to continue embedding and adapting mini-lessons throughout the year.




  1. Variety of Phrases and Clauses:

  • Learning Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Demonstrate command of conventions by using various types of phrases and clauses in their writing.

  • Activities:

    • Teachers might find the following useful in teaching students how to use various types of phrases and clauses to convey specific meanings and add variety and interest.

      • Word Form Chart

        • Students can use words specific to this unit or the upcoming assignment, such as hope, to complete the chart. Students can then be instructed on how to create a variety of phrases and clauses (as well as how to apply parallel structure) using this chart.

      • Importance of Sentence Variety: This Sentence Has Five Words

    • Teachers should conduct mini-lessons on phrases and clauses throughout the quarter. These can be done as 5-minute “bell ringers,” “exit slips,” or in the context of the works they are studying or writing. The following should be addressed:

      • noun, verb, adjectival, adverbial, participial, prepositional, and absolute

    • These four sentence-composing techniques can be used to improve students’ confidence, fluency, and correctness when teaching different types of sentences and their related conventions:

      • Unscramble sentences dissembled for the purpose of studying their construction.

      • Imitate specific forms and conventions of writing your students are studying.

      • Combine multiple sentences into one as a way to learn a specific convention or construction.

      • Expand on sentences, beginning with a base or stem sentence and then adding to it those forms you are studying.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • Teachers can set up quizzes or exit slips on Socrative to get immediate information about who has it and who doesn’t.

    • To utilize technology and enhance understanding, students could create their own infographic through Piktochart to teach others how to use various phrases and clauses (or they can draw on paper if access to computers is limited).

    • In their common writing assignment, teachers can ask that students use a variety of phrases and clauses, which will be scored under the “Language and Clarity” criteria.

    • If students demonstrate a lack of understanding, teachers may want to continue embedding and adapting mini-lessons throughout the year.




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