Grade 8 Informational



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GRADE 8

Informational

ela common core

instructional sampler

The materials contained herein are intended for use by Delaware teachers. Permission is herby granted to teachers and nonprofit organizations or institutions to reproduce these materials for their own use, but not for sale, provided copyright notices are retained as they appear in this publication. This permission does not apply to mass distribution of these materials, electronically or otherwise.

Introduction

The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects (“the Standards”) are the culmination of an extended, broad-based effort to fulfill the charge issued by the states to create the next generation of K-12 standards in order to help ensure that all students are college and career ready in literacy no later than the end of high school (CCSS p.3).

The ELA Common Core State Standards are designed to be focused, coherent, clear, and rigorous. The Common Core Standards signify the need to change practice in the areas of content, instruction, and assessment. In order to ensure Delaware’s students are college and career ready, educators need to focus on the “big” shifts that affect English Language Arts, as outlined in the Revised Publishers’ Criteria, April 2012:


  • building knowledge through content-rich literary nonfiction and informational texts;

  • reading and writing grounded in evidence from the text

  • regular practice with complex text and its academic vocabulary

The ELA Common Core Samplers were written by teachers and specialists representing all three counties in Delaware. These educators received training and coaching by the ELA Education Associates at the Delaware Department of Education. The Common Core Samplers are being created in three rounds of work sessions during the 2012-2013 school year. The goal of this committee is to create samplers, for grades K-12, which include both informational and literary text. In an effort to share the samplers with Delaware educators in a timely manner, they will be posted on the state’s Common Core website as each round is completed. Please keep in mind that there will not be a sampler for each grade and text type until all work sessions are completed. While the committee members were trained and coached in the creation of these samplers, the samplers have been reviewed but not piloted. The Committee and the Delaware Department of Education would appreciate feedback from educators as they use these samplers in the service of instruction.

These are NOT test samplers and are NOT meant to mirror questions on a state assessment.

Purpose of the Samplers

The purpose of the samplers is to assist Delaware educators in incorporating the three “big” shifts into their instruction and to provide a model for assessments that can inform instruction. The samplers include grade-appropriate complex text, academic vocabulary, and text dependent questions.



  • Grade-appropriate complex text:

    • The texts for each sampler are from public domain sources; these texts may or may not represent texts teachers currently utilize in their classrooms. However, each text has been vetted using the criteria for text complexity by the Common Core Sampler committee. Committee members considered qualitative measures, quantitative measures, reader and task.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler

    • The Common Core State Standards hinge on students encountering appropriately complex texts at each grade level in order to develop the mature language skills and the conceptual knowledge they need for success in school and life (CCSS, p. 3). The reading standards place equal emphasis on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. Standard 10 defines a grade-by-grade “staircase” of increasing text complexity from beginning reading to the college and career readiness level (CCSS, p.8).

    • Teachers are encouraged to use the samplers to help guide text choices for instructional materials and expose students to similarly complex texts.

  • Academic Vocabulary:

    • Students must constantly build the vocabulary they need to be able to access grade-level complex texts. Students, through explicit instruction, need to spend more time on Tier 2 vocabulary as these are the words that transcend all content areas and are found in both informational and literary text.

    • The vocabulary standards focus on understanding words and phrases…and on acquiring new vocabulary, particularly general academic and domain specific words and phrases (CCSS, p. 8). Students in K-2 can encounter more complex texts by reading to build knowledge and through read-alouds (Revised Publishers’ Criteria K-2, p. 5).

    • Teachers are encouraged to use the samplers and the resources provided in this document as a guide for choosing Tier 2 vocabulary. Each sampler will showcase a suggested list of Tier 2 vocabulary words; however, teachers should use discretion based on their knowledge of their students and units of study.

  • Text-Dependent Questions:

    • The Common Core samplers include only text-dependent questions which require text-based answers. A text dependent question specifically asks a question that can only be answered by referring explicitly back to the text being read and/or discussed.

    • Among the highest priorities of the Common Core State Standards is that students be able to read closely and gain knowledge from texts (Revised Publishers’ Criteria 3-12, pp.6-7). Questions and tasks should require thinking about the text carefully and finding evidence in the text itself to support the response (Revised Publishers’ Criteria K-2, pp. 7-8).

    • The samplers include a set of text dependent questions that systematically guide students through the text. The questions typically begin by exploring specific words, details, and arguments and then move to examine the impact of those specifics on the text as a whole. Teachers are encouraged to use the samplers as a springboard for creating text dependent question sets and to encourage students to read analytically and closely.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 3

Resources to Support Implementation

CCSS Shift

Resources

Text Complexity

Revised Publishers' Criteria K-2 (p. 5)

Revised Publishers' Criteria 3-12 (pp. 8-10)

CCSS Appendix A (pp. 2-16)

CCSS Appendix B (Text Exemplars)

Delaware's Guide to the ELA CCSS Shifts (p. 6)

Achieve the Core Text Complexity

Aspen Institute Text Complexity and Close Reading

Delaware's Lexile Website

Delaware's CCSS Website (HQPD)

Academic Vocabulary

Revised Publishers' Criteria K-2 (pp. 4-5)

Revised Publishers' Criteria 3-12 (pp. 10, 17)

CCSS Appendix A (p. 33)

Aspen Institute Academic Vocabulary

Delaware's Guide to the ELA CCSS Shifts (p. 9)

Delaware's CCSS Website (HQPD)

Text-Dependent Questions (Text-Based Answers)

Revised Publishers' Criteria K-2 (pp. 7-8)

Revised Publishers' Criteria 3-12 (pp. 6-7)

Achieve the Core Text Dependent Questions

Aspen Institute Text Dependent Questions

Delaware's CCSS Website (Resources)

The Delaware Department of Education would like to thank the Common Core Sampler Committee Members:

  • Shay Eli, Elementary Literacy Coach, Cape Henlopen School District

  • Kellie Rogers, Achievement Liaison Teacher, Caesar Rodney School District

  • Karen Willey, Language Arts Teacher, Sussex Academy of Arts and Science Charter

  • Denise Parks, District Specialist, Colonial School District

  • Ryan Buchanan, English Teacher, Smyrna School District

The Committee and the Delaware Department of Education would appreciate feedback from educators. Please contact Theresa Bennett at tbennett@doe.k12.de.us or 735-4180.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 4


The Art of Public Speaking


Lexile 1110

By Dale Carnagey



CHAPTER I
Acquiring Confidence Before an Audience
1 There is a strange sensation often experienced in the presence of an audience. It may proceed from the gaze of the many eyes that turn upon the speaker, especially if he permits himself to steadily return that gaze. Most speakers have been conscious of this in a nameless thrill, a real something, pervading the atmosphere, tangible, evanescent, indescribable. All writers have borne testimony to the power of a speaker's eye in impressing an audience. This influence which we are now considering is the reverse of that picture—the power theireyes may exert upon him, especially before he begins to speak: after the inward fires of oratory are fanned into flame the eyes of the audience lose all terror.—William Pittenger, Extempore Speech.
2 Students of public speaking continually ask, "How can I overcome self-consciousness and the fear that paralyzes me before an audience?"
3 Did you ever notice in looking from a train window that some horses feed near the track and never even pause to look up at the thundering cars, while just ahead at the next railroad crossing a farmer's wife will be nervously trying to quiet her scared horse as the train goes by?
4 How would you cure a horse that is afraid of cars—graze him in a back-woods lot where he would never see steam-engines or automobiles, or drive or pasture him where he would frequently see the machines?
5 Apply horse-sense to ridding yourself of self-consciousness and fear: face an audience as frequently as you can, and you will soon stop shying. You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise. A book may give you excellent suggestions on how best to conduct yourself in the water, but sooner or later you must get wet, perhaps even strangle and be "half scared to death." There are a great many "wetless" bathing suits worn at the seashore, but no one ever learns to swim in them. To plunge is the only way.
6 Practise, practise, PRACTISE in speaking before an audience will tend to remove all fear of audiences, just as practise in swimming will lead to confidence and facility in the water. You must learn to speak by speaking.
7 The Apostle Paul tells us that every man must work out his own salvation. All we can do here is to offer you suggestions as to how best to prepare for your plunge. The real plunge no one can take for you. A doctor may prescribe, but you must take the medicine.
Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler www.gutenberg.gov 5

8 Do not be disheartened if at first you suffer from stage-fright. Dan Patch was more susceptible to suffering than a superannuated dray horse would be. It never hurts a fool to appear before an audience, for his capacity is not a capacity for feeling. A blow that would kill a civilized man soon heals on a savage. The higher we go in the scale of life, the greater is the capacity for suffering


9 For one reason or another, some master-speakers never entirely overcome stage-fright, but it will pay you to spare no pains to conquer it. Daniel Webster failed in his first appearance and had to take his seat without finishing his speech because he was nervous. Gladstone was often troubled with self-consciousness in the beginning of an address. Beecher was always perturbed before talking in public.
10 Blacksmiths sometimes twist a rope tight around the nose of a horse, and by thus inflicting a little pain they distract his attention from the shoeing process. One way to get air out of a glass is to pour in water.
Be Absorbed by Your Subject

11 Apply the blacksmith's homely principle when you are speaking. If you feel deeply about your subject you will be able to think of little else. Concentration is a process of distraction from less important matters. It is too late to think about the cut of your coat when once you are upon the platform, so centre your interest on what you are about to say—fill your mind with your speech-material and, like the infilling water in the glass, it will drive out your unsubstantial fears.


12 Self-consciousness is undue consciousness of self, and, for the purpose of delivery, self is secondary to your subject, not only in the opinion of the audience, but, if you are wise, in your own. To hold any other view is to regard yourself as an exhibit instead of as a messenger with a message worth delivering. Do you remember Elbert Hubbard's tremendous little tract, "A Message to Garcia"? The youth subordinated himself to the message he bore. So must you, by all the determination you can muster. It is sheer egotism to fill your mind with thoughts of self when a greater thing is there—TRUTH. Say this to yourself sternly, and shame your self-consciousness into quiescence. If the theater caught fire you could rush to the stage and shout directions to the audience without any self-consciousness, for the importance of what you were saying would drive all fear-thoughts out of your mind.
13 Far worse than self-consciousness through fear of doing poorly is self-consciousness through assumption of doing well. The first sign of greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great. Before you can call yourself a man at all, Kipling assures us, you must "not look too good nor talk too wise."
14 Nothing advertises itself so thoroughly as conceit. One may be so full of self as to be empty. Voltaire said, "We must conceal self-love." But that can not be done. You know this to be true, for you have recognized overweening self-love in others. If you have it, others are seeing it in you. There are things in this world bigger than self, and in working for them self will be forgotten, or—what is better—remembered only so as to help us win toward higher things.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler www.gutenberg.gov 6



The Art of Public Speaking

Lexile 1110

By Dale Carnegy


Tier 2/Academic Vocabulary:

pervading (1) susceptible (8)

atmosphere (1) perturbed (9)

tangible (1) unsubstantial (11)

indescribable (1) quiescence (12)

testimony (1)

paralyzes (2)

treatise (5)


1. Explain the most likely reason that the author begins his essay with an excerpt from William Pittenger’s Extempore Speech. What evidence from the essay supports your answer?
Exemplar: The author most likely wants the reader to consider the power the audience has on a speaker. The excerpt from Extempore Speech helps the reader understand why one might be uncomfortable with “the strange sensation” of public speaking. For example, Pittenger mentions “the power of their eyes may exert upon” the speaker, and this helps create credibility that the author understands, appreciates, and empathizes with the fear some experience. It also provides an explanation of the purpose of the text: how to overcome nerves before speaking in front of an audience and the power of the message.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI5
Rationale: Standard 8RI5 requires students to analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept. The question asks students to analyze the role the excerpt plays in developing and refining two key concepts – the fear some have of public speaking and the power of the message.

2. Explain what is ironic about the essay given paragraph 5. Use evidence from the essay to support your answer.
Exemplar: In the fifth paragraph, the author states, “You can never attain freedom from stage-fright by reading a treatise.” He recommends that people not read about how to overcome fears of public speaking; rather, they should practice public speaking as often as they can. He cites an example in paragraph 4 about teaching a horse not to be afraid of cars and paragraph 5 about learning to swim. This is ironic because the author is writing about public speaking, so his audience is reading rather than doing.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI8

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 7



Rationale: Standard 8RI8 requires students to delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient. The question requires students to look at the author’s claim and note the irony of it, despite the fact that the examples he cites in paragraph 4 about teaching a horse not to be afraid of cars and paragraph 5 about learning to swim are both relevant and sufficient.

3. The author writes “Practise, practise, PRACTISE” in public speaking. Explain the impact of this phrase on the reader. Use evidence from the essay to support your answer.

Exemplar: The author uses different type styles to draw the reader’s attention to this phrase. By repeating “practice” three times, it lets the reader know that this is an important idea that the author is conveying. It reinforces the idea that the best way to improve in public speaking is to practice repeatedly.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI5
Rationale: Standard 8RI5 requires students to 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. The question requires students to explain the role of “Practise, practise, PRACTISE” in developing and refining a key concept.

4. Explain how the author’s blacksmith analogy helps the reader understand overcoming stage-fright? Was the analogy effective? What evidence from the essay supports your answer?
Exemplar: The blacksmith analogy refers to how distraction can be a powerful means to overcome fear. If the horse is thinking about the pain on its nose, it won’t think about the pain of getting horse shoes. The author then applies this analogy to public speaking; he explains if you concentrate intently on the subject of your speech, you won’t be worried about the fear of speaking.
Yes, the analogy is effective. On the surface, putting shoes on horses and speaking in front of an audience seems to have very little in common. However, the author points out the power of distraction in both instances. Despite the fact the two examples are very different, the impact of the analogy is effective because it helps the reader understand the point the author is making.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI4
Rationale: Standard 8RI4 requires students to analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies. The question requires students to analyze how the blacksmith analogy helps the reader understand how to overcome stage-fright.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 8



5. Explain the author’s viewpoint on self-consciousness. What evidence from the essay supports your answer?
Exemplar: The author states that “Self-consciousness is undue consciousness of self, and, for the purpose of delivery, self is secondary to your subject, not only in the opinion of the audience, but, if you are wise, in your own.” He feels that self-consciousness is selfish because the speaker puts his or her self-thoughts before the most important aspect: the subject of the speech, or truth.”It is sheer egotism to fill your mind with thoughts of self when a greater thing is there – TRUTH.” The author supports his view by referencing Elbert Hubbard’s “A Message to Garcia,” where a young person believes in his message more than himself.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI6
Rationale: Standard 8RI6 requires students to 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. The question requires students to determine the author’s point of view (self-consciousness is “sheer egotism”) and identify relevant details from the essay to support the point of view.

6. Re-read and consider the following sentences from paragraph 12:
The youth subordinated himself to the message he bore. So must you, by all the determination you can muster.”
What does subordinate mean in the sentence? What does the youth do when he “subordinated himself to the message he bore”? Use evidence from the essay to support your answer.
Exemplar: Subordinate means to put something lower than another. The sentence means that the child thought of his message first before he thought about himself. In other words, the message that the youth was sharing was more important than he was.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI4
Rationale: Standard 8RI4 requires students to determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other works. The question asks the student to determine the meaning of subordinate in the sentence and explain what that meant the boy did.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 9



7. According to the author, why are, “self-consciousness through fear of doing poorly” and “self-consciousness through assumption of doing well” different? What evidence from the essay supports your answer?
Exemplar: While similar in that they both impact the delivery of the message, the author feels that it is terrible to think too highly of oneself. He feels that “self-consciousness through assumption of doing well” is worse than “self-consciousness through fear of doing poorly.The author writes, “The first sign of greatness is when a man does not attempt to look and act great.” He cites Kipling’s belief that “before you can call yourself a man at all,” you must “not look too good or talk too wise.” He contends when someone is too conceited the truth and the message is lost.
Common Core Alignment: 8RI3
Rationale: Standard 8RI3 requires students to analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories). The question requires students to analyze how the author makes distinctions between “self-consciousness through assumption of doing well” and “self-consciousness through fear of doing poorly.

Grade 8 ELA Common Core Instructional Sampler 10

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