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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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EN2500: Language Arts 8

Course Description

What kinds of journalistic stories do you have to tell? How do we reach our audience in real-world modern ways- such as blogs- forums- newspapers- and other public spaces? How can each of us think like academics- while keeping our real voices? These questions and others are explored across at least six units of study (3 reading focused- 3 writing focused). The course teaches students strategies to use the writing cycle for varied published pieces- ranging from narrative- informational- to argumentative. Students are taught to write for authentic audiences- some school-based- others at home and around the community. Students learn routines as a reader to go beyond comprehension- and interpret- analyze- and evaluate various texts- including some focus on poetry. All units are grounded in grade level Common Core Standards for reading- writing- and speaking- and use Teacher's College Learning Progressions to help students understand themselves as readers- writers- and thinkers. Special attention is given to preparing students for the rigors of high school - such as working with longer texts- developing their own inquiries- and using strong research for evidence. The Honors level course helps students develop and reflect on their personal long-term goals as learners.

Essential Standards

  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Informational.RI.8.6)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Informational.RI.8.8)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Informational.RI.8.9)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. (CCSS.ELA-Language.L.8.1)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. (CCSS.ELA-Language.L.8.2​​​​​​​)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Literary.RL.8.5​​​​​​​) 
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Literary.RL.8.6​​​​​​​)
  • Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (CCSS.ELA-Reading.RI.RL.8.1​​​​​​​)
  • Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas, characters, setting and plot, provide an objective summary of the text. (CCSS.ELA-Reading.RI.RL.8.2​​​​​​​)
  • 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 as well as analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas or events (e.g., comparison, analogies, or categories). (CCSS.ELA-Reading.RI.RL.8.3)
  • 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 text. (CCSS.ELA-Reading.RI.RL.8.4​​​​​​​)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Speaking & Listening.SL.8.1​​​​​​​)
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.1​​​​​​​)
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.2​​​​​​​)
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.3)
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.4​​​​​​​)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.7​​​​​​​)
  • 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. (CCSS.ELA-Writing.W.8.8​​​​​​​)