Continuum of Activities
The list below represents a continuum of activities: resources categorized by Standard/Eligible Content that teachers may use to move students toward proficiency. Using LEA curriculum and available materials and resources, teachers can customize the activity statements/questions for classroom use.
This continuum of activities offers:
- Instructional activities designed to be integrated into planned lessons
- Questions/activities that grow in complexity
- Opportunities for differentiation for each student’s level of performance
English Language Arts
- List the various reasons or purposes for authors’ writing.
- Construct a four-square with the words AUTHOR’S BIAS in the middle. Identify and define four ways in which bias may be seen in an author’s writing.
- Using several short texts with varying points of view, identify the author’s purpose for writing.
- Using various given advertisements, identify the author’s point of view or purpose for the ad and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
- Using a given text or texts written by an author, along with an informational text about the author, explain how an author’s culture affects his writing or how where an author is from influences his writing.
- Using a given text, identify an author’s bias by asking what has been excluded or left out by the author on purpose and why.
- Student lists various reasons or purposes for authors’ writing. Student understands that authors write to communicate. Student lists the following reasons for writing:
- Educate or Inform
- Student constructs a four-square with the words AUTHOR’S BIAS in the middle. Student identifies and defines four ways in which bias may be seen in an author’s writing. Student defines author’s bias as a preference for something that prevents the author from presenting a neutral view of the topic. Student understands that bias is similar or can equate to having a favorite. If you prefer home cooking over take-out, you are showing bias. If you love strawberry ice cream more than vanilla, you are showing a bias. Student understands that bias is not necessarily bad, but it does not belong in non-fiction writing. Some ways students can detect bias is by looking for:
- Opinions - a belief, value or an expression of a person’s feelings that cannot be proven. Rather than stating, “Strawberry is everyone’s favorite ice cream,” the less-biased author would say, “A study showed that 65% of people prefer strawberry ice cream over vanilla.”
- Emotional Words – words that conjure up certain feelings can be either good or bad. For example, he was raised in the seedy slums of Brooklyn or she was raised on a farm in Iowa with wholesome values.
- Exaggerations – overstating or stretching the truth. Beware of words like all, never, always, everyone, etc.
- Information Left Out on Purpose-the author chooses to leave some information out to advance his ideas or persuade the reader of his personal views.
- Student reads several short texts with varying points of view, and identifies the author’s purpose for writing. Student identifies the purpose for writing as, to educate or inform, persuade, or entertain. Student correctly selects the purpose. Student highlights multiple lines within the text or marks multiple areas of the text with a sticky-note to support their analysis of purpose. Student can verbalize their thinking about how the noted evidence supports the author’s purpose.
- Student uses given advertisements and identifies the author’s point of view or purpose for the ad and explains how it is conveyed in the text. Student understands that text is used to convey meaning. Student understands that photographs, illustrations, advertisements, etc., provide meaning and are text as well. Student understands that all advertisements are constructed with a purpose. Student answers questions similar to, but not limited to:
- Who created this message? (Author)
- Why was this message created? (Purpose)
- Who is the targeted audience? (Audience)
- What is the explicit or surface message? (Textual message or meaning)
- What is the implicit or hidden message? (Textual message or meaning)
- Student uses a given text or texts written by an author and an informational text about the author, and explains how an author’s culture affects his/her writing or how or where an author is from influences his/her writing. Student considers how the author’s culture may have influenced the subject matter, plot, characters, setting, events, interactions or speech. Student looks at the subject matter or elements of the story and focuses on one or more in which he detects a cultural influence. Students use multiple sentences to convey their ideas. Student describes the link or connection found between the author’s culture and what is written by the author.
- Student uses the given text and identifies an author’s bias by asking what has been excluded or left out by the author on purpose and why. Student begins by identifying the author’s attitude toward the topic. Student looks at the author’s word choices to determine author’s attitude. Student studies the use of positive or negative adjectives or words with positive or negative connotations to detect the author’s attitude. Student highlights these words or marks with a sticky note as evidence. Student studies information in the text that may have been excluded or left out. For example, if the author talk about a group (real estate developers) that believes something is needed, the student considers groups of people that are not mentioned (community members, conservationists, etc.) and considers what their points of view may be. Student considers why this information may not have been included. Student also considers the evidence the author provides. The student considers if this evidence is sufficient and compelling. Student correctly states the author’s bias and provides evidence to substantiate their evaluation.