Mrs. Kimmel’s Syllabus
ESL/English Language Arts (FY)
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9:41-11:05
Grade 8 ELA Module 1
These free-verse narrative poems performance task centers on NYSP12 ELA Standards RI.8.1, RI.8.2, W.8.3, W.8.4, W.8.5, W.8.7, W.8.9, L.8.1, and L.8.2.
Finding Home: Refugees
In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees. In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text through discussion and writing. They will also read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam.
Students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’ experiences. This unit culminates with the students examining how the universal refugee experience causes the refugee’s life to be turned inside out.
After finishing the novel, students will reread critical incidents, and we also working in research groups to study the experiences of refugees. Students will use this knowledge to write to write two, free verse narrative poems that capture the universal refugee experience. Students will reread poems from the novel as mentor texts.
Grade 8 ELA Module 2A
Working with Evidence: Taking a Stand
In this second module, students will continue to develop their ability to closely read text while studying the theme of taking a stand.
Students will read two speeches of real people taking a stand; they will build background knowledge about the module’s theme. They will also engage in a study of the speaker’s perspective and analyze an argument.
Second half of Unit 1:
Students will read Part 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and continue to study the theme of taking a stand. Students will engage in a character study of Atticus by analyzing his actions and words. This analysis will provide details and evidence for the end of Unit 2 argument essay. In addition, students will view excerpts of the To Kill a Mockingbird film , and they will analyze how the film remains true or departs from the original.
Students will continue to study the theme of taking a stand as they finish the novel. They will develop their argument writing skills will be developed through scaffolded writing lessons. The culminating project will be a literary analysis essay in which they argue whether or not it made sense for Atticus to take a stand for Tom Robinson.
Unit 3: This Readers Theater final performance task centers on NYSP12 ELA Standards RL.8.2, RL.8.3, W.8.3, W.8.4, and W.8.11b.
After finishing the novel, students will return to key quotes from the novel that relate to the themes of the Golden Rule and Taking a Stand. Students will form groups to create a Readers Theater in which they select one key quote. They will select scenes from the novel that reveal the message of the quote. Students will recreate these scenes in a Readers Theater structure and provide commentary on how their script remains true or departs from the original text.
Grade 8 ELA Module 3A
Students will study Japanese-American relations during World War II. They will read case studies about the plight of Japanese-Americans interned on American soil and American prisoners of war held captive in Japan during World War II. The central texts are Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand and a short biography of Miné Okubo, a Japanese-American interned during the war. As students read both of these pieces, they will analyze how the narrative structure can communicate real events in a compelling manner.
Performance Task: Students will research Miné Okubo’s life after internment; and for their final performance task, they will share and reflect on their narrative in which they tell the story of how Okubo went from resisting efforts to make her “invisible” during internment to becoming “visible” post-internment. NYSP12 ELA CCLS W.8.3, W.8.6, W.8.9b, L.8.1, L.8.1b, L.8.1c, L.8.2, L.8.2c, and L.8.3.
Grade 8 ELA Module 4
This task addresses NYSP12 ELA Standards RI.8.1,W.8.1, W.8.1a, W.8.1b, W.8.1c, W.8.1d, W.8.1e and W.8.9.
Students will analyze arguments and the evidence used to support arguments to determine whether sufficient evidence and whether it is relevant in support of the claim an author or speaker is making. They gather evidence to make their own spoken and written arguments.
Students will read Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (930L), a literary non-fiction text about where food comes from and about making decisions about what food to buy and eat. They build background knowledge about what happens to food before it gets to the consumer. They will analyze the different choices the consumer can make when buying food while analyzing Michael Pollan’s arguments and the evidence he uses to support his claims.
Students engage in a research project in where they further investigate the consequences of each of the food chains and the stakeholders affected. They will use a decision-making process called “Stakeholder Consequences Decision-Making.” This process will help students understand the implications of various choices, and based on evidence and their own values how to take a position on which food chain they would choose if they had to feed everyone in the US. The culminating project is a position paper explaining which of Michael Pollan’s food chain they would choose to feed the US and why by creating a poster stating their position.
District Grading Policy:
- Components of the Academic Grades Minimum of 10 (ten) grades should reflect student progress (entered into Genesis over a nine week period). K-4 World Language Visual & Performing Arts, Technology, Physical Education/Health will be assessed according to the following scale: O-Outstanding, S-Satisfactory, and NI-Needs Improvement. Minimum of (5) grades should reflect 5-8 (World Languages, Visual & Performing Arts, Technology, and Physical Education/Health).
- Grading Weights:
25% of the grade consists of tests (may include end of chapter assessment, unit, content District assessments.)
20% of the grade consists of quizzes (short assessments of targeted learning objectives.)
20% of the grade consists of class work and participation (inclusive of discussions, teamwork, problem solving daily journal entries, logs, assignments, demonstrations, skill applications…)
25% of the grade consists of Authentic Assessments (portfolios, performance assessments, exhibitions, research, projects, internships, summer journals, essays, book reports, speeches, 21st Century real world experiences…)
10% of the grade is Homework (including interim checkpoints for long term projects, i.e. essays, research, and independent reading).
- Explanation of Academic Grades (Grades 1-8) A (Exceeds the Standard) ….. 100- 90 B (Meets the Standard)…..89-80 C (Marginally Meets the Standard)…..79-70 D (Below Standard)…..69-65 F (Unsatisfactory Performance) 64 and below District guidelines indicate 72% and below mandates a parent teacher conference.
- Principal’s Academic Honor Roll 100- 97%
- Academic High Honor Roll 96- 90%
- Academic Honor Roll 89-80%
- Rising Stars (Grades K-7) Improved Performer (8-12) (Students Making Significant progress in a marking period, but not honor roll).
Students maintaining Principal’s Academic Honor Roll for 3 marking periods will be initiated into the Superintendent’s list.
Classroom Management Plan:
Students are expected to follow the rules that are posted in the classroom. In addition, students are expected to conduct themselves with dignity and respect for all.
It is expected that each student:
- will come to class prepared everyday
- will silence and store cell phones in school bag
- will use appropriate language
- will wait his/her turn to speak
- will respect everyone
- will complete and make-up all assignments
Should these expectations be met, there will be rewards, which include:
- Good behavior (extra credit)
- Verbal recognition (shout-outs)
Should these expectations not be met, however there will be consequences, which include:
- Non-verbal cues
- Verbal redirect
- Call home to parent
- Behavioral contract tailored to student