This is topsy-turvy, and comes from an incredulity at the very possibility that the world could have gotten better. Sometimes the incredulity is nakedly political. The picture of the world presented in EN comes from data which aggregate all the cherries. I began with the three variables that every thinker on social progress agrees are the baseline for measuring well-being: longevity, prosperity, and education being healthy, wealthy, and wise.
As I did in Better Angels, I also graphed measures of violence deaths in war, genocide, and violent crime , state oppression autocracy, the death penalty, the criminalization of homosexuality , and bigotry racist and sexist attitudes and violence against women and minorities. I added data on one of the psychological causes of progress, liberal values, and one of its psychological effects, happiness.
In each case I chose the most objective and agreed-upon measures, such as battle deaths for war and homicides for violent crime dead bodies are hard to fudge. And I reported the entire dataset, from its inception to the most recent year available. With finer-grained measures such as life expectancy at different ages, or deaths from lightning strikes , I showed data from the US or UK, both because they are where the data are available and because those countries are of parochial interest to the largest number of my readers.
But these choices underestimate the amount of progress enjoyed by the developed world. The US is a backward country, lagging its democratic peers in health, safety, education, and happiness, and the UK is not at the front of the pack either. In every case progress can be seen with the naked eye. Now compare this picture of the world with the main alternative on offer to most readers. Journalism, almost by definition, is cherry-picking.
It reports rare events such as wars, epidemics, and disasters, not everyday states of affairs such as peace, health, and safety. Professional history, too, has an eye for the juiciest fruit. There are many histories of wars and famines and tyrants and revolutions, but fewer histories of peace and plenty and harmony, and fewer still that trace out measures of well-being over time and explain the ups and downs. The environment presents a different challenge.
I could not have presented a global, long-term dataset on environmental quality, because no historical measure of this omnibus concept exists. But no one would suggest that the state of the environment has improved in the past years anyway—on the contrary, many of the improvements for humanity came at the expense of the planet. The question I then faced was which of the dozens of components of environmental quality deserved to be broken out into their own graphs. I chose the one with the most alarming trend—CO 2 emissions—and four with positive trends emissions within the United States, deforestation, oil spills, and protected areas.
Critics have argued that I could have plotted other negative trends such as biodiversity and fresh water resources, and perhaps I should have. But my goal in those pages was not to summarize the state of the environment but to push back against the relentless fatalism of orthodox environmental journalism and activism.
Looking at numbers on human well-being is amoral and callous and insensitive. What do you say to those people who are suffering? It treats every life as equally precious, instead of privileging members of the tribe or victims that are photogenic or conveniently nearby a point developed by Paul Bloom in his case for rational compassion. Data show us where the suffering is greatest, help identify the measures that will reduce it, and reassure us that implementing those measures is not a waste of time.
Smoke from the indoor fire is weakening her lungs. You save some money and buy sandals for your children, and a bike, and more plastic buckets. Now it only takes you half an hour to fetch water for the day. You buy a gas stove so your children can attend school instead of gathering wood. But the electricity is too unstable for a freezer. Then do it again. And again. And again, around the clock for a millennium.
That is a way to appreciate a fact that others can summarize as follows: During the past 25 years, a billion people escaped from extreme poverty. How do you explain Donald Trump? And Brexit? And authoritarian populism? Though the Enlightenment ideals of disinterested reason, scientific naturalism, cosmopolitan humanism, democratic institutions, and human progress offer the best prospects for humanity, they are by no means intuitive.
People easily slide back into motivated cognition, magical thinking, tribalism, authoritarianism, and nostalgia for a golden age. Nor has Enlightenment thinking ever carried the day. It has enjoyed spells of influence which have increased in length since , but always has been opposed by Romantic, nationalist, militarist, and other Counter-Enlightenment ideologies. The authoritarian populism of the s falls smack into that undertow—not just the emotional currents, but a line of intellectual influence. These themes can be appealing during periods of economic, cultural, and demographic change, particularly to factions that feel disrespected and left behind.
They include his kissing up to autocratic thugs, undermining a free press and judiciary, demonizing foreigners, gutting environmental protections, blowing off climate science, renouncing international cooperation, and threatening to renew a nuclear arms race. But before we imagine the future as a boot stamping on a human face forever, we need to put authoritarian populism in perspective.
Despite its recent swelling, populism appears to have plateaued. The demographic sectors that are the hottest hotbeds of populism are all in decline: rural, less educated, older, and ethnic majorities. The travails of Trump and Brexit in are a reminder to supporters that populism works better in theory than in practice. Lined up against it are democratic checks and balances within a country and pressures toward global cooperation outside it, the only effective means to deal with trade, migration, pollution, pandemics, cybercrime, terrorism, piracy, rogue states, and war.
And though Trump and other reactionary leaders can do real damage, and will have to be opposed and contained for some time to come, they are not the only actors in the world. The forces of modernity, including connectivity, mobility, science, and the ideals of human rights and human welfare are distributed among a wide array of governments and private-sector and civil-society organizations, and they have gained too much momentum to be shifted into reverse overnight.
Most of the kinds of progress documented in EN are continuing. The political economist Angus Hervey of Future Crunch maintains a dataset of positive developments of a kind that tend to be passed over in CNN morning meetings. The year saw reports of:. How do you explain the growing epidemic of despair, depression, loneliness, mental illness, and suicide in the most advanced liberal societies?
Though some sub-populations are tragically suffering in particular, middle-aged, less-educated, non-urban white Americans , the belief that people are increasingly unhappy is a persistent illusion. And contrary to an urban legend, Bhutan is not particularly happy, coming in 97th among countries, with a mean self-rating of 5. As I reported in EN, the world has been getting happier. What about that epidemic of depression, mental illness, and substance abuse?
The prevalence of mental health and substance use disorders is approximately the same as 26 years ago. Here are data for the whole world from the Global Burden of Disease project, showing the 38 percent fall since , together with a sample of countries selected by Our World in Data :. The crisscrossing lines for the United States and the world explain why so many people are mistaken about suicide trends. American writers who report a suicide epidemic have picked one of the rottenest cherries from the bin: data for the United States, which is defying the global trend, from a starting year of , when it had sunk to one of its lowest points.
Zooming out shows that suicide rates were far higher in the first half of the 20th century, not just in the US but in two other countries for which we have data stretching back that far. Suicide rates are often inscrutable, but one cause of the worldwide decline is identified by two experts quoted in The Economist:. There may be something similar going on in India. If parents disapprove of a relationship, they will tell the police their daughter has been abducted.
The cops will then take a year-old away from a consensual relationship. As social mores have liberalised, that is changing. In her essay A Hunger Strike Just to Get to College , the Islamic scholar Nadia Oweidat recounts why suicide crossed her mind growing up in another not-so-liberal, not-so-advanced culture, Jordan:. When I told my family I wanted to go to university, they were indignant.
Having just finished high school, I already had too much education, they told me. And I was starting to have some crazy ideas like wanting to master the English language to go abroad one day. It was time for me to put all that aside and get married, they insisted. But I knew there was one way this would end. I would go to university and pursue a higher education, maybe even go to America.
The Durkheimian conventional wisdom that close-knit families, intimate village life, and traditional social norms protect people against anomie and suicide needs to be rethought. Social bonds sometimes constrain people as well as sustaining them; escaping an abusive husband or tyrannical mother-in-law is easier in a city than in a village.
Life poses tradeoffs. The unprecedented freedom in modern societies includes the freedom to trade off intimacy for autonomy, and to surrender to temptations that may not be best for us in the long run. We have not hit upon a perfect libertarian paternalism that would somehow nudge everyone into using their freedom wisely. The Enlightenment will be killed off by its own creations, artificial intelligence and social media. But like the revivification of corpses by electricity, the Artificial General Intelligence that will displace humans is a sci-fi fantasy.
In EN, I argued that artificial intelligence is neither going to subjugate us nor inadvertently wipe us out as collateral damage. Imagine his astonishment at holding a small object that allows him to watch a movie, listen to church music, zoom in on a facsimile of his Principia, illuminate a dark chapel, mirror and magnify his face, take pictures, record sound, count his steps, talk to people anywhere in the world, and instantly carry out arithmetic calculations to many decimal places.
Newton might very well guess that the iPhone would work forever without being recharged, like a prism, or transmute lead into gold, his lifelong dream. And if it becomes indistinguishable from magic, anything one says about it is no longer falsifiable. How will AI join forces with the internet and kill off the Enlightenment? Kissinger suggests that since the algorithms of artificial intelligence are opaque to human understanding, the handover of decision-making to AI will make the ideal of rationally justified explanations and policies obsolete. To dispel the magic: Deep learning networks are designed to convert an input, such as the pixels making up an image or the shape of an auditory waveform, into a useful output, like a caption of the picture or the word that was spoken.
The network is fed millions of tidbits of information from the input, computes thousands of weighted combinations of them, then thousands of weighted combinations of the weighted combinations, and so on, each in a layer of simple units that feeds the next, culminating in a guess of the appropriate output. This is repeated millions of times, which has become feasible thanks to faster processors and bigger datasets. For a more detailed explanation of the first generation of these models, see my books How the Mind Works and Words and Rules.
But this is exactly the reason that many AI experts believe these networks, despite their recent successes, have hit a wall, and that new kinds of algorithm, probably incorporating explicit knowledge representations, will be needed to power future advances. AI is a tool, which serves at our pleasure. The other terrifying sorcery of the moment is social media, now blamed for every problem on the planet, from destroying democracy to ruining a generation the post-Millennial Generation Z or iGen, born after But before we write off Western civilization, we should keep some historical perspective.
Nyhan found that relatively little of the election-related news that circulated on social media in was fake, relatively few people were exposed to it, and not many of these were persuadable in the first place. The psychological effects of smartphones also have to be kept in historical perspective:. The psychologist who sounded this alarm in an Atlantic cover story , Jean Twenge, has done groundbreaking research on secular trends in mental health, but her popular writings are almost a caricature of how every generation panics about the kids today, first the narcissistic Millennials , now the smartphone-ruined iGens.
For one thing, the critics note, the kids are mostly all right: Compared to preceding generations, they have lower rates of alcohol abuse, smoking, crime, car accidents, pregnancy, and unprotected sex. Smartphone use may have positive, not just negative, effects on their mental health, except with extreme overuse and even that correlation may not be causal, since depressed teenagers may lose themselves in electronic distractions rather than having become depressed by them to start with. Why were you so mean to Nietzsche?
My disavowal of Nietzscheism was no digression. Therefore, humanism is the same as Nietzsche. Some people who think this way are just clueless: they have been so crippled by theistic morality that they cannot conceive of how one can ground ethics in anything other than God. Enlightenment philosophers showed how, building on an argument from Plato. Nietzsche deployed every ounce of his considerable literary skill to imply that most human lives are worth nothing, which is the opposite of humanism.
Humanism was inspired not by Nietzsche but by the Enlightenment, which Nietzsche despised. I had no right to criticize anything he said, since his writings are aphoristic, personal, non-logical, and riddled with contradictions and puzzles, so no one really knows what he meant. Well, perhaps. Even the fact that Nietzsche was hostile to the anti-Semites and German nationalists of his day which I noted in EN turns out to be a lame defense. Though I make no claim to being a Nietzsche scholar, my reading of him as an anti-Enlightenment, anti-humanist thinker was based on the work of several philosophers and intellectual historians, including Bertrand Russell, Richard Wolin, Arthur Herman, James Flynn, R.
Lanier Anderson, and Jonathan Glover.
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After EN came out, moreover, my reading was vindicated by the legal philosopher and Nietzsche scholar Brian Leiter in an essay pointedly titled Friedrich Nietzsche: The Truth is Terrible :. If there is no God who deems each human to be of equal worth or possessed with an immortal soul beloved by God, then why think we all deserve equal moral consideration?
And what if, as Nietzsche argues, a morality of equality — and altruism and pity for suffering — were, in fact, an obstacle to human excellence? This is the less familiar and often shockingly anti-egalitarian Nietzsche. Why did Enlightenment Now make people so mad? Let them read Proust. Many literary and cultural critics have a streak of Nietzschean Romanticism which exalts feats of artistic and historical greatness as the only authentic virtue and is indifferent to prosaic indicators of mass flourishing such as child mortality, nutrition, and literacy.
More than fifty years ago, when C. Snow valorized science for its potential to alleviate suffering in poor countries, he was assailed by the literary critic F. I suggested that the rest of the world may want the chance to decide that for themselves. This literarism makes it easy to sneer at the menial work of engineers, businesspeople, and bureaucrats in improving the human condition.
Those wonks are laboring within the institutions of bourgeois modernity, seemingly vindicating them by their incremental successes. The Two Cultures. Fury from humanities scholars at any attempt to bridge the two cultures is an enduring feature of modern intellectual life. Conflict versus Mistake. In a recent essay , Scott Alexander shines a searchlight into the foggy arena of modern disputation by distinguishing two mindsets:.
Mistake theorists treat politics as science, engineering, or medicine. The State is diseased. Conflict theorists treat politics as war. Different blocs with different interests are forever fighting to determine whether the State exists to enrich the Elites or to help the People. He explains how many irreconcilable differences in the public sphere align with this cleft. They include the value of debate and free speech, the nature of racism, the good and bad parts of democracy, the desirability of technocratic versus revolutionary solutions, and the relative merits of intellectual analysis and moral passion.
Wrong people can be just as loud as right people, sometimes louder. Enlightenment Now not only engages in Mistake theory but sees it as the essence of the Enlightenment: Progress depends on the application of knowledge. Conflict theorists think this is just an excuse for reinforcing privilege: progress depends on the struggle for power, and the philosophes were woke avant la lettre. People are irrational.
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So what were you trying to accomplish with Enlightenment Now? I wrote it for you. As it happens, many people do care about facts, and can change their minds about beliefs that are not sacred to their moral identities—especially, I was tickled to learn, when information is presented in a graph. EN has seventy-five graphs. In a study published last year, Nyhan and Jason Reifler found that graphs were effective at disabusing even political partisans of their false beliefs.
As for what I hope to have accomplished, despite all my riposting and self-defending, I have no right to complain. The response to Enlightenment Now has been rewarding beyond my grandest expectations. The letters were mostly positive and almost entirely constructive. One was a set of invitations to confer with seven current and former heads of government or their advisors.
Effective democratic leaders must have convictions about the value, indeed the nobility, of their mission. A second encouraging reaction was from journalists who are coming to appreciate the problems with the crushing negativity that has become entrenched in their professional culture. It is driving away readers: In a recent cross-national survey, almost a third of the respondents said they avoid the news.
It is misinforming them about the state of the world: Most people underperform chimpanzees in their guesses on multiple-choice questions about poverty, health, and violence. It is corroding their belief that the world can be improved: People who are least aware of human progress are most cynical about the future. And it is creating perverse incentives for terrorists, rampage shooters, tweeting politicians, and other entrepreneurs of outrage.
The third and most heartening response of all has come from readers who have shared with me the effect of reading Enlightenment Now on their lives. For the first time in my life I may have earned that credential. Of the many items in my Inbox thanking me for bringing positivity into their lives, this is my favorite, because it confirms my belief that the ultimate effect of learning about progress is not complacency but engagement:.
Every week I teach current events to my classes, and it has slowly become a harrowing experience. Since most young people rely on social media and headlines for their news, I am constantly bombarded with the ultra-negative and frightening stories that are, as you rightly point out, designed to pull us in for the length of my workday. This process has slowly eaten away at my outlook on everything, even throwing me into bouts of depression from time to time.
Yet your book truly changed my life… I can now face the students each day and provide more context for the fear-mongering headlines that they want to discuss, and most of all I am able to sleep better at night knowing that the world is moving in the right direction. It is vital that these young people recognize that all problems are solvable… because they have an unbelievable energy I see it every day that the rest of us do not.
Thank you for providing much-needed context to the culture of fear-mongering. I am a much happier person and teacher as a result of it. The Christian Science Monitor. February 13, The Guardian. January 6, Aaronovitch, D. The Times. February 17, Aaronson, S. March 22, The Economist. February 24, Ahrens, J. El Pais. August 10, Al-Shawaf, R. February 27, Altares, G. Tenemos motivos de sobra para ser optimistas. February 3, Altschuler, G. The Philadelphia Inquirer. February 19, Anthony, A. February 11, Are Quakers Humanized?
Quaker Universalist Fellowship. Baggini, J. Never Had It So Good. Literary Review. February Bailey, R. Defending the Enlightenment: Steven Pinker takes on the tribalists. February 21, The Amazing and Abundant Future. March 9, March 12, Baker, D. The Center for Economic and Policy Research. February 23, The New York Times. March 2, Baron, M. Washington Examiner. February 22, Bauerlein, M. First Things. Beam, A. The good bad times.
The Boston Globe. Beck, C. Splice Today. January 15, Bell, D. The Nation. March 7, Blewett, K. March Boaz, D. Cato Institute. March 8, Books to Read in January 1, Bornstein, D. Scared by the News? April 10, The New Yorker. March 26, Broadie, K. Steven Pinker: Friend or foe of the Enlightenment? October 11, Brooks, D. The Virtue of Radical Honesty. Cahalan, S. New York Post. March 3, Canfield, K. San Francisco Chronicle. February 15, Cantlon, T. Cantlon column: Good news! And lots of it. The Daily Courier. Carey, J. The Sunday Times.
February 18, Chambovey, D. Un meilleur monde est-il possible? September 13, Clark, P. Pessimism is sometimes an enlightened outlook. Financial Times. February 25, Clark, T. Clifford, C. Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker: The idea that A. Clinton, B. Bill Clinton: By the Book. May 31, Collyer, B. Enlightenment now: The rise and fall of progress.
New Scientist. March 19, Cook, G. Scientific American. Coyne, J. The New Yorker goes after Pinker and his progressivism. Why Evolution is True. July 22, Pinker gets harassed on his birthday. September 18, Crease, R. Unenlightened Thinking. Physics World. May Thus Faked Zarathustra. Wall Street Journal. October 25, Crowder, L.
Steven Pinker: Real risks, undeniable progress. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. April 11, Cullen, P. The Irish Times. Damon, J. Les Echos. March 16, Daniels, M. But we like to think they are. The Washington Post. December 26, Dattani, S. March 11, Davies, W. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker review — life is getting better. February 14, Douthat, R. The Edges of Reason. Edsall, T. January 25, Trump Against the Liberal Tide. Emerson, B. Should we take brighter view of world? See why this author thinks so.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. March 1, Publishers Weekly. December 11, Kirkus Review. December 15, Farmer, R. Social Progress is Not an Illusion. Ferguson, N. February 20, Feser, E. Endarkenment Later. Claremont Review of Books. July 30, Fitch, A. Los Angeles Review of Books. July 27, Fontana, B. Times Higher Education.
Fox, B. The Valley Vanguard. Fulford, R. Why humanity is winning and optimists are right. National Post. Galanes, P. January 27, Gallo, C. January 30, Ganesh, J. Liberals risk the charge of complacency. Gates, B. My new favorite book of all time. January 26, Gilman, N. The Breakthrough Institute. April 23, Gitz, B. Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
Goldin, I. February 16, Gonzalez, C. National Review. July 14, Gopnik, A. The Atlantic. April Gray, J. New Statesman. Green, D. Academe Is Not Anti-Science. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Gwinn, M. The Seattle Times. Ha, T. Hall, B. Book review: Making the case for hopefulness. Providence Journal. May 3, Hanlon, A. Too bad it gets the Enlightenment wrong. May 17, Harari, Y. Yuval Noah Harari. October Harpham, G. Get Shorty: Steven Pinker on the Enlightenment. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture. Fall Harris, J.
October 15, Hazony, Y.
Similar books and articles
The Dark Side of the Enlightenment. The Wall Street Journal. April 6, Heuman, L. Hodges, P. Older workers are looking for something more. Illing, S. The case for optimism. February 12, Karlsson, R. Doubling Down on Progress. May 1, Kaseko, B. Renowned psychologist Steven Pinker is here to convince you not everything is going to shit. AV Club. Kenney, C. Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Kenrick, D. Psychology Today. March 20, Key, P. Kim, J. Inside Higher Ed. April 4, Kolinjivadi, V. The Conversation. May 30, Kristof, N. Lanigan, J.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Leith, S. Only an idiot would choose to live at any other time than the present. The Spectator. March 10, Lent, J. May 21, Leonhardt, D. December 31, Lind, M. May 8, Lynch, C. Macwhirter, I. Review: Enlightenment Now — the case for reason, science, humanism and progress by Steven Pinker. The Herald. Marino, E. March 17, Marr, A. Evening Standard. Martin, E. Warren Buffett and Bill Gates agree this is one of the best books out right now. May 7, Marty, M. Colorado Springs Gazette. Mattix, M. The Weekly Standard.
February 26, Mcdonagh, M. Monbiot, G. You can deny environmental calamity — until you check the facts. Mondor, C. Moskowitz, C. Breaking News! March 21, Moyn, S. Hype for the Best: Why does Steven Pinker insist that human life is on the up? The New Republic. Is the world getting better or worse?
Murchison, W. Main Street U. The American Spectator. Queens Gazette. Ovenden, O. Palmer, A. Can Science Justify Itself? Harvard Magazine. March, Parsons, K. March 5, Penman, S. The Enlightenment Problem of Steven Pinker. Pinker, S. Does the Enlightenment Need Defending? The Institute of Art and Ideas. September 10, Pullum, G. Taleb on Pinker: Neologism and Bile.
March 14, Enlighten Me How? August 26, Reese, H. Reese, J. Our treatment of animals is stalling human progress. Reynoso, D. Friedrich Nietzsche: Nice to Meetcha! September 1, Establishing Some Street Cred. September 15, Rothman, J. Are Things Getting Better or Worse? July 23, Rubenstein, A. Runciman, D. Boston Review. Russell, J. The march of progress can go into reverse. Samuelson, R. The optimists are striking back. Sandbrook, D. We are one of the most prosperous, stable, literate, sophisticated and safest countries on Earth.
Daily Mail. Schelby, E. Salon, Sept. Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, March 9, Shelf Awareness. Shermer, M. An optimistic treatise celebrates the enlightened thinking that has made us happier, healthier, and safer than ever. Is Truth an Outdated Concept? Smith-Liang, T.
The materials include a Reading Tracker. Pages in the teachers guide provide a student guide to the digital library and offer students choices and selections. Strategies to support independent reading include Book talks, teacher modeling via think-alouds, book sharing, and partner reading. Accountability and Progress are tracked by digital readers, book sharing conversations, one-on-one conversations, and reading trackers.
The instructional materials meet expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners so that they demonstrate independent ability with grade-level standards. The materials provide teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of a range of learners and opportunities for teachers to use a variety of grouping strategies. Materials regularly provide support for students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English and additional extensions and advanced opportunities are available for students who read, write, speak, or listen above grade level.
Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards. As noted in the TE on pages , Amplify uses Universal Design to meet all students where they are and encourage growth. The following is a list of the strategies used to engage all learners:. Materials reviewed for Grade 6 partially meet expectations for materials regularly providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards.
Lessons are coded for different levels. In each lesson there is a differentiation lesson with multiple variations. It is located right at the bottom of the first page and is available to all students. Teachers can combine the lessons and the differentiation easily. Teachers are provided with supports to guide them through the instruction with a variety of learners disabilities, reading below level, advanced, and EL.
Supports include grouping strategies, focusing different students to different parts of the reading, and stopping before discussions to do partner read alouds. Targeted support for students who are learning English is limited. Flex Days are embedded in each unit to allow students to catch up or move ahead with a variety of activites, including Quests, vocabulary, and language work.
Students can work on revisions during these days as well, although there is limited specific support for teachers to assure implementation of this differentiation. On these days, teachers can direct students individually to work on the skills they need, although may need to identify outside resources to support this work. Three levels of differentiation are provided for the most difficult primary source documents in the Collection. Adapted versions, paraphrased versions, and Spanish version are provided. Alternative vocabulary exercises are also available.
Flex Days provide time for advanced students to read from the Amplify library and expand vocabulary and language knowledge through games. Supplemental texts to provide additional reading and engagement for advanced learners are identified to accompany all units in the Amplify library. The instructional materials include extensions and advanced opportunities throughout. For example, over the Shoulder conferences include guidance for the teachers to push students more deeply about a particular topic. Throughout the materials, teachers are provided challenge questions to support the advanced learners.
Challenge Writing Prompts are also available. Materials reviewed for Grade 6 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons. Within the lessons, students work in collaborative groups and pair-share partners, and teachers are provided with tips on how to organize students.
Teachers are encouraged to group students by ability and by language use at different times. Students have the opportunity to work with heterogeneous and homogeneous groups. When students work with partners, sometimes they choose their partners and other times the teacher chooses. The instructional materials support effective use of technology to enhance student learning. Materials reviewed are compatible with multiple Internet browsers and operating systems, follow universal programing style, and are accessible on mobile devices. Materials support the effective use of technology throughout modules and lessons and can be easily customized for individual learners.
The instructions materials partially meet expectations that digital materials either included as supplementary to a textbook or as part of a digital curriculum are web-based, compatible with multiple Internet browsers e. Some difficulties were encountered when downloading the materials. The downloads didn't work on a PC using Explorer or Firefox. The downloads didn't work on a Mac using Firefox On a laptop running Windows 10 Home version , everything was accessible using Chrome version The teacher and student digital program were accessible using Firefox version Using Internet Explorer 11, the teacher and student digital program were accessible, but the texts could not be accessed.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 6 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. The instructional materials meet expectations that digital materials include opportunities for teachers to personalize learning for all students, using adaptive or other technological innovations. The materials are easily differentiated to meet the different needs of students. The materials provide real time data to give feedback and help teachers respond to student needs.
The eWriter includes feedback tools, so teacher feedback is immediate for students. They can view and comment as students are in the process of writing and make immediate adjustments. The materials reviewed can be easily customized for local use. Differentiation and extension opportunities available throughout the instructional materials allow many opportunities to personalize learning as appropriate for students.
Teachers are also able to add notes to the materials. For example, teachers can use Spotlight to showcase student work for other students to see. Seventh Grade. The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence.
The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills. The instructional materials meet expectations for Gateway 2,in which materials support building students' knowledge with texts, vocabulary, and tasks.
Students who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level or in a language other than English are provided with some opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards. Anchor texts include rich texts and topics that are engaging for a Grade 7 student. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Anchor texts include rich language and topics and stories engaging for Grade 7 students. Anchor text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, poetry, speeches, letters, historical documents.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations for reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Supplemental texts within the units are also a mixture of literature and informational texts. Text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, poetry, speeches, letters, historical documents. Text sets illustrating the mix of informational texts and literature include the following:. Throughout the instructional materials, a wide distribution of genres and text types is found, including, but not limited to the following examples:.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. Following are some representative examples of how the program meets the requirements of indicator 1c in terms of overall rigor and complexity. As the initial read in the first Unit of Grade 7, this would seem to be an appropriate quantitative measure to use early in the school year when quantitative and Reader and Task complexity are considered.
Vocabulary is generally familiar and contemporary, and the conversational nature of the memoir is written as a young girl would speak. The subject specific vocabulary relating to the Chinese culture and politics would move it to the moderately complex level. Sentence structure in primarily simple and compound, with some complex construction e. The meaning, on the surface appears to be slightly complex. Some aspects of the text would seem to be topically easy for Grade 7 students to understand because they could easily relate to many of the life experiences and feelings of the main character; however, there may be a disconnect due to the unfamiliarity of the cultural and political values presented during the Chinese cultural revolution which would cause an increase in the knowledge demand component of qualitative complexity to the moderately complex level.
Example text: "Seventeen years after Liberation, the newspapers told us, our schools were not bringing us up to be good red socialists and communists, as we had thought, but revisionists. We thanked heaven that Chairman Mao had started this Cultural Revolution, and that the Central Committee of the Communist Party had uncovered the mess in our schools.
Otherwise we would not even have known that we were in trouble. What a frightening idea! The Reader and Task considerations would indicate this text is appropriately placed for Grade 7. The text is clearly used to get students into close reading and responding to questions with text-based evidence.
The quantitative measure for this text is Lexile, and the qualitative measures are very complex in meaning, vocabulary life experiences and cultural knowledge. It is moderately complex in text organization, conventionality, and sentence structure. Reader tasks require students to look deeply at race and human struggles. Activities are associated through the Quest to provide more context for students who may not be familiar with the hardships discussed in the play.
The qualitative measures are slightly complex for purpose, text organization and conventionality. It is moderate complex for sentence structure and subject knowledge, and complex for vocabulary. The biographical story of Phineas Gage is used as a lead in to explore challenging scientific content. This leads to a comparison of two more complex scientific theories of the Phrenologists and Whole Brainers. While text features are not extensively used, there are extensive graphics that range from primary source photographs, to intricate scientific diagrams.
Conventionality, and sentence structures are very complex and vocabulary is dense in academic language. The discipline specific subject matter, coupled with intertextual reference to outside theories makes knowledge demands very complex. The gap is called a synapse. It is bridged by signaling chemicals called neurotransmitters. A message travels as an electrical impulse through the axon, down the body of the nerve cell, to the axon terminal.
There the electrical impulse is converted into a chemical neurotransmitter to float across the synapse to the next neuron. The Reader and Task considerations indicate lower level tasks such as sequencing, explicit comprehension questions, and students use paired discussion to clarify understanding of scientific content. The use of sentence stems support citing text evidence in written response to the reading. In later lessons, the students compare and contrast information and synthesize information from the text to support a claim. Unit E includes Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet which has a quantitative measure of Lexile, which puts it in the grade span.
However, the qualitative measures are very complex for meaning, text organization, and subject knowledge. It is exceedingly complex for vocabulary, and conventionality, as well as antiquated structures employed by Shakespeare. The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1d, supporting students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. By the end of Grade 7, students have support and opportunities to be reading texts that meet the requirements for the end of the Grade 7 and possibly beyond.
The aggregate score assigned the reading selections in the Grade 7 curriculum appears to increase over the course of the year in complexity. Over the school year, students are engaging with challenging texts in increasingly sophisticated and rigorous ways. The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1e. There is also provided a complexity index that places the text holistically within the 6th-8th grade band.
The program uses quantitative, qualitative, and reader and tasks measures to place the unit within a grade band. This is seen within units when, for example, Unit 7C, Brain Science , students begin with learning about informational literacy, and begin constructing an evidence-based argument. Also, Poetry and Poe Unit 7D requires students to evaluate the credibility of a fictional narrator moving to a compare and contrast essay on different perspectives.
The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1f, providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading over the course of the school year. The Grade 7 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The Grade 7 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g. The Grade 7 unit has several opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions in the form of Multiple Choice Questions MCQ.
The units in the Grade 7 are dense with text- dependent questions in the form of multiple choice questions used to assess reading comprehension as well as constructed responses that delve more deeply into the texts. Some text-dependent questions and tasks that students will encounter in the Grade 7 materials include the examples listed here:. Unit A- For Red Scarf Girl, the text dependent questions are combined multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension and constructed responses with short answer responses.
Both types of questions require students to understand the text on multiple levels. UNIT C: Brain Science combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses to further understanding of the materials. Much of the emphasis in this unit is for students to track their misunderstandings within the text, and then to work through those misunderstandings.
Questions in this unit require students to not only use text, but to formulate their own responses leading to argument and informative writing. Some examples are:. UNIT D: Poetry and Poe combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses, which combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses. Some questions tap prior knowledge and experience, but then build to deeper text-dependent questions. There are numerous SOLO multiple choice comprehension checks that contain text dependent questions.
Here are a few examples of questions in this unit:. UNIT F: The Gold Rush Collection contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text dependent questions. In addition, there are several opportunities for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions. The Grade 7 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1h, as sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks to build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning.
There are different types of writing required within the culminating tasks. Questions, as evidenced in 1g, build their knowledge to a deeper understanding of text and the craft of writing through multiple questions addressing character, setting, and other writing elements. The culminating task in Unit A is an essay: "Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. Use details from this moment to describe what Ji-li is like before the change. The culminating task in Unit B is an essay: Identify the theme and its effect on the development of one of the characters.
Be sure to cite evidence quotes and inferences to support your claim. Choose to write about either Walter or Mama. Begin by describing one way your character changes from the beginning to the end of the play. Compare this How does this character act in the beginning of the play when obstacles get in the way of what he or she wants? To this How does this character act in the end of the play when obstacles get in the way of the same thing that he or she wants?
Walter and Mama want many things, but for this essay, focus on: Mama wants to improve life for her family. Walter wants to be the head of the family. NOTE: Focus on just one thing that each character wants in both scenes so that you can focus your comparison on the change in actions across two scenes. The culminating task for Unit C is to develop a research question, research to find information, and then write a short piece in response to the question. With the scavenger hunt format emphasizing close reading of a variety of sources to answer specific questions. Brain Science has students writing a culmination essay: Compare Phineas's behavior and brain to those of an adolescent.
This requires that students pull information from multiple texts. The quest that is incorporated into this unit, Perception Academy, is provides opportunity for debate, however this was not clear from the descriptions in the guides. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation. Students will create an interactive timeline using myhistro. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for the timeline. Within Sub Unit 4 there is an opportunity for a Socratic seminar. Students create open-ended questions from the texts in the unit to form the seminar content.
The materials fully meet the expectations for indicator 1i, providing students frequent opportunities to practice academic vocabulary and syntax in their evidence-based discussions. Samples of how students get practice in modeling academic vocabulary include work with Socratic seminars and debates. Some examples of this are listed here:. The Grade 7 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1j.
For example: in Unit 1 subunit 3 lesson 1: Students point out specific details in the poster and explain how each might have shaped how people felt about Chairman Mao. This is a whole class opportunity. As an example from the Brain Science unit, students move through the periods of a school day as though they have one of the perception disorders detailed in the Oliver Sacks book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.
The instructional materials meet the expectation of a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects. Notebook structures such as the Misunderstanding Notebook used in Unit C support this type of student demonstration in a low-stakes environment. One Unit selection of on-demand writing includes:.
Process writing builds over the school year. The lessons usually start with a focus on the body of the essay before considering its other parts. As the year progresses, each essay assignment adds a new structural element on which students focus. By the end of the year, students are writing essays that flow from their internalized understanding of argumentative structure, rather than adhering to the rules of a formula.
Revision is addressed in the context of authentic writing. An example that sums up how process writing is employed:. Unit F: Students spend six lessons researching and writing a five-paragraph essay. Students also learn how to create in-text citations, frames for quotes, and a Works Cited page. The unit concludes with a media project and presentation where students create an interactive timeline using myhistro. Materials provide opportunities that build students' writing skills over the course of the school year.
The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m, providing frequent opportunities for students to practice evidence-based writing. The Grade 7 materials include daily writing instruction and practice, end of unit writing, and digital platform writing work. Materials include explicit instruction of the grammar and conventions standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application both in and out of context.
Student writes a minimum of 95 words, and most sentences are complete and punctuated correctly. The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. Texts within units are connected by topics and sometimes theme, which is appropriate for grades Students build knowledge via multiple texts and activities.
Some examples of how students grow their knowledge in these units include the following examples:. The Character and Conflict unit includes a collection of texts that vary from a press release to poetry and plays. The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2b. The tasks associated with language, key ideas, details, craft, and structure are logically sequenced and appropriate in their increasing complexity. The early units are more accessible due to the more common language and more contemporary themes and topics presented.
As the year progresses, students encounter more difficult language and complex interpretation, through the complex scientific texts in Brain Science, and the less familiar structures and archaic language in Poetry and Poe and Romeo and Juliet. Finally, as the year ends, students must work more independently with higher level texts while doing their research for the Gold Rush Unit.
Following are samples that illustrate how students are provided practice and support to understand and grow knowledge around different elements of texts:. Select 10 words from the reading that best capture how Ji-li feels. Students analyze different word choice as it impacts and supports the text. This unit then pushes students to use close textual analysis to notice larger structural moves that the authors make across the narratives. Students are supported in this analysis through charts that are made and displayed on the wall.
Following are some examples of prompts for students showing how this works in this Unit:. Some lessons focus student work very specifically on the content vocabulary and knowledge from the topic at hand. In Unit C, Brain Science, students reread the passage that was read aloud, choose a visual representation of the term "myelination," and explain the evidence for their choices in writing.
In Unit E, Romeo and Juliet, students highlight words and phrases that offer clues about the setting, characters, and plot of the play. They then share their findings to understand the how the antiquated language develops the plot and character and shows the larger theme. Attention is paid to phrases and word choice throughout the materials. For example, in Unit F, Gold Rush Collection, students attend to the repeated patterns in the writing to support their understanding of how the text was constructed: "This document is broken up into sections.
What are some of the words and ideas that all or most of the sections seem to have in common? You may want to even just list some of the words you see repeated over and over again in each section. The Grade 7 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2c. There are ample opportunities for students to gain practice and build knowledge with text dependent questions and tasks throughout the year with multiple texts within the units. Some of these questions relate to one text and others require students to use information from multiple texts.
The strong layering of topics within each unit leads to deeper understandings and integration of knowledge and ideas. Additionally, this is further supported by the connections between units within the grade level and across grade levels. In Unit A, Red Scarf Girl, students engage with multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses ex. How hopeful do you think Ji-li is at this moment in her story? Which details in the Prologue lead you to think so? Use details from the setting to show your thinking. Think of one or two reasons and explain them using details from the text.
Students use the story and the other associated texts including the propaganda posters to grow their understanding of the texts themselves and the topic. Unit F supports students' knowledge through their work with multiple text and types such as Roughing It! Student tasks include having students answer questions and engage in tasks using evidence from multiple texts. The materials for 7th Grade fully meet the expectations of indicator 2d. Reading, writing, and speaking and listening are employed together to support students' integrated skills as they grow their knowledge and skills.
Throughout the year, there are multiple opportunities for s Socratic seminars after students have studied texts. Students create open-ended questions from the texts in the unit to form the seminar content and share and build their new learning through this structure. Additionally, culminating tasks include essays and presentations. Following are some tasks that represent how the program works with this indicator:.
Unit A- Red Scarf Girl contains a culmination essay: Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. This prompt is supported by the tasks done while reading the text which also focused on a moment in time and the changes in the main character over time.
Unit C, Brain Science: To really develop and demonstrate a deep level of understanding of the non-fiction texts, students practice writing that describes basic facts, explains concepts, and convinces the reader of an opinion. The culminating task for this Unit is an essay: Compare Phineas's behavior and brain to those of an adolescent. To complete this task that answers the prompt while demonstrating their new knowledge of brain science, students pull information from multiple texts. Unit F concludes with a media project and presentation, for which students create an interactive timeline using myhistro.
The materials for grade 7 meet the expectations of indicator 2e. Vocabulary Instruction is embedded in daily lessons. The first 5 minutes of each class is devoted to vocabulary using the vocab. The app focuses on both text specific words as well as academic language. Students start at a certain level and increase levels based on progress. The instructional materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2f.
Writing progresses throughout each unit and a final assignment is to write an essay covering the unit. Essays build throughout the year and differ in how students typically write essays. Students work with poetry, prose, informational and argumentative writing, and narrative and story writing. Each assignment adds a new structural element to the essay so that by the end the essay is flowing with an internalized understanding of argumentative structure. The O verview section that begins each unit explains the logic behind its sequencing of elements and provides details about each unit writing.
At the end of the Unit, students engage with an Essay Prompt: What is one way Ji-li changes over the course of her story? Choose one moment from the text that shows what she was like before this change. In Unit C: Brain Science, students to work with challenging informational texts and complex ideas. In order to help them, the writing in the beginning includes jotting down their misunderstandings as they the read to more fully grasp the difficult concepts being introduced, and the teacher is provided support to identify misunderstandings and skills where extra practice is needed. Questions and prompts follow a sequence and are then culminated in a writing task at the end of the Unit.
Over the course of the year, students also work on process writing, developing components and integrating their writing skills into the units at hand. Some specific support includes the following mini lessons and supports, which occur over the course of the school year:. The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2g.
There are two culminating research units in the Grade 7 materials. The first one falls third in the sequence of seven units, while the second one comes six out of seven.
Measurement in Science
In Unit C, Brain Science, students practice identifying the differences among primary, secondary, and tertiary sources, in addition to learning to identify the credibility and uses of sources. The primary purpose of this unit is for students to become practiced at reading and writing about informational, non-fiction texts and to learn how to build knowledge from those texts around one topic. The reader has to distinguish between what we know about the brain today and what the scientists thought was true at various points in history. Students track their misunderstandings throughout the unit to experience what a scientist experiences.
Students work through a case study to see how the brain works and then move to more accessible texts and end with a Quest that requires multiple case studies to help students compare and contrast various brain injuries. Throughout the unit, students are writing short response to compare the case studies and other perspectives in the readings. For the Argumentative Writing section, students complete more research and look for details to support ideas.
By the end of this unit, students will write an extensive paper comparing the brain of a character and an adolescent. Students spend time "working like a scientist" throughout this unit. They are given multiple opportunities to explore and ask questions. In the end, they will work on a Quest.
Students carry out investigations constructing explanations and designing solutions. After researching and taking notes, students use their lists as jumping off points to develop their observations about how Phineas's behavior compared to that of an adolescent. The teacher shares models, rubrics and over- the- shoulder conferences, all of which are fully supported in the teacher materials. The materials for Grade 7 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2h. The 7th grade materials support students' independent reading via teacher plans and student supports.
During independent reading students set weekly goals, reflect on their own reading, and log progress by describing and critiquing one strategy they have used and when they decide on another strategy they could try. It sets out three goals: 1 Making Reading More Independent — This involves setting up and guiding the selection and then letting students decide what to read. The Reading Tracker following p of TPG requires that students log progress weekly in relation to a goal that they have set for weekly reading pages.
There are additional strategies called out to support independent reading such as book talks, teacher modeling through think-alouds, book sharing, partner reading, vocabulary work in context, writing and online book pages for sharing. Suggestions for accountability are writing on shared documents, online posts, one-on-one conferences with students. The instructional materials also include texts that are worthy of student's time and attention and provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations that materials are well-designed and take into account effective lesson structure and pacing. For example, in the Poetry and Poe lesson segment, for six minutes students review one scene from "The Cask of Amontillado" and consider how Poe leaves clues about Fortunato's demise.
One minute is devoted to defining dramatic irony, three minutes are devoted to a dramatic irony short answer, and two minutes are devoted to discussion. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations that the teacher and student can reasonably complete the content within a regular school year, and the pacing allows for maximum student understanding. The annual pacing guide for 7th grade appears on pages of the TPG. For example, in Unit B Character and Conflict, Sub Unit 4, Lesson 1, students share the highlights they made in the Solo with a partner and ask each other "What do you think about Pete and Sucker so far?
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials including publisher-produced alignment documentation of the standards addressed by specific questions, tasks, and assessment items. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 contain visual design whether in print or digital that is not distracting or chaotic, but supports students in engaging thoughtfully with the subject. Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectation for materials containing a teacher's edition with ample and useful annotations and suggestions on how to present the content in the student edition and in the ancillary materials.
Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials containing explanations of the instructional approaches of the program and identifying research-based strategies. Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations for materials regularly and systematically offering assessment opportunities that genuinely measure student progress.
Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations of assessments providing sufficient guidance to teachers for interpreting student performance and suggestions for follow-up. TE: Rubrics and examples of student work are included, the gradebook tracks student scores, student goal setting. Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectation for including routines and guidance that point out opportunities to monitor student progress.
Materials reviewed for Grade 7 indicate how students are accountable for independent reading based on student choice and interest to build stamina, confidence, and motivation. Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meets the expectations for providing teachers with strategies for meeting the needs of range of learners so that the content is accessible to all learners and supports them in meeting or exceeding the grade-level standards.
Materials reviewed for Grade 7 partially meet expectations for materials regularly providing all students, including those who read, write, speak, or listen below grade level, or in a language other than English, with opportunities to work with grade level text and meet or exceed grade level standards. On these days, teachers can direct students individually to work on the skills they need, but may need additional support from external resources. Materials reviewed for Grade 7 meet the expectations of providing ample opportunities for teachers to use grouping strategies during lessons.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 7 support effective use of technology to enhance student learning, drawing attention to evidence and texts as appropriate. Eighth Grade. The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for text quality and complexity and alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence, and the instructional materials provide many opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.
Anchor texts include rich texts and topics that are engaging for a Grade 8 student. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations for anchor texts being of publishable quality and worthy of careful reading. Anchor texts include rich language and topics and stories engaging for Grade 8 students. Texts consider a range of student interests including but not limited to British colonial Africa and Middle East, Colonial America, American Slavery and the Civil War, 19th century science and technological developments, 20th century art, and competition among countries.
Anchor texts and text sets include a mix of genres, including novels, informational texts, autobiographies, memoirs, historical documents, and letters. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 meet the expectations, reflecting the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards. Supplemental text within the units are a mixture of literature and informational texts. Some examples of text sets illustrating the mix of informational texts and literature include the following:.
The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1c. According to the publisher materials, the range of quantitative Lexile measurement over the year is and the range of scores for Qualitative measures ranges from 1. While much of the emphasis of the unit is the use of the text as a mentor text for writing, reading skills, such as close reading for detail and comparing and contrasting are specifically addressed. The qualitative measures are midrange, and the tasks associated with the first texts in the school year make this an appropriate placement.
Students write about their own experiences with detail before reading Dahl as a model for writing with detail. Activities require a close reading of the text with annotations and discussion and comparisons of events from the story. Therefore it is appropriate that the qualitative measures are somewhat lower to ensure students' comprehension of the texts.
Unit C, Liberty and Equality, includes texts with the quantitative measures ranging from This is another unit focusing on leaders and their language use to make meaning and connect history, meaning the qualitative measures are mid-to high range. Paraphrasing, and other reading activities are required to unpack the text. Activities include interactive readings and other medias to help students understand complex language and structures. Unit D, Science and Science Fiction, includes texts with quantitative measures ranging from Qualitatively, the materials are midrange, supporting students' engaging with unfamiliar language and structures.
The structure of the graphic novel allows for emphasis on working with story structure. The texts within the Poe section allow many opportunities to compare texts. In this unit, there is an interesting connection to today's technology using the past inventions and ideas or authors. Unit F, The Space Race, includes texts with qualitative measures ranging from Qualitative features of the texts in this unit skew lower, as the content is more complex. Students tackle reliability and ethical use issues within the variety of texts.
The research and conversation on space and independent research is appropriate for 8th grade students as they prepare to go to high school in a few months. The tasks in this unit give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills required for higher level reading and synthesis.
The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1d, supporting students as they grow their literacy skills over the course of the school year. By the end of Grade 8, students have support and opportunities to read and comprehend texts that meet the requirements for the end of the Grade 8 and possibly beyond.
Texts are placed so students interact with increasingly complex literacy learning over the year. Texts themselves increase over the course of the year in reading levels starting in this range and building through the year, starting in the range —, and building. For the Grade 8 materials, the program starts with texts in the middle of the grade band in terms of rigor and complexity. The materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1e. This is seen within units when, for example, Unit 8D, Science and Science Fiction , students begin reading graphic novels and progress to writing evidence-based arguments based on scientific and technological developments.
Also, The Space Collection Unit 8F requires students to develop a question, research and create a multi-media project. The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations for indicator 1f, providing opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade-level reading over the course of the school year.
Students practice reading orally and silently, and there are built in components of the curriculum for teachers to attend to students' development in reading. Page 95 of the TPG specifically addresses foundational skills. For example, in Unit B, students are introduced to Lincoln and Douglass through dramatic readings and animations. The Grade 8 instructional materials meet expectations for alignment to the standards with tasks and questions grounded in evidence. The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1g.
The Grade 8 unit has several opportunities for students to respond to text-dependent questions in the form of Multiple Choice Questions MCQ. The units in the Grade 8 are dense with text-dependent and specific questions in the form of multiple choice questions used to assess reading comprehension as well as constructed responses that delve more deeply into the texts. Some text-dependent questions and tasks that students will encounter in the Grade 8 materials include the examples listed here:.
Unit A: WWII and Narrative combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses. UNIT B: Biography and Literature combines multiple choice text-dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses,. Unit C: Liberty and Equality combines multiple choice text-dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses. Unit 4: Science and Science Fiction combines multiple choice text dependent questions to check comprehension with constructed responses.
Some examples include:. In addition, there is an opportunity for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions that relate to Grade 7, Unit 1. Unit E: The Space Race unit also contains a scavenger hunt where students comb texts by doing close reading to answer a number of text dependent questions. In addition, there is an opportunity for constructed response where students are applying the knowledge gained through the scavenger hunt to new questions.
The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1h, as sequences of text-dependent questions and tasks to build to culminating tasks to support students' literacy learning. From Unit A to the last unit, students are building their writing skills in addition to the text-dependent questions they are challenged to address in writing and speaking.
The culminating task in Unit A is an essay: "Choose two people that Dahl meets over the course of his three years away from home and compare the overall idea Dahl presents about each person. How do the details Dahl uses convey this idea? The culmination for Unit B includes an essay and an activity. Describe each side, discuss where you remember seeing evidence of it, and explain whether the two sides seem connected or contradictory. In a culmination activity at the end of Sub Unit 1, students imagine how Franklin would behave in various modern-day scenarios.
For Unit D, students write a culminating essay and debate an argument on the following prompt: Is the creature human? Students are assigned a group, a side, and a role, and then groups develop the arguments they will deliver during the debates on the question of who better deserves our sympathy: Victor Frankenstein or his creature.
In Unit E, the culminating activity is research and writing. The culminating activity for Unit F is Socratic Seminar where students rely on their research to examine issues inherent in the history of the Space Race. A few ways students use this speaking and listening protocol to practice is illustrated in the following examples:. The Grade 8 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 1j. In addition to working as a class, students work in pairs. The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectation of a mix of on-demand and process writing and short, focused projects.
One Unit selection of on-demand writing includes:Find something that Lincoln claims the "we" have in common, and say whether you agree or disagree with him based on the readings that the class looked at today. Later in the Unit, students write an essay:. In Unit F, students spend six lessons researching and writing fully processed text. This lesson sequence reinforces skills learned in earlier units and grades, including writing a compelling introduction and a strong conclusion.
Students will create a visual representation of their research and essays using the online collage app Loupe. This project requires students to revisit their research to find relevant information for their collage. The materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 1m, providing frequent opportunities for students to practice evidence-based writing. This is addressed through the themes of making meaning, language development, effective expression, and content knowledge.
Some specific examples that represent this program's evidence-based writing include the following examples. The Grade 8 materials include daily writing instruction and practice, end of unit writing, and digital platform writing work. Instructions for grammar instruction are found on pages of TPG, and includes spelling.
Flex days are used to teach explicit grammar instruction and is available at the end of the Get Started sub-unit in Unit 1 for each grade level. These exercises cover the language skills for grammar advised by the CCSS for grades The program allows pacing to be at the discretion of the teacher depending on the skills of the students. The lessons provide opportunities for the teacher to target specific skills. In addition to the flex days, the program instructs teachers to use time during revision activities and over the shoulder conferences to target grammar skills for students who may need extra time.
The program provides examples for teachers on how to encourage students with grammar skills. Student writes a minimum of words, and most sentences are complete and punctuated correctly. The Grade 8 instructional materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2a. The pairings are purposeful to the end of helping students to reach the established goal of thinking how the world could be different. The Grade 8 materials fully meet the expectations of indicator 2b.
Students work with texts and work to analyze language, key ideas, the craft and structure of individual text, and look closely at the texts to grow knowledge about topics. Students read closely and thoroughly and explore the meanings of texts through tasks and questions that integrate reading, writing, speaking, and listening. The materials focus on the small pieces that make up texts as well as the larger structural and organizational components that support students' understanding of how the text is developed. Materials use paraphrasing as a technique to practice identifying the specifics of language choices and impact of key vocabulary.
By putting these two versions side-by-side, students can notice what makes the original special—and can see more clearly how these distinctive qualities make a particular kind of impact on the reader. Identification and analysis of important words is a key element throughout the materials. Other examples from the materials that demonstrate how this program supports students' growth with these literacy components include the following:. In Unit 8A, students study Roald Dahl's language choices and craft as an author.
And why did he tell us about it in this way instead of in another? What kind of impact is he trying to make on us, his readers? In this same Unit, students to reflect deeply on the texts they have studied. The Grade 8 materials meet the expectations of indicator 2c. Lessons build on one another. Sub-Unit 2, lesson 1 shows this building of knowledge.
After studying Benjamin Franklin for fourteen lessons, students are asked to focus on the last phrase of the first paragraph of the Declaration of Independence and think if it is something Benjamin Franklin would have written. The instructional materials for Grade 8 fully meet the expectations of indicator 2d.
The materials build students' knowledge of topics using sequences of high quality questions and tasks that culminate in engaging tasks that allow them to demonstrate integrated literacy skills. This unit includes material to help prepare students for the roles in the debate, short video clips to watch, as well as a poll and opportunities for discussion.
This project is based on the research students have done throughout the unit. They should choose the person that will present the collage. Then they will help the presenter by discussing the collage and taking notes for the presenter to use during the presentation. The notes should be brief: they should be reminders for the presenter, not a script. The group discussions should answer the following questions:.
The penultimate unit again tasks students to address multiple texts in their research through a Socratic seminar and media project.