School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Advanced/Gifted and Talented: An advanced/gifted and talented tool is an idea for a complex, multi-step instructional task that requires students to apply knowledge and skills of multiple objectives that support one indicator. Tasks require students to interpret, analyze, and evaluate text at an appropriate level of complexity and embed a variety of differentiation strategies to challenge advanced readers. Many of these strategies and activities can be adapted for use with all students.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 7. Analyze and evaluate the author's purposeful use of language

Objective b. Analyze and evaluate language choices that create tone

Other Objectives Addressed

a.Analyze and evaluate how specific language choices contribute to meaning
c.Analyze the appropriateness of a particular tone
d.Analyze and evaluate figurative language that contributes to meaning and/or creates style
e.Analyze imagery that contributes to meaning and/or creates style
f.Analyze elements of style and their contribution to meaning

Instructional Task

Students will analyze the author's use of purposeful language in order to assume the role of writers applying for editorial positions with a school literary magazine or other literary magazine such as The New Yorker. Before being hired, an applicant must demonstrate the ability to analyze and evaluate the author's use of purposeful language in text. Students will take on the roles of both the interviewers and applicants (authentic product).

Development of Task

  1. Students will read texts of appropriate complexity from multiple genres and themes in order to analyze the author' ability to incorporate purposeful language. Examples are the poem A Time to Tell by Robert Frost; the novels A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor; and the short story Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut.
  2. " Students will analyze and evaluate the author's use of purposeful language in the text as preparation for the literary magazine job interview. Students will answer the following "Interview Questions:"

    Interview Questions

    • At this magazine, it is very important for our staff to understand how language is used to create meaning and style (Objective a). Please discuss the style of a literary text of your choice. Explain how the author has used specific language choices to create a specific style, including the denotations and connotations of words and the use dialect, idioms, or colloquialisms to create style. Explain which language choices were most effective in creating the style (analysis).
    • At this magazine, it is very important for our staff to understand how language choices create tone and the appropriateness of that tone (Objective b, c). Please discuss the tone of a literary text of your choice. Explain the words and phrases that are used to create the tone and the appropriateness of the tone for the meaning and style of the text. Explain which language choices were most effective in creating the tone.
    • At this magazine, it is very important for our staff to understand how an author uses figurative language, images, and symbols to create meaning (Objectives d, e). Please give examples of figurative language from a literary text of your choice and explain how each example contributes to the style, tone, or meaning. Explain which language choices were most effective in contributing to meaning.
    • At this magazine, it is very important for our staff to understand how the elements of style contribute to meaning (Objective f). Please give examples of elements of style, such as repetition, hyperbole, understatement, or rhetorical questions from a text of your choice. Explain the connections between the element of style and the text's meaning tone, or style. Explain which elements of style were most effective in contributing to meaning.
  3. The teacher will organize students in pairs for the interviews, assigning the role of the "Editor-in-Chief" to one student and "job applicant" to the other (auditory learning style). The Editor-in-Chief will ask the applicant the interview questions, and based on the thoroughness and accuracy of the applicant's answers, will assess the applicant's ability to perform the job functions (evaluation). The students will then switch roles, and the Editor-in-Chief will become the applicant to be interviewed.
/toolkit/vsc/advanced/reading/grade8/3A7b.xml
Resources for Objective 3.A.7.b:
Clarifications | Lesson Seeds | ADVANCED/G-T |