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This is a common core lesson plan for 8th grade language arts standards (RL.8.1 - Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences draw from the text); and (RL.8.10 - By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.)
The lesson is approximately 2 days long and includes pre-requisite knowledge of topic (obtained from PARCC Model Framework), a lesson essential question, activator, assessment prompts, teaching strategies, and a summarizing strategy. There are two text excerpts (Little Women and Red Badge of Courage) that are also included in Word documents for this lesson. Students will use those common core approved complex texts to complete a series of task-based questions.
This lesson was adapted from Options Common Core Clinics and has been revised to include the essential question, activator, assessment prompts, summarizing strategy, extended writing opportunity, and task-based questions. A PPT is available to help guide teachers and students through this lesson.
This is a great lesson for the beginning of the school year because it teaches students how to support an analysis of a text which is a concept they will need to apply throughout the entire school year in language arts and other content areas.