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Informational Texts
High School 1: Concept 2 - Semester 2: Unit 3

This unit covers a variety of texts whose primary goal is to convey information. The unit's main text is Outliers, a look at some of the hidden factors that influence people's ability to succeed. The unit also explores what readers can learn from primary and secondary historical texts, how science writers and technical writers can take complicated information and communicate it in an understandable way, and how writers use rhetoric to persuade readers. For the final project, students will write and present an argumentative research essay.
 

Prerequisites

  • Able to read books and texts at a high school reading level
  • Experience writing a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by students in the 9th or 10th grade
  • Familiar with the conventions of poetry and short stories
  • Able to understand, interpret, and apply figurative language techniques in reading and writing
  • Some basic experience with creative writing

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: What Are Informational Texts?
  • Lesson 2: Outliers
  • Lesson 3: The Matthew Effect
  • Lesson 4: The 10,000 Hour Rule
  • Lesson 5: Harlan, Kentucky
  • Lesson 6: The Ethnic Theory of Plane Crashes (3 Days)
  • Lesson 7: Rice Paddies and Math Tests (2 Days)
  • Lesson 8: With Malice Toward None
  • Lesson 9: Writing about History (2 Days)
  • Lesson 10: Science Writing
  • Lesson 11: Technical Writing (3 Days)
  • Lesson 12: Logical Fallacies
  • Final Project: Argumentative Research Essay (8 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression. (Language Arts)
  • Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze in detail how an author's ideas or claims are developed and refined by particular sentences, paragraphs, or larger portions of a text (e.g., a section or chapter). (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the author's purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy). (Language Arts)
  • Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence an author presents supports his or her scientific analysis. (Language Arts)
  • Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem. (Language Arts)
  • Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims. (Language Arts)
  • By the end of grade 9, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 9-10 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range. (Language Arts)
  • Cite specific textual evidence (including precise details from the text) to support an analysis of a piece of scientific writing. (Language Arts)
  • Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information. (Language Arts)
  • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Language Arts)
  • Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources drawn from the text. (Language Arts)
  • Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts. (Language Arts)
  • Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning, its part of speech, or its etymology. (Language Arts)
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning. (Language Arts)
  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. (Language Arts)
  • Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. (Language Arts)
  • Determine how an author explains or clarifies a scientific phenomenon and trace how supporting details are incorporated in the author's explanation. (Language Arts)
  • Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper). (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science. (Language Arts)
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Language Arts)
  • Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns. (Language Arts)
  • Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (Language Arts)
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. (Language Arts)
  • Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and correctly use patterns of word changes that indicate different meanings or parts of speech (e.g., analyze, analysis, analytical; advocate, advocacy). (Language Arts)
  • Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (Language Arts)
  • Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text. (Language Arts)
  • Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. (Language Arts)
  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (Language Arts)
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task. (Language Arts)
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Language Arts)
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. (Language Arts)
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). (Language Arts)
  • Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words. (Language Arts)
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (Language Arts)
  • Use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s) and counterclaims. (Language Arts)
  • Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style. (Language Arts)
  • Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary). (Language Arts)
  • Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content. (Language Arts)
  • Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. (Language Arts)
  • Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. (Language Arts)
  • Develop claim and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns. (LA) (Science)
  • Introduce precise claim, distinguish the claim from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. (LA) (Science)
  • Introduce precise claim, distinguish the claim from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim, counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. (LA) (Science)
  • Use words, phrases, and clauses to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between claim and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim and counterclaims. (LA) (Science)
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