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Reading Focus

Course Description

Reading is a problem-solving, message-getting process that increases in strength with practice. Students are immersed in daily opportunities to explore, inquire, practice and apply reading strategies and skills in a variety of genres to advance toward grade level reading in addition to becoming self-motivated readers. Computer software applications will serve as tools to advance comprehension. Students will learn how to effectively use before, during, and after reading strategies, build vocabulary, improve fluency, and select their own independent reading texts in order to become more informed citizens.They will independently use their learning to grapple with increasingly complex texts from a variety of genres and time periods to gain a reservoir of literary and cultural knowledge.

Grade Level(s): 9-12

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  

Essential Questions

  • How do I know when I am stuck?
  • How do I figure out why I am stuck?
  • How do I purposefully apply effective strategies to help comprehend?
  • How do I motivate myself to read complex texts?
  • Why am I reading? For what purpose?
  • How can I transfer the strategies to real life experiences?
  • How do I integrate and evaluate multiple sources in order to address a question or solve a problem?
  • What inferences can I draw, based on the people involved? How does what they say, do, think and feel influence my life?
  • How does the theme of a story affect my perspective of the world?
  • How does the motivation of characters, and ideas interact with the concept of democracy?
  • How do we use language to create meaning and share our voice in a democratic society?
  • How do we frame our language to convey meaning in a democratic society?
  • How do we compare/contrast viewpoints from various cultural and historical perspectives?
  • How do we interact with texts based on our own biases and motivations to select explicit evidence and determine inferences in order to draw conclusions?
  • How do we determine themes/central ideas in a democratic society, and how do they develop over the course of the texts?
  • How do we use various mediums to view the same topic in a democratic society?
  • How do we use literary allusions to develop ideas in a democratic society?
  • What is our role as an individual in a democratic society?

Enduring Understandings/Big Ideas

  • Reading is a meaning-making process that requires application of self-monitoring strategies to deepen the level of comprehension.
  • Self-directed reading leads to character and knowledge development.
  • Reading helps students extend and deepen their knowledge.
  • Reading develops critical thinking skills to evaluate reasoning.
  • Reading provides insights into the human condition.

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Unit 1: Establishing our Civic Literacy Community

This unit will set expectations and establish a purpose and foundation for a reading community built on democratic principles, which values the individual and promotes citizenry. Students will use a variety of strategies such as making connections, asking questions, inferring and visualizing to read, write and think about what the text actually says and suggests, including being able to cite text evidence, infer, and determine central ideas.

Students will know:

  • Various purposes for reading
  • Structures and expectations of the class
  • Purpose of collaborating in a democracy
  • Before, during, and after reading strategies to apply when they are stuck

Students will be able to:

  • Collect and present evidence of their learning
  • Apply problem-solving strategies
  • Set goals and monitor their progress
  • Select and effectively apply the appropriate strategy
  • Actively contribute to class partnerships

Unit 2: Expanding our Community Through Choice

In this unit, students will read varying texts and carefully examine language and vocabulary that effective authors use to communicate. Students will build upon reading strategies as they encounter increasingly complex text based on their individual needs. Students will continually monitor their goals with guided support from the teacher.

Students will know:

  • The meaning of words can change depending on the context
  • Language and vocabulary function differently in varying contexts

Students will be able to:

  • Build and use academic vocabulary by including words that are appropriate for college and career goals.
  • Use vocabulary strategies to problem solve the meaning of unfamiliar words in various texts
  • Analyze word and phrase choices and their overall impact on the meaning of the text
  • Interact with text to make inferences that build meaning
  • Make text to self, text to text, and text to world connections
  • Find connections between author's ideas and text(s)
  • Compare two works that use different artistic mediums but share a common subject.
  • Analyze the validity in the authors' arguments
  • Monitor their reading goals with guided teacher support
  • Engage in collaborative discussions with my teacher and peers to help monitor my progress
  • Assess and reevaluate my goals based on my progress

Unit 3: Examining Bias Through Cultural and Historical Perspectives

In this unit, students will read varying texts and carefully examine the author's bias using strategies such as determining point of view, questioning, visualization, and text conventions. Students will build upon reading strategies to help them navigate varying types of texts, eg. paintings, historical documents, newspaper/magazine articles, photography, video media, etc. Students will broaden their role as an active member of a democratic community by choosing reading materials from different genres that challenge their comfort zone.  They will analyze and examine multiple perspectives on a single topic or issue in order to see their own biases as developing authors and readers.  Students will continually monitor their goals with guided support from the teacher. 

Students will know:

  • Cultural differences influence people's responses to what they read.

Students will be able to:

  • Determine the genre of a text
  • Draw objective conclusions about a text
  • Recognize the importance of historical context to the meaning of the text
  • Compare and contrast the cultural differences in time, place and people within a text.
  • Set individual, long-range goals in order to continually increase their reading comprehension
  • Independently set daily goals for reading progress, reflecting and adjusting goals, as necessary, to maximize progress
  • Analyze and examine multiple perspectives on a single topic or issue in order to see their own biases as developing authors and readers
  • Keep an open mind and respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives.
  • Consider how other perspectives may impact my analysis of a text.

Unit 4: Taking Action Through Civic Literacy

In this unit, students will make connections and synthesize information to create new thinking in response to various self-selected texts. Students will use this reading to take action in the wider community based on their own interest in global issues. Students will reflect on their reading progress and set goals for their continual reading development in order to contribute their voices in a larger democratic society.  Students will take ownership of their knowledge by transferring reading strategies across content areas in order to independently comprehend at their grade level.  Finally, students will connect their classroom goals to broader life goals after high school.

Students will be able to:

  • Choose a variety of texts that range in complexity
  • Transfer reading strategies to other disciplines
  • Connect their classroom goals to broader life goals after high school
  • Independently set appropriate long range goals to improve my reading
  • Use my knowledge of reading strategies to teach others
  • Choose appropriate texts to formulate an opinion on an issue
  • Gather evidence to support my argument and address the counterargument

Course Resources & Materials

Reading Plus

Date Last Revised/Approved: 2014