The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) set new and ambitious expectations for writing, not only in English Language Arts, but writing across the subject areas—including Science, History/Social Studies and Technical Subjects.
Created with the support of and funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Literacies Learning Modules are a writing program for Grades 4 to 10. Every module contains:
• Overt instruction about writing processes and conventions, that can be posted as instructional updates in Scholar-Community.
• Writing prompts and rubrics, for drafting, peer feedback and revision in Scholar- Creator, and web publication of the completed work into the learner’s portfolio in Scholar-Community.
• Surveys, for close reading of exemplar texts and skills analysis of writing features.
The Literacies Learning Modules have been designed by world leading literacy educators from the University of Illinois, Bill Cope and Mary Kalantzis and Common Ground curriculum development specialist, Rita van Haren.
This module introduces students to Scholar through a topic that has general appeal and one in which students can draw upon their background knowledge, and conduct further research. Students also learn about the writing process and how to use Scholar.
Students draw on their own experiences to write narratives, focusing on developing clear event sequences and using transition words and phrases
Students research the experiences of people who have immigrated to a new country, and then write an information report on their findings. They focus on taking notes, expanding notes into complete sentences, and how to structure an information report, write an introduction and conclusion, and add textual features to the text.
Students learn how to state an opinion, supported by a reason and example. They draw on their background knowledge, and read and research to gather more information as they write their own opinion text.
Students read and analyze The Life of Robinson Crusoe to learn how to write fast-moving narratives. Then through the writing process, they draft, provide and receive peer feedback, revise, and submit their work for publication.
Students focus on the visuals and language features of narrative and information texts. They study "Wolves" by Emily Gravett to understand how narratives and information texts work, and then create their own multimodal texts.
Students write an argument about the ways in which humans interact with animals through a study of zoos and circuses. They learn to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Students develop their reading skills, and build their knowledge of the characteristics of someone who makes a difference. They learn about the structure and language features of informative/explanatory texts before writing a biography about an ordinary person who has led an extraordinary life.
Students discuss and research real world and virtual communication in order to develop arguments about which is better. They explore different perspectives in order to address opposing arguments through reasoning and evidence.
Students learn about different forms of energy, energy transformations, the Law of Conservation, and how electricity transforms energy. They also learn about writing in Scholar, how to search for information, and how to write an explanation before writing their own explanation about an energy transformation.
Students learn to critique opinion pieces and blogs, building their skills to write a critical analysis of an opinion piece.
This Learning Module focuses on how society's fears have been reflected in short stories, poetry, and films of the Gothic horror genre, and why this genre is still so popular today. Students interact in an online community, develop their understandings of how to write narrative and argumentative texts, and participate in writing projects of creating, giving feedback, revising, and publishing.