Lost My Essay On Holt Online Learning

The materials for Grade 12 do not meet the expectations of alignment to standards. The texts and tasks partially meet the demands to support students' development of literacy skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and language. While materials do include texts that are organized to support students' understanding of topics and/or themes, the materials only partially meet the expectations of comprehensive support for writing, vocabulary development, and text-based questions and tasks that build critical thinking and grow knowledge to prepare them for post-high school literacy tasks.

The instructional materials for Grade 12 partially meet the expectation of Gateway 1. Most of the texts are at the right level of quality and at the appropriate level for students to grow their literacy skills. The materials include a range of texts that are appropriately rigorous from a quantitative lens, although the qualitative factors vary. The placement of materials for students to get exposure to increasingly rigorous materials of the course of the year is inconsistent, and the teacher may need to supplement to attend to students' access to robust range and depth of reading. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, and culminating tasks represent the demands of the standards. Speaking and listening work is limited and does not include comprehensive supports for teachers to employ practice with academic vocabulary and discussion work over the course of the school year

Criterion 1a-1f

Texts are worthy of students' time and attention: texts are of quality and are rigorous, meeting the text complexity criteria for each grade. Materials support students' advancing toward independent reading.

The instructional materials for Grade 12 partially meet the expectation that texts are at the right level of quality and at the appropriate level for students to grow their literacy skills. The materials include a range of texts that are appropriately rigorous from a quantitative lens, although the qualitative factors vary. The placement of materials for students to get exposure to increasingly rigorous materials of the course of the year is inconsistent, and the teacher may need to supplement to attend to students' access to robust range and depth of reading.

NOTE: Indicator 1b is non-scored and provides information about text types and genres in the program.

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Indicator 1a

Anchor/core texts are of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for anchor/core texts being of publishable quality and worthy of especially careful reading and consider a range of student interests.

The texts are high quality and worthy of students’ attention, due to literary richness, rhetorical technique, or topical relevance. A large number or texts come from authors that are well-known, award-winning or iconic. A number of undisputed classic texts are present, including works for male, female, and multicultural authors. There is sufficient effort to include texts on topics of current interest or select older texts that have a potential to resonate with contemporary students.

Quality texts found in Grade 12 materials include (but are not limited to) the following high-quality text selections:

  • In Unit 1, From the Iliad by Homer is an epic poem that has students exploring common ideas and symbolism across texts, such as how people give value to their lives through achievement and failure and the costs of giving in to impulse, impiety, temptation, and recklessness.
  • In Unit 4, From Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is noted as a British Masterpiece.Frankenstein is infused with elements of the Gothic novel and the Romantic movement. At the same time, it is an early example of science fiction.
  • In Unit 4, “To Autumn” by John Keats is one of the most anthologised English lyric poems, "To Autumn" has been highly regarded by critics. Its vivid and rich language makes this text worthy of careful reading.
  • In Unit 5, “Sonnet 43” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is celebrated English poetry from the Romantic Era.
  • In Unit 6, From Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw is a drama noted as an Irish Masterpiece. In 1925, Shaw was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • In Unit 6, From Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is noted as a Legacy Masterpiece. The story's main theme concerns pre- and post-colonial life in late nineteenth century Nigeria. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, one of the first to receive global critical acclaim.
Indicator 1b

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level.

Materials reflect the distribution of text types and genres required by the standards at each grade level and consider a range of student interests. Over the course of a year, students are exposed to a variety of text types including, short stories, poems, drama, essays, and speeches. The materials provide a Table of Contents per unit that lists the text titles, authors, and types. Examples of texts include but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1: The Origins of a Nation
    • Epic: From Beowulf and From The Iliad
    • Poetry: “The Seafarer” (104), From The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer and From Sir Gawain and the Green Knight The Gawain Poet
    • Informational: From The Book of Margery Kempe Margery Kempe and From A Distant Mirror Barbara Tuckman
  • Unit 2: The Celebration of Human Achievement
    • Poetry: Text set of Renaissance sonnets from Spenser, Shakespeare, and Petrarch
    • Text set of Metaphysical and Cavalier Poets, including John Donne, Ben Jonson, Andrew Marvell, Robert Herrick, and Richard Lovelace
    • Drama: The Tragedy of Macbeth by Shakespeare
    • Epic:From Paradise Lost by John Milton
  • Unit 4: Emotion and Experimentation
    • Poetry: Text set of The Lake Poets, including “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth; “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan” by Coleridge.
    • Three odes by John Keats
    • Prose Fiction: From Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    • Informational
    • Letter to Fanny Brawne by John Keats
  • Unit 6: New Ideas, New Voices
    • Informational: From Virginia Woolf by E. M. Forster , “Shooting an Elephant” by George Orwell, “Words and Behavior” by Aldous Huxley (1264), and From Night by Elie Wiesel
    • Prose Fiction: “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence , From 1984 by George Orwell , From A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce , From Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe , and “Six Feet of Country” by Nadine Gordimer
    • Drama: From Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw and From Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
    • Poetry: “Digging” by Seamus Heaney and “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” by Dylan Thomas

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Indicator 1c

Texts have the appropriate level of complexity for the grade level (according to quantitative analysis and qualitative analysis).

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for texts having the appropriate level of complexity for the grade according to quantitative analysis, qualitative analysis, and relationship to their associated student task.

The materials include a variety of texts that are appropriate for 12th grade students and range in complexity for the grade level. Texts that are moderate in complexity are accompanied by tasks that increase the level of rigor by demanding higher order thinking skills and analyses. Texts that are exceedingly complex are accompanied by a variety of scaffolds such as graphic organizers and discussion questions. Texts range in quantitative measure from Lexile 810 to Lexile 1620, with one text that measure Lexile 640 and multiple challenging poems as well as Shakespearean works.

Texts that fall below the Grade 12 quantitative band include qualitative features or reader and task considerations that make them appropriate for Grade 12 students. For example:

  • In Unit 6, students read “A Cup of Tea” by Katherine Mansfield which measures at Lexile 640. This text is rich in period vocabulary which will make it more challenging for students. Students are also asked to draw conclusions about social context using the short story as will as the background information given about the 1900’s. This task helps to make the text appropriate for Grade 12 students.

Texts that rise above or meet the Grade 12 quantitative band include qualitative features or reader and task considerations that make them appropriate for Grade 12 students. For example:

  • In Unit 4, students read the challenging poem, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner: by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The text has layers of meaning and purpose, complex poetic structures, archaic language and multiple parts to synthesize. With support and scaffolding from the teacher, students examine the essential question of “How Can Guilt Enslave Us?” as they engage in activities and questions that require them to analyze word choice, engage in tiered discussion prompts. The text and task are at the appropriate level for this grade due to the supports provided.
  • In Unit 6, students read “A Devoted Son” by Anita Desai which measures at Lexile 1460. This text includes multiple footnotes with definitions of unfamiliar words as well as sidebar notes that call attention for students to evaluate actions of characters in order to better understand the text. The scaffolds and questions in place make the text appropriate for Grade 12 students.

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Indicator 1d

Materials support students' literacy skills (understanding and comprehension) over the course of the school year through increasingly complex text to develop independence of grade level skills (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels).

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ increasing literacy skills over the course of the school year. (Series of texts should be at a variety of complexity levels appropriate for the grade band.) There is a clear variety and appropriate leveling of texts. The complexity of texts varies from passage to passage with each unit representing a range of text types and complexity levels.

Students are given opportunities to build literacy skills. Over the course of the year, students engage with texts that vary in rigor and complexity. Many texts are accompanied with guidance and tasks that build students’ skills over the course of the school year, and provide opportunities for growth. Questions placed alongside the text and after the text prompt students to identify and comment on the effect or meaning of focus text features. However, the level of questions does not increase significantly over the course of the year, and tasks are scaffolded and passages labeled consistently across the year. Students do not become prepared to execute these skills on their own.

Some examples of how students engage with differently rigorous activities and texts over the course of the school year include the following:

  • Unit 3: The Restoration and the 18th Century: The texts and tasks in this unit focus on text analysis of nonfiction in the 18th century, including diaries, videos, essays, biographies, poetry and short stories. There is a clear progression of complexity throughout the unit with the most challenging literacy skills found at the end of the unit. While the texts in the unit do not necessary increase in complexity from the the beginning to the end; the literacy skills do increase in complexity.The unit begins with a Text Analysis Workshop where students identify satire. Later in the unit, students will read the essay “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift which has a lexile of 1590 and will analyze satire in the essay. The rigor of texts are accompanied by tasks that increase in complexity.
  • Unit 6: Modern and Contemporary Literature: Students will analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone, grasp point of view by distinguishing what is directly stated from what is inferred as well as the follow the development of a theme across a text. The texts read in Unit 6 do not necessarily increase in complexity, but instead are used to support increasingly complex literacy skills. For example, students will practice and become proficient with point of view while reading the following texts;“A Cup of Tea” by Katherine Mansfield (Lexile 640), “Araby” by James Joyce (Lexile 940), a New York Times article and a TV newscast. In Unit 7 the students will write a personal narrative in which they establish a point of view as well as other skills practiced throughout the unit.

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Indicator 1e

Anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria that anchor texts and series of texts connected to them are accompanied by a text complexity analysis and rationale for purpose and placement in the grade level.

The materials provide text complexity analysis for texts throughout the materials. Lexiles, Fry, and Dale-Chall readability are provided in the unit overview at the beginning of each unit. There are no qualitative measurements, nor are any reader and task considerations included to create a complete text analysis. There is also no rationale included for the purpose or placement in each grade level. Examples include:

Unit 1: The Origins of a Nation: The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods

  • Beowulf and the Iliad: (Epic Poems)
  • from “A History of the English Church and People”: Lexile:1270, Fry: 8, and Dale-Chall: 7.4
  • “Pilgrimages: Journeys of the Spirit” (Book excerpt, magazine article, a map and illustrations): lexile: 1601/1480, Fry: 11/12, and Dale-Chall: 8.0-8.5
  • from “Le Morte d’Arthur”: Lexile: 1080, Fry: 10, Dale-Chall: 7

Unit 2: A Celebration of Human Achievement: The English Renaissance

  • The Tragedy of Macbeth: drama: no text complexity rating.
  • “The Real Macbeth”: (Historical Account and Newspaper Article) Lexile: 1630/1400; Fry 10/9; Dale-Chall: 8.0-8.9
  • from “The Pilgrim’s Progress: Lexile 1300; Fry 9; Dale-Chall 6.9

Unit 3: Tradition and Reason: The Restoration and the 18th Century

  • from “The Diary of Samuel Pepys: Lexile: 1240; Fry: 7; Dale-Chall: 5.6
  • “A Modest Proposal”: Lexile: 1590, Fry: 10, Dale-Chall: 9.0
  • from “Gulliver’s Travels”: Lexile: 1330, Fry: 9, Dale-Chall: 7.5
  • from “The Life of Samuel Johnson”: Lexile: 1060, Fry: 7, Dale-Chall: 6.9
  • from “A Valediction of the Rights of Women”: Lexile 1350, Fry12+; Dale-Chall 9.0.

Unit 6: New Ideas, New Voices: Modern and Contemporary Literature

  • “A Cup of Tea,”: Lexile 640; Fry 5; Dale-Chall 5.7
  • “The Rocking Horse Winner”: Lexile 690; Fry 5; Dale-Chall 5.7
  • from “Night: Lexile 570; Fry 5, Dale-Chall 5.7

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Indicator 1f

Anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria that anchor and supporting texts provide opportunities for students to engage in a range and volume of reading to achieve grade level reading proficiency.

Students will read a range of texts and a variety of genres but reviewers noted that additional guidance may be needed to help students develop stamina for long complex texts. Texts (in the print edition) are generally short works, or very short excepts (1-4 pages) of longer works, meaning students do not have ample opportunities to engage in reading large volumes.

Volume: While materials offer support via NovelWise, “a Website that helps students choose a novel or other book-length work to read.” There is no tracking or monitoring of independent reading in these materials and lack explicit instructions on implementation. Students are provided a variety of supports through the NovelWise site, including “study guides, reading strategies and literary elements instruction, presentations to introduce classic novels, and project ideas.” Some of the suggested independent reading texts are as follows:

Unit 4: The Flowering of Romanticism

  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake
  • Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour
  • A Literary Guide to the Lake District by Grevel Lindop

Unit 6: Modern and Contemporary Literature

  • Miss Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  • Collected Poems, 1909-1962 by T.S. Eliot
  • A Passage to India by E.M.. Forster
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

Range: The materials contain a range of texts, including by not limited to:

  • Poetry
  • Letters
  • Ballads
  • Essays
  • Speeches
  • Short Stories
  • Scripture
  • Film Clip
  • Film Review
  • Drama
  • Debate

Criterion 1g-1n

Materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts to build strong literacy skills.

The instructional materials partially meet the expectations of the criteria around alignment to the standards. Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, and culminating tasks represent the demands of the standards. Speaking and listening work is limited and does not include comprehensive supports for teachers to employ practice with academic vocabulary and discussion work over the course of the school year. Writing lessons are many and include connections to the types and on-demand requirements put forth by the standards, and the materials include support for teaching revision. The grammar instruction included partially prepares students for the needs of the grade level.

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Indicator 1g

Most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text).

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria that most questions, tasks, and assignments are text dependent/specific, requiring students to engage with the text directly (drawing on textual evidence to support both what is explicit as well as valid inferences from the text; this may include work with mentor texts as well).

The materials include a range of text dependent questions and tasks throughout each unit. Questions and tasks cover a wide continuum of standards and strategies. Each unit offers many opportunities for students to engage in evidence-based discussions and activities. Most of the questions and tasks are text-dependent and ask students to engage with the text directly. Students are given opportunities to use evidence pulled directly from the text as well as make inferences.

Before each text, students are directed to take notes in the Reader/Writer Notebook as they read. Most questions in the margins of the text require students to note and interpret grammatical, literary, and rhetorical features. Each excerpt has close read questions which are on the page next to the text itself for students and teachers to reference directly. Key passages are outlined in a red box with text-dependent questions for the teacher. At the end of each selection or compared groups of selections there is a section of three to five questions sub-headed Text Analysis Questions. These questions guide students directly back to the text. Questions and tasks cover comprehension, summarizing, clarifying, drawing conclusions, making inferences evaluating, synthesizing ideas, and analyzing and identifying literary devices.

Students engage with and draw evidence from the texts through Tiered Discussion Prompts, After Reading Questions, Analyzing Visuals and Reading-Writing Connection questions and tasks. Examples of these include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, students are asked to identify particular characteristics of medieval romance evident in designated passages in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Other questions ask students to make character inferences based on designated passages in the poem.
  • In Unit 2, while reading Pastoral Poems and Sonnets, students answer questions such as:
    • “What characteristics of pastoral poems do you find in lines 9-14?”
    • “Reread lines 13-16. How does the nymph directly refute the shepherd's promises?”
    • ”A paradox is a statement that seems to contradict ordinary experience but actually reveal the hidden truth. What paradox does Spencer develop in Sonnet 30?”
    • “Notice that in lines 11–14, Duncan admits he misjudged the thane of Cawdor, who proved a traitor. What might this admission foreshadow about the king?
  • In Unit 3, page 615, in the Language Coach Textbox, in lines 81 through 86, Pope refers to an everyday object through metaphors: weapon, spear, and engine.”What do these metaphors refer to?”
  • In Unit 5, several questions alongside Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “The Lady of Shalott” ask students to identify particular words and images that contribute to the poem’s mood in designated passages: “What mood is created by the description of the island in lines 10-18? Identify words contributing to the mood.”
  • In Unit 6, James Joyce’s “Araby” is followed by three comprehension questions and six text analysis questions that ask for direct engagement with the text. “What does Araby symbolize, or represent, to the narrator? Support your response with details from the story.”

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Indicator 1h

Materials contain sets of sequences of text-dependent/ text-specific questions with activities that build to a culminating task which integrates skills to demonstrate understanding

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for having sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and tasks that build to a culminating task that integrates skills (may be writing, speaking, or a combination).

The materials provide opportunities for rich and rigorous evidence-based discussions and writing about texts and integrates strategies to help students build literacy skills. The materials contain sets of high-quality sequences of text-dependent/specific questions and activities which build to a variety of tasks, including, but not limited to: hort, on-demand written responses, longer (processed) essays, storyboards, re-writing in the author’s style, and movie scripts. These tasks and activities often ask students to compare/contrast works that have been presented as sets or series or synthesize the meaning, themes, or central ideas of the text sets.

Additionally, tasks often connect to a non-traditional text form such as a news report or movie scene.

At the end of majority of the texts or text sets, a culminating activity is provided. Each of the culminating activities within the unit lead to a larger culminating task for the unit. At the end of each unit there is a Writing Workshop, including a Timed Writing Practice, along with a Multiple Choice Assessment Practice. Also at the end of each collection of texts within an Era, there is a Wrap-Up Writing where students are asked to evaluate or analyze the texts from the time period.While these culminating activities seem to build off of each other, the standards associated with the writing and speaking activities are not well-supported throughout the entire unit; either through other writing tasks nor the reading questions aligned with core passages .

For example:

In Unit 3, students read “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” by Mary Wollstonecraft and evaluate claims and counter arguments while reading. Students discuss, “ What claim, or position on a n issue, does Wollstonecraft making in her essay? and How well does Wollstonecraft use counter-arguments in developing her points?” Then at the end of the unit the culminating writing states, “In this unit, you have read works with persuasive elements and have seen how writers use persuasive elements to change the way others think about a subject. In this workshop, you will attempt to influence the attitudes or actions of a specific audience by writing a persuasive essay. Write a persuasive essay that asserts a strong claim on an issue that is important to you. Think of issues that make you react strongly. In your essay, you will support your claim with reasons and evidence in order to convince a particular audience to adopt your position or take a specific action.”

In Unit 6 students complete a wrap up after reading an essay, a poem, a short story, and a memoir about Responses to War. Students review the stories and poems on pages 1118-1187 and choose one that conveys a strong sense of detachment. Analyze how the writer creates this sense of emotional distance and what ideas or values the piece seems to express. Students address the prompt, “The Postwar Writers: Writing to Evaluate-Imagine Seamus Heaney, Ted Hughes, Stevie Smith and William Trevor have been nominated for a prestigious literary award whose winner you will declare. Based on the selections you have just read, who should win? To help you consider carefully, use a chart like the one shown to help you organize your ideas about each piece; you can use the suggested criteria or develop your own. Then, write two or three formal paragraphs in which you explain the reasons for your choice, linking your ideas with appropriate transitions and concluding with the work’s overall impact.”

Students then prepare for the end of unit Writing Workshop by completing the following two on demand writings:

  • Page 1151, “Write a Narrative: What might have happened when Oliver visited the Duchess and her daughter Diana in the country? Use what you know about the personalities of Olive and the Duchess to write a three-to-five paragraph descriptive narrative.”
  • Page 1171, “Write an Analysis: What could the adults in “The Rocking Horse Winner” have done to prevent Paul’s death? Write a three-to-five paragraph essay analyzing the steps each adult could have taken to save Paul.”

The Writing Workshop prompt states, “Write a personal narrative in which you describe for a specific audience a meaningful experience in your life.”

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Indicator 1i

Materials provide frequent opportunities and protocols to engage students in speaking and listening activities and discussions (small group, peer-to-peer, whole class) which encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and syntax.

The materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials providing frequent opportunities and protocols for evidence-based discussions (small groups, peer-to-peer, whole class) that encourage the modeling and use of academic vocabulary and synthesis.

Within the teacher’s edition of the text, a focusing question is posed, which is general and broad. The “big” question is used direct students to major themes. This question is repeated with supporting discussion questions throughout the sets of texts. Additionally teachers are provided “Tiered Discussion Prompts,” that are text specific and connect to the big question. For example, The Big Question on Unit 2, page 127 “Life in 21st- century America is radically different from life in 15th-century England, but events can still intrude upon our security. Working with a partner, think of a global, national, or local event that shook your sense of security. Prepare for a thoughtful discussion by researching details of the event that you might not have previously known. Discuss why you found the event disturbing and what you did to attempt to regain your peace of mind.”

Some evidence of developing discussion protocols is present, it is not frequent throughout the teacher’s guide. Tiered Discussion Prompts, accompanying texts appear in the teacher edition which provide some protocols for discussion. There is limited guidance for small-group or peer-to-peer discussions or student-led conversation. The Speaking and Listening Handbook placed after the main units outlines basic principles and strategies for discussing and listening. For example,in Unit 4,page 699, Extension Activity, “With several classmates stage a performance of the dialogue recorded by Boswell in the excerpts from the life of Samuel Johnson. In preparation, review each section of the dialogue. Discuss the traits of the people speaking as well as the ideas communicated by the dialogue, considering how to best convey both. After your performance, hold a wider discussion of the ideas that were presented. Do you agree with any of the speakers? Disagree? Why?” This does require discussion, interpretation of the text, text support, and a peer-to-peer discussion with student leadership. However, it is an “extension” activity and not part of the curriculum. There are also no protocols for how to do this and no scaffolding to lead to this type of activity.

Throughout the unit, there are opportunities for discussion prompted by the teacher in whole class instruction. There are few noted opportunities for students to discuss in a variety of groupings. Only a few mentions of small group discussion are present in the materials. For example, page 1113 prompts a partner discussion, “Discuss with a partner, choose Peter Pan, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Winnie the Pooh, or another classic work of British children's literature which was written in the 20th or 21st century. Read, or reread, the story and discuss it with your partner. Why do you think the work became a classic? Is it enjoyable to read as a teenager? Are the elements of the story that you may have missed as a child?” This prompt does require critical support from a text, but is not at academic grade-level. The discussion task is not practical since it asks the students to read/re-read an entire novel as part of just a simple introductory activity.

Modeling of academic vocabulary is limited. The function of most of the discussion questions is as an ice-breaker and/or interest grabber before reading rather than an evidence-based discussion encouraging the use of academic vocabulary.

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Indicator 1j

Materials support students' listening and speaking (and discussions) about what they are reading and researching (shared projects) with relevant follow-up questions and supports.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials supporting students’ listening and speaking about what they are reading and researching (including presentation opportunities) with relevant follow-up questions and evidence.

Activities requiring students to listen and speak to share information are embedded across the year’s instruction. Throughout the textbook, there are opportunities for discussion prompted by the teacher in whole class instruction. There are few noted opportunities for students to discuss in a variety of groupings. Some activities include discussion about what has been read and researched as well as preparing for group discussion. However, most activities, especially those placed at the beginnings of units, rely on opinion or life-experiences rather than research or textual evidence. Fewer activities involve gaining understanding from multiple sources or include follow-up questions.

The speaking and listening tasks are often presented as “Extension” activities, but they connect to readings or the section as a whole. There are tasks in the Speaking & Listening Workshop section of each unit in which students re-work a written assignment and create a speech or powerpoint presentation. Teachers have some guidance throughout the units, but could use more explicit details to help engage all learners with speaking and listening skills.

Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1, before reading a section of text titled “Stories in Songs” “ask students what they think of when they think of “stories in song. Have students think of contemporary songwriters or musicians who tell stories in song, including rock band, folk singers, and other artists. Invite volunteers to share lyrics that show the perspective of the songwriter or singer. Discuss what the songs have in common.”
  • At the end of In Unit 1, “Divide into teams to debate this statement, Chivalry is dead. You may use your persuasive essays as a jumping-off point, but with your team members find additional examples from today’s world to prove that chivalry is alive and well or has withered and died in the face of our modern sensibilities and values.”
  • In Unit 4, teacher directed discussion questions are provided throughout the unit to guide students in the reading.For example, after reading the poem “To A Mouse” by Robert Burns, students engage with the following discussion prompts.“Discuss, In lines 31-36, what is commonplace about the farmer’s encounter with the mouse? What is unusual about it?”“Discuss, In what ways does the boatman display recklessness?” “Discuss, In lines 185-198, Life-in-Death and Death gamble for possession if the mariner. What does the appearance of these two figures suggest about the mariner’s guilt and the severity of the crime?”
  • In Unit 5, after reading “from Middlemarch” by George Eliot discussion prompts include, “In a small group, choose two specific examples from the excerpt that illustrate the difference between what the character says and what they really feel. How does each character’s choice of words help conceal his or her true feelings? What clues about the characters’ true feelings can you gather from the narrator’s comments? What do these narrative techniques add to the realism of the scene? Do they make the scene more believable or true-to-life? Explain.” At the end of In Unit 5, students are to create a Power Presentation with the following directives, “Adapt your literary analysis into a power presentation that conveys your controlling idea and supporting evidence in a clear and visually interesting way.”

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Indicator 1k

Materials include a mix of on-demand and process writing grade-appropriate writing (e.g. grade-appropriate revision and editing) and short, focused projects.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for materials including a mix of on-demand and process writing (e.g. multiple drafts, revisions over time) and short, focused projects, incorporating digital resources where appropriate.

The 12th grade textbook offers opportunities for students to write in both process and on-demand formats and incorporates technology when appropriate. Throughout the units, short-constructed, on-demand writings are found. In addition, the end of units provide a processed writing task in a Writing Workshop strategy. The Writing Workshop strategy provides guidance in the steps of the writing process. The process writing assignments include segments on: planning, drafting, revising and editing, publishing with several opportunities for publishing. Digital publishing is often encouraged.

Examples of the mix of on-demand and process writing include, but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 2, pages 538-546, during Writing Workshop students, “Write a critical review of the key scene from a movie or theater adaptation of a play. Assert a claim that states whether the adaptation does justice to the source material – the original play.”
  • In Unit 3, on page 589, students, “Write a Diary Entry: What kind of information about life today could your diary provide to readers centuries from now? Write a three-to-five paragraph diary entry in which you describe how you spend your time. Describe your day in chronological order. Make sure you include clear, detailed references to specific objects and activities.”
  • In Unit 4, on page 892, during Writing Workshop students, “Write an online feature article about a topic, trend, person, or phenomenon that interests you.”
  • In Unit 4, students incorporate digital resources when they publish their writings. The directions state, “After you finish proofreading your article, you are ready to post it online. Consider these ideas; embed a link to your article on any social networking sites that you visit, send the email to your contacts to let them know that your art article is online and ready to view, create a class menu of feature articles on the website that is hosting your work--group related articles under descriptive boldfaced headings, and include links to everyone's articles.”
  • In Unit 5, on page 929, complete an on demand writing, “Think about either a person who lives life fully or a person whose life is lacking or incomplete. Based on your thoughts about this person, list five experiences you think are essential for a life lived to the fullest. Discuss your list with a small group of classmates. What are the benefits of having these experiences? Are there any downsides?”
  • In Unit 6, page 1379, students complete a brief writing to address the prompt, “The American public relies on major news organizations to be society’s ‘window on the world’, providing context for and insight into unfolding historical events while maintaining a level of objectivity. Choose one of the news reports in this lesson. Based only on this report, describe your perceptions of the parties involved, including the nations it focuses on, the reporter, and the new sources. Express your views in a brief written analysis.”

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Indicator 1l

Materials provide opportunities for students to address different types/modes/genres of writing that reflect the distribution required by the standards. Writing opportunities incorporate digital resources/multimodal literacy materials where appropriate. Opportunities may include blended writing styles that reflect the distribution required by the standards.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for materials providing opportunities for students to address different text types of writing (year long) that reflect the distribution required by the standards. May include “blended” styles.

The 12th grade curriculum provides opportunities to meet the variety of writing styles mandated by the standards. These styles include: argumentative, explanatory, and narrative writing. Some of the styles could be considered “blended” writing styles

Examples of opportunities for students to address the different types of writing reflected by the standards include, but are not limited to:

  • Blended Style: In Unit 1 on p. 123, an example of a blend of explanatory and narrative writing is found.“Think about a time when you or someone you know recovered from an injury, illness, or some other difficult experience. Draft a one-page personal narrative in which you describe the attitudes and strategies that made it survivable, Conclude by reflecting on the importance of the experience.”
  • Argumentative: In Unit 3 on p.575, an example of argumentative writing is found. “Many pundits have predicted the demise of the novel, especially in its printed form, as other forms of literature and technology have gained popularity. Write several paragraphs to explain why you think the novel endures despite so many distractions.”
  • Explanatory: In Unit 2 on p.451, an example of explanatory writing is found. “In the selection from Utopia, Sir Thomas More explains how a good king should behave. Think of a few important leaders today. Choose one and write a three-to-five paragraph editorial in which you express your opinions about this leader.. Consider both positive and negative aspects of this leader’s performance. Be sure to provide instruction on how he or she could become a better leader.”
  • Narrative: In Unit 3 on p. 589, an example of narrative writing is found. “WRITE A DIARY ENTRY: What kind of information about life today could your diary provide to readers centuries from now? Write a three-to-five paragraph diary entry in which you describe how you spend your time. Describe your day in chronological order. Make sure you include clear, detailed references to specific objects and activities.” Also, In Unit 6, on p. 1249, “An effective eyewitness report puts the reader in the midst of the action while providing the context needed to understand the events described. Write a three-to-five paragraph eyewitness report on an event of your choosing, such as a sporting event or a community gathering. Use precise language.”

2/2

Indicator 1m

Materials include frequent opportunities for evidence-based writing to support sophisticated analysis, argumentation, and synthesis.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria for materials including frequent opportunities for research-based and evidence-based writing to support analysis, argument, synthesis and/or evaluation of information, supports, claims.

Throughout the text, a variety of writing tasks provide opportunities for research-based, evidence-based writing. Writing tasks include formal and informal writing to support analysis of poetry and prose, arguments based on reading, synthesis of texts across genres and time periods, and evaluation of literary selections. Evidence and research provides information that supports claims, and provides claims for the writing. At the end of units, some of the writing tasks require research while others are narratives. Examples include but are not limited to the following:

  • In Unit 2, writing to evaluate and synthesize is found. “Briefly discuss how Holinshed’s negative portrayal of Macbeth differs from Traves’s positive one. If Shakespeare had based his play on Traves’s historically accurate, positive Macbeth instead of Holinshed’s version, how would the play have changed? Do you think audiences would prefer to see a play about the positive Macbeth rather than the negative one? Why or why not? Include specific evidence from Holinshed, Traves, and Shakespeare’s play in your essay.”
  • In Unit 4, written analysis is found. Materials state, “Review the Coleridge and Wordsworth poems in this unit. Write an analysis of the poems, explaining how the illustrate the principles outlined in the excerpt from “Biografia” Litteraria. Consider the kinds of events and people depicted; the portrayals of nature; the attitudes of the speakers towards their subject matter.”
  • In Unit 5, materials state, “Choose one country in the Commonwealth of Nations . . . and find out what aspects of British culture remain in that country today. Report your findings to the class, using visual aids to enhance your presentation.”
  • In Unit 6, writing involving the use of evidence to support a claim is found. “In ‘Breaking the Chain,’ Nomfundo Mhlana says that she believes ‘whites [in South Africa] still have apartheid in their hearts.’ Clarify what she means by this, reviewing what you’ve learned about apartheid from Gordimer’s ‘Six Feet of the Country’ as well as from two interviews. Then tell whether you agree, disagree, or partially agree with her statement. Support your opinion with evidence from the interviews and your own reflections about human nature.”
  • In Unit 10, students are asked to analyze a piece of literature through comparison and contrast. “Launcelot, or Lancelot, is an archetypal hero. How does Malory's portrayal of the knight differ from Steinbeck's? What aspects of the archetypal hero do Launcelot and Lancelot have in common? Compare and contrast the way the two authors depict this famous knight in a 3 to 5 paragraph response.”

1/2

Indicator 1n

Materials include instruction and practice of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level as applied in increasingly sophisticated contexts, with opportunities for application in context.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meet the criteria for materials including instruction of the grammar and conventions/language standards for grade level. Over the course of the year’s worth of materials, grammar/convention instruction is provided, however it does not increase in sophisticated contexts.

The materials offer grammar instruction and support over the course of the year. The Essential Course of Study (ECOS) table at the beginning of the Teacher’s Edition identifies grammar and language instruction and exercises present in each unit. (T23-T28) This page shows the progression of skills and language standards, starting with Latin roots, and moving on to dialect and language devices (such as alliteration), and ending the unit with the mechanics of excerpting poetry and punctuating quotations. Some grammar, mechanics, and conventions are taught explicitly (e.g., use alliteration) providing opportunities for students to grow their fluency through practice and application.The materials offer a “Language Coach” and “ Grammar and Style” notation embedded in most texts as well as a “Grammar and Style” practice activity at the end of some selections. Additionally, the materials offer “Grammar in Context” support with samples in the “Writing Workshop” section of each unit as well as a “Grammar Handbook,” along with other support resources, at the end of the text.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • Unit 1, Grammar and Style, page 245, students are instructed to, “Review the Grammar and Style note on page 237. The lilting quality of the Gawain Poet’s verse owes much to his use of alliteration, the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words-- a technique that can add emphasis, heighten mood, or create a musical effect in a line or passage. Many of the alliterative elements in the poem consist of participles, verb forms that function as adjectives, and participial phrases, participles plus their modifiers and complements.”
  • Unit 3, Grammar in Context, the materials provide instruction on proper usage of correlative conjunctions, “Parallel words or word groups are often joined by correlative conjunctions (both...and; either...or; neither...nor; not only...but also; whether...or). Correlative conjunctions help writers show relationships between ideas. When using them, make sure the verb agrees in number with the subject.
  • Unit 5: Grammar and Style, page 1043, students are told to, “Review the Grammar and Style note on page 1040. Writers often use rhetorical questions-- questions asked only for effect-- to drive home a point or evoke an emotional response. Carlyle uses these interrogative sentences throughout his essay, as in this example, ‘Notice how the questions express Carlyle’s points in a more dynamic and compelling way than would be achieved had he merely stated his position.’” The students are instructed to, “Rewrite the following paragraph, changing at least two sentences into rhetorical questions to make the paragraph more persuasive. Then, add at least one additional rhetorical question.”

The materials for Grade 12 do not meet the expectations of Gateway 2. While the texts are organized around topics and themes in service of building students' knowledge, the tasks and question sequences only partially support students in building critical thinking skills. The year long instructional components supporting research, and vocabulary development partially meet the expectations. The instructional materials do not meet expectations for growing students' writing skills over the course of the school year.

Criterion 2a-2h

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 do not meet the criteria that texts are organized around topics/themes to build students' knowledge. The materials use sequences of questions to support students as they read closely. The materials partially meet the criteria that contain a coherently sequenced set of text-dependent and text-specific questions and tasks that require students to build knowledge and integrate ideas across both individual and multiple texts. The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 partially meets the criteria that the questions and tasks support students’ ability to complete culminating tasks in which they demonstrate their knowledge of a topic through integrated skills. Grade 12 materials include systems to partially support students' vocabulary development, writing, and research skills, although the teacher will have to supplement to meet the overall demands of the standards in these areas. The materials do not include a cohesive design for independent reading instruction.

4/4

Indicator 2a

Texts are organized around a topic/topics or themes to build students' knowledge and their ability to comprehend and analyze complex texts proficiently.

The instructional materials reviewed for Grade 12 meet the criteria that texts are organized around a topic/topics to build students’ knowledge and their ability to read and comprehend complex texts proficiently.

Each unit has texts that connect through time period and are sub-grouped around a particular literary movement. The materials are arranged chronologically beginning with the Anglo-Saxons and Medieval Periods (449-1485) and progress through the centuries ending with Modern and Contemporary Literature (1901-present). Within each unit, there are several selections to represent the time periods, including poetry, drama, and prose selections. The materials connect the texts by providing “Questions of the Times” that help provide context for each of the texts read. Examples include but are not limited to:

  • In Unit 1: The Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Periods (449-1485) Students are presented the following questions that will focus their reading/learning:What makes a hero? Who really shapes society? Does fate control our lives? Can people live up to high ideals?Examples of texts include but are not limited to:
    • “from Beowulf”, Epic Poem
    • “Themes Across Cultures: from the Illiad”, Epic Poem
    • “The Seafarer/The Wanderer/The Wife’s Lament”, poetry from the Exeter Book
    • “Barbara Allen/Robin Hood and the Three Squires/Get up and Bar the Door” Ballads
    • “from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight”, translated by John Gardner
    • “from Le Morte d’Arthur” retold by Keith Raines
  • In Unit 5: The Victorians (1832-1901) Students are presented with the following questions that will focus their reading/learning:When is progress a problem? Can values be imposed? Is it better to escape or face reality? Why do people fear change? Examples of text include but are not limited to:
    • “My Last Duchess/Porphyria’s Lover”, by Robert Browning
    • “Malachi’s Cove” by Anthony Trollope
    • “Christmas Storms and Sunshine” by Elizabeth Cleghorn Caskell
    • “Media Study: from A History of Britain” , Documentary
    • “To An Athlete Dying Young/When I was One-and-Twenty” by A.E. Housman


Holt Online Essay Scoring offers one or more writing prompts for each category listed below. For each prompt, we also provide an interactive model essay. When your student clicks on one of the features identified in the margin, the related material in the essay lights up and an instructional note pops up. To view an interactive model, click on one of the categories below. Each interactive model is also linked to a printer-friendly version.

To view a model essay, click on one of the links below.

Interactive Model Essays for Middle School

Middle School Models for Expository/InformativePrompts

  1. NEW Imagine that you could give advice to someone—it could be someone you know personally, a historical figure, or a famous person living today. Write an essay that identifies the person and the advice you would give. Choose a familiar subject so that you can provide details and elaboration that explain why this person needs your advice.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. In an essay, explain how disappointments can have a good side.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Write an essay explaining why someone you care about is important to you.
    Click here to view this model.

  4. "Dress for success" is a phrase all of us have heard before, but it means something different to each person. Write an essay explaining what "dress for success" means to you.
    Click here to view this model.

  5. Write an essay to explain why honesty is important in a friendship.
    Click here to view this model.

  6. Through the years new inventions have changed the way we live. Think about one invention that has had an impact on the way you live. Now write to explain to your teacher how this invention has changed your life.
    Click here to view this model.

  7. Write an essay explaining how you changed when you entered middle school.
    Click here to view this model.

  8. The amount of graffiti has greatly increased at your school. The members of the school board must find ways to stop the graffiti. Write a composition in which you fully explain the solution the school board could use to solve this problem.
    Click here to view this model.

  9. There are both good things and bad things about playing on a team, such as the school soccer team or the school volleyball team. Write a composition for your teacher in which you explain both what is good and what is bad about playing on a school team. Be sure to explain each point fully.
    Click here to view this model.

  10. A role model is a person you look up to. Before you begin writing, think about someone you look up to. Why do you admire this person? Write a composition in which you explain to your classmates whom you admire and why you admire this person.
    Click here to view this model.

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Middle School Models for PersuasivePrompts

  1. NEW A wealthy donor plans to build a new facility that will benefit young people in your area. It could be a swimming pool, a theater, a skateboard park, an art school, or any other facility that would provide young people with constructive ways to spend their time. The donor is not sure what kind of facility would be most useful. Write a letter to the donor in which you identify the type of facility you would like to have built, and persuade her that it is the best choice. Be sure to support your opinion with convincing reasons and evidence.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Your principal wants to invite a celebrity speaker to your school. Think about the celebrity you would choose to have speak; then, write a letter to persuade your principal to invite this person. Be sure to include convincing reasons and details to support your choice.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Girls and boys often enjoy playing the same sport. Some people believe that girls and boys should be able to play on the same team. What is your opinion on this issue? Write an essay stating your opinion and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  4. It has been said that television has little real educational value. What is your opinion on this issue? Write an essay stating your opinion and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  5. The principal of your school is considering conducting random locker searches several times a year without letting students know in advance. What is your position concerning this issue? Write a letter to the principal stating your position and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  6. Suppose Congress wants to make a new national holiday honoring an important person or event. Choose a person or event you would like to honor. Write an essay to convince members of Congress to accept your choice.
    Click here to view this model.

  7. Your principal has asked students to suggest a school rule that should be changed. Think of one rule that you would like to have changed. Write a letter convincing your principal that this rule should be changed. Be sure to support your opinion with convincing reasons and evidence.
    Click here to view this model.

  8. Your school principal is considering a new policy that will require all students to wear uniforms. What is your position concerning this issue? Write a letter to your principal stating your position and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

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Middle School Models for How-ToPrompts

  1. Write a composition in which you explain how to make something. You might write about a food item, a handcrafted item, or anything else that you know how to make. Be sure to clearly explain each step in the process so that a reader could make the item the way you do.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Think about one favorite activity that you enjoy. For example, it could be playing a favorite sport or participating in a hobby. Write a composition in which you tell a friend how to do your favorite activity. Be sure to include all the details your friend will need to do the activity.
    Click here to view this model.

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Middle School Models for DescriptivePrompts

  1. Think about the last time you attended a special event such as a concert, a fair, or a sports event. Describe what it was like to be there and include sights, sounds, and smells that will make the reader feel he or she is there with you.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Think of a favorite object that you own. In a descriptive essay, use sensory details—words that tell how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, and sounds—to clearly describe this favorite object so that a classmate could picture it.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Think of what your school is like at lunchtime. Pick one particular place, and picture it in your mind. This place could be large or small. In a composition, describe clearly to a friend what the place is like at lunchtime so your friend can imagine what it is like to be there.
    Click here to view this model.

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Middle School Models for NarrativePrompts

  1. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do." Write a narrative about a time when you did something you thought you could not do. Be sure to include specific details so that a reader can follow your story.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Think about a time when something unexpected happened. Write a narrative in which you tell about an unexpected event that happened to you or someone you know. Be sure to include specific details so that a reader can follow your story.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. You have made a very important discovery–one that will make you famous throughout the world. Write a story in which you tell about your discovery and how you made it. Be sure to include details about the setting and any characters in the story, and be sure that your story has a beginning, a middle, and an end.
    Click here to view this model.

  4. Think of your best day in school. What happened that makes this day stand out in your memory? Write a story for a friend that tells about what happened on this day in school.
    Click here to view this model.

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Middle School Models for Writing About Literature Prompts

  1. "Under the Rice Moon" tells a story about a caged bird and a sickly young girl who understand one another. Read the story. Then write an essay discussing the story's theme, or message, and how the author uses the bird and the story's characters to express the message. Be sure to include examples and details from the story to support your ideas. Do not merely summarize the story. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways—on your understanding of the story and on the quality of our writing.
    Click here to view this model.

    To view a printer-friendly version of this short story, click the title: "Under the Rice Moon"

  2. "The Dinner Party" tells a story about a social gathering in India. Read the story. Then write an essay in which you discuss how the author uses the characters in the story to express a message. Support your ideas with examples and details from the story. Do not merely summarize the story. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways–on your understanding of the story and on the quality of your writing.
    Click here to view this model.

    To view a printer-friendly version of this short story, click the title: "The Dinner Party"

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Middle School Models for Writing About Nonfiction Prompts

  1. Read "Heeding the Call." Then, write an essay explaining how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s experiences as a young person shaped his beliefs and actions as an adult. Be sure to include specific information from the article to support your explanation. Do not merely summarize the article. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways—on your understanding of the article and on the quality of your writing.
    Click here to view this model.

    To view a printer-friendly version of this article, click the title: "Heeding the Call"

  2. Read "But I'm Not Tired!" Think about the ideas the author presents in this article. What changes should schools make to adjust to students' sleep patterns? Write a letter to the principal recommending changes that could be made at your school to adjust to students' sleep patterns. Be sure to include specific information from the article to support your recommendations. Do not merely summarize the article. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways–on your understanding of the article and on the quality of your writing.
    Click here to view this model.

    To view a printer-friendly version of this article, click the title: "But I'm Not Tired"

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Interactive Model Essays for High School

NEW High School Model for DefinitionPrompt

  1. Perseverance is a steady effort to maintain a course of action, purpose, or belief, often in spite of difficulty. Write a speech for a school assembly about the meaning of perseverance as it applies to personal success. You may use the following information as well as your own experiences, observations, and/or readings.
    • The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall. Source: Nelson Mandela
    • Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever. Source: Lance Armstrong
    • I would go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it would split in two, and I knew it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before. Source: Jacob A. Riis
    • Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. Remember no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost. Sometime, somewhere, somehow we shall find that which we seek. Source: Helen Keller
    • It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer. Source: Albert Einstein
    • If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. Source: Michael Jordan

    As you write your speech, remember to:

    • Focus on the meaning of perseverance as it applies to personal success.
    • Consider the purpose, audience and context of speech.
    • Organize your ideas logically and effectively.
    • Include specific details that clearly develop your speech.
    • Edit your speech for standard grammar and language usage .

    Click here to view this model.

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NEW High School Model for Cause and EffectPrompt

  1. At a recent conference at the University of Chicago , David Walsh of the National Institute on Media and the Family presented a paper titled “ Video Game Violence and Public Policy.”

    The paper stated that “79% of American children now play computer or video games on a regular basis. Children between the ages of seven and 17 play for an average of eight hours a week.”

    “The growth of electronic games has not been without controversy, however. The subset of games that feature violence, gore, and antisocial behavior has raised concern among parents, educators, child advocates, medical professionals, and policy makers.”

    According to Walsh, research shows reason for concern:
    • “Exposure to violent games increases physiological* arousal. . . .Heart rate . . . and . . . blood pressure all increase when playing violent games. . . . These are the same types of physiological reactions bodies have when engaged in a fight.”
    • “Exposure to violent games increases aggressive emotions.” In one study, “students who were more ‘addicted’ to video games were significantly more likely to be in a bad mood before, during, and after play than were non-addicted students.”
    • “In a study of 8th and 9th graders, students who played more violent video games were also more likely to see the world as a hostile place, to get into frequent arguments with teachers, and to be involved in physical fights.”

    *physiological: relating to the body’s normal functions and processes.

    Using the information presented in the paper, experiences from your own life, and/or other information you have read, write an article for your school newspaper about the negative effects of playing violent video games.

    As you write your article, remember to:

    • Focus on the negative effects of children playing violent video games.
    • Consider the purpose, audience and context of your article.
    • Organize your ideas and details effectively.
    • Include specific details that clearly develop your article.
    • Use standard grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

    Click here to view this model.

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High School Models for Expository/InformativePrompts

  1. NEW A television network is looking for ideas for a new television series for teenagers. Write a letter to the president of the network explaining your idea for the new television show. Include all the information that will help the president evaluate your idea, including the show’s title, what kind of show it is (such as reality, comedy, music, game, or sports), specific details or features of the show that would be appealing to teenage viewers, and an example of what viewers might see in a typical episode.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Write an essay explaining the importance of being able to see a situation from another person's point of view.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Write an essay explaining why it is important to forgive.
    Click here to view this model.

  4. Music plays an important role in every culture and in every individual's life. Write an essay explaining the role music plays in your culture or in your own life.
    Click here to view this model.

  5. Write an essay explaining what makes a great leader.
    Click here to view this model.

  6. Some people feel that the public school system does not adequately prepare students for the real world. Identify one improvement you think schools need to make in order to better prepare students for life after high school. Write a letter to the school board in which you describe this improvement and explain why it is needed.
    Click here to view this model.

  7. Write an essay explaining why a decision you made was the right one.
    Click here to view this model.

  8. You are serving on a committee that will design a new high school for your community. Choose one feature for the new high school that you will suggest to the design committee. Write a report to the committee, explaining what this feature is and why it is beneficial.
    Click here to view this model.

  9. In order to survive, people have been known to go to great lengths and to do things they would not ordinarily do. Write an essay for your teacher that explains the lengths to which people will go in order to survive. You may use examples from real life, books, movies, or television shows to support your essay.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Models for PersuasivePrompts

  1. NEW Occasionally, students in elementary school are allowed to advance to the next grade even though they have not successfully completed the lower grade. Advocates of “social promotion” think that keeping a child in a grade for longer than a year hurts his or her development and self-esteem. Write an essay stating your opinion on this issue, making sure to support your opinion with convincing reasons.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Your city council is considering a proposal that would ban the use of cell phones in privately owned businesses such as restaurants, movie theaters, and retail stores. Violators would be subject to a fine. What is your position on this issue? Write a letter in which you convince the city council to support your position, giving strong evidence for your reasons.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. In some countries every young person must serve two years of military service. Should we have a similar policy in the United States? Write an essay stating your position on this issue and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  4. Your state legislature is considering a bill that would require a person to earn a high school diploma before he or she could receive a driver's license. What is your position on this issue? Write a letter to convince your state legislature to accept your point of view.
    Click here to view this model.

  5. Your city council is considering a curfew that would make it illegal for teenagers to be out on the streets after 10 p.m. on weekdays or after midnight on weekends. What is your position on this issue? Write an essay that would convince the city council to agree with you. Be sure to support your position with detailed reasons.
    Click here to view this model.

  6. A well-known football coach once said, "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing." Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Write an essay in which you state your position and support it with convincing reasons.
    Click here to view this model.

  7. Your local school board is considering requiring students to take part in community service programs in order to graduate. What is your position concerning this issue? Write a letter to the members of the school board stating your position and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  8. In an effort to save money, your local school board is considering eliminating elective subjects such as art, band, and auto mechanics. What is your position on this issue? Write a letter to the school board stating your position and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

  9. Some people believe it's better to grow up in a small town. Other people think it's better to grow up in a big city. What is your position on this issue, and what reasons support your position?
    Click here to view this model.

  10. Your principal is considering a new grading policy that replaces letter or number grades on report cards with pass or fail. What is your position concerning this issue? Write a letter to your principal stating your position and supporting it with convincing reasons. Be sure to explain your reasons in detail.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Model How-ToPrompt

  1. Your friend wants to get a part-time job after school or on weekends. Write a composition in which you tell your friend all the steps he or she should take in order to get a part-time job.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Models for DescriptivePrompts

  1. Think about your favorite season, and then write an essay describing that season. Include sensory details so that a reader can imagine what it is like to experience the season, and make sure it is clear from your description why this season is your favorite.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. Think of a time when you experienced a rainstorm. In a composition, use sensory details to describe what the rainstorm was like so that a classmate could clearly imagine the experience.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Most people have a place where they feel comfortable and relaxed. Think of a place where you feel comfortable and relaxed. Picture it in your mind. In a composition, describe this place for your classmates so that they can imagine what it is like and how you feel there.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Models for NarrativePrompts

  1. NEW Think about a time when you faced a challenge. Write a story about that time, including how you dealt with the challenge and what its outcome was. Be sure to narrate an event or a series of events and to include specific details so that the reader can follow your story.
    Click here to view this model.

  2. NEW Write a story about a time when you taught something to someone. What you taught could be a song, an activity, a game, a way of figuring out a homework problem, or something else. Be sure to narrate an event or a series of events and to include specific details so that the reader can follow your story.
    Click here to view this model.

  3. Think about an event in your life that taught you an important lesson. Write a narrative in which you tell what happened and how you learned a lesson. Be sure to include specific details so that a reader can follow your story.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Model BiographicalNarrativePrompt

  1. Write a narrative about a person or character who overcomes an obstacle or a difficult situation. The character must be a person from history or from literature, movies, or television.
    Click here to view this model.

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High School Models for Writing About Literature Prompts

  1. Read the poem "Our Son Swears He Has 102 Gallons of Water in His Body" by Naomi Shihab Nye. In an essay, discuss the son's relationship with his parents and explain what the last stanza reveals about this relationship. Be sure to include specific examples from the text to support your ideas. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways—on your understanding of the poem and on the quality of your writing.
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    To view a printer-friendly version of this poem, click the title: "102 Gallons "

  2. "The Story of an Hour" tells a story about a woman who receives some shocking news. Read the story. Then, write an essay discussing Mrs. Mallard's conflict in the story and how she deals with the conflict. Be sure to include examples and details from the story to support your ideas. Do not merely summarize the story. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways—on your understanding of the story and on the quality of your writing.
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    To view a printer-friendly version of this short story, click the title: "Story of an Hour"

  3. "What Happened During the Ice Storm" tells a story about some farm boys and pheasants during an ice storm. Read the story. Then write an essay in which you discuss the story's theme. What does the author say about human nature and how people behave in challenging situations? Be sure to include examples and details from the story to support your ideas. Do not merely summarize the story. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways–on your understanding of the story and on the quality of your writing.
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    To view a printer-friendly version of this short story, click the title: "What Happened During the Ice Storm."

  4. Often in literature, character relationships change and evolve. From the literary works you have read, choose one in which a character's feelings toward another character change. Write an essay in which you explain how the character's feelings changed, why the feelings changed, and how this change affects the work as a whole. Include specific examples from the work of literature you have chosen to support your points. Also include the title of the work and, if you remember, the work's author.
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High School Models for Writing About Nonfiction Prompts

  1. Read "Teen Drivers," and think about the ideas the author presents. Then write to explain some ways that your views on teenage driving have been confirmed or changed as a result of reading the article. Be sure to include specific information from the article to support your explanation. Do not merely summarize the article. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways—on your understanding of the article and on the quality of your writing.
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    To view a printer-friendly version of this article, click the title: "Teen Drivers"

  2. Read "A Lady in a Machine-Shop." Then write an essay explaining what skills and qualities Margaret Knight possessed that led to her success as an inventor. Be sure to include specific information from the article to support your ideas. Do not merely summarize the article. Remember that your response will be evaluated in two ways–on your understanding of the article and on the quality of your writing.
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    To view a printer-friendly version of this article, click the title: "A Lady in a Machine-Shop"

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