English Language Arts & Reading

It's All About Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening!

Third Six Weeks Unit Overviews and Key Understandings

Our students from PK through 12th grade are hard at work mastering the skills and processes that they need in order to be college & career ready. Browse these pages to find out what your children are covering this six weeks. This six weeks began November 7th and ends December 20th, so be sure to stay on top of the grades. This is especially important for students in the upper grade levels [9-12] who must pass their classes in order to gain credits to fulfill graduation requirements.


If you have questions about the information presented here or if you want to know how to be more involved in your child's school please contact me.


Marta L. Salazar

Director of English Language Arts & Reading

Dyslexia Coordinator

Parent Involvement Coordinator

361-664-0981

marta.salazar@aliceisd.net

Pre Kindergarten Classrooms

Teachers have continued with the Read-Aloud Routine in their classrooms this six weeks. A teacher's role in this activity is to support reader's thinking within, beyond, and about the text. Before, during and after the read-aloud teachers are taking note if students have a literal understanding of the story.

Teachers should be asking: Did the kids pick up important information? Could they follow the plot? Could they remember important details? Teachers also need to work at getting students to thing "beyond the text." To help support their students, teachers need to constantly be making observations and taking note of what their students are doing. Teachers may ask themselves: Can they make predictions? Can they make connections to other stories? Can they form an opinion about the selection I read to them?

Teachers should keep in mind the following characteristics of texts as they decide what to read to their students:

  1. Genre
  2. Text structure
  3. content
  4. themes and ideas
  5. language and literary features
  6. sentence complexity
  7. vocabulary
  8. words
  9. illustrations
  10. book and print features


For more information click on the following links:

Kindergarten Classrooms

Unit 03: Growing Readers and Writers Through Literary Works

In Units 01 and 02, students explored phonological awareness, phonics and written print for the purpose of understanding the basic components of reading and writing. They examined the purposes of a variety of texts and genres by discussing big ideas and identifying topics and details. During this unit, students continue to explore phonological awareness, phonics, and print awareness for the purpose of decoding and encoding language. They recognize that new words are created when letters are changed, deleted, or added and continue in the development of vocabulary through connections and experiences. New letter/sound associations are examined as students read and write VC and CVC words. Vocabulary develops through connections and experiences as students explore fantasy, realistic fiction, fairy tales, fables and poetry.They communicate comprehension by discussing purposes, making predictions, asking questions, and responding to questions. Students identify story elements including setting, characters, and key events by retelling main events in sequential order, drawing pictures or presenting dramatic interpretations. They recognize language that describes what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched as they begin to explore and understand the use of sensory details. Poetry is discovered by identifying beats and similarities in word sounds enhancing the creation of short poems through writing or dictation. Students continue to compose stories in chronological order using the writing process and written and oral conventions by writing or dictating sentences. They become more proficient in writing upper and lower case letters of the alphabet and their name.

Unit Understandings


  1. Awareness of sound patterns of spoken words supports the development of word reading and spelling.
  2. Awareness of word patterns supports the development of word reading and spelling.
  3. Understanding literary elements facilitates the reader’s ability to make meaning of the text.
  4. Readers use strategies to support understanding of text.


Unit Vocabulary

  • Rhythm – rhythmic patterns that emphasize sound
  • Rhyme – Identical or very similar recurring final sounds in words; in poetry, rhyming words may occur at the ends of lines or within lines
  • Sensory detail – a detail in writing that describes what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched
  • Setting – the time and place in which a narrative occurs. Elements of setting may include the physical, psychological, cultural or historical background against which the story takes place.

First Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Developing Readers and Writers Through Literary Works

This unit bundles student expectations that address the features of literary works by emphasizing elements, techniques, and genre. Phonological awareness, phonics, conventions, and print awareness continue to be introduced.

In Units 01 and 02, students explored phonological awareness, phonics and written print for the purpose of understanding the basic components of reading and writing. They recognized and established purposes of a variety of texts and genres. During this unit, students continue to explore phonological awareness, phonics, and print awareness for the purpose of decoding and encoding language with increased fluency. Students read and write words using their knowledge of vowel consonant e syllable pattern. They begin to increase sight word recognition. Students work with words by alphabetizing and using guide words to support dictionary skills. As they explore literary text, word meanings will be determined from how they are used in a sentence during the reading and listening of fables, folk tales, fairy tales, myths, legends, realistic fiction, historical fiction, fantasy, poetry, and nonfiction. Students become more purposeful in their use of processes and strategies such as establishing purposes for reading, asking relevant questions, and confirming predictions. They communicate and monitor comprehension while making inferences and connections. Students identify story elements (e.g., setting, characters, plot events) and describe characters during Shared and Independent Reading. Students recognize a story as true or fantasy and continue to recognize language that describes what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, and touched. Students write alliteration and couplets as they discover rhythm and rhyme in poetry. They compose stories with a beginning, middle, and end using the writing process and conventions of written language.

In Unit 04, students use the connection between literary works and foundations of reading to strengthen their ability to read, write, and understand informational text.

Unit Understandings

  1. Awareness of sound structure of a spoken word supports the development of word reading, comprehension, and spelling.
  2. Understanding that print is associated with spoken language supports the development of word recognition and enhances oral and written communication.
  3. Awareness of word patterns supports the development of word reading, fluency, and spelling.
  4. Writers use conventions of written language to communicate clearly and effectively.
  5. Recognizing different literary genres helps readers make meaning of the text.
  6. Writers use literary techniques to enhance the reader’s and/or listener’s experience.

Unit Vocabulary

  • Plot – the basic sequence of events in a story. The plot includes the problem and solution.
  • Alliteration – the repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of two or more adjacent words or stressed syllables
  • Sensory detail – a detail in writing that describes what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched

Second Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Preparing Readers and Writers Through Literary Works


In Units 01 and 02, students engaged in reading a variety of literary works, informational text, and media in order to establish a purpose for reading and writing and to process sound/symbol relationships to encode and decode words. During this unit, students experience a variety of literary texts and distinguish between features of genres while continuing to utilize reading processes. Students become purposeful in their use of processes and strategies and continue to communicate and monitor comprehension while exploring fables, myths, legends, fiction, poetry, informal plays, and literary nonfiction. Word work continues by alphabetizing and using guide words to support dictionary skills. Theme, characters, setting, plot, and dialogue are compared and described in different versions of the same story and in several works by the same author. Students continue to compose stories with a beginning, middle, and end and write short poems using the writing process and conventions of written language. In Unit 04, students use the connection between literary works and foundations of reading to strengthen their ability to read, write, and understand informational text.

Unit Understandings

  1. Awareness of word patterns supports the development of word reading, fluency, and spelling.
  2. Writers use writer’s craft to engage and sustain the reader’s interest.
  3. Writers use conventions of written language to communicate clearly and effectively.
  4. Authors write for a purpose and readers choose text to reflect purpose and interest.
  5. Readers use strategies to support understanding of text.
  6. Understanding literary elements facilitates the reader’s ability to make meaning of the text.

Unit Vocabulary

  • Prefix – one or more sounds or letters placed before a base word that changes the meaning of the word
  • Suffix – one or more sounds or letters placed after a base word that changes the meaning of the word
  • Plot – the basic sequence of events in a story. The plot includes the problem and solution.
  • Setting – time and place in which a narrative occurs (past, future, present, real, imaginary)
  • Dialogue – the lines spoken between characters in fiction or a play. Dialogue in a play is the main vehicle in which plot, character, and other elements are established.
  • Theme – the central or universal idea of a piece of fiction or the main idea of a nonfiction essay
  • Alliteration – the repetition of the same sounds at the beginning of two or more adjacent words or stressed syllables (e.g., She sat slowly on the silly seat.)


For more reading information:

Third Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Reading to Discover – Expository Text

Students examine the structure and features of a variety of expository text to establish a purpose for their reading and writing in order to increase comprehension and more clearly organize their thoughts and gain meaning. Processes are used to interact with the text by making connections, comparisons, and forming questions in order for ideas and perspectives to become more than just facts. Expository text and media provides the avenues to allow students to learn how to make inferences, draw conclusions, and provide textual evidence during their reading experiences. They continue to communicate understanding of text through oral and written expression.


In Grades 01 and 02, students explored expository texts for the purpose of communication. During this unit, students examine expository text by identifying the main ideas and the supporting facts and details through the use of text features such as bold print, captions, italics, and key words. They identify cause and effect relationships between ideas in texts and draw conclusions from the facts presented in expository text. They continue to compose text using the fundamentals of the writing process to communicate their own understanding. Students explore language by identifying and applying playful language while continuing to build on the principles that vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, and grammar are critical to the ability to comprehend and communicate effectively. Students write with increased complexity of written conventions. Word study is inclusive of genre specific vocabulary, literary terms, and appropriate vocabulary from literature and is experienced before, during, and after reading.

Unit Understandings

  1. Authors choose structure to organize information to construct meaning.
  2. The ability to decode patterns supports the development of word reading, fluency, and comprehension.
  3. Effective listening and speaking builds background knowledge and supports collaboration.
  4. Readers use strategies to support understanding of text.
  5. Readers create connections to make text personally relevant and useful.
  6. An extensive vocabulary supports the development of oral and written communication.

Unit Vocabulary

  • Homograph – a word that is spelled the same as another word, but that has a different meaning, (e.g., read [present tense] and read [past tense])
  • Homophone – a word that is pronounced the same, but not spelled the same, as another word and that has a different meaning (e.g., bear andbare, week and weak)


Links for information and resources:

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/guiding-students-through-expository-text-text-feature-walks

http://www.fcrr.org/curriculum/PDF/G4-5/45CPartTwo.pdf

Fourth Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Reading to Learn – Informational Text

Students interact with the text by making connections, comparisons, and forming questions in order for ideas and perspectives to become more than just facts and to support informative writing. Informational text to allows students to make inferences, summarize, and provide textual evidence during their reading.

During this unit, students use their knowledge of elements and features of expository text along with comprehension strategies and skills to summarize text and describe relationships among ideas organized by a variety of text structures (e.g., cause and effect, sequence, compare and contrast, description, order of importance). Students use this knowledge to support the beginning of the research processes as they gather and report relevant information- distinguishing fact from opinion. Students also examine procedural texts in order to determine the sequence of activities needed to carry out a procedure including using information presented graphically. Students also explore language used in persuasive texts to influence the reader. Students continue to use the writing process and appropriate written conventions to draft brief expository compositions and letters. As students begin to understand analogies, vocabulary increases and enhances oral and written communication.


Unit Understandings

  1. Text structure helps the reader organize information and construct meaning.
  2. Fluent reading supports comprehension.
  3. Authors choose structure to organize information to construct meaning.
  4. Readers interpret written directions in order to learn how to do new things.
  5. Authors utilize conventions of letter writing to communicate clearly and effectively.
  6. Authors choose language and form for audience and purpose.
  7. Readers use strategies to support understanding of text.


Unit Vocabulary

  • Analogy – a vocabulary exercise in which an association between a concept and its attribute is present (e.g., hot:cold as north:_____)
  • Fact – a truth that is verifiable
  • Opinion – a personal view or belief based on emotions or interpretation of facts


To practice reading Information text and the different structure Time for Kids is a great site to do so. See the link below:

Fifth Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Reading to Understand Informational Text

During this unit, students summarize the main idea and supporting details while using established methods to verify facts in expository texts. Students use comprehension processes and strategies to analyze how text structure influences the relationships among ideas. Students begin to use research processes as they form questions to be answered by collecting and recording data from multiple sources. They use the writing process and appropriate written conventions to communicate understanding through a multi-paragraph essay. Students interact with the text by making connections, comparisons, and forming questions for the ideas and perspectives presented in the text to become more than just facts and to support informative writing.

As students continue to explain the meaning of idioms, explore adages, and produce analogies, vocabulary increases and enhances oral and written communication.


Unit Understandings

  1. Text structure helps the reader organize information and construct meaning.
  2. Readers gather information and express organized ideas to construct meaning.
  3. Authors establish a purpose and plan for the development of a story.
  4. Authors use conventions of written language to communicate clearly and effectively.
  5. Readers choose texts in order to learn how to do new things
  6. Authors choose language and form for audience and purpose
  7. Readers use strategies to support understanding of text.
  8. Readers use writing to communicate deeper understanding of texts.
  9. Readers create connections to make text personally relevant and useful.

Key Vocabulary

  • Idiom – an expression that has a different meaning from the literal meaning of its individual words (e.g., have the upper hand or under the weather). Idioms are particular to a given language and usually cannot be translated literally.
  • Adages – a short but memorable saying that holds some important fact that is considered true by many people (e.g., Don’t judge a book by its cover)
  • Reliable source – a credible or believable source

6th Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Exploring Informational Text

An emphasis on the integration of reading and writing skills along with word study allows the continued development of the processes necessary for comprehension and written communication. This unit focuses on learning standards that support the understanding of elements, structure, and purpose in expository and procedural texts. Expository and procedural texts provide the avenue for students to make inferences, summarize, synthesize, and provide textual evidence during reading. During this unit, students understand the role of organizational patterns in the development of main ideas and viewpoints in informational texts. Students use information from procedural texts to solve problems and perform procedures. Informational text is composed using the fundamentals of the writing process to communicate ideas and information to specific audiences and for specific purposes. Vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar are studied throughout the unit to support comprehension and oral and written communication. Word study is inclusive of genre specific vocabulary, literary terms, and appropriate vocabulary from the literature.

Unit Understandings


  1. Authors choose structure to organize information and communicate meaning.
  2. Readers create connections to make text personally relevant and useful.
  3. Authors use conventions of written language to communicate clearly and effectively.
  4. Authors establish a purpose, create a plan, and express organized ideas to construct meaning.
  5. Readers gather information and express organized ideas to construct meaning.
  6. Readers use strategies to support interpretation of text.
  7. Understanding new words and concepts enhances comprehension and oral and written communication.


Key Vocabulary


  • Informal letter – a written or printed communication addressed to a person or organization and usually transmitted by mail

7th Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Understanding Informational Text

This unit focuses on learning standards that connect and extend the study of expository and procedural text by focusing on the characteristics of the particular type of reading to form a foundation for reading and writing. Expository and procedural texts make it possible for students to make inferences, summarize, synthesize, and provide textual evidence during their reading.

During this unit, students use different organizational patterns as guides for summarizing and forming an overview, and make logical connections between ideas within a text and across two or three texts representing similar or different genres. Students use information from procedural text to solve problems and perform procedures. Vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar are studied throughout the unit to support oral and written communication.


Unit Understandings

  1. Authors choose structure to organize information and communicate meaning.
  2. Authors vary form and style in order to write for different purposes, audiences, and contexts.
  3. Readers use strategies to support interpretation of text.
  4. Readers interpret written directions and graphics in order to learn how to do new things.
  5. Understanding new words and concepts enhances comprehension and oral and written communication.

Key Vocabulary

  • Summarize – to reduce large sections of text to their essential points and main ideas

Organizing Information Using Text Structure Clues Video

8th Grade Classrooms

Unit 03: Analyzing Informational Text

This unit focuses on learning standards that address word study along with reading and writing processes and skills to interpret and analyze expository and procedural texts. The goal is for students to write their own essays, letters, and literary/expository responses using effective structures and techniques. During this unit, students continue to summarize and synthesize information found in expository texts focusing closely on logical inferences and complex conclusions. Students continue to collect information from procedural texts and analyze text for missing or unnecessary information. In writing, students compose multi-paragraph essays, letters, and literary/expository responses using complex structures and techniques. Vocabulary, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar are studied throughout the unit to support comprehension and oral and written communication. This work will prepare students for the level of rigor in English I class next year. As English I students they will have to distinguish between summaries and critiques of expository texts and blend key information from a variety of texts. Students will then analyze the information in procedural texts and write their own analytical essays, procedural documents, and interpretive responses.

Unit Understandings

  1. Readers gather information and express organized ideas to construct meaning.
  2. Authors sometimes use words and statements that reflect their bias on a given topic.
  3. Fluent reading supports the communication of purpose and meaning.
  4. Authors vary form and style in order to write for different purposes, audiences, and contexts.
  5. Readers use strategies to support interpretation of text.
  6. Understanding new words and concepts enhances comprehension and oral and written communication.

Unit Vocabulary

  • Factual claim – a statement that claims truth and contains no value language
  • Assertion – an opinion or declaration stated with conviction
  • Opinion – a personal view or belief based on emotions or interpretation of facts

English I

Unit 03: Using Informational Text

This unit focuses on learning standards that address word study, reading and writing of expository and procedural texts. The goal of this unit is to provide students the skills to analyze and use information in procedural and expository text by making inferences and drawing complex conclusions about ideas presented. Analysis of informational texts facilitates the understanding and use of unique structures and organizational patterns in reading and writing. Various forms of informational texts continue to provide the avenue for the practice of making inferences, summarizing, synthesizing, and providing textual evidence during reading. Students examine text and related media to make personal and world connections within and across different contexts and genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening, reading, and writing skills allows the continued development of processes while providing a foundation for college and career readiness.

In Grade 08, students summarized and analyzed ideas presented in informational text. During this unit, data in procedural documents such as software manuals, warranties, and consumer publications is analyzed. Students continue the examination of informational texts in order to explain the controlling ideas and specific purposes of expository texts. Students distinguish between a summary and evaluate and distinguish between substantiated and unsubstantiated opinions. Students write analytical essays and interpretive responses to texts read.


Unit Understandings

  1. Authors develop and refine their ideas for communicating, connecting with others, and clarifying their own thinking.
  2. Readers create connections to make text personally relevant and useful.
  3. Authors develop and refine their ideas for communicating, connecting with others, and clarifying their own thinking.
  4. Readers make connections in order to better understand themselves and the world around them by reading a variety of texts and genres.
  5. Understanding new words, concepts, and relationships enhances comprehension and oral and written communication.


Key Vocabulary

  • Summarize – to reduce large sections of text to their essential points and main ideas. Note: It is still important to attribute summarized ideas to the original.
  • Critique – holds and/or expresses opinions, takes a position
  • Opinion – a personal belief, view, or judgment
  • Substantiated – verified , proven, confirmed
  • Unsubstantiated – has not been verified, proven, or confirmed
  • Controlling idea – the main point or underlying direction of a piece of writing. A controlling idea makes the reader ask a question that will be answered by reading more or helps the reader understand the author's purpose for writing the paragraph or essay.
  • Transitional words and phrases – words or phrases that help to sustain a thought or idea through the writing. They link sentences and paragraphs together smoothly so that there are no abrupt jumps or breaks between ideas.
  • Organizational – the pattern an author constructs as he or she organizes his or her ideas and provides supporting details.

English II

Unit 03: Analyzing Informational Text

This unit bundles student expectations that address word study, reading and writing of expository and procedural texts. The goal of this unit is to enable students to analyze and use information in procedural texts and documents by making inferences and drawing complex conclusions about ideas presented. Reading and analyzing an array of texts supports students’ understanding and use of the unique structures, organizational patterns, and features in their own writing. Students examine text and media to make important personal and world connections within and across different contexts and genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening, reading, and writing skills allow the continued development of processes while providing a foundation for college and career readiness.

In English I, students distinguished between a summary and critique in expository texts and analyzed data in procedural texts. During this unit, students continue the examination of informational texts in order to explain the controlling ideas and specific purposes of expository texts. They identify non-essential information in a summary and unsubstantiated opinions in critiques and differentiate between different kinds of evidence (e.g., logical, empirical, anecdotal) to support conclusions. Students draw conclusions from multiple graphics and evaluate them for their clarity and visual appeals. Students continue to write analytical essays and interpretive responses to text read.


Unit Understandings

  1. Authors choose structure to convey information and enhance understanding.
  2. Readers make connections in order to better understand themselves and the world around them by reading a variety of texts and genres.
  3. Understanding new words, concepts, and relationships enhances comprehension and oral and written communication.

Key Vocabulary

  • Logical – any system of rational, logical thought
  • Empirical – based on observation or experience, as opposed to theory
  • Anecdotal – based on personal observation as opposed to scientific evidence
  • Subtle inference – readers make inferences by drawing conclusions, making generalizations, and making predictions. A subtle inference is one in which the bits of information are not as easily connected.
  • Drawing conclusions – a form of inference in which the reader gathers information, considers the general thoughts or ideas that emerge from the information, and comes to a decision. The conclusion is generally based on more than one piece of information.
  • Organizational pattern – the pattern an author constructs as he or she organizes his or her ideas and provides supporting details. Examples of commonly used patterns are cause and effect, problem and solution, description, and order of importance.
  • Restrictive relative clause – a phrase or clause that limits the essential meaning of the noun or noun phrase it modifies (e.g., who had a camera in the man who had a camera took our picture)
  • Nonrestrictive relative clause – a phrase or clause that adds descriptive detail to a noun without limiting its meaning (e.g., who likes ice cream in the sentence Claire, who likes ice cream, is from Ohio). In English, a nonrestrictive clause is usually set off by commas.

Information on the unit overviews is taken from the TEKS Resource System

Marta L. Salazar - Director of English Language Arts/Reading; Dyslexia Coordinator; Parental Involvement Coordinator