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ELA G7:M2A

Working with Evidence: Working Conditions

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We updated specific lessons in this module in June 2014 based on teacher feedback. Please refer to the update summary to determine which lessons to reprint.

In this module, students explore the issue of working conditions, both historical and modern day. As they read and discuss both literary and informational text, students analyze how people, settings, and events interact in a text and how an author develops a central claim. Students strengthen their ability to discuss specific passages from a text with a partner, write extended text-based argument and informational pieces, and conduct a short research project. At the end of the module, students will have a better understanding of how working conditions affect workers and the role that workers, the government, consumers, and businesses play in improving working conditions.

The first unit focuses on Lyddie, a novel that tells the story of a young girl who goes to work in the Lowell mills, and explores the issue of working conditions in industrializing America. This unit builds students’ background knowledge about working conditions and how they affect workers, and centers on the standard RL.7.3, which is about how plot, character, and setting interact in literature. As an end of unit assessment, students write an argument essay about Lyddie’s choices regarding her participation in the protest over working conditions.

The second unit moves to more recent history and considers the role that workers, the government, and consumers all play in improving working conditions. The central text in Unit 2 is a speech by César Chávez, in which he explains how the United Farm Workers empowered farmworkers. Unit 2 focuses on reading informational text, and students practice identifying central ideas in a text, analyzing how an author develops his claims, and identifying how the sections of the text combine to build those ideas. This unit intentionally builds on Odell Education’s work, and if teachers have already used the Chávez speech and lessons, an alternate text is suggested with which to teach the same informational text standards. In the End of Unit 2 Assessment, students apply their understanding of text structure to a new speech.

Unit 3 focuses on the research standards (W.7.7 and W.7.8): through an investigation of working conditions in the modern day garment industry, students explore how businesses can affect working conditions, both positively and negatively. As a final performance task, students create a consumer’s guide to working conditions in the garment industry. This teenage consumer’s guide provides an overview of working conditions and offers advice to consumers who are interested in working conditions in the garment industry. This task focuses on NYSP12 ELA Standards W.7.2a, b, d, f, W.7.4, W.7.6, W.7.7, W.7.8, L.7.3, and L.7.6

Week-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • What are working conditions, and why do they matter?
  • How do workers, the government, business, and consumers bring about change in working conditions?
  • How does reading one section of a text closely help me understand it better?
  • How can you tell the difference between a useful and a not useful research question?
  • How does a speaker develop and organize his central claim?
  • Working conditions include multiple factors and have significant impacts on the lives of workers.
  • Workers, the government, businesses, and consumers can all bring about change in working conditions.
  • Closely reading and discussing one excerpt of a longer text helps to deepen your understanding of the text as a whole.
  • Effective researchers ask relevant questions, gather information from several sources, keep track of their findings and sources, and synthesize their findings into coherent products.

Content Connections

  • This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies and science content that may align to additional teaching during other parts of the day. These intentional connections are described below.

Texts

Texts to buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please refer to Trade Book List for procurement guidance.

Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Lyddie
by Katherine Patterson
One per student
ISBN: 978-0140349818, 0140349812

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Common-wealth Club Address
by César Chávez
"Are Your Clothes Made in Sweatshops?”
by Oxfam Australia
Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez
by Kathleen Krull
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2003
ISBN: 978-0152014377
“An Apparel Factory Defies Sweatshop Label, but Can It Thrive?”
by Steven Greenhouse
The New York Times, 2010
“In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad”
by Charles Duhigg and David Barboza
The New York Times, 2012
“Ethical Style: How Is My T-Shirt Made?”
by Tabea Kay
GOOD, 2012
Cesar Chavez, “The Wrath of Grapes,” speech given in May 1986
by Cesar Chavez
1986
César Chávez, “Statement at Pacific Lutheran University,” speech given in March 1989
by César Chávez
1989

Outcomes

CSS Standards: Reading—LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RL.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text.
  • RL.7.3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
  • I can analyze the interaction of literary elements of a story or drama.
  • RL.7.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • I can read grade-level literary texts proficiently and independently.
  • I can read above-grade-level texts with scaffolding and support.
  • RL.7.11. Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.
  • I can interpret and make connections between literature and other texts, ideas, or perspectives.
  • RL.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text.
  • RL.7.3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
  • I can analyze the interaction of literary elements of a story or drama.
CCS Standards: Reading—Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RI.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • I can cite several pieces of text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text.
  • RI.7.2. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • I can determine a theme or the central ideas informational text.
  • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text.
  • I can objectively summarize informational text.
  • RI.7.3. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
  • I can analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text.
  • RI.7.5. Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
  • I can analyze the organization of an informational text (including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas).
  • RI.7.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
  • I can read grade-level informational texts proficiently and independently.
  • I can read above-grade-level texts with scaffolding and support.
CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.7.1. Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence.

d. Establish and maintain a formal style.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.

  • I can write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • W.7.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized.
  • W.7.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.7.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.
  • W.7.6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.
  • I can use technology to produce and publish a piece of writing with links to cited sources.
  • I can use technology to collaborate with others while producing a piece of writing, linking to cited sources.
  • W.7.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.
  • I can conduct short research projects to answer a question.
  • I can use several sources in my research.
  • I can generate additional questions for further research.
  • W.7.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • I can gather relevant information from a variety of sources.
  • I can use search terms effectively.
  • I can evaluate the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • I can quote or paraphrase others’ work while avoiding plagiarism.
  • I can use a standard format for citation.
  • W.7.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a. Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history”).

b. Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g. “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims”).

  • I can select evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.7.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • I can adjust my writing practices for different time frames, tasks, purposes, and audiences.
CCS Standards: Speaking & ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.7.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about seventh-grade topics, texts, and issues.
  • I can express my own ideas clearly during discussions.
  • I can build on others’ ideas during discussions.
  • SL.7.2. Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • I can analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in different media and formats.
  • I can explain how ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue.
CSS Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.

b. Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.

c. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.*

  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).

b. Spell correctly.

  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
  • L.7.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a.  Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.*

  • I can express ideas with precision.
  • L.7.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., belligerent, bellicose, rebel).

c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases.
  • L.7.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological  allusions) in context.

b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.

c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).

  • I can analyze figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
  • L.7.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
  • I can accurately use seventh-grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.