Unit 1

The Outsiders: Guaranteed Curriculum Unit


Grade 7


Unit Length and Description:


24 Instructional Days


Classic yet approachable literature sparks engagement while challenging students to explore complex social issues of class in the 1960s. Teachers will use excerpts from the anchor text (and potentially the film) along with related non-fiction and poetry to introduce course expectations related to reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards. Examples of strategies introduced include annotating, SOAPSTone analysis, writing frames, and accountable talk. This mini unit will build student capacity for future Guidebook coursework.




Reading Literature:

1. Cite several pieces of relevant textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the; provide an objective summary of the text.

3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.


Reading Informational Texts:

1. Cite several pieces of relevant textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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.

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).



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.

c. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

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

e. Establish and maintain a formal style.

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


4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


Speaking and Listening:

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 othersí 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 othersí questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.



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.

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.


Enduring Understandings:


         Active reading requires thought before, during and after reading.


         A writerís craft and use of literary devices expands and deepens the readerís experience.


         How a reader connects to a text may be influenced by his or her prior knowledge and/or experiences.


         Good evidence supports logical inferences and possible conclusions.


         Vocabulary enriches comprehension.


         A groupís identity is defined by a shared system of beliefs and practices.

Essential Questions:


         How do our experiences and prior knowledge affect our understanding of the text?


         How does the writerís craft and use of literary devices expand and deepen our experience when reading?


         What evidence from the text can be drawn to support our conclusions and/or inferences?


         How do I respond to the text?How do others respond? What evidence will allow the reader to support oral or written responses?