Academy Teacher and Leader Resources
This Empowerment Academy provides short-term, intensive intervention targeting three high-leverage areas of text-based writing:
- Narrative text-based essays
- Informational/expository text-based essays
- Argument essays to support claims of analysis
Text-Based Writing Process Guiding Academy Instruction
DO/WHAT Chart Student Sample
Identifying the Writing Focus
February Empowerment Academy instruction should focus on one genre of writing across all five days. Academy leaders and staff should identify the focus most likely to accelerate understanding and strategy work from three main genres identified in the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks.
Identifying the Objectives within the Writing Standard
Designing instruction around one or both of the first sub-standards for the genre you select as the Empowerment Academy focus will guide modeling, text selection, and task development. These sub-standards (a and b) allow students to focus on the high-leverage aspects of essay writing, such as introducing a claim or topic, supporting claims with clear evidence, orienting the reader, and using narrative techniques. These sub-standards are reinforced by the text-based essay rubric for the various grade bands:
Identifying Texts and Tasks
Text and task selection will be critical for cohesion, engagement, and rigor during Empowerment Academy. Here are some tips for beginning the process of text and task selection:
- Set the stage by selecting a novel, high-interest topic for which students DO NOT already have significant background knowledge.
- Ensure you are selecting a topic rather than a theme. You can tell the difference by asking the question, "Is there an accompanying bank of unfamiliar, highly specific vocabulary?" If so, it is a topic! If not, it is more likely a theme.
- Gather texts related to the topic
- Narrow the list to 5-7 texts
- Sequence the texts by complexity, coherence, and applicability to the sub-standards
Design Tasks that Map to the Specific Sub-Standards of the Week
Use released items from the newly updated MCAS assessment bank as a template to drive the high-level academic language and rubric objectives, while integrating in your own custom language to match the texts and sub-standards in focus. For example, use a narrative task from the released item bank but replace references to title and characters with texts you have selected.
Sample Tasks for Each Genre
Resources for Topic, Lesson, Text, and Task Identification
Use vetted, aligned open-source materials to support your planning. Annotate these resources to identify modifications and extensions based on the context of a five-day intervention academy. Three examples of curriculum resources that include topics, texts, and tasks can be found at Odell Education, Achieve the Core, and EngageNY.