Diocese of Ogdensburg

The Roman Catholic Church in Northern New York

The English Language Arts  Program  of the schools of the Diocese of Ogdensburg is based on the National Common  Core Standard.  As with all of our  educational programs, all instruction is centered in our Catholic Faith  foundation.

In the context of all ELA instruction, students are expected to use the  following practices which include:

  • read and work with a balance of informational and literary texts
  • apply reading writing skills in science and social studies
  • develop skills to read, analyze, evaluate texts that are increasingly  complex
  • support and make inferences based on text based information
  • writing that emphasizes the use of evidence from sources to inform or  make an argument
  • build transferrable vocabulary to access grade level texts across  disciplines

The content of Grade Five ELA is clearly  outlined on the Diocesan Report Card.  In  addition to the content and skills, writing is highly emphasized  not only in ELA but in all subject areas.   The Common Core requires 4 types of writing – argument,  informative/explanatory and narrative.   Below you will find a strong writing sample for this grade level that is the expected  performance on a narrative writing task.

We were in the darkness filled,  mountain top cold, waiting room.  We were  preparing for the shots of our lives.  Getting shots for malaria and more.               There  were many benches all shoved to the light.   It was hard to see the color in the murky dark but it seemed to be some sort of faded  brown.  The room was big, no huge, which  gave it all the more reason to be terror bringing.  Who  knew what could be lurking in the corner!   There were also doors, which were also brown and faded.  One was the way in.  Not the way out unfortunately.  Another was the way to the other evil place.  The last room was the most evil, the Shot  Room.               The rest of the room  was filled with families including my family of five.  My five year old self, my three year old brother and my one year old sister.  Then there was mom and dad.  Some of the other children ar screeching and crying or not knowing what will happen to  them.  Some would jus be playing.  I was in the middle of both.               I had shots  before.  They were not my best friend.  After a long while a nurse said, “Alyssa, Trevor, and Taryn, your turn.”  The  door creaked open.  It was the room of no  return.  There were grown ups guarding  every door.  My mom and dad told me to  “just be brave.”  I had no time to  think.  It was coming at me closer and  closer.               It touched, entered my  flesh, and fulfilled its job.  I started  with a whimper, then burst into a cry. But then I remembered it was over.  We opened the door and the sparkling sun  blinded our eyes.  It was over.  Finally.

Criteria used to evaluate this piece  as a strong writing sample include:

  • orients the reader by establishing a  situation and introducing the narrator
  • organizes an  event sequence that unfolds naturally and uses a variety of transitional words,  phrases, and clauses to  manage the sequence of events
  • uses narrative  techniques to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters  to situations.
  • uses concrete  words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely
  • provides  a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events
  • demonstrates  good command of the conventions of standard written English (with occasional
  • errors  that do not interfere materially with the underlying message)