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 Six ELA is clearly outlined on the Diocesan Report Card. In addition to the content andskills, writing is highly emphasized not only in ELA but in all subject areas. The Common Core requires 4 types ofwriting – argument, informative/explanatory and narrative. Below you will find a strong writing sample for this grade level that is the expected performance on an argument writing task.
Dear Mr. Sandler,
Did you know that every cigarette a person smokes takes seven minutes off their life? Imentioned this because I just watched the movie, Benchwarmers, and I noticed that Carlos smoked. Why did you feel the need to have one of the characters smoke? Did you think that would make him lookcool? Did you think that would make him look older? It did neither of those things. As a matter of fact, Ithink it made him look stupid and not very cool. Especially when he put out a cigarette on his tongue. If I were producing a movie, I would want my characters to be strong, healthy and smart. Iwould not have any smokers in my movies for many reasons. The first reason is it sets a bad example forchildren. An estimated 450,000 Americans die each year from tobacco related disease. In fact, tobacco use causes many different types of cancers such as lung, throat, mouth, and tongue. Another reason notto promote smoking is it ages and wrinkles your skin. Who wants to look 75 if you are only 60? It turnsyour teeth yellow and may lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Lastly, smoking is a very expensivehabit. A heavy smoker spends thousands of dollars a year on cigarettes. I can think of better things tospend money on. So Mr. Sandler, I urge you to take smoking out of all future movies you produce. Instead ofhaving your characters smoke have them do healthy things. That will set a positive influence for children instead of poisoning their minds. Thanks for reading my letter. I hope you agree with my opinion.
Sincerely, __________ P.S. I love your Chanukah song.
Criteria used to evaluate this piece as a strong writing sample include:
- introducing a claim
- organizing the reasons and evidence clearly
- supporting the claim with clear reasons and relevant evidence, demonstrating an understanding of the topic
- using words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationship between the claim and reasons
- establishing and maintaining a formal style
- demonstrating good command of the conventions of standard written English (with occasional errors that do not interfere materially with the underlying message)