Literacy and Science   see also: http://www.newhavenscience.org/ScienceCCSS.htm

http://www.newhavenscience.org/ScienceCommonCore.htm

http://www.newhavenscience.org/ScienceCommonCoreNHPS.htm

Common Core Science Informational Text Examples and Sample Performance Tasks (Appendix B CCSS) http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

Macaulay, David. Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1973. (1973) From pages 51–56

In order to construct the vaulted ceiling a wooden scaffold was erected connecting the two walls of the choir one hundred and thirty feet above ground. On the scaffolding wooden centerings like those used for the flying buttresses were installed. They would support the arched stone ribs until the mortar was dry, at which times the ribs could support themselves. The ribs carried the webbing, which was the ceiling itself. The vaults were constructed one bay at a time, a bay being the rectangular area between four piers.

One by one, the cut stones of the ribs, called voussoirs, were hoisted onto the centering and mortared into place by the masons. Finally the keystone was lowered into place to lock the ribs together at the crown, the highest point of the arch.

The carpenters then installed pieces of wood, called lagging, that spanned the space between two centerings. On top of the lagging the masons laid one course or layer of webbing stones. The lagging supported the course of webbing until the mortar was dry. The webbing was constructed of the lightest possible stone to lessen the weight on the ribs. Two teams, each with a mason and a carpenter, worked simultaneously from both sides of the vault – installing first the lagging, then the webbing. When they met in the center the vault was complete. The vaulting over the aisle was constructed in the same way and at the same time.

When the mortar in the webbing had set, a four-inch layer of concrete was poured over the entire vault to prevent any cracking between the stones. Once the concrete had set, the lagging was removed and the centering was lowered and moved onto the scaffolding of the next bay. The procedure was repeated until eventually the entire choir was vaulted.

Mackay, Donald. The Building of Manhattan. New York: Harper & Row, 1987. (1987)

Media Text
Manhattan on the Web: History, a Web portal hosted by the New York Public Library: http://legacy.www.nypl.org/branch/manhattan/index2.cfm?Trg=1&d1=865

Students integrate the quantitative or technical information expressed in the text of David Macaulay’s Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction with the information conveyed by the diagrams and models Macaulay provides, developing a deeper understanding of Gothic architecture. [RST.6–8.7]
Walker, Jearl. “Amusement Park Physics.” Roundabout: Readings from the Amateur Scientist in Scientific American. New York: Scientific American, 1985. (1985)
From “Amusement Park Physics: Thinking About Physics While Scared to Death (on a Falling Roller Coaster)”

The rides in an amusement park not only are fun but also demonstrate principles of physics. Among them are rotational dynamics and energy conversion. I have been exploring the rides at Geauga Lake Amusement Park near Cleveland and have found that nearly every ride offers a memorable lesson.

To me the scariest rides at the park are the roller coasters. The Big Dipper is similar to many of the roller coasters that have thrilled passengers for most of this century. The cars are pulled by chain t the top of the highest hill along the track, Released from the chain as the front of the car begins its descent, the unpowered cars have almost no speed and only a small acceleration. As more cars get onto the downward slope the acceleration increases. It peaks when all the cars are headed downward. The peak value is the product of the acceleration generated by gravity and the sine of the slope of the track. A steeper descent generates a greater acceleration, but packing the coaster with heavier passengers does not.

When the coaster reaches the bottom of the valley and starts up the next hill, there is an instant when the cars are symmetrically distributed in the valley. The acceleration is zero. As more cars ascend the coaster begins to slow, reaching its lowest speed just as it is symmetrically positioned at the top of the hill.

A roller coaster functions by means of transfers of energy. When the chain hauls the cars to the top of the first hill,
it does work on the cars, endowing them with gravitational potential energy, the energy of a body in a gravitational field with respect to the distance of the body from some reference level such as the ground. As the cars descend into the first valley, much of the stored energy is transferred into kinetic energy, the energy of motion.

Students determine how Jearl Walker clarifies the phenomenon of acceleration in his essay “Amusement Park Physics,” accurately summarizing his conclusions regarding the physics of roller coasters and tracing how supporting details regarding the processes of rotational dynamics and energy conversion are incorporated in his explanation. [RST.9–10.2]


Cannon, Annie J. “Classifying the Stars.” The Universe of Stars. Edited by Harlow Shapeley and Cecilia H. Payne. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Observatory, 1926. (1926)

Sunlight and starlight are composed of waves of various lengths, which the eye, even aided by a telescope, is unable to separate. We must use more than a telescope. In order to sort out the component colors, the light must be dispersed by a prism, or split up by some other means. For instance, sunbeams passing through rain drops, are transformed into the myriad-tinted rainbow. The familiar rainbow spanning the sky is Nature’s most glorious demonstration that light is composed of many colors.

The very beginning of our knowledge of the nature of a star dates back to 1672, when Isaac Newton gave to the world the results of his experiments on passing sunlight through a prism. To describe the beautiful band of rainbow tints, produced when sunlight was dispersed by his three-cornered piece of glass, he took from the Latin the word spectrum, meaning an appearance. The rainbow is the spectrum of the Sun.

In 1814, more than a century after Newton, the spectrum of the Sun was obtained in such purity that an amazing detail was seen and studied by the German optician, Fraunhofer. He saw that the multiple spectral tings, ranging from delicate violet to deep red, were crossed by hundreds of fine dark lines. In other words, there were narrow gaps in the spectrum where certain shades were wholly blotted out.

We must remember that the word spectrum is applied not only to sunlight, but also to the light of any glowing sub- stance when its rays are sorted out by a prism or a grating.

Students cite specific textual evidence from Annie J. Cannon’s “Classifying the Stars” to support their analysis of the scientific importance of the discovery that light is composed of many colors. Students include in their analysis precise details from the text (such as Cannon’s repeated use of the image of the rainbow) to buttress their explanation. [RST.9–10.1].

Kane, Gordon. “The Mysteries of Mass.” Scientific American Special Edition December 2005.

Physicists are hunting for an elusive particle that would reveal the presence of a new kind of field that permeates all of reality. Finding that Higgs field will give us a more complete understanding about how the universe works.

Most people think they know what mass is, but they understand only part of the story. For instance, an elephant is clearly bulkier and weighs more than an ant. Even in the absence of gravity, the elephant would have greater mass—it would be harder to push and set in motion. Obviously the elephant is more massive because it is made of many more atoms than the ant is, but what determines the masses of the individual atoms? What about the elementary particles that make up the atoms—what determines their masses? Indeed, why do they even have mass?

We see that the problem of mass has two independent aspects. First, we need to learn how mass arises at all. It turns out mass results from at least three different mechanisms, which I will describe below. A key player in physicists’ tentative theories about mass is a new kind of field that permeates all of reality, called the Higgs field. Elementary particle masses are thought to come about from the interaction with the Higgs field. If the Higgs field exists, theory demands that it have an associated particle, the Higgs boson. Using particle accelerators, scientists are now hunting for the Higgs.

Students analyze the concept of mass based on their close reading of Gordon Kane’s “The Mysteries of Mass” and cite specific textual evidence from the text to answer the question of why elementary particles have mass at all. Students explain important distinctions the author makes regarding the Higgs field and the Higgs boson and their relationship to the concept of mass. [RST.11–12.1]

TEXT DEPENDENT QUESTIONS OR NOT?

 

1. Have you ever used a balance to measure mass?

 

2. What evidence is there that light is made of many colors?

 

3.  Why are people scared by roller coasters?

 

4.  What are the steps to take to build a Gothic Cathedral?

 

5. How do the shapes of the arches help support the cathedral?

 

6. How would finding the Higgs boson change your life?

 

7.  What was it like being a woman astronomer in the early 20th century?

 

8. How does energy transform in a roller coaster ride?

 

9.
Q
uick Reference Task Chart (Common Core Science examples) http://www.literacydesigncollaborative.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/LDCTemplateTasks.pdf

“After Researching”

“Essential Question”

Argumentation Template Tasks

Analysis

Task 1: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that argues your position on ________ (content). Support your position with evidence from your research. L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position.( Argumentation/ Analysis)

Task 2: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the text(s). L2 Be sure to acknowledge competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position. (Argumentation/Analysis)

Comparison

Task 3: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that compares ________ (content) and argues ________ (content). Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts. (Argumentation/Comparison)

Task 4: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that compares ________ (content) and argues ________ (content). Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts. (Argumentation/Comparison)

Evaluation

Task 5: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that discusses ________ (content) and evaluates ________ (content). Be sure to support your position with evidence from your research. (Argumentation/Evaluation)

Task 6: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that discusses ________ (content) and evaluates ________ (content). Be sure to support your position with evidence from the texts. (Argumentation/Evaluation)

Problem- Solution

Task 7: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that identifies a problem ________ (content) and argues for a solution. Support your position with evidence from your research. L2 Be sure to examine competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position. (Argumentation/Problem-Solution)

Task 8: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that identifies a problem ________ (content) and argues for a solution ________ (content). Support your position with evidence from the text(s). L2 Be sure to examine competing views. L3 Give examples from past or current events or issues to illustrate and clarify your position. (Argumentation/Problem-Solution)

Cause-Effect

Task 9: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that argues the causes of ________ (content) and explains the effects________(content). What________(conclusions or implications) can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the texts. (Argumentation/Cause-Effect)

Task 10: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that argues the causes of ________ (content) and explains the effects ________ (content). What________(conclusions or implications)can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the texts.

( Argumentation/Cause-Effect)

 


 

Quick Reference Task Chart (Common Core Science examples)

 

“After Researching”

 

 

“Essential Question”

 

Informational or Explanatory Template Tasks

 

 

 

 

 

Definition

 

Task 11: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that defines ________ (term or concept) and explains ________ (content). Support your discussion with evidence from your research. L2 What ________ (conclusions or implications) can you draw? (Informational or Explanatory/Definition)

 

Task 12: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay, report, or substitute) that defines ________ (term or concept) and explains ________ (content). Support your discussion with evidence from the text(s). L2 What ________ (conclusions or implications) can you draw? (Informational or Explanatory/Definition)

 

 

 

 

 

Description

 

 

 

Task 13: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that describes ________ (content). Support your discussion with evidence from your research. (Informational or Explanatory/Description)

 

 

Task 14: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay, report, or substitute) that describes ________ (content) and addresses the question. Support your discussion with evidence from the text(s). (Informational or Explanatory/Description)

Procedural- Sequential

 

 

 

 

Task 15: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that relates how ________ (content). Support your discussion with evidence from your research. (Informational or Explanatory/Procedural-Sequential)

 

Task 16: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that relates how ________ (content). Support your discussion with evidence from the text(s). (Informational or Explanatory/Procedural-Sequential)

 

 

Task 17: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), developing a hypothesis, and conducting an experiment examining ________ (content), write a laboratory report that explains your procedures and results and confirms or rejects your hypothesis. What conclusion(s) can you draw? (Informational or Explanatory/Procedural-Sequential)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Quick Reference Task Chart (Common Core Science examples)

 “After Researching”

 

 

“Essential Question”

 

 

Informational or Explanatory Template Tasks

 

 

 

 

 

Synthesis

 

Task 18: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that explains________(content). What conclusions or implications can you draw? Cite at least ________ (#) sources, pointing out key elements from each source. L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. Optional: Include ________ (e.g. bibliography). (Informational or Explanatory/Synthesis)

 

Task 19: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay or substitute) that explains________(content). What conclusions or implications can you draw? Cite at least ________ (#) sources, pointing out key elements from each source. L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. Optional: Include ________ (e.g. bibliography). (Informational or Explanatory/Synthesis)

 

 

 

 

 

Analysis

Task 20: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that analyzes ________ (content), providing evidence to clarify your analysis. What _______ (conclusions or implications) can you draw? L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. Optional: Include ________ (e.g. bibliography). (Informational or Explanatory/Analysis)

Task 21: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (report, essay or substitutes) that addresses the question and analyzes ________ (content), providing examples to clarify your analysis. What conclusions or implications can you draw? L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. Optional: Include ___ (e.g. bibliography). (Informational or Explanatory/ Analysis)

 

 

 

Problem- Solution

 

 

Task 22: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that compares ________ (content). L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. (Informational or Explanatory/Comparison)

 

 

Task 23: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts), write a/an ________ (essay, report, or substitute) that compares ________ (content). L2 In your discussion, address the credibility and origin of sources in view of your research topic. L3 Identify any gaps or unanswered questions. (Informational or Explanatory/Comparison)

 

 

 

Cause- Effect

 

 

Task 24: After researching ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that examines causes of ________ (content) and explains effects ________(content). What conclusions or implications can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from your research. (Informational or Explanatory/Cause-Effect)

Task 25: [Insert question] After reading ________ (informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that examines the cause(s) of ________ (content) and explains the effect(s)________(content). What conclusions or implications can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the texts. (Informational or Explanatory/Cause-Effect)

A Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions for Close Analytic Reading

Text Dependent Questions: What Are They?

The Common Core State Standards for reading strongly focus on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insight from what they read. Indeed, eighty to ninety percent of the Reading Standards in each grade require text dependent analysis; accordingly, aligned curriculum materials should have a similar percentage of text dependent questions.

As the name suggests, a text dependent question specifically asks a question that can only be answered by referring explicitly back to the text being read. It does not rely on any particular background information extraneous to the text nor depend on students having other experiences or knowledge; instead it privileges the text itself and what students can extract from what is before them.

For example, in a close analytic reading of Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address,” the following would not be text dependent questions:

Why did the North fight the civil war?
 Have you ever been to a funeral or gravesite?

Lincoln says that the nation is dedicated to the proposition that “all men are created equal.” Why is equality an important value to promote?

The overarching problem with these questions is that they require no familiarity at all with Lincoln’s speech in order to answer them. Responding to these sorts of questions instead requires students to go outside the text. Such questions can be tempting to ask because they are likely to get students talking, but they take students away from considering the actual point Lincoln is making. They seek to elicit a personal or general response that relies on individual experience and opinion, and answering them will not move students closer to understanding the text of the “Gettysburg Address.”

Good text dependent questions will often linger over specific phrases and sentences to ensure careful comprehension of the text—they help students see something worthwhile that they would not have seen on a more cursory reading. Typical text dependent questions ask students to perform one or more of the following tasks:

Š       Analyze paragraphs on a sentence by sentence basis and sentences on a word by word basis to determine the role played by individual paragraphs, sentences, phrases, or words
Investigate how meaning can be altered by changing key words and why an author may have chosen one word over another

Š       Probe each argument in persuasive text, each idea in informational text, each key detail in literary text, and observe how these build to a whole
Examine how shifts in the direction of an argument or explanation are achieved and the impact of those shifts

Creating Text-Dependent Questions for Close Analytic Reading of Texts

An effective set of text dependent questions delves systematically into a text to guide students in extracting the key meanings or ideas found there. They typically begin by exploring specific words, details, and arguments and then moves on to examine the impact of those specifics on the text as a whole. Along the way they target academic vocabulary and specific sentence structures as critical focus points for gaining comprehension. While there is no set process for generating a complete and coherent body of text dependent questions for a text, the following process is a good guide that can serve to generate a core series of questions for close reading of any given text.

Step One: Identify the Core Understandings and Key Ideas of the Text

As in any good reverse engineering or “backwards design” process, teachers should start by identifying the key insights they want students to understand from the text—keeping one eye on the major points being made is crucial for fashioning an overarching set of successful questions and critical for creating an appropriate culminating assignment.

Step Two: Start Small to Build Confidence

The opening questions should be ones that help orientate students to the text and be sufficiently specific enough for them to answer so that they gain confidence to tackle more difficult questions later on.

Step Three: Target Vocabulary and Text Structure

Locate key text structures and the most powerful academic words in the text that are connected to the key ideas and understandings, and craft questions that illuminate these connections.

Step Four: Tackle Tough Sections Head-on

Find the sections of the text that will present the greatest difficulty and craft questions that support students in mastering these sections (these could be sections with difficult syntax, particularly dense information, and tricky transitions or places that offer a variety of possible inferences).

Step Five: Create Coherent Sequences of Text Dependent Questions

The sequence of questions should not be random but should build toward more coherent understanding and analysis to ensure that students learn to stay focused on the text to bring them to a gradual understanding of its meaning.

Step Six: Identify the Standards That Are Being Addressed

Take stock of what standards are being addressed in the series of questions and decide if any other standards are suited to being a focus for this text (forming additional questions that exercise those standards).

Step Seven: Create the Culminating Assessment Develop a culminating activity around the key ideas or understandings identified earlier that reflects (a) mastery of one or more of the standards, (b) involves writing, and (c) is structured to be completed by students independently.


WRITING AND COMMON CORE: EXAMPLE APPENDIX C CCSS, Wood Joints

http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

The writer of this piece

introduces a topic.
 " Have you ever wondered how to design complex wood joinery?

 

organizes complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole.

"The first step in designing joints is to figure out what way the wood will move so it won’t destroy the joint.

"There are two categories of joints . ."To lay out good joints there are a few tools necessary. o The way to make a tight joint is in the layout . . .

 

develops the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

" If the joint is cut too small, there are four different repairs. you can fill small gaps with a mixture of sawdust of the same species of wood and glue. For loose parts, you can add shims and sand or file to fit. you could also make a design feature for loose parts. A slot cut in the end of a loose tenon with a wedge put in it makes a nice design feature. But if it is real noticeable you should jut replace it.

 

uses appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

" Out of the twelve different joints, I’ll start with the ones easiest to make. "Another fairly simple joint is the lap joint.
o A joint similar to a groove is the spline.
"To sum it all up . . .

 

uses precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. "Dados are slots cut across the grain.
"A groove runs with the grain instead of against it.

"A rebate joint is a dado at the end or edge of a board and usually has a piece of wood in it the same thickness as the dado.

 

establishes and maintains a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the specific discipline in which the student is writing.

"The other hallmark of quality wood joinery is the dovetail.
"My tech project is designing and building a gun cabinet. In my gun cabinet I’m going to

use rebates, grooves, dados, lock miters, dovetails, mortise and tenon and lap joints.

 

provides a concluding section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).

" To sum it all up . . . with practice you could become an amateur woodworker . . . There is still more to be learned but this is a very good start in becoming a professional woodworker.

 

demonstrates good command of the conventions of standard written English (with occasional errors that do not interfere materially with the underlying message).