Curriculum Project Top 10 Essential Assumptions

1. Reading and Literature Studies I: Teacher helps to Build Background Knowledge
  • “Teachers help build the necessary background knowledge for students whose life experiences may not have provided them with the information they need to understand the text" (15). Students who are unfamiliar with the rules of evidence and other legal procedures, for instance, will learn from webquest activities to supply this background knowledge;
  • “Reading is a complex process that involves the application of various before, during, and after reading" (15).

2. Reading and Literature Studies II: Incorporate Exposure to Exemplars
  • "Frequent exposure to good writing will inspire students to work toward high standards in their own writing and will help them develop an appreciation for the power and beauty of the written word" (16). Students must be given exemplars to demonstrate various levels of writing in an effort to promote quality and increase individual engagement in writing tasks.

3. Oral Communication: improving listening and response skills, refining ideas, and the ability to express those ideas:
  • "All students can benefit from opportunities to improve listening and response skills and to refine their ideas and their abilities to express them" (15). This assumption from the Oral Strand is well-suited to possible students' re-enactment of the jury's deliberations or imagined defender's cross-examination, for example.
  • "Emphasizes the use of higher-ordered thinking skills to stimulate students' interests and engage them in their own learning" (15), perhaps a focus on meta-cognition.

4. Media Studies: develop media literacy skills:
  • “To develop their media literacy skills, students should have opportunities to view, analyze, and discuss a wide variety of media texts...and use available technologies to create media texts of different types" (18). This is key to the unit that will digitize the teleplay's and film adaptations’ explorations.

5. Authentic Assessment: appropriate and representative for learning activities used:
  • Assessment strategies should be "appropriate for the learning activities used, the purposes of instruction, and the needs and experiences of students" (21);
  • Assessment for, as, and of learning (Growing Success)

6. Resources incorporating ICT:
  • "Information and communication technologies (ICT) provide a range of tools that can significantly extend and enrich teachers' instructional strategies and support students' language learning" (36). ICT is essential in the planning and delivery of this unit.

7. Accommodations: UbD (backward design) meeting the needs of diverse learners:
  • “Teachers plan programs that recognize this diversity and give students performance tasks that respect their particular abilities so all students can derive the greatest possible benefit from the teaching and learning process” (28). Incorporating accommodations within instruction and assessment.

8. Authentic Writing:
  • "Students benefit from opportunities to produce writing that is interesting and original and that reflects their capacity for independent critical thought" (17). Students ought to be able to compose pieces of writing that are authentic, incorporating challenging topics and structures that stimulate critical thought.

9. Reflecting on Skills and Strategies:
  • Students must be given the opportunity to reflect on and identify their strengths and areas for improvement. Teachers ought to incorporate self-reflection and assessment into planning.

10. Extending Understanding of Texts/Make Meaningful Connections: teachers must plan for students to relate material/ideas/information to their own lives:
  • "Making appropriate connections between the ideas in them and personal knowledge, experience, and insights" (65); and even "make meaningful connections between themselves, what they encounter in texts, and the world around them" (4).

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