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Heick Distilled Standards: Prioritized Skills, Concepts, and Understandings

Vague ELA Instructional Theme: What’d they do, and how and why’d they do it?

Also to consider: Who is “they”? Who are they talking to, and why? What seems to be their purpose?
How do you know? Do they seem to be successful in achieving their purpose? What lets you know this?
What might you have done differently if you were the writer? Can you trust the writer and their ideas?
How do you know? Are some of their ideas less or more important than others? Is there a difference
between what they seem to consider their purpose, and what they actually end up achieving? What is
obvious about their message or its delivery? What is subtle? What can you infer about the audience from
the tone? How does the structure contribute to, or distract from, their overall purpose? What does the
diction allow you to infer about the audience? How might it affect the tone/theme/audience if the
diction/structure/purpose were revised in such and such ways? (R.A.F.T.)

1. Main Idea and Supporting Details

2. Theme and Themes across works (defining, identifying, comparing, subjectivity of, evidence of)
3. Author’s Purpose and Position (stated, inferred, relationship to audience, evidence supporting
inference, other)
4. Writing Process/Writing for Understanding (Purpose, Thesis support, Structure, Audience,
Diction, Style, Revising for understanding, Editing for grammar and conventions)
5. Tone and Mood (definitions, examples, effects of, relationship to audience, etc.)
6. Literary Devices (definitions, examples, effects of, relationship to author purpose and mood, use
as author tool, etc.)
7. Persuasive and Propaganda Techniques (definitions, examples, effects of, difference between,
relationship to audience, author purpose, inferring bias, relationship to tone, etc.)
8. Audience Analysis
9. Structure and Idea Organization (definitions, examples, effects of, etc.)
10. Reading Strategies (definitions, self-selecting, matching strategy to the genre, etc.)
11. Research Process, including Identifying, Evaluating, and “Extracting from” Potential Sources
12. Characteristics of the Genre
13. Transitions (function of, examples, basic/advanced use; “clunky” versus subtle )
14. Connotation versus Denotation (very critical in regards to “close-reading” to infer author
purpose, mood and tone, and author position)
15. Greek and Latin Roots; Prefixes/Suffixes (word parts and origins, flexibility of language, use as
reading strategy)
16. Text Features
17. Multiple meanings
18. Non-literal meanings of language