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Lessons
Tell It Like It Isn't: Exploring Creative Ways to Revise Well-Known Stories
Discipline
Reading
Grades
6, 7, 8
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Professional Commentary

In this lesson, students consider favorite stories and the common elements that make them interesting and entertaining. Next, students read and discuss an article in The New York Times about two performances and one historic tour based on creative retellings of well known stories. Following brainstorming, students select a story and envision how it could be retold in an innovative way using one of the modes described in the article. After devloping written pieces either individually, in pairs, or in small groups, students meet with peer editors to share and refine their ideas. (author/sec)


Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts
Grades 6–12
Reading: Literature
Grade 6
Key Ideas and Details
RL.6.1 
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.6.2 
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
RL.6.3 
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Craft and Structure
RL.6.6 
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.6.7 
Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.
RL.6.9 
Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.6.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 7
Key Ideas and Details
RL.7.1 
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.7.3 
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Craft and Structure
RL.7.5 
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
RL.7.6 
Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.7.7 
Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).
RL.7.9 
Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.7.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 8
Key Ideas and Details
RL.8.1 
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RL.8.3 
Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.
Craft and Structure
RL.8.5 
Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.
RL.8.6 
Analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the audience or reader (e.g., created through the use of dramatic irony) create such effects as suspense or humor.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RL.8.7 
Analyze the extent to which a filmed or live production of a story or drama stays faithful to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices made by the director or actors.
RL.8.9 
Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RL.8.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Reading: Informational Text
Grade 6
Key Ideas and Details
RI.6.1 
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.6.3 
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Craft and Structure
RI.6.4 
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
RI.6.5 
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
RI.6.6 
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.6.7 
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
RI.6.9 
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.6.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 7
Key Ideas and Details
RI.7.1 
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.7.3 
Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
Craft and Structure
RI.7.5 
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
RI.7.6 
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.7.7 
Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
RI.7.9 
Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.7.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Grade 8
Key Ideas and Details
RI.8.1 
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
RI.8.3 
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Craft and Structure
RI.8.6 
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.8.7 
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
RI.8.9 
Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
RI.8.10 
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Writing
Grade 6
Text Types and Purposes
W.6.3 
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  1. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  2. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  3. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
  4. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events.
  5. Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.6.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
W.6.5 
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 6 on page 52.)
Range of Writing
W.6.10 
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Grade 7
Text Types and Purposes
W.7.3 
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  1. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  2. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  3. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.
  4. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  5. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.7.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
W.7.5 
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 7 on page 52.)
Range of Writing
W.7.10 
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Grade 8
Text Types and Purposes
W.8.3 
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
  1. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.
  2. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
  3. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.
  4. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
  5. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.
Production and Distribution of Writing
W.8.4 
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)
W.8.5 
With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grade 8 on page 52.)
Range of Writing
W.8.10 
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Speaking & Listening
Grade 6
Comprehension and Collaboration
SL.6.1 
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  2. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  3. Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
  4. Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
SL.6.2 
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Grade 7
Comprehension and Collaboration
SL.7.1 
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  2. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  3. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
  4. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.
SL.7.2 
Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
Grade 8
Comprehension and Collaboration
SL.8.1 
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  1. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
  2. Follow rules for collegial discussions and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  3. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.
  4. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.
SL.8.2 
Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
Ohio English Language Arts Standards (2001)
Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies and Self-Monitoring Strategies Standard
Benchmarks (4–7)
C.
Make meaning through asking and responding to a variety of questions related to text.
Benchmarks (8–10)
B.
Demonstrate comprehension of print and electronic text by responding to questions (e.g., literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing).
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 6)
6.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts, electronic and visual media.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 7)
6.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
2.
Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media.
Reading Applications: Literary Text Standard
Benchmarks (4–7)
C.
Identify the elements of plot and establish a connection between an element and a future event.
Benchmarks (8–10)
C.
Identify the structural elements of the plot and explain how an author develops conflicts and plot to pace the events in literary text.
Writing Process Standard
Benchmarks (5–7)
A.
Generate writing topics and establish a purpose appropriate for the audience.
D.
Use revision strategies to improve the overall organization, the clarity and consistency of ideas within and among paragraphs and the logic and effectiveness of word choices.
Benchmarks (8–10)
A.
Formulate writing ideas and identify a topic appropriate to the purpose and audience.
C.
Use revision strategies to improve the style, variety of sentence structure, clarity of the controlling idea, logic, effectiveness of word choice and transitions between paragraphs, passages or ideas.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 6)
1.
Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas.
2.
Conduct background reading, interviews or surveys when appropriate.
4.
Determine a purpose and audience.
9.
Vary language and style as appropriate to audience and purpose.
16.
Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 7)
1.
Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas.
2.
Conduct background reading, interviews or surveys when appropriate.
9.
Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, colorful modifiers and style as appropriate to audience and purpose.
16.
Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
1.
Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas.
2.
Conduct background reading, interviews or surveys when appropriate.
4.
Determine a purpose and audience and plan strategies (e.g., adapting focus, content structure and point of view) to address purpose and audience.
9.
Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, colorful modifiers and style as appropriate to audience and purpose.
16.
Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing.