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Ohio's Academic Content Standards in English Language Arts

By the end of grade 8

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Acquisition of Vocabulary Standard
Students acquire vocabulary through exposure to language-rich situations, such as reading books and other texts and conversing with adults and peers. They use context clues, as well as direct explanations provided by others, to gain new words. They learn to apply word analysis skills to build and extend their own vocabulary. As students progress through the grades, they become more proficient in applying their knowledge of words (origins, parts, relationships, meanings) to acquire specialized vocabulary that aids comprehension.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Define unknown words through context clues and the author's use of comparison, contrast and cause and effect. (ORC Resources)
2.Apply knowledge of connotation and denotation to determine the meaning of words. (ORC Resources)
3.Identify the relationships of pairs of words in analogical statements (e.g., synonyms and antonyms) and infer word meanings from these relationships. (ORC Resources)
4.Infer the literal and figurative meaning of words and phrases and discuss the function of figurative language, including metaphors, similes and idioms. (ORC Resources)
5.Examine and discuss the ways that different events (e.g., cultural, political, social, technological, and scientific events) impact and change the English language. (ORC Resources)
6.Use knowledge of Greek, Latin and Anglo-Saxon roots, prefixes and suffixes to understand complex words and new subject-area vocabulary (e.g., unknown words in science, mathematics and social studies). (ORC Resources)
7.Determine the meanings and pronunciations of unknown words by using dictionaries, thesauruses, glossaries, technology and textual features, such as definitional footnotes or sidebars. (ORC Resources)
  
Reading Process: Concepts of Print, Comprehension Strategies and Self-Monitoring Strategies Standard
Students develop and learn to apply strategies that help them to comprehend and interpret informational and literary texts. Reading and learning to read are problem-solving processes that require strategies for the reader to make sense of written language and remain engaged with texts. Beginners develop basic concepts about print (e.g., that print holds meaning) and how books work (e.g., text organization). As strategic readers, students learn to analyze and evalute texts to demonstrate their understanding of text. Additionally, students learn to self-monitor their own comprehension by asking and answering questions about the text, self-correcting errors and assessing their own understanding. They apply these strategies effectively to assigned and self-selected texts read in and out of the classroom.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Apply reading comprehension strategies, including making predictions, comparing and contrasting, recalling and summarizing and making inferences and drawing conclusions. (ORC Resources)
2.Answer literal, inferential, evaluative and synthesizing questions to demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate print texts and electronic and visual media. (ORC Resources)
3.Monitor own comprehension by adjusting speed to fit the purpose, or by skimming, scanning, reading on, looking back, note taking or summarizing what has been read so far in text. (ORC Resources)
4.Use criteria to choose independent reading materials (e.g., personal interest, knowledge of authors and genres or recommendations from others). (ORC Resources)
5.Independently read books for various purposes (e.g., for enjoyment, for literary experience, to gain information or to perform a task). (ORC Resources)
  
Reading Applications: Informational, Technical and Persuasive Text Standard
Students gain information from reading for the purposes of learning about a subject, doing a job, making decisions and accomplishing a task. Students need to apply the reading process to various types of informational texts, including essays, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, instruction manuals, consumer and workplace documents, reference materials, multimedia and electronic resources. They learn to attend to text features, such as titles, subtitles and visual aids, to make predictions and build text knowledge. They learn to read diagrams, charts, graphs, maps and displays in text as sources of additional information. Students use their knowledge of text structure to organize content information, analyze it and draw inferences from it. Strategic readers learn to recognize arguments, bias, stereotyping and propaganda in informational text sources.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Compare and contrast text features, including format and headers of various informational texts in terms of their structure and purpose. (ORC Resources)
2.Identify and use the organizational structure of a text, such as chronological, compare-contrast, cause-effect, problem-solution, and evaluate its effectiveness. (ORC Resources)
3.Compare and contrast the treatment, scope and organization of ideas from different sources on the same topic. (ORC Resources)
4.Analyze information found in maps, charts, tables, graphs, diagrams, cutaways and overlays. (ORC Resources)
5.Assess the adequacy, accuracy and appropriateness of an author's details, identifying persuasive techniques (e.g., bandwagon, testimonial and emotional word repetition) and examples of bias and stereotyping. (ORC Resources)
6.Identify the author's purpose and intended audience for the text. (ORC Resources)
7.Analyze an author's argument, perspective or viewpoint and explain the development of key points. (ORC Resources)
8.Recognize how writers cite facts, draw inferences and present opinions in informational text. (ORC Resources)
9.Distinguish the characteristics of consumer materials (e.g., warranties, product information, instructional materials), functional or workplace documents (e.g., job-related materials, memoranda, instructions) and public documents (e.g., speeches or newspaper editorials). (ORC Resources)
  
Reading Applications: Literary Text Standard
Students enhance their understanding of the human story by reading literary texts that represent a variety of authors, cultures and eras. They learn to apply the reading process to the various genres of literature, including fables, tales, short stories, novels, poetry and drama. They demonstrate their comprehension by describing and discussing the elements of literature (e.g., setting, character and plot), analyzing the author's use of language (e.g., word choice and figurative language), comparing and contrasting texts, inferring theme and meaning and responding to text in critical and creative ways. Strategic readers learn to explain, analyze and critique literary text to achieve deep understanding.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Identify and explain various types of characters (e.g., flat, round, dynamic, static) and how their interactions and conflicts affect the plot. (ORC Resources)
2.Analyze the influence of setting in relation to other literary elements. (ORC Resources)
3.Explain how authors pace action and use subplots, parallel episodes and climax. (ORC Resources)
4.Compare and contrast different points of view (e.g., first person and third person limited, omniscient, objective and subjective), and explain how voice affects literary text. (ORC Resources)
5.Identify and explain universal themes across different works by the same author and by different authors. (ORC Resources)
6.Explain how an author's choice of genre affects the expression of a theme or topic. (ORC Resources)
7.Identify examples of foreshadowing and flashback in a literary text. (ORC Resources)
8.Explain ways in which the author conveys mood and tone through word choice, figurative language, and syntax. (ORC Resources)
9.Examine symbols used in literary texts. (ORC Resources)
  
Writing Process Standard
Students' writing develops when they regularly engage in the major phases of the writing process. The writing process includes the phases of prewriting, drafting, revising and editing and publishing. They learn to plan their writing for different purposes and audiences. They learn to apply their writing skills in increasingly sophisticated ways to create and produce compositions that reflect effective word and grammatical choices. Students develop revision strategies to improve the content, organization and language of their writing. Students also develop editing skills to improve writing conventions.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed material, and keep a list of writing ideas. (ORC Resources)
2.Conduct background reading, interviews or surveys when appropriate. (ORC Resources)
3.Establish a thesis statement for informational writing or a plan for narrative writing. (ORC Resources)
4.Determine a purpose and audience and plan strategies (e.g., adapting focus, content structure and point of view) to address purpose and audience. (ORC Resources)
5.Use organizational strategies (e.g., notes and outlines) to plan writing. (ORC Resources)
6.Organize writing with an effective and engaging introduction, body and a conclusion that summarizes, extends or elaborates on points or ideas in the writing. (ORC Resources)
7.Vary simple, compound and complex sentence structures. (ORC Resources)
8.Group related ideas into paragraphs, including topic sentences following paragraph form, and maintain a consistent focus reinforced by parallel structures across paragraphs. (ORC Resources)
9.Use precise language, action verbs, sensory details, colorful modifiers and style as appropriate to audience and purpose. (ORC Resources)
10.Use available technology to compose text. (ORC Resources)
11.Reread and analyze clarity of writing and consistency of point of view. (ORC Resources)
12.Add and delete information and details to better elaborate on a stated central idea and to more effectively accomplish purpose. (ORC Resources)
13.Rearrange words, sentences and paragraphs, and add transitional words and phrases to clarify meaning. (ORC Resources)
14.Use resources and reference materials (e.g., dictionaries and thesauruses) to select more effective vocabulary. (ORC Resources)
15.Proofread writing, edit to improve conventions (e.g., grammar, spelling, punctuation and capitalization) and identify and correct fragments and run-ons. (ORC Resources)
16.Apply tools (e.g., rubric, checklist and feedback) to judge the quality of writing. (ORC Resources)
17.Prepare for publication (e.g., for display or for sharing with others) writing that follows a manuscript form appropriate for the purpose, which could include such techniques as electronic resources, principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing and columns) and graphics (e.g., drawings, charts and graphs) to enhance the final product. (ORC Resources)
  
Writing Applications Standard
Students need to understand that various types of writing require different language, formatting and special vocabulary. Writing serves many purposes across the curriculum and takes various forms. Beginning writers learn about the various purposes of writing; they attempt and use a small range of familiar forms (e.g., letters). Developing writers are able to select text forms to suit purpose and audience. They can explain why some text forms are more suited to a purpose than others and begin to use content-specific vocabulary to achieve their communication goals. Proficient writers control effectively the language and structural features of a large repertoire of text forms. They deliberately choose vocabulary to enhance text and structure their writing according to audience and purpose.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Write narratives that: a. sustain reader interest by pacing action and developing an engaging plot (e.g., tension and suspense); b. use literary devices to enhance style and tone; and c. create complex characters in a definite, believable setting. (ORC Resources)
2.Write responses to literature that organize an insightful interpretation around several clear ideas, premises or images and support judgments with specific references to the original text, to other texts, authors and to prior knowledge. (ORC Resources)
3.Write business letters, letters to the editor and job applications that: a. address audience needs, stated purpose and context in a clear and efficient manner; b. follow the conventional style appropriate to the text using proper technical terms; c. include appropriate facts and details; d. exclude extraneous details and inconsistencies; and e. provide a sense of closure to the writing. (ORC Resources)
4.Write informational essays or reports, including research, that: a. pose relevant and tightly drawn questions that engage the reader; b. provide a clear and accurate perspective on the subject; c. create an organizing structure appropriate to the purpose, audience and context; d. support the main ideas with facts, details, examples and explanations from sources; and e. document sources and include bibliographies (ORC Resources)
5.Write persuasive compositions that: a. establish and develop a controlling idea; b. support arguments with detailed evidence; c. exclude irrelevant information; and d. cite sources of information. (ORC Resources)
6.Produce informal writings (e.g., journals, notes and poems) for various purposes. (ORC Resources)
  
Writing Conventions Standard
Students learn to master writing conventions through exposure to good models and opportunities for practice. Writing conventions include spelling, punctuation, grammar and other conventions associated with forms of written text. They learn the purpose of punctuation: to clarify sentence meaning and help readers know how writing might sound aloud. They develop and extend their understanding of the spelling system, using a range of strategies for spelling words correctly and using newly learned vocabulary in their writing. They grow more skillful at using the grammatical structures of English to effectively communicate ideas in writing and to express themselves.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Use correct spelling conventions. (ORC Resources)
2.Use correct punctuation and capitalization. (ORC Resources)
3.Use all eight parts of speech (e.g., noun, pronoun, verb, adverb, adjective, conjunction, preposition, interjection). (ORC Resources)
4.Use clauses (e.g., main, subordinate) and phrases (e.g., gerund, infinitive, participial). (ORC Resources)
5.Use parallel structure to present items in a series and items juxtaposed for emphasis. (ORC Resources)
6.Use proper placement of modifiers. (ORC Resources)
7.Maintain the use of appropriate verb tenses. (ORC Resources)
8.Conjugate regular and irregular verbs in all tenses correctly. (ORC Resources)
  
Research Standard
Students define and investigate self-selected or assigned issues, topics and problems. They locate, select and make use of relevant information from a variety of media, reference and technological sources. Students use an appropriate form to communicate their findings.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Compose open-ended questions for research, assigned or personal interest, and modify questions as necessary during inquiry and investigation. (ORC Resources)
2.Identify appropriate sources and gather relevant information from multiple sources (e.g., school library catalogs, online databases, electronic resources and Internet-based resources). (ORC Resources)
3.Explain the usefulness and accuracy of sources by determining their validity (e.g., authority, accuracy, objectivity, publication date and coverage) and define primary and secondary sources. (ORC Resources)
4.Select an appropriate structure for organizing information in a systematic way (e.g., notes, outlines, charts, tables and graphic organizers). (ORC Resources)
5.Compile and organize the important information and select appropriate sources to support central ideas, concepts and themes. (ORC Resources)
6.Integrate quotations and citations into written text to maintain a flow of ideas. (ORC Resources)
7.Use style guides to produce oral and written reports that give proper credit for sources and include an acceptable format for source acknowledgement. (ORC Resources)
8.Use a variety of communication techniques, including oral, visual, written or multimedia reports, to present information that supports a clear position about the topic or research question and to maintain an appropriate balance between researched information and original ideas. (ORC Resources)
  
Communications: Oral and Visual Standard
Students learn to communicate effectively through exposure to good models and opportunities for practice. By speaking, listening and providing and interpreting visual images, they learn to apply their communication skills in increasingly sophisticated ways. Students learn to deliver presentations that effectively convey information and persuade or entertain audiences. Proficient speakers control language and deliberately choose vocabulary to clarify points and adjust presentations according to audience and purpose.
Indicators for grade 8
1.Apply active listening strategies (e.g., monitoring message for clarity, selecting and organizing essential information, noting cues such as changes in pace). (ORC Resources)
2.Identify and analyze the persuasive techniques (e.g., bandwagon, testimonial, glittering generalities, emotional word repetition and bait and switch) used in presentations and media messages. (ORC Resources)
3.Determine the credibility of the speaker (e.g., hidden agendas, slanted or biased material) and recognize fallacies of reasoning used in presentations and media messages. (ORC Resources)
4.Identify the speaker's choice of language and delivery styles (e.g., repetition, appeal to emotion, eye contact) and how they contribute to meaning. (ORC Resources)
5.Demonstrate an understanding of the rules of the English language and select language appropriate to purpose and audience. (ORC Resources)
6.Adjust volume, phrasing, enunciation, voice modulation and inflection to stress important ideas and impact audience response. (ORC Resources)
7.Vary language choices as appropriate to the context of the speech. (ORC Resources)
8.Deliver informational presentations (e.g., expository, research) that: a. demonstrate an understanding of the topic and present events or ideas in a logical sequence; b. support the controlling idea or thesis with well-chosen and relevant facts, details, examples, quotations, statistics, stories and anecdotes; c. include an effective introduction and conclusion and use a consistent organizational structure (e.g., cause-effect, compare-contrast, problem-solution); d. use appropriate visual materials (e.g., diagrams, charts, illustrations) and available technology; and e. draw from multiple sources, including both primary and secondary sources, and identify sources used. (ORC Resources)
9.Deliver formal and informal descriptive presentations that convey relevant information and descriptive details. (ORC Resources)
10.Deliver persuasive presentations that: a. establish and develop a logical and controlled argument; b. include relevant evidence, differentiating between evidence and opinion to support a position and to address counter-arguments or listener bias; and c. consistently use common organizational structures as appropriate (e.g., cause-effect, compare-contrast, problem-solution). (ORC Resources)