1. Think about my content objective. What do I want students to learn?
Students will be able to paraphrase the main idea of a paragraph in an expository text?
2. Turn the content objective into a question and answer it myself.
What is the main idea of this paragraph?
3. De-automatize my thinking: How do I know what I know? What language made it possible for me to answer this question successfully? Analyze the language of the text at the 3 levels of meaning: discourse level, sentence level, and word level.
What am I noticing at the discourse level that allows me to paraphrase this text?
Title: The Comeback Cubs: The Chicago Cubs are headed to the National League Championship Series after a ninth-inning win”
Referring words: That’s, them
Lexical chain = Chicago Cubs is referred to as Cursed Cubs, them
What am I noticing at the sentence level that allows me to paraphrase this text?
Nouns: Chicago Cubs
Verb phrases: won the baseball series, beat the San Francisco Giants, securing a place in the NLCS, getting close to World Series
What am I noticing at the word level that helps me paraphrase this text?
Tier 2 words: cursed, securing, “a place”
Tier 3 words: Chicago Cubs, World Series, home field, NLCS
Tier 1 words: beat, won
4. Chose a language feature from the language analysis that will allow my students to meet the content objective.
Nouns, Verb Phrases, Referring Words
5. For English learners, I will ensure the language feature is something my EL students can, at their language level, process, understand, and produce. I will think of what language supports I need to provide ESL students to meet this language objective. Resources such as WIDA’s Performance Definitions, Can Do Key Uses will help me do this.
Level 3: Language features fit in the Peformance definition of “compound and some complex grammatical constructions.” A support will be provided via visuals and/or sentence frames.
6. Write the language objective using the standard format: Students will be able to + academic language function + content topic + language feature.
Students will be able to paraphrase an expository text using nouns and their referents and verb phrases.
Log in to access more language objective writing resources to support each step!
Text analyis worksheet
Grammar cheat sheet
Tiered Vocabulary Run Down
De Automatize Your Thinking Worksheet
How to Think About Academic Text