Tying Texts to Standards
The following scenarios are designed to help you develop materials in ways that integrate the Standards as assessment measures for your pedagogical goals and your students' efforts to meet those goals.
To assess evidence of learning, teachers must make reading tasks clear and use tasks in sequences that reflect the cognitive and linguistic needs of their students. To spiral students' abilities to work with materials, such tasks may be recycled, the caveat here being that the cognitive and linguistic needs of students will dictate where materials and tasks appear in lesson planning and the level of standards they reflect.
To illustrate, the drawing task illustrated in the first example below is appropriate as a primary comprehension activity in vocabulary learning for Grade 4. At their learning level, such an activity connects concepts to recognition of German words in sound and print. For Grade 8 students with some previous exposure to German, obeying commands in German can appropriately lead to generating such commands, fulfilling a communication goal. Even a second year Grade 12 or first-year college class could profit from that activity, but as a warm-up exercise or communication review, not a new learning component in a lesson plan.
Along with accounting for the cognitive and linguistic maturity of their students, teachers must be very specific about what they want students to do and to accomplish in the doing. To help you in monitoring the specificity with which your expectations are articulated, the scenarios below have a tripart format. They specify: what students are asked to do, what assessable product results, and the relationship of student product to the standards' goals. The third category, the relationship of student product to the standards' goals, will be vital in grading class performance. If, for example, Grade 4 student A draws a picture of an Easter Bunny with an egg basket when the task has been set of drawing an Easter Bunny painting eggs, then she has connected only half of the intended thought -- no matter how well-formed the sentences, she has erred in the cultural content of the message. Consequently, that student should not be graded as highly as student B whose picture shows the rabbit painting eggs -- even if student B's bunny is not as well-drawn.
Note too, that not all the tasks suggested are immediately associated with reading the printed word on the page. As has been stressed in Units 1 and 2, Standards recognize that language learning involves activities that enable people to do something with that language's words. To read a text, therefore, readers must also "read" the cultural context which prompts and augments its messages -- the cultural practices and situations associated with the act of reading. In this sense, all texts are products of practices that yield perspectives on a culture's people, places, events, and concepts. The validity test for reading activities will, then, be whether students are prepared to read a text to see what it does or, having read that text in a specified way, have it inform or help students articulate comparisons, communication, connections, culture, and their membership in communitities.
With this concept of texts and how to read them in mind, the text you have already seen, "Sein Name ist Hase!," might be targeted for use at various grade levels. Each level will use the text, yet in varying ways. To see applications of readability links to the Standards click the appropriate grade level illustrations:
Grade 4: Links to
Grade 8: Links to Standards
Grade 12: Links to Standards