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Actively Learn provides pre-made Knowledge sets for teachers to use with their classes. Actively Learn's Knowledge Sets are sequenced sets of texts that are meant to achieve depth in a topic. Our instructional team has put together these tips to help you think about putting together your own sets for topics that you'd like to explore with your students.
First, determine an objective for the entire text set (can be related to a topic, standard, anchor text, etc.).
- Students will understand the events and public attitudes leading to the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
- Students will identify the elements of persuasive writing and evaluate an argument based on the author’s reasoning and evidence.
- Students will examine how global warming is affecting different regions and populations around the world.
Next, Select and sequence texts to build critical content/background knowledge or create meaningful connections to the anchor text.
Tips for selecting text:
- Choose rich and engaging texts that allow students build knowledge or practice skills related to the learning objective.
- Include texts that provide different perspectives or unfamiliar views on a topic.
- Vary text type (informational vs. literary), length, and format.
- Consider text complexity.
Tips for sequencing text:
- Order texts in a way that encourages students to make meaningful connections between them or the
- Scaffold skills -- e.g., For a set related to character analysis, begin with a text that includes more examples of direct characterization before introducing texts with indirect characterization.
- Start with texts that provide background knowledge about a topic or issue.
Add instruction (notes and questions) to each text -- provide opportunities for formative assessment, feedback, and scaffolding.
- Overarching Objective: Students will identify the elements of persuasive writing and evaluate an argument based on the author’s reasoning and evidence.
- Text 1: Identify elements of persuasive writing; evaluate author’s credibility
- Text 2: Examine the structure of an argument; evaluate the evidence presented
- Texts 3 & 4: Examine counter-arguments; compare and contrast perspectives and