Cluster 1: Text Types and Purposes

General Information
Number: LAFS.8.W.1
Title: Text Types and Purposes
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: 8
Strand: Writing Standards

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1a
Provide an introduction that introduces the writer’s claims and distinguishes it from alternate or opposing claims.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1b
Create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s claim.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1c
Write arguments to support claims with logical reasoning and relevant evidence from credible sources.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1d
Use words, phrases and clauses to link opinions and reasons and clarify relationship of ideas.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1e
Maintain a consistent style and voice throughout writing.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.1f
Provide a concluding statement or section that supports and summarizes the argument presented.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2a
Create an organizational structure for writing that groups information logically (e.g., cause/effect, compare/contrast, descriptions and examples) to support paragraph focus.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2b
Provide a clear introduction, previewing information to follow and summarizing stated focus.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2c
Develop the topic (e.g., add additional information related to the topic) with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations or other information and examples.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2d
Use transitional words, phrases and clauses that connect ideas and create cohesion within writing.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2e
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2f
Maintain a consistent style and voice throughout writing (e.g., third person for formal style, accurate and efficient word choice, sentence fluency, voice should be active versus passive).
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2g
Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a coherent manner with relevant evidence.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2h
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.2i
Report on a topic with a logical sequence of ideas, appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details that support the main ideas.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3a
Orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters .
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3b
Organize ideas and events so that they unfold naturally.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3c
When appropriate, use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3d
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.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3e
Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3f
Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.
LAFS.8.W.1.AP.3g
Use literacy devices (e.g., similes, metaphors, hyperbole, personification, imagery) in narrative writing.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

Gr. 8 Lesson 1-Sponging Off the Everglades:

Students will be able to: 

  • Describe how social and economic needs for water affects the water in the Everglades ecosystem
  • Explain 3 ways that the Everglades are necessary for our daily lives
  • List 3 ways to conserve water
  • Quantify the percentages of water usage by different South Florida user groups
  • Create a mathematical model using a pie chart to illustrate water usage by user group in South Florida
  • Create an informational brochure about the importance of water to the Everglades and the need for water conservation

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 8 Lesson 3-Everglades Dilemmas:

Students will be able to:

  • Describe how different social and economic decisions impact the Everglades
  • Analyze and select actions related to water dilemmas associated with the Everglades
  • Write an explanatory essay about how decisions made on a daily basis have the potential to impact the Everglades

Type: Lesson Plan

Where Should We Move? STEM Lesson Plan:

Students will collect data to identify planet composition, average temperature, and the distance of some planets within the Milky Way Galaxy from the Sun. Students will complete two-way tables to make comparisons. Students will then analyze and interpret their data. Students will make inferences and justify their reasoning.

Type: Lesson Plan

It's a Lovely Home, But...Using Multiple Texts to Aid in Decision Making:

In this lesson, students will learn about a subject as they read and analyze multiple text types before writing a business letter explaining a decision they will be asked to make. This lesson incorporates poetry, authentic non-fiction, photography, and writing.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring the Future of NASA:

In this lesson, students will read and analyze two nonfiction articles and watch a short video about work at NASA--information includes the retiring of the space shuttle program and possible goals and missions in the future, including ideas for space shuttle replacements and capturing asteroids. Text-dependent questions and answer keys are provided for both articles. At the end of the lesson, students will make a written claim regarding NASA's future plans for space exploration and research, citing evidence from both articles and the video to support their claim. A rubric for the writing assessment is also included. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Rain in Summer: What a Bummer, Or Is It?:

In this lesson, students will analyze the symbols and imagery present in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "Rain in Summer" to determine its tone and theme. Formative assessment checks are included in the form of student handouts with text-based questions and charts. Students will also write a mini-essay as a summative assessment in which they will develop a claim about the poem's theme, providing text-based examples as support.

Type: Lesson Plan

One for All? Or Not. A Close Read of Distresses of a Frontier Man:

This lesson is based on Letter XII: Distresses of a Frontier Man by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. This "letter" is one of a collection of essays in an epistolary format from the collection, Letters from an American Farmer (1782). In this lesson, students will focus on using various vocabulary strategies to decode challenging vocabulary words from the text. To assist in comprehension, students will read and analyze the text through a chunking strategy where they will participate in text-marking, summarizing, and answering text-dependent questions. The culminating assignment will allow students to develop an argumentative written response that is supported by the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Be Careful What You Wish For: A Close Reading Lesson:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of the short story "The Monkey's Paw" by W. W. Jacobs. Students will work to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary words from the story, answer text-dependent questions, and examine a moral of the story, "Be careful what you wish for." In the summative assessment students will write their own narrative that shares the same moral. This lesson includes a vocabulary graphic organizer and key, text-dependent questions and key, a story planning graphic organizer, and a rubric for the narrative.

Type: Lesson Plan

What does it mean to be dense?:

Students will use card stock patterns to create two mini-boxes that they can fill with three different substances. The density of each substance will be compared when contained in both the smaller and larger boxes. Students will use their observations to develop an argument describing how the change in volume of the box affected the density of the substance.

SC.8.P.8.4 will not be completely covered; only the physical property of density will be addressed.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Fast Can You Go:

Students will apply skills (making a scatter plot, finding Line of Best Fit, finding an equation and predicting the y-value of a point on the line given its x-coordinate) to a fuel efficiency problem and then consider other factors such as color, style, and horsepower when designing a new coupe vehicle.

Type: Lesson Plan

Remembering D-Day: A Close Reading Lesson:

This is a close reading lesson based on the article "Remembering the D-Day Invasion with Salutes, Tears and Friendship." This article focuses on the anniversary of D-Day and the effect it had on soldiers and civilians who experienced the attack. This lesson provides an opportunity for close reading, vocabulary acquisition, and writing a summary. A vocabulary organizer and key, text-dependent questions and keys, and a writing rubric have been included.

Type: Lesson Plan

CIS: Fat Weighs Heavy on the Brain:

This CIS lesson is a deep reading lesson intended to be completed with 8th grade students. The article presents research regarding the impact obesity has not only on physical health, but on cognition as well. Students return to the article looking for information three times. Students present the evidence they collect while reading in a short writing assignment that is re-visited and shaped throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pygmalion: A Mythological Inspiration:

In this unit, students will discover the relevance of Greek mythology as they unravel the story of Pygmalion, the lonely sculptor who carved out of ivory his true love, just like Professor Higgins "carved" out of the slums of London his ideal mate in the stage play Pygmalion. Students will conduct three close readings of Thomas Bulfinch's Pygmalion to answer text-dependent questions, work with vocabulary from the text, and construct a plot diagram of the myth. Students will also work as a class to read an abridged excerpt from Act II of George Bernard Shaw's award winning play, Pygmalion. The plot of the play is augmented with songs from the filmed musical My Fair Lady. Students will compare and contrast key characters and their traits from both texts. In the end of unit assessment, students will create their own narrative version of the Pygmalion myth.

Type: Lesson Plan

CIS: The Science of Sleepy Teenagers:

This CIS lesson is a deep reading lesson intended to be completed with 8th grade students. The article presents science on the sleep patterns of adolescents and asks students to determine how the information should impact school start times. Students return to the article looking for information three times. Students present their claim and text-based evidence in a short writing assignment that is revisited and shaped throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading of Echo and Narcissus:

In this lesson, students will conduct three close readings of the highly entertaining myth "Echo and Narcissus" as retold by Thomas Bulfinch. Through these readings, students will answer text-dependent questions about the myth, work to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary and sort them into different categories, analyze character motivation, and determine the settings used in the story. For the end of lesson assessment, students will determine a theme for the myth and write about that theme in an extended response paragraph.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative:

This two-day lesson, "A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words: From Image to Detailed Narrative," by Traci Gardner, is provided by ReadWriteThink.org, a website developed by the International Reading Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, with support from the Verizon Foundation.

In the lesson, students view an image that tells a story and brainstorm the possible event or situation the image illustrates. Each student then writes a narrative from the point of view of one of the characters, revealing the character's thoughts/feelings and the events that led up to the image or the events that will follow.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Words We Live By: Your Annotated Guide to the Constitution:

The goal of this one to two day exemplar from Student Achievement Partner web resources is to give students the opportunity to observe the dynamic nature of the Constitution through the practice of close reading and writing habits. By reading and re-reading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will explore the questions Monk raises and perhaps even pursue additional avenues of inquiry. When combined with writing about the passage, not only will students form a deeper appreciation of Monk’s argument and the value of struggling with complex text, but of the Preamble of the Constitution itself.

Type: Lesson Plan

What's In A Name?: A Curriculum Unit Analyzing Identity in Multicultural Literature:

This lesson examines the portrayal of the significance of names and identity in two multicultural texts. The purpose is to introduce students to the concept of how names may be representative of identity and cultural/ethnic influences. Close analytical reading skills culminate in a narrative essay exploring a significant character's early life. Student handouts with activities, assignments, graphic organizers, and rubric are provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

What is Normal? Exploring Connotations and Denotations:

The goal of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to explore the connotations and denotations of the word "normal" and its various meanings. Through the use of "Us and Them," a personal essay by David Sedaris, students will explore the various beliefs and points of view of "normal" based on the picture painted by Sedaris. Students will need to consider the emotional context of words and how diction reveals an author's tone and message, as well as how the use of irony can impact the tone of a piece. Students will also read and analyze a Time article, "An In-Depth View of America by the Numbers," by Nancy Gibbs. For the summative assessment, students will write an explanatory essay (several prompts are provided) about normality using evidence from the texts studied in the lesson for support.

Type: Lesson Plan

To the Heart of Human Expression: Form and Theme in Poetry (Part 2 of 3):

In this second lesson of a three-part unit, students will explore how to identify and explain theme in poetry. Small group and full class discussions will be included as will a review of poetic and sound devices. Using Shakespeare's "Sonnet 71" and poetry of the Holocaust, students will analyze two poems and write theme analysis paragraphs for one of them with the help of a graphic organizer and rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Bike Club Trip:

In this activity the students will rank different locations for a bike club's next destination. In order to do so, the students must use Pythagorean Theorem and well as analyze data of the quantitative and qualitative type.

Type: Lesson Plan

Agree to Argue: The Art of Argumentation:

This focus of this lesson is to provide students with an opportunity to write arguments to support a claim, including evidence, research, rhetorical devices, and a counterclaim(s). Students will draft an argumentative essay, peer edit each others" text, and then revise their own product. Graphic organizers, argumentative techniques, and a rubric are included in this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier-An Intro to Analysis & Argumentation Part I of III:

In this lesson, students will read chapters 1-7 of Ismael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier while learning how to analyze the chapters using a reader response journal, create an oral argument through a Seed Discussion, and in writing a central idea statement.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier - An Intro to Analysis & Argumentation Part II of III:

In this lesson students will independently read, outside of class, chapters 8-14 of Ismael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. In class, students will learn how to create position statements as they read several informational articles and speeches about a variety of topics. Students will also participate in a Philosophical Chairs discussion and use a SOAPTone strategy to help them with their creation of position statements. 

Type: Lesson Plan

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier- An Intro to Analysis & Argumentation Part III of III:

In this lesson (part 3 of 3 in a unit), students will read chapters 15-21 of Ismael Beah's memoir, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier while learning how to create an argumentation essay using a Socratic Seminar discussion, a SOAPTone Strategy, Opinion/Proof Two Column Notes, reading articles and graphics.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: The Long Night of Little Boats:

In this lesson, students will analyze a rich literary nonfiction text illustrating the rescue of British soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. Through use of repeated readings, text dependent questions, class discussion, and two writing tasks, students will examine the miraculous nature of what happened at Dunkirk and how shared human values played a part in the outcome of this event. This lesson was designed originally for use in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, where teaching students to go beneath a surface understanding of historical events is at a premium. Although this exemplar was designed to be used in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, it is appropriate for use in an ELA class as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Superhero Debate:

In this lesson, students will gather research and engage in a series of debates to determine the "Supreme Superhero." As students debate and the class progresses to a "final four" and then a National Championship, several debate methods will be used: Socratic Seminar, Philosophical Chairs, and a Fishbowl activity. After the "Supreme Superhero" is chosen, students will individually write an essay arguing why the hero deserved to win and include counter arguments for an additional hero.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Surviving Extreme Conditions:

In this tutorial, you will practice identifying relevant evidence within a text as you read excerpts from Jack London's short story, "To Build a Fire." Then, you'll practice your writing skills as you draft a short response using examples of relevant evidence from the story.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

Close Reading Exemplar: Dulce et Decorum Est:

The goal of the exemplar from Student Achievement Partner web resources is to give students practice in reading and writing about poetry. The poem makes connections to World War I as students closely analyze the poet's depiction of war. Students explore complex text through a) re-reading, paraphrasing, and discussing ideas, (b) achieving an accurate basic understanding of the stanzas of the poem, (c) achieving an accurate interpretive understanding of the piece, and (d) building a coherent piece of writing that both constructs and communicates solid understanding of the poem.

Type: Teaching Idea

Tutorials

Fact and Opinion: Parents, Teens, and Texting:

In this tutorial from PBS, students will watch videos by and about teens for whom texting is a part of their daily life. Then they will evaluate statistics about texting and use those facts to form an opinion about texting, such as whether parents are justified in reading their teens' texts. They will be able to evaluate and interpret facts to form an opinion. During this process, they will also read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.

Type: Tutorial

Character Change: The Diary of Anne Frank:

In this tutorial from PBS, students will explore what Anne Frank's writing and a video dramatization of her diary reveal about her character and how it changed while she was in hiding. They will develop their literacy skills as they explore how her character changes. During this process, they will also read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Freak the Mighty: Heroes Come in All Sizes:

Freak the Mighty is the story of a friendship between Max, who is big for his age and has learning disabilities, and Kevin, who is a genius, but is short and unable to walk on his own. In this unit, students explore how expectations for students with disabilities are influenced by appearances, behaviors, and stereotypes as they cite textual evidence that supports an analysis of what the text says, determine/analyze the text's theme, and engage effectively in collaborative small-group discussions.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorial

Surviving Extreme Conditions:

In this tutorial, you will practice identifying relevant evidence within a text as you read excerpts from Jack London's short story, "To Build a Fire." Then, you'll practice your writing skills as you draft a short response using examples of relevant evidence from the story.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.