LAFS.8.RI.2.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 8
Strand: Reading Standards for Informational Text
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: EBSR , MS , MC , GR , SHT , DDHT item(s)
  • Assessed with: LAFS.8.L.3.4, LAFS.8.L.3.5
  • Assessment Limits :
    Items should focus on grade-appropriate words. Items should not focus on dictionary word meanings but should focus on how the words and phrases function within the context of the text. Items should focus on words and phrases that have figurative or allusive meanings central to the meaning of the text rather than isolated, incidental vocabulary. Items may ask about words with discrete context clues in close proximity or words whose meaning is conveyed more implicitly throughout the text. Items may ask students to employ various strategies to explore word meaning, including the application of context clues, roots, or affixes. Items may require students to make connections between words and to delve into figurative or connotative meanings. Items should not include obscure analogies or allusions and should only reference grade-appropriate texts.
  • Text Types :
    Items assessing these standards may be used with one or more grade-appropriate informational texts. Texts may vary in complexity.
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Technology-Enhanced Item Descriptions section on pages 3 and 4 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess these standards (excluding the Editing Task Choice and Editing Task item types). The Sample Response Mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the examples below.
  • Task Demand and Sample Response Mechanisms :

    Task Demand

    Determine the meaning of words or phrases, using context as a clue.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of a word or phrase from the passage. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple correct meanings of a word or phrase from the passage. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select a word’s or phrase’s meaning and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning. 

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to select a word’s or phrase’s meaning and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning.

    Task Demand

    Analyze the impact of word choice on the text’s meaning or tone.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to interpret the meaning of words or phrases and then to select the impact they have on the text.
    • Requires the student to select the tone or meaning of the text and then select words or phrases that helped create that tone or meaning. 

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the impact of word choice on a certain section of the text. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple ways in which words or phrases affect a certain section of the text. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the text’s meaning or tone and then to select words from the text that support that meaning or tone. 

    Open Response

    • Requires the student to explain in one or two sentences how the impact of word choice affects the text’s meaning or tone.

    Task Demand

    Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases, using grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to determine how common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots may provide clues to the meaning of a word.

    Task Demand

    Interpret figures of speech in context.Multiple Choice • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language from the passage. 

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning. 

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to select the meaning of figurative language and then to select context clues from the text to support the meaning. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple pieces of textual evidence that act as context clues when determining the meaning of figurative language.

    Task Demand

    Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select how a relationship between two words serves as a context clue for the meaning of one of the words. 

    Drag-and-Drop Hot Text

    • Requires the student to move words into a graphic organizer to demonstrate their relationship with one another. 

    GRID

    • Requires the student to move words into a graphic organizer to demonstrate their relationship with one another.

    Task Demand

    Distinguish among the connotations of words with similar denotations.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the reason an author chose a particular word or phrase instead of a word or phrase with a similar denotation.
    • Requires the student to select a different word or phrase that would maintain the connotation of a word or phrase in the text. 

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple ways a different word choice might change the tone or meaning of the text. 

    GRID

    • Requires the student to match words with similar denotations with the change in connotation each word has to the original word.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1000000: M/J Intensive Language Arts (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1000010: M/J Intensive Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1000020: M/J Intensive Reading and Career Planning (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1001070: M/J Language Arts 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1001080: M/J Language Arts 3 Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1002020: M/J Language Arts 3 Through ESOL (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1002180: M/J English Language Development (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1008070: M/J Reading 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1008080: M/J Reading 3, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1100000: M/J Library Skills/Information Literacy (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7810013: Access M/J Language Arts 3 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1002181: M/J Developmental Language Arts Through ESOL (Reading) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1010000: M/J Literacy through Film & Literature (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond (current))
1010010: M/J Literacy through World Literature (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond (current))
1010020: M/J Literacy through Philosophy (Specifically in versions: 2016 and beyond (current))
1400025: M/J Peers as Partners in Learning (Specifically in versions: 2019 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4a: Identify and interpret an analogy within a text.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4b: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative (i.e., metaphors, similes and idioms) and connotative meanings.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4c: Analyze how the use of figurative, connotative or technical terms affects the meaning or tone of text.

Related Resources

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

Formative Assessments

Reagan Address:

The student will read an excerpt from the presidential address “Ronald Reagan Address at Moscow State University.” The student will determine the meanings of words and phrases as they are used in the speech and analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.

Type: Formative Assessment

Half Full or Half Empty:

The student will determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text and analyze specific word choices on meaning and tone.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lady Bird Vocabulary :

The student will read the text “Lady Bird Johnson: Journal Entry, November 22, 1963, Assassination of President J. F. Kennedy” and complete a graphic organizer to determine the meanings of words and phrases and their impact on meaning and tone.

Type: Formative Assessment

Language of a Man:

The student will read the informational text “I am a Man” and focus on selected vocabulary words to first determine the meaning of those words, and then to analyze the impact of why specific words were used and how they influence and help to craft the tone of the article.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

The Link between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration:

This is a lesson that addresses standards and misconceptions associated with Big Idea 18 about Matter and Energy Transformations as related to photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson also embeds a review of other related standards for which the students possesses prior knowledge. The lesson is vertically aligned to review classification of organisms, taxonomy, and build from related introductory activities into learning about cell types, organelles and their structures, and functions, with an emphasis on the chloroplast and the mitochondrion and their role in photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson scaffolds text coding, note taking, charting, answering media dependent questions and culminates in a summative written essay assessment. An alternative short response exam has been included which could be used as an exam or the questions could be used as formative questions throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Thank You, Mr. Lincoln!:

This web resource from the Civil War Trust will engage students through an analysis of primary source documents as they work to discuss the meaning and significance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

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

Forever Alive:

In this close reading lesson, students will be asked to use multiple strategies to respond to informational text in way that is aligned to the state standards, requiring that they respond with explicit details drawn from the passage. With this short, free-standing article, teachers can incorporate this mini-lesson into their already set curriculum to reinforce the standards and skills being taught. This lesson would also make an excellent small group resource. Attachments needed for this lesson are all provided and include text-dependent questions, graphic organizers, and an objective summary writing prompt with rubric.

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

Run For Your Life!:

Based on a student-focused scenario encouraging healthier lifestyles, students will perform a close and careful reading of an article encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. During the lesson, students will analyze data from Consumer Reports comparing and contrasting treadmills and elliptical exercisers. Using information gathered, students will compile data and persuade administrators to buy equipment that will align with the provided budget and fit in the given space.

Type: Lesson Plan

Teaching Tolerance: Mary Church Terrell:

This is a Teaching Tolerance lesson centering on Mary Church Terrell. The text shows the role of Mary Church Terrell and the NACW in working for civil rights in the decades before the modern civil rights movement. This lesson is very strong in vocabulary development (including using both context clues and word parts to determine meaning), summarizing, and author's purpose and perspective. The lesson could be used in either Language Arts or Social Studies classrooms and lends itself well to further research.

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

Close Reading Exemplar: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass:

The goal of this two to three day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to explore the point of view of a man who survived slavery. By reading and rereading the passage closely, combined with classroom discussion about it, students will explore the various beliefs and points of view Douglass experienced as he became increasingly aware of the unfairness of his life. Students will need to consider the emotional context of words and how diction (word choice) affects an author's message. When combined with writing about the passage and teacher feedback, students will form a deeper understanding of how slavery affected those involved.

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

Original Student Tutorial

Read Between the Lines: Understanding Analogies and Allusions:

Explore allusions and analogies and how authors use figurative language in their writing throughout this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

Teaching Tolerance: Mary McLeod Bethune:

This is a lesson from Teaching Tolerance that centers on Mary McLeod Bethune. Students will read an interview excerpt and focus on vocabulary and connections within the text.

Type: Teaching Idea

Tutorial

Symbolism: Keely's Mountain:

In this tutorial from PBS, students will read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities as they begin to recognize and understand the relationship between symbolism and one's sense of identity in text.

Type: Tutorial

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

Run For Your Life!:

Based on a student-focused scenario encouraging healthier lifestyles, students will perform a close and careful reading of an article encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. During the lesson, students will analyze data from Consumer Reports comparing and contrasting treadmills and elliptical exercisers. Using information gathered, students will compile data and persuade administrators to buy equipment that will align with the provided budget and fit in the given space.

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades 6-12

Read Between the Lines: Understanding Analogies and Allusions:

Explore allusions and analogies and how authors use figurative language in their writing throughout this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorial

Read Between the Lines: Understanding Analogies and Allusions:

Explore allusions and analogies and how authors use figurative language in their writing throughout this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

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