EL Education.

Meet the Modules: Module Structure

How does the structure of a module incorporate reading, writing, speaking, listening, and language skills?

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." —Steve Jobs, entrepreneur

Each module comprises eight weeks of instruction, broken into three units. Each unit contains two assessments: one in the middle and one at the end of the unit. Unit 3 has an additional assessment, a performance task that is a more supported project, which often involves research. 

Every module has been designed to have a compelling "story," or conceptual through-line, that will make sense to both teachers and students from the first lesson of Unit 1 to the final lesson of Unit 3. Unit 1 engages students in the topic and helps them build background knowledge to understand the "so what?" Then, in Unit 2, students dig deeper to find out more by reading further about the topic. Unit 3 requires students to apply their learning to create an authentic product in the performance task.

The sequence of the texts in a module unfolds logically. Students engage in a topic while building their knowledge and skills. Through the content, students are guided toward mastery of the standards taught and assessed in that module. 

Learning Target

I can describe the structure of the modules.

 

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Watch: The Structure of the Modules

Use the questions below to guide your viewing of the Structure of the Modules presentation below. The presentation can be enlarged to full screen after you hit the "play" button.

  1. Where do the assessments occur in a unit? Why do you think this is? 
     
  2. What makes Unit 3 unique? Why might that be important in terms of engaging students? 
     
  3. Given what students typically do in each unit, where do you think most of the reading standards will be assessed? Why?
     
  4. Where do you think most of the writing standards will be assessed? Why?

Read: Analyzing the Structure of a Module

Read the two module overview documents below. Notice where each of the four ELA strands—reading; writing; speaking and listening; and language—is assessed in each module and how they work together to promote student learning. Use the Module Structure note-catcher to keep track of what you notice for reflection/discussion.

Step 1:
Read the Week At-a-Glance chart for Grade 3 Module 3B: Analyzing Narrative and Supporting Opinion: Wolves in Fact and Fiction.

Step 2:
Then, read the Week At-a-Glance chart for Grade 6 Module 2B: Voices of Adversity and respond to the following questions.

  1. What do you notice about the structure of the two modules through the lens of assessment of the strands?
     

  2. Where are each of the strands assessed?
     

  3. Are there any patterns across the two modules?


Dig Deeper

To learn more about the assessment design process in EL Education Grades 3–8 ELA Curriculum, read:  

Preface to the Modules: Introduction to Grades 3–8 ELA Curriculum: An EL Education document introducing our 3–8 ELA curriculum.


Synthesis

For Teachers...

  1. You have seen the structure of a typical module, and analyzed the structures of two modules from the curriculum. In order to assess your understanding, pretend you need to explain the module structure to a parent of one of your students. In your own words, how would you describe the structure of the modules? 

For School Leaders...

  1. You have seen the structure of a typical module, and analyzed the structures of two modules from the curriculum. In order to assess your understanding, pretend you need to explain the module structure to a teacher on your staff. In your own words, how would you describe the structure of the modules?