EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21 | EL Education Curriculum

EL Education Flex Curriculum: 2020-21

Last Updated: July 31, 2020 

The following recommendations were developed for implementation of the EL Education Grades K-8 Language Arts Curriculum for the 2020-2021 school year and are being incorporated into remote learning resources for the curriculum being created by EL Education.

These resources, adaptations of the existing curriculum, will support students whether they are experiencing remote learning, a hybrid approach, or are full-time in the classroom.

Guiding Principles for Recommendations

  • Prioritizing access to high-quality, grade level texts. The EL Education curriculum is designed to engage students in reading, thinking, talking, and writing about engaging grade level texts on meaningful topics, and this remains a core design principle when designing for the remote or hybrid learning environment. 

  • Placing the teacher at the center of the educational experience for students. Students have been disconnected from the school community, and in many situations, over the spring and summer, tremendous pressure was placed on families and caregivers to lead student learning. In the fall, placing the teacher at the center of the educational experience will help reconnect students to the school and the school community, and will release the pressure from families and caregivers.

  • Prioritizing small group differentiation to accelerate learning and address specific student needs. 

  • Offering flexibility to step between remote learning and classroom-based curriculum instruction to support as many potential schedules, and eventualities, as possible.

What's Coming: EL Education Flex Curriculum 2020-21

mid to end of July
Sample Schedules and Standards Crosswalks to be released
November
Materials Will Be Released on a Rolling Basis between July and November

Please see the tables below for links to available materials.

 

K-8 Teacher Tools

Material or Resource

Description and Access Link

Sample Schedules

These outline options for schools and districts whose instruction is in a remote and hybrid learning environment.

View K-8 Schedules

Benchmark Assessment Guidance

Benchmark assessments support teachers in identifying student microphases in order to provide instruction at their specific level.   The Benchmark Assessment guidance for Skills Block provides suggestions for administering the Benchmark Assessments in different settings, including online.

View Guidance

Standards Crosswalks

These charts show which standards or skills from the previous grade will be taught in the current grade-level materials. The chart includes recommendations to support students.

View K-8 Standards Crosswalk

Grades K-2 Materials

Component

Description and Access Link

Reading Foundational Skills Block

  • Instructional materials for K-2 provide daily lesson plans that be used synchronously or asynchronously
  • Whole group instruction based on grade level Skills Block lessons  - a 10 minute daily video and written lesson plan, to support facilitating classroom learning
  • Small-Group Differentiation - 15 minute daily written lesson plan for each microphase to support facilitating both remote and classroom learning
  • The Benchmark Assessment guidance for Skills Block provides suggestions for administering the Benchmark Assessments in different settings, including online.

View Module 1: Cycles 1-2

Skills Block videos - Coming Soon!

Module Lessons
  • Whole group instruction based on Module Lessons - 15-20 minute daily written lesson plan and corresponding student materials to support facilitating both remote and classroom learning
  • Read aloud videos of key anchor texts to provide text access to students 
  • Independent work - 15-20 minute daily student materials
  • Independent module activities as optional extensions - weekly student materials

View Module 1: Weeks 1-2

Grades 3-8 Materials

Type of Resource

Description

For Teachers: 
  • Lesson planner tool outlining which pieces of each curriculum module lesson to facilitate synchronously (live), and which pieces of each lesson students complete independently
      • Grades 3-5 only: Lesson planner tool contains recommendations for instruction for small group differentiation (based on the ALL Block)

Coming in August

For Students:

  • Student materials to support both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (independent of the teacher) learning. This includes the required materials for small-group differentiation.

Coming in August

Access to Texts

Access to the required trade books in our curriculum is one of the most urgent needs for teachers, schools, and districts during the COVID-19 pandemic.  EL Education is working to ensure that all trade books featured in our remote curriculum have flexible options for student access--including video read-alouds in K-2, and ebook or printable options for 3-8 -to ensure equitable access to learning for all students. Please visit the Trade Book Access page for more information

Addressing Sensitive Topics

Learning during these unprecedented times means teachers will need to provide support remotely, and in some instances may not be able to provide the depth of support necessary to address emotionally challenging content. 

We will be providing additional guidance for addressing sensitive topics found in our curriculum. These will be released with the resources for the 2020/2021 school year.

Grade Level Recommendations and Rationale

Modules Selected for 2020/2021 School Year with Rationale

To select the three modules to use in the 2020/2021 year, the following criteria were prioritized:

  • Maintaining diversity across a grade level and grade band considering authors, characters, and the stories being told
  • Ensuring content is appropriate for students in a fully remote environment where there might be less support and guidance from a teacher. If in a full-time classroom environment where students can be fully supported by the teacher in the way the module was intended, some of the modules selected to be omitted for 2020/2021 may be important to teach. In this situation, consider selecting a different module to remove. Note the * next to these modules in the list below.  
  • Minimizing impact in terms of standards

Grade

Modules Selected

Modules Omitted with Rationale

Grade K

  • KM1: Building Literacy in a Collaborative Classroom: Toys and Play
  • KM2: Learning through Science and Story: Weather Wonders
  • KM3: Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: Trees are Alive

 

  • KM4: Contributing to Community: Enjoying and Appreciating Trees has the least impact in terms of new standards, and also has the least impact in terms of introducing new content because it is a continuation of content from Module 3.

Grade 1

  • 1M1: Tools and Work
  • 1M2: What's Up in the Sky: A Study of the Sun, Moon, and Stars
  • 1M3: Growing as Researchers: Birds' Amazing Bodies

 

  • 1M4: Caring for Birds has the least impact in terms of new standards, and also has the least impact in terms of introducing new content because it is a continuation of content from Module 3.

Grade 2

  • 2M1: Schools and Community

  • 2M2: Learning through Science and Story: Fossils Tell of Earth's Changes
  • 2M3: Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: The Secret World of Pollination

 

  • 2M4: Providing for Pollinators has the least impact in terms of new standards, and also has the least impact in terms of introducing new content because it is a continuation of content from Module 3.

Grade 3

  • 3M1: Overcoming Learning Challenges Near and Far

  • 3M2: Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: Adaptations and the Wide World of Frogs
  • 3M4: Water Around the World

 

 

  • 3M3: Exploring Literary Classics has minimal impact in terms of new standards. Also, racial and gender stereotypes discussed in the module may be triggering for this age group given what is happening in the world. If fully remote these issues may be challenging for a teacher to provide support and sufficient guidance around.

 

 

Grade 4

  • 4M1: Poetry, Poets, and Becoming Writers
  • 4M2: Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: Animal Defense Mechanisms
  • 4M3: The American Revolution

 

  • 4M4: Responding to Inequality: Ratifying the 19th Amendment has the least impact in terms of new standards. The text also contains references to the Spanish Influenza and racial discrimination, both of which may be triggering for this age group given what is happening in the world. If fully remote these issues may be challenging for a teacher to provide support and sufficient guidance around.

 

Grade 5

  • 5M1: Stories of Human Rights

  • 5M2: Researching to Build Knowledge and Teach Others: Biodiversity in the Rainforest
  • 5M3: Athlete Leaders of Social Change

 

 

  • 5M4: The Impact of Natural Disasters has minimal impact in terms of new standards.

Grade 6: First Edition

  • 6M1: Myths: Not Just Long Ago
  • 6M3: Sustaining the Oceans

Choice of:

  • 6M2a: Rules to Live By
  • 6M2b: Voices of Adversity

 

  • 6M3a: The Land of the Golden Mountain  contains references to content, for example the opium dens and prostitution in San Francisco's Chinatown after the turn of the twentieth century, which may require additional teacher guidance. The negative representations of Chinatown could also contribute to fuel the racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination against Asians and people of Asian descent linked to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a fully remote environment, it may be challenging for a teacher to provide the necessary support for students to navigate this content.
  • 6M4: Insecticides: Costs vs. Benefits has minimal impact in terms of new standards.

 

Grade 7: First Edition

  • 7M1: Journeys and Survival
  • 7M4b: Water Is Life

Choose one of:

  • 7M2a: Working with Evidence: Working Conditions Then and Now
  • 7M2b: Identity and Transformation: Then and Now
  • 7M3: Slavery--The People Could Fly* is centered around excerpts of the text Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. This text was written for an adult audience and was first published in 1845. Complex and archaic language and language structures may be challenging to support students in the fully remote environment. Also, the racial discrimination discussed in the module may be triggering for this age group given what is happening in the world. If fully remote, it may be challenging for a teacher to ensure students are sufficiently supported and guided around the issues presented.
  • 7M4a: Screen Time and the Developing Brain is centered around texts that EL Education are unable to reproduce for the remote learning environment due to copyright restrictions.

Grade 8: First Edition

  • 8M1: Finding Home: Refugees
  • 8M2b: A Midsummer Night's Dream and the Comedy of Control
  • 8M4: Sustainability of the US Food Supply Chain
  • 8M2a: Taking a Stand is centered around the text To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This story, while award-winning, was written by a white author and centers on the white experience of racism. The central black characters are not portrayed as having agency, and therefore this perpetuates negative racial stereotypes. The module, as it is currently designed, does not offer the opportunity to examine the novel's point of view and framing in a critical manner. As a result, this was not included in the Grades 6-8 (second edition) curriculum, and we recommend omitting it in the 2020/2021 year.
  • 8M3a: Japanese-American Relations during World War II is centered around excerpts of the text Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. This was written for an adult audience and therefore contains complex language, structures, and content that may require more support than a teacher can provide in a remote environment. The content related to Japanese soldiers and concentration camps could contribute to racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination against Asians and people of Asian descent linked to the pandemic. In a remote environment, it may be challenging for a teacher to provide the necessary support for students to navigate this content.
  • 8M3b: The Civil Rights Movement and the Little Rock Nine is centered around the texts A Mighty Long Way by Carlotta Walls Lanier and Little Rock Girl 1957 by Shelley Tougas. A Mighty Long Way was written for an adult audience and therefore contains complex language, structures, and content that may require more support than a teacher can provide in a remote environment. The racial discrimination discussed in the module may be triggering for this age group given what is happening in the world. If remote, it may be challenging for a teacher to ensure students are sufficiently supported and guided around the issues presented. EL Education is unable to reproduce the photo essay titled Little Rock Girl 1957 by Shelley Tougas due to copyright restrictions.

Grade 6: Second Edition

  • 6M1: Greek Mythology
  • 6M3: American Indian Boarding Schools
  • 6M4: Remarkable Accomplishments in Space Science

 

  • 6M2: Critical Problems and Design Solutions has minimal impact in terms of new standards. Also, when looking across the Grade 6 modules in the context of current world events, the stories of historically marginalized communities were prioritized if the central text is appropriate for students in the fully remote learning environment.

Grade 7: Second Edition

  • 7M1: The Lost Children of 

    Sudan
  • 7M3: The Harlem Renaissance
  • 7M4: Plastic Pollution 

 

  • 7M2: Epidemics addresses content which may be triggering given what is happening in the world related to COVID-19. If fully remote these issues may be challenging for a teacher to provide support and sufficient guidance around.

Grade 8: Second Edition

  • 8M1: Folklore of Latin America
  • 8M2: Food Choices
  • 8M4: Lessons from Japanese American Internment

 

  • 8M3: Voices of the Holocaust* has minimal impact in terms of new standards. Also, when looking across the Grade 8 modules in the context of current world events, it was determined that two modules back-to-back both focused on concentration/internment camps (8M3 and Japanese American Internment in 8M4) might add additional emotional strain to students at an already stressful time. Given the racist and xenophobic violence and discrimination against Asians and people of Asian descent linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, 8M4 was prioritized to ensure students who have personal connections to this topic are represented across the 6-8 grade band.

 

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