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New York State Common Core ELA & Literacy Curriculum 9.1.3:

EngageNY/Public Consulting Group

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Note that this resource was reviewed during the Spring 2014 review period. The resource may or may not have been updated since the review. Check with the content creator to see if there is a more recent version available.


This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2014. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

The version reviewed was last updated: 9/2/2013.

Background from OER Project Review Team
EngageNY is developed and maintained by the New York State Education Department. In order to assist schools and districts with the implementation of the Common Core, they have provided curricular modules and units in P-12 ELA and math that can be adopted or adapted for local purposes. This resource is one unit in module 1 of a full-year grade 9 ELA curriculum, developed by Public Consulting Group. Modules include daily lesson plans, guiding questions, recommended texts, scaffolding strategies, examples of proficient student work, and other classroom resources.

EQuIP (Learn more)

Exemplar if improved (10.5)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 3.0, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 2.5, Instructional Supports: 2.5, Assessment: 2.5.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 3.0, Interactivity: 0.0, Exercises: 2.75, Deeper Learning: 2.75.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

None (0.5)

Comments/Ideal Use:

The close reading is structured in some cases almost as clues in a mystery to be uncovered, annotated and used as evidence to create a point of view. The Elizabethan language serves as a complexity that the students need to master and with the help of the vocabulary exercises, they do. Quick Writes act as practice in written communication and as most writers will agree: daily writing is important to learn this skill; this is provided in the unit. The unit engages the student and promotes further study of Shakespearian drama and other literature that is outside of the modern publications, while giving the student opportunities to practice close reading, annotation, writing from evidence, meaningful vocabulary growth and exploration while studying complex language. And enjoy the process.

Because of the richness of this unit in activities, film, discussions, and writing, this unit would be well suited to replace a less active in vitality or breadth of the textbook. The teacher has a great deal of help in this unit. What used to be call a teacher-proof package.


  • This unit is aimed at developing habits and skills related to close reading, annotation, using evidence, building vocabulary. The unit does this all of this with much thought and rigor. With the detail guidance from the Instructor Supports which outlines all of the units, and the detail description of each lesson complete with Teacher Action, Student Actions, and Instructional Notes (extensions, supports, common misunderstandings) the path through the unit is clear for both teacher and student.


  • Perhaps developing some rubrics or have peer to peer editing to improve on the evidence writing processes when doing the "Quick Write" activity.

Comments/Ideal Use:

Anyone could teach this 4 - 5 week unit with the exception of needing to create clearer assessment tools and rubrics. The unit appears to be very complete in that it includes text based inquiries as well as text to video interpretation analysis. Students read Romeo and Juliet and watch selected portions of Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film version. There are ample opportunities for student engagement with the text, close reading, annotation, text based evidence, and vocabulary building. Lessons begin with a clear presentation of the expectations. Student reflections are incorporated into class discussions. The lessons include character study, Shakespeare's use of language, how the play is impacted by its structure, and comparison to the film version using group responses, class discussions, independent reading and responding, and a final independent essay. There are some terrific support resources included in the unit.


  • My only reservations / criticism of the unit is in the lack of or type of assessment tools and rubrics. The rubrics they recommend are the New York Regent's Text Analysis Rubric. It doesn't closely align with the Smarter Balanced Rubrics we are to use in Washington State. I won't call it user friendly.


  • Establish clear criteria to determine student mastery. Provide additional assessment tools and rubrics for the short and long written assignments.

Comments/Ideal Use:

This lesson is ideal for 9th grade English. There are ample supports for ELL students and struggling readers, both through the "instructional notes" given in each of the 20 units as well as in the structure of the unit as a whole. In this unit students watch sections of a film version of the play and then do close textual analysis of small, carefully selected, portions of the text. This integration of the visual and the interaction with the complex text is an ideal balance. I am unable to find any extensions to the learning that would provide an honors or gifted class deeper or more complex interactions with the text, however.


  • The unit focus attention on the identified standards.
  • The unit opens with a clear and specific introduction.
  • The entire unit is outlined in a chart that provides the texts under study in the lesson as well as the learning outcomes or goals.
  • After the unit outline, each lesson is laid out clearly. Specific standards are listed, assessments are listed (both formative and summative), vocabulary is listed and lesson agenda/overview is given.
  • After each of these lesson overviews the resource provides a learning sequence chart that provides explicit instructions for teacher actions, student actions, and instructional notes (to include extensions, supports, common misunderstandings). Each of the materials needed for instruction is included with a key.
  • There are speaking and listening activities integrated into most of the lessons.
  • The learning tasks in lessons 1 - 18 build student skills and knowledge that they need to apply to the end-of-unit assessment. Throughout the lessons students are encouraged, through text-dependent questions, to closely examine Shakespeare's language and how he develops the complex characters of Romeo and Juliet.
  • The Unit addresses RL.7, in an engaging and effective way. Students compare Juliet's speech in act 3 with a painting by Marc Chagall.


  • Teachers may not know how to score the assessments. There is a rubric for the end-of-unit assessment and two sample responses but no indications that I could find, of the quality of those responses and the scores they would receive on the rubric.
  • Lack of extensions to provide an honors or gifted students with a more rigorous experience with the text. In the "instructional notes" section there are occasionally "extensions" listed but they are more to add on to the learning for everyone rather than more complex tasks.


  • Collect an anchor set of scored student responses.
  • Add an addendum of activities for gifted learners.

Comments/Ideal Use:

While the unit does engage the student actively, the format of the lessons is repetitive. The support remains the same throughout the unit rather than scaffolding. The unit does involve multimedia and has the student analyze that media, not simply view it. The strength comes from the strong questions and model responses so that a teacher can easily use the unit as is or adapt it.

This unit would be best used in a traditional classroom; however, it could be adapted to a blended or online class. The clear explanations and examples make it usable by new or experienced teachers.


  • Clear text dependent questions that build student understanding.
  • Sample responses given for student questions, assignments and assessments.


  • Although the lessons do bring in media and some varied discussion techniques, they are repetitive. For example, all but last lessons end in a quick write, have students read at home and write summary, repeat the use of the same film tool.


  • Unit would be strengthened with additional strategies or alternate assignments for ELL, below and above grade level students.
  • Adapt to individual classes to vary the approach.

Creative Commons License
This work by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.