Reviewed OER Library

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Unit 5: Figurative Language Academy

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This resource was reviewed by OSPI in Spring 2015. Learn more about the review process and the data analysis approach.

Background from OER Project Review Team
Saylor is a non-profit foundation that hires teachers and professors to create course blueprints, locate, vet, and organize OER into a structured course format. This resource is one unit from a 9-unit course of study for Grade 7 English Language Arts and is reflective of the design of the entire online course. This resource is intended as a self-directed online course or to be used by teachers as a supplement. It is also useful for the homeschool community and alternative classroom programs. This should factor into the viewer

EQuIP (Learn more)

Revision needed (3.0)
Chart with scale of 'meets criteria' from 0 (None) to 3 (All). Alignment: 1.25, Key Shifts in the CCSS: 1.0, Instructional Supports: 0.75, Assessment: 0.0.

Achieve OER (Learn more)

Chart with scale from 0 (Weak) to 3 (Superior). Explanation: 1.0, Interactivity: , Exercises: 0.5, Deeper Learning: 0.67.

See standard error chart for the review scoring

Reviewer Comments (Learn more)

Moderate (2.75)

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This resource would be useful if a teacher needed a 1 part lesson to reinforce a targeted idea (i.e.- figurative language in mythology).

Strengths include:

  • A variety of figurative language in literature - poems, short story, mythology, tall tales
  • An okay progression through the unit - terms to short texts to longer texts
  • Author biographies offer a deeper understanding of the texts - Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, etc


  • No connections between subunits
  • No performance task as a cumulative assessment
  • No student activities around reading information tasks and skills


  • Offer a writing prompt that analyzes the effect of figurative language in the different genres. Compare and contrast writing prompt.
  • Assign students to compare and contrast author biographies to the story/poem they created.
  • A performance task would offer students a chance to prove independence/mastery of skills.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This resource is a compilation of teacher websites/wikispaces relating to figurative language and not a comprehensive unit. Perhaps consider this unit as a review of figurative language.

Overall, I would not use nor suggest the use of this unit without major overhaul.


  • Broken links with questionable sidebar advertising content for middle school students.
  • Materials inappropriate for use in middle school: texts too far above grade level band, standards too low.
  • Only a multiple choice assessment at the end of the unit (which is neither text dependent nor focused on identifying figurative language). No formative assessment.
  • Only reading at a low-level of rigor. No speaking and listening. No writing.


  • Increase rigor of work done with the poems. Replace high school texts with those at a middle school complexity.
  • Add assessment related to grade level standards and texts. Add formative assessments related to grade level standards throughout. Add a variety of assessments.
  • Integrate literacy skills across strands.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

This resource would be best used in ELA class where most students read at or near grade level. The reading standards are relatively strong. However, there are many gaps. It looks like all the units together may address more CCSS.


  • Does not address writing much and is limited to figurative language and poetry.

Strengths/Ideal Use:

For students who are reading at or above grade level, this unit would be challenging and rigorous. There are self-paced, independent activities and text is offered in a variety of ways; poetry, primary source documents, non-fiction, and fiction, etc.

There really isn't any teaching going on in this unit because it's designed for students to complete as an independent study. For classroom use, the teacher would need to choose one piece of writing and teach to that particular standard. The teacher would need to be experienced with scaffolding activities and write the lessons to include mini-lessons.


  • Some CCSS are duplicated under the same activities
  • 3 different writing standards are covered in this unit - Write arguments to support claims Write informative/explanatory texts Write narratives


  • Narrow it down to just one form of writing within the whole unit

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