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Literacy Design Collaborative Modules

The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) is a national community of educators providing a teacher-designed and research-proven framework, online tools, and resources for creating literacy-rich assignments and courses across content areas. The work of LDC partners in schools and districts across the country has enabled tens of thousands of teachers to improve students’ literacy skills.

Many Colorado teachers are currently using LDC modules in their classrooms to support authentic reading and writing practices. In an effort to provide quality resources and tools to support the implementation of the Colorado Academic Standards, educators have created LDC modules to augment/support the secondary sample instructional units (grades 6-12) in reading, writing, and communicating, science, comprehensive health, and social studies.

The modules below illuminate content-specific literacy practices connected to the learning experiences and/or performance assessments of the middle and high school sample instructional units. In the coming months, these modules will be evaluated by a panel of Colorado LDC jurists to help further refine and strengthen this work.

If you are interested in piloting and providing feedback on the use and effectiveness of a module in your classroom, please contact Amy Spicer at the Colorado Education Initiative.

Advance to Samples in a Specific Content Area:

A Special Thank You to...

The Standards and Instructional Support team would like to thank Lisa Baer, Lauri Brandt, Emilie Benke, Melissa Carver, Lisa Gatzke, Kailynn Hatler, Jennifer McDermid, Catherine Prenot, Kimba Rael, Gena Rowell, and Jennifer Varrella for their invaluable contributions to the LDC modules. Their expertise and content knowledge was instrumental in creating the modules and the support they provide for helping Colorado educators working to help all students think, read, argue, and analyze as writers, scientists, historians, and health-conscious citizens.

Comprehensive Health

High School Module: Happy is the New Healthy

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Happy is the New Healthy." This unit focuses on mental/emotional wellness with an emphasis on advocacy. Across the unit’s 3-4 week duration, students will define various issues of mental/emotional health (depression, anxiety and self-harm), in order to familiarize themselves with a multitude of resources to support mental/emotional health, and improve communication skills to meaningfully advocate for mental/emotional health on behalf of themselves and others. Additionally, students will leave with an understanding of the impact diversity and respect play in creating a more positive environment within their school.

 

High School Module: Goal Setting, Self-Management, and Positive Decision Making

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Goal Setting, Self-Management, and Positive Decision Making." This unit looks at substance abuse through the lenses of healthy goal setting, self-management, and positive decision making; behaviors that impact relationships throughout a person’s life. The module may be used as an extension of the performance assessment of the sample unit, or as a stand alone module. Students will be taking on the roles of a teen advocate and teen user/abuser. They will work collaboratively to create an action plan that addresses the problem, identifies resources, and offers viable solution(s).

 

8th Grade Module: Who Influences Me?

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Who Influences Me?" This unit allows students to analyze the impact that media, culture and peers have on an individual’s development of communication, advocacy, and self-management skills. Throughout the unit, students will explore positive and negative influences and consider strategies that could be used to potentially minimize negative influences on mental and emotional well-being. The unit culminates in a performance assessment that asks students to design and present an action plan to the school community that promotes positive behaviors and/or changes negative influences/stereotypes to support positive mental and emotional health and well-being. Learning experience #9 within the unit, supports the task of students researching and distinguishing between credible and non-credible resources.

 

7th Grade Module: Nutrition for a Healthy Life

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Nutrition for a Healthy Life." This unit looks at an adolescent’s support systems and influences such as (family, peer and media) and how they impact a person’s decisions for making healthy food choices. Additionally, the unit will allow students to explore the importance of developing personal support systems to maintain overall physical and emotional wellness.

 

6th Grade Module: Media Messages and Your Health

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Media Messages and Your Health." This unit looks at alcohol and tobacco use through the lens of informational awareness, skill building, and positive decision making. During this 3-4 week unit, students will examine and differentiate between media/ social portrayals and the realities of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and abuse. Students will also reflect on how media and advertising influence their personal decisions while gaining skills to critically analyze powerful media influences.

 

 

Reading, Writing, and Communicating

12th Grade Module: Romanticism, Post-Colonialism, and Modernism: Are modern texts connected to the past?

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Responding to Diversity." In this 4-6 week unit, students will explore the diversity of literature within three literary movements: Romanticism, Post-Colonialism, and Modernism. Students will analyze how the movements reveal diverse themes, cultural contexts, style, and purposes in world literature which will allow students to develop new perspectives toward literature and literary movements. The culminating project will be an essay and oral presentation asking students to connect past literature and literary movements to modern texts.

 

11th Grade Module: Analyzing Bias

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "The Power of Story." Throughout this 4-6 week unit for 11th grade, students explore bias, both in their personal lives and within the literature they study. Students will analyze how personal beliefs and biases influence the way they interact with texts they read and which they produce. The focus of this teaching task is on one writing to be included in the larger portfolio of student writing. The work of this module will focus on the writing process skill cluster - claim, development and conclusion.

 

10th Grade Module: E Pluribus Unum, Multiple Voices - Heroism

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "E Pluribus Unum, Multiple Voices-Heroism." Through collaborative inquiry and sharing thoughts and opinions, students will examine diverse texts that explore human responses to adverse situations and shape the definition of "hero” in those cultures. Students will demonstrate their understanding of how cultural and societal influences shape and define characters by writing a narrative piece in which they synthesize the ideas and language of the characters they have studied. The Unit focuses on two wars -- World War II and the Vietnam War -- since cultural and societal perspectives and attitudes were so strikingly different.

 

10th Grade Module: E Pluribus Unum, Single Voice - Identity

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "E Pluribus Unum, Single Voice-Identity." Students will write a personal narrative to illustrate and explain how societal influences and cultural experiences come together to shape one's identity. By studying the life and works of a single author, students will understand how authors' lives are shaped by these external influences and, in turn, how their characters' lives reflect those influences and experiences. In their own writing, students may reveal how the interactions or tensions between societal influences and cultural (or familial) experiences sometimes are in conflict with each other.

 

9th Grade Module: Uncovering Context

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Uncovering Context." In this 4-6 week unit, students will read an extended anchor text (e.g. To Kill a Mockingbird) exploring various themes: race, gender, age, etc. As they progress through the unit, students will read a variety of supplemental texts on the issues of inequity presented in the anchor text. The nonfiction / informational texts range from news reports, research, and infographics to opinion pieces, murals and art work, poems, and short stories. Students will analyze this rich variety of texts so they can understand that writers use different modes, genres, and techniques to express their perspectives on given issues. Class discussions will allow students to explore how different contexts impact our perspectives and how we write about issues or themes in the world around us. The unit will culminate with students writing a multi-genre text expressing their own perspective on an issue of inequity relevant to them.

 

8th Grade Module: A World Without Borders: Defining Tolerance

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "A World Without Borders." In this module, students will read from a critical perspective to understand how authors use language to shape our understanding of a word. Then students will form a definition of the word "tolerance" and use that insight to explain their personal perspective of the meaning of tolerance, both its intentional purpose and any potential hidden implications. The module is based upon Learning Experiences 4-6 in the instructional unit.

 

7th Grade Module: Everything's an Argument (Perspective)

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Everything's an Argument (Perspective)." This 4-6 week unit focuses on how authors use claims, evidence, and persuasive devices so that the students can then use them in their own research, writing and speaking. By critically analyzing arguments and persuasive presentations for validity, accuracy, and clarity, students will become more effective consumers of information. During the unit, students will analyze professional texts and culminate the unit by developing their own persuasive presentations in which they advocate for implementing a Service Learning Project of their choice.

 

6th Grade Module: Take a Stand Version 2

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Take a Stand." In this unit, students will research and explore a variety of controversial topics and, through collaboration during the research process, begin to understand how biases and assumptions influence people’s perspectives. Students will work in collaborative groups throughout the research process and participate in discussions and debates to demonstrate their understanding of how bias and assumptions influence our perspectives on issues and, therefore, influence our arguments. This unit will culminate with individually writing a research paper on a controversial topic of their choice.

 

 

Science

Biology Module: Population Ecology - Human Impact on Ecosystems and Natural Resources

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Population Ecology." This unit focuses on ecological interactions between populations of organisms and their environment. The unit describes biotic interactions, trophic levels and energy flow, cycles of matter, abiotic and biotic resources, and population and community dynamics. Beginning with ecosystem components, across the unit students will explore ecological concepts such as biotic and abiotic factors, biomes, niche, keystone species, communities, populations, ecosystems, and the biosphere. This module, on its own or within Learning Experiences 9, 10, and 11 of the Population Ecology unit, will ask students to research and write a public service announcement that discusses differing opinions on human impacts on ecosystems and natural resources, specifically either the habitat or food web of a particular local or global area.

 

Chemistry Module: Chemical Reactions

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Chemical Reactions." This unit focuses on chemical changes and culminates in a performance assessment that asks students to investigate a reaction between zinc metal and hydrochloric acid in order to identify the useful product, state the reaction type and determine how much zinc would be required to make enough of this product. Students will react zinc metal with hydrochloric acid and determine stoichiometric ratio and calculate percent yield. Analysis of results will follow in the form of a formal lab report.

 

Earth Science Module: Earth's Changing Surface

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Earth's Changing Surface." This unit focuses on our restless planet. Beginning with plate tectonic theory, across the unit students will explore technological evidence/advances that have furthered knowledge of this theory, natural hazards associated with plate tectonics, and resources and landforms that result from tectonic forces. The unit culminates in a performance assessment that asks students to create a community proposal based on a specific role/perspective and present to a governing body for future planning of a geologically active area. They will need to consider potential hazards and implications of development based on technological evidence of plate tectonic theory.

 

Physics Module: Forms and Transformations of Energy

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Forms and Transformations of Energy." This unit focuses on forms of energy and how those forms are transformed and conserved in a variety of situations. Beginning with the foundation of energy conservation, students explain and calculate how various types of energy (kinetic, potential, mechanical, thermal, chemical, nuclear, electrical, and radiant, etc.) are used in real life scenarios. They identify efficient forms of energy used to do work and recognize that the transformations involved conserve instead of “lose” energy. The unit culminates in a performance assessment that asks students to investigate ways to decrease energy consumption for their school and present a report to their local school board. In this module students will be researching and analyzing the viability, efficiency, and sustainability of various energy resources. Students will analyze energy sources from a variety of perspectives and derive a conclusion, based on their research, that answers the question: "Which energy sources is most effective for a productive, sustainable future?".

 

8th Grade Module: Human Footprint

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught independently or in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Matter Responds to Energy." Students will consider the impact their personal habits have on the environment, and their responsibility as global citizens to take action. Human Footprint, as referenced throughout the module, is the metaphor for the lifetime use of fuel, with the lifetime of one's waste and the impact these have on the environment.

 

7th Grade Module: It's All About You: From Cells to Organisms

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "It's All About You: From Cells to Organisms." In this module, students will be presented with various case studies (role play, video, case files, etc.) demonstrating symptoms of systems that are not in homeostasis (e.g., broken femur, severe head ache [concussion], diarrhea, trouble breathing, etc.). Students must analyze the primary system impacted then evaluate at least two other systems that are either compromised by or must compensate for loss of homeostasis. They must present their findings in a formal written report and support their choices using textual evidence and specifically address concerns around structure and function.

 

6th Grade Module: Water, Water Everywhere (Adapted from Dwindling River)

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught independently or in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Water, Water, Everywhere." Students are studying how humans use the Colorado River (agriculture, industry, municipal) and how this use has impacted the Colorado River. Students research the purpose and impacts of dams and water diversions on the Colorado River. Students draw conclusions about how the human use has impacted the river. The unit culminates in a performance assessment where students take the role of an educational product designer asked to create a product (video, board game, storyboard, poster, children’s book, etc.) which documents the journey of a water molecule.

 

 

Social Studies

Civics Module: Securing the Blessings of Liberty

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Securing the Blessings of Liberty." The unit explores the historical events and the role of government in shaping U.S. domestic and foreign policy, and the rights and responsibilities of citizens to participate in policy decision making. It begins with a look at political parties and the role that party platforms play in policy decisions. Next, students will study monetary and fiscal policy decisions and how citizens may react to and/or influence those decisions. Then, students examine domestic and foreign issues/polices, the tools used by the federal government to make those decisions, and the ways in which citizens may influence policy decisions.

 

Economics Module: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Decisions, Decisions, Decisions." This is an introductory unit on economics. Economics is the science that studies the choices of people, businesses, and governments trying to satisfy their wants in a world of scarcity. Students will be introduced to many fundamental concepts and principles of economic reasoning. Through real-world and personal financial literacy examples, these concepts are explored at the student level to increase relevancy and application. Students will be asked to weigh the costs and benefits of business decisions and consider times when market failure causes problems that government may need to solve.

 

Geography Module: Whose Earth Is It... Anyway?

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Whose Earth is it...Anyway?" The module focuses on energy resources and energy production at state, national, and global levels and considers the policies and implications of both non-renewable and sustainable forms of energy. The module begins with a focus on individual energy uses and fuel source usage; asking students to consider what, where, and how (much) energy they use. Students will then examine state, national, and international efforts to develop, maintain, and sustain the dominant existing sources of energy (i.e., fossil and hydroelectric); examining both the economic and environmental factors and concerns connected with these efforts. From there, the module then moves on to parallel state, national and global policies and programs that incentivize the development of sustainable/renewable forms of energy; looking at both the conflicts and opportunities for cooperation inherent in these efforts. The learning experiences build to a performance assessment that asks students to take a position on a particular energy source in Colorado and to present that position/perspective to a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing; making a compelling case for the development of and investment in this resource by writing a speech.

 

U.S. History Module: Transforming Civil Rights Through Civic Engagement

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Change is a Comin'" Through this unit, students will develop an understanding of how changes in the perceptions of civil rights and liberties have led to an infringement on people’s civil rights. Students will look at changes over the past 150 years in the United States by studying events such as women’s suffrage, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, minority rights, etc. Finally, students will discover how individuals and groups have affected social change in the structures of power and authority through civic engagement. During the module, students will: 1. Explore instances of social injustice that resulted in change. 2. Analyze the impact of conflict on the progression of Civil Rights. 3. Identify effective methods for initiating change. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of Civil Rights in America.

 

8th Grade Module: Growing Pains

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Growing Pains." This unit focuses on the expansion of the United Stated from 1800-1900. As nations expand, various cultures and ways of life merge leading to both and enrichment of cultures as well as conflict. Students will learn about the cultural interactions among peoples brought about as a result of westward expansion and how those interactions led to both cooperation and conflict. Students will also examine the interactions among peoples such as settlers, Native Americans, Mexicans, etc., as well as the governmental policies regarding resource allocation/distribution during the expansion of the United States.

 

7th Grade Module: Ch...Ch...Ch...Changes

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "Ch...Ch...Ch...Changes." The focus of this unit is the continent of Africa. Students will investigate and analyze the economic reasons that people migrate (such as access to and availability of resources); the social reasons that people migrate (the proliferation of cultures, interdependence); the political reasons that people migrate (unrest) and/or the environmental reasons why people migrate. The time frame encompassed in this unit is Ancient Kingdoms (e.g., Egypt, Kush, etc.) to European imperialism and the impact that the movement of peoples had on native peoples/cultures. Teachers may choose to make connections to present day Africa in order to illuminate the continued conflicts that have their roots in European imperialism and/or the forced movement of people.

 

6th Grade Module: What Did They Leave Behind?

Module Description: This module is designed to be taught in conjunction with the instructional unit sample "What Did They Leave Behind?" In this unit students explore how aspects of ancient cultural life are interpreted through artifacts left behind. Students will focus on material cultural artifacts as the physical evidence of the human experience. In addition, students will be introduced to how archaeologists and historians assess and evaluate primary and secondary sources to learn more about the lives of people in the past. This unit focuses on the early civilizations in the Americas, including the Maya, Inca, Aztec and Inuit. The unit culminates with students creating a website illustrating an analysis of artifacts found at an archaeological site and the significance of those artifacts.

 

 

For content specific questions, please contact the appropriate content specialist listed here.

 

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