You are here

High Impact Instructional Strategies: Reading, Writing, and Communicating

District Sample Curriculum Project (DSCP) 

Phase IV: High Impact Instructional Strategies


I am very proud to present standards-based instructional resources for Reading, Writing, and Communicating. The model lesson is a set of full lesson materials developed to train content area teachers at the 2016 "All Students, All Standards: Instructional Strategies Institute." The additional sample lesson resources represent the work of a team of Colorado educators to share how they develop their own unique standards-based lessons that employ high impact instructional strategies. As examples, they are intended to stimulate conversation and spark ideas for teachers, schools, and districts as they make their own local decisions around the best instructional plans and practices for all students.

Phase IV of the District Sample Curriculum Project is intended to share just a sampling of lesson planning processes and ideas as a response to requests from local schools and districts asking for more explicit instructional sample ideas. Thank you to the educators that worked diligently to submit their work for this purpose!

Vince Puzick
Reading, Writing, and Communicating Content Specialist

Phase IV Lesson Elements

Educators that attended the ASAS Institute submitted lesson plans which included the following four essential elements:

  • Element 1 | Classroom Context
  • Element 2 | Lesson Planning with Rationale
  • Element 3 | Description of the Lesson Implementation
  • Element 4 | Reflection

To learn more about the institute and the four essential elements of the teachers' end product, see the Institute Training Process Overview page.

Model Lesson

8th Grade Language Arts: "The American Dream"  District Sample Curriculum Project (Learning Experience #7).  (Vince Puzick, Literacy Content Specialist, CDE)

Lesson Description: Students are asked to analyze three texts -- a photograph, a nonfiction text, and a poem -- to understand how authors' word choices and images shape our understanding of a topic and that we gain a deeper understanding of a topic by reading different authors' perspectives on it.    

Sample lessons submitted by English Language Arts teachers

The lessons below represent some of the approaches teachers used in lesson design.  One purpose of the lesson design project was to tap into the questioning and reflective practices that enable deliberate and intentional instructional decisions.  We wanted to tap into the metacognitive processes that underlie the decisions teachers make as they plan, deliver, and reflect on their instruction. 

10th Grade Language Arts: “E Pluribus Unum, Single Voice –Identity” District Sample Curriculum Project.  (Michael Hoffman, Falcon School District) 

Lesson Description:  This lesson has students explore how authors reveal societal influences and cultural experiences in narrative writing.  

11th Grade AP Language and Composition  (Jonathan Wright, Boulder Valley School District)

Lesson Description:  In this lesson, students analyze the diction in poetry to determine the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone.  

9th Grade Language ArtsWriter's Workshop lesson (Krista Smith, instructional coach, District 51)

Lesson Description:  In this lesson, students are engaged in writer's workshop to compose an argument using evidence from Rocket Boys, a photograph of a reclaimed mine, and a nonfiction article.  

Summer Institute Teacher Workshop

The video below captures teacher participants from the summer institute working on a lesson developed at the Institute by the elementary team.  The 5th grade lesson focuses on close reading of individual texts, working with multiple texts (Rosa by Nikki Giovanni and a video on Rosa Parks ), and analyzing writer's craft in word choice and diction. The lesson explores the concept of internal and external conflicts.