SLA multiple genres strand teks talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--literary elements. The student recognizes and analyzes literary elements within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse literary texts.

The following is one example of how to assess proficiency of this student expectation (SE) or a portion of the SE. More examples coming soon.
1 Passage
The Raven and the Star Fruit Tree

This story is about two brothers who are very different. The older brother is greedy and wants everything for himself, but the younger brother is humble and content with having very little. When their father dies, he leaves unequal inheritances for the brothers. He gives his fortune and home to the older brother and only a small piece of land with a shack and a star fruit tree to the younger brother. The older brother begins spending his riches and living an extravagant life. The younger brother plans to earn income by selling star fruit. One day, however, the younger brother sees a raven eating his fruit. The raven promises to pay the brother in gold and takes him to an uninhabited island made of pure gold the next day.

Read the story to learn more about the raven and the brothers.

The Raven and the Star Fruit Tree

A retelling of a tale from Vietnam

  1. In the days before boats were used for exploring the seas or trading, there lived two brothers. The older brother was very greedy, but the younger brother was content to live humbly. When their father died, he left behind an enormous inheritance that he wanted to be divided in an extremely uneven way. He left his entire estate—his home and his vast wealth—to his older son but only a small plot in the country, containing a small shack and a single star fruit tree, to his other son.
  2. The older son was overjoyed with this arrangement and quickly began living an extravagant lifestyle, eating expensive foods and spending money freely. He despised his brother, who was content living in the simple shack his father had given him.
  3. When the season for star fruit came, the tree produced abundantly, and the younger brother cheered himself with the prospect of selling star fruit to support his family. However, an enormous raven visited the tree each morning and ate the fruit. The younger brother saw that his income was quickly disappearing into the belly of the raven, so one morning he waited beneath the tree. When the raven arrived, the younger brother called to him. “Oh, raven, please don’t eat my star fruit. They are all I have, and I cannot support my family if you eat them up.”
  4. “Don’t be afraid,” said the raven. “I’ll pay you in gold for your star fruit, as I did your father. Make a bag one foot deep to put the gold in.”
  5. “I believe you, raven,” the younger brother said. “Please eat as much as you like.” That night he had his wife make the bag just as the raven instructed.
  6. The next day the raven came as usual to eat star fruit. When he was done eating, he flew down into the yard, spread his wings, and said, “Climb on my back, and bring your bag.”
  7. The younger brother complied, and the raven took off, flying over the sea. He landed on a strange uninhabited island with no trees or other plants of any kind. The dirt, however, was made of pure gold, and the raven told the younger brother to fill his sack with it. The younger brother took only what he could easily carry. After returning home, the younger brother spent some of his newfound wealth on his family and shared some of it with others who were in need.
  8. One day the younger brother invited the older brother to dinner, but the other refused to come. Again and again the younger brother pleaded, until finally the older brother agreed and visited his brother’s house. The older brother was not expecting what he found. Instead of a simple shack, the younger brother had a comfortable home with fine things inside.
  9. “Where did you get all these things?” the older brother asked.
  10. The younger brother told his brother of the raven. Upon hearing the whole story, the older brother offered to trade his entire inheritance for the star fruit tree. The younger brother replied that he was content with what he had and refused to trade.
  11. The next day, however, the older brother went to the star fruit tree and found the raven. “Oh, raven,” he said, “I have traded with my brother for this tree. Will you take me to the island of gold?”
  12. “Of course,” the raven replied. The bird landed in the yard, spread out his wings, and flew the older brother to the island. The older brother, remembering his brother’s explanation, had taken with him the largest bag he could find. He filled it with gold and then climbed back onto the raven, but the bird couldn’t fly because the bag was too heavy.
  13. “You must pour out some of your gold,” the raven said, but the brother refused. “Very well,” said the raven. The bird flew back to the village, leaving the older brother and all his gold on the island.
  14. The season for star fruit passed, and the raven no longer visited the star fruit tree. The younger brother wondered what had become of the older brother.
  15. The next year, when the star fruit came again, so did the raven.
  16. “Raven,” said the younger brother, “you fly all around the world. Have you seen my brother?”
  17. “I have,” said the raven, and explained what had happened. “Your brother now has all the gold he wants.”

What is the primary theme of the story?

Show Further Explanation
Show Answer
Themes are universal ideas presented in a text that speak to a common human experience. Themes are often focused on abstract concepts and the author’s thoughts about those concepts. Examples of themes presented in a text include “love can make you brave” or “friendships make difficult times easier to get through.” Students are expected to determine the implied theme that is represented by a character, a group of characters, and/or an event in a literary work.
paraphrased or directly quoted information from a source that supports an inference, thesis, claim, or analysis

Research

1. Nokes, J. D. (2008). The observation/inference chart: improving student's abilities to make inferences while reading nontraditional texts: paintings, movies, historical artifacts, and other nontraditional texts are easier to understand when students are skilled in making inferences. These skills transfer to traditional texts as well. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 51(7), 538+. Retrieved from https://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A178358714/PROF?u=tea&sid=PROF&xid=842641e2

Summary: The author demonstrates how an observation/inference chart can help inexperienced readers make good inferences. The author explains how to observe and make inferences from those observations, provides examples of modeling making inferences, and gives examples to support both guided practice for students and students' individual practice.

2. Mahzoon-Hagheghi, M., Yebra, R., Johnson, R. D., & Sohn, L. N. (2018). Fostering a greater understanding of science in the classroom through children's literature, Texas Journal of Literacy Education, 6(1), 41–50. Retrieved from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1183979.pdf

Summary:  The value of using children's literature in the science classroom was studied in this research. The use of literary strategies like questioning for comprehension and inference are transferable skills that are also important in science instruction. The author's provide examples of good choices in children's literature for science instruction and guidance to teachers for a successful implementation.

3. Ilter, I. (2019). The efficacy of context clue strategy instruction on middle grades students' vocabulary development. Research in Middle Level Education, 42(1). Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19404476.2018.1554522?scroll=top&needAccess=true

Summary: This study compared the effectiveness of context clue strategy instruction to wide reading practices in terms of their impact on the vocabulary. Sixth grade students were selected for the study; students selected for the experimental group were taught how to use context cues to infer meaning. Direct instruction was used to present the concept to the students. The results suggest that teaching students how to infer meaning from context clue is an instructional strategy that positively impacts the level of student achievement in reading.