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English

To enhance their skills in each English-related strand, students who score in the score ranges below on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

English

 

 

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • act like an editor and delete inappropriate or extraneous information from own drafts
  • regularly write informal responses to literature (fiction and nonfiction) in journal to gain writing fluency (e.g., the rhythm and flow of sentences)

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • write short drafts, in a variety of genres, focusing on using transition words and phrases to establish time relationships
  • use paragraphing as an organizational device

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • revise drafts to clarify sentences containing too many phrases and clauses
  • check drafts to ensure that pronoun references are clear
  • revise drafts to delete vague words (e.g., reallyverybig,kind of)

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • vary sentence length by combining simple sentences
  • check drafts to make sure verb tenses are consistent

Usage Conventions

  • use comparative and superlative adjectives (e.g., wellless,worst) correctly

Punctuation Conventions

  • learn to recognize when commas are overused by making classroom posters with examples of places where commas are typically used incorrectly and unnecessarily

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • revise drafts to ensure that each word and phrase is necessary to the purpose of the essay
  • read aloud and analyze model essays in small groups to determine each essay’s main idea and how it met its goal

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • order and reorder a paragraph’s sentences, discussing in small groups which order works best and why
  • read model essays aloud, discussing the strengths of the conclusions

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • discuss what makes some writing “wordy” and the difference between repetition for emphasis and repetition that is redundant
  • try out different words in a draft; discuss the words’ connotations and effect on the draft’s style and tone

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • check for sentence fragments by reading drafts aloud
  • scan writing for verbs, correcting glaring shifts in verb tense or voice

Usage Conventions

  • revise writing to correct basic grammar errors
  • practice and understand correct usage of common homonyms (e.g., their/therepast/passed)
  • reread drafts to ensure that there are no unnecessary pronoun shifts, (e.g., between one and I)

Punctuation Conventions

  • compile examples of overused commas and work with a peer to develop several different ways to correct the errors
  • practice using correct punctuation in simple sentences (e.g., “He ran, jumped, and swam.”)

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • read first and final drafts of student essays and discuss what was added or deleted to improve the focus
  • determine the purpose of a word or phrase in model essays
  • read drafts with a partner and discuss how changing specific words or phrases would change each draft’s purpose

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • recognize and experiment with sophisticated organizational structures (e.g., comparison-contrast, cause-effect)
  • revise drafts to replace illogical conjunctive adverbs with more logical ones
  • discuss the most logical place to add specific information in drafts
  • discuss the purpose and the importance of the opening paragraph for directing the rest of the essay
  • practice writing varied conclusions

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • revise drafts to make writing more concise and precise
  • read model essays closely, and then discuss and imitate how they create different tones and styles
  • learn how to link clauses by writing brief skits in which a conjunctive adverb is a character (e.g., how might howeverenter the room?)

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • work with peers to develop guidelines for younger students that show them how to recognize fused sentences or run-ons and how to separate them into two simpler, clearer sentences

Usage Conventions

  • create an activity to teach younger students about the correct contextual uses of comparative and superlative adjectives or adverbs
  • check drafts by circling the prepositions to ensure they are the ones intended

Punctuation Conventions

  • find examples of commas used to set off parenthetical phrases in advertising copy or published authors’ work
  • check drafts to see if nouns ending in s are possessives and add apostrophes if necessary
  • write a punctuation handbook for younger students’ use; use examples from own drafts

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • mark up drafts to show which sentences in a paragraph provide specific supporting detail for or elaborate on the focus of the paragraph
  • explain why the writer of a story used particular words to describe a character or setting
  • revise fairly straightforward writing to sharpen focus and coherence

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • read model essays closely; discuss how each writer transitions from one idea or topic to the next
  • write introductions that capture the reader’s interest and conclusions that provide a sense of closure; describe the rhetorical effects that each creates
  • rearrange sentences in a paragraph in order to improve its coherence
  • discuss rhetorical purposes for paragraphing
  • order and reorder the paragraphs of student-written drafts, discussing which order works best and why

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • continue developing the ability to edit sentences for vague language, wordiness, and redundancy
  • read drafts aloud to discover words and phrases that deviate in subtle ways from the draft’s style and tone
  • learn new words and phrases by reading the work of varied writers

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • experiment with sentence structure by rearranging words into different orders
  • revise sentences to correct inconsistencies in verb tense and pronoun person

Usage Conventions

  • check drafts to ensure that pronouns agree with antecedents in increasingly complex sentences

Punctuation Conventions

  • locate examples of commas, colons, and semicolons used inappropriately in public documents (e.g., Internet ads, newspapers) and discuss possible revisions
  • use punctuation to set off nonessential information in a sentence

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • develop awareness of ways that form and content can be changed as the audience for the writing changes
  • revise drafts so that loosely related material is either deleted or repositioned to a more relevant position
  • read well-written sentences closely to determine the purpose of a word or phrase when the purpose is subtle; imitate the writers’ sentences in own writing
  • learn how meaning can be expressed through connotation

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • experiment with subtle organizational structures (e.g., use a mix of structures in one draft)
  • revise drafts by refining introductions, conclusions, and transitions between paragraphs
  • learn and practice new methods of creating coherence (e.g., repetition of key words and phrases)

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • discuss the difference between formal written English and conversational English and identify when to use each
  • select and manipulate words, phrases, and clauses to convey shades of meaning and tone
  • practice using academic and content-specific terms in drafts

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • use sentence-combining techniques to create more sophisticated sentences; revise to avoid fragments, comma splices, and run-ons
  • practice writing sentences that are both grammatically correct and rhetorically effective

Usage Conventions

  • recognize the difference between its and it’syour andyou’rewho and whom
  • check drafts to ensure subject-verb agreement when the subject-verb order is inverted

Punctuation Conventions

  • use commas to set off nonessential appositives or clauses
  • use semicolons to indicate relationships between independent clauses
  • record a peer’s retelling of a story, then type up the story using correct punctuation

Production of Writing

Topic Development in Terms of Purpose and Focus

  • write complex essays that indicate a heightened awareness of the purpose and audience
  • read aloud complex essays to determine what each essay’s goal is and how each has met its goal
  • recognize the role that specific sentences play in terms of the essay as a whole

Organization, Unity, and Cohesion

  • revise or add introductory sentences or transitions based on an understanding of the logic and rhetorical purpose of the paragraph and the essay as a whole

Knowledge of Language

Knowledge of Language

  • read drafts aloud to identify language or concepts that are redundant in terms of the paragraph or essay as a whole
  • experiment with using academic and content-specific terms to provide more specificity and increase accuracy of content

Conventions of Standard English Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

Sentence Structure and Formation

  • maintain parallel structure between phrases and clauses in a complex sentence
  • employ a variety of sentence structures in drafts

Usage Conventions

  • check drafts to ensure agreement between verb and subject when a phrase between the two suggests a different number for the verb

Punctuation Conventions

  • find examples of colons and explain why the writer most likely chose the colon over other punctuation
  • use punctuation for rhetorical effect as well as for grammatical correctness

Mathematics

To enhance their skills in each mathematics-related strand, students who score in the score ranges below on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Number and Quantity

  • practice and apply estimation and computation, using whole numbers and decimals
  • describe quantities in terms of “parts of a whole” and translate that description into fraction form
  • locate and describe positive integers in terms of their position on the number line

Algebra and Functions

  • choose the appropriate method of computation (e.g., calculator, mental, pencil and paper) to solve multistep mathematical problems

Algebra

  • model a variety of real-world and mathematical problems with expressions and/or equations
  • use the inverse relationships for the basic operations of addition and subtraction to determine unknown quantities

Functions

  • generate simple numerical or pictorial patterns based on a given rule

Geometry

  • identify line segments in geometric figures and estimate or calculate their lengths
  • practice selecting appropriate units of measure (e.g., inches or feet, hours or minutes, centimeters or meters) and converting between units

Statistics and Probability

  • organize, display, and analyze data in a variety of ways
  • read and interpret data from different displays (e.g., charts, tables) and use the data in computation (e.g., mean, median, mode, range)

Number and Quantity

  • recognize and apply place value, rounding, and basic properties of integers
  • locate and describe integers in terms of their position on the number line

Algebra and Functions

  • investigate and build understanding of the concept of percentage as a comparison of a part to a whole
  • use multiple operations to solve multistep mathematical problems
  • model a variety of real-world and mathematical problems with graphs
  • use the language of the discipline (e.g., greater than and less than, increasing and decreasing) to describe real-world and mathematical problems

Algebra

  • use mathematical symbols and variables to express a relationship between quantities (e.g., the number of 59¢ candy bars that you can buy for $5 must satisfy 59n ≤ 500)
  • evaluate algebraic expressions and solve simple equations, using whole numbers
  • identify like terms in algebraic expressions

Functions

  • compare numerical patterns generated by a simple addition rule (e.g., add 2) and a simple multiplication rule (e.g., multiply by 2)

Geometry

  • apply the definitions of parallel and perpendicular lines to describe characteristics of real-world and mathematical problems
  • describe, compare, and contrast plane and solid figures, using their properties
  • distinguish between area and perimeter, and find the area or perimeter when all relevant dimensions are given
  • locate and describe objects in terms of their relative positions

Statistics and Probability

  • solve real-world and mathematical problems that involve measures of central tendency (e.g., mean, median, mode)
  • read and interpret data from different displays (e.g., box-and-whisker plots, stem-and-leaf plots), and use them along with additional information to solve real-world and mathematical problems
  • conduct simple probability experiments, and represent results using different displays
  • find the probability of a simple event and the probability of its complement

 

Number and Quantity

  • apply elementary number concepts, including identifying patterns pictorially and numerically (e.g., triangular numbers, arithmetic and geometric sequences), ordering integers, and identifying factors of whole numbers
  • recognize, identify, and apply basic properties of real numbers (e.g., commutative, associative, identities)
  • describe the distance between zero and a point on the number line
  • measure and describe, with appropriate units, the distance between two points
  • arrange data into meaningful arrays
  • identify the dimensions of a matrix

Algebra and Functions

  • solve routine mathematical problems that involve rates, proportions, and percents
  • model real-world and mathematical problems that contain verbal and symbolic representations of money
  • do multistep computations with rational numbers
  • generate expressions using combinations of symbols and numbers
  • describe real-world and mathematical problems associated with incremental change by using rate and/or slope language (e.g., feet per second, dollars per hour, change in y over change in x)

Algebra

  • evaluate algebraic expressions and solve simple equations, using integers
  • multiply two simple monomials
  • apply the distributive property to multiply a simple monomial by a binomial

Functions

  • recognize functions as mappings of an independent variable into a dependent variable
  • distinguish between domain and range
  • use function notation to create equations that model real-world and mathematical problems
  • evaluate polynomial functions that use function notation

Geometry

  • describe angles and triangles using mathematical terminology, and apply their properties
  • use angle relationships (e.g., complementary, adjacent, vertical) to find measures of unknown angles
  • sketch and identify the midpoint of a line segment
  • find area and perimeter of triangles and rectangles by substituting given values into standard geometric formulas
  • describe movement in the coordinate plane using positive and negative values

Statistics and Probability

  • read and interpret data and use appropriate measures of central tendency to find unknown values
  • gather, organize, display, and analyze data in a variety of ways for use in problem solving
  • use a variety of strategies (e.g., fundamental counting principle) to determine possible outcomes for simple events
  • conduct simple probability experiments, and represent results using different displays (e.g., tree diagrams, organized lists)

Number and Quantity

  • compare two fractions
  • use whole number exponents to express examples of repeated multiplication
  • identify and use factors of whole numbers
  • identify and use multiples of whole numbers
  • describe the meaning of i, the unit imaginary number
  • perform basic operations with complex numbers

Algebra and Functions

  • apply number properties to model real-world and mathematical problems that involve reasoning with proportions
  • select and use appropriate units when solving real-world and mathematical problems that involve one or more units of measure
  • solve literal equations (e.g., P = 2l + 2w) for any variable
  • identify, interpret, and generate symbolic representations that model the contexts of real-world and mathematical problems
  • represent and interpret relationships defined by equations and formulas; translate between representations as ordered pairs, graphs, and equations; and investigate symmetry and transformations (e.g., reflections, translations)
  • identify characteristics of figures from a general equation

Algebra

  • graph and interpret simple inequalities on the number line
  • model real-world and mathematical problems using linear equations and inequalities
  • attend to the difference between values from an algebraic model and actual outcomes
  • factor and perform the basic operations on second-degree polynomials
  • identify basic characteristics of a quadratic equation (e.g., second-degree polynomial)
  • use the inverse relationships for the four basic operations, exponentiation, and root extractions to determine unknown quantities
  • model real-world and mathematical problems, using scientific notation
  • describe the result of division by zero
  • describe why square roots of negative numbers do not yield real number values
  • evaluate algebraic expressions and solve multistep first-degree equations

Functions

  • describe simple numerical patterns by writing explicit and recursive formulas
  • recognize that values may be different than predictions made using a model
  • describe the difference between an equation and a function
  • describe examples where a function is undefined (e.g., division by zero, square roots of negative numbers)

Geometry

  • recognize when to apply geometric properties and relationships of parallel lines to find unknown angle measures
  • recognize when to apply geometric properties and relationships of triangles to find unknown angle measures and side lengths
  • apply the definition of symmetry (e.g., line, rotational) to describe plane and solid figures
  • use appropriate units and degrees of precision to measure and describe real-world objects
  • apply a variety of strategies to determine the circumference or perimeter and the area for circles, triangles, rectangles, and composite geometric figures
  • identify the basic trigonometric ratios
  • describe the relative locations of two points in the coordinate plane in terms of horizontal (e.g., run) and vertical (e.g., rise) distances
  • identify and describe midpoints and bisectors
  • investigate symmetry and transformations of points (e.g., reflections, translations, rotations)

Number and Quantity

  • apply and use elementary number concepts and properties to model real-world and mathematical problems
  • describe the difference between a rational number and an irrational number
  • use integer exponents to express repeated multiplication
  • describe the relationship between exponents and roots
  • understand the meaning of a vector, and identify examples of vector quantities

Algebra and Functions

  • model real-world and mathematical problems that involve a combination of rates, proportions, and/or percents
  • create functions, and use characteristics of basic function families (e.g., linear, absolute value, quadratic) to model real-world and mathematical problems
  • graph linear equations and inequalities, determine slopes of lines, identify parallel and perpendicular lines, and find distances

Algebra

  • apply algebraic properties to rewrite simple expressions in equivalent forms (e.g., rationalize denominators)
  • model real-world and mathematical problems, using systems of two linear equations or inequalities
  • explore and use different methods to solve systems of equations

Functions

  • write expressions for composite functions

Geometry

  • apply a variety of strategies that use relationships between perimeter, area, and volume to calculate desired measures
  • model appropriate geometric objects as a composite of circles, semicircles, triangles, and/or rectangles
  • apply special right-triangle properties and the Pythagorean theorem to solve real-world and mathematical problems involving congruent and similar shapes
  • use basic trigonometric ratios to solve problems involving indirect measurement
  • graph linear equations and inequalities, determine slopes of lines, identify parallel and perpendicular lines, and find distances
  • identify characteristics of figures from a general equation

Statistics and Probability

  • find the probability of simple, disjoint, compound, and independent events in a variety of real-world and mathematical problems, using a variety of counting techniques
  • construct and analyze Venn diagrams to help determine simple probabilities
  • distinguish between independent and dependent events, and provide examples of each
  • identify and describe examples of events that are conditional

Number and Quantity

  • use relationships and elementary number concepts to explain, solve, and/or draw conclusions for complex real-world and mathematical problems
  • compare the characteristics of the real number system and the complex number system
  • recognize, identify, and apply basic properties of matrices
  • recognize and identify inverse, zero, and identity matrices

Algebra and Functions

  • solve real-world and mathematical problems that require combining multiple algebraic concepts
  • formulate expressions, equations, and inequalities that require planning to accurately model real-world and mathematical problems (e.g., direct and inverse variation)
  • create algebraic models that involve planning, strategic manipulation, or integrating concepts
  • use algebraic expressions to model real-world and mathematical problems

Algebra

  • compare the characteristics of basic function families (e.g., linear, power, exponential)
  • compare explicit and recursive formulas for arithmetic and geometric sequences
  • explore geometric models where unit circle trigonometry and basic identities can be used to solve real-world and mathematical problems
  • describe the relationship between exponents and logarithms

Functions

  • compare the characteristics of basic function families (e.g., linear, power, exponential)
  • compare explicit and recursive formulas for arithmetic and geometric sequences
  • explore geometric models where unit circle trigonometry and basic identities can be used to solve real-world and mathematical problems
  • describe the relationship between exponents and logarithms

Geometry

  • investigate angle and arc relationships for circles
  • examine and compare a variety of methods to find areas of composite figures and construct scale drawings
  • model appropriate geometric objects as a composite of rectangular solids, pyramids, cylinders, cones, spheres, half cylinders, and/or hemispheres
  • model appropriate geometric objects as a composite of sectors of circles, circles, semicircles, triangles, and/or rectangles
  • make generalizations, draw conclusions based on conditional statements, and offer solutions that involve connecting mathematics with other content areas

Statistics and Probability

  • describe how a measure of central tendency for a numerical data set summarizes all of its values with a single number
  • design and conduct probability investigations (e.g., identify how the margin of error is determined), and then determine, analyze, and communicate the results
  • identify techniques for generating a random sample
  • organize and interpret data generated from a random sample
  • create statistical models that involve planning, strategic manipulation, and/or integrating concepts
  • compare actual values and model values to judge the fit of the model

Reading

To enhance their skills in each reading-related strand, students who score in the score ranges below on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • locate and discuss details presented in a text (e.g., who, what, where, when)
  • recognize generalizations about the main character in a literary narrative
  • combine several pieces of information to draw a logical conclusion about a specific character
  • make predictions about characters and events presented in a literary narrative, verify or reject those predictions, and make new ones while reading

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • determine what a literary narrative is generally about, organizing the text’s information into general statements that are supported by details from the text

Relationships

  • use various strategies (e.g., timelines, event chains, discussion) to determine when an event occurred in increasingly challenging texts
  • locate evidence in a text that explicitly states why an event or a series of events occurred
  • search for patterns or clues (e.g., signal words like because or so) that indicate cause-effect relationships

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • use various resources (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus) to explore connotations of familiar words or descriptive language

Text Structure

  • identify the function (e.g., to inform, to elaborate on an idea, to give an example) of specific parts of a text

Purpose and Point of View

  • locate details in a literary narrative that suggest the author’s or narrator’s intent

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • recognize that an argument has several elements to it (e.g., premise or claim, supporting evidence, conclusions, assumptions)

Multiple Texts

  • understand that comparing relationships across texts can provide new insights about an idea or person, including important, unusual, or startling similarities or differences

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • scan a text to locate specific details (e.g., dates, specialized terms, facts)
  • draw reasonable conclusions about people and situations using evidence presented in increasingly challenging texts

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • work with peers to create logical statements about the main idea of simple paragraphs

Relationships

  • analyze how an author or narrator uses description, dialogue, and action to suggest relationships between characters in written or nonprint sources (e.g., films, ads)
  • read portions of a literary narrative, predicting how a person’s actions would likely impact a specific situation
  • use various strategies (e.g., questioning, role-playing) to determine plausible cause-effect relationships in increasingly challenging texts

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • explain how an author’s or narrator’s choice of words can shape a topic and affect a reader’s opinion
  • examine specific language in a text and propose plausible interpretations based in part on the reader’s viewpoints and experiences

Text Structure

  • determine which sentences in a text are essential to understanding the author’s or narrator’s intended message
  • identify the author’s or narrator’s reasons for including specific information in the text

Purpose and Point of View

  • speculate about an author’s or narrator’s values, motives, or thinking in increasingly challenging texts

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • locate evidence that verifies or contradicts a specific point made by the author or narrator

Multiple Texts

  • draw comparisons across texts and determine if they are fair (e.g., balanced and impartial) and appropriate

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • write, exchange, and answer a series of questions about significant details presented in increasingly challenging texts
  • identify inaccurate generalizations (e.g., stereotypes) in written or nonprint sources
  • make reasoned judgments about ideas and events based on evidence from written or nonprint sources
  • restate in own words the significance of specific information in written or nonprint sources

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • determine the general or specific idea of one or more paragraphs or of the text as a whole

Relationships

  • place events in chronological order by locating supporting evidence from the text
  • identify similarities and differences between people, objects, events, or ideas, drawing accurate conclusions
  • determine factors that have clearly influenced the outcome of a situation
  • identify statements in increasingly challenging texts that clearly state the cause(s) and effect(s) of specific events

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • differentiate between literal (denotative) and implied (connotative) meanings of words and phrases in increasingly challenging texts
  • clarify the meanings of words or descriptive phrases by searching for clues in the text (e.g., sentence structure, context, prefixes/suffixes, spelling patterns)

Text Structure

  • identify details that clearly support the key point(s) of written or nonprint sources
  • recognize common organizational patterns (e.g., description, sequence, cause-effect, problem-solution, comparison-contrast) used by the author of a text

Purpose and Point of View

  • analyze techniques used by the author of a text to reveal or conceal his or her point of view

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • locate words that might signal an author’s or narrator’s premise or claim (e.g., sinceforbecause) or conclusion (thereforeconsequently)

Multiple Texts

  • confirm or disprove conclusions drawn by identifying and applying details from multiple literary narratives

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • distinguish between what is most and least important in increasingly challenging texts
  • determine how an inference might change based on the inclusion of additional information
  • check inferences against information provided in a text, identifying what is and is not sufficiently supported by the text
  • analyze specific parts of increasingly challenging texts, drawing accurate conclusions

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • distinguish between key concepts and subordinate ideas in a text and write a concise summary about one of the key concepts

Relationships

  • analyze the sequence of events in written or nonprint sources
  • map sequences of events in texts or films or from everyday occurrences, explaining one’s thinking
  • evaluate the extent to which comparisons made by the author or narrator help clarify specific relationships in the text
  • search for clues embedded in a text that suggest cause-effect relationships
  • examine events in written or nonprint sources to determine the primary cause(s) and final outcome(s)

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • investigate the effect(s) of specific words and phrases on the reader’s perceptions and behavior
  • research words and phrases from different sources, identifying their shades of meaning in various contexts or situations

Text Structure

  • interpret sentences presented in an increasingly challenging text, determining the contribution of each to the author’s or narrator’s intended message
  • determine the role of specific paragraphs (e.g., introductory, transitional, serial) in increasingly challenging texts
  • explain why an author may use one or more organizational patterns

Purpose and Point of View

  • analyze the relationship between an author’s or narrator’s intended message and the rhetorical devices used to convey that message (e.g., repetition, exaggeration, understatement)
  • search for clues that suggest the viewpoint from which a challenging literary narrative is written or told and determine whether that point of view is reliable or biased

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • defend or challenge the author’s or narrator’s assertions by locating several key pieces of information in a text

Multiple Texts

  • synthesize information from multiple informational texts to clarify understanding of important concepts and ideas

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • explain aspects or characteristics of people, objects, events, or ideas

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • read between the lines of a challenging text to develop a reasonable interpretation of the central theme(s) or main point(s)
  • divide challenging texts into sections, determining the key points for each section
  • summarize one or more paragraphs of a complex text and evaluate the quality of the summary based on specific criteria (e.g., accuracy, suitability, succinctness)

Relationships

  • read texts containing challenging sequences (e.g., flashback, flashforward), discussing how the order of events affects understanding of the text
  • explain how altering a series of events would likely change the outcome of a situation or the actions of the characters
  • identify stated or implied relationships between ideas and/or people and explain how those relationships develop over the course of the text
  • identify clues in a challenging text that suggest possible motives for and effects of a person’s actions

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • predict how changes to the wording of a complex text might convey a different tone or attitude (e.g., from persuasive to serious)
  • analyze figurative and technical language in the media, relating some instances to a personal experience
  • develop and use strategies for deciphering the meanings of words or phrases embedded in richly figurative, academic, or technical contexts

Text Structure

  • determine the primary purpose of specific sections of a text in relation to the text as a whole
  • explain how text structures (e.g., cause-effect, comparison/contrast) are used to achieve the author’s purpose(s) in complex texts

Purpose and Point of View

  • identify subtle evidence that conveys the author’s or narrator’s point of view in complex texts

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • interpret and integrate details in a complex text in order to verify or contradict a specific point or claim made by the author, narrator, or reader

Multiple Texts

  • connect details within and across literary narratives to make reasonable conclusions about a person, event, problem, or idea

Key Ideas and Details

Close Reading

  • identify facts or details embedded in complex texts
  • synthesize information, making valid generalizations or conclusions about people and situations

Central Ideas, Themes, and Summaries

  • locate and analyze ideas in a highly complex text and write a well-reasoned summary of the whole text

Relationships

  • determine the chronological sequence of events and the spatial relationships in complex texts (e.g., an excerpt from chapter 1 of The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger)
  • analyze subtle relationships between and among people, objects, events, and ideas in complex texts or films, forming accurate inferences
  • read conflicting viewpoints of an event and use textual evidence to identify which viewpoint has the most reasonable explanations of causes and effects
  • identify implications and possible consequences of actions in highly complex texts

Craft and Structure

Word Meanings and Word Choice

  • search for words or phrases that suggest the author’s attitude toward his or her subject, characters, or audience
  • employ strategies for defining a difficult concept, such as identifying its characteristics or providing examples of what the concept is and is not like

Text Structure

  • explain how some sentence constructions (e.g., using parallel structures, many or no conjunctions, purposeful redundancy) affect the meaning of the text

Purpose and Point of View

  • determine the purpose of a complex text, evaluating the impact of literary devices (e.g., imagery, irony, symbolism) on the text’s meaning

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Arguments

  • recognize and study the evolution of an author’s argument(s) as presented in a complex informational text
  • determine the author’s or narrator’s position toward a specific topic, issue, or idea by noting key facts, claims, and details from the text

Multiple Texts

  • examine information from multiple sources and perspectives in order to draw logical conclusions about people, objects, ideas, and situations
  • identify faulty or overly simplistic assumptions or conclusions that go beyond the evidence presented in multiple informational texts

Science

To enhance their skills in each science-related strand, students who score in the score ranges below on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Interpretation of Data

  • locate and select data in simple data presentations
  • become familiar with different types of graphs (e.g., line graphs, pie charts, bar graphs)
  • identify characteristics and purposes of different types of representations (tables, graphs, diagrams)
  • become familiar with units of measurement commonly used in science
  • develop a set of guidelines to help a younger audience learn to read and use simple tables and graphs
  • read a science article containing tables and graphs, and explain how the tables or graphs clarify or enhance understanding of the text

Scientific Investigations

  • identify common scientific tools and their uses (e.g., thermometers, balances, glassware)
  • read and annotate the key findings of a simple experiment
  • observe experiments being performed, and discuss what was done and why

Evaluation of Models

  • study a model (such as a scientist’s explanation for a phenomenon) to determine its purpose and to identify the critical information it includes (e.g., title, big idea, and questions)
  • discuss what hypotheses and conclusions are and how they are different from each other

Interpretation of Data

  • locate and select several data points in a simple table or graph, and make comparisons between them
  • identify information in scientific texts that describes different relationships in data, and combine this information with presented data to enhance understanding
  • create basic tables and graphs from sets of scientific data
  • read newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to science and technology, and discuss main points, including data displayed in tables or graphs, with peers
  • describe trends and relationships in data displayed in simple tables and graphs
  • compare trends in different data presentations, referring to findings from the same experiment
  • highlight unfamiliar science terms in an article, and develop strategies to determine their meanings
  • identify the variables in a data presentation, and describe the relationship between the variables (e.g., as the value of one variable goes up the value of the other variable goes down)

Scientific Investigations

  • determine an appropriate method for performing a simple experiment
  • perform experiments designed to teach familiarity with a number of tools
  • critique and determine the characteristics that make an experiment a valid test
  • maintain a science notebook that includes a section for recording notes about methods, procedures, and tools used in different experiments
  • annotate a description of an experiment, including the question being answered, the variables being manipulated, and the methods used

Evaluation of Models

  • read science articles of an appropriate level, and identify hypotheses or conclusions made by the author(s)
  • select a model that relates to specific information from several alternatives
  • read about a model in a science article, and predict what would happen if one factor in the model changed
  • determine which of several pieces of evidence support(s) or refute(s) a given claim
  • create a Venn diagram to illustrate the similarities and differences between two explanations for the same phenomenon

Interpretation of Data

  • locate and select data in complex data presentations
  • locate similar data points in different data presentations related to the same experiment
  • combine data from separate but related data presentations to create a summary of the data
  • display data in a variety of formats (e.g., line graphs, pie charts, bar graphs)
  • develop a set of guidelines to help a younger audience select and use data from a complex data presentation
  • review data tables in research reports, and determine the best ways to analyze and interpret the data (e.g., observe the sizes of intervals between data points)
  • create a visual display that summarizes a set of raw data
  • use given data to estimate unknown values in a table or graph

Scientific Investigations

  • perform experiments that require multiple steps
  • review multiple alternative experimental procedures for answering the same question, and identify similarities and differences
  • read experiments, and identify the tools and measurements used
  • conduct a simple experiment that makes use of a control group
  • summarize the design of experiments, including the questions asked, the variables manipulated, and the methods used
  • discuss how the effectiveness of the experiment is related to the methods used
  • select experiments, from a variety of sources, that answer a similar question

Evaluation of Models

  • read descriptions of experiments (e.g., science fair projects, science education journals), and discuss whether the stated conclusions support or contradict the hypotheses
  • formulate hypotheses, predictions, or conclusions based on the results of an experiment
  • determine those conditions of a model that must be assumed for the model to be accurate
  • review a model to gauge its ability to explain past observations about that model
  • compare models that explain different phenomena, including how they support their claims
  • critique the claims and evidence presented by peers by citing examples from data sets that support or refute their claims
  • present competing models, and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses

 

Interpretation of Data

  • become familiar with scatterplots
  • identify and compare scales used in different data presentations
  • study a simple data set to determine how one variable is related mathematically to another variable
  • explain why a particular data presentation is most appropriate to use for a specific data set
  • examine line graphs to determine if they show a direct or inverse relationship between variables
  • use information from popular sources (e.g., newspapers, magazines, the Internet) to enhance understanding of similar information found in science textbooks
  • create a set of guidelines to help peers learn how to combine results from different experiments into one data presentation
  • read a science article, and describe how the values of variables are related and how one changes in relation to the other
  • compare raw data from the same experiment, or from different experiments, to determine how many and what types of data representation are needed

Scientific Investigations

  • perform several repetitions of an experiment to determine the reliability of the results
  • predict potential findings of new experimental trials based on past experimental trials
  • describe how experimental methods accomplish the goal of answering the question driving the experiment
  • describe how an experimental design could be manipulated to answer a new question

Evaluation of Models

  • evaluate whether the data produced by an experiment adequately support a given conclusion
  • examine data collected in a new experiment to evaluate whether it supports or contradicts a conclusion from a previous experiment
  • determine the parameters or limits of how known models can be applied to specific situations (e.g., the model of Newtonian physics cannot be applied to subatomic particles, climate models are modified when new data becomes available)
  • create a visual representation that shows the similarities and differences between two competing models proposed to explain the same scientific phenomenon
  • engage in class discussions to critique the strengths and weaknesses of other groups’ experimental findings
  • determine how new findings impact predictions previously made with a model

Interpretation of Data

  • relate information contained in formal scientific text to numerical data
  • manipulate algebraic equations that represent relationships in data (e.g., y = mx + b)
  • make a prediction about the value of a specific variable based on a trend displayed in a table or graph
  • engage in class discussions to debate the data used in student research, its presentation, and the interpretation of the results
  • identify mathematical relationships from data sets found in science articles and reviews of scientific research
  • utilize data sets from online sources to perform mathematical analyses, and make predictions based on those analyses

Scientific Investigations

  • generate the hypothesis for an experiment that will require more than one step
  • brainstorm alternative methods of testing a hypothesis, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each method
  • redesign an experiment to test a new hypothesis

Evaluation of Models

  • communicate the findings of a long-term group investigation, and defend conclusions to fellow investigators
  • read multiple experiments that explore the same question, and determine how the findings are consistent or inconsistent
  • decide whether information gathered in a new experiment supports or contradicts a model
  • explain how a model allows for a prediction about a real-life scenario

Interpretation of Data

  • develop a calibration curve that can be used to convert raw data into useful data (e.g., to convert absorbance readings into concentrations)
  • predict how variables displayed in data presentations will interact in new and different situations
  • defend a claim by arguing whether supporting data was collected and interpreted appropriately
  • reinterpret your existing findings when presented with new information that contradicts those findings

Scientific Investigations

  • carry out experiments in which the importance of accuracy and precision is stressed
  • consider how changing experimental methods may affect the results of an experiment
  • extend and expand an experiment to answer new questions
  • read about an experiment, and suggest possible improvements or next steps
  • study the design and methods used in an experiment to determine which measurements are inaccurate or imprecise
  • design an experiment with an emphasis on making precise and accurate measurements
  • design an experiment that involves changing the manipulated variables, and predict the possible outcomes

Evaluation of Models

  • evaluate the merits of a conclusion based on the analysis of several data sets
  • seek out new findings that enhance or challenge existing models
  • formulate hypotheses, predictions, or conclusions by comparing several data sets from different experiments
  • develop a model to describe a phenomenon explored in an experiment

Writing

To enhance their skills in each writing-related strand, students who score in the score ranges below on the ACT® college readiness assessment may benefit from activities that encourage them to do the following:

Expressing Judgments

  • discuss the goal of a persuasive essay with a teacher
  • take a position on an issue and
    • write three different sentences that state the position
    • decide which sentence most clearly states the position to be argued
    • tell someone why the sentence chosen best expresses the argument to be made

Focusing on the Topic

  • identify a local community or school issue; phrase the issue in the form of a question; experiment with ways to clearly answer that question
  • use a dictionary or other resource to define the word focus, answering questions such as “how are the various definitions related to writing?” or “what does it mean for a piece of writing to be focused?”

Developing Ideas

  • use model paragraphs to study topic sentences and identify how the idea in each topic sentence is explained by the rest of the sentences in the paragraph
  • study a model persuasive essay to identify the ideas discussed and isolate the essay’s main ideas from the support for or illustration of the main ideas

Organizing Ideas

  • practice grouping sentences that address similar ideas
  • construct a simple timeline of an event; discuss how the event has a beginning, a middle, and an end
  • generate a list of words and phrases typically used as transitions (e.g., however,firstnextmoreoveras a matter of fact)
  • read model essays that contain clear introductions and conclusions

Using Language

  • read model essays, noting their use of language
  • regularly write informal entries in a journal
  • practice peer editing to identify obvious errors in conventions of standard English grammar, usage, and mechanics

Expressing Judgments

  • discuss the goal of a persuasive essay with a teacher
  • take a position on an issue and
    • generate a list of reasons that would support the position
    • decide which of those reasons are most relevant to the overall argument to be made
    • tell someone how the reasons chosen are relevant to the argument

Focusing on the Topic

  • establish a clear focus for an essay by asking whowhatwhenwhere, and especially why of the topic
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to identify any ideas that wander from the main point of the essays
  • write directions from one location to another including every possible detail; have a peer read and follow the directions to see if they are written clearly; rewrite the directions eliminating unnecessary information

Developing Ideas

  • discuss how an essay’s supporting details and examples help to clarify its main ideas
  • learn and use prewriting strategies (e.g., freewriting, brainstorming) to explain or illustrate ideas

Organizing Ideas

  • use clustering, concept mapping, or another visual organizer to identify relationships among ideas
  • recognize paragraphs as a means for organizing an essay
  • create a list of transitional words and discuss when and where to use them
  • study introductions and conclusions of model essays noting their structure and function

Using Language

  • read and discuss the work of a variety of writers; use a dictionary to learn any unfamiliar words or phrases
  • recognize that clarity of expression is essential to clarity of meaning
  • practice using a writer’s reference or style guide to answer questions of word choice and usage
  • proofread to identify obvious errors and missing words

Expressing Judgments

  • choose an issue and discuss possible contexts in which the issue might exist (e.g., seat belt laws seen as the government either imposing on individual life or protecting the value of life)
  • take a position on the issue and
    • generate a list of supporting reasons and identify which are best
    • generate a list of possible objections others might have to that position
    • list possible outcomes if this position were adopted or enacted

Focusing on the Topic

  • identify the thesis statements in a variety of model essays
  • skim a textbook, recognizing the likelihood that general topics are noted in chapter titles and headings and that specific topics are elements within the text
  • think about how general and specific topics might apply to one’s writing

Developing Ideas

  • recognize that a thesis statement expresses an essay’s main idea and must be supported with reasons, details, and examples
  • read model essays that derive generalizations from specific details and examples
  • choose a reason for a position and
    • generate a list of details and examples that would help explain the reasons chosen
    • identify which details and examples are best

Organizing Ideas

  • compare the outline of an original essay to the outline of a model essay and discuss ways to reorganize the original writing to make it more effective
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to see if paragraphs are organized effectively: identify out-of-sequence sentences, paragraphs that lack clear topic sentences, and ideas that are off subject
  • review paragraphs to see if smooth transitions are provided from one to the next
  • draft an introduction that includes a clearly stated thesis and a conclusion that confirms the thesis of the essay

Using Language

  • continue to read and discuss model essays to become more familiar with correct language use
  • read original writing aloud to hear and identify language errors
  • revise writing to reduce unnecessary repetition of words and phrases
  • practice varying sentence length by combining simple sentences
  • experiment with varying sentence construction by moving prepositional phrases to the beginning of sentences

Expressing Judgments

  • discuss ways in which a specific issue is connected to broader questions that address conflicting values or competing interests
  • discuss why some reasons for a position are more persuasive than others
  • take a position on an issue and
    • discuss whether it is always a valid and reasonable position
    • discuss whether certain factors or circumstances might influence or complicate the issue

Focusing on the Topic

  • write an essay arguing a position; in the essay consider a larger context in which the general topic might fit and how specific topics might be appropriately discussed
  • practice composing thesis statements that state a position on an issue and clearly identify the topics to be discussed

Developing Ideas

  • generate an outline or visual representation of all major ideas in a sample essay and the examples and details that support them
  • practice making generalizations from specific historical, personal, or literary details
  • choose one or two reasons to argue for or against a position and
    • generate a list of examples that could be used to support the argument
    • discuss how some examples and details offer more support for an argument than others
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to identify ideas that need further development to be persuasive or clear

Organizing Ideas

  • practice placing sentences within a paragraph so that the ideas logically build and progress
  • identify specific transitional words and phrases, including those indicating causal relationship (e.g., as a resultthis means that)
  • practice writing an introduction that briefly but effectively introduces a context for the discussion as well as a thesis
  • consider ways to conclude an essay that emphasize the thesis without restating the discussion or otherwise being repetitive

Using Language

  • practice using a wider vocabulary by replacing vague or general language with more precise words
  • experiment with more sophisticated sentence constructions
  • read model essays to see how writers control pace and emphasis by varying the length of sentences

Expressing Judgments

  • discuss ways in which a specific issue is connected to broader questions that address conflicting values or competing interests
  • discuss why some reasons for a position are more persuasive than others
  • take a position on an issue and
    • discuss whether it is always a valid and reasonable position
    • discuss whether certain factors or circumstances might influence or complicate the issue

Focusing on the Topic

  • write an essay arguing a position; in the essay consider a larger context in which the general topic might fit and how specific topics might be appropriately discussed
  • practice composing thesis statements that state a position on an issue and clearly identify the topics to be discussed

Developing Ideas

  • generate an outline or visual representation of all major ideas in a sample essay and the examples and details that support them
  • practice making generalizations from specific historical, personal, or literary details
  • choose one or two reasons to argue for or against a position and
    • generate a list of examples that could be used to support the argument
    • discuss how some examples and details offer more support for an argument than others
  • submit and critique writing in peer workshops to identify ideas that need further development to be persuasive or clear

Organizing Ideas

  • practice placing sentences within a paragraph so that the ideas logically build and progress
  • identify specific transitional words and phrases, including those indicating causal relationship (e.g., as a resultthis means that)
  • practice writing an introduction that briefly but effectively introduces a context for the discussion as well as a thesis
  • consider ways to conclude an essay that emphasize the thesis without restating the discussion or otherwise being repetitive

Using Language

  • practice using a wider vocabulary by replacing vague or general language with more precise words
  • experiment with more sophisticated sentence constructions
  • read model essays to see how writers control pace and emphasis by varying the length of sentences

 

Expressing Judgments

  • select an argument from a published text and
    • identify assumptions on which the argument rests
    • answer questions such as: are the assumptions reasonable? to what challenges are the assumptions susceptible? how might the assumptions be upheld?

Focusing on the Topic

  • revise writing to ensure that every sentence is essential to the argument
  • practice composing thesis statements that clearly state a position on an issue and offer a rationale for taking that position

Developing Ideas

  • write an essay arguing a position and
    • practice elaborating ideas fully by describing their logical connection to the essay’s main idea
    • check to see if the essay’s treatment of each idea is proportional to the idea’s importance

Organizing Ideas

  • practice arranging ideas so that one paragraph leads logically to the next throughout the essay
  • consider how transitional phrases and sentences can help convey logical connections between ideas and between paragraphs
  • think about and explain how an introduction and conclusion can work together to frame and unify an essay
  • experiment with how to conclude an essay while continuing to challenge the audience with critical questions or implications
  • discuss the effect of a conclusion that suggests the essay has been only part of a much larger discussion

Using Language

  • check to be sure pronouns agree with antecedents in complex sentences
  • edit sentences for meaningless words, wordiness, and redundancy
  • read a variety of texts to improve vocabulary and gain exposure to precise and effective language use
  • read and discuss the effects of rhetorical devices (e.g., rhetorical questions, sarcasm, humor) used in model essays