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Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor

Grade Level Grades 5-7
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards

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Unit 2, Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor, addresses science topics in an informational text read as part of the language arts program. Students will learn about inventors and their inventions. Students will also learn more about how the processes of invention happen as a result of problem-solving using logic. Students will focus on the literary skills examining different kinds of text structure such as problem and solution, cause and effect, sequential, and procedural text structures. Students will also learn more about frequently confused words, sentence types, Greek and Latin root words that indicate numbers, and prefixes and suffixes.

Students will read selections from Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor by inventor and animal scientist Temple Grandin. It details the author’s failures as well as her successes. It is a good opportunity to show students that it is okay to fail. In fact, failure is often a valuable learning experience on the road to success. Students will learn that Grandin is on the autism spectrum and speaks openly about her challenges and advantages growing up as an autistic person. The “All Minds” in the title of the book refers to the author’s assertion that different kinds of minds and thinkers are valuable and important contributors to society, each in their own way. This is an opportunity for students to think about their own differences and similarities with others and how this impacts how they learn and what interests them.

Standards

Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text.
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to an understanding of the topic.
Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6–8 texts and topics.
Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/experiments, or technical processes.
Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

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