Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
The overarching intent of language arts instruction in grades 7-12 is for students to value,
appreciate, and demonstrate literacy through expressive and receptive language skills, and to
understand and investigate the self, others, the culture, and the environment. The Intended
Learning Outcomes (ILOs) describe the goals for language arts skills and attitudes. They are an
integral part of the Core, and should be included as part of instruction. Process skills in language
arts domains are critical to the development of high levels of literacy and lead to understanding
and internalizing ILOs.
- Demonstrate a Positive Attitude Toward Language Arts Skills and Processes
- Develop confidence in the ability to access text.
- Enjoy the processes and outcomes of reading and writing.
- Develop confidence in the ability to express ideas, emotions, and experiences.
- Demonstrate Appreciation for the Role of Language Arts
- Recognize that the study of themes and values in texts is preparation for responsible
participation in society.
- Use language arts skills and strategies to think critically, communicate with others, and
understand our culture and common heritage.
- Develop thinking and language acquisition together through interactive learning.
- Recognize that in studying language arts students will learn the strategies necessary for
acquiring academic knowledge, achieving common academic standards, and learning
- Demonstrate Understanding of the Nature of Language
- Understand that language enhances and identifies human beings as meaning makers.
- Understand that language is the vehicle for constructing knowledge, acquiring skills, and
developing habits of mind.
- Understand that language captures and records human aspirations and imagination.
- Understand that language is continuously evolving as a reflection of human evolution.
- Understand that language acquisition is not a matter of refining skills, but of increasing
confidence, insight, and discernment.
- Understand that language conveys the depth of human experience, evoking both emotion
- Understand and Use Receptive and Expressi ve Oral Language Skills to Communicate
- Give and seek information in conversations, in group discussions, and in oral
- Use questioning techniques to gain information.
- Participate in and report on small group learning activities.
- Develop and deliver individual presentations.
- Plan, present, and critique the oral delivery of information and persuasive argument.
- Plan, present, and critique dramatic readings of literary selections.
- Use the Skills, Strategies , and Processes of Reading
- Develop an enjoyment for reading as a lifelong way to learn.
- Access background knowledge to prepare to read and enjoy texts.
- Use meta-cognition strategies during reading to monitor comprehension.
- Improve comprehension by using strategies when meaning breaks down.
- Retain information from and respond to text after reading.
- Use the Skills, Strategies , and Processes of Writing
- Develop a distinctive writing voice.
- Understand that writing is a process of skills, strategies, and practices for creating,
revising, and editing a variety of texts.
- Develop reflective abilities and meta-awareness about writing.
- Use writing to discover and explore ideas.
- Develop collaborative writing skills to prepare for workplace writing.
- Understand that writing is a tool for thinking: solving problems, exploring issues,
constructing questions, addressing inquiry.
- Understand that reading and writing are interrelated: writers approach new reading
experiences with enhanced appreciation for the text.
- Appreciate the value of personal writing and writing-to-learn in daily applications of
The needs of early adolescents are a fundamental concern to eighth grade language arts teachers.
Teachers attempt to meet the unique needs of these students by using curriculum concepts such
as thematic organization, teaming among teachers, appropriate grouping, and interdisciplinary
efforts. At the eighth grade level, the Utah Core focuses on reading and writing experiences that
are developmentally appropriate: vocabulary instruction that begins to explore more nuanced
meanings of words (connotation, synonyms) and comprehension that focuses on text features and
structures, distinguishing fact from opinion, identifying themes in texts, and simple figurative
language. Writing emphasizes ordering, comparing and contrasting, basic skills in analytical
evaluation and assessment of writing, and editing skills that are specific and clearly delineated.
The research or inquiry skills identified focus on gathering information to address a chosen topic
and beginning to form results of inquiry.
Core Standards of the Course
(Reading Comprehension): Students will use vocabulary development and an understanding of text elements and structures to comprehend literary and informational grade level text.
(Word Analysis, Vocabulary Development): Determine word meaning through word parts, definitions, and context clues.
Identify common prefixes and suffixes to determine meanings of words (see chart, Appendix A).
Extend the meanings of words through understanding of connotation.
Determine word meaning through definition or explanation context clues.
Distinguish between commonly confused words (i.e., capital /capitol; cell/sale/ sell; choose/chose; emigrate/ immigrate; farther/further; knew/new; loose/lose; passed/past; quiet/quit/quite; their/they're/there; weak/week).
(Comprehension of Informational Text): Comprehend and evaluate informational text (i.e., textbooks, biographies/autobiographies, persuasive essays, letters, graphs, charts).
Use external text features to enhance comprehension (i.e., headings, subheadings, pictures, captions, sidebars, annotations, italics, bolded words, graphs, charts and tables of contents).
Comprehend text using internal text structures and their appropriate cue words and phrases (i.e., question/answer, comparison/contrast).
Infer meaning from explicit information in text.
Distinguish fact from opinion.
(Comprehension of Literary Text): Comprehend literature by differentiating the uses of literary elements in narrative texts.
Determine which incidents are important to moving the plot forward and to making predictions (e.g., flashback, foreshadowing)
Describe a character's traits based on what other characters think, say, and do.
Identify themes in literary works.
Define and describe settings in literature (e.g., place, time, and customs).
Compare types of figurative language (i.e., simile, metaphor, and symbolism).
Distinguish between free verse and rhyme.
(Writing): Students will write informational and literary text to reflect on and recreate experiences, report observations, and persuade others.
(Writing to Learn): Evaluate information, interpret ideas, and demonstrate thinking through writing.
Organize events and ideas in order of importance.
Focus written facts or events around a clearly stated, unifying idea.
Connect text to self, text to world and text to text.
(Extended Writing): Write to identify and reflect on feelings to recreate experiences. (Emphasize short biographies, narratives, or memoirs. Students should use the entire writing process to produce at least one extended piece per term, not necessarily limited to the type of writing emphasized at individual grade levels.)
Convey a unifying theme or idea.
Order events effectively and experiment with flashback or foreshadowing.
Use narrative details (e.g., dialogue, description, imagery, symbolism).
(Revision and Editing): Revise and edit to strengthen ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions.
Evaluate and revise for:
- Ideas: Specific and relevant details that support the idea.
- Organization: An introduction, body, and conclusion with a controlling idea, topic sentences, and supporting details.
- Voice: Appropriate tone and voice.
- Word Choice: Words appropriate to audience.
- Sentence Fluency: Varied sentence structure.
Edit for conventions:
- Correct grade-level spelling
- Correct use of quotation marks and commas in dialogue.
- Correct verb tenses.
- Correct use of relative pronouns.
- Correct agreement of pronouns and antecedents.
- Correct capitalization of titles of books, poems, etc., and titles of courses (e.g., History 202).
(Inquiry/Research/Oral Presentation): Students will understand the process of seeking and giving information in conversations, group discussions, written reports, and oral presentations.
(Processes of Inquiry): Use the process of inquiry to focus thinking toward understanding an idea or concept.
Formulate text-supported, open-ended questions for inquiry (i.e., literal, interpretive inferential, evaluative).
Choose information that best supports the focus of inquiry.
Distinguish between reliable and unreliable sources of information.
Distinguish primary from secondary sources.
(Written Communication of Inquiry): Write to demonstrate understanding of an idea or concept.
Select an appropriate format to demonstrate understanding.
Gather information from more than one source.
Report information by paraphrasing, summarizing, and/or quoting from sources.
Use informal citation to support inquiry.
(Oral Communication of Inquiry): Participate in and report on small group learning activities.
Determine the purpose for small group learning activities (e.g., to respond to writing, to acquire information, to present ideas, to clarify understanding).
Identify and assume responsibility for specific group tasks, including asking relevant questions.
Respond appropriately to group members’ questions and contributions.
Present group reports.
have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies
of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use.
When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State
Office of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part,
or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State
Office of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City,
For more information about this core curriculum, contact the USOE Specialist,
or visit the
Language Arts - Secondary Home Page.
For general questions about Utah's Core Curriculum, contact the USOE Curriculum Director,
Sydnee Dickson .
UEN Contact Info: 801-581-2999 | 800-866-5852 |