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Templeton, S., & Pena, R. M. (1998). Unit 2. In Houghton Mifflin, Spelling and Vocabulary
(pgs. 18-21). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

Content Area: Language Arts

Dimensions of Language


The vocabulary used in this book is consistent with Fourth Grade level. The learning goal

for vocabulary in Unit 2 is for students to comprehend the different “e” sounds, and recognize

those differences in their given vocabulary words. One activity Unit 2 provides is where students

have to first read each given sentence, and then read the words in bold out loud. For example, on

page 18 “The peach fell from the tree.” (Templeton & Pena, 1998) Another activity Unit 2

contains is a section called “Independent Practice” where students are given an explanation of

what an analogy is, and an activity where they fill in the missing words to a few sentences. For

example, on page 19 “Lemon is to sour as honey is to ____.” (Templeton & Pena, 1998). The

vocabulary in the unit corresponds with “Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms” because it

contains words and expressions that are technical for the fourth grade students it is intended for.

(Gottlieb & Ernst-Slavit, 2014)


The discourse used in Unit 2 is consistent with the idea that Fourth Grade students are

going to be more interested in text that is colorful and contains a lot of pictures. Each page has at

least one brightly colored box with interesting font that contains the most important concepts that

the section is trying to teach. The information is strategically placed in these boxes because the

children’s eyes and focus are immediately drawn to the colors and unique fonts they contain. For

example, on the final page of the Unit, page 21, there is a big yellow box that contains all the

vocabulary words the student has seen in the activities, and the most difficult words are in blue

as opposed to black. This technique is helpful to students because they can review what they

have learned and they will be drawn to the information because it is in the bright box. According

to “Academic Language in Diverse Classrooms”, chapter 3, this unit aligns with the standard of

“Appropriate level of academic language presented in a textbook” (Gottlieb & Ernst-Slavit,



The sentences used in the directions and definitions for the activities in Unit 2 are simple.

They only consist of one subject and predicate. An example of an excerpt of a direction states

“Write these words in alphabetical order.” (Templeton & Pena, 1998) This sentence is written

simply because it is intended for a fourth grader to read. There is a mix between verb tenses, with

some of the activities written in the past tense, and directions being strictly in present tense. For

example, an excerpt from an activity on page 21 in the past tense states, “Mr. Chang came to our

class to speak about cooking.” (Templeton & Pena, 1998) and the directions for that activity are

in the present tense are written, “Find nine misspelled Basic or Review words in this class story.”

(Templeton & Pena, 1998) The functions of sentences included in Unit 2 include concept

definitions, sequence of events, description, and generalization of ideas and concepts. (Gottlieb

& Ernst-Slavit, 2014)


Overall I felt that this unit was up to most of the standards mentioned in the book, with the

exception of there needing to be more activities included. The main weakness is that in the whole

unit, there were only about 7 activities, and there were no supplemental activities given at the

end. The activities provided also would not give the teacher a good assessment of where the

student is at, or where gaps in learning are. On page 134 of “Academic Language in Diverse

Classrooms” it has standards that teachers must abide by in order to properly assess a student’s

progress. One of these guidelines is “Eliciting evidence of learners’ achievement. (Gottlieb &

Ernst-Slavit, 2014) I do not feel that the textbook I chose fully allows teachers the opportunity to

determine learners’ achievement because there is not enough variation in the activities or any

supplemental learning. This unit’s strength was in it’s discourse and vocabulary dimensions. This

is due to the fact that the activities, pictures and words to learn are clearly tailored for fourth

grade level students.