Updated August 2014

LearnZillion: High School ELA

Solid video database could benefit from grade-level differentiation

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Much like LearnZillion's other offerings, the High School ELA module is an online database of short videos designed to support teaching to the Common Core standards. Unlike LearnZillion's elementary- and middle-grade offerings, the high school set is presented as one complete package, rather than focusing on each of the four secondary grades. While this aligns a bit more with the structure of the Common Core standards for high school English, it can make differentiation more of a challenge for teachers using the program. Also, compared to other grade-levels, there's less variety and a notable absence of anchor texts and printable assessments. Because of this, it's probably best to use these resources as supplements to target specific skills as they appear in your existing curriculum.

While assigning the videos as independent viewing might work for some, not every high school student will take to this type of instruction. Beyond targeting students who you know will need extra instruction, be sure to model some good active viewing skills for everyone in your class. You might want to begin by using the site as a planning resource for yourself. Later, move on to modeling the lessons with your whole class, after which you can assign differentiated work, either for groups or individual students.

Full Disclosure: LearnZillion and Common Sense Education share funders; however, those relationships do not impact Common Sense Education's editorial independence and this learning rating.

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