Connecticut Core Standards

Grade 2: Dr. Martin Luther King

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Common Core Standards

Reading Literature

RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RL.2.2 Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the texts.

RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

RL.2.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.


W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.5 With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.


L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.2.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

L.2.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

L.2.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

Description of Unit

This Grade 2 unit titled “Dr. Martin Luther King” cited on the Literacy Design Collaborative is intended to be completed in four or more weeks of integrated English Language Arts/Literacy and social studies instruction. In this unit, students conduct research to learn how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. impacted history to become a great American Leader. During lesson activities, students read, discuss, and take notes on the articles "A Great Leader", "An American Leader" and the books Martin Luther King Day and My Brother Martin. The unit plan includes mini-tasks to give students the opportunity to practice pulling out relevant text evidence to support a claim. In the final performance task, students independently write an informative article with text evidence that includes an opening paragraph, body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph describing why Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great leader.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that the performance task asks students to address two complex CCSS grade 2 skills. Because of the difficulty of the task, the curriculum designers suggest the unit would be best implemented in the middle of the year after students have had various opportunities to: research, cite evidence from texts, use various graphic organizers, and learn the correct paragraph format. Depending on the needs and variability of students in the class, additional instructional scaffolding may be required. The texts cited in the unit are not provided and will need to be secured. Since the unit topic also aligns with the Connecticut Elementary Social Studies C3 Frameworks Standards, these standards could also be added. For a direct link to this source, see below:

Connecticut Elementary and Secondary Social Studies C3 Frameworks

Rationale for Selection

This performance task is a good example of how to provide students with multiple opportunities to apply advancing literacy skills as they present ideas and information through writing. The task is focused and the prompt wording is clear. An aligned rubric is provided for informational/ explanatory writing that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the targeted foundational skills and grade-level standards. The ability to write an essay that requires students to pull text evidence to support a stance is an important skill that can be transferred to other subjects/contexts throughout the curriculum.