Gold (Gl)

What is a Gl Reader?

Texts are the products of individuals in specific historical, political, and social contexts which influence their themes, topics, and style.

Gl-level readers understand that texts are a product of their times. They seek to locate the text in the literary or intellectual context of the author as a way to examine the influences on its style and themes. They have developed a critical eye toward writing and can discuss an author’s use of literary techniques, propaganda, and rhetoric. They read actively, talking back to the author, locating him/her in a given social, political, or artistic moment, questioning and probing both the ideas and their presentation.

Comfort with the 25+ academic words and/or phrases per typical chapter book page requires extensive experience as a reader. Sentences are complex, figurative language is common, and most adults cannot handle materials written at this level of complexity. Just because a reader can read a Gl text fluently doesn’t mean s/he is a Gl level reader. Dig deeply into the reader’s knowledge of the vocabulary, understanding of the ideas, and ability to critique the writing before assigning him/her the Gl designation. Gl-level readers should be prepared for the marathon reading sessions (2–4 hours) required by college entrance exams.

Key Common Core State Standards

Reading Literature 9:
Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics.
Reading Informational 9:
Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Major Characteristics of a Gl Book

Young adult and adult. Vocabulary (approximately 25+ “literary” words on a full page of text) embodies larger concepts (e.g., “class struggle,” inertia, cognition, abstract poetic metaphor). Assumes background knowledge of a proficient 11th or 12th grader, including world history, geography, science, and social studies concepts. May assume adult perspectives and experiences.

Formative Assessment for Teaching and Learning

The IRLA includes every Common Core State Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success

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