In this lesson, students will read and analyze a mentor text 100 Word Memoir. After studying the mentor text, students will create and evaluate their own 100 Word Memoir.
V is for vocabulary. A content area unit provides the theme for a specialized ABC book, as students select, research, define, and illustrate a word for each alphabet letter.
In this unit, students begin reading a retold version of the literary classic Peter Pan to build their understanding of how the historical context of a literary classic can have an impact on the content and also to analyze how writers develop characters to capture a reader's imagination. In the first half of the unit, students read an informational text to build background knowledge about the author, J.M. Barrie, and some of the relevant aspects of society in Great Britain at the time the original novel was written. Students then focus on analyzing how the events in each chapter build on what came before and consider how the illustrations in the first four chapters of Peter Pan contribute to the meaning of the text. After reading each chapter, students make connections between the historical context and the content of the chapter.
For the mid-unit assessment, students closely read a new chapter of Peter Pan and answer selected response and short-constructed response questions about the text. In the second half of the unit, through teacher-guided close reading, independent close reading, and discussion, students analyze the characters by carefully examining their traits, motivations, actions, and points of view. They also analyze figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meaning to gain a deeper understanding of the meaning of the text. For the end of unit assessment, students closely read another new chapter of Peter Pan, answer selected response questions, and complete a table to analyze the character traits, motivations, actions, and points of view.
RL.3.1, RL.3.2, RL.3.4, RL.3.5, RL.3.6, RL.3.7, RL.3.10, L.3.4, L.3.5.
In this unit, students read the core texts The Hundred Dresses and Garvey’s Choice as a way of exploring what it means to be accepting and tolerant of themselves and others. The Hundred Dresses challenges students to think about the different roles associated with bullying through the eyes of the narrator, who struggles with her own involvement with a classmate who is bullied. Garvey’s Choice illustrates the way others influence the way we see ourselves, both positively and negatively, and the power of accepting ourselves by tracing Garvey’s path to self-discovery and acceptance. Both texts are full of moments and messages that are easily relatable for students at this grade level. Therefore, it is our hope that the experiences of the characters in both texts will serve as a neutral launching point for deeper discussions about bullying, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness.
In reading, the main focus of the unit is on identifying and tracing the central message across a longer text. Over the course of the text, students will develop a deep understanding of each character’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations, which will help them identify and explain how the central message is developed and conveyed through the characters. Students will also begin to understand how successive parts of a text build on each other to push the plot forward. Particularly with Garvey’s Choice, students will analyze the genre features of novels written in verse and how each part helps build and develop the central message. This unit also focused on point of view. Students will begin to notice the point of view in which a story is told and compare that with their own point of view.
Students must "become" a character in a novel in order to describe themselves and other characters using powerful adjectives.
This recurring lesson encourages students to comprehend their reading through inquiry and collaboration. They choose important quotations from the text and work in groups to formulate "quiz" questions that their peers will answer.
Given the secondary position of persons of African descent throughout their history in America, it could reasonably be argued that all efforts of creative writers from that group are forms of protest. However, for purposes of this discussion, Defining African American protest poetrysome parameters might be drawn. First—a definition. Protest, as used herein, refers to the practice within African American literature of bringing redress to the secondary status of black people, of attempting to achieve the acceptance of black people into the larger American body politic, of encouraging practitioners of democracy truly to live up to what democratic ideals on American soil mean. Protest literature consists of a variety of approaches, from the earliest literary efforts to contemporary times. These include articulating the plight of enslaved persons, challenging the larger white community to change its attitude toward those persons, and providing specific reference points for the nature of the complaints presented. In other words, the intention of protest literature was—and remains—to show inequalities among races and socio-economic groups in America and to encourage a transformation in the society that engenders such inequalities. For African Americans, Some of the questions motivating African American protest poetrythat inequality began with slavery. How, in a country that professed belief in an ideal democracy, could one group of persons enslave another? What forms of moral persuasion could be used to get them to see the error of their ways? In addition, how, in a country that professed belief in Christianity, could one group enslave persons whom Christian doctrine taught were their brothers and sisters? And the list of “hows” goes on. How could white Americans justify Jim Crow? Inequalities in education, housing, jobs, accommodation, transportation, and a host of other things? In response to these “hows,” another “how” emerged. How could writers use their imaginations and pens to bring about change in the society? Protest literature, therefore, focused on such issues and worked to rectify them. Poetry is but one of the media through which writers address such issues, as there are forms of protest fiction, drama, essays, and anything else that African Americans wrote—and write.
Exploring poetic and speaking & listening techniques and devices in the poem - 'Ain't I a woman?' by Sojourner Truth and Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream' speech. Worksheets and resources focusing on the lexical choices in the texts, and the effects of these.
Tradition and technology come together in this lesson in which students learn about Alaskan animals through Native American tales and their own online research.
The traditional autobiography writing project is given a twist as students write alphabiographies - recording an event, person, object, or feeling associated with each letter of the alphabet.
Groups of students read and discuss American folklore stories, each group reading a different story. Using a jigsaw strategy, the groups compare character traits and main plot points of the stories. A diverse selection of American folk tales is used for this lesson, which is adaptable to any text set.
Students analyze images of Oscar Wilde used to publicize his 1882 American lecture tour. They then compare a caricature to another researched image, sharing this analysis in a podcast.
Following the traditional form of the haiku, students publish their own haikus using Animoto, an online web tool that creates slideshows that blend text and music.
What drives changes to classic myths and fables? In this lesson students evaluate the changes Disney made to the myth of "Hercules" in order to achieve their audience and purpose.
Students explore using electronic messaging and Internet abbreviations for specific purposes and examine the importance of using a more formal style of writing based on their audience.
Students examine familiar car names for underlying connotations then proceed through a series of steps, increasing their control over language, until they select words with powerful connotations in their own writing.
This lesson will be turning heads and pages as students learn how to choose appropriate books for independent reading exercises and later evaluate their choices.
In this unit, students begin a year-long exploration of the seasons and how weather, plants, and animals are different depending on the season by studying the beauties of fall and fall harvests. Students launch the unit by setting up an ongoing weather experiment in order to understand the patterns of fall and how weather changes during fall. While gathering on-going data about the changing weather in fall, students will learn and observe what happens to leaves in the fall and notice the difference between various types of leaves. In the second half of the unit, students explore the different harvests of fall, particularly apples and pumpkins, and discuss the basic life cycles of both. This unit is a chance for students to stop and think about the changes that are happening in the natural world around them and why the changes happen. It is our hope that by the end of the year, after studying winter and spring in subsequent units, students will have a deeper understanding of the unique features of each season.
In reading, this is students’ first introduction to informational texts and reading to learn information. Students will continue to develop their inquisitive side by being challenged to ask and answer questions about the content and text they are interacting with. This unit exposes students to a subject matter that is present in their day-to-day lives; therefore, they should be challenged to ask questions and make connections between what they are reading and learning and what they are seeing outside. Additionally, while listening to stories, students will learn how to use the text and illustrations to determine the key details of a text and then use those details to retell what the text was mostly about. Students will also continue to understand the author’s and illustrator’s roles in writing texts and should be able to identify and explain both by the end of the unit. In this unit, students will also begin to explore the content in-depth by participating in labs and projects. These teacher-created projects will allow students to interact with and synthesize the material they are learning at an even deeper level.
In writing, students will continue to write daily in response to the text. As with units 1 and 2, students are focusing on using correct details from the text to answer the question. Students should be using a combination of words and pictures, depending on the student’s development as a writer. Daily teaching points, based on student data, should be included to ensure that students are progressing as writers.
In this unit, students explore the beauties of winter. In the first part of the unit students pretend to be meteorologists as they learn about different weather forecasts and the words that meteorologists use to describe the weather in winter. Students start by exploring generic weather words and then transition into winter-specific words. In the second part of the unit, students explore how animals survive in the winter and the ways in which animals meet their basic needs, even when the ground is covered with ice and snow. In the last part of the unit, students read a variety of Jan Brett texts and use what they have learned about snow and animals to make inferences about what is happening with the different winter animals in the text. By the end of the unit, students should have a strong grasp of what makes winter unique and the different ways plants and animals survive in the winter. Due to the timing of this unit, it is our hope that students will have plenty of opportunities to interact with the vocabulary and content in the natural world around them. When outside for recess or anytime that it snows, students should be pushed to use the vocabulary and content they are learning in the unit so that the content can fully come to life.
In reading, this unit is predominately a collection of informational texts and builds on skills and strategies from earlier units. At this point it is assumed that students are inquisitive consumers of text and are able to ask and answer questions about a text in order to deepen understanding of the content. In this unit, students will continue to be challenged to identify the main topic of a text, retell the key details that connect to the main topic, describe the connection between ideas in a text, and use the illustrations and words to describe and retell what is happening in a text with varying levels of teacher support. Students will also begin to use strategies to ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text, specifically those connected to weather and snow. As part of daily text introductions, students will also continue to explore the purpose behind text features, specifically the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book, and how each feature supports understanding of the text. Many of the skills and strategies in this unit are spiraled from earlier units or will be spiraled through upcoming units; therefore, it is up to the teacher to decide what level of support students need with the particular strategy and scaffold accordingly.
In writing, students will continue to write daily in response to the text. At this point in the year, students should be using a combination of drawing and words to correctly answer the question. Pick focus teaching points based on data from previous units and individual student needs.