Curriculum

Unit Outlines Standards

AC 8 Version: 2011-12

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Unit Name: Unit 1: The Power of Place

Essential Question

How does place influence and enhance the narrative?

Enduring Understanding

Place is a powerful literary element. The setting of any literary work can greatly influence the characters, plot, and theme.  An exploration and understanding of the importance of place will help in mastering the memoir. 

Topic 1

Mini-Lessons Overview:

The mini-lessons provided can be used by teachers to introduce, review, or reteach reading and writing skills related to the standards in the unit. Teachers may choose to use these in any order they wish based on classroom needs.

Critical Readings Overview:

The critical reading lessons provided can be used by teachers as models to introduce, review, or reteach reading and writing skills related to the standards in the unit. Teachers may choose to use these in any order they wish based on classroom needs.

Topic 1 Standards and Elements


CC8RL.10
CC8RL.4
CC8W.9.a
CC8W.9.b

Topic 2

Learning Plan for City Word Splash (DIDLS and Poetry Reading)

Lesson Essential Question: How do a writer's words evoke a sense of place?

Lesson Overview: In this introductory activty, students will collaborate to generate a list of words to describe a city. Then they will read two poems and apply the DIDLs strategy to understand how a writers choose words to evoke a sense of place.

Topic 2 Standards and Elements


CC8L.1.a
CC8L.4
CC8L.5
CC8L.5.a
CC8RL.1
CC8RL.10
CC8RL.4

Topic 3

Learning Plan for Take Me There: Poetry, Setting, and Mood

Essential Question: How does a writer make you feel as if you were there?

Include this lesson as an opening activity or launcher for unit 1. Students will read the poem "Urban Renewal" by Yusef Komunyakaa, looking for the connection between mood and setting.

Topic 3 Standards and Elements


CC8RL.1
CC8RL.4
CC8W.3.d
CC8W.4
CC8W.5

Topic 4

Learning Plan for Elements of a Narrative

Lesson Essential Question: What makes a story worth telling?

Lesson Overview: Student note-taking over the essential elements of a narrative.

Topic 4 Standards and Elements


CC8L.5
CC8RI.1
CC8RI.4
CC8SL.1

Topic 5

Learning Plan for Effects of Word Choice on Setting and Mood

Lesson Essential Question: How does an author's choice of words and imagery influence the setting and mood?

Lesson Overview: Students will closely read two excerpts, compare and contrast the setting in each. Then students will modify the word choice and imagery in each passage and evaluate the change in the passage.

Topic 5 Standards and Elements


CC8SL.1
CC8W.3.d
CC8W.9

Topic 6

Learning Plan for Narrative Literature Circles

Lesson Essential Question: How does place influence the narrative?

Lesson Overview: students will work together in literature circles to read and analyze narrative text for its literary elements, focusing on the role of setting.

Topic 6 Standards and Elements


CC8RL.1
CC8RL.10
CC8RL.2
CC8RL.3
CC8RL.4
CC8RL.5
CC8SL.1
CC8SL.1.b

Topic 7

Learning Plan for Writing the 15 Sentence Place Portrait

Lesson Essential Question: How is place a character in your personal narrative?

Lesson Overview: Students write a 15 sentence composition based on a prescribed framework of sentence prompts. The exercise encourages students to focus on essential elements to develop a memoir of place.

Topic 7 Standards and Elements


CC8W.3
CC8W.3.a
CC8W.3.b
CC8W.3.c
CC8W.3.d
CC8W.3.e
CC8W.4
CC8W.5

Topic 8

Learning Plan for Informational Article: Where Memory Endures

Lesson Essential Question: How do communities create a shared place for rememberance?

Lesson Overview: Students will read an article about the creation of memorials, specifically the anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial and sometimes difficult and controversial experiences in planning and building of other significant memorials, including 9/11. Students mark the text and complete a written reflection.

Topic 8 Standards and Elements


CC8RI.1
CC8RI.10
CC8RI.2
CC8RI.3
CC8RI.4
CC8RI.6
CC8W.4

Topic 9

Learning Plan for Creating a Sense of Place: Fires and Floods

Lesson Essential Question: How does a writer use imagery to convey a sense of place?

Students will read and compare two informational articles about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Hurricane Katrina and compare and contrast the setting.

Topic 9 Standards and Elements


CC8RI.1
CC8RI.2
CC8RI.3
CC8RI.6
CC8W.4
CC8W.5

Topic 10

Learning Plan for Optional Community Research Project: If These Walls Could Talk

Lesson Essential Question: How do writers give a place a voice?

Lesson Overview: This is a small group community-based research project in which teams of students identify a location in their community, research the history and/or significance of this place and its relationship within the community, and produce a multimedia report of their findings in which they write in the voice of the place they have researched. The majority of this project assumes outside research and work to complete the assignment.

Topic 10 Standards and Elements


CC8W.6
CC8W.7
CC8W.8
CC8W.9

Topic 11

Learning Plan for Avoiding Plagiarism

Lesson Essential Question: How do I give credit when credit is due?

Lesson Overview: This lesson is designed around two key activities: low-stakes research and note-taking about plagiarism, and a critical reading and Socratic seminar. Students will begin with a Quick Write, synthesize their notes by producing an ABCs about Plagiarism, and create a One-Pager summarizing their Socratic seminar. The lesson includes activities that extend, refine, and challenge students to produce generative work.

Topic 11 Standards and Elements


CC8RI.1
CC8RL.1
CC8SL.1
CC8SL.1.b
CC8SL.1.c
CC8SL.4
CC8W.8
CC8W.9

Unit Vocabulary

  • topic
  • mystery
  • tension
  • genre
  • tone
  • mood
  • plot
  • setting
  • point of view
  • rising action
  • climax
  • falling action
  • resolution
  • sub plot
  • parallel plots
  • diction
  • syntax
  • symbolism
  • imagery
  • technique
  • descriptive details
  • transition
  • audience
  • flashback
  • foreshadowing
  • characterization
  • character motivation
  • major character
  • minor character
  • sensory details
  • active voice
  • dialogue

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