How do people live a healthy lifestyle? Students examine this question by first spending time learning about what constitutes a healthy lifestyle including physical, mental and social well-being. Then as students move into the second section students will start to explore culture. Students will then specifically begin to study Indian culture and how their cultural beliefs affect their choices for living a healthy life. Building an understanding of Indian culture will support students as they begin to read the fictional text, Save Me a Seat, which is the focus of section three. Culture plays an important role in the development of the characters they will meet in this text. This unit offers students a look at what makes a healthy life from different perspectives. Students will begin by studying the different aspects of healthy living including physical health, getting exercise, plenty of sleep and eating well. They will then learn more about how mental well-being including good self-esteem, can have an effect on physical health as well. As students move into the anchor text, Save Me a Seat, they will begin to look at how relationships, both at school and at home affect our lives. Students will explore themes such as friendship and how their assumptions regarding other people can often be wrong. Students will also tackle the social issue of bullying. The book provides insights regarding bullying from different perspectives, which involves an important lesson in the book. The final task directly addresses the unit’s Essential Question, and ask students to write telling which character in Save Me a Seat has the most difficulty living a healthy lifestyle. Students will consider the character’s physical, social and emotional health and provide details and examples from the text to support their thinking.
How do living things, animals and humans, adapt to aid in their survival? Students examine this question by first spending time learning about how animals adapting and changing is essential to survive in their environment. In the second section, students will learn how humans adapt and change to survive in their environment. Students will read lots of informational texts to better their understanding of the many components that impact the survival of living things and what living things do and how they behave in various environments or given situations. Students will then blend their understanding of adaptations in with a dystopian science fiction novel, The City of Ember. Building an understanding of adaptations prior to the novel will assist students in identifying how the citizens of Ember adapted to an underground world. A strong foundation of adaptations will support students as they begin to read the text, The City of Ember, which is the focus of section three. This unit offers students a look at the various ways all living things, animals and humans, adapt to their changing environments and the way that adaptation aids in their survival. Students will begin by studying how animals adapt to their environment and how that impacts the way they live and survive. This will include learning about various habitats, environmental factors, forms of protections, and current trends related to adaptation and animals. Then students learn about how humans adapt to their environment, ways to protect and preserve their environment, and issues related to the environment that positively and negatively impact its growth. The final task directly addresses the unit’s Essential Question, and ask students to write about how adaptations support the survival of living things using knowledge gained from the informational texts and novel to support their thinking.
How does persevering through challenges bring about life changes? Students examine this question by first spending time learning about the beginnings of colonization in America and the difficult journey the settlers had to take to make it to America. Throughout the unit, students will read lots of informational texts including You Wouldn’t Want to Be an American Colonist! to better their understanding of the historical events associated with the colonial time period. In the second section, students will learn about the relationship between the colonists and the Native Americans. Students will then specifically begin to study colonial life for men, women, and children and what roles each of them played in this burgeoning society, which is the focus of the third section of the unit. This unit offers students a look at what made American colonial times challenging. It serves to enlighten students as to how important this time period was to our American history. Our nation could have looked very different if these people didn’t persevere during this historic time. The students will study different aspects of these challenges including survival upon traveling and landing in the New World, interacting with the Algonquian tribe, who occupied the coast of North Carolina and Virginia at the time, and how daily life was a struggle and different from the life that the settlers lead while in England. The final task directly addresses the unit’s Essential Question, and asks students to write an opinion piece on which challenge was the biggest obstacle faced by colonists and brought about the most change for colonists. In this task, students have the chance to demonstrate mastery of writing opinion statements and creating reasons, while supporting those with evidence from the texts.
A major aim of this unit is to teach students how to build content knowledge of social studies and science topics. This will be accomplished by uncovering the deeper meaning of a text and connect new information to existing knowledge and experience. Multiple readings along with strategic questioning, note-taking and collaboration will allow students to think critically about a text as well as improve comprehension, fluency, stamina and confidence when tackling complex texts. Each set of texts consist of a variety of genres: informational, biography, fiction, poem, and procedural. They are thematically linked with a grade-specific science and social studies topic. In addition, each set of texts is designed around an Essential Question - a question that asks students to look beyond, who, what, and where, and instead focus on why and how. There are five genres for every set of texts. Each set of texts has an essential question that aligns to the culminating task. After closely reading all of the texts within a text set, students will engage in a reading marathon to develop their understanding of the topic before completing the performance task.