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Third Grade
PARCC Aligned Curriculum Guide

Module C

School Year 2014-2015

Grade 3 Unit Plan

Module B

Unit planning provides you with a sense of direction and organization that helps the teacher and the class to achieve significant academic gains within a particular time period. It encourages alignment between teaching practice and three interrelated goals – Acquisition (of knowledge and skills), Meaning Making (understanding of “big ideas”) and Transfer of learning.





Unit Theme

Facing Challenges

Unit Summary

Students will read various fiction, non-fiction, and informational texts inclusive of the theme Facing Challenges. In each of the texts, students will encounter characters and people that had a desire and passion to accomplish something. These characters and people are faced with challenges that interfere with their goals. Students will read and analyze to understand how the characters and real life people faced their challenges. Students will also read and analyze literature to aid in understanding non-fiction and informational texts.

Big Idea

Through fiction, non-fiction, and informational texts, students will study real life people and characters in ways that will build critical thinking skills. Students will concentrate on various points of view. Understanding that the reader’s point of view is different from that of the characters in a story helps students develop the objectivity necessary to critically analyze and evaluate texts in all content areas. Learning how to use an author’s clues to identify various points of view can give students ideas of how they can use these same literary devices in their own writing. Considering a story from multiple perspectives requires higher order thinking skills, such as making inferences, analyzing and evaluating, which are necessary for all content areas.

Additionally, students will look closely at two texts on the same topic and identify key details that support the main points. Students will also look at how authors present information on the same topic in different ways. Comparing and contrasting informational texts in the same topic helps a reader see patterns and make connections to previous knowledge in order to deepen their understanding.

Furthermore, students will pay close attention to features of the text and how it depicts the mood, characters and events. Students who are able to explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by words about characters, setting, or mood demonstrate an understanding of the roles of the illustrator and author and how the illustrator and author work together to help the reader “make meaning”. Students who are able to explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by words about mood demonstrate an understanding of what the term mood means and can identify a variety of moods. They are able to infer mood when the mood is not stated using key details and illustrations. By analyzing textual events, text features, and point of view, students will weave together sophisticated ideas and events and grasp the increasing complexity within the text.

Pacing Guide

Unit 3

9 weeks (Third Marking Period)


To understand events from texts, students should be able to :

  • understand point of view as an opinion as well as First and Third person point of view

  • explain how aspects of an illustration contributes to the message of the words in a text, contributes to creating the mood in a text, contributes to emphasizing character traits in a text, and contributes to emphasizing parts of the setting in a text.

  • focus on people's thoughts, traits, motivations, actions, and feelings to understand a text

  • read texts to gather information and draw conclusions before declaring an opinion or idea

  • engage in meaningful classroom discussion where they speak about and listen to the analyses of the texts

  • express their thoughts through writing

Note to Teacher:
Unit 3 of the Units of Study focuses on opinion writing, specifically writing speeches. Explain to students that opinion writing contains a claim, reasons, and examples. Students will need to gather facts and details and work to organize them.
When introducing students to the text Yonder Mountain (Journeys), expose students to the history of the Cherokee Tribe. Explain to the students the importance of storytelling for the Native Americans, specifically the Cherokee Tribe and the children of the Cherokee Tribe (see videos in technology section of this document).

Learning Outcomes:

Student Goals:
To show proficiency, I will:

  1. read fluently and demonstrate comprehension of grade‐appropriate informational texts.

  2. read fluently and demonstrate comprehension of a range of grade‐appropriate literary texts.

  3. read closely and analytically.

  4. select and use strategies during and after reading and viewing to construct, monitor, and confirm meaning.

  5. demonstrate independence.

  6. use details from the text and their own knowledge to infer deeper meanings

  7. describe their opinion and interpretation of a text orally and in written form

  8. use authors’ clues to identify various points of view

  9. distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters

  10. determine the main idea and explain how details from the text support the main idea

  11. study the organization of texts to determine connections using language that pertains to time, sequence, cause and effect, etc.

  12. describe events from a text using textual evidence

  13. use context clues to interpret words and phrases

  14. produce writing appropriate to task, purpose, and audience

Use a variety of strategies before, during, and after reading to construct, monitor, and confirm meaning, including:

  • Predicting, asking and answering text-dependent questions, summarizing, drawing conclusions, making inferences, defining words and phrases, using text features, comparing and contrasting, identifying text structure, determining point of view, determine main or central idea, and supporting reasons with evidence in order to understand and critically analyze the text.
  • Use speaking and listening to interact with others for the purposes of contributing to a class discussion, sharing and explaining ideas, viewpoints, and opinions, solving problems, completing tasks, presenting ideas and information, and recounting experiences in order to develop a deeper understanding of the text.

Essential Questions

What do readers do when they do not understand everything in a text?

Why do readers need to pay attention to a writer’s choice of words?

How do readers construct meaning from text?

Why conduct research?

How do good writers express themselves? How does process shape the writer’s product?

How do writers develop a well written product?

How can discussion increase our knowledge and understanding of an idea(s)?

Enduring Understandings

Good readers employ strategies to help them understand text. Strategic readers can develop, select, and apply strategies to enhance their comprehension

Words powerfully affect meaning.

Good readers compare, infer, synthesize, and make connections (text to text, text to world, text to self) to make text personally relevant and useful.

Researchers gather and critique information from different sources for specific purposes.

Good writers develop and refine their ideas for thinking, learning, communicating, and aesthetic expression.

Good writers use a repertoire of strategies that enables them to vary form and style, in order to write for different purposes, audiences, and contexts.
Oral discussion helps to build connections to others and create opportunities for learning.


Formative: a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides explicit feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve students’ achievement of intended instructional outcomes. Formative assessment is a method of continually evaluating students’ academic needs and development within the classroom and precedes local benchmark assessments and state-mandated summative assessments.

3 Types of Formative Assessments:

  1. In the Moment” (those that happen during a lesson)

  2. planned-for-interaction” (those decided before instruction)

  3. curriculum-embedded” (embedded in the curriculum and used to gather data at significant points during the learning process).

  • Exit Tickets

  • Anecdotal Notes

  • Talk Moves

  • Quiz

  • Quick-Writes

  • Concept Map

  • Think-Pair-Share

  • Use of Individual Whiteboards

  • Summaries & Reflections

  • Text Dependent Questions (TDQs)

Summative: cumulative evaluations used to measure student growth after instruction and are generally given at the end of a course in order to determine whether long term learning goals have been met.( State-mandated assessments ,District benchmark or interim assessments, End-of-unit or -chapter tests)

  • DWA

  • Benchmark

  • End of Unit Tests

  • Open-Ended Responses to Literature

  • Published Writing Pieces

  • On-Demand Writing

Authentic Assessment (Performance Based Assessment) Performance-based assessment is an alternative that is designed to encompass a better overall representation of student progress to gather a demonstration of the scope of knowledge a student has on a subject rather than simply testing the accuracy of their response on a selection of questions.

  •  See Culminating Activities (page 13-14)

(Students are to select one activity of their choice).


Reading Literature

BUILT IN (standards that are a part of every lesson)

WHEN APPRoPRIATE (standards that won’t be used daily but for particular lessons)

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.

RL.3.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from non-literal language

RL.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

RL.3.9 Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).

RL.3.5 Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.

RL.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Reading Informational

BUILT IN (standards that are a part of every lesson)

WHEN APPROPRIATE (standards that won’t be used daily but for particular lessons)

RI.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea

RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.

RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.

RI.3.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

RI.3.6 Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).

RI. 3.9 Compare and Contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.

RI.3.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

RI.3.8 Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).


BUILT IN (standards that are a part of every lesson)

WHEN APPROPRIATE (standards that won’t be used daily but for particular lessons)

W.3.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

a. Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/ or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

b. Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.

c. Use temporal words and phrases to signal event order. Provide a sense of closure.

W.3.1 Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.

a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.

b. Provide reasons that support the opinion.

c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.

d. Provide concluding statement or section.

W.3.2 Write informative / explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

a. Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.

c. Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.

d. Provide a concluding statement or section.

W.3.5 With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising,

and editing

W.3.4 With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

W.3.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.

W.3.6 With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others

W.3.7 Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.

W.3.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Speaking and Listening

SL.3.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.

b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

c. Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.

d. Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion

SL.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and

formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally

SL.3.3 Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.

SL.3.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

a. Plan and deliver an informative/explanatory presentation on a topic that: organizes ideas around major points of information, follows a logical sequence, includes supporting details, uses clear and specific vocabulary, and provides a strong conclusion.

SL.3.5 Create engaging audio recordings of stories or poems that demonstrate fluid reading at an understandable pace; add visual displays when appropriate to emphasize or enhance certain facts or details.

SL.3.6 Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification. (See grade 3 Language standards 1 and 3 for specific expectations.)


L.3.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a. Write legibly in cursive or joined italics, allowing margins and correct spacing between letters in a word and words in a sentence.

b. Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, and verbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.

c. Use reciprocal pronouns correctly

d. Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.

e. Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood)

f. Form and use regular and irregular verbs.

g. Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked; I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.

h. Ensure subject-verb and pronoun antecedent agreement.*

j. Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

k. Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences

L.3.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of Standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a. Capitalize appropriate words in titles.

b. Use commas in addresses.

c. Use commas and quotation marks in dialogue.

e. Use conventional spelling for high frequency and other studied words and for adding suffixes to base words (e.g., sitting, smiled, cries, happiness).

f. Use spelling patterns and generalizations (e.g., word families, position-based spellings, syllable patterns, ending rules, meaningful word parts) in writing words.

g. Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.

L.3.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a. Choose words and phrases for effect

b. Recognize and observe differences between the conventions of spoken and written standard English.

L.3.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

c. Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).

d. Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases in all content areas.

L.3.5 Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

a. Distinguish the literal and non-literal meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps).

b. Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).

c. Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).

L.3.6 Acquire and use accurately grade appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).

Reading Foundations

RF.3.3 Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words both in isolation and in text

a. Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.

b .Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

c. Decode multi-syllable words.

d. Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words

RF.3.4 Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

a. Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.

b. Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, re-reading as necessary.

Teaching Tasks-Reading

Extended Text (Read-Aloud) (Grade appropriate texts. Suggestions are listed below.)
Journeys leveled readers:

Helper Monkeys-Level L

Good Dogs, Guide Dogs- Level O

Dogs to the Rescue-Level R

Amazing Animal Helpers by JohnTownsend- lexile 900

Amazing Animal Helpers

lexile 670

Storyworks (paired selections)

Magazines (articles focused on a single topic)

Short Texts (5-9)
Literature 3-5

Journeys Text

The Science Fare (Lesson12)

The Art Contest (Read Aloud-Lesson 12)

Yonder Mountain(Lesson13)

The Extra Good Sunday (Lesson15)

Give Yourself A Gift (Read Aloud-Lesson 15)

Additional texts in Storyworks

Science (1-2)

Science for Sports Fans (Journeys Paired Text-Lesson 11)

Poems about Science (paired text-Lesson 12)

Aero and Officer Mike (Journeys- Lesson 14)

More Than a Pet (Read Aloud-Lesson 14)

Additional texts in Storyworks

Social Studies or arts (1-2) Journeys Text

The Trails of Tears (Journeys Paired text-Lesson 13)

Kids and Critters (Journeys Paired Text-Lesson 16)

Jump (Journeys-Lesson 11)

J Block (Read Aloud-lesson 11)

The Best Worst Day (Read Aloud-Lesson 13)

Additional texts in Storyworks

(Non-fiction texts are biographies & autobiographies. Informational texts are: books about scientific concepts, technical texts—directions, forms—and texts displaying information in graphs, charts, maps, etc.)


Guided Reading Jigsaw

Close Reading Reflection
Cooperative learning Groups Reader’s Theater
Literacy Centers Responses to Literature/

Informational text

Answering Text Dependent Questions

Read Alouds

Reader’s Workshop

Exit Tickets

Shared Reading
Learning Log Document Based Questions

Teaching Tasks-Writing


Lucy Calkins Units of Study-Unit 3 OPINION-Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials: Bends I, II, IV (18 sessions)

Write Source(teacher resource)

6+1 Writing Traits (teacher resource)
Sample Opinion Essay Topics

Problems that need to be addressed

  • Storyworks debates

  • Should celebrities endorse Soda?

  • “We need more magazines in the school library”

  • Texting while driving

  • Changes you want to see in school

  • Saving animals

  • Pollution

  • Should you be allowed to stay up an hour later?

Sample Narrative Topics

Expose students to Narrative tasks that will be seen on the PARCC:

  • Read a story, write an alternate ending

  • Read an incomplete story and write the ending

  • Read a story, re-write the story in another character’s view point

Sample Informative Topics (Research Project)

  • Current Events

  • Animals [basic facts, animal babies, interaction with others, and habitats ]

  • Dog Breeds

  • Historical Events

  • Author Study

Portfolio Requirements

Opinion (2)

  • Reflective of the writing process

Narrative (1)

  • on demand

Informative (1 Research Project)

Literary Analysis Task (1)

Response to Informational text (1)


Writer’s Workshop

Independent writing

Shared writing

On demand writing

Journal Writing


Authentic Assessment

(Culminating Activities)

  • Create a poster or advertisement supporting an issue you feel strongly about. Be sure to include an explanation/interpretation of your work

  • Write a script/play that discuses a global issue

  • Create a newspaper article that includes a photograph, video clip, and/or an interview

  • Create a PowerPoint, Prezi, or iMovie that explains other animal helpers (how they are trained, what makes those animals good candidates for helping people, etc.)

  • Create an actual book or ibook about a famous athlete

  • Create a book review for a book you have read this marking period


(see Appendix A for complete list and explanation of each)

Performance-Based Assessments (PBA): Performance-based assessment is an alternative that is designed to encompass a better overall representation of student progress to gather a demonstration of the scope of knowledge a student has on a subject rather than simply testing the accuracy of their response on a selection of questions.

Literary Analysis Task (LAT): This task will ask students to carefully consider literature worthy of close study and compose an analytic essay.

Research Simulation Task (RST): In this task, students will analyze an informational topic presented through several articles or multimedia stimuli. Students will engage with the texts by answering a series of questions and synthesizing information from multiple sources in order to write two analytic essays.

Narrative Task (NT): In this task, students may be asked to write a story, detail a scientific process, write a historical account of important figures, or describe an account of events, scenes or objects, for example, experiences and background knowledge to make connections with the text.

Graphic Organizers

(see Appendix C for complete list and explanation of each)

  • Point of View

  • Inquiry Chart

  • Knowledge/Question/Response

  • Self-Questioning Chart


(see Appendix B for complete list and explanation of each)

  • Centers

  • Graphic Organizers

  • Teacher Think-Alouds

  • Double Entry Journals

  • Scaffolded Questions

  • Guided Reading

  • Modeling

  • Role Playing

  • Tiered Lessons

  • Question Stems

  • Exemplars

  • Text Coding

  • Flip Books

  • Comprehension Bookmarks

  • Vocabulary Maps

  • Written Conversations


Animal Helpers
Cherokee Native American Tribe (use prior to reading Journeys Text Yonder Mountain)
Trails of Tears

Michael Jordan (use prior to reading Journeys Text Jump!)


Teacher Resources

  • DOGON News has fun articles for kids on current events, science, sports, and more! There are also lots of stories, pictures, videos, and games.

  • Reading Comprehension” Lessons, Units, Reading Passages, Question Sets, etc.

  • Web-based apps to help students build new reading comprehension strategies while improving science literacy.
  • Sample lessons, Student Writing Samples, Assessment Questions, Curricular Tools and Differentiation strategies

  • JOURNEYS Companion Website. Provides all of JOURNEYS materials.

  • Tools to Engage, Create and Share. Useful Technology Extension Ideas for JOURNEYS.

  • SMART notebook lessons


A sampling of stories, pictures, slideshows, and video

clips from nature, just for kids!

  • Grade level standards, book lists and writing exemplars


Model teacher, Beth Newingham’s classroom website complete with teacher resources, lesson ideas, etc.

  • Teachers College Reading and Writing Project provides resources such as reading & writing assessments, word study, professional development opportunities, etc.

  • Reading Instruction Worksheets, Powepoints and PDF’s supporting balanced literacy, Grammar Reference, Phonemic Awareness & Phonics, Reading Comprehension & Sentence Types

  • Writing topics, Student Models, Publish It!, Research Links, etc.

  • Offers an encyclopedia, dictionary, atlas, homework help, study aids, and curriculum guides.
  • A complete lineup of research tools offering elementary, and middle school content that is reading level-linked (lexiled).

Student Resources

  • Science based reading comprehension site

  • Provides digital resources inclusive of comprehensive standards-based content proven to positively impact student achievement.


Database of current event articles that can be adjusted to specific grade level lexiles


Spelling and vocabulary lessons and games


  • Quizzes, games, activities on curricular content

  • Graphic organizers for writing projects, problem solving, decision making, studying, planning research and brainstorming

  • Online standards-based assignments

  • JOURNEYS Companion Website. Provides all of JOURNEYS materials.

  • Reading activities and games for kids.

  • Reading games for Grades K-5.

  • The #1 Kids’ Safe Search Engine-Powered by Google.

  • National Geographic Kids—Information, games and videos for children.


Time for Kids Homework Helper


Gianna Pasceri , Germaine Tarver


Germaine Tarver



Module Reflections
When thinking about your practice:

  • What worked?

  • What do you think could have been done more effectively in your lessons and instruction?

  • What do I need to learn more about?

  • What resources were helpful?

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