S 2 – 3 Week Plan 4th – 6th Grades haring Stories “Reading & Writing Ourselves & Others”



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Language Arts


S
2 – 3 Week Plan

4th6th Grades
haring Stories


“Reading & Writing
Ourselves & Others”

Our identity—our understanding of ourselves and our lives—is grounded in the stories that we share, but many of us do not feel empowered to create and respond to stories in an individual way. This unit helps Questers relate to stories on a personal level and understand themselves and others in terms of the choices they make and the meaning they construct. The unit features the widely popular story “Priscilla and the Wimps” and challenges Questers to write an original character-oriented story based on someone in their daily lives.




Introduction
This unit engages Questers in activities designed to foster self-understanding as well as empathy for others by using language for authentic expression and communication.

Goals

By empathizing with characters and people in their lives, Questers will develop their sense of self and an appreciation of writing in the lives of both authors and readers.

MCREL Standards

This unit meets Language Arts standards (Levels I–III) including not only reading and writing but listening and media viewing.


QA Benchmarks

The activities focus on the QA commitments to expression, compassion, and community to foster identity in relation to others.



Activities
This unit features eight activities including study of a short story and composition of short biographical stories using different reading and writing skills.

Teacher Tips

The unit includes resources for the central activities, including online educational multimedia, along with tips for guiding students in their activities.



Pages 2–3



Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Pages 7–14

Pages 15–16

Assessment – The appended questions and rubric may be used to assess the work of the Quests in this unit. You may choose to create a supplementary rubric for these or other activities. Pages 31–37

Appendices

Pages 17–30





Language Arts

S
2 – 3 Week Plan

4th6th Grades
haring Stories

“Reading & Writing

Ourselves & Others”




Introduction (page 1 of 2)
We come to know our world—and even ourselves—through understanding others, and a fun way to understand others is through the stories they share. Further, the stories we share not help others understand us but positively shape who we are: our stories affect what we remember and value, and how we think of ourselves and our world.
Through listening to the stories told by characters and classmates, students practice the identifying and perspective taking with others, which are the keys to not only empathy but also lifelong literacy. Students encounter stories in a variety of forms: written, read aloud, and even spoken by characters in animated videos. The stories come from classmates as well as from a range of books written for teens(these texts are all included in the appendices).
Students produce a handful of short writings as well as one longer piece, selected from one of the earlier activities and revised through peer response. In fact, students practice three forms of non-evaluative response: simply receiving & understanding; identifying general and specific content; and reader-based responding.
The beginning, middle, and end of the unit feature character-based narrations, to which students respond first by perspective taking and then by offering a description or anecdote of their own. Students also read the fun and popular short story “Priscilla and the Wimps” early in the unit, and even interview a parent or neighbor to write a brief story from that person’s life. One piece of writing is further developed, published in class or electronically, and optionally shared in a Classroom Fair.

The following page features a graphical overview of the unit.

(continued on next page)




S
2 – 3 Week Plan

4th6th Grades

Language Arts
haring Stories


“Reading & Writing
Ourselves & Others”




Introduction (page 2 of 2)
The table below outlines the different activities. In addition to the “key” activities, in many of the activities students review each other’s work using different response strategies; these are typically followed by a light revision before submission to the teacher. To encourage students to work independent of teacher rewards, and to assist busy teachers, feedback is not critical for all activities, and suggestions are given. To contribute to the simplicity and appeal of the unit, all of the Quest activities are arranged in a single building in a unique virtual world (see Appendix A).






Activity Title

Key Activities

Response & Revision Types

Teacher Feedback

1

Identifying with Characters, pt. 1

Quest




Optional

2

Meeting Characters

Quest; Class discussion

“Understanding” / No revision

Credit or Comments

3

Understanding Characters

Short story; Class discussion



Optional

4

Give & Take Stories

Quest

“General & specific”/ Minor revision

Credit or Comments

5

Telling the Stories of Others

Interview

“Reader-based response” / Minor revision

Credit or Comments

6

Writers Workshop

Small group work

Major revision / Any of the 3 responses

Credit & Comments

7

Publishing Stories

Production

Minor revision

Credit & Comments


8

Identifying with Characters, pt. 2

Quest



Optional







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