Unit Four: Creating a Call to Action
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. ~Joseph Addison
OVERVIEW: At the beginning of this quarter we are embarking upon our final unit: a multi-genre unit focusing on diversity and adversity. Our anchor text for fourth quarter will be The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. This unit will include some non-fiction as well. Many of the assignments related to this unit will be less driven by the argument writing mandates: Assignments will be more project based with opportunities for self expression, innovation, and creativity. In April we will do some work in non-fiction texts that revolve around Jackie Robinson (Jackie Robinson Day is on April 15th). Our study of The Outsiders will close out this school year. PARCC testing will monopolize most of the month of April in our building, however, the RMS staff has devised a schedule where seventh graders will only have six days of testing. Classes will continue as close to the usual daily schedule as possible during the rest of that month.
District 51 7th Grade ELA Unit Four Plan and Resources:
Week One: On Monday students will tackle their second Greek and Latin Roots Test. Tuesday and Thursday students will build background for understanding on our 4th quarter novel: The Outsiders. Student will be completing an online "scavenger hunt" to gather information on the setting of our story which is the 1960's. Students will also be looking up facts on the author and the publication of the book. Wednesday our skilled RMS counselors, Shan Mixon and Gwen Eller, will be sharing a district mandated presentation on how to identify signs of suicide. Friday is our RMS Spring Social and Athletics Assembly, so ELA classes will be very brief. Students will have that abbreviated class time to enjoy reading a book of their choice.
Have a wonderful and safe spring break!!!! :)
Week Two and Three: PARCC testing begins for 7th graders on Tuesday of week two; testing lasts for six days with students taking one session of PARCC each day. Regular classes will take place during the rest of each test day. In ELA we begin our final unit: a multi-genre unit on diversity and adversity that coincides with our final novel, The Outsiders. We will begin with a vocabulary activity on Monday after spring break. Tuesday March 28th through the following Tuesday April 4th we will be doing a Character Pillars activity utilizing the new unit vocabulary. Students will complete this activity while watching the movie Remember the Titans. Wednesday, after testing is over, we will begin reading the first Chapter of The Outsiders. We will get back to our Greek and Latin roots instruction on Wednesday after testing as well. We will continue reading and getting into our novel Thursday and Friday.
Week Four and Five: During week four we spend some time with non-fiction sources exploring and analyzing the life of Jackie Robinson, who personified diversity and overcoming adversity in his life. We will watch and analyze a biographical video, and read and analyze an excerpt of his autobiography in our ELA textbooks. Students will choose a writing prompt for a short constructed response and write an argument. Students will also have an article to read about Jackie that was written by his daughter. They will answer questions about that article as well. During week five we will continue reading our novel. We will do a poem study on Robert Frost's "Nothing Gold Can Stay" before we get to the poem in the novel. Students will also continue working on their unit portfolios with whatever class time we have left after the reading.
Week Six and Seven: Week six we will continue reading the novel through chapter nine. Monday we will have a quiz on chapters five and six. Students will have time to continue to work on their portfolios in class as well. Thursday we will be in the library preparing for week seven's new and exciting Amazing Race simulation: The Outsiders version! Week seven is a short week. Students will be off Thursday and Friday of this week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we will be outside simulating the popular reality television show: The Amazing Race. Students will work together in teams of four or five; they will face riddles about the novel that they have to work together to figure out. They will also have to work through individual and team challenges (detours and roadblocks) that are similar to the ones on the television show. The winning group from each class will receive a pizza party one day during lunch next week. Most encouraging/ best sportsmanship teams will also be selected and rewarded with donuts on the same day as the pizza party.
Week Eight: The Amazing Race: Outsiders Version was a huge success! Students had a lot of fun and did a great job team building and problem solving. The content of the challenges enabled them to review and reinforce novel comprehension and prepare for the upcoming final exam.
The goal of week eight is to finish the novel. We will be reading chapters ten, eleven, and twelve in class and the remainder of each class period will be time for students to continue working on their comprehensive portfolios. On Thursday we will have our final library day for the spring book fair. We will also be debriefing The Amazing Race Outsiders Version and announcing our team winners. Tuesday we will do a formal review for The Outsiders final exam. Students will be given a study guide to prepare for the test which will be next week.
Week Nine: The Outsiders final exam will be Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week. Students will be tested on characterization, comprehension, and conflict analysis on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday students will be writing short constructed arguments analyzing the novel for tone and theme. Thursday and Friday we will be watching The Outsiders movie. The popcorn machine will be running so students can enjoy an authentic movie atmosphere. Friday we will have a modified schedule for our annual Fun-K fundraiser!!