Units of Study
    Marking Period 1
    The Short Story
    Students will reviewing their learning about the elements of a short story as well as how stories are used in our culture to teach and reinforce important concepts and ideas. Students will be comparing, contrasting, and collecting information and evidence from all stories in the unit and writing a final essay that compares and contrasts the different elements in the stories and how these elements create a lasting impression on the reader. Additionally, students will write a sequel to a story of their choice and incorporate elements discussed during writing workshop and practice skills good writers use to engage their readers.

    Enduring Understandings:

    Students should understand that:

    -Every short story has a plot comprised of several key elements

    -Writers create multi-dimensional characters to guide the reader through the stories

    -Short stories use theme to communicate a main idea that the author wants to reader to know

    -Writers may use symbols, tone, mood or irony to demonstrate a specific point

    -Short stories can be used for entertainment as well as educational purposes

    -Short stories can communicate deeper social ideas or understandings

    -Writers use different techniques to create description and add meaning to the text

    Essential Questions:

    How are the elements of plot essential to every short story?

    What is the difference between direct and indirect characterization?

    When creating a character, what do writers or authors tend to focus on?

    What elements create a good character?

    How do authors use symbols and symbolism?

    What is mood and how is it communicated?

    What are the different types of irony and what purpose do they serve?

    How can irony be used to communicate a strong point?

    How can authors use literature to express cultural, societal or historical significance?

    How can we use literature to help us understand our culture or our environment?

    How could short stories be used to inform? How can short stories be used to entertain?

    How do short stories impact our view of our culture or our society?

    Class Novel: Walk Two Moons
     Students will read Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, a poignant coming of age novel about two young women and two journeys to understand their parents and their motivations for the decisions they make or have made. Students will participate in both a guided and independent reading of the novel and complete class activities and literature circle activities that will aid in their understanding of the novel and allow them to practice close reading skills. Students will also write journals to aid in their comprehension of the novel, complete a literary analysis of one of the book's major themes, and complete a travel project that maps out Sal's journey in the novel and creates a travel itinerary for her of potential routes and landmarks.

    Enduring Understandings:

    Students should understand that:

    -Novels include multi-dimensional characters that advance the plot of the novel.

    -Novels are a tool for understanding someone’s culture or an experience that is different from our own.

    -Novels include several themes within them that help the reader to understand how the conflict is developed and resolved.

    -Novels are a form of writing that binds humans together and communicates common themes or ideas that relate to issues in our own lives.

    Essential Questions:

    How does examining the human experience give us an appreciation of others and ourselves?

    How does Walk Two Moons help the reader gain insight into his or her own culture and society?

    -How is the novel format used to express universal themes, morals, or ethics?

    -What themes, morals, or ethics are examined in Walk Two Moons and what do we have to learn from them?

    -How does a writer build characters and conflict throughout a novel?

    -How do good predictions help us to understand the novels we read and the conflict between the characters?

    -How can we use text evidence to form and make assumptions about the text we read?