Interpreting Characters: The Heart of Story is our first reading unit this year.  During this unit, students will:

  • learn to establish powerful reading lives (inside and outside of the classroom).
  • learn to think deeply about characters (growing ideas about characters, craft, and language).
  • learn to use text evidence to support the ideas we grow about characters.
  • read in partnerships to discuss their thinking.

Reading the Weather, Reading the World is our first nonfiction unit this year.  Nonfiction is factual information written around a central idea, followed by supporting evidence. During this unit, students will:

  • learn to read for main ideas and supporting details, to identify text structure, to summarize, to synthesize, to analyze author’s craft, and to figure out meanings of unknown words.
  • understand the text features of nonfiction that help develop a sense for text content.
    • diagrams
    • captions
    • images
    • charts
  • learn ways to organize information based on the structure of the text.
    • T Chart–Problem/Solution, Cause/Effect, Question/Answer
    • Venn Diagram–Compare/Contrast
    • Timeline–Sequence
    • Sketch
  • work in research groups studying extreme weather and natural disasters.


Detail and Synthesis: Close Reading of Fiction 

During this unit, students will:

  • think carefully about how they read fiction, set new goals, learn the importance of rereading, and talk deeply about big ideas.
  •  focus on studying characters to develop sophisticated themes.
  • compare and contrast texts in different ways: how characters respond to problems, how similar themes are developed differently across texts