Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Jennifer Wray

This unit arose out of students reading passively and not responding to their texts. In order to inspire a response in students, these picture books set in the WWII era are particularly powerful and typically evoke passionate responses. The unit focuses on understanding different perspectives in history and an author’s purpose for writing. The other main focus is teaching students how to have a personal response to a text. Authors of these books specifically wrote their stories to learn from the past and create peace for the future. Therefore, the performance task at the end invites the students to use the books as inspiration for their own project that could benefit their own world. It is an avenue for students to respond to text in a positive way as well as empowering them as children with powerful ideas that can make a difference!

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