Language Arts Understanding by Design Lesson Plans


By Devon Erlich

In this unit students will read five narratives (both fiction and nonfiction) that have a common theme of sacrifice. The readings will provide them with the opportunity to uncover the understandings that sacrifices occur on a daily basis in our world, in our lives, and in our literature. Additionally, the students will have the opportunity to understand that authors write narratives with a message in mind, and effectively conveying this message requires a purposeful use of literary elements, organization, and diction. As the unit progresses, students will be able to answer the question, “What is a narrative?” And “How do literary elements contribute to the unity of the effect?” Not only will they study the skills of writing a narrative, but they will consider our thematic question, “How do people come to understand or know sacrifice?” The unit will contain multiple versions of assessment but will conclude with an assignment where students must create, revise, and edit a narrative piece for our classroom anthology. Initially, the students will write a narrative which includes the idea of sacrifice in some way. After they have written their narrative, the students will undergo an individual and peer process where they evaluate and revise their narrative based on their knowledge they have gained throughout the unit. The final draft of the narrative will contain purposeful use of literary elements, and they will be able to identify how each element adds depth and meaning to their writing.

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