In this unit, students build their background knowledge about where water is found on earth and the movement of water through the water cycle and the physical landscape. Students will consider the guiding question “Where does our water come from?” as they begin reading One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Students will examine maps and graphs to determine where the water is in the world and how much of our water comes from oceans, rivers, etc. They also will read other informational texts that require them to use graphics and diagrams. Throughout the unit, students will collect “water words” (domain-specific vocabulary) and “power words” (academic vocabulary). In the mid-unit assessment, students will write an on-demand informational paragraph about where water is on earth. (This paragraph will help scaffold students for their final performance task in which they will create a public service announcement educating their audience about why water is important.)
In the second half of the unit, students will compare and contrast different texts on rivers and the water cycle, including examining how graphics and illustrations convey meaning about the water cycle. Students will read texts of greater complexity and will practice coding text for the main idea and key details in order to compare and contrast them. For the end of unit assessment, students will apply their comparison skills by reading a new text about the water cycle and comparing how the information is portrayed in this text and in One Well: The Story of Water on Earth.