For this unit, students will build their knowledge of the challenges of access, pollution, and demands on water. Students first will research each challenge as a class, finding the key information about the particular challenge as they read their central text, One Well: The Story of Water on Earth. Students will answer text-dependent questions throughout their reading to ensure that they are able to use specific details and information from the text. The first half of this Unit, in effect, serves as a guided practice for research and builds students’ knowledge about each challenge before they study one more in-depth. Students will continue to build their vocabulary with a focus on learning words from context. In the mid-unit assessment, students will demonstrate their ability to ask and answer questions based on an informational text in preparation for their research project in the second half of the unit.
For the second half of the unit, students will work with greater independence to conduct a short research project to research in more depth about one of the challenges regarding water: access, pollution, and demands on water. Students will take notes as they read, determining the most important details about this particular challenge. Students will work in partnerships, or with “research buddies.” Although they will read independently, they will have this peer to support them through the process. For the end of unit assessment, students will write a two-paragraph, on-demand informational piece about the challenges of water: One paragraph that synthesizes all three of the challenges regarding water and a second paragraph that goes into more detail to inform the reader about the specific challenge the student researched. This on-demand writing also will serve as a scaffold for their students’ public service announcement (PSA), the final performance task that students will complete in Unit 3.