You are here

ELA G5:M4

Natural Disasters in the Western Hemisphere

You are here:

The Foundational Reading and Language Standards Resources Package for Grades 3–5

Use this guide to build additional literacy blocks alongside the module lessons.

Download

The fourth module of fifth grade engages students in a high-interest topic—natural disasters—with a literacy focus on point of view in literature, research, opinion writing, and public speaking. The module integrates science content (about extreme natural events) with a Social Studies focus on the Western Hemisphere and the role of multinational organizations. In Unit 1, students read about the science behind natural disasters, specifically earthquakes and hurricanes. In Unit 2, students read two pieces of literature that is set during a natural disaster. They consider what they can learn from literature about natural disasters and their impact on the people who experience them. This is explored through an analysis of the narrator’s perspective and how this impacts the description of events as well as the visual elements of the text. 

In Unit 3, students work in research teams to investigate natural disasters that have affected countries in the Western Hemisphere. As a connection to Social Studies, students also will read primary source documents to learn about how the United States and multinational organizations, such as the Red Cross, respond to disasters in the Western Hemisphere. Based on this research, students then will draft and revise an opinion speech in which they take a stand on what role U.S. humanitarian organizations should take when neighboring countries are struck by natural disasters. They will then deliver this speech to the class. This written and public speaking performance task centers on ELA standards RI.5.7, RI.5.9, W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.5, W.5.7, W.5.8, W.5.9, SL.5.4, SL.5.6, L.5.1, L.5.2, L.5.3, and L.5.6.

Week-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • What is a natural disaster?
  • What can literature about natural disasters teach us about their impact on the people who experience them?
  • How should multinational organizations respond when communities are struck by natural disasters?
  • Extreme natural events can have positive and negative effects on the environment and humans.
  • A narrator’s point of view affects how events in a story are described.
  • Visual elements in literature contribute to the meaning of the text.
  • Public speakers must provide reasons and evidence to support their opinion.

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies and science content that may align to additional teaching during other parts of the day. These intentional connections are described below.

NYS Social Studies Core Curriculum:

  • 5.10 Increasingly, the nations of the Western Hemisphere participate in and benefit from international organizations that promote peace, cooperation, economic development, global health, and cultural understanding.
  • 5.10.a Multinational organizations and nongovernmental organizations in the Western Hemisphere seek to actively promote democracy, protect human rights, support economic development, and encourage cooperation between nations.
  • 5.10.b The United Nations helps maintain peace between nations and uses international pressure to protect human rights and promote cultural understanding.
  • 5.10.c When nations or regions in the Western Hemisphere face challenges due to natural disasters, health epidemics, or political upheavals, multinational organizations provide global support and assistance.

NYS Science:

  • 2.1e Extreme natural events (floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other severe storms) may have positive or negative effects on living things.
  • 5.2g The health, growth, and development of organisms are influenced by environmental conditions such as the availability of food, air, water, space, shelter, heat, and sunlight.
  • 7.1a Humans depend on their natural and constructed environments.
  • 7.1c Humans, as individuals or communities, change environments in ways that can be either helpful or harmful for themselves and other organisms.

Texts

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Eight Days: A Story of Haiti
by Edwidge Danticat
One per student
ISBN: 978-0545278492, 054527849X

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Remarks by President Obama, Former President Bill Clinton, and Former President George W. Bush on the Recovery and Rebuilding Effort in Haiti
by President Obama
Characteristics of Multinational Organizations
by Matt Reher
“The Red Cross at a Glance”
by How Stuff Works
http://money.howstuffworks.com/red-cross.htm.,
“Surface Amplified Haiti Earthquake”
by Current Science
Current Science (Vol. 96, Issue 10), Jan. 2011, 13,
“Help for Haiti”
by Weekly Reader News
Weekly Reader News Edition 3 (Vol. 79, Issue 18), Feb. 2010, 3,
“Haiti Earthquake Relief One-Year Report”
by Red Cross
at http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m3140113_HaitiEarthquake_OneYearReport.pdf,
“On Shaky Ground”
by Britt Norlander
In Scholastic Action (Vol. 33 Issue 14), May 10, 2010, 16-19,
“A Rocky Road Ahead”
by Scholastic News
in Scholastic News Edition 5/6 (Vol. 78, Issue 14), Feb. 2010, 2, 2010
"Earthquakes."
by Karen Carr
Kidipede.com,
”How Does a Hurricane Form?”
by NASA
http://scijinks.nasa.gov/hurricane,
"Earthquake." The New Book of Knowledge
by Grolier Online
Grolier Online, 2013

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading—LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RL.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • I can explain what a text says using quotes from the text.

• RL.5.6. Describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described. a. Recognize and describe how an author’s background and culture affect his or her perspective.

• I can describe how a narrator’s point of view influences the description of events. a. I can recognize and describe how an author’s background affects his or her perspective.

• RL.5.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

• I can read grade-level literary texts proficiently and independently.

• RL.5.11 Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.

• I can make connections between texts and other texts, my personal experience, different cultural perspectives.

CCS Standards: Reading—Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets
  • RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • I can explain what a text says using quotes from the text.
  • I can make inferences using quotes from the text.
  • RI.5.3. Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
  • I can explain important relationships between people, events, and ideas in a historical, scientific, or technical text using specific details in the text.
  • RI.5.4. Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.
  • I can determine the meaning of academic words or phrases in an informational text.
  • I can determine the meaning of content words or phrases in an informational text.
  • RI.5.6. Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
  • I can compare and contrast multiple accounts of the same event or topic.
  • RI.5.7. Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.
  • I can locate an answer or solve a problem efficiently, drawing from multiple informational sources.
  • RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • I can accurately synthesize information from multiple texts on the same topic.
  • RI.5.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 4–5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • I can read grade-level informational texts proficiently and independently.
Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.5.1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically).
d. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.

  • I can write an opinion piece that supports a point of view with reasons and information.

a. I can introduce the topic of my opinion piece.
b. I can create an organizational structure in which I group together related ideas.
c. I can identify reasons that support my opinion.
d. I can use linking words to connect my opinion and reasons.
e. I can construct a concluding statement or section for my opinion piece.

  • W.5.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

a. Introduce a topic clearly, provide a general observation and focus, and group related information logically; include formatting (e.g., headings), illustrations, and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
c. Link ideas within and across categories of information using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., in contrast, especially).
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and information clearly.

a. I can group supporting facts together about a topic in an informative/explanatory text
b. I can use text, formatting, illustrations, and multimedia to support my topic.
c. I can develop the topic with facts, definitions, details, and quotations.
d. I can use precise, content-specific vocabulary to inform or explain about a topic.

  • W.5.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • W.5.5. With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • With support from peers and adults, I can use a writing process to produce clear and coherent writing.
  • W.5.6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
  • With support from adults, I can use technology to publish a piece of writing.
  • I can use technology to collaborate with others to produce a piece of writing.
  • I can type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting.
  • W.5.7. Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.
  • I can build knowledge about multiple aspects of a topic by conducting research.
  • I can use several sources to build my knowledge about a topic.
  • W.5.8. Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • I can recall information that is important to a topic.
  • I can document what I learn about a topic by taking notes.
  • I can summarize or paraphrase information in my notes and in finished work.
  • I can provide a list of sources I used to gather information.
  • W.5.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g., how characters interact]”).
b. Apply grade 5 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s]”).

  • I can choose evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • W.5.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.’
  • I can write for a variety of reasons.
  • W.5.11 Create and present a poem, narrative, play, art work, or personal response to a particular author or theme studied in class, with support as needed.
  • I can create and present a poem, narrative, play, art work, or personal response to a particular author or theme studied in class, with support as needed.
Standards: Speaking and ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.5.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
b. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
c. Pose and respond to specific questions by making comments that contribute to the discussion and elaborate on the remarks of others.
d. Review the key ideas expressed and draw conclusions in light of information and knowledge gained from the discussions.

  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about fifth-grade topics and texts.

a. I can prepare myself to participate in discussions.
b. I can follow our class norms when I participate in a conversation.
c. I can connect my questions and responses to what others say.
d. After a discussion, I can explain key ideas about the topic being discussed.

  • SL.5.3. Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
  • I can summarize the points a speaker provides.
  • I can explain how the evidence a speaker provides supports the points he or she is trying to make.
  • SL.5.4. Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • I can report on a topic or text using organized facts and details.
  • I can speak clearly and at an understandable pace.
  • SL.5.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation
  • I can adapt my speech for a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate.
Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.5.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a. Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.

  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.

a. I can use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.

  • L.5.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a. Use punctuation to separate items in a series.
b. Use a comma to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence.
c. Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
d. Spell grade-appropriate words correctly, consulting references as needed.

  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.

a. I can use punctuation to separate items in a series.
b. I can use a comma to separate an introductory word or phrase from the rest of the sentence.
c. I can use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
d. I can spell grade-appropriate words correctly.
e. I can consult reference materials to check and correct my spelling.

  • L.5.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a. Expand, combine, and reduce sentences for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.

  • I can use my knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a. I can use a variety of sentence structures in my writing.

  • L.5.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
c. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases

  • I can use a variety of strategies to read grade appropriate words and phrases I don’t know.

a. I can use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) to help me understand the meaning of a word or phrase.
b. I can use common Greek and Latin affixes (prefixes) and roots as clues to help me know what a word means (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
c. I can use resource materials (glossaries, dictionaries, thesauruses) to help me determine or clarify the pronunciation and meaning of key words and phrases.

  • L.5.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
b. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
c. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.

  • I can analyze the meaning of figurative and complex language.

a. Interpret figurative language, including similes and metaphors, in context.
b. Recognize and explain the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs.
c. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonyms, antonyms, homographs) to better understand each of the words.

Get updates about our new K-5 curriculum as new materials and tools debut.

Sign Up