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ELA G6:M2A

Rules to Live By

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What are “rules to live by”? How do people formulate and use “rules” to improve their lives? How do people communicate these “rules” to others? In this module, students consider these questions as they read the novel Bud, Not Buddy, Steve Jobs’ 2005 commencement address at Stanford University, President Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech, “If” by Rudyard Kipling, and informational research texts.

At the start of Unit 1, students launch their study of Bud, Not Buddy, establishing a set of routines for thinking, writing, and talking about Bud’s rules to live by. They read the novel closely for its figurative language and word choice, analyzing how these affect the tone and meaning of the text. In the second half of the unit, students engage in a close reading of the Steve Jobs speech, focusing on how Jobs develops his ideas at the paragraph, sentence, and word level. Students use details from the speech to develop claims about a larger theme. During Unit 2, students continue to explore the theme of “rules to live by” in the novel as well as through close reading of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. Students analyze how the structure of a poem contributes to its meaning and theme. In a mid-unit assessment, students compare and contrast how Bud, Not Buddy and “If” address a similar theme.

Unit 2 culminates with students writing a literary argument essay in which they establish a claim about how Bud uses his “rules”: to survive or to thrive. Students substantiate their claim using specific text-based evidence including relevant details and direct quotations from the novel.

In Unit 3, students shift their focus to their own rules to live by and conduct a short research project. Students work in expert groups (research teams) to use multiple informational sources to research that topic. As a final performance task, students use their research to write an essay to inform about one important “rule to live by” supported with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, and examples. This performance task centers on ELA standards RI.6.1, RI.6.2, W.6.2, W.6.4, W.6.5, W.6.9, L.6.1 and L.6.2. 

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 are “rules to live by”?
  • How do people formulate and use “rules” to lead better lives?
  • How do people communicate these “rules” to others?
  • People develop “rules to live by” through their own life experience.
  • These “rules to live by” are communicated through a variety of literary modes.

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.

Texts

Texts to Buy

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


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Bud, Not Buddy
by Christopher Paul Curtis
One per student
ISBN: 978-0440413288, 043940200X

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Cyber Bullying Statistics
by www.bullyingstatistics.org
“Is the Cafeteria Ruining Your Life?”
by Elizabeth Larson and Justin O’Neill
2012
“Bullies Behind Bars”
by Carmen Morais
2012
"Adults cut back fast food, but U.S. kids still eat too much fat: CDC”
by Susan Heavey
2013
“Recipe for Health”
by Emily Sohn
2008
“Make Your Move”
by Jennifer Marino-Walters
2010
“Health Rocks,” Skipping Stones, Jan./Feb. 2013. 23
by Skipping Stones
2013
“The Life of a Cell Phone”
by United States Environmental Protection Agency
“Earth Day, Your Way: Celebrate Earth Day, April 22,”
by Weekly Reader
2006
“Live by Design, Not Default”
by Skipping Stones
2009
“A Skateboarder Goes Green,”
by Blair Rainsford
2012
If
by Rudyard Kipling
1910
President Barack Obama, “Back-to-School Speech,”
by President Barack Obama
2009
Steve Jobs, “Stanford University Commencement Address,” speech
by Steve Jobs
2005

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading—LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets

RL.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

• I can cite text-based evidence to support an analysis of literary text.

• RL.6.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments

• I can determine a theme based on details in a literary text.

• RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.

• I can describe how the plot evolves throughout a literary text. • I can describe how the characters change throughout a literary text

• RL.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

• I can determine the meaning of literal and figurative language (metaphors and similes) in literary text. • I can analyze how an author’s word choice affects tone and meaning in a literary text.

• RL.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.

• I can analyze how a particular sentence, stanza, scene, or chapter fits in and contributes to the development of a literary text.

• RL.6.7. Compare and contrast the experience of reading a story, drama, or poem to listening to or viewing an audio, video, or live version of the text, including contrasting what they “see” and “hear” when reading the text to what they perceive when they listen or watch.

• I can compare and contrast how reading a text is different from watching a movie or listening to a literary text.

• RL.6.9. Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.

• I can compare and contrast how different genres communicate the same theme or idea.

• RL.6.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

• I can read grade-level literary texts proficiently and independently. • I can read above-grade literary texts with scaffolding and support.

CCS Standards: Reading—Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets

• RI.6.1. Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

• I can cite text-based evidence to support an analysis of informational text.

• RI.6.2. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

• I can determine the main idea of an informational text based on details in the text.

• RI.6.3. Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

• I can analyze how key individuals, events, or ideas are developed throughout a text.

• RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

• I can use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning in informational texts.

• RI.6.5. Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.

• I can analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits in and contributes to the development of ideas in a text.

• RI.6.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

• I can read grade-level informational texts proficiently and independently. I can read above-grade informational texts with scaffolding and support.

CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets
  • W.6.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

a.      Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b.     Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

c.      Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

d.      Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

e.      Establish and maintain a formal style.

f.      Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.

  • I can write informative/explanatory texts that convey ideas and concepts using relevant information that is carefully selected and organized.

a.      I can introduce the topic of my text.

a.      I can organize my information using various strategies (e.g definition /classification, comparison /contrast, cause/effect.)

b.     I can develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, and quotations.

c.      I can use transitions to clarify relationships among my ideas.

d.      I can use contextually specific language/vocabulary to inform or explain about a topic

e.      I can establish and maintain a formal style in my writing.

f.      I can construct a concluding statement or section of an informative/explanatory text.

• W.6.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

• I can produce clear and coherent writing that is appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

• W.6.5. With some 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.6.6. 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 three pages in a single sitting.

• 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 at least three pages of writing in a single sitting.

• W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

• I can conduct short research projects to answer a question. • I can use several sources in my research. • I can refocus or refine my question when appropriate.

• W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. a. Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres [e.g., stories and poems; historical novels and fantasy stories] in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics”). b. Apply grade 6 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not”).

• I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

• W.6.10. 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 adjust my writing practices for different time frames, tasks, purposes, and audiences.

CCS Standards: Speaking & ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • SL.6.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, 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 by referring to
 evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas
 under discussion.

         b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and
 deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

         c. Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail
 by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue
 under discussion.

         d. Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of
 multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.

 

  • I can effectively engage in discussions with diverse partners about sixth-grade topics, texts, and issues.
  • I can express my own ideas clearly during discussions.
  • I can build on others’ ideas during discussions.

a.      I can prepare myself to participate in discussions.

b.     I can follow our class norms when I participate in a discussion.

c.      I can pose questions that help me clarify what is being discussed.

c.      I can pose questions that elaborate on the topic being discussed.

c.      I can respond to questions with elaboration and detail that connect with the topic being discussed.

d.      After a discussion, I can paraphrase what I understand about the topic being discussed.

 

• SL.6.2. Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study. • I can interpret information presented in different media and formats.

• I can explain how new information connects to a topic, text, or issue I am studying.

CCS Standards: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets
  • L.6.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a.      Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).

b.     Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).

c.      Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.

d.      Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).

e.      Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.

 

  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a.      I can use the proper case of pronouns in my writing.

b.     I can use intensive pronouns. (e.g., myself, ourselves)

c.      I can correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.

d.      I can correct vague pronouns. (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).

e.      I can identify when standard English is and isn’t being used.

e.      I can convert language into standard English.

• L.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a. Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.*

b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.*

• I can use correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.

a. I can use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.

b. I can spell correctly.

• L.6.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).

b. Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

c. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

• I can use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases.

a. I can use common Greek and Latin affixes (prefixes) and roots as clues to help me determine the meaning of a word. (e.g., audience, auditory, audible)

b. I can use resource materials (glossaries, dictionaries, thesauruses) to help me determine or clarify the pronunciation, meaning of key words and phrases, and parts of speech.

c. I can check the accuracy of my guess about the meaning of a word or phrase by using resource materials.

• L.6.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.

c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).

• I can analyze figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. I can interpret figures of speech in context (e.g., personification).

b. I can use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category).

c. I can distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).

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