In this module, students are involved in a study of how an author develops point of view and how an author’s perspective, based on his or her culture, is evident in his or her writing. Students will read Lawrence Yep’s Dragonwings (870L), a high-interest novel about an eight-year-old boy from China who joins his father in San Francisco in the early 1900s. As they read the novel, students also will read excerpts of Lawrence Yep’s biography The Lost Garden in order to determine how his culture and his experiences shaped his perspective and how his perspective is evident in his novel Dragonwings. Through the close reading of these texts, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary.
At the end of Unit 1, having read half of the novel, students will write a short, on-demand response explaining how being brought up in a Chinese family in San Francisco affected Lawrence Yep’s perspective of Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco, supported by details from Dragonwings that show evidence of his perspective.
In Unit 2, students analyze how point of view and perspective is conveyed in excerpts of “Comprehending the Calamity,” a primary source account written by Emma Burke about her experiences of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fires. In a literary analysis at the end of Unit 2, students compare the point of view of Emma Burke of the immediate aftermath of the earthquake to the point of view of Moon Shadow in Dragonwings. Students finish the module by researching to gather factual information and eyewitness accounts about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire in order to write their own newspaper articles containing multiple perspectives about how the earthquake and fires affected the people of San Francisco. This task addresses ELA standards RI.6.7, W.6.2, W.6.4a, W.6.9, and L.6.3a.