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ELA G6:M3A

The Land of the Golden Mountain

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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.

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

  • How does an author develop the narrator’s point of view and perspective?
  • How does an author’s culture affect his perspective, and how is that perspective communicated through his writing?
  • How does an author’s purpose affect the narrator’s point of view?
  • What is the purpose of a newspaper article?
  • Understanding diverse points of view helps us to live in an increasingly diverse society.
  • Newspaper articles contain multiple perspectives of the same event in order to give the reader a sense of what an event was like for a lot of different people.
  • An author’s culture, background, and purpose can affect the narrator’s point of view.

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards as students read literature and informational text about San Francisco in the early 1900s. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies practices and themes to support potential interdisciplinary connections to this compelling content. These intentional connections are described below.

Big ideas and guiding questions are informed by the New York State Common Core K–8 Social Studies Framework:

Unifying Themes (pages 6–7)

  • Theme 1: Individual Development and Cultural Identity: The role of social, political, and cultural interactions supports the development of identity. Personal identity is a function of an individual’s culture, time, place, geography, interaction with groups, influences from institutions, and lived experiences.
  • Theme 2: Development, Movement, and Interaction of Cultures: Role of diversity within and among cultures. Aspects of culture such as belief systems, religious faith, or political ideas as influences on other parts of a culture such as its institutions or literature, music, and art.
  • Theme 10: Global Connections and Exchange: Past, current, and likely future global interactions and connections. Cultural diffusion, the spread of ideas, beliefs, technology, and goods. Role of technology. Benefits/consequences of global interdependence (social, political, economic). Causes and patterns of migration of people. Tension between national interests and global priorities.

 Social Studies Practices: Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence, Grades 5–8:

  • Descriptor 2: Identify, describe, and evaluate evidence about events from diverse sources (including written documents, works of art, photographs, charts and graphs, artifacts, oral traditions, and other primary and secondary sources).
  • Descriptor 3: Analyze evidence in terms of content, authorship, point of view, purpose, and format; identify bias; explain the role of bias and audience in presenting arguments or evidence.

 

Texts

Texts to Buy

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


Cover Text Quantity ISBNs
Dragonwings
by Laurence Yep
One per student
ISBN: 978-006440085, 0064400859

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
The Lost Garden
by Laurence Yep
The San Francisco Earthquake, 1906
by Eyewitness to History
Timeline of the San Francisco Earthquake, April 18–23, 1906
by Gladys Hansen
The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
by USGS
Sandy wreaks havoc across Northeast; at least 11 dead
by Matt Smith
2012
Casualties and Damage after the 1906 Earthquake
by USGS
One Boy’s Experience
by Lloyd Head
Waking Up in a Nightmare
by Expeditionary Learning for instructional purposes
Scene 1: The Great Earthquake and Fires of 1906: A Dramatic Remembrance
by Expeditionary Learning for instructional purposes
Poem of the Earthquake
by Eliza A. Pittsinger
Comprehending the Calamity
by Emma M. Burke
Overlook Magazine, 1906

Outcomes

CCS Standards: Reading-LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • RL.6.6. Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.

a. Explain how an author’s geographic location or culture affects his or her perspective.

  • RL.6.11. Recognize, interpret, and make connections in narratives, poetry, and drama, ethically and artistically to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.

a. Self-select text to develop personal preferences.

b. Establish and use criteria to classify, select, and evaluate texts to make informed judgments about the quality of the pieces.

  • 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.
  • I can analyze how a particular sentence, stanza, scene, or chapter fits in and contributes to the development of a literary text.
  • I can analyze how an author develops a narrator or speaker’s point of view.

a. I can explain how an author’s geographic location or culture affects his or her perspective.

  • I can interpret, analyze, and evaluate narratives, poetry, and drama, artistically and ethically by making connections to other texts, ideas, cultural perspectives, eras, personal events, and situations.

a. I can self-select text to develop personal preferences.

b. I can establish and use criteria to classify, select, and evaluate texts to make informed judgments about the quality of the pieces.

CCS Standards: Reading-Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets
  • 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).
  • RI.6.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
  • RI.6.7. Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

 

  • I can analyze how key individuals, events, or ideas are developed throughout a text.
  • I can use a variety of strategies to determine word meaning in informational texts.
  • I can determine an author’s point of view or purpose in an informational text.
  • I can explain how an author’s point of view is conveyed in an informational text.
  • I can use a variety of media to develop and deepen my understanding of a topic or idea.

 

CCS Standards: Reading-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.

  • W.6.4a. Produce text (print or nonprint) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.
  • W.6.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry 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”).

  • W.6.11. Create and present a text or art work in response to a literary work.

a. Develop a perspective or theme supported by relevant details.

b. Recognize and illustrate social, historical, and cultural features in the presentation of literary texts.

  • 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).

a. I can include headings, graphics, and multimedia to help readers understand my ideas.

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.

  • I can produce text (print or nonprint) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.
  • 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.
  • I can use evidence from a variety of grade-appropriate texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • I can create and present a text or art work in response to a literary work.
  • a. I can develop a perspective or theme supported by relevant details.
  • b. I can recognize and illustrate social, historical, and cultural features in the presentation of literary texts.
CCS Standards: Speaking and ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets
  • 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.6.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

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

b. Spell correctly.

  • L.6.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

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

b. Maintain consistency in style and tone.

  • L.6.4a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • 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.
  • I can use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a. I can use a variety of sentence structures to make my writing and speaking more interesting.

b. I can maintain consistency in style and tone when writing and speaking.

  • I can use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) to determine the meaning of a word or phrase.

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