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ELA G6:M3B

Sustaining the Oceans

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In this module, students study how an author develops point of view and how an author’s perspective, based on his or her geographic location, is evident in his or her writing. Students consider point of view as they learn about ocean conservation and the impact of human activities on life in the oceans. Through close reading, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary. In Unit 1, students read the first five chapters of Mark Kurlansky’s World without Fish, a literary nonfiction text about fish depletion in the world’s oceans. They analyze how point of view and perspective is conveyed in excerpts of the text and trace the idea of fish depletion in both the main text and the graphic novel at the end of each chapter to describe how the idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated on in the text.

In Unit 2, students read Carl Hiaasen’s Flush (830L), a high-interest novel about a casino boat that is polluting the ocean and the effort of a family to stop it. As they read the novel, students also will read excerpts of an interview with Carl Hiaasen to determine how his geographic location in Florida shaped his perspective and how his perspective is evident in his novel Flush. At the end of Unit 2, having read the novel, students will write a short, on-demand response explaining how living in Florida affected Carl Hiaasen’s perspective of the ocean and ocean conservation, supported by details from Flush that show evidence of Hiaasen’s perspective. In Unit 3, students return to World without Fish and pursue further research about overfishing to write an informative consumer guide about buying fish to be put in a grocery store. This task addresses ELA standards W.6.2, W.6.6 (optional), W.6.7, L.6.2, L.6.2a, L.6.2b, L.6.3, L.6.3a, and L.6.3b.

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 geographic location 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?
  • How do human activities affect the balance of our ecosystem?
  • Understanding diverse points of view helps us to live in an increasingly diverse society.
  • An author’s culture, background, and purpose can affect the narrator’s point of view.
  • Organisms and their environment have an interconnected relationship. Human choices affect this relationship.

 

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards as students read literary and informational text about ocean conservation issues. 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 3: Time, Continuity, and Change: History as a formal study that applies research methods. Reading, reconstructing, and interpreting events, analyzing causes and consequences of events and developments, considering competing interpretations of events.
  • Theme 4: Geography, Humans, and the Environment: Relationship between human populations and the physical world (people, places, and environments), impact of human activities on the environment, and interactions between regions, locations, places, people, and environments.

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
World Without Fish
by Mark Kurlansky
ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9
Flush
by Carl Hiaasen
One Per Student
ISBN: 978-0375861253, 0375861254

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Florida: 'A Paradise of Scandals'
by Steve Kroft
Sustainable Fishing
by National Geographic
5 Creative Tips From Carl Hiaasen, Florida's Cleverest Chronicler
by Jessica Grose
Choosing Sustainable
by Fishwatch.gov
A Rapidly Disappearing Fish
by PBS.org
Threat 1: Overfishing
by Save Our Seas
Sustainable Fishing Methods
by Sunset.com
Case Study: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna
by Save Our Seas
Destructive Fishing
by Marine-conservation.org
Protecting Ocean Habitat from Bottom Trawling
by NRDC.ORG

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.

• 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.6.6. 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.

• 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.

• 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 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 on 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.6.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

• 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.

• 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 use a variety of media to develop and deepen my understanding of a topic or idea.

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).

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.

• W.6.4a. Produce text (print or non-print) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.

• I can produce text (print or non-print) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.

• W.6.6. (optional) 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.

CCS Standards: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets

• W.6.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a. Apply sixth-grade 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 sixth-grade 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.6.11. Create and present a text or artwork 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 create and present a text or artwork 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 & 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.

• 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.6.3. 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.

• 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.

• 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 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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