You are here

ELA G8:M1

Finding Home: Refugees

You are here:

In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees.

In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character, Ha, a 10-year-old Vietnamese girl whose family is deciding whether to flee during the fall of Saigon. The novel, poignantly told in free verse, will challenge students to consider the impact of specific word choice on tone and meaning. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text, both in discussion and through writing. They then will read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam, and the specific historical context of Ha’s family’s struggle during the fall of Saigon.

In Unit 2, students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’ experiences across various times and cultures as they flee and find home. As they continue to move through the novel, they will focus on how particular incidents move the story forward and reveal aspects of Ha’s character. Unit 2 culminates in which students examine how the universal refugee experience causes the refugee’s life to be turned inside out and eventually return back again.

In Unit 3, having finished the novel, students will reread critical incidents, while also working in research groups to study the experiences of refugees from one of several cultures. Students will use this knowledge to write to write two, free verse narrative poems that capture the universal refugee experience. Students will reread poems from the novel as mentor texts. This free-verse narrative poems performance task centers on ELA standards RI.8.1, RI.8.2, W.8.3, W.8.4, W.8.5, W.8.7, W.8.9, L.8.1, and L.8.2.

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 is home?
  • How do critical incidents reveal character?
  • What common themes unify the refugee experience?
  • How can we tell powerful stories about people’s experiences?
  • Critical incidents reveal a character’s dynamic nature.
  • Characters change over time in response to challenges.
  • Authors select a genre of writing to fully engage the reader.

Content Connections

  • This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards. However, the module intentionally incorporates Social Studies content. 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
Inside Out & Back Again
by Thanhha Lai
One per student
ISBN: 978-0061962790, 0061962791

Texts included in the module

Texts that are included in the lesson materials.

Cover Text Quantity Publisher
Refugee Writing on the Journey
by Karim Haidari
Bosnia: The Children of War
by Colin Woodard
I Escaped the Taliban
by Kristin Baird
A Place of Her Own
by Andrea Faiad
Welcome to Sarajevo
by Skipping Stones
Town Mouse and Country Mouse
by Rachel Lehr
Meet the Kurds
by Vera Saeedpour
People without a Land
by Scholastic Update
Peace Patrol: U.S. Troops Will Stay at Least Another Year in Tense Bosnia
by Current Events
Hard Times in Sarajevo: Cold Weather Comes Early to Bosnia’s War-Torn Capital, Bringing More Hardship, Death
by Current Events

Outcomes

NYSP12 CCLS Assessed in This Module: Reading—LiteratureLong-Term Learning Targets

• RL.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

• I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for my analysis of literary text.

• RL.8.3. Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

• I can analyze how specific dialogue or incidents in a plot propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision.

• RL.8.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

• I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in literary text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings) • I can analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone (analogies or allusions).

• RL.8.5. Compare and contrast the structure of two or more texts and analyze how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style.

• I can compare and contrast the structure of multiple texts. • I can analyze how different structures impact meaning and style of a text.

• RL.8.6a. Analyze full-length novels, short stories, poems, and other genres by authors who represent diverse world cultures.

• I can analyze full-length novels, short stories, poems, and other genres by authors who represent diverse world cultures.

• RL.8.11. 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.

• 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.

NYSP12 CCLS Assessed in This Module: Reading—Informational TextLong-Term Learning Targets

• RI.8.1. Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

• I can cite text-based evidence that provides the strongest support for an analysis of informational text.

• RI.8.2. Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

• I can determine a theme or the central ideas of an informational text. • I can analyze the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text (including its relationship to supporting ideas). • I can objectively summarize informational text.

• RI.8.3. Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).

• I can analyze the connections and distinctions between individuals, ideas or events in a text.

• RI.8.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

• I can determine the meaning of words and phrases in text (figurative, connotative, and technical meanings). • I can analyze the impact of word choice on meaning and tone (analogies or allusions).

NYSP12 CCLS Assessed in This Module: WritingLong-Term Learning Targets

• W.8.2. 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 clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. b. Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. c. Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and 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 and supports 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.

• W.8.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

• I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using relevant details and event sequences that make sense.

• W.8.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

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

• W.8.4a. Produce text (print or nonprint) that explores a variety of cultures and perspectives.

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

• W.8.5. 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, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

• With support from peers and adults, I can use the writing process to ensure that purpose and audience have been addressed.

• W.8.7. Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

• I can conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question). • I can use several sources in my research. • I can generate additional research questions for further exploration.

• W.8.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. a. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new”). b. Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).

• I can use evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

• W.8.11b. Create poetry, stories, plays, and other literary forms (eg. videos, art work).

• I can write stories, plays, and other works in response to what I have read in literature.

NYSP12 CCLS Assessed in This Module: Speaking & ListeningLong-Term Learning Targets

• SL.8.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on eighth-grade topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. a. Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; 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 and decision-making, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed. c. Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers, and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas. d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

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

NYSP12 CCLS Assessed in This Module: LanguageLong-Term Learning Targets

• L.8.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. a. Form and use verbs in the active and passive voice. b. Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.*

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

• L.8.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. a. Use punctuation (comma, ellipsis, dash) to indicate a pause or break. b. Spell correctly.

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

• L.8.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. a. 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 a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words or phrases.

• L.8.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., verbal irony, puns) in context. b. Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words. c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

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

• L.8.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

• I can accurately use eighth-grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas. • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.

We are launching a new Grades K-5 ELA
curriculum in summer 2017!

Sign Up For Updates