What Are We Studying?

What Are We Studying?



Unit 3: What is Worth Fighting For?
November 8th - January 13th

Overarching Concept: What is Worth Fighting For?


Essential Questions:
  1. Why would someone fight for something they believe in?
  2. Why are some situations more significant than others?
  3. What makes something important even if it doesn’t impact me?
  4. Why is it important to evaluate what I believe in, regardless of others’ beliefs?

In this unit, readers will analyze structure within literary nonfiction, tracing and evaluating authors’ arguments, claims, reasoning and evidence. Writers will draw evidence from nonfiction texts in order to support analysis, reflection, and research and will write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

In this unit, students will be able to…
  • 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. (RI.6.5)
  • 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. (RI.6.8)
  • Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. (W6.1)
    • Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly. (W.6.1.a)
    • Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. (W.6.1.b)
    • Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons. (W.6.1.c)
    • Establish and maintain a formal style. (W.6.1.d)
    • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented. (W.6.1.e)
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (W.6.9)
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (W.6.4)
  • 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. (W.6.5)
  • 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. (SL.6.1)

Unit 2: Becoming a Critical Consumer
October 3rd - November 7th

Overarching Concept: Influence


Essential Questions:
  • How am I influenced by others?
  • How do I know what is true?
  • How do outside influences change my ideas and actions?
In this unit, students will determine the central ideas of nonfiction texts and analyze how they are conveyed through particular details as well as how key aspects of texts are both shaped and elaborated upon. Writers will engage in research, assessing the credibility of sources in order to write informative/explanatory texts which examine a topic, convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
In this unit, students can…
Writing
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
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.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.

Language
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.*
Spell correctly.

Reading
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.*
Maintain consistency in style and tone.*
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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

Speaking & Listening
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.
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.
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
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.
Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
Unit 1: Authors as Mentors
September 2 - September 30, 2016

Overarching Concept: Growth Mindset

Essential Questions:
  • How can our ideas about Growth Mindset help us to be successful readers and writers?
    • What do authors do to improve that I can also adapt into my own reading/writing?
  • How do small efforts help me have larger successes?
    • How do my mistakes/failures generate long-term learning?
  • What is the importance of analyzing choices to help me understand their impact?

In this unit, students will explore, analyze, and discuss various texts that deepen their understanding of how authors use a growth mindset to better their craft. We will begin our classroom read aloud, where students will analyze the text for different purposes, and students will choose a novel at their level and begin working in book groups. These novels will serve as a mentor text for narrative writing and growth mindset. Within their book groups, students will be expected to maintain a calendar of their commitments and come to meetings prepared to discuss the text in depth. At the conclusion of the unit, students will write their own narrative using techniques learned throughout the unit.

In this unit, students can...

  • Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as make inferences drawn from the text (RL 6.1)
  • Determine the theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details. (RL 6.2)
  • Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. (RL 6.3)
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings. (RL 6.4)
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (W 6.3)
    • Engage and orient the reader by establishing context and introducing a narrator and other characters. Organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically. (W 6.3.a)
    • Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters. (W 6.3.b)
    • Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another. (W 6.3.c)
    • Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events. (W 6.3.d)
    • Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events. (W 6.3.e)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when wrigting or speaking. (L 6.1)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. (L 6.2)
    • Spell correctly. (L 6.2b)
  • 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. (SL 6.1)


Unit 5: Just the Facts
March 17th - May 2nd

Overarching Theme: Looking Beyond Myself
Essential Questions:
How do we know what is true?
How do we make meaning of our world? 
Why is it important if it’s not important to me?


In addition, we will explore, analyze, and discuss various informational texts that deepen students' ability to look beyond themselves. We will deconstruct what we read and hear to determine how we know what is true, and explore how we make meaning of our world. We will examine the importance of things outside our own personal world through research to broaden our understanding of our overarching concept. 
In this unit, students will explore, analyze and discuss various texts that deepen their ability to look beyond themselves. We will deconstruct different types of text to question how we know what is true, and explore how we make meaning of our world. We will examine the importance of things outside our own personal world through research to broaden our understanding of our overarching concept.

Common Core Standards being assessed in Unit 5:

Writing
  • W6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

Research and Reasoning
  • W6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate. 

Informational Text
  • RI6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. 
  • RI6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
  • RI6.7 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. 

Language Skills
  • L6.4c 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. 
  • L6.5c Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).

Oral Expression and Listening
  • SL6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information. 
  • SL6.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
  • SL6.2 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.
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Unit 4: The Power of Arguments
January 22nd - March 11th

Overarching Theme: Motivation
Essential Questions:
What motivates you?
How do the actions of others impact me and how do my actions impact others?
What is worth fighting for? 
How does personal accountability help you to be motivated from the inside?

In this unit, students will explore, analyze, and discuss various texts that deepen students’ understanding of motivation. We will use anchor and mentor texts in which students will analyze the text to understand characters’ motivation and their personal accountability. Students will explore how their actions affect others in their lives and around them. We will examine our essential questions using different forms of text and media to analyze and broaden our understanding of this concept.

Writing & Composition
CCSS W6.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

  • 6.1a Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
  • 6.1b Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • 6.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
  • 6.1d Establish and maintain a formal style in writing arguments to support claims and clear reasons with relevant evidence.
  • 6.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.

Reading (Literature)
CCSS RL6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
CCSS L6.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Reading (Informational)
CCSS RI6.6 Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in a text.
CCSS RI6.8 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.  

Speaking & Listening
CCSS SL6.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
CCSS SL6.4 Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
CCSS SL6.1d Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing
CCSS SL6.3 Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

Research and Reasoning
RR.2c Identify the natural tendency in humans to use stereotypes, prejudices, biases and distortions
RR.2d Identify stereotypes, prejudices, biases and distortions in self and thinking of others
RR.3 Take control over their thinking (intellectual autonomy) to determine when thinking should be questioned and when it should be accepted
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Unit 3: Analyze to Understand 
November 12th to January 22nd

Overarching Theme: Struggle

Essential Questions:

  1. What is struggle? 
    • What factors influence your ideas about struggle? 
  2. How do others interpret/perceive their own struggles? 
  3. How do people’s struggles change the way I perceive them? 
  4. How do the struggles we face change, determine, or identify who we are? 
    • What impact does struggle have on people’s character? 
  5. How does struggle in literature affect us?

In this unit, students will explore, analyze, and discuss various texts that deepen students’ understanding of struggle. We will continue our classroom read aloud, where students will analyze the text to understand the main character’s struggle as well as the supporting characters’ struggles. We will examine our essential questions using different forms of text and media to analyze different types of struggle and to broaden their own understanding of this concept.

Common Core Standards (CCSS) being assessed in Unit 3:

Reading for All Purposes
  • CCSS 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.
  • CCSS 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.
  •  CCSS 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).
  • CCSS L.6.4b: Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
  • CCSS L.6.5a: Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.

Writing & Composition
  • CCSS W.6.1a: Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
  • CCSS W.6.1b: Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
  • CCSS W.6.1c: Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
  • CCSS W.6.1d: Establish and maintain a formal style.
  • CCSS W.6.1e: Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.

Research & Reasoning
  • CCSS RL.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  •  CCSS RI.6.1: Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Oral Expression & Listening
  • CCSS SL.6.1c: Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.

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Unit 2: Authors As Mentors 
September 29th to November 10th

Overarching Concept: Perception

Essential Questions:
  • How do I see myself?
    • What develops people’s ideas about me?
  • How do I view others?
    • What develops my ideas about others?
  • How is my perception of myself sometimes different from how others see me?
    • Why is my perception of myself sometimes different from how others see me?
Linking Question:
  • How can others’ perception of me influence my mindset?
    • How can I use this knowledge to continue to develop my growth mindset?

In this unit, students will explore, analyze, and discuss various texts that deepen their understanding of perception, judgment, and acceptance. We will begin our classroom read aloud, where students will analyze the text for different purposes, and students will choose a novel at their level and begin working in book groups. These novels will include aspects of judgement and perception. Within their book groups, students will be expected to maintain a calendar of their commitments and come to meetings prepared to discuss the text in depth. Students will be assessed on the following standards through the work in their book groups and with supplementary texts and videos as they relate to our overarching concept.

Students will know and be able to…
  • (CCSS:W.6.3) Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.  
  • (CCSS: SL.6.1a) 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.
  • (CCSS:SL.6.1b) Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
  • (CCSS: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.
  • (CCSS: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.
  • (CCSS:RI.6.3) Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (Through examples or anecdotes).
  • (CCSS: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.
  • (CCSS RI 6.1) Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • (CCSS RL 6.1) Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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               Unit 1: Who Am I As a Learner
                         September 1st to September 28th, 20
Essential questions:
  • What do I know about myself as a learner?
  • What goals can I set for myself this year & how will I use a growth mindset to reach my goals?
  • Why is close reading a powerful tool toward understanding text? 
  • Why is it important to reference text evidence to support my ideas?
  • What does relevant and specific evidence look like? 
Enduring understandings:
  • Accessing a variety of resources help learners problem solve and find information.
  • Established norms create powerful and engaging discussions.
  • Questions clarify and deepen comprehension.
  • Goal setting motivates and helps the learner identify what they know and what they want to learn.
  • Close reading deepens my understanding of text and makes analysis more meaningful.
  • Selecting evidence that connects directly with my explained thinking strengthens the validity of my ideas.
Speaking & Listening Assessments:
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 topic, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Reading Assessments:
RL 6.2, RI 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.

Research & Reasoning Assessments:
RL 6.1, RI 6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

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Students will spend the first few weeks of school developing expectations & procedures, getting to know their classmates, and learning the following academic and behavioral skills that we will be using throughout the year:


  • developing a growth mindset
  • close reading
  • creating interactive notebooks
  • utilizing the classroom library
  • the purpose and structure of workshop
  • building reading stamina
  • becoming independent problem-solvers