Class Work and Units of Study


UNIT 1: 


Reading Curriculum


How do good readers use writing to talk about literature with strong voice and investment and turning the text inside out?

How do great readers interpret a story in order to write and talk about literature?

How do readers determine the themes that one particular author tends to address?

UNIT Goals:

Overview of Unit Description

Bend I:

Writing About Reading with Voice and Investment

Session 1:

Taking Charge of Your Reading Life: Teach students that they can have a growth spurt as readers if they work with resolve toward ambitious, specific goals to become stronger readers.

Session 2:

Writing Well about Reading: Guide students through an inquiry to explore and establish what it means to write well about reading.

Students will guide their inquiry about their reading by asking, “What are some qualities of strong writing about reading?”

Session 3:

Writing about Reading Means Reading with a Writerly Wide-Awakeness: Teach students that readers who write about their reading are extra alert, seeing more in their books.

Readers read differently when they write about their reading by living wide awake lives, staying alert to details, and being ready to make significance.

Session 4:

Grounding Your Thinking in the Text and Carrying It with You as You Read On: Teach students that once they find an idea worth developing, they revisit the text with that idea as a lens, reading particular passages that inform the idea, mining them for new insights.

Readers find and develop their ideas about a text by

Asking “Where does his idea live in the text?”

Rereading those selected passages extremely closely, expecting each to be a gold mine of new insights related to their initial idea.


Session 5:

Whose Story is this, Anyway?: Considering Perspective and Its Effects: Teach students to consider the perspective a story is being told from and the effects the narrator’s voice has on the way the story is being told.

Readers gain a deeper understanding of the events described in a story by considering the perspective from which the story is told.

Session 6:

Learning to Think Analytically: Teach students to think analytically, a person often thinks about how a subject or text is structures and divides sections into parts, then selects, ranks, and compares.

Readers think analytically by dividing their thinking into parts, selecting, ranking, and comparing those parts, and then deciding to try thinking in a certain way to see if that thinking yields new insights.

Session 7:

Having Second Thoughts: Revising Writing about Reading: Remind children that when people aim to improve  their writing about reading, they revise their work, relying on examples of what constitutes powerful writing about reading.

Readers write well about reading by remembering that revision is the most important way to ratchet up the level of their writing. Having an image of good work in mind, helps make revision stronger.

Bend  II:

Raising the Level of Writing and Talking about Literature

Session 8:

Launching Interpretation Book Clubs: Remind students that as readers sharpen their reading and thinking skills, they are able to see more significance in a text and to trust that they notice things for a reason.

Readers sharpen their reading and thinking skills by

*developing the eyes to not only see more in a text, but to make more significance

*paying more attention as they read because they trust that they notice things for a reason and expect to make something of observations others overlook


Session 9:

Characters-and Readers-Find Meaning in the Midst of Struggle: Teach students that to think thematically, readers sometimes name the problem that a character faces, and then think about the lessons the character may learn or what the author may want readers to know.

Sometimes readers think thematically by first naming the problem that a character faces, then asking, “What lessons does the character learn from (that problem)?” or “What might the author want me to know about the problem?”

Session 10:

Seeing a Text Through the Eyes of Other Readers: Teach students that when people read with others, they end up seeing more than they would have seen on their own.

The best part of reading with others is that it changes readers by encouraging them to see through the eyes of others, resulting in their seeing more than they otherwise would have seen.

Session 11:

Link Ideas to Build Larger Theories and Interpretations: Teach students that readers link ideas to build larger theories or interpretations, aiming to uncover a larger truth or lesson.

Readers link ideas together to build larger theories or interpretations by thinking about how these ideas connect, and by asking themselves “Could there be a larger truth or lesson here?” as they read.

Session 12:

Reading on, with Interpretations in Mind: Remind students that readers wear their interpretations like a pair of glasses, reading on in the text with their ideas in mind, gathering evidence and deepening their theories.

Readers know that once they have developed an interpretation about a book, it is important to stay with that idea. Readers can wear their interpretation like a pair of glasses, as a lens, and read on in their book by looking for more places that fit with or change their idea.”

Session 13:

Debating to Prompt Rich Book Conversation: Readers have Different Viewpoints, Defending with Claims, Reasons, and Evidence: Teach students that readers can debate differing viewpoints on a provocative question about a book they have both read.

Readers often develop different viewpoints on provocative questions related to the book. They can explore these differences by engaging in a debate.

Session 14:

Reflecting on Ourselves as Book Clubs: Guide students through an inquiry to explore how an effective book club elevates the level of its reading, thinking, and conversations about books.

Students will guide their inquiry about reading by exploring this important question: “What do book club members do in an effective book club that lifts the level of the club’s work?”

Bend III:

Thematic Text Sets: Turning Texts Inside Out

Session 15:

Two Texts, One Theme: A Comparison Study: Teach students that sophisticated readers consider universal themes as they read, comparing and contrasting those themes across different texts.

Readers explore universal themes by exploring how different authors will develop those themes somewhat differently. Sophisticated readers, therefore ask: What’s the same and what’s different in how this theme plays out in different texts?

Session 16:

Rethinking Themes to Allow for More Complexity: Teach students that when readers think that texts seem to

support the same theme, they often look again and may find the texts actually convey slightly different messages.

When readers see similarities between texts, and think “These texts seem to support the same theme!” they often check their idea by looking back at the texts again. Sometimes they will find that the texts actually convey different messages.

*Readers revise interpretations to make them more nuances and precise. (“Although it’s true that ____, it’s also true that _____.” Or “At first I thought ____, but then I realized ____.”

Session 17:

Comparing Characters’ Connections to a Theme: Teach students that one way readers think about a theme in more complex ways is to consider how different characters connect to and respect that theme, and also how some characters may work against a theme.

Readers think about which characters best represent a particular theme through their thoughts, actions, and dialogue, and which characters work against the theme.

Session 18:

Studying the Choices and AUthor DID NOT Make to Better Understand the Ones They Did: Teach students that readers think about the choices that authors make as a way to come to new insights about texts.

Session 19:

Delving Deeper into Literary Analysis:Reading as Writers: Teach students that one way readers analyze a literary text is to study the author’s goals and how he or she achieves them in specific parts of the text.

Session 20:

Celebrating with a Literary Salon: Invite your students to participate in a literary salon as a fun way to show

Off their new, sophisticated thoughts about literature.