Common Core: 6th Grade Units and Themes

The Thematic Units

Unit One:

The Writing Fundamentals: Let’s Start From The Very Beginning
(setting up the writer’s workshop, sentences, paragraphs, stages of the writing process)
The Reading Fundamentals: To  Read We Begin With A,B,C
(setting the stage for reading success- reading inventories, goals, reading logs, assessments, conferences, discussions)

Unit Two:

Cultural Identity: Rising Up From Prejudice
(The Diary of Anne Frank, Weedflower, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice)
  • Research Paper: Themes might include World War II, The Holocaust, Japanese American internment camps, Civil Rights Movement
  • Compare and contrast of The Diary of Anne Frank and Weedflower: How are were the struggles of Jews and Japanese Americans during World War II similar/different?
    • reading, discussion, writing
  • Compare and contrast the life and times of Anne Frank/The Holocaust with Claudette Colvin/Civil Rights movement
    • reading, discussion, writing
  • How does the theme of these various texts relate to our own lives? How can we learn and grow from learning about these characters?
Unit Three:
The Strength of the Human Spirit Through Tragedy and Loss
(Out of The Dust, Grapes of Wrath, Romeo and Juliet, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman)
  • Research Paper: Themes might include the Oklahoma Dust Bowl, 1930’s, The Great Depression, Migration to California
  • Compare and contrast the novel Out of the Dust to The Grapes of Wrath.
    • reading, discussion, writing-
  • Lessons on Shakespeare
    • small research paper on his life and writings/genre of plays
    • Read and discuss the play Romeo and Juliet
      • Discuss how it falls under the theme
      • How does the story compare to Out of the Dust or The Grapes of Wrath
      • How are the elements of a play similar/different to a novel
  • Poetry–The Great American Poets
    • Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Ezra Pound, Langston Hughes
      • small research paper
      • compare and contrast works
      • read and recite
      • create original poetry
      • figurative language- understanding and significance
  • Final assessment- Paper on personal takeaway from unit. Compare and contrast two favorite genres or texts. Show textual evidence of the strength of the human spirit. How can you apply these lessons to your life?
Unit Four:
Native American Literature and Poetry: Qualities of Teamwork and Endurance
(Moccasin Trail, Native American poetry, Native American mythology, non-fiction articles)
  • Research on Native American Heritage in the United States
  • Novel Study of Moccasin Trail along with Native American poetry and mythology
  • What was the Native American journey like? How did they persevere passed the struggles that they faced? How is that struggle and perseverance demonstrated in their writing?
  • How can students use writings such as poetry to make sense of their world like the Native Americans?

Unit Five:

Believe It and Achieve It: Learning Passion. Planning. Perseverance.
(Homer Hickam’s Rocket Boys, Million Dollar Throw, autobiographies: compare/contrast articles)
  • Compare and contrast the memoir of Homer Hickam’s Rocket Boys to the fictional novel, Million Dollar Throw.
  • Research study on various achievers in history.
    • What thread links them all together?
    • What can we learn from them?
  • Compare/contrast non-fiction and informational articles on various achievers.
    • read, write, discuss
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