"Growing Pains": A 6th Grade ELA/SS/Science Themed Unit

As a child of the 80’s, I loved the show, Growing Pains. I thought Kirk Cameron was the cutest boy ever, and I was dead set on getting a Cabriolet convertible just like…..oh wait…that was Sam from Who’s the Boss? Remember the car episode? If you don’t…here it is….
                                               http://youtu.be/5lJE31cy28s

I loved all those shows, and I related to them as an adolescent myself, so as I brainstormed ideas for my next unit, the theme of “Growing Pains” kept coming to mind.

The Unit entitled, “Growing Pains” will include the following:

Novel Study

The novel for the unit will be, Moccasin Trail by Eloise McGraw.

 
 

Jim Keath has lived for six years as a Crow Indian when he learns that his two younger brothers and a sister are journeying west to take up land. Although Jim finds it difficult to fit in with the family he hasn’t seen since childhood, and though they are wary and distrustful of him, Jim feels his duty is at their side. But slowly, as they survive the dangerous trek west, the perils of frontier life, and the kidnapping of their younger brother, Jim and his family realize that the only way to survive is to accept each other and truly reunite the family.
 
This is a great novel for the theme because Jim, the main character, overcomes several of his own growing pains as he defines his own identity.
 


CLASS GARDEN PROJECT

 

Students will grow their own flowers from seeds. They will research, read, write, and journal about the life of a plant, and they will relate their findings to their own lives. Students will also connect this project to what they are currently studying in science.

They will be growing perennial flowers, in hopes to plant them on the school campus, so that students and teachers may be enjoy their beauty for years to come.

Supplemental Texts

 

                     Poems from Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Emerson, and others.

 

 

This theme incorporates a wide variety of texts. I love that I will be able to study literature, Native American history, and science with my students, while relating it all back to the growing pains of the adolescent years. Integrating content across disciplines cultivates lifelong learning in our students. They can sense how it all fits together and impacts our lives. I can’t wait to begin!

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