Treasures Unit One Big Question

Report
Unit One
Exploring the Big Question
Tiananmen Square Background
“Everyone is necessarily the
hero of his own life story.”
~ John Barth
“…the key to heroism is a concern
for other people in need—a
concern to defend a moral cause,
knowing there is a personal risk,
done without expectation of
reward.”
~ Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D.
What are the characteristics of a hero?
What makes a hero?
Quotes
for
Small Group Facilitated Discussions
“Nothing is given to man on earth –
struggle is built into the nature of
life, and conflict is possible – the
hero is the man who lets no
obstacle prevent him from pursuing
the values he has chosen.”
~ Andrew Bernstein
“You must be the change you
want to see in the world.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
“The ultimate measure of a man is
not where he stands in moments
of comfort and convenience, but
where he stands at times of
challenge and controversy.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Our lives begin to end the day we
become silent about things that
matter.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.
“True heroism is remarkably sober,
very undramatic. It is not the urge
to surpass all others at whatever
cost, but the urge to serve others
at whatever cost.”
~Arthur Ashe
“The world is a dangerous place,
not because of those who do bad
things, but because of those who
look on and do nothing.”
~ Albert Einstein
“…most heroes are ordinary people;
it’s the act that’s extraordinary.”
~ Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D.
“Every reasonable man and woman
is a potential scoundrel and a
potential good citizen. What a man
is depends upon his character,
what’s inside. What he does and
what we think of what he does
depends upon his circumstances.”
~ George Bernard Shaw
Who are your heroes? Why?
A Further Exploration of
What Makes a Hero
As a class, we will read, analyze, and discuss the following
pieces in the reading textbook:
“The Scribe” by Kristin Hunter on p. 10
“What Exactly Is a Hero?” by T. A. Barron on p. 46
Peruse the following stories in your reading
textbook, and choose three selections you would
be interested in reading and discussing in class:
 “The Fly” by Mai Vo-Dinh on p. 2
 “Time Hurricane Heroes” by Thomas Fields-Meyer, Steve Helling, and Lori Rozsa
on p. 24
 “The Dog of Pompeii” by Louis Untermeyer on p. 28
 “The King of Mazy May” by Jack London on p. 52
 “All Stories Are Anansi’s” by Harold Courlander on p. 74
 “Dragon, Dragon” by John Gardner on p. 81
 “Three Queens of Egypt” by Vicki León on p. 95
 “Street Magic” by Will Eisner on p. 102
 “Stray” by Cynthia Rylant on p. 113
 “Pecos Bill” by Mary Pope Osborne on p. 122
As you read, you will be thinking about aspects of heroism depicted in the story.
An In-Depth Look at Heroism
The Watson’s Go to Birmingham-1963
by Christopher Paul Curtis
Wesley Autrey: An Everyday Hero
Jessica Jackley: An Everyday Hero
Meet More Everyday Heroes
Comparing and Contrasting:
Heroes and Authors’ Techniques
The Courage That My Mother Had
Edna St. Vincent Millay
The courage that my mother had
Went with her, and is with her still:
Rock from New England quarried;
Now granite in a granite hill.
The golden brooch my mother wore
She left behind for me to wear;
I have no thing I treasure more:
Yet, it is something I could spare.
Oh, if instead she’d left to me
The thing she took into the grave! –
That courage like a rock, which she
Has no more need of, and I have.
My Father Is a Simple Man
Luis Omar Salinas
I walk to town with my father
to buy a newspaper. He walks slower
than I do so I must slow up.
The street is filled with children.
We argue about the price
of pomegranates, I convince
him it is the fruit of scholars.
He has taken me on this journey
and it's been lifelong.
He's sure I'll be healthy
so long as I eat more oranges,
and tells me the orange
has seeds and so is perpetual;
and we too will come back
like the orange trees.
I ask him what he thinks
about death and he says
he will gladly face it when
it comes but won't jump
out in front of a car.
I'd gladly give my life
for this man with a sixth
grade education, whose kindness
and patience are true . . .
The truth of it is, he's the scholar,
and when the bitter-hard reality
comes at me like a punishing
evil stranger, I can always
remember that here was a man
who was a worker and provider,
who learned the simple facts
in life and lived by them,
who held no pretense.
And when he leaves without
benefit of fanfare or applause
I shall have learned what little
there is about greatness.
Assessments:
Words of Week weekly vocabulary test
Watson’s Go to Birmingham comprehension tests
Accelerated Reader reading, vocabulary, and literary
analysis test
Treasures Unit 1 Assessment on pp. 150-154
Discussion of one everyday hero and reflections on
heroism and the implications for one’s own life
Optional if needed: Treasures individual story
assessments and Treasures formative assessments to
define differentiation
Standards Embedded:
1.0 Word Analysis, Fluency , and Systematic Vocabulary Development
Students use their knowledge of word origins and word relationships, as well as
historical and literary context clues, to determine the meaning of specialized
vocabulary and to understand the precise meaning of grade-level-appropriate
words.
Word Recognition
1.1 Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately and with
appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression.
Vocabulary and Concept Development
1.2 Identify and interpret figurative language and words with multiple meanings.
1.3 Recognize the origins and meanings of frequently used foreign words in
English and use these words accurately in speaking and writing.
1.4 Monitor expository text for unknown words or words with novel meanings by
using word, sentence, and paragraph clues to determine meaning.
1.5 Understand and explain “shades of meaning” in related words (e.g., softly and
quietly).
2.0 Reading Comprehension (Focus on Informational Materials)
Students read and understand grade-level-appropriate material. They describe
and connect the essential ideas, arguments, and perspectives of the text by
using their knowledge of text structure, organization, and purpose. In addition,
by grade eight, students read one million words annually on their own.
Structural Features of Informational Materials
2.1 Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers,
magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.
2.2 Analyze text that uses the compare-and-contrast organizational pattern.
Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
2.3 Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other
sources and related topics.
2.4 Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, logical notes,
summaries, or reports.
2.5 Follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications (e.g., for a
public library card, bank savings account, sports club, league membership).
Expository Critique
2.7 Make reasonable assertions about a text through accurate, supporting
citations.
3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of
literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science.
They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works.
Structural Features of Literature
3.1 Identify the forms of fiction and describe the major characteristics of each
form.
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
3.2 Analyze the effect of the qualities of the character (e.g., courage or
cowardice, ambition or laziness) on the plot and the resolution of the conflict.
3.3 Analyze the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution.
3.5 Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first- and thirdperson narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography).
3.6 Identify and analyze features of themes conveyed through characters, actions,
and images.
3.7 Explain the effects of common literary devices (e.g., symbolism, imagery,
metaphor) in a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts.
Additional Standard Embedded in Poem of the Day:
3.4 Define how tone or meaning is conveyed in poetry through word choice,
figurative language, sentence structure, line length, punctuation, rhythm,
repetition, and rhyme.
Expository Critique
2.7 Make reasonable assertions about a text through accurate, supporting
citations.
Additional Standard Embedded in novel study
of The Watson’s Go to Birmingham:
Literary Criticism
3.8 Critique the credibility of characterization and the degree to which a plot is
contrived or realistic (e.g., compare use of fact and fantasy in historical fiction).
Reading Standards Not Addressed in the Unit:
Expository Critique
2.6 Determine the adequacy and appropriateness of the evidence for an
author’s conclusions.
2.8 Note instances of unsupported inferences, fallacious reasoning,
persuasion, and propaganda in text.

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