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K12ELA008: English Language Arts 8

Unit 1: Rising To Challenges   This unit features a full-length classic novel, The Swiss Family Robinson, and excerpts from a nonfiction work, South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica, by Ernest Shackleton. Both texts deal with people facing challenges to their survival.
 
In addition to addressing the theme of survival, both texts feature people facing challenges. Your reading of these stories will be extended by a narrative, or story, you’ll write about a challenge you faced. You will review the steps of the writing process, from pre-writing, to drafting, to editing and revising, to publishing. You will begin this essay during this unit and complete it during Unit 2.
 
As you read the selected texts, you will encounter many new words. This unit will also emphasize vocabulary and teach you strategies you can use for understanding new words while you read. The strategies you learn in this unit will help you throughout the course.
 
Finally, you will also receive what is likely a reintroduction to the writing process. You will begin working on a full-length narrative essay that will be concluded during Unit 2. This will provide you with an opportunity to fully absorb the information. The language aspect emphasizes vocabulary, where you will learn strategies for understanding new words that you will use throughout the entire course. 

Unit 1 Time Advisory
Time Advisory: This unit should take you approximately 14 hours and 40 minutes to complete
 
☐    Subunit 1.1: 3 hours and 55 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.1.1: 2 hours and 50 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.1.2: 1 hour and 5 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.2: 7 hours and 20 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.2.1: 3 hours and 20 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.2.2: 4 hours

☐    Subunit 1.3: 55 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.3.1: 10 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.3.2: 30 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.3.3: 15 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.4: 25 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.4.1: 25 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.4.2: 10 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.5: 45 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.5.1: 20 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.5.2: 15 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.5.3: 10 minutes

☐    Subunit 1.6: 1 hour and 20 minutes ☐    Subunit 1.6.1: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 1.6.2: 20 minutes

Unit1 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- Evaluate similar themes in literary works of different genres. - Apply reading comprehension strategies to challenging texts. - Write an original text by following the steps of the writing process. - Generate ideas for writing shorter and longer pieces of writing. - Define unfamiliar words by using context clues and/or knowledge of Greek and Latin roots.

Standards Addressed (Common Core): - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.5 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.2 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4 - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5

1.1 Reading Informational Text: Excerpts from South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton, Chapter 3: “Winter Months”   You will read a key section from the nonfiction book, South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica, by Ernest Shackleton. This text was chosen as an excellent example of informational text; it will also help you develop background about history and notable explorers. As you read through the selection, you will build reading comprehension and analysis skills, which you will continue to develop throughout the course. 

1.1.1 Reading Comprehension   This part of the subunit will emphasize important comprehension skills. You will view and listen to a tutorial that shares information about these skills. After completing the tutorial, you will practice the skills by reading the excerpt from South: Journey of His Last Expedition to Antarctica. 

1.1.1.1 Tracking Comprehension   - Explanation: SOPHIA: Sydney Bauer’s “Tracking Comprehension Tutorial” Link: SOPHIA: Sydney Bauer’s “Tracking Comprehension Tutorial” (HTML) (MP3)
 
Instructions: Read the tutorial and listen to the audio component. The tutorial suggests taking notes in the margins of your books. However, since you will be working primarily with electronic resources, taking notes on paper will be sufficient. You should organize your notes chronologically, or in time order, to make it easier to relocate the parts of the text the notes refer to.
 
It should take approximately 20 minutes to read through the tutorial, listen to the audio component, and to take notes.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/8/2)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/8/1)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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1.1.1.2 Reading “Winter Months” from South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton   - Reading: Project Gutenberg: Ernest Shackleton’s “Winter Months” from *South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica* Link: Project Gutenberg: Ernest Shackleton’s “Winter Months” from South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica (HTML)
 
Instructions: The link above will take you to a text file of Chapter 3 of the book South: Journal of His Last Expedition to Antarctica by Ernest Shackleton. Though this is one chapter from a longer work, it is still lengthy. You should plan on breaking this chapter into three reading sessions of about 30 minutes each.
 
It should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to read Chapter 3.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/8/2)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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1.1.1.3 Author’s Purpose   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Author’s Purpose” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Author’s Purpose” (PDF)
 
Instructions: This document features explanations of the three main reasons, or purposes, why authors create their texts. You may want to refer back to this as you read through the text. Which of the three main purposes does South fit? Does the text fit into two categories? You should be able to cite specific elements from the text that lead you to your decision.
 
It should take approximately 15 minutes to read through the document, make a choice, and find evidence to support it.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.5](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/5)

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1.1.1.4 Sequence of Events   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Sequence of Events” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Sequence of Events” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this document, which discusses sequence of events and why it’s important. What were the major events you encountered in South? How are you identifying them?
 
It should take approximately 15 minutes to read through the document and identify the sequence of the story’s events.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.5](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/5)

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1.1.1.5 Cause and Effect   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Cause and Effect” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Cause and Effect” (PDF)
 
Instructions: This document provides a brief explanation of cause and effect. South is a great piece of text to review when discussing cause and effect, as it is full of events that lead to other events, which is what cause and effect is all about. As you read, take note of examples of cause and effect.
 
It should take approximately 30 minutes to read through the document and find two to three examples of cause and effect.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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1.1.2 Literary Analysis   This subunit will continue to use the excerpt from South as its reading content. However, the skills to be learned in this subunit will require you to reexamine the text more closely. You will look at Shackleton’s voice as a writer, analyze the events, and identify the theme.

1.1.2.1 Voice   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” (PPT)
 
Instructions: Read through the second slide, entitled “Voice,” which has a brief explanation of voice and its role in literature. The slide also includes questions connecting the concept of voice to the excerpt from South. Respond to the prompts in your notebook, which will help you refine your understanding of voice and its role in this literary work. You will want to have the text nearby for reference. Write down your responses to the questions about how Shackleton’s personality came through in the text.
 
It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete this activity.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.5](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/5)

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1.1.2.2 Analyzing Events in a Text   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” (PPT)
 
Instructions: Read through the third slide entitled “Analyzing Events in a Text.” It explains why this is important and includes some questions to guide you through the process. You should respond in writing to the questions, as they will help you develop your skills.
 
It should take approximately 30 minutes to study the slide, review the text, and note your responses.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2)

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1.1.2.3 Determining a Central Theme   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Literary Analysis Skills” (PPT)
 
Instructions: Read through the fourth and final slide, entitled “Determining a Central Theme,” and revisit the text if necessary. What do you think is the central theme or message in South? The information on the slide will give you some tips on how to identify theme in a work of literature.
 
It should take approximately 15 minutes to identify the theme, since you should be very familiar with the text by now.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2)

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1.2 Reading Literature: *The Swiss Family Robinson*   The Swiss Family Robinson is a classic work of literature and inspired a crop of novels with a survival theme. You are going to read the novel, which will help you build your knowledge of literature. You will also continue to build your reading comprehension and analysis skills. 

1.2.1 Reading Comprehension   1.2.1.1 Previewing a Novel   - Activity: Books Should Be Free: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Books Should Be Free: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
 
Instructions: You are going to take a few minutes to preview The Swiss Family Robinson. Previewing is a way to gain very basic information about a work of literature. The Books Should Be Free page for the novel features a cover illustration and a brief synopsis, or summary, of the story. Study the cover and read the synopsis. In the next activity, you will be revisiting what you read and observed and writing about it. Previewing the novel should take you about fifteen minutes.

 Standards Addressed (*Common Core*):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

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1.2.1.2 Predictions   - Explanation: SOPHIA: Sydney Bauer’s “Making Predictions” Link: SOPHIA: Sydney Bauer’s “Making Predictions” (HTML)
 
Instructions: This tutorial gives details about making predictions before and during reading. Being able to make predictions is an important skill. It requires you to think about what’s going to happen in the story. More importantly, however, it makes you think about why you’re thinking as you do. This is a sign that you are thinking deeply about the text. Please read through the tutorial. Respond to the “Before You Read” prompts in your notebook, which will require you to recall the information you gathered while previewing the novel.
 
It should take approximately 20 minutes to read the material in the tutorial and write down your responses to the prompts.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

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  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above, and read Chapters 1 - 3 of The Swiss Family Robinson. When you have finished reading, revisit your responses to the “Making Predictions” activity from the earlier part of the subunit. How accurate were your predictions? In your notebook, write a paragraph about how your predictions compared to what actually happened in Chapters 1 through 3.

    It should take approximately 1 hour to read the chapters and write your paragraph.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core):

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.1.3 The Main Idea   - Explanation: SOPHIA: Michelle Hill’s “Main Idea Tutorial” Link: SOPHIA: Michelle Hill’s “Main Idea Tutorial” (HTML) (PPT)
 
Instructions: This page contains multiple resources for learning about the main idea. Scroll down to the last one, labeled “Main Idea Informational Powerpoint.” Read through the material in the presentation, and complete the activity at the end.
 
It should take approximately 20 minutes to read through the material in the presentation and work on the included practice exercise.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2)

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  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above, and read Chapters 4 through 6 of The Swiss Family Robinson. Summarize the main idea of each chapter in a few sentences. If you find this challenging, try pausing at the end of every page and identify the main idea of that page.

    It should take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes to read the chapters and identify and explain the main ideas.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core):

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.1.4 Compare and Contrast   - Explanation: SOPHIA: Kathryn Reilly’s “Comparing and Contrasting Texts” Link: SOPHIA: Kathryn Reilly’s "Comparing and Contrasting Texts" (HTML) (PPT)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to the slide-show presentation entitled “Comparing and Contrasting Informational Texts” and read through each of the slides.
 
It should take approximately 20 minutes to read the slides.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above and read Chapters 7 through

    1. Then, using the information you learned in the previous reading, create a Venn diagram to compare and contrast a scene fromThe Swiss Family Robinson (either from today’s reading or earlier chapters) with a scene from South.

    It should take approximately 20 minutes to read the chapters and complete the Venn diagram.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core): - CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1

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1.2.2 Literary Analysis   1.2.2.1 First Impressions   - Explanation: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” Link: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” (HTML)
 
Instructions: You have now completed approximately one-third of the novel. Read through the first section of this tutorial, entitled “Step 1: First Impressions.” These prompts are intended to support your understanding and analysis of The Swiss Family Robinson. After you read the next three chapters, you will revisit these prompts and write your responses based on Chapters 11, 12 and 13.
 
It should take approximately 10 minutes to read the prompts.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above and read Chapters 11 through 13. After you’ve read the chapters, return to the part of the tutorial titled “Step 1: First Impressions” and write your responses to the five prompts in your notebook.

    It should take approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to read the three chapters and write your responses.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core):

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1.2.2.2 Character Development   - Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above and read Chapters 14 through 16. The next tutorial will be about characterization, so as you read these chapters, you may want to focus on the characters and what they say and do.

 It should take approximately 1 hour to read these chapters.  
    
 Standards Addressed (*Common Core*):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
displayed on the webpage above.
  • Explanation: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” Link: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above, then click on the link entitled “Step III: Literary Techniques,” and review “2. Character.” Think specifically about the characters in The Swiss Family Robinson. In your notebook, write a page about the characters in the novel, using the questions from the tutorial to guide your thinking.
     
    It should take approximately 30 minutes to review the material and write your response about the characters.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core):

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1.2.2.3 The Role of Setting   - Reading: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s *The Swiss Family Robinson* Link: Project Gutenberg: Johann David Wyss’s The Swiss Family Robinson (HTML)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above and read Chapters 17 and 18. The next tutorial will touch upon setting in literature, so as you read, focus on the novel’s time and place.
 
It should take approximately 1 hour to read the three chapters from the novel.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2/)

Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use
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  • Explanation: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” Link: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” (HTML)
     
    Instructions: Click on the link above, then click on the link entitled “Step III: Literary Techniques” and review “3. Setting.” As you read through this information, think about how it relates to the setting of The Swiss Family Robinson. How would moving the setting of the novel change it? In your notebook, write a page about the novel’s setting, using the questions from the tutorial to guide your thinking.
     
    It should take approximately 20 minutes to review the material in the tutorial and write your response to the prompts.
     
    Standards Addressed (Common Core):

    Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

1.2.2.4 Themes   - Explanation: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” Link: Ferrum College: Tina L. Hanlon’s “Guidelines for Reading and Analyzing Literature” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Theme is always one of the trickiest literary elements to identify. Now that you have finished reading The Swiss Family Robinson, you are in a good position to think about the lessons from the novel. You will revisit the above tutorial for the final time to get some useful tips on identifying theme. Please click on the link entitled “Step IV: Themes,” and read this section thoroughly. Respond briefly in your notebook to each of the questions, using examples and details from The Swiss Family Robinson. When you have finished, condense your ideas about the novel’s theme into a page in your notebook.
 
It should take approximately 30 minutes to read the material in the tutorial, review the novel, and write your response.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2)

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1.3 Writing   This unit on writing exposes you to knowledge that can be continually applied as you work through the course. The unit begins with a review of the writing process, which you will use several times throughout the course. You will then work through the initial stages of writing a narrative essay. 

1.3.1 Steps of the Writing Process   - Web Media: Prezi: Tracy Derrell’s “The Writing Process: A Brief Review” Link: Prezi: Tracy Derrell’s “The Writing Process: A Brief Review” (Flash)
 
Instructions: Watch and listen to this short presentation, which will give you a brief review of the writing process.
 
It should take approximately 10 minutes to view this tutorial.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/8/3)

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1.3.2 Strategies for Finding Writing Ideas   - Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “Pre-Writing Activities” Link: The Saylor Foundation's “Pre-Writing Activities” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the document, which gives some great strategies for finding writing ideas. There are two practice activities, which are modified to fit our purpose. Since your narrative is going to be about a challenge you faced, make a list of three or four possible ideas. Use one of those ideas for “Practice I: Freewriting.” Use another idea for “Practice II: Idea Wheel.” If one of those ideas seems to generate enough potential for your essay, move on to “Practice III: Moving From Pre-Writing to Writing.”
 
It should take approximately 30 minutes to read through the material and complete Practice I and Practice II. If you need to complete Practice III, add on an additional 15 minutes.

 Though this is a large chunk of time, planning your writing before
you begin is an important investment and will likely result in a
better finished product.  
    
 Standards Addressed (*Common Core*):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/8/3)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.4](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/8/4)

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1.3.3 Planning and Writing a Draft   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Rubric for Narrative Essay: Facing Challenges” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Rubric for Narrative Essay: Facing Challenges” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Although rubrics are typically used to evaluate finished writing, they can also provide helpful support as you write. This rubric includes specific details about what your essay should include. Read through it carefully before you begin, and refer to it often through the rest of the process to help you complete a high-quality essay.
 
It should take approximately 15 minutes to read through the rubric, which you will revisit during the next unit when you’re ready to revise your first draft.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/W/8/3)

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1.4 Speaking and Listening   Though often overlooked, good speaking and listening skills are important to academic success. In college, professors often use lecture as a teaching method, requiring students to identify key ideas and take notes. This subunit will help you improve these important skills.

1.4.1 Preparing for an Author Interview   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Conducting an Author Interview” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Conducting an Author Interview” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the first half of the document, entitled “How to Prepare for an Author Interview,” which has more information about the assignment as well as some tips to help you generate the required number of questions. When you are finished, develop your 7 to 10 questions.
 
It should take approximately 5 minutes to read the material and another 20 minutes to create the interview questions.

 Standards Addressed (*Common Core*):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/8/1)

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1.4.2 Conducting a Successful Interview   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Conducting an Author Interview” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Conducting an Author Interview” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read the second half of the document, entitled “How to Conduct an Author Interview,” which provides some tips for a hypothetical in-person interview. In your notebook, add two or three additional tips that would be helpful to you when interviewing someone.
 
It should take approximately 10 minutes to read the tips and write additional ones.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/8/1)

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1.5 Language   The ability to identify new works and use them to create meaning as you read are essential to reading comprehension. This unit, although focused on language, also has a strong connection to comprehension. The skills you work on in this unit will help you as a reader by giving you strategies for working with unfamiliar words. You will also review the different types of reference books you will encounter as you continue your education. These books are available electronically and also potentially available in your library as printed copies.

1.5.1 Defining Words Using Context Clues   - Activity: Curriki: Liddy Gerchman Barlow’s “Context Clue Worksheet” Link: Curriki: Liddy Gerchman Barlow’s “Context Clue Worksheet” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Download the worksheet, which features steps you can use to define unfamiliar words in context. Print out a copy (or two) of the worksheet, and as you encounter words you don’t know, use the worksheet to help you determine a workable definition. When you use context clues, you don’t have to come up with a perfect dictionary definition; you just need the gist of the word. Going to a dictionary should be your last resort.
 
It should take approximately 5 minutes to define each unfamiliar word.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/8/4)

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1.5.2 Identifying Greek and Latin Roots, Prefixes, and Suffixes   - Activity: SOPHIA: Ms. K’s “Prefixes and Suffixes” Link: SOPHIA: Ms. K’s “Prefixes and Suffixes” (HTML and YouTube)
 
Instructions: Study the tutorial. In your notebook, make note of the terms prefix, suffix, and affix. Take some time to read through the lists of prefixes and suffixes, and watch the video. If there are any prefixes or suffixes that regularly give you trouble, you may want to list them in your notebook.
 
It should take approximately 15 minutes to study the material and watch the video.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/8/5)

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1.5.3 Selecting Appropriate Reference Books   - Explanation: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “A Reference…on Reference Books” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “A Reference…on Reference Books” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Read this short document. It has a list of the major types of reference books you may encounter as a student.
 
It should take approximately 10 minutes to read and review this material.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/8/4)

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1.6 Assessments   This subunit contains some assessment tools to help you evaluate and monitor your learning.  You are going to be reading an excerpt from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and complete questions which will require you to write short responses. Then you will respond to some additional questions emphasizing speaking, listening and language.

1.6.1 Reading and Writing   - Checkpoint: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Reading and Writing” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Reading and Writing” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Click on the link above to complete the assessment, which is designed to test your understanding of the skills and concepts in Unit 1. Please complete all assessment tasks in your notebook. Each paragraph response should be a minimum of five to seven sentences. It should take you about sixty minutes to read the text and respond to the accompanying questions. To check your answers, click here.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.2](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RL/8/2)

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1.6.2 Speaking, Listening, and Language   - Checkpoint: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Speaking, Listening, and Language” Link: The Saylor Foundation: Tracy Derrell’s “Speaking, Listening, and Language” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please click on the link above to complete the assessment, which is designed to test your understanding of the skills and concepts from unit 1. You should complete all assessment tasks in your notebook. Each paragraph response should be three to five sentences. It should take you about twenty minutes to complete this assessment. To check your answers, click here.
 
Standards Addressed (Common Core):

-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/SL/8/1)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.4](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/8/4)
-   [CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.8.5](http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/L/8/5)

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Extension Resources   If any of the readings in this unit have inspired you to learn more, the following list will help you. It contains books and other resources you can use for further study. You will most likely be able to find many of these items in your local public library. 

  • Reading: The Revenge of the Whale: The True Story of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick This is the true story of an 1820s whaling ship that was rammed and sunk by an angry whale. Twenty-one crew members, including a 14-year-old boy, escaped into three lifeboats. The Revenge of the Whale tells the story of the crew’s struggle to stay alive while adrift at sea.

  • Reading: Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming This book, which mixes narrative and informational text, tells the story of American aviator Amelia Earhart, whose feat as one of the first women to fly a plane was eclipsed by her mysterious and unsolved disappearance. To this day, the story of her final flight continues to captivate readers.

  • Reading: Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos Jack Gantos is best known as the author of the Joey Pigza and Rotten Ralph books. This memoir for young adults tells the story of a part of his life that most of his young fans probably know nothing about. In 1972, Gantos, then 20, began a six-year prison sentence after being convicted of drug smuggling. Hole in My Life tells the story of that bleak period and how books and writing helped Gantos survive and make a life for himself after prison.

  • Reading: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi Thirteen-year-old Charlotte Doyle was supposed to sail from England to her family in America with two families her parents trusted. However, an unexpected turn of events places her on a ship with an angry captain and mutinous crew. When Charlotte is accused of the captain’s murder, she must use all of her resources to prove her innocence and stay alive until she gets home to her family. This exciting tale has many twists and turns.