How do natural disasters impact us?
DAY 1–10 - PLAN 1
DAY 11–14 - SEED 1
DAY 15–19 - PLAN 2
DAY 20–23 - SEED 2
DAY 24–27 - SEED 3
DAY 28–30 - SEED 4
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6 Weeks - "Unit at a Glance" Organizer
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This unit will explore how nature is both wonderful and also woeful. Students will read a variety of texts to explore the theme and the essential question – How do natural disasters impact us? This unit begins with a novel based on a real event that happened in Nebraska, Night of the Twister by Ivy Ruckman. After reading this novel, students will analyze two nature related poems and compare the descriptive language to the narrative. The unit will then focus on informational text as students explore artifacts form this 1980 tornado. Lesson seeds also include research about wildfires and the blizzard of 1888. If time allows, the unit can be expanded to study weather and nature related myths and legends. Students will maintain a learning log to record notes, impressions, vocabulary, characters, and events. Universal Design for Learning principles are incorporated into the unit.
The lesson models in this unit follow best practices to address Common Core State Standards. Lesson sequences will assist students in the process of close reading, critical analysis of text, and will provide opportunities for students to compare a variety of texts on the same topic. Included are examples of text dependent questions and sample responses to guide instruction. A variety of learning structures are described, including sample organizers and resources. Instructional technology and a variety of resources are infused to maintain engagement, deepen comprehension, and serve as prompts for future investigation and research. The plan's timeline and task requirements are rigorous and require students to build their reading and writing stamina.
It is important teachers prepare fully by reading all materials, resources, and consider their students when planning to implement this unit. Time frames may vary depending on the daily amount of instructional time allotted as well as the amount of teacher support requires for students to meet with success.
The three aspects of text complexity were considered when selecting materials for this unit. The Quantitative Measure for The Night of the Twisters is at a lexile level of 790, which is in the middle range of the grade 4-5 text complexity band. Qualitative Measures such as text structure, language, and levels of meaning were examined and determined to be appropriate for this age group. Reader and Task factors such as motivation, prior knowledge, and interest are considered appropriate for fourth graders.
Note regarding UDL: The following adaptations/accommodations are recommended:
Additional Planning and Preparation:
See "Sources for Accessible Media" for suggestions on Maryland Learning Links: http://marylandlearninglinks.org and/or http://cast.org.
IMPORTANT NOTE: No text model or website referenced in this unit has undergone a formal review. Before using any of these materials, local school systems should conduct a formal approval review of these materials to determine their appropriateness. Teachers should always adhere to any Acceptable Use Policy enforced by their local school system.