Whereas many of us are used to centering a unit around a novel, the Common Core is making us think differently about how we structure teaching and learning. Fiction is still an important component of students’ English classes, but we can give students a more rigorous and rich learning experience by supplementing fiction with nonfiction, multimedia, and poetry texts that will promote and enhance important critical thinking skills.
This month, we discovered a fantastic resource from the state of Louisiana. Their Department of Education’s “Louisiana Believes” page houses a wide selection of units centered around canonical titles; what is helpful about these units is that they all incorporate related literary texts, informational texts, and non-print texts (including TED talks, artwork, and films)–and they are all linked. In addition, they each include multiple summative unit assessments, as well as key lesson plans that reflect the integration between the canonical work and the supplemental materials.
Sample Unit plans are available for grades K-12.
Notable titles include:
- K-5: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Amelia Bedelia, Because of Winn Dixie, Treasure Island, The Lightning Thief,
- 6-8: Hatchet, A Christmas Carol, The Giver, Flowers for Algernon, The Call of the Wild, “The Tell-Tale Heart”
- 9-12: Fahrenheit 451, The Odyssey, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, The Scarlet Letter, The Metamorphosis, Our Town, Hamlet
…and many more!
Check out all of their units HERE!
-Maria Vlahiotis, Literacy Specialist, ACOE Core Learning