Language Arts Grade 4
Unit: Weaving Deeper Meaning
Purposes: Understanding character, setting, events, plot and theme of stories
Essential Questions: What life lessons can we learn from stories? How do stories reveal what we have in common?

In this unit, students delve deeper into the meaning of texts through discussions and activities with a focus on the lessons we learn from stories. Students will explore these lessons through analysis of the characters, settings, events, conflicts and point of view in stories. Students will use reading strategies, such as making connections, visualizing, inferring, and synthesizing as they discuss and respond orally and in writing to stories. Students will read fiction books either independently or guided during SIR time. Minilessons, read alouds, and book hooks will use a variety of genre with strong character development and themes.The culminating product will be an Advice for Better Living Podcast or video, where students take the role of a character from a book read and give advice using information from the text.

Desired Results

Common Core State Standards

Reading Standards for Literature
Key Ideas and Details
  • RL 4.1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  • RL.4.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • RL.4.3. Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
Craft and Structure
  • RL.4.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including those that allude to significant characters found in mythology (e.g., Herculean).
  • RL.4.6. Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • RL 4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
  • RL 4.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grade 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • 1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    • Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions and carry out assigned roles.
    • Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
    • Review the key ideas expressed and explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
  • 2. Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
  • 3. Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
Production and Distribution of Writing
  • 6. With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.

CT Grade Level Expectations

  • Activate prior knowledge before reading
  • Examine the text before reading
  • Evaluate predictions and adjust as necessary
  • Use cueing system and context clues to determine meanings of words.
  • Summarize information to maintain focus and provide clarity.
  • Describe the components of setting
  • Infer characteristics, setting, plot events, theme, conflict
  • Identify and explain the elements of particular literary forms. e.g. poetry, short story, biography, journalistic writing, narrative
  • Use multiple texts to compare and contrast characters, settings, plots, themes, conflicts and point of view
  • Determine character traits, using knowledge of the character's situations
  • Identify and explain the difference between first, second and third person point of view.
  • Analyze how characters deal with diversity and adversity relating to real-world situations
  • Identify the best/worst part of an event or situation in text
  • Recognize and discuss a character's values, ethics and beliefs included in many texts
  • Choose a variety of genres to read for personal enjoyment
  • Elicit, discuss and respect the opinions of others about written, oral and visual texts
  • Share opinions and judgments based on texts

NETS for Students

Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.

Connecticut Mastery Test Objectives
A1 Use stated or implied evidence from the text to draw and/or support a conclusion
A2 Identify or infer important characters, problems, settings, events, relationships and details.
A3 Select and use relevant information from the text in order to summarize events and/or ideas in the text.
A4 Use information from the text to make a prediction based on what is read.
A5 Use context clues to determine meanings of unknown or multiple meaning words or figurative language.
B1 Identify or infer the author’s use of structure and organizational patterns.
B2 Draw conclusions about the author’s purpose for choosing a genre or including or omitting specific details in a written work.
B3 Use stated or implied evidence from the text to draw and/or support a conclusion.
C1 Make connections between text and outside experiences and knowledge
C2 Select, synthesize and/or use relevant information within the texts to write a personal response to the text.
D1 Analyze and evaluate the author’s craft, including use of literary devices (such as simile, metaphor, imagery, and personification) and/or textual elements (non-fiction).
D2 Select, synthesize and/or use relevant information within the texts to extend or evaluate the texts.
D3 Demonstrate an awareness of an author's or characters' values, customs and beliefs included in the text.

Essential Questions
-Understanding character's lives and the way characters deal with problems, conflicts, and diversity can help us to understand others people's points of view and help us better understand how to deal with our own problems and conflicts.

-Making connections to text helps us find connections amongst ourselves and others.
What life lessons can we learn from stories?

How do stories reveal what we have in common?

The student will know...
The students will be able to...
character, setting, events
character traits
point of view
identify, explain, and infer (theme and story elements)
activate (prior knowledge)
evaluate (predictions)
elicit, discuss, and respect (opinions of others)
share (opinions, interpretations, judgments)
compare and contrast (story elements)
analyze (how characters deal with diversity)

Content Vocabulary
types of genre (mystery, poetry, realistic fiction..)
character, setting, conflict, point of view
character traits

Assessment Evidence
Performance Tasks

Podcasts for Better Living
Formative Assessments

Blue Ribbon
Common Formative Assessments
Bi-Weekly Outer Edge Assessments
Wiki Talks
Written Responses to Bookmark questions
Conference Notes
Essential Question Responses

Summative Assessments

Written response to bookmark question

Student Self-Assessments

Exit Cards
Learning Plan

SEM-R book library
Class Sets for Interactive Read Alouds
Guided Reading Library (in science closet)
Junior Great Books
Picture Books
Storyline Online

SEM-R Bookmarks
Top Ten Lessons and Resources for Teaching Fiction Reading
Interactive Read Aloud: Developing Thoughtful Readers and Thinkers

Professional Books
Joyful Reading: Differentiation and Enrichment for Successful Literacy Learning
Still Learning to Read
Day to Day Assessment in Reading Workshop

Anchor Activities
Interactive Read Aloud
Global Read Aloud
SEM-R Bookmarks
Interactive Read Aloud: Developing Thoughtful Readers and Thinkers
During Reading Thinking Strategies
Bark, George, Bark lesson
Sorting My Thinking lesson
Picture Book Lessons
Table of books and activities
Understanding Character Activities
Drita My Homegirl Character Map
Charting Characters for a More Complete Understanding lesson
Character Trait Foldables
Character Trait List
Character Trait Wordle
Charlotte is Wise, Patient and Caring: Adjectives and Character Traits
Inferring How and Why Characters Change lesson
Top Ten Lessons and Resources for Teaching Fiction Reading
Understanding Point of View Activities
Hey Little Ant bulletin board activity
Point of View Two Bad Ants lesson
Point of View 2-Tab Foldable
Understanding Conflict Activities
Top Ten Lessons and Resources for Teaching Fiction Reading
Understanding Theme Activities
Books with Common Themes
Theme Posters
Top Ten Lessons and Resources for Teaching Fiction Reading
Understanding Story Elements Activities
Story Elements Foldable
ReadWriteThink Story Map Interactive
Book Report Alternative: Examining Story Elements Using Story Map Comic Strips
Nutmeg Wiki (fill in story elements)
Read Write Think Story Map
Top Ten Lessons and Resources for Teaching Fiction Reading
Compare and Contrast Elements of Texts
Class Chart comparing elements
Student chart comparing 2 stories
Get the Real Scoop! Comparing Books to Movies
Use higher-order thinking questions to simulate discussion
-Character, setting, plot and theme SEM-R bookmark questions
-Jr Great Books
SEM-R Bookmarks
Inside/Outside Circle
Turn and Talk
Think, Pair, Share
Numbered Heads Together
Four Corners
Carousel Brainstorming
Wiki Talks
Wiki Talks Lessons
Continue SIR, Supported Independent Reading: Focus on reading challenging books
One-on-one teacher conferences
Small guided reading and flexible groups as needed
Student Log
SIR Rules
Bookmarks for Students
One-on-one teacher conferences on reading strategies (5-7 minutes each)
Conference Video
Conference Tips
Teacher Log Template