Language Arts » 8th grade 'Perspectives' (Unit 1 overview)

8th grade 'Perspectives' (Unit 1 overview)

Highlights of Unit 1: Rites of Passage (1st Quarter)

In this unit, students will investigate milestones on the path to growing up, considering how singular experiences can change a life. Students will read a variety of texts, watch a video, and view media as they discuss the Essential Question for the unit.

ESSENTIAL QUESTION

As a class, in small groups, and independently, students will work to answer this question: What are some milestones on the path to growing up? 

 

TALK IT OVER WITH YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER 

What are some of the ways you could answer the question What are some milestones on the path to growing up?

Do we grow more from experiences we repeat a lot, or from single particularly memorable experiences?

Why do you think stories about rites of passage are so popular in the media, books and film?

 

UNIT 1 SELECTION TITLES, AUTHORS, GENRES

WHOLE-CLASS LEARNING

“The Medicine Bag”

Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve

short story

“Apache Girl’s Rites of Passage”

National Geographic

media: video

SMALL-GROUP LEARNING

You Are the Electric Boogaloo”

Geoff Herbach

letter

“Just Be Yourself!”

Stephanie Pellegrin

letter

“Hanging Fire”

Audre Lorde

poetry

“The road not taken”

Robert Frost

poetry

INDEPENDENT LEARNING

“Cub Pilot on the Mississippi”

Mark Twain

memoir

from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Maya Angelou

autobiography

 

PERFORMANCE TASKS AND PERFORMANCE-BASED ASSESSMENT

Whole-Class Task (25%)

After completing the Whole-Class section of the unit, students will write a nonfiction narrative. They will then write a narrative answering this question:

What event changed your understanding of yourself, or presented a milestone or rite of passage of personal growth?

End-of-Unit Performance Assessment (45%)

After completing the Whole-Class section of the unit, students will have the opportunity to create a multimedia presentation on a chosen ‘Rite of passage’ from any tribe, culture and country.  They will explore other countries, traditions and extend their understanding the theme of tradition, personal growth and teenage milestones.

 

ELA Standards

Activities and assignments in Unit 1 will help your child meet the following Common Core State Standards for reading literature, informational texts, writing, and speaking and listening. Here are some key standards students will work toward in this unit.

Reading

• Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.

• Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

Writing

• Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

• Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.


• With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

Speaking and Listening

• Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.

• Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

• Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.