Language Arts » 7th grade 'Perspectives' (Unit 2 overview)

7th grade 'Perspectives' (Unit 2 overview)

Highlights of Unit 2: A Starry Home



As a class, in small groups, and independently, students will work to answer the question Should we make a home in space? Give your student the opportunity to continue the discussion at home.



•  What are some of the ways you could answer the question Should we make a home in space?

•  What do these texts say about space exploration? What obstacles do we need to overcome before we explore further?

•  Why do you think outer space is so popular in the media and in books and film?





 Whole-Class Learning

Dark They Were,

and Golden-Eyed

Ray Bradbury

short story

Dark They Were,

and Golden-Eyed

Ray Bradbury

media: radio play

Danger! This Mission

to Mars Could Bore

You to Death!

Maggie Koerth-Baker

news article




Future of Space Exploration Could See Humans on Mars,

Alien Planets

Nola Taylor Redd

news article

The Last Dog

Katherine Paterson

short story

Ellen Ochoa: Director, Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa

media: video

Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Future of U.S. Space Exploration After Curiosity

Keith Wagstaff



Your child can choose one or more of the following to read independently. 

Science Fiction


C. S. Lewis


UFO Sightings and


Benjamin Radford

Web article

from “Packing for Mars

Mary Roach

persuasive essay

Trip to Mars Could

Damage Astronauts’


Laura Sanders

science article


Whole-Class Learning Performance Task 45%

After completing the Whole-Class section of the unit, your student will learn how to put together an argument in the form of an editorial. He or she will then write an editorial answering the question

Do the benefits of exploring Mars outweigh the risks?



Small-Group Learning Performance Task 25%

Debate: Should space exploration be a priority for our country?

Editorial Research: Research an example of an editorial and annotate its features and stylistic structure.


Activities and assignments in Unit 2 will help your student meet the following Common Core State Standards for reading literature and informational texts, writing, and speaking and listening. Here are some key standards students will work toward mastering in this unit.


• Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

• Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

• Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.



• Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

• Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

• Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.

Speaking and Listening

• Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

• Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.