Starting a new novel unit

This week my class will begin reading Jean Craighead George’s “The Talking Earth”. I spent a few weeks looking for a good novel with an environmental theme. I also wanted it to follow a survival or journey theme, as our first unit is usually based around a survival story. I stumbled upon a class set of “The Talking Earth” way in the back of my room, left over from a previous teacher. After a quick read, I realized it was exactly what I was looking for.

I wrote a 20 day unit plan, combining a independent reading (each student will read 50 pages/week), guided reading, survival activities, and a few monarch butterfly connections. One of my favorite activities will be their survival groups. My students will be put into groups of 4-5 students and told they have crashed on an island. First, they will discuss their strengths and weaknesses and then assign tasks and responsibilities within the group. Once a week, their group will be assigned a problem. This will be something like, “After fishing for the last week, the fish are becoming scarce. You need to come up with a way to continue eating and letting the fish reproduce”. After discussing the problem as a group and coming up with a solution, their homework will be to research a current environmental problem that they think is similar to their group’s problem. They will hand in a 1 paragraph paper detailing the environmental problem and a solution they believe will work. This will count as a 25-point quiz grade for the marking period.

I will be assigning the groups and the first problem this week. I can’t wait to see how this pans out!

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One Response

  1. [...] SCRAPSISTER wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptYou need to come up with a way to continue eating and letting the fish reproduce”….This will be something like, “After fishing for the last week, the fish are becoming scarce…. [...]

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