Survival Unit Plan

Survival Unit Plan
North Dakota Middle School Common Core
Aligned to sixth grade standards
Essential Question: What attributes are necessary for survival?
Introduction to the Unit: The intent of this unit is to explore and examine how specific pieces of
literature, both informational and fictional, address survival, perseverance, and coming of age.
The research component of this unit will help students to gain background knowledge about
survival in the wilderness and will require them to create a survival guide. Throughout the unit
students will respond both in writing and through discussion as they learn to use the text to
provide evidence to support their interpretations. Multiple short texts will complement the
extended text. This unit is aligned to sixth grade standards but could be used for multiple grade
Short Texts
Gary Paulsen Biography
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Journal Entry 2 (focus on dealing
with divorce)
Eye of the Storm- by Steven Kramer
informational text on tornadoes
“Desert Places” by Robert Frost
Extended Text
Hatchet By Gary Paulsen
Additional books in this series:
The River
Brian’s Winter
Brian’s Hunt
Brian’s Return
Guts: The True Story Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books
Routine Writing:
Write about a time you didn’t give up.
What are the most important lessons Brian learns about the natural world?
How does his time in the wilderness affect his attitude toward the land and the animals?
How does Gary Paulson incorporate the past into the present?
Write about your daily successes and failures.
Write about Brian’s daily successes and failures.
Compare and contrast the weather in Canada and your state.
How does Brian use his background knowledge to survive?
Brian decided to continue flying the plane until it ran out of gas. Would you have made the same decision?
Explain the similarities and differences in how Gary Paulson and Robert Frost write about survival.
Explain the similarities and differences in the written work and the movie.
Research Projects:
Research how to survive in the wilderness and create a survival guide. (See the lesson plan following the unit
Speaking and Listening:
Present your research project to the class using Keynote or PowerPoint
Discuss how Brian feels when he finds the rifle in the survival pack.
Discuss how the author uses flashbacks to give the reader insight into the character and to move the plot
What does Brian mean when he tells himself self-pity doesn’t work?
Common Core
point of view
compare and
Study and Apply Grammar
Study and Apply
With a focus on Pronouns change one
paragraph in Hatchet from the third
person point-of-view to a first person
Discuss three ways the
word “bank” is used in the
Identify airplane
Primary Standards
Reading Literature
RL.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences
drawn from the text.
RL.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details;
provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
RL.6.3 Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the
characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
RL.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and
connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
RL.6.6 Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
RL.6.9 Compare and contrast texts in different forms or genres (e.g., stories and poems; historical novels
and fantasy stories) in terms of their approaches to similar themes and topics.
W.6.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing
the inquiry when appropriate.
W.6.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Secondary Standards
Reading Informational Text
RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative,
connotative, and technical meanings.
RI.6.9 Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir
written by and a biography on the same person).
W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique,
relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are
appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
W.6.5 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.
W.6.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each
source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and
providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
Speaking and Listening
SL.6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led)
with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their
own clearly.
SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally)
and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or
L.6.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and
spelling when writing.
L.6.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple- meaning words and phrases based on
grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
*This unit was developed by a group of North Dakota 6-8 ELA teachers who have used, adapted, and
interpreted a variety of sources.
Survival Guide Lesson Plan
The Launch of the Lesson
Standards Addressed:
 RL.6.1 – Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as
inferences drawn from the text.
 W.6.2.a- Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as
definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (headings),
graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. *
 L.6.1.e - Recognize variations from Standard English in their own and others’ writing and
speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language. *
 W.6.6 – 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 three pages in a single setting.
 SL.6.1 – Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade
6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
 SL.6.1.a – Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly
draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and
reflect on ideas under discussion.
 SL.6.1.b – Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define
individual roles as needed. *
*Standards that could be problematic
Guiding Questions:
 What is essential to clearly introduce a topic using several strategies with a piece of writing?
 Why is it important to know and use organizational text structure?
 What strategies can be used to improve expression using Standard English when writing and
 How can these strategies strengthen writing or speaking that has varied from Standard English?
 Students will create a chart describing survival techniques Brian used. The chart will incorporate
their knowledge of Standard English grammar and usage to clearly communicate their thoughts
and ideas. They will include informational formatting with headings and columns in the form of
a chart or table.
Student Engagement with the Content
Prior Knowledge:
 Students should understand how to create a chart.
 Students should demonstrate understanding of Standard English grammar.
Activating Prior Knowledge:
o Go to the site map and click on grade 6
o Find review sheet
 Students will first list the survival skills Brian used.
 Students will then compare their list with a partner.
 Students cite evidence from the book to examine how he carried out each skill.
 Students will use Inspiration to create a tree diagram to organize their ideas and information.
o Teachers will provide feedback on the thoroughness of information in the tree diagram.
Summarization of the Lesson
Students will create a table which includes the skills Brian used to survive as well as how he
executed the skills.
Students will use standard English grammar and usage to clearly communicate their thoughts
and ideas.
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