Exploring Literary Classics | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA G3:M3

Exploring Literary Classics

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What can we learn from reading literary classics? In this module, students consider the answer to this question through a case study of Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. In Unit 1, students begin reading Peter Pan. At the beginning of the unit, they also read an informational text about the author and historical context. As students read chapters of Peter Pan, they make connections between what they have read in Peter Pan and the issues presented in the informational text. Students also consider how each new chapter of Peter Pan builds on the events in previous chapters. In the second half of the unit, students analyze character traits and actions and compare their point of view to the point of view of the characters.

Once students have finished reading Peter Pan, in the second half of Unit 2, they write a book review explaining whether they would recommend the story to a friend. They finish the unit by participating in a discussion about their opinions of the book. In Unit 3, students revise a scene of Peter Pan using some of the reasons students would not recommend the story to a friend. After revising one part of the story, they create a presentation explaining why and how they have revised that scene. For the performance task, students read aloud their revised scenes to an audience before explaining how and why they revised the scene. This performance task centers on CCSS ELA RF.3.4b, SL.3.4, and SL.3.6.

Big Ideas & Guiding Questions

  • How do writers capture a reader’s imagination?
  • Authors show, not tell, how a character feels through dialogue and description.
  • Authors choose words and phrases for effect to help readers imagine they are in the story.
  • What can we learn from reading literary classics?
  • Literary classics are told in different ways over time.
  • Literary classics can show how things have changed since the time they were written.
  • Readers have differing opinions about the texts they read and support their opinions with evidence from the text.

The Four T's

  • Topic: Exploring literary classics 
  • Task: Students write and read aloud a revised scene of Peter Pan. They also prepare a presentation to explain how and why they have revised the scene.
  • Targets (CCSS explicitly taught and assessed): RF.3.4b, SL.3.4, SL.3.6
  • Text: Peter Pan

Content Connections

This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards and to be taught during the literacy block of the school day. However, the module intentionally incorporates social studies content that many teachers may be teaching during other parts of the day. These intentional connections are described below.

College, Career, and Civic Life C3 Framework for Social Studies State Standards:

  • D2.Civ.10.3–5
  • D2.Geo.3.3–5
  • D2.Geo.5.3–5
  • D2.His.2.3–5
  • D2.His.5.3–5
  • D2.His.6.3–5
  • D3.4.3–5
  • D4.2.3–5

Habits of Character / Social Emotional Learning Focus

Central to EL Education curriculum is a focus on “habits of character” and social-emotional learning. Students work to become effective learners, developing mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration); work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion); and work to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship, service). 

In this module, students work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, compassion), and work to become effective learners, developing the mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, collaboration). They practice collaboration, respect, empathy, compassion, and integrity as they share their ideas about texts, work together collaboratively, and participate in discussions during which they share their opinions.

See unit overviews for more detail.

Assessment

Each unit in the 3-5 Language Arts Curriculum has two standards-based assessments built in, one mid-unit assessment and one end of unit assessment. The module concludes with a performance task at the end of Unit 3 to synthesize their understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

(Create a free account to access assessments.)

Performance Task

Presenting a Revised Scene from Peter Pan 

For this performance task, students read aloud their revised scene from Peter Pan. Then, in an oral presentation supported only by prompt cards, they explain the changes they made to the original scene and their reasons for making those changes. This task centers on CCSS ELA RF.3.4b, SL.3.4, and SL.3.6.

Texts to Buy

Texts that need to be procured. Please download the Trade Book List for procurement guidance.


Text Quantity ISBNs
Classic Starts: Peter Pan
by J. M. Barrie
1 per student
ISBN: 9781402754210

Module-at-a-Glance

Each module is approximately 6-8 weeks of instruction broken into 3 units. The "week at a glance" chart in the curriculum map gives the big picture, breaking down the module into a detailed week-by-week view. It shows how the module unfolds, the focus of each week of instruction, and where the six assessments and the performance task occur.

ALL Block

The Additional Language and Literacy (ALL) Block is 1 hour of instruction per day. It is designed to work in concert with and in addition to the 1-hour Grades 3–5 ELA “module lessons.” Taken together, these 2 hours of instruction comprehensively address all the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts.

The ALL Block has five components: Additional Work with Complex Text; Reading and Speaking Fluency/GUM (Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics); Writing Practice; Word Study and Vocabulary; and Independent Reading.

The ALL Block has three 2-week units which parallel to the three units of the module.

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