In this first unit of the module, students build their informational reading skills and background knowledge about medieval times through a guided research project. Through the close reading of a general information article about medieval times, teachers introduce the skills of determining the central idea of a text, determining the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, and analyzing how particular parts of the text contribute to its overall meaning. While reading these articles, students consider the different adversities faced by people in the Middle Ages. Students then work in small research groups to practice informational reading skills and learn more deeply about the adversities faced by a specific group of people in medieval times.
For their mid-unit assessment, students read new excerpts of informational text, determine the central idea, determine the meaning of words, and analyze how sections of the text contribute to its overall meaning. In the second half of the unit, students use their research materials and the knowledge they've gained to write an essay to inform about one aspect of medieval times. Using a model essay and a series of writing lessons, students choose their most relevant research materials, build paragraphs around quotes from their research texts, draft an introduction and conclusion, and participate in a peer critique. For their end of unit assessment, students submit their final revised essay to inform.