In this unit, students are involved in a study of how an author develops point of view and how an author’s perspective, based on his or her culture, is evident in his or her writing. Students will begin reading Laurence Yep’s Dragonwings (870L), a high-interest novel about an eight-year old boy from China who joins his father in San Francisco in the early 1900s. As they read the novel, students will also read excerpts of Laurence Yep’s biography The Lost Garden in order to determine how his culture and experiences have shaped his perspective, and how his perspective is evident in Dragonwings.
Through the close reading of these texts, students will learn multiple strategies for acquiring and using academic vocabulary. At the end of Unit 1, having read half of the novel, students will write a literary analysis explaining how being brought up in a Chinese family in San Francisco affected Laurence Yep’s perspective of Chinese immigrants living in San Francisco, supported by details from Dragonwings that show evidence of his perspective.