In this unit, students delve more deeply into learning about the San Francisco earthquake and fire in order to write a newspaper article to answer the question: How did the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire affect the people of San Francisco? The unit informally begins in Lessons 12 and 13 of Unit 2 (while teachers assess students’ literary analysis essays). Students begin by researching factual information and eyewitness accounts and collecting what they find on graphic organizers. Students also read literary texts about the earthquake and fires and make connections between the ideas in those texts.
In the second half of the unit, students analyze newspaper articles in order to learn about the features of a newspaper article. Students then evaluate the information and quotes they have collected through research to determine an angle for their article. They organize their information to write a newspaper article to answer the research question, following the inverted pyramid structure—where the most important information is at the beginning.