Write to Inform: Compare and Contrast Text and Film of The Lightning Thief | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2019 G6:M1:U2

Write to Inform: Compare and Contrast Text and Film of The Lightning Thief

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In Unit 2, students will continue to read excerpts from The Lightning Thief. They will also analyze the Greek myths highlighted in the novel and compare themes and topics in the Greek myths with those evident in The Lightning Thief. In the second half of the unit, students write a literary analysis essay using the Painted Essay® structure comparing and contrasting watching parts of The Lightning Thief movie with reading about the same events in the novel.

Please note: For the 6-8 Language Arts Curriculum, there are Teaching Notes for each unit that contain helpful information for supporting English language learners. These overview notes complement the more specific English language learner supports and differentiated materials within each lesson. You will find the Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.

CCS Standards

The Four Ts

  • Topic: Greek Mythology
  • Task: 
    • Read several Greek myths featured in the anchor and identify their themes; compare and contrast select scenes from the film version of the The Lightning Thief to the novel (mid-unit assessment). 
    • Compose an informational essay using a compare and contrast structure; follow a peer critique protocol to revise writing (end of unit assessment).
  • Targets: RL.6.1, RL.6.2, RL.6.4, RL.6.7, RL.6.9, RL.6.10, W.6.2, W.6.4, W.6.5, W.6.6, W.6.9a, W.6.10, L.6.2b, L.6.4, L.6.6
  • Texts: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan; Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (DVD), 20th Century Fox; Greek Myths: "Theseus and the Minotaur," "Cronus," "Medusa," and "Hestia"


Each unit in the 6-8 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 students' understanding of what they accomplished through supported, standards-based writing.

Habits of Character/Social-Emotional Learning Focus

Central to the 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 unit, students focus on the habits of character of respect and compassion as they respond to one another's ideas and skills in written work and in discussions. Also, students focus on integrity and perseverance as they work independently on assessments. As they track progress on their assessments, they take responsibility for their own learning.


Each unit is made up of a sequence of between 10-18 lessons. The Unit-at-a-Glance charts, available on the grade-level landing pages, break down each unit's lessons, showing CCS standards, agenda breakdown, daily learning targets, and ongoing assessments. The charts also indicate which lessons include mid- and end of unit assessments and the performance task.

Texts and Resources to Buy

Texts and resources that need to be procured. Please download the Required Trade Books and Resources Procurement List for procurement guidance.

Text or Resource Quantity ISBNs
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (DVD)
by Chris Columbus (director)
one per classroom
ISBN: 024543668824
The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan
one per student
ISBN: 9780786838653

Preparation and Materials

Ensure that families are aware of the sensitive content of The Lightning Thief, and prepare students who may be affected by this content in advance.

The following materials are introduced in this unit and referenced throughout both the module and the school year:

  • Criteria for an Effective Summary anchor chart
  • Criteria for an Effective Informative Essay anchor chart
  • Peer Critique Protocol anchor chart

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