Research to Create a New Character and Write a Narrative | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2019 G6:M1:U3

Research to Create a New Character and Write a Narrative

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In Unit 3, students reimagine a scene from The Lightning Thief, writing themselves into the action as a different demigod from Camp Half-Blood. They research a Greek god of their choosing (or another traditional figure for those who don't feel comfortable imagining themselves as a child of a Greek god), and use their research to create a new character, the child of that figure. Students develop the attributes of that character and strategically insert the character into a scene from the novel, editing carefully so as not to change the outcome of the story. At the end of the module, students create a presentation outlining their choices and the reasons for their choices for the performance task.

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 another Greek myth to determine a central idea and to write a summary of the text; determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary (mid-unit assessment).
    • Write a narrative inserting a newly created demigod character into a scene from The Lightning Thief; revise narratives for sentence patterns and consistency in style and tone (end of unit assessment).
  • Targets: RL.6.1, RL.6.2, RL.6.3, RL.6.10, RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.4, W.6.3, W.6.4, W.6.5, W.6.6, W.6.10, L.6.3, L.6.4, L.6.6
  • Texts: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Greek Myths: "Prometheus" and "Helios"


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 respect, empathy, and compassion habits of character 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.

During the presentation of their performance tasks, students work to create a better world by using their strengths to help others improve.


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
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.

In this unit, students will research a Greek god or goddess in preparation for the end of unit assessment, in which they rewrite a scene from The Lightning Thief, inserting a new character of their own creation. To maintain the first person point of view, students will rewrite the scene as if they are their new character, a child of a Greek god/goddess of their choosing. Some students and their families may find this exercise in conflict with their religious views. Create a safe space for students to privately discuss their concerns, and be prepared with alternative ways for students to complete the assessment. Students may choose a different historic or traditional figure to research and on which to base their character (e.g., Superman, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, Oprah Winfrey). Guide students in their choice for an alternative figure by asking 1) Can you conduct substantial research on this person?; and 2) What powers or special abilities would the character inherit from this person?

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

  • Work to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart

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