Write to Raise Awareness: The Lost Children of South Sudan | EL Education Curriculum

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ELA 2019 G7:M1:U3

Write to Raise Awareness: The Lost Children of South Sudan

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Students begin Unit 3 comparing A Long Walk to Water to the audiobook version of the text, exploring how authors and readers develop tone, mood, and expression. Students draw on this exploration as they start the second half of the unit, planning and then writing a narrative children's book about a Lost Boy or Girl of Sudan. Through mini lessons and independent planning work, students focus on developing characters, settings, plot points, and narrative techniques such as pacing, description, and dialogue. Once students complete a draft of their narrative, they convert it into an ebook and publish it by sharing it with others, especially elementary school children.

For homework, students continue to read chapters of A Long Walk to Water in preparation for reading and discussing them in class. When they are not reading the anchor text, they should continue their independent research reading for at least 20 minutes and responding to a prompt. Additionally, students should continue independent research reading over the weekends.

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: Discovering the Lost Children of Sudan: Write to Raise Awareness: The Lost Children of South Sudan
  • Task:
    • Answer selected and constructed response questions to contrast the effects of the techniques in the audio and text versions of A Long Walk to Water.
    • Draft a children's book narrative that showcases the habits of character that a Lost Boy or Girl of Sudan demonstrated in his or her journey.
  • Targets: RL.7.1, RL.7.7, W.7.3, W.7.4, W.7.5, W.7.6, W.7.10
  • Texts: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (tradebook), A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (audiobook)"The Lost Boys of the Sudan," "The 'Lost Girls' of Sudan" by Ishbel Matheson, "The Need," "One Day I Had to Run" by John Deng Langbany, Nasreen's Secret School* by Jeanette Winter, Brothers in Hope by Mary Williams

* The ebook edition of Nasreen's Secret School is used as a model for the Grade 7: Module 1 Performance Task, for which students create an illustrated ebook to share with a younger audience. If students will be completing this task using digital tools, the ebook should be procured as a model. If digital tools for the Performance Task are unavailable, a copy of the print edition (978-1416994374) can be substituted to support students in making a picture book on paper.


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. In this unit, students continue to work to become effective learners, developing mindsets and skills for success in college, career, and life (e.g., initiative, responsibility, perseverance, and collaboration). Students also continue to work to become ethical people, treating others well and standing up for what is right (e.g., empathy, integrity, respect, and compassion). Additionally, students begin to work to contribute to a better world, putting their learning to use to improve communities (e.g., citizenship and service).

In this unit, as students read A Long Walk to Water, they witness evidence of respect, empathy, collaboration, perseverance, taking initiative, and making the world a better place and discuss what these look and sound like in the text. Also, students focus on the habits of character of respect, empathy, and compassion as they respond to one another's ideas and skills in written work and in discussions, and they focus on integrity and perseverance as they work independently on assessments. Finally, as students develop an ebook about a Lost Boy or Girl of Sudan, they help others in the class grow as they assist with technology and writing. Also, because students will share their ebooks with an elementary school child in their community, they focus on using their learning to improve their community. 


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
Nasreen’s Secret School
by Jeanette Winter
One per classroom
ISBN: 9781442441217
Brothers in Hope
by Mary Williams
One per classroom
ISBN: 9781584302322
A Long Walk to Water (Audiobook)
by Linda Sue Park
One per classroom
ISBN: 9781501237553
A Long Walk to Water
by Linda Sue Park
One per student
ISBN: 9780547577319

Preparation and Materials

Prepare the following anchor charts for this unit:

  • Criteria of an Effective Narrative anchor chart (Unit 3, Lesson 4)
  • Work to Contribute to a Better World anchor chart (Unit 3, Lesson 5)
  • Performance Task anchor chart (see Module Overview page to download the Performane Task materials)

Ensure that families are aware of the sensitive content of A Long Walk to Water, and prepare students who may be affected by this content in advance.

The following material is introduced in this unit and referenced throughout both the module and the school year:

  • Narrative Writing checklist

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