Students begin Unit 1 by reading Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. Theme and point of view are introduced through the text, as well as discussion norms, as students discuss their responses to the text. They also analyze how differences in the points of view of the characters and the reader create effects like suspense or humor. While reading Summer of the Mariposas, they closely read complex informational texts about the folklore of Mexico. In the second half of Unit 1, students analyze how incidents in the story reveal aspects of a character in order to prepare for a Socratic Seminar discussion. Theme is introduced and tracked in preparation for Unit 2.
Summer of the Mariposas contains references to sensitive topics such as a family's abandonment by their father, a murder and children's discovery of the corpse, illegal crossing of the border between the United States and Mexico, and Latin American folklore that includes references to magic, spells, witchcraft, and monsters. The issues presented must be carefully and sensitively discussed to give students context as they read the story. Speak with students and families in advance, especially those who may have sensitivity to topics discussed.
In this unit, students begin to read literary nonfiction texts at their level as they choose independent research reading texts. There are Independent Reading Sample Plans located on the Tools Page (http://eled.org/tools) with ideas on how to launch independent reading. Students should complete 20 minutes of independent research reading each evening that they are not prereading a chapter from the whole-class anchor text and should also continue independent research reading over 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. (See the Support All Students section of the Teaching Notes in Lesson 1 for further detail.) You will find the unit's Teaching Notes in the Unit download below.