In Unit 2, students will continue to read Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. The first half of the unit will focus on theme in Summer of the Mariposas, analyzing how the theme has developed over the text and writing summaries. In the second half of the unit, students write a new scene for Summer of the Mariposas in which they modernize a different Latin American folklore monster in a similar manner to the other monsters chosen by McCall. In order to do this, students research a monster from Latin American folklore to choose.
As English Language Arts educators know, theme is a nuanced concept. It is a big idea, a message that develops over the course of the text, emerging from the events and character responses in the text itself. In The Summer of the Mariposas, as in other literary works, several notable and thought-provoking themes develop over the course of the text. EL Education has chosen to emphasize two prominent and important themes of the text ("Being kind and pure of heart can help people live fuller, more meaningful lives" and "Things are not always as they appear") in order to allow students to track the development of these themes over multiple chapters of the text. This will not only help students deeply understand this particular text--it will also allow students to better understand the concept of theme development, so it can become one of the habits of mind they bring to any rich literary text.
It is important to note that EL Education has decided to include a theme statement at the end of chapter summary paragraphs. A summary is an objective synthesis of the key ideas of the chapter. It is true that a theme statement is not a core requirement of a summary, and not all summaries that students write anywhere else will include this type of analysis. However, this approach of ending with a theme statement (as a sort of "so what" after the synthesizing summary) helps students make a connection between summarizing and analysis.
For homework in Unit 2, students will continue to preread chapters of Summer of the Mariposas before discussing them in class. On any day that a prereading of a chapter is not assigned, students should continue their independent research reading by 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.