In Unit 2, students delve more deeply into their study of fossils, and specifically focus on the unit guiding question, "What can we learn by studying fossils?" Students pivot from their reading of narrative nonfiction texts in Unit 1, now focusing specifically on nonfiction texts that build their understanding of fossils. Through a combination of close read-alouds, independent reading, hands-on experiences, and authentic writing tasks, students take on the role of paleontologists and learn about the different kinds of fossils, the process of fossilization, and how fossils can teach us about how the earth has changed, as well as the plants and animals that lived long ago.
In the second part of this unit, students begin to transition from close read-alouds to close reading of complex texts more independently, as they continue to focus on the other guiding question for this unit: "How do readers learn more about a topic from informational texts?" Students begin to learn strategies to tackle complex texts, such as reading to determine the gist of a passage and working with a partner to read a complex text. The Unit 2 Assessment asks students to independently read a passage about fossils and then respond to selected response questions by referring to their own copy of the text, using illustrations, and rereading as needed (RI.2.1, RI.2.2, RI.2.4, RI.2.5, RI.2.6, L.2.4a, L.2.4c).