In Unit 1, students begin their study of frogs by working with a series of short, engaging poems. These poems are used as a springboard for the unit, piquing student curiosity about frogs and raising questions about these unusual creatures. For each poem, the class develops one or more questions that begin with “why.” These “why” questions will be used as the base for two different types of writing throughout the module. In Unit 1, students also study pourquoi tales and write narratives to answer the questions they raised. They will revisit these questions in Unit 2 when they study informational writing about frogs.
The first half of the unit focuses on reading and analyzing poetry and pourquoi tales. Students closely read poems about frogs with a focus on vocabulary, structure of poetry, and reading fluency. They also read and analyze pourquoi tales and plan and draft a pourquoi tale answering the question “Why do polliwogs wiggle?” as a class. For a mid-unit assessment, students will demonstrate their reading skills through reading a new poem about frogs and a new pourquoi story.
In the second half of the unit, students will apply what they have learned about narrative writing to plan and draft their own pourquoi stories. They focus on the components of narrative writing: a beginning that establishes the character and situation, a middle that introduces a problem and the characters’ response to the problem, and an ending that resolves the problem. Students will revise and edit their stories for word choice, including comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and publish their stories to be included in their Freaky Frog books as part of the final performance task. In the End of Unit 1 Assessment, students write a new pourquoi tale that answers one of the “why” questions that arose from the first half of the unit. Unit 1 culminates in a Frog Festival.