My school system has appointed Hatchet as a sixth grade book. According to Scholastic's Book Wizard it has an interest level of 6-8 with a reading equivalent of 5.9. In addition to vocabulary and comprehension, this unit includes a series of lessons which teach students to write narratives incorporating imagery and figurative language. A grading rubric follows these skill lessons. You can see student examples from this project on my personal website at http://www.bookunitsteacher.com/reading_hatchet/hatchet.htm
The writing prompt is . . .
In the Canadian wilderness Brian came across many wild animals. Brian saw porcupine, turtle, wolf, skunk, squirrel, rabbit, bear, and moose. Choose one animal that you might encounter if you were in the wilderness of Canada. Read the examples about Brian's encounter with this animal. You will also read some factual information about the animal you choose.
Now imagine you are in the wilderness and you run across this animal. Your "meeting" may be humorous, scary, or even a blessing.
Science is somewhat incorporated with the unit in that I included factual reports written by students so that they can use their knowledge of the animal in the narratives they write. (This would be an easy topic to expand on by simply adding animal relationships, food chains, etc.)
Another series of skills covered in this unit include story elements: characters, setting, point of view, conflict, plot, and theme. Students create a story map after the skills are covered.
I have listed Common Core Standards for each constructive response question, but not for each activity. You can easily Google Common Core Standards.
I hope this answers each of your questions.
December 18, 2012