Building Background Knowledge:
Learning about Culture through Literary and Informational Texts
These are colorful, interactive, child friendly powerpoint lessons that make teaching this module a piece of cake! Point, click, teach! Below is the Unit Overview from Engage NY.
In this unit, students read both informational texts and a Magic Tree House book as they learn about the concept of culture generally, and the culture of ancient and modern Japan specifically. They will read Magic Tree House: Dragon of the Red Dawn, collecting textual evidence as they begin to explore the question “What is culture?” They explore the concept of culture as the story of a group of people constructed through the generations, which can be evidenced through ancient and modern-day customs and traditions (see “Content Connections,” below). For the mid-unit assessment, students will cite evidence from the text as well as answer text-dependent questions and define vocabulary words from Dragon of the Red Dawn. Students then will collect textual evidence from the accompanying informational text Exploring Countries: Japan. They will begin to learn how evidence in literary texts correlates with evidence in informational texts. They will write about ancient and modern Japan in an on-demand informational paragraph. This whole class study of Japan, in Unit 1, prepares students to do similar work in small groups in Unit 2 about other countries’ ancient and modern-day customs and traditions.