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In Unit 1, students are asked to infer the topic of their research for this module by sorting various pictures of simple machines and their everyday use. Students start by sorting these “Mystery Pictures” into inferred categories, then read an informational text from the book Simple Machines to learn basic information about simple machines. Once students discover the topic, they build background knowledge by rereading the text from Simple Machines and determine the main idea and supporting details, as well as the main points related to the scientific concepts of force, effort, and work explained in the text. This is followed by a mid-unit assessment of RI4.2 and RI4.3.
Students then read and analyze Readers Theater The Machine, which engages students as they continue to build content knowledge about simple machines, and also introduces students to a new genre (drama). They will examine the structure of drama and learn how drama is different from other types of literature (RL.4.5). The end of unit assessment focuses on standards RL.4.5 and RL4.1: Students read a new Readers Theater about simple machines and answer questions about the characteristics of this type of drama as well as information about simple machines contained within the text. Overall, this unit prepares students for their deeper study in Unit 2 about simple machines and the work they do to help people.