A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park Unit Bundle: Complete Novel Study

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Read it Write it Learn it
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
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Do you want to teach the award winning novel A Long Walk to Water, but you're not sure where to start? This three-unit study of the novel A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park includes everything you need to engage and excite readers, helping them to master important skills and standards while also falling in love with the story of real-life refugee, Salva Dut. Students build close reading skills and master the ability to compare the history of Sudan and the Lost Boys to the fictional portrayal in the novel. Students will be on the edge of their seats as they follow Salva Dut on his journey as a lost boy while also learning about the struggles of Nya, a young girl walking day after day for water. This three unit study includes everything you need to help students both love and appreciate Salva's story and learn from it.

UNIT ONE: Students master close reading skills as they build background knowledge about the struggles of South Sudan and begin reading the novel. Close reading task cards guide students through the process of close reading authentic articles from reputable news sources. Reader's notes help students track the events and characters in the novel. Engaging lessons get students on their feet learning about the impacts of culture, gender, time, and place on Salva and Nya. Includes a mid unit and end of unit assessment.

UNIT TWO: Students study The Refugee Experience as they examine the methods that led to Salva's survival of the Second Sudanese Civil War. Students track the development of one of the themes of the novel: Individuals can survive challenging environments in remarkable ways. This unit culminates with students writing an informational essay on the methods the led to Salva's survival.

UNIT THREE: The Life of a Refugee is a mini-research project that builds on students' understanding of Salva's story. Students use the UN Refugee Agency website to study the stories of refugees living around the world today. After researching one refugee's story and experience, students create a profile which they present and display in your classroom (or beyond!). My students presented their researched profiles in our local library, giving names and faces to refugees around the world!

Everything in this three unit study includes digital links and is completely editable!

Included in this three unit study:

  • A 279 page PowerPoint that guides both teacher and students through each step of the lessons from lesson one to lesson thirty six!
  • 36 detailed lesson plans.
  • A pacing guide to help plan this 6-8 week study.
  • Close Reading task cards that can be used with articles and books all school year.
  • A Reader's Notebook for students to record chapter notes. The reader's notebook is beautifully designed so students can note, question, and take doodle notes as they read.
  • Student worksheets that scaffold skills.
  • RACCE short answer writing guide and rubric.
  • Mid and end of unit assessments with rubrics.
  • On-your-feet activities that will engage students and get them excited about learning. Every lesson includes variety!
  • A complete informative essay graphic organizer and outline.
  • Revision stations for informative essays.
  • Research guide for The Refugee Experience mini-research project.
  • The Life Story of a Refugee project template

Enjoy 340+ pages of resources that will provide you with everything you need to teach one of the most popular middle school novels, A Long Walk to Water.

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Total Pages
Answer Key
Rubric only
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.


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