This novel study guide is designed to use with high level 4th and/or 5th grade students, and was specifically designed with gifted students in mind. It could also be used with middle school grades. The level of depth in questioning and discussions will be at teacher discretion based on student readiness.
In designing this unit, a main focus was guiding students to think deeply about underlying themes, ethical issues, and connections to the real world. Specifically, I want my students to use this novel and the guiding questions to have high-level discussions that spark their interest and curiosity, but also lead them to explore critical issues and develop their own thinking and understandings based on text evidence.
Students will meet objectives for deep thinking using a combination of discussion, independent and/or group reading, and answering questions based on the icons of Depth and Complexity. These questions are designed to be high-level and open-ended, so that students have to think critically about them to arrive at an answer, rather than straight from the text. Many questions will help students form deeper understandings of global concepts, which will aid in discussion, as well as culminating writing and extension activities.