Joaquin's Gold - a common core short story unit for award winning story

Robert Walton
Grade Levels
6th - 7th
Formats Included
  • PDF
9 pages
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Robert Walton


If you need something fast, here is a complete short story unit. I intend for it to be especially useful to substitutes if you get caught short of a lesson plan.

“Joaquin’s Gold” is a western adventure set in 19th Century California. Its main character is Joaquin Murrieta, the famous bandit. It’s based on Central California legends and is set in Pinnacles National Park.

Please feel free to download a free copy of the story here on TPT and print out as many copies as you like. Here’s the link:

I've included CLOZE and reciprocal teaching comprehension activities, a poster assignment, a listening log, a post test and a puzzle. This unit should be good for several days of work in a middle school language arts class.

Total Pages
9 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.
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 particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).
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.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


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