This 87-page comprehensive cross-curricular unit for my novel Starting the Colt is suitable for homeschool or classroom and includes the following activities and emphases for English Language Arts:
Annotated to align with Common Core Standards. The annotations which have been included are correlated specifically to fourth grade Standards, but the questions and activities can easily be used with fourth to ninth grade students and related to the corresponding Standards for those grade levels--older students will be able to work more independently than younger students.
Reading strategies: making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, determining importance, synthesizing and summarizing.
Making connections: text to self, text to text, text to world.
Math, science, social studies, geography, art, and drama connections.
Basques and Native Americans in Nevada.
A mix of selected response and constructed response questions--DOK 2 and 3 as well as recall questions.
Supporting some answers with specific details and page numbers from the text.
An emphasis on using context clues.
Compare and contrast.
Writing and discussion prompts, connections and journaling prompts.
Writing different types of pieces: narrative, persuasive, opinion, informative, imaginative.
Writing from the point of view of various characters.
Vocabulary activities for each chapter such as: Tier 2 words and domain-specific Tier 3 words, figurative language, meaning and origin of words/phrases/idioms, grammar, similes, synonyms/antonyms, roots/prefixes/suffixes, homophones, use of italics, parts of speech, strong verbs, compound words, pronouns.
Dictionary/glossary activities (the book contains a glossary: Ranching Terms and Cowboy Slang)
Students are guided to think like an author, examining story elements: plot development, character development, point of view, "show don't tell," foreshadowing/flashback/red herring.
Discussion and writing are not just about literature but also universal life issues that are brought up in the text.
A window into Nevada ranching and agriculture.
And occasional humor helps make reading fun!
Assessment: Answering the Essential Question.
Since this Curriculum Unit is the product of the novel's author, the teacher and the students benefit by gaining insight into the writer's mind. The elements which the author feels are important about the story and the writing process have been emphasized throughout the unit. The author's classroom experience as a substitute teacher and a literacy paraprofessional provides the perspective needed to create a valuable novel study unit.
STARTING THE COLT and my novel THE ORANGE SLIPKNOT are available at my website, janyoungauthor.com
Visit my writer's blog, Jan's Book Blog
Common Core Standards addressed in this unit: