This Common Core resource includes 21 rigorous unit learning tasks for Sharon Draper’s, "Darkness Before Dawn." This novel is the 3rd in her Hazelwood High series. The teacher-created learning tasks include standard(s) alignment using the language of Common Core State Standards. The unit activities represent a balance of analysis and evaluation activities focusing on a variety of literary elements, constructed responses, and extended informational/explanatory and argumentative writing. This resource also includes some embedded external documents, charts and informational texts that have thematic parallels with “Darkness Before Dawn." The learning tasks will delve deeper into the complex character development, figurative and connotative meanings, and themes that have made it a literary classic.
Critical reading of literary texts is a critical component of the Common Core State Standards, and analyzing texts is a key skill that students will need for college and the jobs of the future. The critical foci of the learning tasks include:
1. Figurative and connotative meanings
2. Citing strong and thorough textual evidence (inferencing)
3. Analyzing themes and their development over the course of the text.
4. Analyzing complex character development
5. Responding to literature using constructed responses and extended writing.
6. Analyzing thematically related information in charts/graphs
7. Collegial discussions and presenting information.
8. Analyzing how the author intentionally structures the text to develop a unique point of view
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