Summer School Curriculum Bundle - 6 Weeks of Journey-Themed Units

Grade Levels
6th - 9th
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215 pages
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Make teaching summer school a breeze with this multi-unit journey-themed resource. Every ELA summer school lesson you'll need is included!

Lead students through a six-week instructional journey as they investigate journeys in the form of a short story, speeches, poetry, historic journal entries, and a personal reflection. Each unit combines rigor and engagement as students read, write, listen, and speak about incredible journeys. Whether studying a short story about a dog’s journey to his owner, investigating Lewis and Clark’s journal entries, analyzing speeches about journeys, researching explorers, writing speeches about incredible journeys, analyzing journey poetry, writing their own poems, or reflecting on their personal journey, students will develop a wide spectrum of skills while making connections between each unit.

Combined, these units…

- Include both rigor and engagement

- Meet 38 Common Core State Standards!

- Encompass over 6-weeks of instruction

- Promote student engagement

- Work perfectly as an end-of-year project, summer school curriculum, or taught in succession or broken up throughout the year

This bundle includes:

- “Lob’s Girl” Literature Study - Short story study about a dog’s journey to his owner

- Lewis and Clark’s Journal Entries - Historical Text Analysis - Close reading of journal entries from the Corps of Discovery’s incredible journey

- Journey Poetry Reading, Analysis, and Writing - Journey poem analysis and poetry writing guides

- Mini-Research Project, Speech Analysis, and Presentation - Study of the speech genre, analysis of famous journey speeches, mini-research project on famous explores, speech writing and presentation

- Journey Reflection Activity - Quote investigation, personal reflection and journey map

Common Core State Standards:

- Reading: Literature Standards: RL.1, RL.2, RL.3, RL.4, RL.5, RL.6, RL.10

- Reading: Informational Texts: RI.1, RI.2, RI.4, RI.6, RI.7, RI.8, RI.9, RI.10

- Literacy in History/Social Studies: RH.1, RH.2, RH.4, RH.5, RH.6, RH.10

- Writing Standards: W.1, W.2, W.3, W.4, W.5, W.6, W.7, W.8, W.9, W.10

- Speaking and Listening Standards: SL.1, SL.3, SL.4, SL.6

- Language: L.2, L.3, L.6


“Lob’s Girl” Literature Study

In this 8-day unit students will develop a deep understanding of Joan Aiken’s short story “Lob’s Girl” . Its tale of loyalty and friendship combined with mystery and suspense make it an incredibly engaging read. Students develop skills in understanding short story elements, mood development, theme, foreshadowing, vocabulary, dialect, and writing in this unit. Through whole class, small group, and independent work students not only stay actively engaged with their instruction, they also build crucial skills in reading, listening, and writing.

Common Core State Standards

- R.1, R.2, R.3, R.4, R.5, R.10

- W.1, W.4, W.10

- SL.1, L.4, L.6

In this unit, students will...

- Understand and appreciate short story elements: plot, setting, characters, theme

- Recognize cause and effect to help understand foreshadowing

- Build background information on Joan Aiken, Cornwall, England, and British English

- Build understanding of mood

- Develop understanding of dialect (British English)

- Increase vocabulary

- Make personal connections to text to increase comprehension

- Creatively write in response to the text

”Lob’s Girl” Unit Highlights:

- Pre-Reading Writing Prompt

- Reading Toolkit Graphic Organizers for Ongoing Comprehension Development

- Small Group Discussion Activity

- Making Predictions Graphic Organizer

- Foreshadowing Discussion Starters

- Hands-On Mood Analysis Lesson

- Small Group Vocabulary Sort

- Creative Writing Activity

Included in Student “Lob’s Girl” Packets:

- Pre-Write

- Building Background Information

- Vocabulary

- Connect to the Reading

- Dialect Graphic Organizer

- Plot Log

- Setting Chart

- Character Log

- Predictions Graphic Organizer and Writing

- Group Discussion Questions and Record Sheet

- Mood Analysis and Web

- Literary Analysis - Foreshadowing

- Theme Analysis

- Creative Writing Prompt and Pre-Write

Teacher and Instructional Resources for “Lob’s Girl” Unit:

- Vocabulary Sort Activity

- Mood Analysis Activity

- Unit Overview

- Detailed Lesson Plans (8)

- Final Assessment (Multiple choice, matching, and short answer test)

- ALL Instructional and Assessment Keys


Lewis and Clark’s Journals - Historical Text Analysis

In this five-day, Common Core aligned unit, students will examine and interpret the journal entries of Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark from their American expedition across the western portion of the United States (1804 – 1806). After building background on the expedition, students will complete multiple close readings of eleven journal entries to deepen their understanding of the writings. Reading excerpts from the beginning, middle, and end of the journey, students will closely read and analyze the journals. Working with small groups, partners, the whole class, and independently students will deepen their understanding of the historical texts by completing nine analysis tasks throughout the unit.

Common Core State Standards

- RI.1, RI.2, RI.4, RI.6, RI.7, RI.10

- RH.1, RH.2, RH.4, RH.5, RH.6, RH.10

- W.1 (A, B, C, D, E)

In this unit, students will...

- Read and interpret complex historical texts

- Cite textual evidence in analysis

- Draw inferences from the text

- Determine the meaning of words or phrases in the text

- Determine the author’s point of view and purpose

- Analyze primary sources

- Write arguments to support claims and analysis

Lewis and Clark Journal Entries - Investigating Historical Texts Unit Highlights:

- Background Information on the Lewis and Clark expedition

- Notes on Nonfiction Texts - Purposes, Types, Organization, Tone, Objective vs. Subjective Writing

- Step-by-step guide for Close Readings of Informational Texts

- Journal Excerpts from the beginning, middle, and end of journey (11 total)

- 9 analysis tasks to deepen student understanding

Teacher and Instructional Resources for “Lob’s Girl” Unit:

- Unit Overview

- Detailed Lesson Plans (5)

- ALL Instructional and Student Work Keys


Journey Speech Reading, Analyzing, Researching, & Presenting

In this ten-day, Common Core aligned unit, students will develop a deep understanding of the speech genre by investigating two famous speeches. After instruction on speech characteristics and purposes of speeches, students will closely read and analyze two speeches about incredible journeys. They’ll also develop skills in responding to analysis questions. Then, students will conduct mini-research projects on people who have also completed incredible journeys. Using a research guide, citation tracker, propaganda techniques, and a speech pre-write students will turn their research into an engaging and informative speech. Students will present their research to the class while classmates complete listening feedback forms.

This unit is the perfect combination of rigor and engagement. You’ll be so impressed with students’ presentations as they incorporate the speech elements from the mentor texts they analyzed as well as effectively share information from their research.

Common Core State Standards

- RI.1, RI.2, RI.4, RI.6, RI.8, RI.10

- L.2, L.3, L.6

- SL.3, SL.4, SL.6

- W.1, W.2, W.4, W.5, W.7, W.8, W.9

In this unit, students will...

- Develop understanding of the speech genre: characteristics of speeches, types of speeches, how to read and analyze speeches

- Cite textual evidence in analysis

- Draw inferences from the text

- Effectively respond to short answer questions

- Determine the author’s point of view and purpose

- Develop research skills

- Cite research sources

- Write persuasively including arguments and effective support

- Work with peers to improve and revise their writing

- Utilize strong presentation skills as they deliver their speeches

- Actively listen to and evaluate peers’ speeches

Mini-Research Project, Speech Analysis, and Speech Writing Unit Includes:

- Guided Notes: How to Read Speeches; Answering Short Answer Questions, Speech Types and Purposes

- Links to access and download speeches: “The Future Doesn’t Belong to the Fainthearted” and “Life’s Journey”

- 10 Speech analysis tasks

- Speech Research Assignment and Guide

- Internet Research Guide

- Internet Citation Tracker

- Propaganda Techniques and Pre-Write

- Speech Writing: Putting It All Together

- Notes - Delivering a Speech

- Guided Speech Pre-Write

- Peer Feedback Form

Teacher and Instructional Resources for the Unit:

- Detailed Unit Plan with 10 Days of Lesson Plans

- 24 Incredible Journeys Research Topics (Examples: Neil Armstrong’s First Steps on the Moon, Louise A. Boyd - North Pole Flight, Stanley’s Search for Livingstone)

- Speech Rubric

- All Instructional and Student Work Keys


Journey Poetry - Reading, Analyzing, and Writing

This five-day unit is a perfect way to teach students to effectively analyze poetry and write original poems as well.

In this unit students will read and analyze three famous poems with the common theme of journeys. During each lesson, students will complete multiple readings and analyze the poem in four different way. The repeated readings enable students to have a much deeper understanding of the poem and the scaffolded analysis skills allow students to build on their interpretations of the poem. Then, using the mentor poems as models, students will write a personification poem and a rhyming poem.

This unit can easily be split into individual lessons - allowing you to teach poetry analysis five different times. Or, the unit can be taught in succession.

This detailed unit includes:

  • 12 close reading and analysis activities
  • 2 poems + links to a contemporary poem
  • 2 poetry writing step-by-step guides
  • Detailed instructional lesson plans
  • Teacher keys for all student worksheets

Poems studied in this unit:

  • “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost
  • “The Railway Train” by Emily Dickinson
  • “Journey to Be” by Mark R. Slaughter (links to access this contemporary poem are provided along with a blank template for printing)

Skills developed in this unit:

- Develop an understanding of the poetry genre

- Close reading of complex texts

- Making inferences

- Determining central ideas or themes in poetry

- Interpreting figurative language

- Responding to poetry

- Citing textual evidence to support poem analysis

- Writing analyses with sufficient evidence

- Participating in discussions and expressing ideas about poetry clearly

- Recognize the features of poetry

- Follow the writing process to write original poems

- Incorporate sensory details and figurative language into their writing

- Practice utilizing poetry skills such as rhyme and personification

Common Core State Standards

- Reading Standards: RL.1, RL.2, RL.4, RL.6, RL.10

- Writing Standards: W.1, W.3, W.5, W.6, W.10

- Speaking and Listening Standards: L.1, L.3, L.5, L.6


Personal Journey Reflection

Foster students’ self-reflection skills, critical thinking, and development of personal values with this journey reflection activity. In this one (or two) day lesson students will investigate quotations about journeys, reflect on their own journey, and complete a personal journey map. In doing so, students will look back at their school year, process their triumphs and stumbles, and develop understanding of the importance of each person’s journey (not just the destination).

Lesson Elements:

Quote Investigation

Students each receive a quote about journeys and turn their quote into a decorative poster for the classroom. Then, students “tour” the quotes and reflect on the meaning of each. Finally, students select a quote for their personal journey map.


Using guided questions, students reflect on who they were at the beginning of the year, who they are now, and all the successes and struggles that got them to today.

Journey Map

Each student fills their journey map with responses for their self-reflection.

Find other great resources here…

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Total Pages
215 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
2 months
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