This is a reading unit where students are put in groups of 3-4 students and are assigned 10-15 pages to read in class each day, along with other tasks. There is an unstructured version and a structured version, depending on how well your students work together. You can choose to mix and match both versions too. This includes a "structured" packet for 10 different books (8 groups), and one unstructured packet that can be used for all of the books (it's just four different book jobs).
Each day while reading, students are 1) using context clues to determine the meaning of unknown words, 2) stopping and jotting emotions, reactions, connections, 3) answering comprehension questions, 4) summarizing and predicting, 5) finding details that support the daily focus question that was modeled by the teacher with their read aloud book (I read 2-3 chapters of Hatchet each day). Additionally students can write down their own survival questions they have while reading and research those when they are done with that day's assignments. When the book is done, I also give students about 2 weeks to pick three of the most interesting survival skills they read about to research and then present to the class.
I split each of these books into 12 sections, and I have my students do one session per day. You may choose to spread some out between 2 days. If my students don't finish a session in class, it becomes homework. I count their score on the AR quiz after as part of their grade, in addition to their participation in the packet, and the final survival research project.
I spent a lot of time looking up high-interest, survival- or adventure-themed books that ranged from a 3rd grade to a 6th grade reading level. Below are the book titles I assign to my students, depending on their reading level. I have 6-8 copies of each book too, in case I have two separate groups reading the same book.
- The Trap by John Smelcer (AR 6.2; 5 points)
- Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards by Katelan Janke (AR 6.4; 6 points)
- Voyage of the Frog by Gary Paulsen (AR 6.0; 5 points- mature in parts, I suggest whiting out parts on pg. 83)
- Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (AR 5.4; 6 points)
- My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George (AR 5.2; 6 points)
- Sign of the Beaver by Elizabeth George Speare (AR 4.9; 5 points)
- Stranded by Jeff Probst (the first book of the series- AR 4.5; 4 points)
- Three Magic Tree House books for my lower readers:
o Afternoon on the Amazon (AR 2.6; 1 point)
o Tonight on the Titanic (AR 3.1; 1 point)
o Buffalo Before Breakfast (AR 3.3; 1 point)
Each Magic Tree House book is in 4 sessions (so, times three equals 12 total sessions also).
I usually do this whole unit between the time we return from Spring Break and the time we start preparing for state testing. This would be a good unit for after testing too, or any time of the school year ☺
You can easily just use one or some of these books too for book clubs. You don't even really have to use these packets for book clubs either. They would make great Independent Study assignments as well. I sell each of these book packets separately.
There is a more detailed overview inside. Let me know if you have any questions about how I do this unit in my class.