The Dark is Rising Novel Study: vocabulary, comprehension, writing, skills

Gay Miller
Grade Levels
6th - 8th
Formats Included
  • PDF
400 pages
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Gay Miller


The Dark is Rising is an exceptional contemporary fantasy on the Common Core Standards Grades 6-8 Exemplars List. This 300+ page unit is fully aligned to the Common Core Standards. The unit is divided into thirteen lessons. Each lesson is based on one of the thirteen chapters of The Dark of Rising. Each skill lesson follows this routine:

• Hook

• Essential Question

• Literature or Language Standards (Based on the Common Core Standards)

• Lesson Vocabulary

• Interactive Graphic Organizer (The organizer introduces the vocabulary, definitions, and/or rules needed to complete the lesson.)

• A Series of Hands-on Activities building on the steps of Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy

You may read a full description of each lesson on the pages in which they are individually sold:

Part One Skill Lessons – Comprehending Literature

o Sequence Techniques

o Inference/ Drawing Conclusions/ Predictions

o Genres

o Figurative Language

Part Two Skill Lessons – Vocabulary Basics

o Connotation and Denotation

o Multiple Meaning Words

o Analogies

o Affixes

Part Three Skill Lessons – Story Elements

o Character/Setting/Mood

o Point of View

o Plot

o Conflict

o Theme

o Story Map

Following each skill lesson two words are introduced for the upcoming chapter. A printable practice sheet is available to help introduce and practice the words.

For each chapter a multiple choice test aligned to Common Core with higher level questions such as cause/effect, sequencing, context clues, main idea, plot development, summary, drawing conclusions, inference, predicting, theme, understanding vocabulary, interpreting literary devices, etc. is included. Each comprehension quiz also contains three constructed

response questions. These questions have graphic organizers to help students plan a response. These questions also require students to verify answers with the text.

Unit vocabulary and skill tests are provided.

An answer key for each practice page is included.


You will receive a username and password to a website which contains these quizzes in an interactive format. The password protected site will also contain display materials to aid in teaching this unit.


Please download the preview for a closer look.

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If you are looking for additional book units, click here to see the full list of ★available titles.

Total Pages
400 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 months
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., stingy, scrimping, economical, unwasteful, thrifty).
Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., cause/effect, part/whole, item/category) to better understand each of the words.
Interpret figures of speech (e.g., personification) in context.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).


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