Unit 2

Large Creatures of the Sea: Shark Life by Peter Benchley


Grade 7



Unit Length and Description:


Nine Weeks


This unit will heavily introduce informational and nonfiction texts in an engaging way.Students will read articles, watch videos, and read a nonfiction anchor, all of which will contain information about large creatures of the sea. This unit will also incorporate literature in the form of short stories and poetry, which will show students that informational texts can influence authors of literature. In addition, students will conduct research on various types of large sea creatures, broadening their understanding of content presented in the anchor text.The culminating writing task will be an argumentative essay that requires students to decide whether or not large creatures of the sea are brutal predators of humans or misunderstood animals.


Readings will focus on craft and structure, while writing will mostly be comprised of informative/explanatory and argumentative essays.




Reading Literature

RL.7.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.


RL.7.5: Analyze how a dramaís or poemís form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.


RL.7.6: Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


Reading Informational Texts

RI.7.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choice on meaning and tone.


RI.7.5: Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of ideas.


RI.7.6: Determine an authorís point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.



W.7.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a)   Include claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.

b)   Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating understanding of the topic or text.

c)   Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons and evidence.

d)   Establish and maintain a formal style.

e)   Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented.


W.7.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and link to and cite sources as well as to interact and collaborate with others, including linking to and citing sources.


W.7.7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions for further research and investigation.


Speaking and Listening

SL.7.2: Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.


SL.7.3: Delineate a speakerís argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.



L.7.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.


Enduring Understandings:


         Informational texts help the reader gain knowledge about the world, allowing him or her to integrate knowledge and ideas.

         An author uses craft and structure to make his or her writing more interesting and engaging to the reader.

         A readerís perspective on a two-sided topic can change or be altered if he or she is presented with new information.

         Authors can use their experiences and information that they have gathered to create lasting works of fiction and nonfiction.

Essential Questions:


         How does reading informational texts help me as a reader?

         Why do authors use specific literature devices and text types?

         How can reading informational texts change our perspectives?

         How can an author use information that he or she has gained in his or her writings?