Unit 3a

A Stranger Came Ashore by Mollie Hunter


Grade 6



Unit Length and Description:


Nine Weeks


This nine-week unit focuses on the mythology of the Shetland Islands, specifically that of the “Selkie-folk,” as revealed through literature and informational text. Students will read a variety of informational texts in addition to the fictional story, comparing and contrasting these works in order to integrate knowledge and ideas between and among the fictional story/stories and the nonfictional pieces.  Students will also conduct research on seals and the Selkie-folk, comparing and contrasting the known to the myths. The culminating activity is to compose a narrative alternate ending based on the information they have read during the course of the unit.


This unit will focus on craft and structure and integrating knowledge and ideas.  Writing will be predominately narrative with some informative/explanatory and argumentative.





Reading Literature:



Skill(s): comparing/contrasting media

The students can:

  • examine the similarities and differences between reading a text and experiencing a recorded or live performance of it, noting how reading the text differs from experiencing it live.


Skill(s): analysis of two or more texts, comparing authors’ approaches

The students can:

  • examine how various forms and genres treat similar themes and topics, noting the similarities and differences in their respective approaches.


Reading Information:



Skill(s): assessing media

The students can:

  • gather and use information expressed in writing and various media or visual formats to draw conclusions about the meaning of a subject or issue.


Skill(s): delineating/evaluating argument/claims

The students can:

  • follow an argument to examine how the author develops it throughout the text, assessing specific claims to determine their quality and the degree to which they are or are not supported by reasons and evidence.


Skill(s): analysis of two or more texts, comparing authors’ approaches

The students can:

  • examine how two authors treat the same events, noting how a memoir by a historical figure is similar to and different from, for example, a historian’s book about that same event.





Skill(s): narrative writing

The students can:

  • write narratives to develop real or imagines experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structures event sequences by:
    • engaging and orienting the reader by establishing a context and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organizing an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically,
    • using narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters,
    • using a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another,
    • using precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to convey experiences and events, and
    • providing a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.


Skill(s): gathering information
The students can:

  • search for and collect useful information – data, examples, quotations, and even digital media – from a range of sources, both print and digital, determining the quality of these sources and quoting or paraphrasing others’ ideas, taking care not to plagiarize and including some citation details about each source.


Skill(s): drawing evidence

The students can:

  • support their interpretations, analyses, reflections, or findings with evidence found in literary or informational texts, applying grade 6 standards for reading literature and informational texts.


Speaking and Listening:



Skill(s): present information

The students can:

  • present claims and conclusions, organizing the content in a cogent, logical order, adding related information, key facts, and specific details to emphasize the main ideas and themes, while also using appropriate eye contact, volume, and pronunciation.


Skill(s): using technology

The students can:

  • design and deliver presentations that incorporate multimedia components (e.g., audio, graphics, images, music, or sound) and visual displays of information (e.g., charts, graphs, or infographics) to explain the information presented.


Skill(s): adapting speech

The students can:

  • decide what to say and how to say it, adjusting their voice and style to suit the occasion, purpose, and audience, while always modeling their command of formal English when it is appropriate.





Skill(s): deciphering words

The students can:

  • choose a strategy that helps them understand of clarify the meaning of new or polysemous words they encounter when reading and listening to grade 7 reading and content.



Skill(s): demonstrating understanding of word meaning

The students can:

  • show they understand by applying their knowledge about word relationships and nuances in word meaning.



Enduring Understandings:


Studying other cultures’ history and stories helps us understand those cultures better.


The people of many cultures tell stories, or myths, about the past as a creative way to explain the world around them.


Geography and location can determine culture.


Using information to make inferences can help you solve problems.


When writing narratives, certain story elements should be included.


Essential Questions:


Why do we study the history of and read stories from other cultures?


Why do different cultures have their own special mythology?


How can geographical location affect people?


Why is it important to seek information when trying to fix a problem?


What elements should be included in narrative writing?