Unit 1

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen


Grade 6

Unit Length and Description:


9 weeks


This set teaches students about physical and emotional survival in the face of grave danger and overwhelming odds. Students learn about the importance of positive thinking, problem solving, and constant vigilance when facing any situation, especially a life threatening one. They will also learn about the struggle of man versus nature, our connection to the natural world, and our attempts to control it.


This unit will focus on key ideas and details.  Writing will be predominately informative/explanatory.




Reading Literature

RL.6.1: Cite relevant evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


RL.6.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


RL.6.3: Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves towards a resolution.


Reading Informational Texts

RI.6.1: Cite relevant evidence to support analysis of what the test says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.


RI.6.2: Determine a central ideal of a text and how is it conveyed through particular detail; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


RI.6.3: Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g. through examples or anecdotes).



W.6.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

a)   Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g. headings), graphics (e.g. charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b)  Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

c)   Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

d)  Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the


e)  Establish and maintain a formal style.

f)   Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or 

     explanation presented.


W.6.4: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


W.6.5: With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a different approach.


Speaking and Listening

SL.6.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

a)   Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

b)  Follow rules for collegial discussion, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c)   Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.

d)  Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.



L.6.1: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a)   Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjunctive, objective, possessive)

b)  Use intensive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves)

c)   Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.

d)  Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).

e)   Recognize variation from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.


L.6.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a)   Use punctuation (commas, parentheses, dashes) to set off nonrestrictive/parenthetical elements.

b)  Spell correctly.


Enduring Understandings:


·        Key ideas and details allow the reader to make a deeper connection with a written work.

·        A person’s character is revealed during difficult times, as well as good times.

·        Bravery is the ability to do something you fear even though you are afraid at the time.

·        Being persistent in the face of adversity will bring a positive result.

·        Man and nature, even though often at odds with each other, can coexist.

·        Dealing with real-life issues such as family life, growing up, death, divorce, etc. through literature can help us cope with similar problems and feelings in our lives.

·        Using evidence in our writing helps us better explain ourselves.


Essential Questions:


·        How do key ideas and details affect a reader?

·        How is character revealed in a novel?

·        Why is struggle a natural part of life?

·        In what types of situations are we required to be brave?

·        How do we show that we are brave?

·        What role does persistence have when we are facing an adverse situation?

·        Is persistence always positive?

·        How difficult is it for man to coexist with nature?

·        Why do we use evidence from the text when we write?