Unit 3

Short Stories: Our Earth, Our Home


Grade 6

Unit Length and Description:


9 weeks


Students will read a variety of short stories that revolve around the theme of “Our Earth, Our Home.”  Topics vary from animal adventures to outer space experiences, all of which can be connected to science or social studies.  Each story is accompanied by additional reading materials, which include poetry and informational/nonfiction pieces.  Research will require students to retrieve information about a specific, teacher-generated argumentative topic based on their readings during the unit.  The culminating writing task will require students to use their research to compose an argumentative essay.  If time allows, teachers could also allow students to engage in debates.


This unit will focus on craft and structure and integration of knowledge and ideas.  Writing will be predominately informative/explanatory and argumentative.




Reading Literature

RL.6.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.


RL.6.5: Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.


RL.6.6: Produce and publish grade-appropriate writing using technology either independently or in collaboration with others.


Reading Informational Texts

RI.6.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative language, connotative, and technical meanings.


RI.6.5: Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.


RI.6.6: Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.



W.6.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a)   Include claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.

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

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

d)   Establish and maintain a formal style.

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


W.6.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single setting.


W.6.7: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.


Speaking and Listening

SL.6.2: Interpret information presented in diverse media formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.


SL.6.3: Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.



L.6.3: Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a)   Vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader/listener interest, and style.

b)   Maintain consistency in style and tone.  


Enduring Understandings:


·        Short stories are made up of specific elements that enhance the plot and make reading enjoyable.

·        Authors use specific techniques when writing to ensure that the stories they write are organized, cohesive, and interesting.

·        Stories, poems, and informational texts about science and social studies can help explain the world around and beyond us.

·        Good argumentative essays can require research and include evidence from multiple sources to support our claim(s).


Essential Questions:


·        What makes reading short stories enjoyable?

·        How do authors make sure that their stories are worth reading?

·        How can reading pieces about science and social studies help me?

·        What makes a good argumentative essay?