Unit 4

The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett


Grade 8

Unit Length and Description:


Nine Weeks


Focusing on the tolls of war on society—individuals and nations—the texts explore the potential of conflict to rob innocence while forging identity. Students will explore the human attempt to make sense of the tragedies of war by means of connecting to others, often through art. This unit can connect to social studies.  Students will research the role of art (including film, literature, art, photographs, crafts, sculptures, etc.) and artists in a specific war from history (either self-selected or teacher-assigned). They will gather examples, determine the various uses of art in the war, and compare and contrast the experiences depicted in the art with historical written accounts of the same or similar events and the resulting advantages and disadvantages of each medium. They will write a report on their findings, answering their own research question, and present their findings to the class in a formal presentation that incorporates multimedia and visual displays.  The unit will end with an argumentative essay requiring students to justify their claims with text and to effectively refute counterclaims.


Integrating knowledge and ideas will be the focus of reading during the unit.  Writing will be predominantly argumentative with some focus on informative/explanatory and narrative.




Reading Literature (Review appropriate absent standards)

RL.8.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Reading Informational Texts (Review appropriate absent standards)

RI.8.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Writing (Review appropriate absent standards)

W.8.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

a.  Introduce claim(s), acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from 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 an understanding of the topic or text.


c.  Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, 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.8.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.


Speaking and Listening (Review appropriate absent standards)

SL.8.6: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts, audience, and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.


Language (Review appropriate absent standards)

L.8.6: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


Enduring Understandings:


·        Human courage and strength are qualities of overcoming adversity.

·        Adversity affects all people, and it must be overcome through perseverance.

·        Human courage and strength are universal qualities for overcoming adversity.

·        Some literature is timeless and parallels what is happening in our own world today.

Essential Questions:


·        What is human strength and courage?

·        How is perseverance used to overcome adversity?

·        How do certain stories reflect a true example of human courage and strength?

·        How does some literature parallel what is happening in our world today?