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Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

Unit Title: Defining Life


Grade level: 7th Length of Unit (in weeks): Time of the year: 1st Trimester

*Content areas addressed: English, Science, Literature, Religion

Stage 1: Identify Desired Student Results

What are the essential questions?

What concepts or ideas will students understand by the end of the unit?
There are many ways we can define life (biologicall y, spiritually, personally

What academic and/or character or faith-based skills will students be able to DO by the end of the unit?

What SLEs does this unit address?

What content area national, state, and/or Archdiocesan standards does this unit address? (*need more than one content area to guarantee content area integration)
CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1a Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons

Theme for the year: What is life? How do we define life? What are the characteristi cs of life?

Students will be able to


answer complex, openended questions by creating a dictionary for Life with at least 10 different entries, creating a student manual with at least 5 sections

A. Active Christians in their Catholic faith

1. Participate meaningfully in
worship, prayer, and the Sacraments o

2. Express Gods love through


Christian service (social

Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

How do we define life physically, spiritually, and otherwise? What defines you now? Can we define life? Can and how should we qualify the importance of life (are different forms of life less or more important than others?)

, etc.) There is no one correct definition for life The definition of ones life depends on how they live it and wish to define it Not everything has a concrete answer, and there are many uncertainti es that exist

Students will be able to

service and social action)

and evidence logically. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1b Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1c Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1d Establish and maintain a formal style. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

produce a series of o 3. Apply the Six Pillars of expository, Character to their daily lives informative/explanatory, and persuasive texts (Trustworthiness, Respect, related to the theme Responsibility, Fairness, such as the: Life Caring, and Citizenship) Dictionaries; Self4. Educate themselves and Manual; Film Analysis Essays; Spacecraft others about justice, equity, o Mission; and Online and peace Discussion boards 5. Practice inclusiveness Students will be able to 6. Celebrate cultural diversity respectfully engage in meaningful discussions 7. Engage in respectful both orally and digitally dialogue with people who o in class discussions and have different perspectives on online forums Students should be able 8. Respect Gods creation o to apply the principles of B. College and Career Ready in the Christs teachings and 21st Century their Catholic faith in tackling complex 1. Become self-directed questions about defining their life through learners who formulate classroom and online meaningful questions and discussions and unit effectively seek out and use assessments (see below). human, print, and digital Students will support resources to address those ideas and claims with questions evidence from at least 3

Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

different types of resources Students will articulate and explain, with clear and precise language, ideas conveyed in different styles of text (essays, creative works) Students will able to identify and explain scientific qualifiers for defining life

2. Collaborate with others in a o


respectful and productive way to complete tasks

3. Construct viable
arguments by using logical reasoning and citing precise, relevant evidence

4. Process, analyze, interpret,


and evaluate quantitative and qualitative information while maintaining an open mind o

CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2a Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; 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. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2b Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2c Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2d Use precise language and domainspecific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic. CCSS.ELALiteracy.W.7.2e Establish and maintain a formal style. CCSS.ELA-

5. Demonstrate the ability to use


multiple strategies to solve problems o

6. Read, see, and


listen carefully to improve general knowledge and discipline-specific expertise o

7. Demonstrate command of
written and spoken standard English and acquire and use a wide-ranging daily and academic vocabulary o

8. Comprehend and critique

Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

complex literary and informational texts across a wide range of types and disciplines

Literacy.W.7.2f Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

9. Use

productivity with

tools to others, learning,

collaborate enhance

CA Science Standards

Strand 1: 1. All living organisms are and generate creative works composed of cells, from 10. Practice ethical and just one to many trillions, whose responsible use of technology details usually are visible only through a microscope. Strand 2: 2. A typical cell of any organism contains genetic instructions that specify its traits. Those traits may be modified by environmental influences. Strand 3: 3. Biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed through gradual processes over many generations Strand 5:

Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

5. The anatomy and physiology of plants and animals illustrate the complementary nature of structure and function.

Stage 2: Determine Acceptable Assessment (i.e. Evidence of Student Learning)

List assessment evidence here. Student manuals on themselves Design a spacecraft mission to find extraterrestrial life Time lapse photo analysis Literary analysis Film analysis essays (A Bugs Life, or Kung Fu Panda) Online discussion boards Create a dictionary on life Life of A Saint project (documentary???)

Sneha Tharayil 2013-2014 th 7 Grade English

Stage 3: Plan Learning Activities and Instruction

List learning activities here.


Gallery walkitems which symbolize life Media/film screenings and follow up discussions Socratic discussions Guest speakers (live and teleconference) Interactive mini grammar lessons Online forum discussions

List resources students will use throughout the unit, so they can learn concepts, perform learning tasks, and demonstrate learning

Ted Talks

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Other literary pieces (TBD) NASA/JPL science lessons Articles from various print and digital resources Various film clips (Kung Fu Panda, A Bugs Life, Up, etc.)s

*Self-contained classrooms lend themselves easily to thematic units that integrate at least two content areas. It is recommended that those who are subjectspecific can choose to collaborate with other subject-specific colleagues to design a unit together OR if choosing to work independently, integrate either English Language Arts (through CCSS for ELA) or math (through CCSS for Math).