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Fall, 2011 Dear Family Welcome to SpringBoard English/Language Arts.

In Level 2, Unit 1: The Choices We Make, students encounter the idea of choices as the conceptual focus for the year. They will read and analyze poetry, stories, and myths with characters who make choices about the way they live their lives. In this unit, two essential questions are asked to focus students attention. Students answer these questions through the activities in the unit and reinforce/ review them again at the end of the unit. How do authors use narrative elements to create a story? Why is storytelling an important aspect of a culture or society? Real-world applications At the beginning of the unit, students will study the elements of a personal narrative. Personal narrative is a type of writing that tells a story about and reflects on an event in ones life. While reading model narratives, students will analyze the elements of plot (the sequence of related events that make up a story), characterization (the methods an authors uses to develop characters), and sensory details (words that appeal to the five senses). Students will use the writing process to create a draft of their own personal narrative and also learn intentional revision strategies. When writers revise, they play with words, sentences, and paragraphs until they have shaped them into the exact form they know will convey their ideas to the reader. Ultimately, students will publish a revision of their personal narratives about choice. Later in the unit, students will study stories of folklore and myth. Folklore is a term that describes the stories, traditions, sayings, and customs of a culture or society. Students will learn that these stories often attempt to make meaning of the world and to teach important lessons about life. Students will analyze how oral story tellers choose to use symbols (the use of an object, person, place that stands for something else) and present themes (the central idea, message, or purpose of a literary work) for particular purposes. By the end of the unit, students will work collaboratively with a partner to create an original myth that explains a natural phenomenon and also teaches a lesson or moral. Students learn academic vocabulary by using words specific to the unit activities. They also revisit these words at the end of the unit to describe how their knowledge of each word has grown. To support your child in learning this vocabulary, you may want to set aside time to discuss terms and your childs understanding of those terms. You can help your child during Unit 1 by talking to him or her about the concepts highlighted in this letter, asking questions about what he or she is learning about the choices from reading the poems, stories, and myths, and monitoring any reading or writing activities your student is asked to complete. Throughout this unit, students will practice the kind of literary analysis and creative and reflective writing skills that will prepare them for future English/Language Arts classes and promote critical thinking skills they can apply outside of school. . Sincerely Mrs. Amanda Padgett