Reading Unit One

Our first reading unit will be approximately 6 weeks long and will cover realistic fiction.

In Fourth Grade, we follow a modified version of the Lucy Caulkins / Teacher’s College program called “Readers Workshop”.

Our first unit of reading is entitled “Interpreting Characters: The Heart of the Story”. The unit is based on deeply understanding characters and themes in fiction texts.  Students will be working on four skills through this unit; 

  1. Describing characters using character traits 
  2. Explaining how characters change throughout a text
  3. Explaining how part of the story is important to the whole text
  4. Determining a theme for the story

For all four skills, students will need to be able to justify their answers by citing information and details from the story. For example “I know that Jane is a kind and caring person because in the story……”

Below you can find the questions stems the students will be asked to answer for the pre and post-assessments, along with guidelines that will help your child answer the questions fully.

You can use these question stems at home to ask your child about their nightly reading. In this way, they will have practice with the four skills of our unit.

  1. What kind of person is __________?

When describing a character, remember to:

  • Show that you know the character is complicated (tell more than one trait)
  • Tell about the character’s motivations (why do they do what they do?)
  • Give details from different parts of the story that support your understanding of the character.
2. How did _________ change from the beginning to the end of the story and why?

When discussing character change, remember to:

  • Describe one or two ways the character changes
  • Explain what caused the change
  • Include how different story elements (other characters, setting, key events contributed to the change)
3. Reread lines/pages ( __ to ___). How is this part of the story important to the whole story?

When writing about how one part fits with the whole story, remember to:

  • Name the story element that is highlighted in this part of the story.
  • Explain how this part fits with the other parts
  • Use words like tension, resolution, setting, or other words that show what you know about story elements or author’s craft.
4. Write about a theme (or life lesson) that this story develops. Use details from the story to support your answer.

When writing about themes, remember to:

  • Write about how a theme that comes through in different parts of the story.
  • Discuss parts from early and late in the story that shows this theme. 
  • Explain how those parts from across the story support this theme.

Attached below is a copy of the student rubric for this unit. We will use this rubric to grade the assessments.

Reading Rubric Unit One

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