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Themed Literature Unit

A bird came down the walk
A bird came down the walk:                                                                                       
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
        -Emily Dickinson
This bird survives Nature instinctively.  How can we survive Nature as humans?  Calling upon our inner strength could help us.  As a class we will discover how characters in fiction are able to call upon inner strength to survive difficult situations.  Then we will remember times we have all called upon our own inner strength, reminding ourselves that we will be able to access it in difficult times in the future, not just when we are confronted by Nature.
We will begin begin by reading aloud Frederick, by Leo Lionni.  We will have a conversation about the mice storing food for the winter, and that Frederick is chided for not collecting food.  But when the winter becomes bleak, and the mice's spirits are drooping, Frederick can share with the other mice the warmth and color he collected, and he becomes a hero by providing a way for the other mice to call upon their inner strength and survive the long, bleak winter.

Students will then have the option to form literature circles around the following books:
The Big Wave, by Pearl S. Buck
Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
Island of the Blue Dolphins, by Scott O'Dell
Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa That Brought Them Together, by Herb Shoveller

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