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unit 1
12 Instructional days (12 hours)

Analyzing Figurative-Language, Word-Choice, Structure/Meaning


Unit 1 begins with a launch of the novel Bud, Not Buddy, with a focus on character development and the author’s use of language. Students will get to know Bud by looking at the challenges he faces and his response to those challenges. They will read excerpts of the novel closely to interpret figurative language and explain how Bud’s use of figurative language and his word choice affect tone and meaning. Another view into Bud’s character is his “Rules to Live By,” which students will analyze: They will consider what various rules mean, determine whether specific rules are meant to help him survive or thrive, and make an inference about where the rule might have originated (in terms of Bud’s experiences). In the mid-unit assessment, students will read a new excerpt from the novel: They will determine the meaning of a simile used by the author, examples of word choices the author makes, and analyze a new a “rule” of Bud’s.

In the second half of the unit, students continue their exploration of the idea of “rules to live by” through close reading of real-world examples: speeches. Through a series of reading cycles, students identify Steve Jobs’ “rules to live by” that he articulates in his commencement address at Stanford University. They analyze how structure and word choice add to the meaning of Jobs’ ideas. Finally, students use a focusing question and important details to form an evidence-based claim about the speech. (The lessons related to the Steve Jobs speech are adapted from Odell Education.) Students will then apply these same skills of analyzing text structure and word choice to the end of unit assessment, in which they read Barack Obama’s Back-to-School Speech.


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Bilingual Language Progressions

These resources, developed by the New York State Education Department, provide standard-level scaffolding suggestions for English Language Learners (ELLs) to help them meet grade-level demands. Each resource contains scaffolds at multiple levels of language acquisition and describes the linguistic demands of the standards to help ELA teachers as well as ESL/bilingual teachers scaffold content for their English learning students.


From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 6 ELA Module 2A, Unit 1 Overview. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29. Newer versions may exist from Expeditionary Learning.
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