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unit 2
17 Instructional days (17 hours)

Analyzing Structure and Communicating Theme in Literature


In the first half of this second unit, students continue to explore the topic of “rules to live by” as they closely read the poem “If ” by Rudyard Kipling. Students determine themes of the poem, consider what “rules to live by” Rudyard Kipling is communicating, and analyze how individual stanzas contribute to the poem’s overall meaning. They compare the experience of reading the poem and listening to it read aloud, noticing the importance of pacing and intonation. Finally, students compare and contrast approaches to theme between the poem and the novel. In the mid-unit assessment, students will read a new excerpt of “If,” analyze how that stanza contributes to the overall meaning of the poem, determine a theme communicated in that stanza, and compare and contrast how that theme is communicated in Bud, Not Buddy.

In the second half of Unit 2, students return to a close reading of the novel as they prepare to write a literary argument essay about the nature of “Bud’s Rules.” Throughout the unit, as students read Bud, Not Buddy, they continue to pay close attention and keep track of how the plot unfolds as Bud responds to each new experience and person he encounters on his journey. Specifically, they continue to think, talk, and write about the nature of his rules. For the end of unit assessment, students write a literary argument essay in which they establish a claim about how Bud uses his rules: to survive or to thrive. Students substantiate their claim using specific text-based evidence. The formal start of Unit 3 is contained in two lessons of this unit in order to give teachers time to read and provide feedback on the end of unit assessment. This unit also launches an independent reading routine. The series of lessons for launching independent reading can be found as a stand-alone document. Teachers should consider launching this once students have completed reading Bud, Not Buddy after the mid-unit assessment.


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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 2 Overview. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29. Newer versions may exist from Expeditionary Learning.
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