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unit 1
13 Instructional days (13 hours)

Building Background Knowledge: Frightful’s Mountain and DDT


In this first unit, students are introduced to the central theme of this module: the delicate balance between human needs and the needs of the natural world. Students launch their reading of Frightful’s Mountain, focusing their learning about the natural world by reading through the perspective of Frightful, a peregrine falcon. Students then begin to analyze informational texts and videos about DDT, a pesticide used widely throughout the world to fight malaria, but banned in the United States in 1972 due to its harmful environmental consequences. In these articles and videos, students to learn to trace and evaluate an author’s argument, claims, and evidence.


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From of the New York State Education Department. Grade 6 ELA Module 4, Unit 1. Available from; accessed 2015-05-29. Newer versions may exist from Expeditionary Learning.
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