9 10th Grade Quarter 1 Latin American Literature



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  1. Comparing/Contrasting Literary and Informational Texts:

  • Learning Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Determine the meaning and impact of words and phrases, particularly figures of speech, used in a text by completing a SIFT analysis of a short story.

    • Analyze various accounts of the same subject by examining similarities and differences between fictional short story and nonfiction newspaper article on a compare/contrast graphic organizer.

    • Demonstrate understanding of how point of view and figurative language shapes content and style by writing a compare/contrast paragraph about the two texts.

  • Suggested Texts: Isabel Allende’s “And of Clay Are We Created” and “Ill-equipped rescuers dig out volcano victim; aid slow to reach Colombian town” (available online with photo or without photo and can also be found in teal Holt textbook)

    • Summary: The last short story in Isabel Allende’s The Stories of Eva Luna is based upon a tragic natural disaster that actually happened in a small village. The story centers around a young victim and a man determined to save her.

    • Note: Students can use these texts as exemplars of the Stage 2 common writing assignment.

    • Other Resources: Teachers may use this informational presentation for author’s biography, background information (notes, pictures, and a youtube video link on the historical event), journal topics, and questions.

  • Activities:

    • Using some of the same strategies used to analyze point of view in the magical realism texts, students should examine point of view in the story.

    • Students can complete another SIFT analysis of the story, but this time they should be able to do it alone as the class reads and discusses the story.

      • An emphasis should be placed on analyzing tone and theme, especially as it relates to the tragic circumstances that require hope from the characters.

        • Students could sum up the tone of the short story in one word on an Answer Garden.

          • For example, teachers will create an Answer Garden that asks, “What is the tone of the short story?” Students will most likely write subjective words such as “sad,” “dramatic,” “emotional,” and “tragic.”

          • Students can discuss which words were selected the most (they will get larger), how these words are connected, and how they come together to create an overall tone.

        • Students could write a “Tweet” (140 characters or less) of what the thematic statement of the story is. They can #hashtag specific words that contribute to or connect with the theme.

    • Students can then read the newspaper article, making note of the differences in the story and style of writing by annotating the text as they read.

    • Students can compare/contrast the fictional account with the nonfictional account in this graphic organizer, determining which details are emphasized in each account.

      • Teachers might also have them compare/contrast how a news clip or photograph treats the same account.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • Using their graphic organizers, students can be asked to independently write a response that compares/contrasts the short story with the newspaper article, concentrating on how the point of view and figurative language in the short story enhances meaning and style compared to the nonfiction account.

      • Students may use the following signal words and sentence frames (or try here if link does not open properly) to express their ideas.

      • Students should share their paragraph in a structured student talk activity before turning it in for a grade.

    • If students demonstrate a lack of understanding, the teacher could…

      • Use exemplar student responses to reteach concepts and model proficiency.

      • Apply the same strategies to another connected short story and article.




Lesson #12

Focus Standard - W.9-10.3.D: Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

Ongoing Standard - L.9-10.3: Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.




  1. See Writing Mini-Lesson #4 / Language and Clarity for activities that can be done to break down the narrative writing rubric and writing standards. Click the link to move to the Writing Mini-Lesson section that is located at the end of this unit plan.

Suggested Timeline - Weeks 7-8




Lesson #13

Rubric Standard - L.9-10.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Rubric Standard - L.9-10.3.A: Write and edit work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual (e.g., MLA Handbook, Turabian's Manual for Writers) appropriate for the discipline and writing type.

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.




  1. See Writing Mini-Lesson #5 / Conventions for activities that can be done to break down the narrative writing rubric and writing standards. Click the link to move to the Writing Mini-Lesson section that is located at the end of this unit plan.




Lesson #14

Focus Standard - W.9-10.3: Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

W.9-10.3.A: Engage and orient the reader by setting out a problem, situation, or observation, establishing one or multiple point(s) of view, and introducing a narrator and/or characters; create a smooth progression of experiences or events.

W.9-10.3.B: Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

W.9-10.3.C: Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

W.9-10.3.D: Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

W.9-10.3.E: Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on what is experienced, observed, or resolved over the course of the narrative.

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision)...for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

  1. Narrative Writing / Common Writing Assignment:

  • Learning Objectives: Students will be able to:

    • Analyze the narrative writing assignment by deconstructing the prompt for task, purpose, and audience and reviewing criteria on the narrative rubric.

    • Plan for the narrative writing assignment by researching and selecting a newspaper article, brainstorming ideas for fictionalizing the story, and creating an outline.

    • Draft their narrative on Google Docs, taking time to purposefully research, reflect, and revise as they work.

    • Edit their narrative by sharing and commenting on drafts with peers.

    • Use technology to link their narrative and display important information by creating a thinglink.

  • Note: Language Learners identified as a Level 1-4 should be provided with the ELL Language Supports; however, if teachers feel it is helpful, they may provide the Narrative Writing Template to all students. Students will need modeling and guidance in how to use the template.

  • Activities:

    • Teachers might start by creating a collaborative discussion around Essential Question #2.

    • Teachers can guide students through the writing process by having them:

      • Deconstruct the prompt for task, purpose, and audience (Common Writing Assignment Handout).

      • Create or use a checklist based on the narrative rubric.

      • Research and select a newspaper article on a real-life tragic event.

      • Brainstorm ideas for fictionalizing the story.

        • Start by asking “What if…?” questions. Have students establish a problem up front that the story will examine and the protagonist with solve.

        • Who will be the narrator and/or main character?

        • What creative additions/revisions can they make?

        • What will be the theme?

        • Are they going to write in the style of magical realism? If so, how will they do this?

      • Create an outline or use a graphic organizer, such as a plot diagram or sequencing chart, that plans out how they will introduce, develop, and conclude the story. Or students can write the key events or scenes on sticky notes or index cards and arrange them in different ways, stopping to explain to others what they are thinking, until they find the sequence that best works with the story they are trying to tell.

      • Students can consider how they are going to portray the character’s physical persona, as well as reveal the character’s personality and motivations within the context of the story. Students might find it useful to complete a Character Map (or Character Development Map) for their main character(s), or they can create their own graphic organizer with boxes of what the person says, does, thinks, and feels, as well as what they look like.

      • Draft their narrative using Google Docs, encouraging them to research, reflect, and revise as needed.

      • Edit their narrative by sharing and commenting on drafts with peers.

        • Peers could do a SIFT analysis on each others’ papers to ensure that those elements have been added to enhance meaning and style.

      • Proofread and self-score their narrative using the rubric before publishing.

    • Students will create a “thinglink” that depicts their narrative. Within the main image of the thinglink, they will embed a link to their short story (via Google Docs), articles they researched and used, images that portray the events and characters, and any other videos or media that aid in understanding.

      • Students should already be familiar with how to create thinglinks if they completed the icebreaker activity in Week 1.

      • Here is an example based on the sample student response.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • Students can be asked to submit their narrative via Google Classroom. Teachers will score students’ narratives using all 5 categories on the narrative rubric. A score to grade conversion is located at the bottom of the rubric.

    • If students demonstrate a lack of understanding (in other words, if they score below a 3 on any given criteria), teachers should interpret the data and collaborate with fellow teachers on the next steps. Ideas include:

      • Reteaching concepts/skills/criteria

      • Having students revisit and revise the narrative later in the quarter/semester/year

      • Using explicit language instruction throughout the quarter for all students; carefully guiding ELL students with how to use the ELL Language Supports for Stage 2

      • Asking students to reflect on their narrative after the teacher returns the scored rubric or gives feedback; having students write what they will do next time to improve their score.

      • Concentrating on the overall weakest areas in future bellwork activities or mini-lessons




Suggested Timeline - Week 9




Lesson #15

Ongoing Standard - W.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.




  1. Publishing Writing / Technology Integration:

  • Learning Objective: Students will be able to:

    • Use technology to share their narrative writing product and connecting information by publishing their thinglink online.

  • Activities:

    • If students have not already done so, they should work on creating or finishing their thinglink (see Week 8 for directions and example).

    • Note: Teachers should establish specific expectations for quantity and quality of information and links by creating or using a rubric. The teacher may need to include some lessons and examples of how to meet expectations on the rubric.

  • Check for Understanding:

    • Teachers can set up a site, such as Google Plus or a blogging site, for students to link and post their thinglink for other students, classes, or the public to see.

      • Teachers are encouraged to collaborate with other classes within their building or across the district so that students can share and respond to students’ work from outside their class.

      • If using GooglePlus, students can #hashtag their school and teacher’s name (#hbhs #jones) so that teachers can search for their students’ work.

    • Students can be required to read and comment on a certain amount of their peers’ narratives and thinglinks.

      • Students should collaborate on creating ground rules for interacting with peers’ and commenting on work online in a constructive and appropriate manner.


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