Ashe County English Language Arts Pacing Guide Teacher: Date: School: Ashe County Middle School

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Ashe County

English Language Arts Pacing Guide
Teacher: Date: School: Ashe County Middle School

Title: Survival


5.5 Weeks

Grade Level: 7

Overview –

Essential Question: How does one’s character affect how they survive in unfamiliar, unsafe environments?

Focus Standards

Reading - Literature

Reading - Informational


Speaking & Listening


RL.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RL.7.2. Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

RL.7.3. Analyze how particular elements of a story or drama interact (e.g., how setting shapes the characters or plot).

RL.7.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.

RL.7.5. Analyze how a drama’s or poem’s form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.

RL.7.6. Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.

RL.7.7 Compare and contrast a written story, drama, or poem to its audio, filmed, staged, or multimedia version, analyzing the effects of techniques unique to each medium (e.g., lighting, sound, color, or camera focus and angles in a film).

RL.7.9. Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history.

RL.7.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

RI.7.1. Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.7.2. Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

RI.7.3. Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

RI.7.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.

RI.7.5. Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.

RI.7.6. Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.

RI.7.7. Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).

RI.7.9. Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.

RI.7.10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

W.7.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

a. Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

b. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.

c. Use appropriate transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a formal style.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.

W.7.3. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

a. Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, and description, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c. Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence and signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another.

d. Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

e. Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

W.7.4. Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1–3 above.)

W.7.5. With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

W.7.8. Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

W.7.9. Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a. Apply grade 7 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Compare and contrast a fictional portrayal of a time, place, or character and a historical account of the same period as a means of understanding how authors of fiction use or alter history”).

W.7.10. Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

SL.7.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

b. Follow rules for collegial discussions, track progress toward specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.

c. Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

d. Acknowledge new information expressed by others and, when warranted, modify their own views.

SL.7.2. Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.

SL.7.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

SL.7.4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation

SL.7.5. Include multimedia components and visual displays in presentations to clarify claims and findings and emphasize salient points.

SL.7.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

L.7.1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

a. Explain the function of phrases and clauses in general and their function in specific sentences.

b. Choose among simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences to signal differing relationships among ideas.

c. Place phrases and clauses within a sentence, recognizing and correcting misplaced and dangling modifiers.*

L.7.2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

a. Use a comma to separate coordinate adjectives (e.g., It was a fascinating, enjoyable movie but not He wore an old[,] green shirt).

b. Spell correctly.

L.7.3. Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

a. Choose language that expresses ideas precisely and concisely, recognizing and eliminating wordiness and redundancy.*

L.7.4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 7 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b. Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., belligerent, bellicose, rebel).

c. Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

d. Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

L.7.5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., literary, biblical, and mythological allusions) in context.

b. Use the relationship between particular words (e.g., synonym/antonym, analogy) to better understand each of the words.

c. Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).

L.7.6. Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression

Student Objectives : Knowledge/Understanding Reasoning Performance Skill Product

I can…

- Read and compare the novel to articles about the Iditarod in Alaska and describe the dangers faced by animals and humans as well as the preparations that overcome those dangers.

- Compare and contrast the tone of the novel to the tone of the music and show how they are similar or different.

- Research the Yukon Gold Rush and tell how that environment and time period affected the plot of the novel.

- Write journal entries characterizing Buck and how he adapts to survive his changing environment.

- Perform an excerpt from part of the novel in class, using characterizations from novel characters to guide the portrayals

- Participate in active discussions in class.


Literary Texts


      • The Call of the Wild by Jack London

      • White Fang by Jack London

      • To Build a Fire” by Jack London



      • The Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service

Informational Texts


      • A Short Jack London Biography”

      • Ellen (Nellie) Cashman”



      • Iditarod Mushers Go the Distance for Dogs Safety”

      • Learn about the Iditarod”

Additional Resources

      • The Official Site of the Iditarod

      • Wikipedia, the Klondike Gold Rush

      • Call of the Wild Vocabulary and Guided Questions by Chapter

Art, Music, and Media


      • The Klondike Gold Rush” by Allan Mills

      • North to Alaska” by Johnny Horton


  • Scenes from How to Build a Fire Starring Birdy the Belgian Tervuren

  • How to Build a Fire Without Matches or a Lighter

  • How to Make a Fire- Man V. Wild

Additional Resources



Literature Response

As you read The Call of the Wild, take notes about the following in your journal:


-List of characters and traits

-The character’s internal responses and external behaviors to events in the story

-The events that led up to climax, and, ultimately, the character’s development

Be sure to write down the page numbers of relevant information, or mark your book with Post-It notes, so you can go back and cite the text during class discussion. You will be given an opportunity to talk through your ideas with a partner prior to class discussion.

Literature Response

Discuss the elements of setting (e.g., time, place, environment) with your classmates. Find examples of how time, place, and environment are used in The Call of the Wild. Write your ideas on a Post-It note before sharing ideas as a class. After the class discussion, look back in the text to find specific examples of how Jack London described the Yukon. Create a three-column chart (one column for each element of setting) in your journal.

Literature Response

Create a running journal of Buck’s character and degree of “wildness” throughout the novel. Document each situation that changes him and tell how he changes or adapts


Choose a scene from one of the books read that you find humorous or touched you in some way. Work with classmates to present the scene as a dramatic reading.

Poetry Response

How is the treatment of “survival” similar and different in the poems and the prose we’ve read? Write your ideas down in your journal prior to class discussion.

Literature Response/Media Appreciation

Discuss how the tone of the music about this time period and the tone used in the novel are similar or different. How does the purpose of the work dictate the tone that the author chose to use?

Word Study

Keep an index card file of words studied while reading The Call of the Wild. Keeping the words on index cards will help you when we sort words by prefix, suffix, root words, meaning, spelling feature, etc. Can you select a word and find its root? How do prefixes and suffixes affect the part of speech and spelling? (Note: This will be an ongoing activity all year long.)

Class Discussion

How does Jack London’s style of writing affect how you view the characters he is writing about? Does how he treats characters of similar backgrounds show you how he feels about certain types of people?

Narrative Writing

Write and illustrate a survival guide for a situation that you feel you are an expert at surviving in. Remember to include the materials that you would need in that situation, specific dangers that you would encounter and how to overcome them, and sources that they could go to for extra information on surviving that situation.

Literature Response/Essay

Informational Text Response/Essay

What did you learn about the authors from the biographies/autobiographies and/or interviews that you didn’t know before? How much of the author’s experience do you “see” in the text after learning more about him/her? You will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with a partner prior to writing your essay. Cite specific information from the texts read.

Reflective Essay

Write an essay response to the essential question (How does one’s character affect how they survive in unfamiliar, unsafe environments?). Prepare it for publication. Be prepared to make an audio recording of your essay and upload it as a podcast on the class webpage for this unit.


character development

character traits

elements of setting: place, time


Authors Tone and Purpose


Rough Estimation of what I did when I taught it this time:

Day 1- Introduce and Read “How to Build a Fire”

Day 2- Complete questions and discuss “How to Build a Fire”

Day 3- Ask students to describe Jack London’s likes and dislikes after reading “How to Build a Fire,” use text to support answers. Read his Biography.

Days 4-12 Read the book, trying for a chapter a day (this will take longer though.) At the end of each chapter, ask them to complete a 3-2-1. An example for each chapter follows:

  1. Three events that changed Buck’s life, Two humans that taught Buck a specific lesson, One important setting with its description.

  2. Three “Laws” of the wild Buck learns, Two tricks Buck learns to survive, One important quote that tells how Jack London feels about survival.

  3. Three events that slow the trip to Dawson, Two reasons Buck hates Spitz, One description of what makes Buck and Spitz stop fighting.

  4. Three things that change under Buck’s leadership, Two reasons Perrault is annoyed, One explanation of what the Hairy Man symbolizes.

  5. Three mistakes Hal and Co. make, Two things they should have done to fix it, One description of the man who saves Buck.

  6. Three things John does for Buck, Two things Buck does for John, One description of Buck’s strength.

  7. Three signs that Buck is still not civilized, but wild, Two things Buck does that show his loyalty to John, One description of the “change in the timberwolves.”

Day 13-Have students read the Afterward on their own, which discusses some of Jack London’s inspirations for the story as well as what he was trying to get across. Have them complete a three column chart, with qualities that they think Jack London values, qualities he dislikes, and some of the important points he was trying to get across. Discuss as a class. Introduce “Cremation of Sam McGee” by Robert Service, read by Johnny Cash.

Day 14-Introduce students to poetry. Ask them to complete a three column chart to see what terms they know. Title the columns Always, Sometimes, and Never. They can work on the chart any time you do poetry, and define terms as you go. Read “Cremation of Sam McGee” and ask them to give examples of a few of the terms they came up with. Then, compare the tone and purpose of the poem to the tone and purpose of the novel.

Day 15-Introduce the music, and again, compare the tone and purpose.

Day 16-22-Give students choice, either complete the essay, or create a survival guide of their own.

Unit template created by Toni Weddle Unit Plan created by

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