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Unit 4 of Benchmark Advance

Welcome to Unit 4! This is the main hub for all my resources, tips, tricks, project ideas, and freebies for this fun, fiction unit!

The themes for Unit 4 across all grade levels, taken directly from the Teacher’s Resource System (TRS), are as follows:

Kindergarten: Writers Tell Many Stories

Essential Question: Why do people tell stories?
In this unit, students read and compare stories to understand the purpose of storytelling.

First Grade: Stories Have a Narrator

Essential Question: How do people create stories?
In this unit, students read and compare selections with different types of characters and settings to understand how authors create stories.

Second Grade: Many Characters, Many Points of View

Essential Question: How can a story change depending on who tells it?
In this unit, students read and compare selections with varying points of view and analyze how point of view affects the reader’s understanding of a story.

Third Grade: Comparing Points of View

Essential Question: What makes people view the same experience in different ways?
In this unit, students will read and compare different versions of stories to analyze point of view.

Fourth Grade: Understanding Different Points of View

Essential Question: What do we learn when we look at the world through the eyes of others?
In this unit, students will read and compare the points of view in different selections and analyze how point of view affects a story.

Fifth Grade: Recognizing Author’s Point of View

Essential Question: How can other perspectives help us evaluate the world?
In this unit, students read and compare the different perspectives in selections to analyze point of view.

Sixth Grade: The Reader’s Perspective

Essential Question: How does the journey through life influence a person’s point of view?
In this unit, students will read and compare the perspectives in different selections to analyze point of view.

Freebie Alert!

I’m excited to share this freebie I made that I feel goes well with this unit. Beginning in K, students learn about telling stories, and that theme evolves into point of view and perspective. I created these free Pen Pal templates so students can connect with other children and tell their own stories. Included in the file are two letter templates: one with primary lines and a space for a drawing, and one designed with upper elementary in mind. I also included a cute postcard template with both primary and upper lines! Enjoy!

Anchor Chart for Unit 4

As always, my anchor charts that I create with students become our central tool for discussions around all of our texts.  I decided that a graphic that would represent the theme well for second grade (and up) would be a pair of glasses. For the younger grades where the focus is more on the narrator, you could put a speech bubble in the middle to represent telling a story. I built this chart to feature our main discussion topics on perspective: Motives, Point of View, and Opinion.  I introduced this chart at the beginning of instruction, we discussed it and then we referenced it with every text that we read. 

Another cute and fun activity that doesn’t take a whole lot of prep time is the Insta-Template Craftivity, where students craft a social media post from a character’s perspective.

The Three Little Pigs vs. Mr. A. Wolf: Opinion Writing Unit

It’s at this point in the year where I start to miss our longer, drawn-out genre writing instruction! Something I like to incorporate with this point of view theme is my Three Little Pigs vs. Mr. A. Wolf Opinion Writing Unit. In this three-week long writing unit, my students formulate an argument, gather text evidence to support their reasoning, conduct an “Author’s Talk,” and produce a well-developed opinion report. This experience gives them the opportunity to practice these important skills using familiar and entertaining texts. We end up holding a class debate where students have to justify their arguments using evidence from each character’s case! This makes for a really fun bulletin board, too.

Planning for Unit 4

*Virtually “plan with me” in the video below.
You can follow along using my free planning templates. Or, you can find this unit plus all the other units already planned out for you here.

*The live Facebook feed of my video on Unit 4 also features an interactive discussion from teachers with ideas for implementing Unit 4 (and many, many other tips)!  Be sure to join the Benchmark Advance Planning, Organization and Tips Facebook group to access these resources.

That’s all for now! I hope this helps you prep and plan for Unit 4. Feel free to leave me comments on this post with any questions, and Pin the following images to bookmark this post!

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