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90 Miles to Havana

Grade Level Grade 6
Standards Alignment
Common Core State Standards


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Unit 6, 90 Miles to Havana, focuses on Latin American history, specifically the Cuban Revolution. At the end of the unit, students will have the opportunity to compare/contrast the Cuban Revolution as presented in informational text and historical fiction and analyze the value of each type of text.

This unit is difficult to classify in terms of a single literary genre. We have identified the unit as a memoir. CKLA Units 1 and 2 introduced Grade 6 students to the idea of identity—what makes us who we are. This unit gives students an additional opportunity to think about and discuss more about identity in literature and in their own lives.

Students will read 90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis. In this book, the author reflects on and writes about his experience leaving Cuba when he was a boy at the beginning of the Cuban Revolution. Students will observe how the protagonist’s identity is defined by and changes in the eyes of others as a result of new environments and experiences.

In terms of literary skills, students will also focus on various skills, including pronoun-antecedent agreement, frequently confused words, and roots and prefixes shared with Spanish. During the writing portions of the lessons, students will write business communications.


Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
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.
Analyze how a particular sentence, chapter, scene, or stanza fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the theme, setting, or plot.
Explain how an author develops the point of view of the narrator or speaker in a text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of a specific word choice on meaning and tone.
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Describe how a particular story’s or drama’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the characters respond or change as the plot moves toward a resolution.
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Compare and contrast one author’s presentation of events with that of another (e.g., a memoir written by and a biography on the same person).
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; 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.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Ensure that pronouns are in the proper case (subjective, objective, possessive).
Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in pronoun number and person.
Recognize and correct vague pronouns (i.e., ones with unclear or ambiguous antecedents).
Recognize variations from standard English in their own and others’ writing and speaking, and identify and use strategies to improve expression in conventional language.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 6 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
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.
Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., audience, auditory, audible).
Consult 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.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


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