Unit 5, Poetry and Short Stories, examines poetry as a form of expression. Poetry allows authors and readers to think about topics in creative and unusual ways, stimulating critical thought without the pressure of a right or correct interpretation. The poems in this unit are grouped and taught by poetic form, such as narrative and historical poetry. This allows students to develop an understanding of the different forms poetry can take as well as the techniques used within those forms. Students will practice annotating poetry.
Students will also read several short stories in this unit. Students will learn that short stories are a genre that can vary widely in form and subject. This is an excellent way to introduce students to new words, places, and ideas. Short stories can help students understand the world’s diversity and that some people live lives very different from their own. When students read short stories that explore feelings and emotions, they can learn how to understand and accept their own experiences.
The short stories students will read in this unit will further strengthen their understanding of the basic elements of storytelling: (1) the beginning introduces the characters and setting and establishes a problem or conflict; (2) the middle is where a series of events occur, including attempts by the character to resolve the conflict; (3) the end identifies the resolution of the conflict, or how the problem is solved.
In this unit, students will be exposed to content-area vocabulary and words derived from Greek and Latin roots fero, sequor, solvo, specto, strictus, syn, teneo, and valeo. In addition, students will practice using semicolons, colons, and dashes as well as using precise language. Students will plan, write, edit and publish an original poem that mirrors the styles of some of the poems they are reading in this unit’s Reading strand.