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Unit 2:  Express Yourself (5 Weeks)


Essential Question:

How do authors communicate with readers?



Students delve into how authors communicate with readers as they focus on the decisions authors make as they craft stories and informational texts.  They are asked to reference text-based evidence as they make inferences about characters, draw conclusions, and analyze cause-effect relationships.  In addition students use text and graphic features to build understanding of topics presented in informational texts. Throughout the unit students grow in their capacity to read and comprehend literature and informational texts in the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.  (*RL.3.10; RL.3.10)


 ELA Standards Correlation

Common Core ELA Standards

2008 ELA Standards

Focus Standards for Reading:  Literature (RL)

RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text basis for the answers.    

3-1.1 Analyze the details that support the expression of the main idea in a given literary text.

3-1.2 Analyze a given literary text to make, revise, and confirm predictions and draw conclusions.

RL.3.3 Describe characters in a story and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.

3-1.5 Analyze the relationship among characters, setting, and plot in a given literary text.

RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story.

3-2.6 Use graphic features (including illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and graphic organizers) as sources of information.


3-1.4 Distinguish among devices of figurative language (including simile, metaphor, personification, and hyperbole) and sound devices (including onomatopoeia and alliteration).


3-1.8 Classify works of fiction (including fables, tall tales, and folktales) and works of nonfiction (including biographies) by characteristics.



3-1.10 Analyze cause-effect relationships in literary texts.

RL3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently. 

3-2.11 Read independently for extended periods of time for pleasure.

Focus Standards for Reading:  Informational Text (RI)

RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

3-1.1 Analyze the details that support the expression of the main idea in a given literary text.

RI.3.3 Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.


3-3.8 Analyze informational texts to identify cause-and-effect relationships.

RI.3.5 Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic effectively.

3-2.5 Use headings, subheadings, print styles, captions, and chapter headings to gain information. 

3-2.7 Use functional text features (including tables of contents, glossaries, and indexes) as sources of information.

RI.3.7 Use information gained from illustrations and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.

3-2.6 Use graphic features (including illustrations, graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and graphic organizers) as sources of information.

RI.3.9 Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented by two texts on the same topic.


RI.3.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including historical, scientific, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently. 

3-2.9 Read independently for extended periods of time to gain information.

Focus Standards for Reading:  Foundational Skills (RF)  While not explicitly referenced in the lessons, these foundational skills can be addressed within both reading instruction and word study.  

RF.3.3a Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and derivational suffixes.

3-3.2 Use base words and affixes to determine the meanings of words.

RF 3.3c Decode multisyllabic words.


RF.3.3d Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.

3-3.4 Read high-frequency words in texts (see Instructional Appendix: High-Frequency Words).

RF.3.4a Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.


RF.3.4b Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

3-1.7 Create responses to literary texts through a variety of methods (for example, writing, creative dramatics, and the visual and performing arts).

RF.3.4c Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

3-3.1 Generate the meaning of unfamiliar and multiple-meaning words by using context clues.

Connected Standards for Writing, Speaking and Listening, and Language:

Writing (W)

W.3.10 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. 


Speaking and Listening (SL):

SL.3.1b Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions.

SL.3.1c Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.

SL.3.1d Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.


Language (L):

L.3.4a Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

L.3.5 Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

L.3.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them). 


Reading Objectives

Readers can :

Explain how a character’s actions contribute to the sequence of events

Explain how text and graphic features contribute to understanding of the text

Refer explicitly to the text to support their conclusions

Distinguish among devices of figurative language and sound devices including onomatopoeia

Analyze causes and effects in literary text

Describe how illustrations contribute to a text

Explain how the main idea is supported by key details (informational text)

Compare and contrast key ideas presented in different texts on the same topic

Describe how an author’s word choice helps build meaning

Use vocabulary related to poetry (verse, stanza, etc.)


These recursive strategic actions represent the reading strategies that students must know and use to become effective readers.  While some of the strategies are not explicitly stated in the CCSS for ELA, they should be embedded in reading instruction throughout the year.  

ü  Monitor and Clarify

ü  Summarize

ü  Infer/Predict

ü  Make Connections

ü  Synthesize

ü  Analyze and Think Critically about Texts


Unit Resources

Unit 1:  Good Citizens (5 Weeks)

Lesson Essential Questions

(Focus Standards in Bold)

HMH Journeys*


Alternative Texts*

How does a character’s actions contribute to the sequence of events? (RL.3.3; SL.3.1b; SL.3.1c;  L.3.4a)

Max’s Words


Leveled Readers:

Frankie’s Facts  (Struggling)

Seeing Sayings (On Level)

Racecar Bob in Panama (Advanced)


The Day of Ahmed’s Secret by F. Perry

The Giving Tree by S. Silverstein

The Talented Clementine by ?? Pennypacker

Donovan’s Word Jar by ?? DeGross


How can graphic features help me understand the information in the text?  (RI.3.7; SL.3.1b; SL.3.1c; L.3.6)

What Will Illustrators Do?

Moving Pictures


Leveled Readers:

Making Murals  (Struggling)

Artists All Around You (On Level)

Art in Caves (Advanced)


Feature Articles:



National Geographic:  Pathfinder Edition

Ranger Rick


Time for Kids

Weekly Reader


How can readers use specific clues in the text to draw conclusions?  (RL.3.1; SC 3-1.4; SL.3.1b; SL.3.1c; L.3.5)

The Harvest Birds

Sweet Berries

The Farmer and the Dream


Leveled Readers:

Dear Diary  (Struggling)

The Great Storyteller (On Level)

The Night Bird (Advanced)


Dancing Rainbows (HMH 2005)

Raising Dragons (HMH 2005)

The Mysterious Giant of Barletta (HMH 2005)


Why is it important to think about what happens in a story and why?  (SC 3-10; RL.3.3; RL.3.7; SL.3.1b; SL.3.1c; L.3.4a)

Kamishibai Man


Leveled Readers:

Before the Talkies  (Struggling)

Tall Tale Tuesday (On Level)

The Kabuki Kid (Advanced)


Poppa’s New Pants (HMH 2005)

A Play’s the Thing by Aliki

The Chalk Box Kid by C. R. Bulla


How can text features help a reader understand the information in a text?  (RI.3.5;  SL.3.1b; SL.3.1c; L.3.6)

The True Story of Kamishibai


Leveled Readers:

Making Murals  (Struggling)

Artists All Around You (On Level)

Art in Caves (Advanced

Ox, House, Stick:  The History of Our Alphabet by D. Robb


Feature Articles:



National Geographic:  Pathfinder Edition

Ranger Rick


Time for Kids

Weekly Reader

How can readers connect key details to identify the main idea of a text?  (RI.3.2; RI.3.3; SC 3-1.8; L.3.6

Young Thomas Edison

Ryan Hreljac, Saving Lives at Six


Leveled Readers:

The Wright Brothers  (Struggling)

George Washington Carver (On Level)

The TV Kid (Advanced)


Action Jackson by J. Greenburg

Young Pele:  Soccer’s First Star by L. Cline-Ransome

The Boy on Fairfield Street:  How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss by K. Krull



In what ways is the information in _____ and _____ similar and different?  (RI.3.9; W.3.10; SL.3.1d; L.3.6)  

Young Thomas Edison


Leveled Readers:

George Washington Carver (On Level)



Thomas Alva Edison, inventor

A Picture Book of Thomas Alva Edison by D. Adler

Thomas Edison:  Inventor with A Lot of Bright Ideas by M. Venezia


A Picture Book of George Washington Carver by D. Adler

A Weed Is a Flower:  The Life of George Washington Carver by Aliki


Helen Keller (HMH 2005)

How has the poet used words to create images in the minds of the reader?  (SC 3-1.4; L.3.5

Poems that Slither, Walk, and Fly

A Kick in the Head by P. B. Janeczko

Meow Ruff:  A Story in Concrete Poetry by J. Sidman


CCSS 2-3 Text Exemplars and other selections from Sing a Song of Popcorn:  Every Child’s Book of Poems selected by Beatrice Schenk de Regniers et al.; The 20th Century Children’s Poetry Book selected by Jack Prelutsky; and  Branches Green by Rachel Field


*This is not a comprehensive list of resources.  Teachers may choose alternate texts to address the CCSS for ELA for this unit.  In addition consider incorporating opportunities for Literature Study as appropriate.


Sample Activities and Assessments

     Students describe how Max’s actions in Kate Bank’s Max’s Words contributes to the sequence of events .  (RL.3.3)

     Students explain how the main idea that young Thomas Edison liked to experiment in Young Thomas Edison by Michalel Dooling is supported by key details in the text.  (RI.3.2)

     Students explain how specific images in What Do Illustrators Do? Eileen Christelow contribute to their understanding of what the plan of a book might look like.  (RI.3.    


Word Study

Unit 2 Word Wall Words:





too (Too late!)

two (2)







there (here)

they’re (they are)























Word Building Activities

Word building activities support decoding and word recognition by giving students opportunities to explore word patterns.  Word building activities include work with Making Words, Word Sorts, and Word Ladders.


Spelling:  Unit 2 Spelling Principles

HMH Journeys  Spelling Words

     More Short and Long Vowels


     Three-Letter Clusters


     Unexpected Consonant Spellings


     Vowel Sound in town



     Vowel Sound in talk


math, toast, easy, socks, Friday, stuff, paid, cheese, June, elbow, program, shiny, piles, sticky


three, scrap, street, spring, thrill, scream, strange, throw, string, scrape, spray, threw, strong, scratch


itch, wreck, knee, patch, wrap, knot, watch, knife, stretch, write, knew, knock, match, wrong


clown, round, bow, cloud, power, crown, thousand, crowd, sound, count, powder, blouse, frown, pound


talk, cross, awful, law, cloth, cost, crawl, chalk, also, raw, salt, wall, lawn, always



The SC Academic Standards for Writing and Research will continue to drive writing instruction during 2012-2013.  Common Core ELA Standards for Writing will be used to guide writing instruction beginning in 2013-2014.  In preparation for this transition, the Third Grade Opinion Writing Unit should be incorporated into Writing Workshop during the current school year.    


Additional Resources

Houghton Mifflin Reading Support Materials

Science, Math, and Social Studies Readers - Discovery Education Streaming Videos  - Free registration to read books online - National Geographic Educators site - National Geographic Pioneer - Time for Kids - Spider Website includes access to Spider Sample Literature Magazine (6-9) - Appleseeds Sample Culture and History Magazine (6-9) - Ask Website includes access to Ask Sample Arts & Science Magazine (6-9) - Ranger Rick - Informational Text Features  - Concepts of Comprehension Lesson Plans  - Classroom resources include lesson plans and student interactives  - Common Core resources by standard   (Common Core Standards and Scholastic books for teaching various strategies)  (Common Core

Standards and Scholastic books for teaching various strategies)


Making Interdisciplinary Connections

Related Science/Social Studies/Health topics including but not limited to:


SC History – Early Explorer/Colonists