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6th Grade: What Makes a Hero?

Students will see opportunities in the world from many different perspectives. We conclude by studying one of the oldest tales that exist, Beowulf.  Students will analyze the novel Beowulf by Robert Nye. Students will analyze how even ancient storytellers use famous character tropes that are familiar to us today to drive a story’s plot forward with compelling action and complex conflicts. Students will develop empathy for other points of view when they are challenged to analyze conflicts from multiple perspectives.

By providing an analysis, students will see that character tropes such as heroes and villains, gods and monsters have been around for ages and to ask how those character tropes have changed over time.  Synopsis by the District of Columbia Public Schools

(click on the book to view the Inside Out and Back Again book trailer)


7th Grade: My Evolving Self 

Students will read the fictional novel, The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, for 17 instructional days, with 3 additional days dedicated to students composing evidence-based written responses to the Anchor Text Writing Task 2. Prior to beginning the novel study, students will explore the stages of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey narrative pattern for 6 days. Students are then able to read The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm using their knowledge of the hero’s journey narrative pattern to trace and analyze the plot of the novel and the development of the protagonist over the course of the text.   Synopsis by the District of Columbia Public Schools

The Ear the Eye and the Arm)

8th Grade: Community & Concept


This unit will challenge students to explore the concept of community and how the life experiences of individuals connect to form a community. Through a thorough study of fiction and non-fiction texts, students will come to understand that community is comprised of both physical and nonphysical elements.  Students will read the novel 145th Street Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers to explore how stories of individual human experiences connect all of humanity.  Synopsis by the District of Columbia Public Schools

On Harlem's 145th Street, things happen that don't happen anywhere else in the world. Get to know Big Joe, who's throwing his own funeral while he's here to enjoy it, and everyone's invited. Meet Kitty and Mack, teens with a love story more real than anything they've ever known.

 (click on the link to view 145th Street Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers)

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