The Power of Reading

Students learn about the joy books and reading bring to people's lives, the different ways people access books, and some of the barriers people have faced when trying to learn how to read. 

Unit Summary

As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in January 2021. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our 1st Grade text adjustments.

In this unit, students explore the power of books and reading. In the first part of the unit, students experience the joy that books and reading bring to people's lives, and learn about some of the different ways people access books, especially in places where books are hard to get. In the second part of the unit, students learn about a range of barriers people have faced when trying to learn how to read, both in the United States and around the world, and build an understanding of the steps people have taken individually and as part of a community to overcome the barriers. Students will discover that not all people have had equal access to education and that in many places, past and present, receiving a high-quality education has not been an easy feat. It is our hope that this unit will help open students' eyes to injustices connected with educational access and will inspire students to take action to help members of their community get access to books or education.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • How do people get access to books?
  • What barriers have people faced when trying to learn to read? How do they overcome them?

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Write simple and complex sentences.
  • Include details that describe “who,” “what,” “where,” “when,” and “why.”
  • Use conjunctions “because,” “but,” and “so.”

In this unit, students continue to work on using complete sentences in response to the text. In particular, they continue to work on using the conjunctions “because,” “but,” or “so” to show more nuanced thinking and ideas in response to the text. They also learn how to use precise words to show “who,” “what,” “where,” “when” and “why.”

Opinion Writing Focus Areas

  • State an opinion. 
  • Include two to three reasons to support the opinion. 
  • Provide some sense of closure. 

In this unit, students have multiple opportunities to write opinion pieces to build a deeper understanding of unit content and texts. 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

barrier companion confident complicated degrading determined devour dismissed disability discouraged disbelief distress eager forbidden frustrated insist injustice integrate inferior invent joy lure ordinary outwit proud precious unusual vow yearn

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 1st Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Lesson Map

1

  • Book Fiesta!

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Identify your favorite things about reading and books.

2

  • The Good Little Book

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain how the little book brought joy to the boy’s life.

3

  • Waiting for the Biblioburro

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

    SL.1.1

Explain how the Biblioburro changed Ana’s life.

5

  • Tomás and the Library Lady

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

Explain how the Library Lady changed Tomás’ life.

6

  • Digging for Words

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain how José brought joy to the kids in his neighborhood.

7

  • Little Libraries, Big Heroes

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

Explain why Little Free Libraries are important.

11

  • Running the Road to ABC

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain how the children feel about going to school.

15

  • The Story of Ruby Bridges

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Describe Ruby and what we can learn from Ruby.

19

  • Ruby's Wish

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain how Ruby made her wish come true.

20

  • Nasreen's Secret School

    RL.1.3

    RL.1.7

Explain how school and learning to read changes Nasreen’s life.

21

  • Grandmother School

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain what lessons we can learn from Aaji.

23

  • Thank You, Mr. Falker p. 23 — to end

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Analyze how Mr. Falker changes Trisha’s life.

24

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.1.1

L.1.1.i

L.1.1.j

L.1.2

L.1.4

L.1.5

L.1.6

RL.1.2

RL.1.3

RL.1.7

SL.1.1

SL.1.2

SL.1.6

W.1.1

W.1.3

W.1.5

W.1.8

Supporting Standards

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RL.1.1

RL.1.10

RL.1.4

RL.1.6

RL.1.9

SL.1.3

SL.1.4

SL.1.5

W.1.6