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.
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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Book: Book Fiesta! by Pat Mora (HarperCollins Publishers, 2016) — AD490L
Book: The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear (Tundra Books, 2015)
Book: That Book Woman by Heather Henson (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008) — AD920L
Book: Waiting for the Biblioburro by Monica Brown (Tricycle Press, 2011) — 560L
Book: Tomás and the Library Lady by Pat Mora (Dragon Fly Books, 1st Dragonfly Books Ed edition, 2000) — 500L
Book: Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul and illustrated by John Parra (Clarion Books; Illustrated edition, 2019) — 750L
Book: Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel (Schwartz & Wade; Illustrated edition, 2020) — AD730L
Book: Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim Bridges (Chronicle Books, Reprint edition, 2015) — 860L
Book: Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2009) — 630L
Book: Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard (Aladdin, Reprint edition, 2005) — 520L
Book: Grandmother School by Rina Singh (Orca Book Publishers; Illustrated edition, 2020)
Book: Running the Road to ABC by Denize Lauture (Aladdin, Reprint edition, 2000) — 710L
Book: The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard (Schwartz & Wade; Illustrated edition, 2020) — AD830L
Book: More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradby (Orchard Books, 1995) — 570L
Book: The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles (Scholastic Paperbacks, Rep Anv Sp edition, 2010) — 800L
Book: Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh (Harry N. Abrams; Illustrated edition, 2014) — AD870L
Book: Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco (Philomel Books; Illustrated edition, 2012) — AD650L
Book: Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille by Jen Bryant (Knopf Books for Young Readers; Illustrated edition, 2016) — 590L
This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
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.”
In this unit, students have multiple opportunities to write opinion pieces to build a deeper understanding of unit content and texts.
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.
The Good Little Book
Explain how the little book brought joy to the boy’s life.
That Book Woman
Explain how Cal changes from the beginning to the end and what causes the change.
Explain the challenges Louis faces when he tries to find books and how it makes him feel.
Explain how Louis Braille helped all kids get access to books and why this was important.
Write about ways to take action and get books to people in your community.
More Than Anything Else
Explain what Booker wants more than anything else and how he makes his dream come true.
Virgie Goes to School...
Explain why Virgie wants to go to school with her brothers and how she feels when she is there.
The Oldest Student
Explain the lessons we can learn from Mary and why they are important.
Separate is Never Equal pp. 1 – 19
Explain why Sylvia and her family cannot attend the local public school and what action her family takes.
Separate is Never Equal pp. 20 – 35
Explain how the Mendez family fought for justice and why their fight was important.
Discussion & Writing
Analyze the barriers people have faced when trying to learn how to read and how they have overcome them.
Nasreen's Secret School
Explain how school and learning to read changes Nasreen’s life.
Thank You, Mr. Falker pp. 1 – 22
Describe the challenges Trisha faces at school and how they make her feel.