Finding Your Power: Freddie Ramos

Students continue to build reading and writing skills by engaging with the beginning chapter book series Zapato Power.



Unit 5

2nd Grade

Unit Summary

In this unit, students continue to explore the characteristics of chapter books by reading and engaging with the beginning chapter book series, Zapato Power. Building off of what students learned in the Belonging and Friendship: Pinky and Rex unit, students will explore what it means for two people to be friends and how friends are able to help each other by examining the somewhat unusual friendship between Freddie and Mr. Vaslov, an older man who lives and works in Freddie’s apartment building. Over the course of the unit, students will be challenged to think about what it means to be a superhero and the differences between using “super” powers and brain power to solve problems. It is important to note that these books are part of a beginning chapter book series; therefore, there are aspects of the plot that are less developed or not as powerful as other books that students read in the progression. The chapter book series does, however, introduce students to a male Latinx protagonist, something that is often missing from children’s literature and helps students explore similar themes and topics from other units with texts that are accessible. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with other units from the sequence, will set students up for success in reading and understanding longer chapter books.

This unit should be done predominantly as shared or independent reading; therefore, this unit gives students a chance to practice the reading skills they have developed in previous units. As they did in previous units, students will be challenged to think about how authors develop characters throughout a single text and how that understanding builds as they read more books in a series about the same characters. Students will focus on character motivation and what motivates both of the main characters, Freddie and Mr. Vaslov. Students will also begin to notice the different types of descriptive language authors include—specifically figurative language—and how descriptive language helps a reader better visualize the story and bring it to life. Finally, students will begin to notice how chapter titles are a clue for what is important in a chapter and can be used to guide retells and summaries of the key events within a chapter. 

When discussing the text, students use all of the strategies they have learned in previous units to participate in partner, small group, or whole-class discussions. When building on others’ talk in conversations, students continue to work on linking their comments to the remarks of others and asking questions for clarification or further explanation if needed. Students may also begin to critique and analyze the reasoning of others as they build on and respond to their classmates’ comments.

Students continue to build their writing fluency by writing daily in response to the Target Task with an emphasis on using simple and complex sentences. In this unit, students explore using subordinating conjunctions as a way of showing an even more nuanced understanding of the text and task. Students also continue to work on refining their narrative writing skills by writing a variety of narratives that have a strong beginning, middle, and end, and use a variety of precise words and phrases to describe characters and manage the sequence of events.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Supporting Materials


These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

Before you teach this unit, unpack the texts, themes, and core standards through our guided intellectual preparation process. Each Unit Launch includes a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning to ensure you're prepared to support every student.

Essential Questions

  • Can people of different ages be friends? Why or why not?
  • What is more important: brain power or superpower? Why?

Reading Focus Areas

  • To understand what happens and why it happens in a story, readers notice a character’s motivation and relationships.

  • Authors use descriptive language to help readers visualize and better understand what’s happening in the story.

  • Chapter titles give readers a clue about the key events in the upcoming chapter.

Writing Focus Areas

Narrative Writing

  • Brainstorm a focused narrative with a beginning, middle, and end.

  • Write a beginning with a strong hook.

  • Use precise verbs and adverbs to describe a character's actions.

  • Provide a sense of closure.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Build on others' talk in conversations by linking their comments to the remarks of others.

  • Ask for clarification and further explanation as needed about topics and texts under discussion.



chuckled clinging confess concentrate controls dashed developing excuse groaned gulped hollered inventor investigate pouted protested puzzled resisted snooping suspicious wailed whined



To see all the vocabulary for Unit 5, view our 2nd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Content Knowledge and Connections

  • Explain that friendships come in many different forms.
  • Explain that friends help one another solve problems and help each other explore things they are interested in.
  • Explain that brain power is sometimes more important—and effective—than superpower.

Lesson Map

Common Core Standards

Core Standards


Supporting Standards

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Unit 4

Stories of Immigration


Unit 6

Inside the Human Body

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