Unit 4: Finding Your Power: Freddie Ramos
Students continue to build reading and writing skills by engaging with the beginning chapter book series Zapato Power.
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 Unit 3: Pinky and Rex, 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 also 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. Similar to Pinky and Rex, 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 are continuing 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.
As writers, 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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Book: Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off by Jacqueline Jules (Albert Whitman & Company, 2011)
Book: Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Springs Into Action by Jacqueline Jules (Albert Whitman & Company, 2011)
Assessment Text: “Freddie Ramos Zooms to the Rescue” by Jacqueline Jones and illustrated by Miguel Benitez (Albert Whitman & Company (March 1, 2012))
These assessments accompany this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.
Download Content Assessment
Download Content Assessment Answer Key
Download Cold Read Assessment
Download Cold Read Assessment Answer Key
Suggestions for how to prepare to teach this unit
Prepare to teach this unit by immersing yourself in the texts, themes, and core standards. Unit Launches include a series of short videos, targeted readings, and opportunities for action planning.
The central thematic questions addressed in the unit or across units
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.
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.
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.
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for Unit 4, view our 2nd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
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.
Fishtank ELA units related to the content in this unit.
Explain how Freddie feels about the shoes by using details from the text to describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
Identify and explain the descriptive language the author uses to describe the shoes by describing how words and phrases supply meaning to a story.
Explain why the chapter is titled, “The Mysteries Begin” by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain why the chapter is titled, “A Pretty Regular Night for a Superhero” by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Use subordinating conjunctions to write more interesting and complex sentences.
Explain if Freddie is a superhero by using details to retell how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain why the chapter is called, "Poopee Isn't Good for Starwood Park" by using details to retell how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain if Freddie’s actions make him a superhero by using details to retell how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain why the chapter is titled, “I Solve the Final Mystery” by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Discussion & Writing
Describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslov and how they respond to key events by preparing for and participating in a class discussion using evidence from the entire text.
Narrative – 3 days
Write a narrative that continues Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off and includes a strong lead and temporal words to show time passing.
Explain how Freddie Ramos shows confidence by using details to describe characters and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain how Freddie’s feelings about his shoes have changed and why by using details to describe characters and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain why the chapter is titled, “Inventions Take Time” by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain if Freddie should have taken the wristband and why by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain how what others think of him influences how Freddie behaves by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Defend if Freddie is a superhero by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Explain why the chapter is titled, “An Extra Button” by using details to retell key events and how characters respond to major events and challenges.
Describe Freddie and Mr. Vaslov and what motivates them both by preparing for and participating in a class discussion using evidence from the entire text.
Narrative Writing – 5 days
Write a story describing how you use a superpower by writing a narrative that includes details that describe actions, thoughts, and feelings.
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The content standards covered in this unit
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
— Use adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
— Produce, expand, and rearrange complete simple and compound sentences (e.g., The boy watched the movie; The little boy watched the movie; The action movie was watched by the little boy).
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
— Consult reference materials, including beginning dictionaries, as needed to check and correct spellings.
— Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 2 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.
— Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
— Distinguish shades of meaning among closely related verbs (e.g., toss, throw, hurl) and closely related adjectives (e.g., thin, slender, skinny, scrawny).
— Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using adjectives and adverbs to describe (e.g., When other kids are happy that makes me happy).
— Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
— Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
— Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
— Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.
— Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.
— Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.
— Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
— Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
— Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
— Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that support the opinion, use linking words (e.g., because, and, also) to connect opinion and reasons, and provide a concluding statement or section.
— Write narratives in which they recount a well-elaborated event or short sequence of events, include details to describe actions, thoughts, and feelings, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide a sense of closure.
— With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
— Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.
Standards that are practiced daily but are not priority standards of the unit
— Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
— Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe foods that are spicy or juicy).
— Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
— Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
— Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
— Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story (e.g., Cinderella stories) by different authors or from different cultures.
— By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories and poetry, in the grades 2—3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
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