Unit 5: Learning From Mistakes: Keena Ford
In this unit students explore the concepts of honesty, forgiveness, and friendship by reading Freckle Juice and Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up.
In this unit, students learn about making mistakes, honesty, and the power of forgiveness by reading the core texts Freckle Juice and Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up. In Freckle Juice, students explore what peer pressure is and the ways in which people can influence the decisions that we make. In Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up, students explore what it means to be honest, especially when it may seem difficult to tell the truth. Students will also explore the value of friendship and how jealousy can sometimes come between friends. Andrew in Freckle Juice and Keena Ford are both highly relatable characters who are struggling with issues that are common in second grade. Therefore, these books will give students a chance to grapple with and explore the nuances of peer pressure, honesty, friendship, and jealousy in a non-threatening way.
For readers, this unit begins the transition from early chapter books that have an equal balance of words and pictures into chapter books where the picture support is removed. Over the course of the unit, students will work on using the strategies they have learned to help build stamina in order to read longer texts. Besides building stamina, there are a few main focuses of the unit. One is on deeply understanding characters, including character motivations, perspectives, and relationships. Keena Ford shares lots of insight into how and why she does the things that she does, which will make it easier for students to internalize what it means to notice and track characters over the course of a longer text. Another focus is on holding onto the plot across multiple chapters. This is the third chapter book that students will be reading, but the plot of this text is slightly more nuanced. Finally, students should continue to work on using context to figure out the meaning of unknown words and using the illustrations to deepen their understanding of the text.
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Book: Freckle Juice by Judy Blume (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014)
Book: Keena Ford (series) by Melissa Thomson (Puffin Books, 2009)
Assessment Text: “Keena Ford and the Field Trip Mix-Up” by Melissa Thomson (Puffin Books)
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
As in the previous unit, the main focus of this unit is on reading with expression, particularly character dialogue, in order to show understanding of the text. In both core texts, the character dialogue reveals a lot about a character’s motivation, feelings, and perspective; therefore, a large focus of this unit should be on including opportunities for students to practice rereading dialogue with intonation, expression, and volume to match interpretation of the passage.
Specific skills to focus on when giving feedback on writing assignments
At this point in the year, students have mastered writing complete sentences and have also learned how to use the conjunctions "because," "but," and "so" to make their sentences more interesting. In this unit, they will learn how to combine, or put together, two or more sentences so that their writing is clear and interesting for their readers.
In this unit, students write several opinion letters, in an attempt to convince both Keena and a new second grader to take their advice. Students will start by brainstorming their opinions and developing strong details that support those opinions. They will then decide which of their details best supports their opinion, ordering them from most important to least important. As students learn to evaluate evidence, they will be better able to connect their opinion and reasons.
In this unit, students work on using all of their strategies to participate in discourse. When building on others' talk in conversation, students may begin to critique and analyze the reasoning of others, the key work of Tier 3 of the three tiers of academic discourse. The focus areas and discourse in this unit align with Tier 2 and Tier 3 of the three tiers of academic discourse and all rows of the Academic Discourse Rubric (K-2). See the Teacher Tool on Tiers of Academic Discourse to help support students with the focus areas for this unit.
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for Unit 5, 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.
Describe Sharon by making inferences based on the words and phrases Judy Blume uses to characterize and describe Sharon.
Describe how Andrew is desperate by analyzing details to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.
Describe how Andrew has changed and how Sharon’s and Andrew’s personalities contributed to the change by making inferences about character change and relationships.
Describe how Andrew feels about Sharon by making inferences based on evidence that shows a character’s perspective on another character.
Explain what role Miss Kelly plays in the solution to Andrew’s problem by identifying and describing roles between characters.
Make sentences better and more interesting by combining two or more sentences.
Discussion & Writing
Explain how other people influenced the decisions that Andrew made and what we can learn from him to make our lives better by identifying and interpreting key details that support the main lesson of a text.
Predict what will happen in Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by identifying and explaining evidence about character actions and motivations.
Explain why Keena’s mom thinks a journal is a good idea by drawing conclusions about character motivation and relationships.
Describe Eric and Keena’s relationship by drawing conclusions about character motivation and relationships.
Describe the relationship between Keena and her dad by identifying and describing evidence that shows character relationships and feelings.
Explain how Keena’s feelings about second grade change by identifying evidence that shows character feelings and character change.
Describe what “mess” Keena gets herself into and what she decides to do by identifying evidence that shows character conflict and perspective.
Write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating an opinion and supporting the opinion with details from the text and personal connections.
Describe the conflicting feelings that Keena has by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feelings and perspective.
Describe what makes Keena believe that it really is her birthday and how her mom responds by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feeling and perspective.
Describe how Ms. Campbell responds to Keena’s lies and what this tells us about Ms. Campbell by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feeling and perspective.
Write a letter to Keena describing what she should do by stating a claim and supporting the claim with details from the text and personal connections.
Explain how Keena feels about Linny and why they become friends by identifying and describing key details that show character feelings and relationships.
Explain why Keena decides to go into Ms. Hanson’s classroom by identifying and describing key details that show character feelings and motivations.
Analyze how Ms. Campbell is feeling and why by Close Reading a text to determine evidence that deepens understanding of character feelings and motivations.
Describe how Keena, Eric, and Ms. Campbell show forgiveness by identifying and describing key details that support the main lesson of a text.
Discuss and debate unit Essential Questions by stating an opinion and supporting the opinion with evidence and details from the entire unit.
Opinion Writing – 3 days
Write a letter to an incoming second grader describing what lessons you have learned from the unit texts and how they can apply them to their own life.
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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 reflexive pronouns (e.g., myself, ourselves).
— 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.
— Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.
— 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).
— Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
— 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.
— 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 informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
— 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
— 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.
— Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
— Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.
— Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe foods that are spicy or juicy).
— 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.
— With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
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