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 explore the genre of mystery—in conjunction with exploring the American pastime of baseball—by reading the mentor text The Fenway Foul-Up. Over the course of the unit, students will be challenged to think about and notice the characteristics of a mystery and how an author uses the characteristics of a mystery to develop the plot. Students will also be challenged to think about what makes a good detective and how much information detectives need before they can be confident enough in their decisions to avoid unfairly or unjustly accusing someone of committing a crime. Students will also discover that being a good detective involves teamwork; teamwork makes everything easier because people can play off of each other’s strengths and differing perspectives. While the main focus of this unit is on understanding the mystery genre, students will also be learning a great deal about baseball and the content-specific vocabulary associated with baseball.
At this point in the year, it is assumed that students are inquisitive consumers of a text and can identify and describe characters and plot events in a text read aloud or silently. Therefore, this unit focuses on pushing students to describe the overall structure of a story, particularly identifying and explaining how the characteristics of a mystery support the plot of a story. Students will also be pushed to go beyond just describing characters and will instead be pushed to explain how characters respond to major events and challenges, and how different characters have different perspectives on events and why. Throughout the unit, students will use all of the strategies they learned in previous units to engage with classmates in partners, small groups, and whole class discussions. Students will continue to build on to their peers’ and may begin to critique and analyze the reasoning of their peers when applicable.
As writers, students continue to work on building their writing fluency by writing daily in response to the Target Task question using a combination of simple and complex sentences. Over the course of the unit, students write various narrative newspaper articles and conclude by writing their own mystery. Building on work done in previous units, students are focusing on developing narratives that include descriptive language to describe all aspects of character and how to end a story on a cliffhanger.
Fishtank Plus for ELA
Unlock features to optimize your prep time, plan engaging lessons, and monitor student progress.
Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which supports our non-profit mission.
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
Write simple and complex sentences.
Combine simple sentences to make longer, more interesting sentences.
Brainstorm using a Single Paragraph Outline.
State an opinion and supply reasons that support that opinion.
Choose reasons that are the most convincing.
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.
To understand what happens and why it happens in a story, readers notice a character’s motivation and relationships.
Characters are complex, and sometimes want or feel more than one thing at the same time; understanding a character’s conflicting feelings and motivations helps the reader understand the decisions they make.
As readers tackle longer chapter books, they have to hold onto the plot over multiple chapters to understand how the beginning of the text impacts the end of the text.
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.
Create a free account to access thousands of lesson plans.
Already have an account? Sign In
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.
Cinderella Around the World
Solving Mysteries: The Fenway Foul-up
Join our Summer Institutes in July and August 2023.