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.

Unit Summary

As part of the upgrade to Fishtank Plus, this unit was revised in February 2021. See which texts and materials have changed as part of the revision in this guide to our 2nd Grade text adjustments. If you are looking for the previous version of this unit, you can find it in our archives here.

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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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

This assessment accompanies this unit and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • How do other people influence the decisions you make in your life?
    People can be a positive influence or negative influence on your life. People with a positive influence help you make good decisions and be a better version of yourself. Keena’s dad is a positive influence in her life. People with a negative influence encourage you to make bad choices and do not help you be better. Sharon was a bad influence on Andrew because she tried to trick him into believing in freckle juice. We should only let people who want to help us be our best selves have an influence on our lives.
  • What does it mean to forgive someone?
    Forgiving someone means to accept their apology and not stay mad about it. It is hard to forgive someone, but important. Keena and Eric forgave each other, even after they made mistakes in their friendship. Because they forgave each other, their friendship stayed strong. Linny Berry and Keena forgave each other for their mistakes and started a new friendship.
  • How can we learn from our mistakes?
    We can learn how to be better versions of ourselves after we make mistakes. Mistakes are an important part of life. Andrew made the mistake of believing Sharon, but the bigger mistake was not loving himself for who he was. Miss Kelly helped him to see that he was beautiful without freckles. Keena made many mistakes, but each time she learned from them. She is now a better friend to both Linny and Eric. She saw how her mistakes hurt their feelings, and she will try not to do it again because she cares about them.
  • What does it mean to be honest? Why is it important to show honesty in our everyday lives?
    Being honest means telling the truth. It can be hard to tell the truth sometimes, but it is still important. It is important because when we are honest with others, they learn to trust us. When other people trust us, our relationships with them get better. Keena was not honest with the people in her life. She made a mistake and lied about her birthday. When she told the truth, though, everyone forgave her and they had a strong relationship afterward. Even if you are not honest the first time, you can still tell the truth.

Foundational Skills

Fluency Focus Areas

  • Use proper intonation to show interpretation of the text.
  • Read with expression and volume to match interpretation of the passage.

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.

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Combine simple sentences to make longer, more interesting sentences.

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.

Opinion Writing Focus Areas

  • State an opinion and supply reasons that support that opinion.

This is the second opinion-writing unit in 2nd grade Literature. Students will start by brainstorming their opinions and developing strong details that support those opinions. They will then decide which of their details best support 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.

Vocabulary

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Text-based

"clean slate" actually admit allowance apologize conflicting complain conflict desparate disappointed forgive freckles grateful instead jealousy mess mysterious permanent peer pressure recipe startled sternly wacky

Root/Affix

-ful dis-

Related Teacher Tools:

Lesson Map

1

  • Freckle Juice — Chapter 1

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.5

    RF.2.4

Describe Sharon by making inferences based on the words and phrases Judy Blume uses to characterize and describe Sharon.

2

  • Freckle Juice — Chapter 2

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Describe how Andrew is desperate by analyzing details to draw conclusions about characters’ actions and motivations.

3

  • Freckle Juice — Chapter 3

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

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.

4

  • Freckle Juice — Chapter 4

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

Describe how Andrew feels about Sharon by making inferences based on evidence that shows a character’s perspective on another character.

5

  • Freckle Juice — Chapter 5

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Explain what role Miss Kelly plays in the solution to Andrew’s problem by identifying and describing roles between characters.

6

Writing

  • Freckle Juice

    L.2.1.f

Make sentences better and more interesting by combining two or more sentences.

7

  • Freckle Juice

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.5

    W.2.2

    SL.2.2

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.

8

  • Keena Ford

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Predict what will happen in Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up by identifying and explaining evidence about character actions and motivations.

9

  • Keena Ford pp. 1 – 7

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Explain why Keena’s mom thinks a journal is a good idea by drawing conclusions about character motivation and relationships.

10

  • Keena Ford pp. 8 – 17

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.4

    RF.2.4

Describe Eric and Keena’s relationship by drawing conclusions about character motivation and relationships.

11

  • Keena Ford pp. 18 – 28

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Describe the relationship between Keena and her dad by identifying and describing evidence that shows character relationships and feelings.

12

Writing

  • Keena Ford

    L.2.1.f

Make sentences better and more interesting by combining two or more sentences.

13

  • Keena Ford pp. 29 – 37

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

Explain how Keena’s feelings about second grade change by identifying evidence that shows character feelings and character change.

14

  • Keena Ford pp. 38 – 44

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Describe what “mess” Keena gets herself into and what she decides to do by identifying evidence that shows character conflict and perspective.

15

Writing

  • Keena Ford

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.5

    W.2.1

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.

16

  • Keena Ford pp. 45 – 51 — Stop before 3:30

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Describe the conflicting feelings that Keena has by identifying and explaining evidence that shows character feelings and perspective.

17

  • Keena Ford pp. 51 – 62 — Read to "NOW"

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

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.

18

  • Keena Ford pp. 62 – 66

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.4

    RF.2.4

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.

19

Writing

  • Keena Ford

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.5

    W.2.1

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.

20

  • Keena Ford pp. 67 – 73

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

Explain how Keena feels about Linny and why they become friends by identifying and describing key details that show character feelings and relationships.

21

  • Keena Ford pp. 73 – 81

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

Explain why Keena decides to go into Ms. Hanson’s classroom by identifying and describing key details that show character feelings and motivations.

22

  • Keena Ford pp. 81 – 89

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.6

    RF.2.4

Analyze how Ms. Campbell is feeling and why by Close Reading a text to determine evidence that deepens understanding of character feelings and motivations.

23

  • Keena Ford pp. 89 – 102

    RL.2.2

    RL.2.3

    RF.2.4

Describe how Keena, Eric, and Ms. Campbell show forgiveness by identifying and describing key details that support the main lesson of a text.

24

  • Keena Ford

    RL.2.3

    RL.2.5

    SL.2.1

    SL.2.6

    L.2.6

Discuss and debate unit Essential Questions by stating an opinion and supporting the opinion with evidence and details from the entire unit.

25

3 days

Writing

  • Freckle Juice

  • Keena Ford

    W.2.1

    SL.2.4

    L.2.1.f

    L.2.2.b

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.

26

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.2.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.2.1.f — 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).

  • L.2.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.2.2.b — Use commas in greetings and closings of letters.

  • L.2.4 — 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.

  • L.2.5 — Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  • L.2.6 — 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).

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.2.10 — 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.

  • RL.2.2 — Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.

  • RL.2.3 — Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.

  • RL.2.4 — Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

  • RL.2.5 — Describe the overall structure of a story, including describing how the beginning introduces the story and the ending concludes the action.

  • RL.2.6 — Acknowledge differences in the points of view of characters, including by speaking in a different voice for each character when reading dialogue aloud.

Reading Standards: Foundational Skills
  • RF.2.4 — Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.2.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

  • SL.2.2 — Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.2.4 — Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking audibly in coherent sentences.

  • SL.2.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Writing Standards
  • W.2.1 — 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.

  • W.2.2 — Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

  • W.2.8 — Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.