Unit 4: Embracing Difference: The Hundred Dresses and Garvey's Choice
Students explore acceptance of themselves and others in order to start discussions about bullying, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness, and focus on identifying the central message in a longer text.
In this unit, students read the core texts The Hundred Dresses and Garvey’s Choice as a way of exploring what it means to be accepting and tolerant of themselves and others. The Hundred Dresses challenges students to think about the different roles associated with bullying through the eyes of the narrator, who struggles with her own involvement with a classmate who is bullied. Garvey’s Choice illustrates the way others influence the way we see ourselves, both positively and negatively, and the power of accepting ourselves by tracing Garvey’s path to self-discovery and acceptance. Both texts are full of moments and messages that are easily relatable for students at this grade level. Therefore, it is our hope that the experiences of the characters in both texts will serve as a neutral launching point for deeper discussions about bullying, tolerance, acceptance, and forgiveness.
In reading, the main focus of the unit is on identifying and tracing the central message across a longer text. Over the course of the text, students will develop a deep understanding of each character’s thoughts, feelings, and motivations, which will help them identify and explain how the central message is developed and conveyed through the characters. Students will also begin to understand how successive parts of a text build on each other to push the plot forward. Particularly with Garvey’s Choice, students will analyze the genre features of novels written in verse and how each part helps build and develop the central message. This unit also focused on point of view. Students will begin to notice the point of view in which a story is told and compare that with their own point of view.
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Book: The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2004)
Book: Garvey's Choice by Nikki Grimes (WordSong, 2016)
Template: Narrative Writing Brainstorm
Rubric: Grade 3 Narrative Writing Rubric
Rubric: Grade 3 Literary Analysis and Opinion Writing Rubric
These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills. Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit.
Download Cold Read Assessment
Download Cold Read Assessment Answer Key
Download Content Assessment
Download Content Assessment Answer Key
The central thematic questions addressed in the unit or across units
Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and word parts to be taught with the text
To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 3rd Grade Vocabulary Glossary.
Explain the significance of “have fun with her” and how it relates to the author’s description of characters.
Describe how Wanda is treated and the role Peggy and Maddie play in the way Wanda is treated.
Defend if Maddie thinks the way they are treating Wanda is right and if you agree or disagree.
Use appositives to make sentences more interesting.
Describe what types of details Maddie remembers about the day the hundred dresses game began.
Explain how the dress game began and how Peggy’s actions impacted the entire community.
Explain how the author shows that Maddie is conflicted about the way she treats Wanda and if you agree with Maddie’s rationalization of her actions.
Discussion & Writing
Analyze the roles Peggy, Maddie, and Wanda play in the hundred dresses game.
Analyze and explain how the illustrations on pp. 42–43 contribute to a reader’s understanding of the text.
Explain the effect the letter has on Maddie, Peggy, and Miss Mason.
Brainstorm before writing to make paragraphs coherent and cohesive.
Explain why Maddie and Peggy left the house feeling “downcast and discouraged,” and whether or not each girl is beginning to change.
Explain what conclusion Maddie reaches after reflecting on what happened with Wanda and if you agree with the conclusion Maddie reaches.
Analyze why Maddie and Peggy decided to write a letter to Wanda and what impact it had on both of them.
Explain the impact Wanda’s letter has on Maddie and Peggy.
Analyze how Peggy, Maddie, and Wanda’s roles in the hundred dresses game have evolved and why by analyzing details that describe characters in depth.
Brainstorm before writing to make paragraphs coherent and cohesive.
Identify the central message of The Hundred Dresses and explain how it was conveyed through key details in the text.
Narrative Writing – 2 days
Write a continuation of The Hundred Dresses by using relevant details from the text to write a story with a clear sequence of events and descriptive details.
Analyze how the poems on pp. 1–18 work together to build a deeper picture of the way Garvey feels about himself and the way his dad views him.
Explain why Garvey states that he would find a patch of earth and pull it up over his head and what details the author includes in previous poems to support this.
Analyze how the poems help a reader build a deeper understanding of how Garvey views himself and how his self-image influences his actions.
Analyze how the poems help a reader build a deeper understanding of how the idea of chorus both challenged and grew Garvey’s self-image.
Analyze how each poem helps a reader build a deeper understanding of how joining chorus and meeting Manny influences Garvey.
Explain how each poem helps a reader build a deeper understanding of how Garvey is learning and growing.
Analyze how each poem helps a reader build a deeper understanding of the ways that Garvey continues to grow and change.
Analyze how each poem helps a reader build a deeper understanding of how Garvey changed and what factors caused the change.
Identify the central message of Garvey’s Choice and explain how it was conveyed through key details in the text.
Compare and contrast Maddie and Garvey’s experiences with bullying and self-image and what they both learned about themselves, by comparing and contrasting key details from two texts.
Opinion Writing – 5 days
Write an opinion piece to convince your principal to use your ideas to prevent bullying at your school.
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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.
— Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.
— Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.
— Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
— Capitalize appropriate words in titles.
— Use commas in addresses.
— Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
— Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
— Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
— Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
— Compare and contrast the themes, settings, and plots of stories written by the same author about the same or similar characters (e.g., in books from a series).
— Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
— Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.
— Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.
— Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
— Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
— Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.
— Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.
— Provide reasons that support the opinion.
— Provide a concluding statement or section.
— Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.
— Establish a situation and introduce a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.
— Use dialogue and descriptions of actions, thoughts, and feelings to develop experiences and events or show the response of characters to situations.
— Provide a sense of closure.
Standards that are practiced daily but are not priority standards of the unit
— Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood).
— Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.
— Form and use possessives.
— Choose words and phrases for effect.
— Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
— Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).
— Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).
— Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).
— Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
— Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
— Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
— By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2—3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
— Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
— Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
— Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.
— Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).
— Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.
— Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
— With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.
(Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1—3 above.)
— With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
— With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
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