Finding Fortune: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

By reading and discussing Grace Lin's novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, students explore what it means to have good fortune and how families shape a person’s identity, values, and beliefs.

Unit Summary

In Grade 4 Fiction, students grapple with the overarching question of how a person develops values, identities, and beliefs. In this unit students dig deeply into how families shape a person’s identity, values, and beliefs and how relationships with others can change a person’s identity. Students will also explore what it means to have good fortune and how a person’s view on fortune varies depending on his/her values and beliefs. It is our hope that this unit, in connection with other units from the entire year-long sequence, will help build a deeper understanding of how we become who we are and the positive and negative factors that influence us along the way. 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was chosen as an engaging text to help build excitement at the beginning of the year, while simultaneously allowing for deep discussions about character, setting, vocabulary, and the larger theme of identity. Over the course of the novel, the author, Grace Lin, includes lots of detail and description to reveal information about characters and how they change based on experiences and relationships. Students will be challenged to notice the details that Grace Lin includes and analyze how the details build to support a deeper, more nuanced understanding of characters. Grace Lin also includes lots of powerful vocabulary and figurative language as a way of helping readers visualize exactly what is happening in the story. Students will be challenged to figure out the meaning of unknown words and figurative language and analyze why the author made particular word choices. In this unit students will also begin to use summarization as a strategy to track the plot of a longer text.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

Assessment

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.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • How are people transformed through their relationships with others?
  • What does it mean to have good fortune?

Vocabulary

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Text-based

absentminded affectionate agitated appalled astonished ashamed attain awed bitterness brutal cherished content contentment deceive delightful despair destined discomfort discontent dire eagerly engross enraged enthralled enviously envy expectantly fatigue forbidding fruitless gaped grueling guardian hesitate humble impractical impulsive inexplicable inquiry intent joyous malicious misfortune obedient outraged outwit peculiar protest reluctant resentfully resentment reveal sacrifice scold scrutinizing stubborn taunted tormented tragedy urge vaguely viciousness weariness winced worthless

Root/Affix

-ful -less -ness dis- im- in- mis- un-

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 4th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Lesson Map

1

  • WMMM — Preview and Ch. 1

    RL.4.3

Describe Fruitless Mountain and Minli’s family.

2

  • WMMM — Ch. 2-3

    RL.4.3

Describe why Minli and her family act in certain ways.

3

  • WMMM — Ch. 4-6

    RL.4.3

    RL.4.4

Describe why Minli acts in certain ways.

5

  • WMMM — Ch. 7-9

    RL.4.3

    RL.4.4

Describe how Minli, Ma, and Ba are feeling and why.

8

  • WMMM — Ch. 14-15

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Analyze the significance of "The Story of the Paper of Happiness".

9

  • WMMM — Ch. 16-17

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Explain what the quote “I’ll find a way” shows about Minli.

10

  • WMMM — Ch. 18-19

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Describe how Minli is beginning to change.

12

  • WMMM — Ch. 22-23

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Describe the king.

14

  • WMMM — Ch. 24

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Summarize how Dragon ended up with the borrowed line.

15

  • WMMM — Ch. 25-27

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Explain why Minli feels ashamed and how she is changing.

16

  • WMMM — Ch. 28-31

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Summarize how the girl outsmarted the tiger.

17

  • WMMM — Ch. 32-34

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Explain what Minli might learn from the twins and grandfather.

21Essential Task

  • WMMM — Ch. 43-44

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Explain how Ma changes.

23

  • WMMM — Ch. 47-48

    RL.4.2

    RL.4.3

Analyze how Minli knew that all of her questions had been answered.

24Essential Task

Writing

  • WMMM

    RL.4.3

    W.4.1.a

    W.4.1.b

    L.4.1.f

    L.4.2.c

Write a paragraph that describes Minli.

26

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.4.1

L.4.1.a

L.4.1.f

L.4.1.g

L.4.2

L.4.2.b

L.4.2.c

L.4.3

RL.4.2

RL.4.3

RL.4.4

SL.4.1

SL.4.1.c

SL.4.2

W.4.1

W.4.1.a

W.4.1.b

W.4.3

W.4.3.a

W.4.3.b

W.4.3.d

Spiral Standards

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L.4.4

L.4.4.b

L.4.5

L.4.6

RF.4.3

RF.4.4

RL.4.1

RL.4.10

W.4.10

W.4.4

W.4.5

W.4.6

W.4.9.a