Building Community: Seedfolks

Students explore the theme of community through the book Seedfolks, wrestling with how prejudice and racism impact the way people treat each other and the ways in which that can influence a community.

Unit Summary

This unit serves as a launch to fifth grade literature. By reading the core text, Seedfolks, students will explore what it means to be part of a community and how the actions of one person can positively impact an entire community. Students will grapple with how being part of a community can help a person change and evolve as they discover new things about themselves. Students will also wrestle with how prejudice and racism impact the way people treat each other and the ways in which both can influence an entire community. It is our hope that this unit helps establish a strong classroom community and that the characters in Seedfolks can serve as a model for how people from all walks of life can come together to be part of a strong, productive community. 

The text Seedfolks was chosen not only because of its portrayal of the power of community, but also because of the unique structure of the text. Each chapter is told from a different character’s point of view and shows how as the garden grows, the character’s hearts grow bigger and their worldview and compassion grow. The structure of the text allows for students to begin exploring two key fifth grade standards, comparing and contrasting two or more characters and describing how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described. Since this is the first unit of the year, an underlying focus of the unit should also be on establishing expectations for annotation, discussion, and vocabulary.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

  • Book: Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman (Harper Trophy, 2004)    —  710L

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 can one person impact a community?
  • In what ways can prejudice impact the way people treat one another? 
  • What steps can be taken to overcome prejudice? 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

abandoned coincidence community entranced exceptions foes gestures haphazard influence paradise protective thrive transform vacant vow wilt

To see all the vocabulary for this course, view our 5th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Lesson Map

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  • Seedfolks — Sae Young

    L.5.3.b

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.6

Explain why the garden feels like a family to Sae Young.

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Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.5.1

L.5.1.a

L.5.2

L.5.2.e

L.5.3.b

RL.5.2

RL.5.3

RL.5.5

RL.5.6

SL.5.1

SL.5.1.a

SL.5.1.b

SL.5.6

W.5.1

W.5.1.a

W.5.1.c

W.5.1.d

W.5.3

Supporting Standards

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L.5.4

L.5.4.b

L.5.5.a

L.5.6

RF.5.3

RF.5.4

RL.5.1

RL.5.10

RL.5.4

W.5.10

W.5.4

W.5.5

W.5.9.a