Adapting to Survive: Short Stories and Poems

Students explore the attributes necessary for survival and the importance of physical and mental strength by reading excerpts from Julie of the Wolves, Endangered, Hatchet, and a variety of poems.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students explore the attributes necessary for survival by reading excerpts from Julie of the Wolves, Endangered, Hatchet, and a variety of poems. With each story, students will explore if one needs more physical or mental strength, or a combination of both, in order to overcome an obstacle or problem. Students will also explore how our ability to adapt and make changes impacts our lives and ability to survive. It is our hope that this unit challenges students to think about the way in which they tackle obstacles and the power and influence they have over their own lives. 

When analyzing individual stories, students will focus on explaining how scenes fit together and contribute to the overall structure of a story or poem, and summarizing a text and determining theme. After analyzing a story or poem in-depth, students will then practice comparing and contrasting across stories and analyzing the way in which different stories approach similar themes and topics. This unit places a large emphasis on the power of rereading a text in order to build deeper meaning. Over the course of the unit, students will have multiple opportunities to engage with a particular text multiple times in order to analyze and notice author’s craft and additional layers of meaning.

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Texts and Materials

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Core Materials

  • Book: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (HarperCollins; First Edition edition, 2016) (pp. 5-25)    —  860L

  • Book: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition, 2014) (pp. 76–83, 90–95, 98–103)  

  • Book: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006) (pp. 113–120, 161–170)    —  1020L

Supporting 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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  • What steps can be taken to prepare for a wilderness emergency? 
  • What strategies are necessary for surviving a wilderness emergency? 

Vocabulary

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Text-based

adoration adrenaline agony anxiety arrogant devoted discern diverged dominance elated exulted fixated foraging frenzied grimace hierarchy impassable ineptitude infuriating instilled instinctive manner menacing monotony predicament presume recoiled submissively substantial tentative tribute versatile visibility wariness

Root/Affix

-ness -tion im-

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

Lesson Map

1

  • “Help Me Make It...”

    RL.5.2

Explain what steps can be taken to prepare for a wilderness emergency.

6

  • Bonobos Fact Sheet

    RL.5.3

Describe bonobos.

10

  • Hatchet pp. 13 – 28

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

Describe Brian’s current predicament and how he responds.

13

  • Hatchet

    RL.5.2

Summarize the excerpt from Hatchet.

17

Assessment

Common Core Standards

Core Standards

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L.5.2.d

RL.5.2

RL.5.3

RL.5.5

RL.5.6

RL.5.9

SL.5.1

SL.5.3

SL.5.6

W.5.1

W.5.3

W.5.3.a

W.5.3.b

W.5.3.c

W.5.3.d

W.5.3.e

W.5.9

Spiral Standards

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L.5.1

L.5.1.a

L.5.1.b

L.5.1.c

L.5.1.d

L.5.2

L.5.2.c

L.5.2.e

L.5.4

L.5.4.b

L.5.5

L.5.6

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