Exploring Human Rights: The Breadwinner

Students explore the Taliban's influence on the Middle East through the lens of human rights in the book The Breadwinner, and practice narrative writing by rewriting scenes from other point of views.

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ELA

Unit 2

5th Grade

Unit Summary


In this unit students explore the Taliban influence on the Middle East through the eyes of multiple young women. In the core text, The Breadwinner, students experience how the Taliban presence in Afghanistan drastically altered Parvana and her family’s life. Students will be challenged to think about what constitutes basic human rights and the way in which the Taliban violated the human rights of many Afghanistan citizens. Students will also be challenged to think about women’s rights, especially in regard to education and freedom, and how both were constantly at risk under Taliban rule. Finally, students will realize that a positive attitude, dedication to family, and drive to be self-reliant can help people survive, and thrive, in the worst of situations. In the second part of the unit, students read about the experiences of real children living in Afghanistan after the Taliban left. Through those experiences, students explore how education and women’s rights are still restricted in Afghanistan and grapple with what it will take to create a society where women have access to the same basic freedoms as men. In the last part of the unit, students meet Malala Yousafzai and analyze how her positive attitude and drive help her fight for women’s rights in Pakistan despite facing incredible challenges and threats. Over the course of the entire unit, it is our hope that students will build a deeper understanding of the importance of women’s rights and access to education around the world, particularly in the Middle East. 

As readers, this unit builds onto unit one by pushing students to compare and contrast characters and analyze character point of view at an even deeper level. Students will be challenged to close read the text, make accurate annotations, and quote accurately in order to develop theories about key characters in and across texts. In this unit, students will also begin to use informational texts, particularly memories and first-person accounts, to help build a deeper understanding of fiction texts. The focus for informational reading is similar to the focus for fiction, and students will analyze how the point of view influences the way in which events are described.

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Texts and Materials


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Core Materials

  • Book: The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (Groundwood Books, 2015)   —  710L

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. Essential Tasks can be found in the following lessons:

Unit Prep


Intellectual Prep

Unit Launch

To learn more about how to prepare a unit, internalize a lesson, and understand the different components of a Fishtank ELA lesson, visit our Preparing to Teach Fishtank ELA Teacher Tool.

Essential Questions

  • How can family relationships and dynamics influence a person's actions? 
  • How did the Taliban regime impact life for residents of Kabul? 
  • Feminism advocates for women's rights and equality of the sexes. What can be done to improve women's rights and equality in both Afghanistan and Pakistan? 
  • How can one person impact a community? 

Vocabulary

Text-based

anxious brutality ceased cower decreed decency defy depressed deprived forbade haven ignorant illiteracy immune impoverished intimidate insanity menacingly obscenity refuge restrictive relented resentful sensible smuggle sulking vital

Root/Affix

-ful -ible -ous -tion ill- im-

To see all the vocabulary for Unit 2, view our 5th Grade Vocabulary Glossary.

Supporting All Students

In order to ensure that all students are able to access the texts and tasks in this unit, it is incredibly important to intellectually prepare to teach the unit prior to launching the unit. Use the intellectual preparation protocol and the Unit Launch to determine which support students will need. To learn more, visit the Supporting all Students teacher tool.

Lesson Map


Common Core Standards


Core Standards

L.5.1
L.5.1.a
L.5.1.c
L.5.1.d
L.5.2
L.5.2.b
L.5.2.c
L.5.3.b
RI.5.3
RI.5.6
RI.5.9
RL.5.2
RL.5.3
RL.5.5
RL.5.6
RL.5.9
SL.5.1
SL.5.1.a
SL.5.1.b
SL.5.2
SL.5.6
W.5.1
W.5.1.a
W.5.1.c
W.5.1.d
W.5.3
W.5.3.a
W.5.3.b
W.5.3.d
W.5.9

Supporting Standards

L.5.1.b
L.5.3.a
L.5.4
L.5.4.b
L.5.5
L.5.6
RF.5.3
RF.5.4
RL.5.1
RL.5.4
RL.5.10
W.5.4
W.5.5
W.5.6
W.5.10
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Unit 1

Building Community: Seedfolks

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Unit 3

Friendship Across Boundaries: Return to Sender

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