Friday, February 20, 2009

I am doing a shared study with my social studies teachers on the Middle Ages to meet the standards for the sixth grade curriculum. My sixth grade students will be reading either the novel Crispin, by Avi or The Midwife's Apprentice, by Karen Cushman. Their projects include creating a family tree, interviewing a family member to gather a story from the past, and participation in a team wide Renaissance Festival. This is what I have so far for my questions.

Essential question: How important is your family?
Unit questions: What was life like during the Middle Ages?
What are the elements of a well written essay?
Why is accurate research important in writing historical fiction?
Content questions: What is a family crest?
What is genealogy?
How do you create a family tree using Open Mind?
How does setting affect the plot of a story?
How did Avi create suspense in Crispin?
How do you write a nonfiction story based on someone else's
memory of an event?


  1. I really like how this unit is a collaboration between you and Social Studies. Though these two subjects can tied together, I feel it is important to show students how subjects can go together, whether it be through social studies and writing or through writing and math. I try to do this often in my class. As far as your questions for your unit, maybe add some questions on research in the content questions.

  2. I too think it is great that you are doing a unit that ties subject areas together. It not only makes the material easier to learn but it also shows the students that the teachers work as a team. I think your content and unit questions are great. I guess my only suggestion would be to maybe change your essential question to "Why is your family important?" instead of "how." This way kids will have to come up with actual reasons why their family is important instead of just if their family is important. Good work so far! :)

  3. Thank you for your remarks on the curriculum framing questions. This seems to be a good collaborative unit. Your questions seem to be appropriate for your unit of study. Sarah makes a good suggestion for tweaking your essential question. Thanks.