Unit 2 Reading to Learn: Grasping Main Idea and Text Structure (Information) Students read nonfiction text to identify main ideas, recognize text structure within nonfiction texts, compare texts, and think critically about what they are reading. Students also learn, using narrative nonfiction text, to determine "importance by using knowledge of story structure". (Calkins, et. al., 2015).
Unit 4 Research Clubs: Elephants, Penguins, and Frogs, Oh My! (Opinion) Students "work in clubs" to research, organize their research, and use their research to "seek solutions to real-world problems". (Calkins, et. al. 2015).
As with reading, student learn how to use writing skills from primary grades to create, edit, and publish more advanced writing.
Unit 1 Crafting True Stories (Narrative) As in previous Lucy Calkins WUOS, students will begin with composing narrative stories. Students will focus on creating a true story that happened to them, revising the narrative story, and create a finished draft. Unlike previous years, narrative stories focus more on writing, with little to no illustration. This mimics the kind of text students will be reading.
Unit 2 The Art of Information Writing (Information) Mentor Text: Deadliest Animals (National Geographic Reader) by Melissa Stewart Just as students are delving into information reading, this unit focuses on writing a "variety of information" chapter books, applying what they know about topics and subtopics. "They are supported in this challenging work because they are writing about topics on which they have firsthand, personal knowledge: dogs, soccer, gymnastics." (Calkins, 2016).
Deadliest Animals (National Geographic Reader) by Melissa Stewart
Unit 3 Changing the World: Persuasive Speeches, Petitions, and Editorials (Opinion) In this unit, "third-graders to use their newfound abilities to gather and organize information to persuade people about causes the children believe matter [for example]: stopping bullying, recycling, saving dogs at the SPCA." (Calkins, 2016).
Unit 4 Once Upon a Time: Adapting and Writing Fairy Tales (Narrative) Students explore "familiar fairy tales" to learn "techniques of fiction writing such as writing in scenes, employing an [all-knowing, all-seeing] narrator to orient readers, using story structure to create tension, and crafting figurative language to convey mood." (Calkins, 2016).
Students will learn phonics, vocabulary, and spelling through spelling patterns, and different hands-on activities. Spelling is a combination of district-determined sight words appropriate for third grade and third grade standards found in the Literacy Continuum by Fountas and Pinnell.
"Why learn cursive?" is a frequently asked question. While it is not a Common Core State Standard (CCSS), research shows learning cursive improves brain development, mental engagement, and may help students with learning disorders such as dyslexia and dysgraphia. (Muvahill, 2019).
Cursive and ELA Curriculum
Research supports the importance of learning to write in cursive, however, it is not a Common Core State Standard (CCSS). Although it is listed here, under ELA, cursive instruction will not occur within instructional minutes required for reading, writing, or word work. This is not to say that word word or writing will not utilize cursive writing, only that teaching cursive will likely occur outside of time allotted for reading, writing, and word work.
We use Handwriting Without Tears for our cursive curriculum.