The first unit of study in this course is “Exploration and Survival.” We will read excerpts from “Undaunted Courage,” “War Party,” “Love of Life,” and “Pecos Bill.” We will focus on what it takes to explore a new place and survive. We will also talk about how exploring changed America and what Americans gained (and lost) through Westward Expansion. Students will analyze characters and look at historical fiction, and non-fiction pieces to judge survival traits.
Culminating projects include creating a commercial with a Flip camera or designing a website to advertise the west and convince people to move there. Students will need to tailor these advertisements to the type of people who will be able to handle the journey and survive. They will also create a story about humans adventuring to populate another planet; ideally they will perform a play and capture it with Flip video or they will use digital cameras to take pictures and create a glog to tell the story.
CORE skills that students will focus on in this unit include analyzing who characters develop and interact, analyze a theme’s development through the text and cite textual evidence to support text analysis.