A Backwards Design Module

Essential Question: What does it mean to persevere when faced with a challenge?

Throughout this backwards design unit, you will participate in interactive read-alouds, read appropriately leveled texts, and engage in meaningful conversations in order to effectively explain in writing what it means to persevere when faced with a difficult challenge.

Bridging Conversations

Mini-Task 1: Socratic Seminar

Have a discussion with classmates.

What does it mean to persevere? How do people come together to persevere?

Task 2: The Human Knot

Engage in a physical challenge to experience teamwork. Without breaking your hold, see if your group can unravel yourself from this seemingly unbreakable knot. Following the challenge, discuss the following points with your group and then your class.

o How did it feel to be in the human knot?

o What did you do to untangle the human knot?

o What challenges were you faced with during the human knot?

o What strategies did you use to overcome the obstacles?

Then respond to the prompt in writing: “How did you persevere during the human knot challenge?”

The Reading Process

Mini-Task 1: The Little Engine That Could

Prompt: After listening to The Little Engine that Could through an interactive read aloud, explain the theme of perseverance by answering the following questions:

o How did the Little Engine overcome the challenges in the story?

o What character traits did he possess during a challenging time?

Mini-Task 2: "It Can Be Done"

Prompt: After reading “It Can Be Done” written by Unknown from The Children’s Book of Virtues compiled by William J. Bennett, explain the author’s message. Focus your analysis on the final seven lines of the poem.

Mini-Task 3: President Obama's Back to School Speech

Prompt: After listening to President Obama’s 2013 Back to School speech, reflect on a challenge you have faced during this academic school year.
What difficulties have you faced and in what ways have you demonstrated perseverance?
President Obama's Third Annual Back to School Speech

Mini-Task 4: "Flash of Genius"

Prompt: After viewing the trailer from Flash of Genius, discuss the implied behavior of the main character and reflect on the difference between perseverance and perseveration as shown in the movie clip.

Think about the difference between persevering and perseverating
Flash of Genius Official Movie Trailer HD

Mini-Task 5: "Thank You, Mr. Falker" by Patricia Pollaco

Prompt: After listening to Thank You, Mr. Falker by Patricia Pollaco through an interactive read aloud, respond to the following prompt: Describe Trisha’s feelings toward learning and how she was able to achieve success.

Mini-Task 6: "Beatrice's Goat" by Page McBrier

Prompt: After listening to Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier through an interactive read aloud, respond to the following prompt: Describe the connection between Mugisa and how she helps Beatrice achieve her dream.

Mini-Task 7: "Wangari's Trees of Peace" by Jeanette Winter

Prompt: After listening to Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter through an interactive read aloud, respond to the following prompt: Explain how Wangari’s passion for nature inspired change and encouraged others to persevere.

Transition to Writing

Mini-Task 1: Quick Write

Prompt: Write about what you know now that you’ve read about perseverance.
What strategies might you use to ensure your information is accurate?

Mini-Task 2: Connect to a Quote

Prompt: After reading several quotations about perseverance:

o “To be nobody but yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.”— EE Cummings (American poet and playwright)

o “This thing that we call “failure” is not falling down, but the staying down.” — Mary Pickford

o “Many of life’s failures are people who do not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” —Thomas Edison

o “Where there’s a will, there’s a way” -Unknown

o “Fall seven times, stand up eight” –Japanese Proverb

o “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” –Albert Einstein

o Perseverance is not a long race; It is many short races one after another.” –Walter Elliot

o “Don’t be discouraged, it’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.” – Unknown

Choose a quote you identify with and explain how it connects to your life and/or experiences in talking and in writing.

The Writing Process

Mini-Task 1 Initiation of Task

Prompt: Write a summary paragraph that includes a controlling idea and sequences the key points you plan to make in your composition.

Think about what you have learned and experienced throughout the module!

Mini-Task 2 Planning

Prompt: Create an outline including key elements drawn from your reading or research and order them in some logical way (chronologically, sequentially, etc).

Work with your partner and be sure to dive back into your perseverance folders to use your notes as a tool for creating your outline!

Mini-Task 3 Development

Prompt: Redraft an opening for your composition with one or more paragraphs that establishes the controlling idea and provides a lead in for your reader. Write an initial draft to include multiple paragraphs: an opening, development of your process, an ending to include either a comment, conclusion, or implication.

Mini-Task 4 Revision

Prompt: Apply revision strategies for clarity, logic, language, cohesion. You are expected to complete at least two drafts.

Work with your writing partner for edits and revisions.

Mini-Task 5 Editing

Prompt: Finalize draft for the readership; apply finishing touches (e.g. visuals, neatness, formatting, copy editing).

Mini-Task 6 Finial Draft

Submit your final draft and look forward to seeing your work posted on our "Student Work" Website!