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Third Grade Comprehensive Unit Plan

Andrew Langhorne
Stephanie Shipp
Meghan Tomasi
Sarah Wolfe

James Madison University

Implementation of the Unit:

This unit plan is set to be implemented in a third grade classroom to fulfill SOL 3.12. This
is a standard that focuses greatly on rights of people in the United States, diversity present in
the United States, and the system of government present. Out of our quad text set sources, we
would start with the Brain Pop video. We would start with this source because it is a more child
friendly format that provides background knowledge to familiarize students with terms that will
be present throughout the unit before diving in deeper. The activity that goes along with this
source is a KWL Chart. We would present the KWL chart to the students and explain to them
the three columns and the type of information that goes under each. We would then work as a
whole group to complete the chart, with each student filling out their own independently and
then having students share out responses, which the teacher would record on a large KWL
displayed at the front of the classroom. The teacher will then tell the students to keep the
questions they asked in mind as they watch the BrainPop video. The video will play, and
afterwards we would give students some time to independently fill out the final column of the
KWL. As before, once the students have done this independently, the class will go over the
answers as a whole.
We would then move into the article “A New Home.” This article would be used over two
days in order to complete the two different activities we have planned for it. We chose to use
this reading next because it discusses who Americans are and who the citizens are that make
up the country. This fits in at this point because it goes a little deeper into the idea of citizenship
and the diverse population that makes up the country without being too difficult for students to
understand. For the first day before reading this article, we would give the students the
vocabulary activity we created, which is a Probable Passage. Students would look at the key
terms and place the term in the box they feel fits the category; this would be done
independently. Once students have had time to complete this independently, they will discuss
their thoughts with someone at their table quietly. After discussing, they will be given the
passage to read as a class. The teacher will read the class in the reading and will then continue
to lead as they go over the Probable Passage and correct any misconceptions that may have
been held, discussing how each term was used and what it meant in the reading.
The next day, we would redistribute the reading “A New Home” to the students and have
them read it independently. After reading, we would explain to the students what a RAFT writing
is as this is something they may not be familiar with. The teacher will provide an example for the
students so they are familiar with what is expected of them. Then, the teacher will distribute the
assignment sheet to the students and provide them with time to complete the writing prompt.
Students will be able to ask questions for clarity as needed, but will be expected to complete
this task independently. We chose to assign this task on day two of the reading because they
will be able to show understanding about “A New Home.” Having to take on the role of another
person will show how deeply the students comprehend both the reading and the content as a
Next, we would use the “Trump Says it's Time for the Diversity Visa Lottery Program to
Go” text. This text describes the process for some people to be chosen to come into the United
States as well as why the current president thinks this process may be problematic. This text
falls well in this sequence because it goes a little deeper in terms of current events and how not
everyone sees diversity as a beneficial aspect while still relating back to content previously
discussed. We are going to do this small group because there is challenging vocabulary within
the text. To assist students’ understanding, they will receive a reading guide and will fill it out as
they are reading. The teacher will be able to monitor and discuss the text with the students as
they work through the reading. Once all students have time to work through this packet, the
class will go over the questions. This will allow the teacher to see if there are still any
misconceptions that exist. If this is so, the teacher can be sure to tighten any gaps that are
present before moving into the target text.
The final day in this unit and using the quad text, we will distribute another KWL chart for
students to complete. We chose to have the target text, “If the World Were a Village: A Book
About the World’s People” be the last text the students work with because it is something they
have been working up towards throughout the entire unit. It is slightly above their reading level,
giving them a little bit of a challenge while not pushing too hard. This reading also ties together
the elements of diversity and differences in people around the world well, serving as a strong
culminating text. The students will be given the KWL Chart before the book is read. Students
can work with a partner to fill out the first two columns (K and W) of the chart. After this has
been done, the students will listen to the book as it is read and the illustrations are shown by the
teacher. When the reading is complete, the students will partake in a brief discussion of the
reading so the teacher can check for understanding and provide clarification if needed. The
students will then be told to complete the last portion (L) of the chart independently. We
selected a KWL as an end of the unit activity because having the students complete the first two
columns allows us as teachers to see what the students have learned throughout the unit.
Having students come up with what they do not know yet has students thinking critically about
what has not been covered in class and what they still want to know. Then, the L part will allow
the students to show what they learned from the reading, allowing the teacher to check yet
again and assure students received the desired material from the text.
Accommodations for Struggling Readers:

Several of the activities/lessons have some kind of component that can be used with
struggling readers, including the ability to either watch a video on the topic or have the text read
to a student, which are some of the options available in our target texts. It was important for us
to include different ways for students to learn when trying to fulfill SOL 3.12.

The RAFT might seem daunting to a reader who struggles, but with some assistance
from a teacher it could be something that is accomplished verbally. It is possible that the teacher
and some struggling students could spend time discussing what the goal of the RAFT is then
the teacher can assist the student with filling in the assignment. The reading guide can also be
adapted for a struggling reader because the questions can be read to a student or they can be
adjusted based on the degree of assistance that a student might need with a text. In regards to
the reading guide, the questions can be adjusted based on the comprehension ability of the
student. The KWL chart could also be adjusted for some students based on their level, by a
teaching talking students through each part of the chart, and going back to ensure that students
are comprehending the information that is listed.

In our opinion struggling readers would just need some teacher assistance based off of
prior assessment from a teacher, in regards to the plans we have made. We tried to supply a
rich diversity in our plans so that, while a student who struggles with one aspect of
reading/writing may need some assistance with something, that same student may find some
success with others. By supplying a variety of lessons to our unit plan it was our goal that each
student could find success in some way, whether that be on their own, in a group or with
teacher assistance.
ELL Accommodation:

Our unit plan allows for a lot of student choice and creativity, such as with the writing
assignment where students can choose the format of their writing (poem/letter/story/song/etc…)
that they are most comfortable with. By having this choice, if the ELL student has previous or
background knowledge of one of these formats, or is better able to express themselves and
their learning through one format over another, they have that opportunity.
While we have a variety of whole/small group activities and individual work in our unit
plan, the goal of teachers is to best fit the needs of their students through providing multiple
ways to run a lesson and help their students succeed. This being said, depending on the levels
of the ELL students that are completing this unit plan, these students could be paired (either
with each other or with a native speaking student) to gain peer assistance while completing their
work, whether or not the lesson is meant to be whole/small group or individual work.
This unit plan already has certain measures in place for all students that could also be
considered accommodations for ELL students, such as having one of our texts being a
BrainPop video and discussion rather than a book, magazine, article, etc… This provides even
more visuals to assist ELL students in their comprehension of the material. Again, depending on
the needs of the students involved, ELL students could also provide visual representations or
other more creative means to express themselves through these projects.
Having the discussion aspect included in most, if not all, areas of our plan provides extra
benefits to these students. During these discussions, the texts they are reading are broken
down by the teacher and students for better comprehension. This can provide ELL students with
an opportunity to clarify any misunderstandings they may be having about both what they have
read and what they are expected to do in their activity. This can also aid them in their
vocabulary growth and clear up any confusions these students may have about the wording of
the text or assignment.
A final option to best meet the needs of these students would be to lengthen the amount
of time these students have to complete their activities. If an extra day is needed, for example,
for an ELL student to complete the Reading Guide, they could be given this extra time. The
scheduling for this unit plan could also be made flexible for these students and they could have
an opportunity to work on this unit plan during various times of the day where extra time could
be provided.
Of course the classroom teacher would be available to help with any extra concerns or
to answer any questions or misunderstandings of these students. In many schools, there are
also ELL aides, literacy aides, or other classroom assistants that could join the class during the
times they are working on this unit plan to assist this specific group of students if this resource is
offered. Many schools also pull these students out to separate rooms to work with school
provided aides or assistants, which could also be an option if available.
Third Grade, SOLs
3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins,
customs, and traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of
government and respect for individual rights and freedoms.
Understanding the Standard Essential Knowledge, Skills, and
(Background Information for Processes
Instructor Use Only)

● The American people come from Terms to know

diverse ethnic and national origins ● Republican form of government: A
and are united as Americans by representative democracy
● The American people come from
basic American principles.
different ethnic origins and
● Being an American is defined by different countries, but are united
the shared basic principles of the as Americans by the basic
republican form of government. principles of a republican form of
government, including individual
rights to life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness; and equality
under the law.
Benefits of diversity
● Food
● Clothing
● Music
Student will be able to
● Differentiate between points of
view by self and others.
● Participate in groups and
democratic society.
● Make generalizations about data.

Name: Andrew Langhorne, Stephanie Shipp, Meghan Tomasi, Sarah Wolfe

Grade Level and Subject Area: Third Grade - Social Studies

Theme or Topic of the Text Set: Civics

Standard of Learning: 3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people
of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who are united by the basic
principles of a republican form of government and respect for individual rights and

Target Text:

Source Lexile Grade Band

If the World Were a Village: A 710L 3rd-4th Grade

Book about the World’s People.

The reason this book was chosen as the target text was because it breaks down numbers that
may seem daunting for a child when they are looking at population size. It relates billions of
people on Earth to just 100 in a village, and how diverse that can be. The author notes that it is
“shrunk-down statistics”, he wants children to be able to grasp the idea about how our world is
made up at a level that is comfortable for them. This was also chosen as our text because it hits
all the points of our SOL and pulls the other parts of our quad text activity together. Using the
other parts of our activity should give a more complete picture of the diversity of the world and
this book helps solidify that book with actual numbers. Students should be able to use the
knowledge from the other activities and better understand why certain groups make up areas of
the world and maybe why they ended up there.

Visual Text:

Source: Brief Description: Reason for Choice:

Brainpop Jr. Rights and Rights, responsibilities, and (see below)

Responsibilities Video freedoms are defined and
examples of each are given
within this short video clip.
The differences between all
of these is also highlighted.

Reason for Choice: This video was chosen because it provides background
information on rights, responsibilities, and freedoms in student friendly language.
First, it gives the background of what it means to be a citizen, in both a small and a
large setting as well as how one can work to make the community a better place. It
also tells the difference between rights and responsibilities, providing examples of
both. The video then leads to a brief discussion of what United State citizens’
freedoms are. Within this 3 minute video, much valuable information that covers this
particular standard is given in a way the students will be able to understand, making
it a perfect fit for this text set.

Information Text 1 (On Grade Level):

Source: Brief Description: Lexile/Grade Band

A New Home This readworks article Grade 3
deals with the melting Lexile 740L pot of America and how
article/A-New- diverse our country really
Home/bd8f8836-f1d1-42d9- is.

Reason for Choice: This was chosen because it explains to students how diverse
our country really is and how high the percentage is of people who are originally from
other countries and decide on migrating to America. There is both the text that the
student can read, and also a way for the student to listen to the text being read.
There is also a vocabulary and question set for this article so that students can
deepen the knowledge of our target text.

Information Text 2 (Below Grade Level):

Source: Brief Description: Lexile/Grand Band The Lottery system for 600L

versity-visa-lottery/id/37233/ Visas will disappear
under President Trump.
This article will explain
how this affects those
who are trying to come
to the US from other

Reason for Choice: This was chosen because this is a very relevant news topic
regarding others coming to the United States from diverse countries. Students would
have an understanding what immigrants must do to come to visit and/or stay in the
United States and what this new law means for these people.

YA Text:

Source: Brief Description: Lexile/Grand Band

Universal Declaration of Lists and describes the 700L-800L

Human Rights 30 articles of the 3rd-4th Grade
Universal Declaration of
Human Rights. In the
entire document, it
includes more detailed
versions, as well as other
documentation from
other parts of the world
and specifically with
children, but for the
purposes of this text set,
students would only read
the first two page child-
friendly version of this
specific declaration.

Reason for Choice: This source is very factual and helps support our SOL by
showing how people are united in their innate human rights. It shows respect for
individual rights and freedoms shared by all people, no matter their diverse ethnic
origins, customs, or traditions.

We chose to use two different information texts for differentiation purposes. These two texts are
at different levels. This was done in order to meet the needs of all the students in the classroom;
we provided a text that was below grade level for students who may be struggling in reading as
well as a text that is on grade level for those students who are reading on or above a third grade
reading level. Doing so will assure that the students have access to the texts they are expected
to read and the content provided will be of value to them based on their readiness level.
R.A.F.T Writing Assignment
Role Audience Format Topic

Anthony Castillo Anthony Castillo Poem America as a melting


Family Member in the A new immigrant Letter America as a melting

Dominican Republic pot

Citizen of the Native to the country Story America as a melting

Dominican Republic pot

Citizen of New York To a lawmaker Readers Theatre America as a melting

City pot

Immigrant A friend from the Song America as a melting

native country pot

Role Format

Audience Topic

Rough Draft:

Why We Chose RAFT:

We chose to do a RAFT writing assignment because it allows students to take on a different
perspective. They get to practice different formats of writing, such as letters or poetry, and will
have a lot of student choice and creativity with this assignment.

Students will be tasked with first reading the article, “ A New Home”, which deals with diversity
and the challenges one may face as a new immigrant, especially as a student. After reading, the
class will take part in a “Think, Pair, Share” in which they will share how they think a student in
this situation would feel, or how they felt if they have been in this situation. The class will have a
brief discussion about this, sharing responses. The students will also talk about how the family
members the student left must feel. The teacher will then explain the RAFT paper to the
students, showing an example. Students will then have the chance to work on their own RAFT
paper based on the format and choices above.
Reading Guide for “Trump Says it’s Time for the Diversity Visa Lottery
Program to Go”

You will be reading this article to learn about what the Diversity Visa Lottery Program is as
well as why some people support this program, while others would like it to come to an end.
This guide will help you as you read and you will use it when we discuss the reading after
everyone has had the chance to complete it.

Before Reading

Why do you think people come to the United

States? Do you know why your ancestors
came to America?
How do you think people are picked to come
to the United States?
Notice the title “Trump says it’s Time for the
Diversity Visa Lottery Program to Go” and the
different headings, What comes to mind when
you read this?


While Reading

Paragraph 1: In this paragraph, the Diversity Visa Lottery

Program is described In your own words,
Diversity what does this program do?

Visa: ____________________________________

Paragraph 3-5 According to these paragraphs, why might

people, including President Trump, be against
the Diversity Visa Lottery Program?

Look at the heading Only a Lucky Few Are Earlier we asked how people were picked to
come to the United States, what does
paragraph 6 say about how people are
actually picked to come to America?
Paragraph 7-8 The American Lottery has interested people
from all over the world. What two areas are
most of the people coming from?
● ______________________________
● ______________________________
What countries do not participate in this
● ______________________________
● ______________________________

Pragraphy 9-10 “The government said bad people might try to

use it.” Give evidence from the text that
supports this statement.

Paragraph 11 Why do people support this program? Give

three reasons from the text.
● ______________________________
● ______________________________
● ______________________________

Paragraph 12 We have seen the word “migration” used with

the movement of butterflies. In this
paragraph, what is migration?

Paragraph 12 Muzaffar Chishti is an expert on migration

and he says, “Welcoming people with
different backgrounds is important.” Why do
you think he said this?

Paragraph 14 When will the next Visa Lottery winners be


After Reading

What do you think? After reading the article, do you think the
government should end the Diversity Visa
Lottery Program? Why or why not? Use an
example from the text or your guide to
support your answer.

Discussion Technique
We have decided to implement a KWL chart for the BrainPop Video about rights and
responsibilities. We are looking to see what prior knowledge the students have about citizenship
and freedoms.The question we would be focusing on is, “What are rights?” The reason we
decided to implement at KWL chart is to determine where the students are after completing the
guided reading assignment. We think this will pair well with the guided reading assignment
because although not directly stated, the article this assignment is based on alludes to rights
and citizenship. When implementing this activity, we would have students write what they know
in the “K” section, and then add in what their classmates say they know - the teacher will
indicate to draw a line so these two sections are separated within the “K” column. This will serve
as a point for students to look for this additional information while watching the video to assure it
is present. The “W” part of this chart is a great way to determine where the students are in their
thinking and what exactly the teacher needs to address as this lesson continues. The “L” section
will allow for informal assessment to make sure the students have gotten the desired content
from this video. With this, the students can check back in the “W” section to see if all questions
were answered. If not, this can serve as a point of further investigation.

TOPIC: What are rights?

Vocabulary Activity

Probable Passage: “A New Home”

Before reading, look at the key terms. Place the key term in the box that you think it fits the
category of. After reading, go back and make corrections based on what you learned.

Key terms: Anthony Castillo, Americans, Dominican Republic, United States, New York City,
immigration, melting pot, diverse place/backgrounds

People Places
Problems Solutions

We chose to do a probable passage with our “A New Home” reading from our text set. This
activity was selected because it was something our entire group was not familiar with, so we
wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to design this assignment so we are more
comfortable implementing it in our own classrooms one day. This also allows students to think
critically about words they may or may not have heard before, not only thinking of the word
meaning but how it will be used in the particular text. They will also have the opportunity to see
the possible connection between some words and how certain issues revolve around key

Possible Key:

Anthony Castillo - can only be a person

Americans - can only be a person
Dominican Republic - can only be a place - interested to see if any students mark this as a
person because Dominicans are a population
United States - Can only be a place
New York City - only can be a place
Immigration - can be a problem and/or a solution, depends on how students view prior and
post reading as well as how they’ve heard the term used before
Melting pot - can be a problem and/or solution, depends on how students view prior and post
reading as well as how they’ve heard the term used before
Diverse places/backgrounds - can be a problem and/or solution, depends on how students
view prior and post reading as well as how they’ve heard the term used before