Grade 5, Module 4
Introduction: Gathering Evidence and Speaking to Others: Natural Disasters in the Western Hemisphere
The fourth module of fifth grade engages students in a high interest topic—natural disasters—with a literacy focus on point of view in literature, research, opinion writing, and public speaking. The module integrates science content (about extreme natural events) with a Social Studies focus on the Western Hemisphere and the role of multinational organizations. In Unit 1, students read about the science behind natural disasters, specifically earthquakes and hurricanes. In Unit 2, students read two pieces of literature that are set during a natural disaster: the beautifully illustrated picture book Eight Days: A Story of Haiti by Edwidge Dantikat and the novel Dark Water Rising by Marian Hale. Students will analyze how the narrator’s perspective determines how events are described; they also will analyze visual elements and compare and contrast themes in these two texts. In Unit 3, students work in research teams to investigate natural disasters that have affected countries in the Western Hemisphere. As a connection to Social Studies, students also will read primary source documents to learn about how the United States and multinational organizations, such as the Red Cross, respond to disasters in the Western Hemisphere. Based on this research, students then will draft and revise an opinion speech in which they take a stand on what role U.S. humanitarian organizations should take when neighboring countries are struck by natural disasters. They will then deliver this speech to the class. This written and public speaking performance task centers on NYSP12 ELA Standards RI.5.7, RI.5.9, W.5.1, W.5.4, W.5.5, W.5.7, W.5.8, W.5.9, SL.5.4, SL.5.6, L.5.1, L.5.2, L.5.3, and L.5.6.
All resources for Grade 5, Module 4 are located on EngageNY here.