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Constructivist Unit
7th Grade
Language Arts
Anna Radke

Wisconsin Educator
Teachers know how to test for student

progress. (8)
Teachers are able to plan different kinds of

lessons. (7)
Teachers understand that children learn

differently. (3)

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development
over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text
says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the
major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using
effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection,
and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for
a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

A number of Graphic Organizers for students to choose


Computer access for each student one day at

the beginning of the unit and 3 days at the end.

Copies of the selected Autobiographies:
The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets
Jean Craighead George
Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and The Brian
Gary Paulsen
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Peg Kehret

Bare Bones Plans

Reading: Students will select one of the Autobiographies
to read

Writing: Activities throughout the unit including a PreWrite, journal activities, and a Final Writing activity

Speaking: Classroom Discussions, Acting sessions

Listening: Teachers Book Commercials, Group
Discussions, Shared Journal Activities, Student Presentations

Viewing and Producing Visuals: Acting out

scenes or excerpts from the novels, Creating Artwork
inspired by the novels or creating a group book commercial
for their book

Plans in Action
Students will be given a choice of story maps

to use as an outline for their Narrative.

Students will write a getting to know you

Narrative. They will have one 90 minute class

period to complete this on Google Docs and
share their progress with the teacher.
Later, we will revisit this Document.

Plans in Action
After 3 book commercials
The students will choose their book they will

focus on:

Lexile 830

Lexile NC1230

Lexile 670

Plan in Action
Students will read the books in small groups.
Activities will be scattered throughout with
student choice driving the activities.
The teacher will travel to the groups for read
aloud of certain sections.
Buddy reading, Digital Recordings of the Novels
and Whole group reading will be incorporated
Students will discuss themes, questions and
events in the books daily.

Plan in Action
Additional activities scattered though the unit

will include:
Class Pulse: Tracking Group Progress
Journaling: Relating their own experiences to

the author.
Whole class discussions: pros and cons of the
books chosen.
Vocabulary Lists: Created by the students words
that they need help with as a group.
Whole Class discussions of good Narrative

Culminating Activities
As a group students will be asked to choose a

culminating activity:
Book Commercial
Act out a Scene
Dramatic Reading of a Favorite Section of the


Individually students will go back to their own

Narrative to tweak their writing. This will be

the final assessment for the unit.

Constructivist Standards
Creates meaning from experience.
Knowledge is constructed not transmitted.
Teacher serves as facilitator rather than director.
Encourages use of dialogue.
Involves students in language-rich activities.
Allows for self reflection.
Requires connection to real world activities.
Creates opportunities for transferring learning.
Provides for active involvement in the learning process.
There is more focus on the learner than the subject.
Can be an ongoing process.
(And others!!)