The People of Sparks
Age 10-12: Concept 1 - Environment and Cycles: Unit 2

In a post-apocalyptic world, society is trying to rebuild. Follow the lives of Doon, Lina, and their people as they leave the safety of their underground word and learn to survive in the new environment they encounter on the surface. Analyze nouns, pronouns and antecedents. Enjoy a variety of ballads and create your own ballad related to the story. Explore the system of local government and how it can help a community function. For the final project design a different setting for the book and evaluate how the new setting could have changed the story.

This unit is designed to be used in conjunction with science and social studies Unit 2: Geography and Landforms, but can also be used as an independent literature unit.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: The City of Ember
  • Lesson 2: Sparks
  • Lesson 3: Discovery
  • Lesson 4: The Disaster
  • Lesson 5: Roamers
  • Lesson 6: Flags
  • Lesson 7: Tomatoes
  • Lesson 8: Unfairness
  • Lesson 9: Conflict
  • Lesson 10: The Decision (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Wars and Plagues or A New Environment (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze media as sources for information, entertainment, persuasion, interpretation of events, and transmission of culture. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze the effect of the quality of the characters on the conflict. (Language Arts)
  • Anticipate and address reader's concerns and counterarguments. (Language Arts)
  • Consider alternative points of view or reasons. (Language Arts)
  • Consider the difference in techniques used in media. (Language Arts)
  • Construct a critical response/review of a work/topic. (Language Arts)
  • Create multi-paragraph compositions. (Language Arts)
  • Create simple documents using a thesaurus. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding in speaking and writing by using subjective, nominative, objective, and possessive pronouns. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words by using context clues or a thesaurus. (Language Arts)
  • Determine, locate, and explore the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information gathered. (Language Arts)
  • Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight. (Language Arts)
  • Edit and revise manuscripts to improve the meaning and focus of writing by adding, deleting, consolidating, clarifying, and rearranging words and sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Explain the roles and functions of characters in various plots, including their relationships and conflicts. (Language Arts)
  • Exploring relationships between and among characters, ideas, concepts and/or experiences. (Language Arts)
  • Extend understanding by creating products for different purposes, different audiences, and within various contexts. (Language Arts)
  • Generate a research plan for gathering relevant information about the major research question. (Language Arts)
  • Identify the main problem or conflict of the plot and explain how it is resolved. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with text by making predictions. (Language Arts)
  • Make informed judgments about television, radio, video/film productions, other electronic media and/or print formats. (Language Arts)
  • Organize the interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize the antecedent and correct pronoun case in writing. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize the sequence of events that leads up to a problem. (Language Arts)
  • Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs. (Language Arts)
  • State a clear position on a proposition or proposal. (Language Arts)
  • Support the position with organized and relevant evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Use a thesaurus to identify alternative word choices and meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Use commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences. (Language Arts)
  • Use conjunctions to connect ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral and written language to influence the thinking of others. (Language Arts)
  • Use pronouns correctly in speaking and writing, including clear antecedents and correct case. (Language Arts)
  • Write research reports about important ideas, issues, or events by using the following guidelines: frame questions that direct the investigation, establish a controlling idea or topic, and develop the topic with simple facts, details, examples, and explanations. (Language Arts)
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