A Girl Named Disaster
Age 11-13: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 2

Through the eyes of a young teenage girl, experience an African tribe that is struggling to hold on to its cultural traditions. For her own safety, the girl is forced to leave her family, and she begins a journey of survival that will ultimately open her eyes to a world she could never have imagined.

Explore the writing process, practice editing sentences, and develop your own personal narrative writing piece.


  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 7th or 8th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the seventh grade.

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Nhamo
  • Lesson 2: Sickness
  • Lesson 3: A Visit with the Muvuki
  • Lesson 4: Escape
  • Lesson 5: Lake Coabora Bassa
  • Lesson 6: Abandoned Farm
  • Lesson 7: Baboons
  • Lesson 8: Survival
  • Lesson 9: The Leopard
  • Lesson 10: A Rude Awakening
  • Lesson 11: Out with the Old (3 Days)
  • Lesson 12: A New Beginning (2 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Clarify and support spoken ideas with evidence and examples. (Language Arts)
  • Deliver a narrative presentation that uses a range of appropriate strategies, including dialogue, suspense, and naming of specific narrative action (e.g., movement, gestures, expressions). (Language Arts)
  • Deliver narrative presentations by describing complex major and minor characters and a definite setting. (Language Arts)
  • Determine the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words using context clues. (Language Arts)
  • Develop an interpretive response to literature exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight. (Language Arts)
  • Edit drafts for grammar, mechanics, and spelling. (Language Arts)
  • Emphasize salient points in oral presentations to assist the listener in following the main ideas and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Engage the audience with appropriate verbal cues, facial expressions, and gestures. (Language Arts)
  • Establish a context, standard plot line (having a beginning, conflict, rising action, climax, and denouement), and point of view. (Language Arts)
  • Extend understanding by creating products for different purposes, different audiences, and within various contexts. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and edit errors in spoken and written English by applying proofreading symbols when editing. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and edit errors in spoken and written English by producing final drafts that demonstrate accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and capitalization. (Language Arts)
  • Identify errors in written English. (Language Arts)
  • Include the main ideas and most significant details in summary of text. (Language Arts)
  • Make connections to related topics/information. (Language Arts)
  • Model an understanding of conventional written and spoken expression by choosing language that is precise, engaging, and well suited to the topic and audience. (Language Arts)
  • Narrate an expressive account that creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and context; that orients the listener to the scene, the people, and the events; that engages the listener by establishing a context and creating a point of view; and that establishes the significance of events. (Language Arts)
  • Organize an interpretive response to literature around several clear ideas, premises, or images. (Language Arts)
  • Reflect on learning experiences by describing personal learning growth and changes in perspective. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to informational materials viewed by monitoring comprehension for understanding of what is read, heard, and/or viewed. (Language Arts)
  • Revise drafts to ensure precise word choice and vivid images; consistent point of view; use of simple, compound, and complex sentences; internal and external coherence; and the use of effective transitions. (Language Arts)
  • Revise writing to improve organization and word choice. (Language Arts)
  • Select a focus, organizational structure, and point of view for a presentation. (Language Arts)
  • Summarize information from text. (Language Arts)
  • Support opinions in verbal presentations with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology. (Language Arts)
  • Synthesize and make logical connections between ideas within a text and across two or three texts representing similar or different genres and support those findings with textual evidence. (Language Arts)
  • Understand new vocabulary and use it when reading and writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use different organizational patterns as guides for summarizing and forming an overview of different kinds of expository text. (Language Arts)
  • Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention. (Language Arts)
  • Write a personal narrative that has a clearly defined focus and communicates the importance of or reasons for actions and/or consequences. (Language Arts)
← go back