The Family Under the Bridge
Age 7-9: Concept 3 - Cycles: Unit 3

Follow the struggles of a French family as they try to survive under tough economic circumstances. See how the children change the heart of a grumpy old man who learns to care for them and love them. Learn about the city of Paris and how French holiday traditions are similar and different from those in America. Learn to identify a variety of punctuation marks and understand the rules for using them in writing. For the final project, create your own Reader's Theater, based on an event in the book, that can be performed with family members.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be used in conjunction with the science and social studies unit Economic Cycles.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books on a 3rd or early 4th grade reading level
  • Can answer comprehension questions about a chapter in a journal
  • Able to write three or four sentences on a topic
  • Usually used by children in third grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Pre-Reading
  • Lesson 2: The French Man
  • Lesson 3: A Discovery
  • Lesson 4: A Day in the City
  • Lesson 5: Singing
  • Lesson 6: The Shoe
  • Lesson 7: Among Friends
  • Lesson 8: Christmas Eve
  • Lesson 9: Saying Goodbye
  • Lesson 10: A Home at Last
  • Final Project: Reader's Theater

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze characters, including their traits, relationships, and changes. (Language Arts)
  • Compare communication in different forms such as contrasting a dramatic performance with a print version of the same story. (Language Arts)
  • Compose sentences and use the appropriate punctuation. (Language Arts)
  • Connect life experiences with the life experiences, language, customs, and culture of others. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate learning through productions and displays such as murals, written and oral reports, and dramatizations. (Language Arts)
  • Discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, and concepts within texts. (Language Arts)
  • Draw and discuss visual images based on text descriptions. (Language Arts)
  • Identify multisyllabic words by using common syllable patterns. (Language Arts)
  • Increase knowledge of cultures and cultural elements. (Language Arts)
  • Increase oral and written vocabulary when responding to literature. (Language Arts)
  • Locate information in text for specific purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Participate in conversations and discussions. (Language Arts)
  • Read expository materials for answers to specific questions. (Language Arts)
  • Read independently from text. (Language Arts)
  • Read orally with fluency and expression. (Language Arts)
  • Recall the main idea, facts, and details from a text. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to text in ways that reflect understanding through discussion, writing, movement, music, art, and drama. (Language Arts)
  • Retell or act out the order of important events in stories. (Language Arts)
  • Understand literary forms by recognizing and distinguishing among such types of text as stories, plays, poems, and information books. (Language Arts)
  • Use more complex capitalization and punctuation with increasing accuracy such as proper nouns, abbreviations, commas, apostrophes, and quotation marks. (Language Arts)
  • Use personal experiences and knowledge to interpret written and oral messages. (Language Arts)
  • Use published pieces as models for writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use resources such as beginners' dictionaries, glossaries, available technology, and context to build word meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Use text for a variety of functions, including literary, informational, and practical. (Language Arts)
  • Write in different forms for different purposes such as lists, letters, and stories. (Language Arts)
  • Write structured, informative presentations and narratives when given help with organization. (Language Arts)
  • Write to communicate with a variety of audiences. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze and evaluate the effects of responsible citizenship in a school, community, and/or other social environments. (Social Studies)
  • Compare language and oral traditions that reflect customs, regions, and cultures. (Social Studies)
  • Compare similarities and differences among cultures in various communities. (Social Studies)
  • Demonstrate responsible citizenship in a school, community, and other social environments. (Social Studies)
  • Demonstrate responsible citizenship in a school, community, and/or other social environments. (Social Studies)
  • Demonstrate responsible citizenship in the school, community, and other social environments. (Social Studies)
  • Describe different types of employment and ways people earn an income. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the interdependence among individuals, families, and the community. (Social Studies)
  • Explain how work provides goods and services. (Social Studies)
  • Explain how work provides income to purchase goods and services. (Social Studies)
  • Identify and describe attributes of responsible citizenship. (Social Studies)
  • Identify people, events, and places associated with various cultures around the world. (Social Studies)
  • Identify the sources and use of revenue in the community. (Social Studies)
  • Read classic and contemporary works. (Social Studies)
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