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High School 1: Concept 1 - Semester 1: Unit 5

In this unit, you will read a variety of nonfiction writing, especially memoirs. The texts are all by authors who overcame challenging personal experiences to advocate for freedom, peace, and human rights. The works studied include the account of a teenager forced to become a soldier in his country's civil war, a letter composed by a legendary civil rights leader, an essay written by an American abolitionist, a speech given by a Holocaust survivor, and the narrative of a young woman fighting to ensure that girls have the right to be educated. For the unit's final project, you will write an informative essay about a topic that is important to you.


  • Able to read books and texts at a high school reading level
  • Experience writing a five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by students in the 9th or 10th grade
  • Familiar with the conventions of poetry and short stories
  • Able to understand, interpret, and apply figurative language techniques in reading and writing
  • Some basic experience with creative writing

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Types of Nonfiction
  • Lesson 2: Pakistan
  • Lesson 3: The Taliban
  • Lesson 4: Dear Diary
  • Lesson 5: Displacement
  • Lesson 6: A Day Like Any Other
  • Lesson 7: Life in England
  • Lesson 8: Civil Rights (3 Days)
  • Lesson 9: Civil Disobedience
  • Lesson 10: Learning from the Past (2 Days)
  • Lesson 11: A Boy's Story
  • Lesson 12: Running from War (2 Days)
  • Lesson 13: Child Soldier (2 Days)
  • Lesson 14: Rehabilitation (2 Days)
  • Lesson 15: A New Life (2 Days)
  • Final Project: Expository Essay (4 Days)
  • Semester Exam: Semester Exam (5 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze how the author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (e.g., Washington's Farewell Address, the Gettysburg Address, Roosevelt's Four Freedoms speech, King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail"), including how they address related themes and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person's life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account. (Language Arts)
  • Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text. (Language Arts)
  • Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. (Language Arts)
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (Language Arts)
  • Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (Language Arts)
  • Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. (Language Arts)
  • Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetoric to advance that point of view or purpose. (Language Arts)
  • Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Language Arts)
  • Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (Language Arts)
  • Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing. (Language Arts)
  • Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. (Language Arts)
  • Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (Language Arts)
  • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. (Language Arts)
  • Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone. (Language Arts)
  • Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. (Language Arts)
  • Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Language Arts)
  • Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic). (Language Arts)
  • Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently. (Language Arts)
  • Use a colon to introduce a list or quotation. (Language Arts)
  • Use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts. (Language Arts)
  • Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. (Language Arts)
  • Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically. (Language Arts)
  • Write and edit work so that it conforms to the guidelines in a style manual (e.g., MLA Handbook, Turabian's Manual for Writers) appropriate for the discipline and writing type. (Language Arts)
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. (Language Arts)
  • Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. (Language Arts)
  • Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences. (Language Arts)
  • 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 tasks, purposes, and audiences. (Language Arts)
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