Pedro's Journal
Age 8-10: Concept 4 - Exploration and Survival: Unit 2

Adventure with a young sailor as he journeys to the New World with Christopher Columbus and his crew. Follow their dangerous journey as they struggle for survival on the high seas. Explore the elements of historical fiction, practice using quotation marks in dialogue, and identify and use similes.

This unit can be used independently but is designed to be taught in conjunction with the science and social studies unit Early Explorers.


  • Able to read and comprehend chapter books at a 4th or 5th grade reading level
  • Able to write an organized paragraph
  • Usually used by children in fourth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: Exploring with Columbus
  • Lesson 2: August
  • Lesson 3: September
  • Lesson 4: October
  • Lesson 5: Journal Writing
  • Lesson 6: November
  • Lesson 7: December
  • Lesson 8: The Island of the Skog
  • Lesson 9: January
  • Lesson 10: February
  • Final Project: Story Blocks (2 Days)

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, feelings, relationships, and changes. (Language Arts)
  • Answer relevant questions and make contributions in small or large group discussions. (Language Arts)
  • Compare language and oral traditions that reflect customs, regions, and cultures. (Language Arts)
  • Compose sentences with interesting, elaborate subjects. (Language Arts)
  • Conduct research to learn more about a topic. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate learning through productions and displays, such as oral and written reports, murals, and dramatizations. (Language Arts)
  • Demonstrate understanding of informational text in a variety of ways through writing and illustrating. (Language Arts)
  • Determine how his/her own writing achieves its purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Develop vocabulary through reading. (Language Arts)
  • Distinguish fact from opinion in various texts. (Language Arts)
  • Draw conclusions from information gathered. (Language Arts)
  • Generate ideas for writing by using prewriting techniques, such as drawing and listing key thoughts. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and discuss similarities and differences in events, characters, concepts, and ideas within and across selections and support them by referencing the text. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and interpret author's use of figurative language. (Language Arts)
  • Identify and interpret elements of fiction and nonfiction and support by referencing the text to determine the author's purpose, plot, and the author's lesson or message. (Language Arts)
  • Identify areas for further study. (Language Arts)
  • Interact with text by locating information for specific purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Read fiction and nonfiction text. (Language Arts)
  • Read from a variety of genres and sources for pleasure and to acquire information. (Language Arts)
  • Recognize the distinguishing features of familiar genres. (Language Arts)
  • Record personal knowledge of a topic in a variety of ways, such as drawing pictures. (Language Arts)
  • Represent information in different ways, including story maps, graphs, and charts. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction by reflecting on reading, gaining new insights, and identifying areas for further study. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction using evaluative processes by considering the main character's point of view. (Language Arts)
  • Respond to fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes by considering the differences among genres. (Language Arts)
  • Share written and oral products in a variety of ways. (Language Arts)
  • Use correct punctuation and capitalization. (Language Arts)
  • Use criteria to identify the most effective features of a piece of writing. (Language Arts)
  • Use oral or written language to recount or narrate. (Language Arts)
  • Use planning strategies (with assistance) to generate topics and organize ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Use quotation marks within sentences to indicate words spoken. (Language Arts)
  • Use resources and references, such as beginners' dictionaries, glossaries, available technology, and context to build word meanings. (Language Arts)
  • Use text and personal experiences to verify facts, concepts, and ideas. (Language Arts)
  • Use vocabulary clearly to describe ideas, feelings, and experiences. (Language Arts)
  • Write in different forms for different purposes. (Language Arts)
  • Write to communicate with a variety of audiences. (Language Arts)
  • Write to record and develop ideas and reflections. (Language Arts)
  • Examine the significance of art within a culture. (Social Studies)
  • Give examples of community changes that result from individual or group decisions. (Social Studies)
  • Identify examples of actions individuals and groups can take to improve the community. (Social Studies)
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