English- Thematic Unit

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Thematic Unit Based on Seven Novels

Devon Stolz-200281558 Dr. Barbara McNeil ELIT 101 December 3rd 2010

INDEXIndex .page #1 Rationale page #2 Genre Web page #4 Topic Web .page #5 Annotation For Among The Hidden.pages #6-7 Annotation For The Breadwinner.pages #8-9 Annotation For City of Ember.. .pages #10-11 Annotation For The Crazy Man.pages #12 Annotation For Elijah of Buxtonpages # 13-14 Annotation For My Name is Seepeetza.pages # 15 Annotation For Zlatas Diary.pages # 16 References .pages # 17


Rationale for the Theme I Selected from Reading the Seven NovelsMy thematic Unit incorporates the seven novels are: Elijah of Buxton, Zlatas Diary, City of Ember, The crazy man, The Breadwinner, My name is Seepeetza, Among the hidden. After carefully examining the seven novels, I picked the theme of Facing AdversityOvercoming challenges. I picked this theme because it was an obvious has significant connections between all seven books. In every book a character must be strong and face the challenge that arises within the text. The theme of facing adversity and overcoming challenges has significant pedagogical value because every student will face a challenging situation or time in their life, no matter of ethnicity, socio-economic status, or any other factor. Life for young adults is challenging and as teachers we must provide excellent role models that are able to shine through the troubles faced. The relevance of facing adversity is becoming ever more poignant in our school system. We currently live in an age were bullies have the ability to bully other students from their own home. While is this an issue that goes deeper than this reflection will allow, it is very important that students understand that adversity and challenges are a universal issue that everyone must face, and consequently a part of life. The book Elijah of Buxton would likely appeal to students who are interested in historical fiction. This book fits well in the category of social studies as it can spark discussions based on history, human rights and social justice. The southern twang of the book may also be appealing for young readers who are interested in a challenging read. On the other hand, the novel City of Ember would be attractive to students who love visual arts because of its artistically written style. The descriptions of this dark and lonely city are hauntingly beautiful. The main character Lina is also an artist, who draws a city from her visions. Visual art lessons spring from this novel. A novel such as Among the Hidden would be useful in drama because the plot lends itself very well to the purposes of contextual drama. Drama teachers are able to take any source and bend


its constructs to their will for the purposes of exploring the literature to a fuller extent. Because the themes that run through Among the hidden are so well shaped in the world of science fiction there are endless possibilities that drama could explore with Among the hidden However, The crazy man would ideal for the art from of dance because of the beauty found within the written words and the themes within the book. A beautiful dance could be created using the emotions from within the book. Powerful dances must employ such emotions as fear, anger and frustration, all emotions found within the book. Also at the end of the novel there is dance involved. This would spark a student who is interested in dances attention.

Summary and Conclusion As a whole I believe that the connecting theme found in all of the seven novels of Facing adversity and overcoming challenges is a holistic and successful theme. Each of these books does fit in with this large all encompassing theme, which fits under the umbrella theme of Social justice. Social justice is important in the classroom because these are issues that must be faced. The pedagogical value of works of literature that deal with social justice is far greater than just average fiction novels.




Title: Among the HiddenAuthor: Margaret Peterson Haddix Year of publication: September 1998 Genre and/or sub-genre: Science Fiction Theme: Social Isolation, Dystopian Future, Boy/Girl Relations, Annotations: Among the hidden is a fast paced, plot driven suspense novel. This is the first novel in Margaret Peterson Haddixs series Shadow Children. Set in a dystopian future- a totalitarian regime enforces a strict two child per family rule. The third children is often cast aside and made to hide in the shadows. These children live a life that is all about remaining unseen. Any reader that opens this chilling novel is bound to enjoy the unique experience that is on every page. Awards Won:

Top 10--ALA Best Books for Young Adults An ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers YALSA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults Nominee for the Askews Childrens Book Award in Great Britain Bank Street Colleges Childrens Book Committees "Best Childrens Books of the Year" list State readers choice awards (voted on by kids): California Young Readers Medal Maud Hart Lovelace Award (Minnesota) Nevada Young Readers' Award Great Stone Face Award (New Hampshire) Nutmeg Children's Book Award (Connecticut) Sunshine State Young Readers' Award (Florida) Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Award Young Hoosier Book Award (Indiana) Indian Paintbrush Book Award (Wyoming) Iowa Children's Choice Award

Where Reviewed and a few of the reviewers comments: I found reviews for Among the Hidden on the research database novelist. The book reviewer Kirkus states:


Among the Hidden is chilling and intelligent. Haddix offers much for discussion, by presenting a world not too different from America right now These pages will give readers a new appreciation for their own world after a visit to lukes. Nationality: This book is written by Margaret Peterson Haddix, who is an American author. Summary and Conclusion: Overall, this is a fantastic book that would appeal to young readers due to its fast paced style and intense plot. The Shadow Children series certainly has a place in any classroom. This book could be used to spark discussion regarding science fiction, dystopian future, and social injustice due to government and leadership.

Title: The BreadwinnerAuthor: Deborah Ellis


Year of publication: 2001 Genre and/or sub-genre: Childrens Stories, Historical Fiction Theme: Girls, Sexism, Repression, Role-Reversal Annotations: Set in Afghanistan shortly after the Taliban took over leadership, Elliss book follows the story of an 11 year old girl named Parvana. Parvana is not allowed to attend schools and is hardly allowed outside, due to the Talibans strict regime. After Parvanas father is jailed Parvana must step up and take responsibility for her family. In this captivating read we experience the sad oppression and heart wrenching story of a young girl- trying to survive in a cruel and unfair world. Parvanas hardships are difficult to read, but certainly have a place in every classroom library. Awards Won: Amelia Bloomer Lists - Middle Grades Fiction: 2002 Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award (Canada): English Fiction Red Cedar Book Awards (British Columbia): Fiction Rocky Mountain Book Award (Alberta) Surrey Schools' Book of the Year Award (British Columbia) Where Reviewed and a few of the reviewers comments: During my research I found information regarding The breadwinner through the educational database Novelist. Novelist compiles many reviews from educational journals. The journal Booklist says : The Breadwinner is a potent portrait of life in contemporary Afghanistan, showing that powerful heroines cansurvive even in the most oppressive and sexist social conditions.

From my research on novelist there seems to be a consensus that Ellis has missed some of the cultural and religious factors of the social context in which the book is historically set. Booklist also says this about the book:Unfortunately, the novel never deals with the religious facets of Afghan life, failing to explain that the Taliban sees itself, essentially, as a religious group. The book lacks the details about this region and culture that would help unfamiliar readers understand that world more clearly

Nationality: The Breadwinner was written by the Canadian Author Deborah Ellis.

Summary and Conclusion: Overall the breadwinner is a strong piece of childrens literature. The themes are empowering and captivating. As a piece of historical fiction Ellis has written a concise and educational novel. As a later elementary early middle years book this novel has significant pedagogical value in every classroom.


Title: City of EmberAuthor: Jeanne DuPrau Year of publication: 2003 Genre and/or sub-genre: Science Fiction Theme: Courage, Dystopian future, Survival


Annotations: Jeanne DuPraus debut book is set in a bleak dystopian future- The city of Ember burns brightly against a sea of blackness. The two hundred year old city is considered the only beacon on light in the world of darkness, although there are serious issues that the city faces. Between a failing generator and a corrupt mayor- this fast paced, thrilling novel is sure to delight any reader. Can Lina Mayfleet and Doon Harrow save the city of Ember? Is the city of Ember even able to be saved? Students will love and be talking about this book! Awards Won: ALA Notable Children's Books: 2004 Beehive Awards (Utah): Children's Fiction Books Black-Eyed Susan Book Awards (Maryland): Grades 6-9 Garden State Teen Book Awards (New Jersey): Fiction (Grades 6-8) Great Stone Face Children's Book Award (New Hampshire) Land of Enchantment Book Award (New Mexico): Young Adult category Mark Twain Award (Missouri) Nutmeg Children's Book Award (Connecticut): Intermediate category Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (Flori