Survival Stories

Students explore the attributes necessary for survival and the importance of physical and mental strength by reading excerpts from Julie of the Wolves, Endangered, Hatchet, and a variety of poems.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students explore the attributes necessary for survival by reading excerpts from Julie of the Wolves, Endangered, Hatchet, and a variety of poems. With each story, students will explore if one needs more physical or mental strength, or a combination of both, in order to overcome an obstacle or problem. Students will also explore how our ability to adapt and make changes impacts our lives and ability to survive. It is our hope that this unit challenges students to think about the way in which they tackle obstacles and the power and influence they have over their own lives. 

When analyzing individual stories, students will focus on explaining how scenes fit together and contribute to the overall structure of a story or poem, and summarizing a text and determining theme. After analyzing a story or poem in-depth, students will then practice comparing and contrasting across stories and analyzing the way in which different stories approach similar themes and topics. This unit places a large emphasis on the power of rereading a text in order to build deeper meaning. Over the course of the unit, students will have multiple opportunities to engage with a particular text multiple times in order to analyze and notice author’s craft and additional layers of meaning.

Subscribe to Fishtank Plus to unlock access to additional resources for this unit, including:

  • Unit Launch
  • Enhanced Lesson Plans
  • Essential Task Guides
  • Student Handout Editor
  • Google Classroom Integration
  • Vocabulary Package
  • Fluency Package
  • Data Analysis Package
 

Texts and Materials

Some of the links below are Amazon affiliate links. This means that if you click and make a purchase, we receive a small portion of the proceeds, which supports our non-profit mission.

Core Materials

  • Book: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (HarperCollins; First Edition edition, 2016) (pp. 5-25)    —  860L

  • Book: Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition, 2014) (pp. 76–83, 90–95, 98–103)  

  • Book: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006) (pp. 113–120, 161–170)    —  1020L

Supporting Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

Assessment

These assessments accompany this unit to help gauge student understanding of key unit content and skills. Additional progress monitoring suggestions are included throughout the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

?

  • What steps can be taken to prepare for a wilderness emergency? 
  • What strategies are necessary for surviving a wilderness emergency? 

Vocabulary

?

Below are all of the unit vocabulary words. Prior to teaching the unit, we recommend teachers decide which words to prioritize. We also recommend that teachers decide which affixes to prioritize. See our teacher tool Prepping Unit Vocabulary (below) for more guidance on which words to pick as priority words.

Text-based

adoration adrenaline agony anxiety arrogant devoted discern diverged dominance elated exulted fixated foraging frenzied grimace hierarchy impassable ineptitude infuriating instilled instinctive manner menacing monotony predicament presume recoiled submissively substantial tentative tribute versatile visibility wariness

Root/Affix

-ness -tion im-

Lesson Map

1

  • “Help Me Make It...”

    RL.5.2

Explain what steps can be taken to prepare for a wilderness emergency.

2

  • Julie of the Wolves pp. 5 – 14

  • “Canine Communication”

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.5

Describe what makes the tundra a unique habitat, why the author includes so much description about the tundra, and how it contributes to the overall structure of the story.

3

  • Julie of the Wolves pp. 15 – 25

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.5

Compare and contrast Miyax’s actions with those of the wolves and analyze how Miyax was able to integrate herself into the pack.

4Essential Task

Discussion & Writing

  • Julie of the Wolves pp. 5 – 25

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.5

    W.5.1

    W.5.9

Write a summary of the excerpt from Julie of the Wolves that includes the theme of the excerpt.

5

  • “The Road Not Taken”

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.5

    RL.5.9

Identify and explain the speaker’s perspective on choices in life by analyzing how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic. 

Compare and contrast the perspective on choices of the speaker in the poem with Miyax from Julie of the Wolves

6

  • Bonobos Fact Sheet

    RL.5.3

Describe bonobos.

7

  • Endangered pp. 76 – 83

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.5

    RL.5.6

Explain how the events on pp. 80–81 contribute to the overall structure of the story.

8Essential Task

  • Endangered — pp. 90-95 (stop at "You're on your own, kid") and pp. 98-103 (stop at "And I was losing")

    RL.5.5

Analyze how each interaction between Anastasia and Sophie contributes to the overall structure of the story.

9

Discussion & Writing

  • Endangered — Close read pp. 76–83, 90–95, 98–103

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.9

Summarize the excerpt from Endangered by identifying a theme and explaining how the characters in the story respond to the main challenges. 

Compare and contrast the excerpts from Julie of the Wolves and Endangered by analyzing the way they both approach the theme and topic of survival. 

10

  • Hatchet pp. 13 – 28

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

Describe Brian’s current predicament and how he responds.

11

  • Hatchet pp. 113 – 120

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.5

Analyze how Brian’s “figuring out food” contributes to the structure of the story. 

12

  • Hatchet pp. 161 – 170

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.5

Analyze how the author builds suspense and how it contributes to the structure of the story. 

13

  • Hatchet

    RL.5.2

Summarize the excerpt from Hatchet.

14

  • “If You Can’t Go Over or Under, Go Around”

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.5

    RL.5.9

Identify and explain the speaker’s perspective on choices in life.

Compare and contrast the perspectives on choices of the speaker in the poem and Brian.

15

Discussion

  • Hatchet

  • Julie of the Wolves

  • Endangered

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.9

    SL.5.1

    SL.5.3

    SL.5.6

Compare and contrast the excerpts from Hatchet, Julie of the Wolves or Endangered by analyzing the way they both approach the theme and topic of survival. 

16

Writing

  • Julie of the Wolves

  • Endangered

  • Hatchet

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.9

    W.5.1

    W.5.9

Write a multiple-paragraph essay that describes how Brian, Sophie, and/or Miyax approached survival.

17

Assessment

18

4 days

Narrative Writing

  • Julie of the Wolves

  • Endangered

  • Hatchet

    W.5.3

    W.5.3.a

    W.5.3.b

    W.5.3.c

    W.5.3.d

    W.5.3.e

Write a continuation of one of the stories from the unit. 

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.5.2.d — Use underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.5.2 — Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

  • RL.5.3 — Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

  • RL.5.5 — Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

  • RL.5.6 — Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.

  • RL.5.9 — Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.5.1 — Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • SL.5.3 — Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.

  • SL.5.6 — Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

Writing Standards
  • W.5.1 — Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information

  • W.5.3 — Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.

  • W.5.3.a — Orient the reader by establishing a situation and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally.

  • W.5.3.b — Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, description, and pacing, to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.

  • W.5.3.c — Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events.

  • W.5.3.d — Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.

  • W.5.3.e — Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

  • W.5.9 — Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

Spiral Standards

?

L.5.1

L.5.1.a

L.5.1.b

L.5.1.c

L.5.1.d

L.5.2

L.5.2.c

L.5.2.e

L.5.4

L.5.4.b

L.5.5

L.5.6

L.5.6

RF.5.3

RF.5.4

RL.5.1

RL.5.10

RL.5.4

SL.5.1

W.5.10

W.5.4

W.5.5