Survival Stories

Lesson 2


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.

Readings and Materials

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Target Task


Writing Prompt

Miyax is lost in the tundra. What makes the tundra a unique habitat? Make sure to include specific details about the weather, plant life, animal life, and the relationship between all three. 

Why does the author include so much description about the tundra? How does the description contribute to the overall structure of the story? 

Mastery Response


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Key Questions


  • What is a predicament? Why does the author use the phrase “desperate predicament” to describe Miyax’s situation? 

  • Read the sentence from p. 6. “She had been watching the wolves for two days, trying to discern which of their sounds and movements expressed goodwill and friendship.” What does the word “discern” mean? What is Miyax trying to discern? Why? 

  • Read the sentence from p. 8. “Patience with the ways of nature had been instilled in her by her father.” What does the word “instilled” mean? Explain the importance of this statement in connection with Miyax’s current predicament. 

  • What words can be used to describe how Miyax responds to her predicament? Why? 

  • How does the narrator’s point of view influence the way events are described? (Since the story is told in third-person, the narrator is able to share a lot about the setting, Miyax’s predicament, her ability to observe the wolves, etc.)



predicament     (n.)

a difficult or unpleasant situation

instilled     (v.)

to slowly cause someone to have an attitude or feeling

discern     (v.)

seeing, hearing, or noticing something with difficulty or effort

monotony     (n.)

a lack of change that makes something boring

versatile     (adj.)

the ability to do many different things



Read the article Canine Communication. After reading the article, write a paragraph explaining how wolves communicate.

Enhanced lesson plan

Enhanced Lesson Plan

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Common Core Standards

  • 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.

Sprial Standards