One Crazy Summer

Reading the novel One Crazy Summer, set in 1968 Oakland, CA at the height of the Black Panther movement, students explore the meaning of community, identity, and what it means to be part of a revolution.

Unit Summary

In this unit, students explore the meaning of family, community, and identity by reading the core text One Crazy Summer. Through the eyes of eleven-year-old Delphine, readers experience life in Oakland, California, in 1968, the height of the Black Panther movement. Delphine and her two younger sisters, Vonetta and Fern, spend a summer in Oakland visiting their estranged mother who sends them to spend their days at a camp run by the Black Panthers. Over the course of the summer, the girls learn about what it means to be part of a revolution, what the Black Panther Party was fighting for, and why the Black Panther Party was important during this time period. Through it all, they build confidence in themselves and their relationships with others as they learn to challenge and respond to social issues in the community. It is our hope that this unit, in conjunction with others in the series, will help students understand the way experiences shape our identities and beliefs, and how children can help bring about change in the community. 

In reading, this unit continues to build on reading strategies and skills covered in previous units. It is assumed that students are able to quote or paraphrase accurately from the text, interpret figurative language, and summarize sections of the text. These skills should continue to be spiraled throughout the unit; however, the main focuses for this unit are determining theme and analyzing how it is developed over the course of the novel or poem, analyzing point of view and the impact it has on the way events are portrayed, and comparing characters and their responses to situations.

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Unit Launch

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Texts and Materials

Core Materials

  • Book: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (HarperCollins Publishers, 2011)   —  750L

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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

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  • Who were the Black Panthers? What did they believe in? 
  • How can relationships cause people to change and grow? 
  • How can names and labels influence our identities? 

Writing Focus Areas

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Sentence-Level Focus Areas

  • Write simple, compound, and complex sentences 

There are no new sentence focus areas in this unit. During this unit students will practice responding to daily Target Task questions using a variety of sentence constructions. ​​​​​​

Paragraph-Level Focus Areas

  • Outline and draft multiple paragraph essays
  • Craft topic and concluding sentences 
  • Elaborate on details

In this unit students continue to work on drafting multiple paragraph essays. Students review how to craft topic and concluding sentences, how to elaborate on details, and how to include details from multiple texts. ​​​​​​

Narrative Writing Focus Areas

  • Brainstorm a logical sequence of events
  • Orient the reader by introducing characters and setting
  • Use transition words and phrases to show the passing of time
  • Use description to develop experiences, events and characters
  • Use precise words and phrases to describe character actions and feelings
  • Provide a logical conclusion 

In this unit students continue to refine their narrative writing skills. In this unit students focus on honing in on specific moments and exploding those moments with precise and vivid description. The focus of this unit is on quality of writing within a narrative, not the length of the narrative. ​​​

Related Teacher Tools:

Fluency Focus Areas

  • Self-correct when reading difficult words and sentence structures. 
  • Read smoothly and with accuracy. 
  • Use proper intonation to show interpretation of the passage. 
  • Read with a rate appropriate to task and purpose

The fluency focus of this unit is on reviewing all previously taught fluency strategies. Use data from previous fluency check-points and the demands of the text to determine which fluency supports to include in the unit. 

Teachers should plan to do fluency checkpoints at several points throughout a unit. Have students grade themselves or a friend on the Reading Fluency Rubric. If a student scores a 2 or lower on any of the sections, we offer some ideas for additional fluency instruction and support in our Fluency Assessment Package.

At the end of each unit, teachers should assess each student using the unit’s fluency assessment found in the Fluency Assessment Package. This assessment is quick. Teachers should plan to pull students one-on-one to do this while the rest of the class is independently reading or writing.

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Fluency Package

Additional tools to help monitor and support students’ reading fluency.

Speaking and Listening Focus Areas

  • Question and clarify to build understanding. Students seek to clarify a particular point a student makes by asking follow up questions. 
  • Build on and challenge partner's ideas. Students challenge the thinking of their peers.
  • Synthesize to build deeper meaning. Students synthesize everything they heard into a coherent statement at the end of the discussion 

The main focus of this unit is getting students to critique and analyze the reasoning of others. At this point, students should be able to clarify and explain their own thoughts using ideas and vocabulary from the text. They should also be able to engage with the thinking of others by building on, paraphrasing, and asking clarifying questions. Now students will work on engaging with others at a much deeper level. 

Instead of just building on to a partner’s idea, students should begin to challenge his or her thinking. To do so, students may focus on a particular idea or example, and then explain why they disagree. Or, multiple students should be pushed to analyze and critique a particular problem or line of thought. The idea is that students are able to use discussion strategies to go deep into a particular point or idea. 

Finally, students should be able to synthesize key ideas from the discussion. The synthesis should hit on the key takeaways and learning of the discussion. This is to ensure that students walk away from the discussion with new or deeper understandings of the topic.

Guidance on teacher moves to support these discussion focuses can be found in our Guide to Academic Discourse (below).

Vocabulary

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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

appalled begrudgingly civics defiant fugitive gawk humiliation ignorance indignant inseparable plea spectacle

Root/Affix

-ance -able -tion in-

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Vocabulary Package

Additional vocabulary tools that help reinforce and support student vocabulary development.

Lesson Map

1

  • One Crazy Summer — "Cassius Clay Clouds" and "Golden Gate Bridge"

    RL.5.3

Analyze the role Delphine plays in the family.

2

  • One Crazy Summer — "Secret Agent Mother"

    RL.5.3

Explain why the chapter is titled “Secret Agent Mother” and if the title adequately describes the way the girls perceived Cecile.

3Essential Task

  • One Crazy Summer — "Green Stucco House" and "Mean Lady Ming"

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.6

Analyze how Delphine’s point of view influences the way events are described and what Delphine wants a reader to understand about her sisters and Cecile.

4

Narrative Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.6

    W.5.3

Rewrite a key scene from One Crazy Summer from another character’s point of view. 

5

  • One Crazy Summer — "Collect Call" and "For the People"

    RL.5.3

Explain what the girls learn about Cecile in this chapter and how they each respond.

6

  • 10-Point Platform

    RI.5.3

Summarize what the Black Panthers believed based on evidence from the Ten Point Platform. 

7

  • One Crazy Summer — "Glass of Water" and "Inseparable"

    RL.5.3

    L.5.3.b

Debate if Cecile’s actions show that she truly cares for Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern and she just doesn’t know how to show it. 

8

  • One Crazy Summer — "Breakfast Program" and "Even the Earth is Revolutionary"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    L.5.3.b

Compare and contrast the girls’ attitudes of the revolution with those of the people who work and attend the center.

9

Narrative Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.6

    W.5.3

    L.5.1.a

    L.5.1.c

    L.5.1.d

Rewrite a key scene from One Crazy Summer from another character’s point of view.

10

  • “I, Too”

  • “Dream Variations”

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.5

Determine a theme of a poem and explain how the theme is conveyed through the details and stanzas. 

11

  • One Crazy Summer — "Crazy Mother Mountain" and "Everyone Knows the King of the Sea"

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.6

Compare and contrast Cecile and Delphine’s point of view on the significance of names.

12Essential Task

  • One Crazy Summer — "Coloring and La-La" and "Counting and Skimming"

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.6

Compare and contrast what Cecile, Delphine, the Anktons, Fern, and Vonetta know and understand and how it influences the way they view Miss Patty Cake.

13

  • Newspaper 1

  • Newspaper 2

  • Newspaper 3

  • Newspaper 4

    RI.5.3

    W.5.1

Defend if Delphine should have been allowed to read the Black Panther paper and why, and why the newspapers were crucial for the success of the Black Panther Party.

14

  • One Crazy Summer — "Big Red S," "China Who" and "Expert Colored Counting"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.5

Defend if Cecile is or is not becoming more sympathetic of Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern.

15

Discussion

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    SL.5.1

    SL.5.2

Analyze and debate unit-essential questions by stating a claim and then using evidence from the entire text and unit to support the claim.

16

Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    W.5.1

    W.5.9

Write a multiple-paragraph essay to answer a unit essential question.

17

  • One Crazy Summer — "Civic Pride" and "Rally for Bobby"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

    RL.5.6

    SL.5.1

    SL.5.2

Analyze how Sister Mukumbu and Delphine view the Black Panther movement.

18

  • Brown Girl Dreaming — pp.302-305, 308-312, 317-320

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.9

Compare and contrast the narrator’s views and understanding of the revolution with Delphine
and her sisters’ and explain what Delphine and her sisters could learn from the narrator.

19Essential Task

  • One Crazy Summer — "Eating Crow," "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Moveable Type"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

Analyze the ways in which the sisters and Cecile are changing.

20

  • One Crazy Summer — "San Francisco Treat," "Wish We Had a Camera" and "The Clark Sisters"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

Analyze how the girls respond to Cecile's arrest and what their actions reveal.

21

Narrative Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.6

    W.5.3

    L.5.1.a

Rewrite a key scene from One Crazy Summer from another character’s point of view. 

22

  • One Crazy Summer — "I Birthed a Nation," "Stores of the No Sayers" and "Glorious Hill"

    RL.5.2

Determine a theme of a story from details in the text.

23

  • One Crazy Summer — "The Third Thing" and "So"

    RL.5.2

Analyze the role poetry plays in the movement, by analyzing details that support the development of theme. 

24

Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.5

    RL.5.6

    W.5.3

Write a poem from a character’s point of view by using poetry to develop experiences using effective literary techniques, descriptive details, and clear sequence.

25

  • One Crazy Summer — "Be Eleven" and "Afua"

    RL.5.2

    RL.5.3

Defend if Cecile grew and changed over the course of the summer.

26

Discussion & Writing

  • One Crazy Summer — Entire Text

    RL.5.2

    W.5.1

    SL.5.1

    SL.5.2

Determine a theme of One Crazy Summer and write a summary that describes how the theme was developed over the course of the text. 

27

Discussion

  • One Crazy Summer

    RL.5.2

    SL.5.1

    SL.5.2

Analyze and debate unit-essential questions by stating a claim and then using evidence from the entire text and unit to support the claim.

28

Writing

  • One Crazy Summer

    W.5.1

    W.5.9

Write a multiple-paragraph essay to answer a unit essential question.

29

Assessment

30

3 days

Narrative Writing

  • One Crazy Summer — Entire Text

    W.5.3

Write a continuation of the novel One Crazy Summer.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.5.1.a — Explain the function of conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections in general and their function in particular sentences.

  • L.4.1.b — Form and use the progressive (e.g., I was walking; I am walking; I will be walking) verb tenses.

  • L.5.1.b — Form and use the perfect (e.g., I had walked; I have walked; I will have walked) verb tenses.

  • L.5.1.c — Use verb tense to convey various times, sequences, states, and conditions.

  • L.5.1.d — Recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb tense.

  • L.5.3.b — Compare and contrast the varieties of English (e.g., dialects, registers) used in stories, dramas, or poems.

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.5.1 — Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • RI.5.3 — Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

  • RI.5.7 — Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

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.5.2 — Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

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

Sprial Standards

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L.5.1

L.5.2

L.5.4

L.5.4.b

L.5.5

L.5.6

RF.5.3

RF.5.4

RL.5.1

RL.5.10

RL.5.4

SL.5.1

SL.5.6

W.5.10

W.5.4

W.5.5

W.5.6