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Grade 7 Language Arts Short Story Unit Plan

Title: Alberta Champions: Historical Fiction

Dates: March 29- April 21
Through a series of mini-lessons, students will gain skills in conducting research as well as
writing short stories, particularly focusing on historical fiction. Students will apply these skills
in a story that they create about one of the Alberta Champions. This story will adhere to the
guidelines set forth in the Alberta Champions story contest, which students may submit their
work for if they choose to do so at the end of the unit. The final days of the unit will focus on
professional writing which will provide students the necessary knowledge to send in their
application with a professionally constructed email.
Program of Studies
General Outcome 1: Explore thoughts, ideas, feelings, and experiences
- 1.1.1: Express ideas and develop understanding extend understanding of ideas and
information by finding and exploring oral, print, and other media texts on related topics
and themes
- 1.2.2: Combine ideas use talk, writing, and representing to examine, clarify, and
assess understanding of ideas, information, and experiences
General Outcome 2: Comprehend and respond personally and critically to oral, print, and other
media texts
- 2.1.2: Use comprehension strategies identify, connect, and summarize in own words,
the main idea from two or more sources on the same topic
- 2.2.1: Experience various texts organize interpretations of oral, print, and other media
texts around two or three key ideas
- 2.2.2: Construct meaning from texts analyze how plot develops; the connection
between plot and the subplot; and the interrelationship of plot, settings, and characters
& identify and explain conflict and discuss how it develops and may be resolved
- 2.3.1: Understand forms and genres identify various forms and genres of oral, print,
and other media texts and describe key characteristics of each
- 2.4.1: Generate ideas choose appropriate strategies for generating ideas and focusing
topics for oral, print, and other media texts
- 2.4.3: Structure texts create oral, print, and other media texts that are unified by point
of view, carefully developed plot and endings consistent with previous events
General Outcome 3: Manage ideas and information
- 3.1.1: focus attention consider audience, purpose, and point of view and form when
focusing topics for investigation
- 3.1.3: plan to gather information plan and organize data collection based on
instructions, explanations and pre-established parameters
- 3.2.1: use a variety of sources obtain information from a variety of sources
- 3.2.3: evaluate sources use pre-established criteria to evaluate the usefulness of a
variety of information sources in terms of their structure and purpose
- 3.3.2: Record information compare, contrast, and combine ideas and information
from several sources
- 3.3.3: evaluate information connect new information with prior knowledge to build
new understanding

3.4.2: review research process identify strengths and areas for improvement in
personal research skills
General Outcome 4: Enhance the clarity and artistry of communication
- 4.1.2: revise and edit
- 4.2.1: attend to grammar and usage distinguish between formal and informal
conventions of oral and written language, and use each appropriately depending on the
context, audience, and purpose
General Outcome 5: Respect, support, and collaborate with others
- 5.1.1: appreciate diversity discuss how ideas, people, experiences, and cultural
traditions are portrayed in various oral, print, and other media texts
- 5.1.3: Celebrate accomplishments and events select and use appropriate form and
tone for specific audiences to celebrate special events and accomplishments
Learning Tasks
Champion Research students will conduct
independent research to learn about the life of
their champion and how that person affected
either Alberta or Calgary identity.

Story Planner following a series of minilessons on each feature, students will create a
planner for their story that incorporates both
their creative ideas as well as historical facts
from their research.
Final Story Students will write a story of
850-1100 words and submit for grading

For Learning teacher will check-in with
students frequently throughout the research
process to evaluate understanding and to
encourage students to ask deeper questions
about their topic.
As Learning students will be required to
self-assess the reliability of research sources
and determine whether or not the information
they have found is reliable.
Of Learning research will be assessed as
part of the students final story. Story will be
assessed for inclusion of historical details,
accuracy of these details, and how these
details are related to todays identity in
Calgary or Alberta
For Learning Teacher will review the
planner before students begin writing to
provide feedback on both strengths and areas
that might require more attention. Students
will also peer assess their plans before
For Learning Teacher will provide
formative feedback to students throughout the
writing process.
As Learning students will complete a selfassessment to evaluate where their work was
strongest and what their greatest learning was.
They will then be asked how they can apply
this new or improved skill in other areas of

school or life.
Of Learning final story will be assessed for
creativity, inclusion of historical details,
accuracy of details, and analysis of how these
historical events have contributed to our
identity as Calgarians and Albertans
Formal Email Students will practice
For Learning students will receive both
writing in a professional tone by crafting an
peer and teacher feedback for their emails
email to the judges of the story contest to
before sending them.
accompany their submission.
Of Learning Students will send their final
email to the teacher as well as to the contest
judges (if they choose to submit their work).
Emails will be evaluated based on inclusion
of necessary information as well as the
formality of the email being appropriate to its
Students who require extra support for this unit will be provided with the following:
work in groups instead of independently to talk through their ideas and share the
workload, as well as make use of and learn from each others strengths
extra support from the teacher during work periods to provide guidance, ask and
answer questions, and give more in-depth direction when needed
opportunity to work in the resource room
Daily Tasks
Introduction to contest and unit.
- contest rules and requirements
Mar 29 Who are the 30 Champions?
- chart of champions
Select champion to write about
How to do research:
- internet access via learning commons
Mar 31 What to look for and where to
or student cellphones

Apr 4

Begin Research
What is historical fiction?
Plan setting

Apr 6

Finish research
Watch suggestions video
Story planner focus on character
and conflict.

Rosa Parks story in Sightlines

Flowcabulary video
Story planner
internet access learning commons

video from champions website

story planner

Apr 8

Apr 12
Apr 14
Apr 18
Apr 20

Discuss Theme - actions that

affect our identity
Story planner main plot points
What historical details need to be
Start draft
Finish Story if not complete
(typed) by the end of this class, it
is for homework
Professional Writing how to
write a formal email
Submission day send formal
email with story attachment to
teacher. May also send to contest
(student choice)

blank paper or computer access

paper or computer access

computer access

computer access