1st Edition

Transformations in Stories and Arguments Integrated ELA Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 2-4

By Tamra Stambaugh, Eric Fecht, Kevin Finn Copyright 2019
    248 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Transformations in Stories and Arguments explores essential questions, such as "How does the development of a character build the reader's understanding? How do the actions of others change the world? How do words and images impact our thinking?" This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University's Programs for Talented Youth, is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and features accelerated content, creative products, differentiated tasks, engaging activities, and the use of in-depth analysis models to develop sophisticated skills in the language arts.

    Through the lens of transformation, students will examine narrative and persuasive elements essential to the analysis of short stories, advertisements, visual art, scientific argumentation, and their own writing. Students will discover transformations in themselves and their written work as they craft and revise narrative and persuasive pieces, realizing their own voice in the process.

    Ideal for gifted classrooms or gifted pull-out groups, the unit features stories by Dan Santat, Fiona Roberton, Jannell Cannon, Christopher Myers, Maurice Sendak, Daniel Manus Pinkwater, Jane Yolen, and Patricia Polacco; poetry by Carl Sandburg; sculptures by Arturo Di Modica and Kristen Visbal; a viewing of Pixar's short film Lou and a variety of commercials; and engaging short nonfiction readings.

    Winner of the 2015 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award

    Grades 2-4

    Acknowledgements Introduction Pretest Pretest Rubric Lesson 1 Transformations in Our World Lesson 2 Transforming Writing Through Character Development Lesson 3 Developing and Transforming Characters and the Problems They Face Lesson 4 Transformations in Point of View and Perspective Lesson 5 Transformations in Structure and Organization Lesson 6 Transformations Using Word Choice and Imagery Lesson 7 Revealing Messages and Theme Through Transformations Lesson 8 Transformations in Narrative Writing Lesson 9 Transformations, Emotions, and Data Lesson 10 Transformations in Scientific Arguments Lesson 11 Transformations in Mathematics Lesson 12 Transformations of Space Lesson 13 Transforming My World Lesson 14 Culminating Project Posttest Posttest Rubric References Appendix A: Instructions for Using the Models Appendix B: Blank Models and Guides Appendix C: Rubrics About the Authors Common Core State Standards Alignment


    Eric Fecht, Ed.D., is an educational consultant for Vanderbilt Programs for Talented Youth. He supports a number of programs and special projects, including the Reading Academy at Vanderbilt.

    Kevin Finn is a middle grade gifted education specialist for Rutherford County Schools in Murfreesboro, TN.