This is a beginning of the year unit designed to reinforce story elements through an author’s study of Kevin Henkes but also to set up our classroom as a place where every student is safe and respected. We will read seven of his stories and will focus on the story elements of plot and setting. The plot will be defined as the beginning, middle, and end of a story. The setting will be defined as the time and place of the story. It will also discuss character development, and practice identifying inner and outer traits, including their motivations, and feelings.
The other major component of this unit will be making sure we are actively treating everyone with respect and keeping our environment as safe as possible. Many books by Kevin Henkes model different problem solving scenarios. We will be recognizing how similarities and differences can be a wonderful thing, learning about each other’s names, learning about boundaries, and learning about and practicing different techniques for peacefully solving conflict.
In the culminating task, students will create a story where a Kevin Henkes character is faced with a bullying situation. They will need to address the situation safely. They can choose writing a story, drawing a comic strip, or performing a skit with other students.
Salas, Kendra E S, "Bullydozing with Kevin Henkes [2nd grade]" (2015). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 305.