6th Grade Family Letters

Grade 6 Module 1 Family Letters

Each letter can be translated by clicking the "Select Language" menu on the top left of this page. Please contact your student's teacher for more information.

Module 1, Unit 1

Unit 1: Greek Mythology

Common Core State Standards addressed:

  • RL.6.1, RL.6.2, RL.6.3, RL.6.4, RL.6.5, RL.6.6, RL.6.7, RL.6.9, RL.6.10
  • RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.4
  • W.6.2, W.6.3, W.6.4, W.6.5, W.6.6, W.6.9, W.6.10
  • SL.6.1
  • L.6.1, L.6.2, L.6.3, L.6.4, L.6.5, L.6.6

Guiding Questions and Big Ideas

What is mythology, and what is the value of studying mythology from other cultures?

  • A collection of stories featuring traditional figures that explain natural phenomena and convey the values of the culture
  • Studying stories from other cultures introduces alternative perspectives and amplifies one’s worldview.

Why have stories from Greek mythology remained popular?

  • They teach themes that are still relevant.
  • They contain figures whose attributes are valued across time.
  • They ask questions about the human condition.
  • They remain relatable because they can be reimagined to fit different environments and time periods.

How does point of view change with experience?

  • A narrator’s or character’s understanding of an experience changes depending on one’s point of view.
  • Examining multiple points of view supports a more complex understanding of our own and others’ choices and beliefs.

What will your student be doing at school?

This unit is designed to help students build knowledge about Greek mythology while simultaneously developing their ability to read a challenging text closely by analyzing the narrator’s point of view in the novel Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Students read this novel in conjunction with selected stories from Greek mythology and articles addressing the relevance and influence of these ancient stories today. Students will examine the author develops a character’s point of view over the course of a novel as well as how their own perspectives can evolve.

In the second half of the unit, students participate in a discussion about how the main character responds to challenges and what those reactions indicate about his character.

The Language standard that students focus on in this unit is determining or clarifying the meanings of unknown and multiple-meaning words by choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Working to become ethical people is the habit of character emphasized in this unit. These are the specific skills on which students will focus:

  • I show respect. This means I appreciate the abilities, qualities, and achievements of others and treat myself, others, and the environment with care.
  • I show empathy. This means I understand and share or take into account the feelings, situation, or attitude of others.
  • I behave with integrity. This means I am honest and do the right thing, even when it’s difficult, because it is the right thing to do.
  • I show compassion. This means I notice when others are sad or upset and try to help them.

How can you support your student at home?

Share traditional stories from your culture or heritage with your student. Ask your student about the lessons that these stories were meant to teach and how those messages might still be relevant today.

Explain how your personal point of view has changed since you were the age of your student.

Watch films and research on the internet with your student to find out more about Greek mythology. The novel your student is studying references a number of different mythological figures (e.g., heroes, gods and goddesses, monsters). Build background knowledge on this topic by discovering together the details of the figures named in the novel.

Ask your student to explain the difference between academic and domain-specific vocabulary and to offer you examples. Share some examples of domain-specific terms from your occupation or hobby with your student.

Read chapter books with your student and discuss how each chapter fits into the overall structure of the novel using the key below:

Key

  • exposition: beginning of the story describing how things are before the action begins
  • rising action: series of conflicts and crises in the story that builds towards the climax
  • climax: the turning point, when something important happens that changes the direction of the story
  • falling action: the action that happens after the climax and starts to guide the story toward the resolution
  • resolution: the end of the story tying everything together

Unit 1: Homework

In Lessons 2–16, homework handouts focus on determining the meanings of unfamiliar words using context and reference materials, as well as answering text-dependent questions about the development of plot and characters from the anchor text, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Time limitations do not allow for entire chapters of the novel to be read during class; students will be asked to preread a chapter for homework the night before it is studied in class. Reading from the anchor text will be balanced with research reading, which is used to deepen students’ background knowledge about the topic of the module.

Research reading: Your student is expected to independently research the topic of study in this module, Greek mythology, by reading topic-related books of his or her choice. Research reading will be assigned on evenings when students are not already reading the anchor text (explained above). Students will be expected to read for approximately 20 minutes each day and respond to a prompt of choice in the front of the independent reading journal. These are usually books your student will bring home from school; however, they may be topic-related books chosen by the student at the public or home library. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Choice reading: If your student would also like to independently read and respond to a book of free choice, he or she may use the back of the independent reading journal. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Vocabulary Logs

Students record new vocabulary in vocabulary logs and mark academic vocabulary with a symbol, for example, a star:

  • Academic vocabulary: words you might find in informational texts on many different topics. For example, the words evidence and rationale are words that could be found in books on any topic.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary: words about a particular topic. For example, the words tadpoles, frogspawn, and amphibian are some that would be found on the topic of frogs.

Module 1, Unit 2

Unit 2: Write to Inform: Compare and Contrast the Text and Film of The Lightning Thief

Common Core State Standards addressed: 

  • RL.6.1, RL.6.7
  • W.6.2, W.6.5, W.6.6, W.6.9a, W.6.10
  • L.6.2b, L.6.6

Guiding Questions and Big Ideas

What is mythology, and what is the value of studying mythology from other cultures?

  • A collection of stories featuring traditional figures that explain natural phenomena and convey the values of the culture
  • Studying stories from other cultures introduces alternative perspectives and amplifies one’s worldview.

Why have stories from Greek mythology remained popular?

  • They teach themes that are still relevant.
  • They contain figures whose attributes are valued across time.
  • They ask questions about the human condition.
  • They remain relatable because they can be reimagined to fit different environments and time periods.

How does point of view change with experience?

  • A narrator’s or character’s understanding of an experience changes depending on one’s point of view.
  • Examining multiple points of view supports a more complex understanding of our own and others’ choices and beliefs.

What will your student be doing at school?

In Unit 2, students continue to read Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. They analyze the Greek myths highlighted in the novel and compare themes and topics in the Greek myths with those evident in The Lightning Thief.

In the second half of the unit, students write a literary analysis essay using the Painted Essay® structure. This structure guides students to compare and contrast the experience of watching parts of The Lightning Thief movie in which Percy, the hero, overcomes challenges, with reading the same events in the novel.

The Language standard focused on in this unit requires students to acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases.

Working to become ethical people is the habit of character emphasized in this unit. These are the specific skills students will focus on:

  • I show empathy. This means I understand and share or take into account the feelings, situation, or attitude of others.
  • I behave with integrity. This means I am honest and do the right thing, even when it’s difficult, because it is the right thing to do.
  • I show respect. This means I appreciate the abilities, qualities, and achievements of others and treat myself, others, and the environment with care.
  • I show compassion. This means I notice when others are sad or upset and try to help them.

How can you support your student at home?

Ask your student to identify the themes in stories that you read or have read together. Listen for your student to identify the author’s message or the life lesson the reader is supposed to consider.

Challenge your student to think critically about what he or she is reading. Ask about whose perspective is included, whose is excluded, and how certain groups of people are being conveyed. Similar conversations could happen around other media like the news or advertisements.

Look for myths from other cultures. Compare the values that different cultures seem to idealize. Discuss whether you and your student agree with the values presented.

Talk to your student about what it means to be a hero. Share examples of your own personal heroes and what qualities those people possess to make them heroic.

Students will watch selected scenes from the film version of The Lightning Thief. Watch the film adaptation of other familiar books. Discuss what changes were made, and question why the screenwriter and director likely made those changes.

Read chapter books with your student, and discuss how each chapter fits into the overall structure of the novel using the key below:

Key

  • exposition: beginning of the story describing how things are before the action begins
  • rising action: series of conflicts and crises in the story that build toward the climax
  • climax: the turning point, when something important happens that changes the direction of the story
  • falling action: the action that happens after the climax and starts to guide the story toward the resolution
  • resolution: the end of the story tying everything together 

Unit 2: Homework

In Lessons 1–13, homework focuses on preparing to write an informative essay, as well as answering text-dependent questions about the development of plot and characters from the anchor text, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Time limitations do not allow for entire chapters of the novel to be read during class; students will be asked to preread a chapter for homework the night before it is studied in class. Reading from the anchor text will be balanced with research reading, which is used to deepen students’ background knowledge about the topic of the module.

Research reading: Your student is expected to independently research the topic of study in this module, Greek mythology, by reading topic-related books of his or her choice. Research reading will be assigned on evenings when students are not already reading the anchor text (explained above). Students will be expected to read for approximately 20 minutes each day and respond to a prompt of choice in the front of the independent reading journal. These are usually books your student will bring home from school; however, they may be topic-related books chosen by the student at the public or home library. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Choice reading: If your student would also like to independently read and respond to a book of free choice, he or she may use the back of the independent reading journal. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Vocabulary Logs

Students record new vocabulary in vocabulary logs and mark academic vocabulary with a symbol, for example, a star:

  • Academic vocabulary: words you might find in informational texts on many different topics. For example, the words evidence and rationale are words that could be found in books on any topic.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary: words about a particular topic. For example, the words tadpoles, frogspawn, and amphibian are some that would be found on the topic of frogs.

Module 1, Unit 3

Unit 3: Research to Create a New Character and Write a Narrative

Common Core State Standards addressed: 

  • W.6.3, W.6.4, W.6.5, W.6.6, W.6.10
  • L.6.3, L.6.6

Guiding Questions and Big Ideas

What is mythology, and what is the value of studying mythology from other cultures?

  • A collection of stories featuring traditional figures that explain natural phenomena and convey the values of the culture
  • Studying stories from other cultures introduces alternative perspectives and amplifies one’s worldview.

Why have stories from Greek mythology remained popular?

  • They teach themes that are still relevant.
  • They contain figures whose attributes are valued across time.
  • They ask questions about the human condition.
  • They remain relatable because they can be reimagined to fit different environments and time periods.

How does point of view change with experience?

  • A narrator’s or character’s understanding of an experience changes depending on one’s point of view.
  • Examining multiple points of view supports a more complex understanding of our own and others’ choices and beliefs.

What will your student be doing at school?

In Unit 3, students reimagine a scene from The Lightning Thief, writing themselves into the action as a different demigod from Camp Half-Blood. They research a Greek god of their choosing and use their research to create a new character, the child of that figure. Students develop the attributes of that character and strategically insert the character into a scene from the novel, editing carefully so as not to change the outcome of the story.

At the end of the module, students create a presentation outlining their choices and the reasons for their choices for the performance task.

The Language standard focused on in this unit requires students to vary sentence patterns for meaning and maintain consistency in style and tone.

Working to contribute to a better world is the habit of character emphasized in this unit. Specifically, students will focus on using their strengths to help others grow by providing kind, helpful, and specific feedback as they revise their narratives with their peers.

How can you support your student at home?

Discuss the attributes of favorite characters from books, movies, television, etc. Talk about what factors likely led the characters to develop those attributes. Especially focus on the influence of the character’s parents, caregivers, and mentors.

Read the news together. Discuss what you read, and look for allusions to mythology and other traditional stories.

Challenge your student to think critically about what he or she is reading. Ask about whose perspective is included, whose is excluded, how certain groups of people are being conveyed. Similar conversations could happen around other media like the news or advertisements.

Explore your local library for fractured fairytales rewritten for a young adult audience. Discuss how changing the perspective of the narrator reveals new ideas in a familiar story. Many options are available, including Cinder by Marissa Meyer, Briar Rose by Jane Yolen, or any of the You Choose: Fractured Fairy Tales series.

Seek out podcasts that highlight the pervasive power of mythology and/or the skill of storytelling. Podcasts appeal particularly to students whose strength is in auditory processing or those who appreciate the convenience of learning while on the go.

Ask your student to practice presenting their performance task for you. As students will not be formally assessed on this task, focus mainly on positive, encouraging feedback.

Help your student to make authentic connections between what they are learning in school and how it can apply in one’s personal and professional life. In this unit, students compose a narrative text and present their work to an audience. Look for examples of these skills being applied in the “real world.”

Read chapter books with your student, and discuss how each chapter fits into the overall structure of the novel using the key below:

Key

  • exposition: beginning of the story describing how things are before the action begins
  • rising action: series of conflicts and crises in the story that build toward the climax
  • climax: the turning point, when something important happens that changes the direction of the story
  • falling action: the action that happens after the climax and starts to guide the story toward the resolution
  • resolution: the end of the story tying everything together 

Unit 3: Homework

In Lessons 1–11, homework focuses on research reading.

Research reading: Your student is expected to independently research the topic by reading topic-related books of his or her choice for approximately 20 minutes each day and responding to a prompt of choice in the front of the independent reading journal. These are usually books your student will bring home from school; however, they may be topic-related books chosen by the student at the public or home library. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Choice reading: If your student would also like to independently read and respond to a book of free choice, he or she may use the back of the independent reading journal. Prompts for independent reading can be found in the homework materials provided.

Vocabulary Logs

Students record new vocabulary in vocabulary logs and mark academic vocabulary with a symbol, for example, a star:

  • Academic vocabulary: words you might find in informational texts on many different topics. For example, the words evidence and rationale are words that could be found in books on any topic.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary: words about a particular topic. For example, the words tadpoles, frogspawn, and amphibian are some that would be found on the topic of frogs.

Grade 6 Module 2 Family Letters

Each letter can be translated by clicking the "Select Language" menu on the top left of this page. Please contact your student's teacher for more information.

Module 2, Unit 1

Coming Soon!

Module 2, Unit 2

Coming Soon!

Module 2, Unit 3

Coming Soon!

Grade 6 Module 4 Family Letters

Each letter can be translated by clicking the "Select Language" menu on the top left of this page. Please contact your student's teacher for more information.

Module 4, Unit 1

Coming Soon!

Module 4, Unit 2

Coming Soon!

Module 4, Unit 3

Coming Soon!

This page was last updated on June 20, 2022