Unit 2

Louisiana Purchase


Grade 3



Unit Length and Description:


50 Instructional Days


Students read literary and informational texts to learn about the Louisiana Purchase and the characteristics of pioneers during this time period. While exploring these texts, including quotes from primary source documents, students develop their understanding of narrative writing and make connections between sentences and paragraphs in a text. Students express their understanding of the Louisiana Purchase by explaining the events leading up to the acquisition of the territory and the results of those events.



Reading Literature:


Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through the key details in the text.


Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.


Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.


Distinguish the student’s point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.


Reading Informational Text


Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.


Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject.


Use text features and search tools (e.g., key words, sidebars, hyperlinks) to locate information relevant to a given topic efficiently.


Distinguish the student’s point of view from that of the author of a text.


Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).


Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).


Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.


Reading Foundational Skills:


Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.


a.   Identify and know the meaning of the most common prefixes and suffixes and derivational suffixes.

b.   Decode words with common Latin suffixes.

c.    Decode multisyllable words.

d.   Read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words.



Writing Standards


Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons.


a.   Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure that lists reasons.


b.   Provide reasons that support the opinion.


c.    Use linking words and phrases (e.g., because, therefore, since, for example) to connect opinion and reasons.


d.   Provide a concluding statement or section.


Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.


a.   Introduce a topic and group related information; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.


b.   Develop the topic with facts, definitions, and details.


c.    Use linking words and phrases (e.g., also, another, and, more, but) to connect ideas within categories of information.


d.   Provide a concluding statement or section.


Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.


Recall information from experiences or gather information from print and digital sources; take brief notes on sources and sort evidence into provided categories.


Speaking and Listening:


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.


a.   Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation and other information known about the topic to explore ideas under discussion.


b.   Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).


c.    Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others.


d.   Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the discussion.


Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.


Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.


Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.


Speak in complete sentences when appropriate to task, audience, and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.




Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.


a.   Explain the function of nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in general and their functions in particular sentences.


b.   Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.


c.    Use abstract nouns (e.g., childhood)


d.   Form and use regular and irregular plural nouns.


e.   Form and use the simple (e.g., I walked, I walk; I will walk) verb tenses.


f.     Ensure subject-verb and pronoun antecedent agreement.


g.   Form and use comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs, and choose between them depending on what is to be modified.


h.   Use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions


i.     Produce simple, compound, and complex sentences.


Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.


Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.


a.   Distinguish the literal and non-literal meanings of words and phrases in context (e.g., take steps)


b.   Identify real-life connections between words and their use (e.g., describe people who are friendly or helpful).


c.    Distinguish shades of meaning among related words that describe states of mind or degrees of certainty (e.g., knew, believed, suspected, heard, wondered).


These standards are embedded in every unit:

The following standards are embedded in all units:

RL. /RI.3.1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

RL.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

RI.3.10: By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

RF.3.4: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

a. Read on-level text with purpose and understanding.

b. Read on-level prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate, and expression on successive readings.

c. Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

W.3.4: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

W.3.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.

W.3.6: With guidance and support from adults, produce and publish grade-appropriate writing, using technology, either independently or in collaboration with others.


W.3.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

L.3.4: Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning word and phrases based on grade 3 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a. Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b. Determine the meaning of the new word formed when a known affix is added to a known word (e.g., agreeable/disagreeable, comfortable/uncomfortable, care/careless, heat/preheat).

c. Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root (e.g., company, companion).

d. Use glossaries or beginning dictionaries, both print and digital, to determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

L.3.6: Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).


Enduring Understandings:


·         Narrative writing and primary source documents can help a reader understand a person or character’s point of view.

·         The spirit of exploration and the values of American pioneers was evident during the early 1800s.

·         Different forms of writing are appropriate for different purposes and have different features (opinion, informative and narrative)


Essential Questions:


·         What events led to the United States acquiring the Louisiana Territory?

·         What are the causes and effects of the Louisiana Purchase?