Unit 4

And Then There Were None: Guaranteed Curriculum Unit


Grade 8

Unit Length and Description:


34 Instructional Days


During this unit based on truth and justice, students will explore the distinction between reality and perception in literature. They will analyze a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts for “truth,” focusing on how reality is altered by perception or emotion and will examine the idea of justice in relationship to its use in a famous mystery novel.  Students will investigate point of view based on the reliability of narrators and the use of irony and its effects on the reader.  Through the study of the craft of writing, students will have opportunities to write arguments defending or discrediting “truth” and /or “justice.” Like lawyers, students will locate and cite evidence to support their claims about the validity of their arguments.


Integrating knowledge and ideas will be the focus of reading during the unit.  Writing will be predominately narrative with some focus on informative/explanatory and argumentative.




Reading Literature:

7. Analyze the extent to which non-printed media (e.g., film, drama, live production, art) connects to or departs from the text or script, evaluating the choices.

9. Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or foundational religious works; describe how the material is rendered new.

Reading Informational Texts:

7. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.

8.  Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced.

9. Analyze a case in which two or more texts provide conflicting information on the same topic and identify where the texts disagree on matters of fact or interpretation.



3.  Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.

a.  Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

b.  Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c.  Use a variety of transition words, phrases, and clauses to convey sequence, signal shifts from one time frame or setting to another, and show the relationships among experiences and events.

d.  Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

e.  Provide a conclusion that follows from and reflects on the narrated experiences or events.

8.  Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.

9.  Draw relevant evidence from grade-appropriate literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

a.  Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, historical fiction, or foundational religious works, including describing how the material is rendered new”).

b.  Apply grade 8 Reading standards to literary nonfiction (e.g., “Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; recognize when irrelevant evidence is introduced”).


Speaking and Listening:

4.  Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.

5.  Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.

6.  Adapt speech to a variety of contexts, audience, and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.



4. Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

a.  Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word’s position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

b.  Use common, grade-appropriate Greek or Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., precede, recede, secede).

c.  Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

d.  Verify the preliminary determination of the meaning of a word or phrase (e.g., by checking the inferred meaning in context or in a dictionary).

5. Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a.  Interpret figures of speech (e.g. verbal irony, puns) in context.

b.  Use the relationship between particular words to better understand each of the words.

c.  Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., bullheaded, willful, firm, persistent, resolute).

Enduring Understandings:


·         Perception is reality.

·         An effective story engages the reader by setting up questions, tensions, mystery, dilemmas, or uncertainty.

·         Problems can be solved by examining data, determining a pattern, and making meaning.

·         Behavioral choices are governed by internal beliefs and external factors.

Essential Questions:


·         What tools can I use to judge the difference between reality and appearance?

·         How might being able to recognize literary features help in appreciating literature?

·         How do readers reflect and respond?

·         What connections do readers make?

·         How can I unravel the unknown? Why am I fascinated by the unknown?

·         What do our interpretations of the actions and choices of others reveal about our own characters?