A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

Quarter 2 Overview

  • In this ten week unit focusing on survival, students explore the experiences of the people of Southern Sudan during and after the Second Sudanese Civil War. They build proficiency in using textual evidence to support ideas in their writing, both in short responses and in an analytical essay (extended response). 

    Students begin the novel, A Long Walk to Water, by Linda Sue Park. Students will read closely to practice citing evidence and drawing inferences from this compelling text as they begin to analyze and contrast the points of view of the two central characters, Salva and Nya, focusing on the commonalities between them in relation to the novel’s theme: how individuals survive in challenging environments. (The main characters’ journeys are fraught with challenges imposed by the environment, including the lack of safe drinking water, threats posed by animals, and the constant scarcity of food. They are also challenged by political and social environments.) They will collect, develop, and justify their ideas about the text as they generate notes in their texts or on the side in a reader's notebook. Students will be given the opportunity to explain and elaborate on important points and details, citing evidence from the text, and incorporating direct quotations into their writing as they reflect on the reading they have done. 


    CONFLICT will be a big focus of this unit, both internal and external. This concept was introduced in quarter 1 but will be much more prominent this quarter. This is directly tied to the Essential Question: How do individuals survive in challenging environments? It is also tied to the idea of perseverance and how both characters persevere through overcoming conflict, turning a negative experience into an experience that makes one stronger.
    The unit culminates with a literary analysis essay about the theme of survival. 


    Skills We will work on:

    • Evidence-based writing (short response will develop into extended response this quarter) 
    • Characterization (how are characters shaped through their experiences?)
    • Conflict-how characters grow through it
    • Setting-how setting shapes events in novels, plot, characterization, etc. 
    • Defining vocab words using context clues (list of words relevant to the novel this quarter has been started in Vocabulary section)
    • Comparing points of view of different characters in text (Nya and Salva)
    • Text Analysis
    • Creating and sharing questions