Unit Title

Battle of the Books-- Digging Deeper


Grades 4-5

Designed by

Laurie Dukes

Time Frame

December-May  2017

Stage 1- Desired Results

Establish Goals

  • Students will reflect on and make connections to their Battle book reading
  • Students will use multiple technology resources for Battle Book response and review.
  • Students will research a topic related to one of our Battle of the Book selections and create a media product to share their learning.


Learners will be able to....

What kinds of long-term independent accomplishments are desired?

  • Reflect and make deeper connections to reading
  • Become comfortable using a variety of digital tools
  • Effectively research information online
  • Create a digital product to showcase learning



Learners will understand that...

  • Researching background information about a book can deepen understanding and appreciation for real-life issues found in literature
  • There are a variety of Digital tools and platforms which can help them learn and showcase their learning.
  • Digital media provides an opportunity to self learn by digging deeper into a topic or issue.  

Essential Questions

Learners will keep considering...

  • How authors use real-life issues and settings as a basis for creating characters and plots in fiction
  • How their understanding and insights are changed and  influenced by reading fiction
  • How they can make the most of technology to seek out information and share it effectively with others
  • Which digital tools and platforms are most effective for learning and sharing their learning.


Learners  will know…

  • That reading fiction is a meaningful way to understand real-life issues and challenges
  • That they can seek out information online whenever they want to learn more about a topic
  • How to organize information and present it effectively to others.

Learners will be skilled at...

  • Reflecting on literary themes and how they relate to real-life experiences
  • Researching a topic online
  • Documenting their learning
  • Showcasing their learning digitally

Stage 2- Evidence


Learners will show that they understand by evidence of…

GRASPS Task written in student-friendly language:


You will create a media presentation to teach others about a Battle topic you’ve researched.


You are a reader seeking to understand more about a topic, issue, or challenge found in your reading.


You will share a media presentation online with our AIS-R community.


You will choose a topic of interest from one of our Battle Books and research to deepen your understanding of that topic.


You will create a digital product to share what you have learned.


Learners  will show they have achieved Stage 1 goals by demonstrating their understanding through the Six Facets of Understanding...


Students will create a digital product of their choice which will share and explain what they have learned about a topic or issue in one of our Battle Books.


Students will research multiple sources online and organize, interpret, and synthesize information to share with others.


Students will engage in real-world application by considering how themes in books reflect real-life issues and challenges.  They will share their learning with others via media presentation.

Have perspective

By exploring a literary theme and engaging in the inquiry process about that theme, students will gain perspective about how literature is based on real-world challenges and experiences.


As students research issues and challenges, they will develop empathy for those who are struggling with those issues and ideally, will be inspired to action and make a difference.

Have self-knowledge

Students will reflect on their ability to self-learn and their willingness to expand on their knowledge by seeking out information.  

Stage 3- Learning Plan

Time Frame

Learning Events

Progress Monitoring

Lesson 1:

Battle Intro

(1 week)

  • On the Interactive board, show students our Battle of the Books Blog page.
  • Explain how they can participate in the Battle by reading the books, earning badges, and preparing for class battles in April.
  • Show students the Badge Winners Padlet and  Class Competition Doc where they can view their progress.
  • Walk students through the Google Form where they will submit their Battle reading.  Explain how to write a short summary in their own words, share a connection to the book, and write strong battle questions which show their knowledge of the book.  

Google Form responses

Ongoing: December-May

  • Students read Battle Books and submit completed reading on Google Form.        

Google Form responses

Lesson 2: Book Reviews

(1 week)

  • Have students navigate to the Book Review page on the blog. Show students examples of book reviews, both in written and video form.  Explain the parts of a good book review as outlined on the blog.
  • Students may use the app of their choice to create their book review.  It can be written, audio, or video.  Completed book reviews will be added to the class Seesaw account, and some will be highlighted on the Learning Commons blog.

Completed book reviews in Seesaw.

Lesson 3: Battle Book Research

(1 week)

  • From our Battle of the Books Blog Page, show students the book cover images for our Battle books.  Ask: Which of our Battle Books has made the greatest impact on you so far?  Why?  
  • Look at some of their reading reflections from the Battle Book response log.
  • Discuss what they feel are the big topics in each of the books.  
  • Explain that authors draw from real world issues and challenges when they are crafting characters and plots for their books.  They often need to do research various topics to ensure their plots are believable.  Show them the video interview with Kimberly Brubaker Bradley.  
  • It can be very meaningful to dig deeper into a book by doing some research about topics or issues within the book. Today, you will be choosing a topic from one of our battle books to research.
  • Google Form:  From my blog, go to the UES Specials page.  Fill out the Google Form and select up to three topics that interest you.
  • Use your iPads to start exploring these topics and narrowing down your choice for a research topic.

Google Form Responses

Lesson 4:
Organizing Research

(4 weeks)

  • Review last week’s discussion about the big topics in our Battle Books.
  • Show their responses to the Google Form and the topics they chose.
  • Explain that today, they will narrow down to one topic and start researching.
  • Show students the Battle Books Research Organizer.  Go over each of the steps and the expectations for completing it over the next few weeks.  Explain that once they have finished their research, they will complete a media project to share what they have learned.  Expectations are on the checklist at the end of the organizer.  
  • Have students go to the UES Specials page on my blog and click the link for the doc.  They should make a copy of the doc and save it as follows: Name, class, Battle Book Research.  They should then share the doc with me at ldukes@aisr.org
  • Prior to going to book checkouts, they should fill in their research topic and a few key words related to their topic.  
  • Over the next two weeks, they will research websites and gather information on the doc.  They will create the media product of their choice to share 10 important facts they learned from their research.  Two students with the same topic may collaborate.  Completed projects will be shared in Seesaw.

Research Organizer Docs

Final projects

Resources / Materials: