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School District:Watertown
Unit of Study Title:Maniac Magee
Grade Level:6-8
Time Frame:Three weeks
Key Words:Maniac Magee, Jerry Spinelli, family, segregation, book
Unit Designer:Mark Sanden
Unit Designer
Date Added:6/14/2002 8:52:28 AM
Date Last Revised:6/26/2002 4:34:50 PM
Topic Area:Communications/Language Arts
Peer Reviewer:Elizabeth Towle
Peer Reviewer

Brief Summary of Unit: The goals of this unit are to first of all to enjoy a fun book. There is plenty of material to discuss; prejudice, baseball, family, segregation, to name a few. Through the use of technology I hope to bring awareness of some of these issues to my students.
Students will Understand: Students will understand the concept of family, prejudice, and segregation

Link to Standards #1

Communications/Language Arts
Students will use critical listening and viewing skills in various situations and for a variety of purposes.

Indicator:Indicator: 1 Students will use various reading cues/strategies to comprehend text, e.g. context, semantic, syntactic, and graphophonic cues.
Indicator: 2 Students will evaluate the patterns of organization, literary elements, and literary devices within various texts.
Indicator: 4 Students will access, synthesize, and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
Benchmark(s):Use specific cues/strategies to make connections with predict meaning of, and comprehend information within text.
Determine when a specific cue or strategy can be used most effectively to read for comprehension.
Use prior knowledge and experience to interpret and construct meaning from various texts.
Explain literary elements and/or devices used in various texts, e.g., plot, setting, character, imagery, alliteration.
Select and use suitable information sources for a variety of purposes, e.g., Internet, CD-ROM, print and video materials, library.
Collect and summarize information to make reasonable and informed decisions.
Other Content Standards:The student will use background knowledge and experience to comprehend text.
The student will explain character and plot development are used in a selection to support a central conflict or story line.
The student will identify and understand types of figurative language. (example: similes, personification, alliteration)
The student will draw conclusions and inferences based on explicit and implied information.
The student will use reference tools and manage information. (example: interactive software, CD ROM, video materials, Internet)

Other Components
Essential Questions to Guide this Unit and Focus Teaching and Learning: What do you think makes Maniac run?
Why do you think that the West Enders stay in their side of town and the East Enders stay in their side?
Why doesn’t Maniac rescue Russell on the bridge?
What does having an address mean to Maniac?
Describe the relationship between Grayson and Maniac.
Compare the Pickwells and the Beales.
Describe the relationship between Mars Bar and Maniac as the story progresses. How do the two end up trusting and respecting one another?
Why were books so important to Maniac?
Key Knowledge and Skills Students will Acquire: Students will be able to define family as it pertains to them in an impression presentation.
Assessment Plan: The teacher will observe the students’ technology projects
Students will take the Accelerated Reading test on Maniac Magee.
Learning Activities: Students will work together to achieve the goals of this unit by using technology.
Notes:This unit will allow students to explore their feelings about prejudice, family, and friendship.
Internet Resource Link:

Adapted from the the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by
Design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA. 1998.

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