Through this Introduction to Memoir Book Circles Unit, we promote literacy and expand our students’ exposure to the genre of non-fiction, through the sub-genre of memoir. Lessons and handouts are included which will direct the sixth grade teacher to successfully begin to facilitate this Introduction to Memoir Book Circle unit. In order to differentiate instruction, and to challenge all of our readers, students will read full-length memoir novels in addition to smaller memoir texts. Assessments are provided that follow this unit. Students will go through the writing process to produce a published memoir. Students will also read a full-length memoir in homogeneous book circles.


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Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8


Language Arts



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0


Update Standards?

LA.6.RW.1.1: English-Language Arts

Read aloud narrative and expository text fluently and accurately and with appropriate pacing, intonation, and expression.

LA.6.RW.1.2: English-Language Arts

Identify and interpret figurative language and words with multiple meanings.

LA.6.RW.1.3: English-Language Arts

Recognize the origins and meanings of frequently used foreign words in English and use these words accurately in speaking and writing.

LA.6.RW.1.4: English-Language Arts

Monitor expository text for unknown words or words with novel meanings by using word, sentence, and paragraph clues to determine meaning.

LA.6.RW.1.5: English-Language Arts

Understand and explain "shades of meaning" in related words (e.g., softly and quietly).

LA.6.RC.2.1: English-Language Arts

Identify the structural features of popular media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, online information) and use the features to obtain information.

LA.6.RC.2.2: English-Language Arts

Analyze text that uses the compare-and-contrast organizational pattern.

LA.6.RC.2.3: English-Language Arts

Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other sources and related topics.

LA.6.RC.2.4: English-Language Arts

Clarify an understanding of texts by creating outlines, logical notes, summaries, or reports.

LA.6.RC.2.5: English-Language Arts

Follow multiple-step instructions for preparing applications (e.g., for a public library card, bank savings account, sports club, league membership).

LA.6.RC.2.6: English-Language Arts

Determine the adequacy and appropriateness of the evidence for an author's conclusions.

LA.6.RC.2.7: English-Language Arts

Make reasonable assertions about a text through accurate, supporting citations.

LA.6.RC.2.8: English-Language Arts

Note instances of unsupported inferences, fallacious reasoning, persuasion, and propaganda in text.

LA.6.RL.3.1: English-Language Arts

Identify the forms of fiction and describe the major characteristics of each form.

LA.6.RL.3.2: English-Language Arts

Analyze the effect of the qualities of the character (e.g., courage or cowardice, ambition or laziness) on the plot and the resolution of the conflict.

LA.6.RL.3.3: English-Language Arts

Analyze the influence of setting on the problem and its resolution.

LA.6.RL.3.4: English-Language Arts

Define how tone or meaning is conveyed in poetry through word choice, figurative language, sentence structure, line length, punctuation, rhythm, repetition, and rhyme.

LA.6.RL.3.5: English-Language Arts

Identify the speaker and recognize the difference between first- and third-person narration (e.g., autobiography compared with biography).

LA.6.RL.3.6: English-Language Arts

Identify and analyze features of themes conveyed through characters, actions, and images.

LA.6.RL.3.7: English-Language Arts

Explain the effects of common literary devices (e.g., symbolism, imagery, metaphor) in a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts.

LA.6.RL.3.8: English-Language Arts

Critique the credibility of characterization and the degree to which a plot is contrived or realistic (e.g., compare use of fact and fantasy in historical fiction).

LA.6.WS.1.1: English-Language Arts

Choose the form of writing (e.g., personal letter, letter to the editor, review, poem, report, narrative) that best suits the intended purpose.

LA.6.WS.1.2.a: English-Language Arts

Engage the interest of the reader and state a clear purpose.

LA.6.WS.1.2.b: English-Language Arts

Develop the topic with supporting details and precise verbs, nouns, and adjectives to paint a visual image in the mind of the reader.

LA.6.WS.1.2.c: English-Language Arts

Conclude with a detailed summary linked to the purpose of the composition.

LA.6.WS.1.3: English-Language Arts

Use a variety of effective and coherent organizational patterns, including comparison and contrast; organization by categories; and arrangement by spatial order, order of importance, or climactic order.

LA.6.WS.1.4: English-Language Arts

Use organizational features of electronic text (e.g., bulletin boards, databases, keyword searches, e-mail addresses) to locate information.

LA.6.WS.1.5: English-Language Arts

Compose documents with appropriate formatting by using word-processing skills and principles of design (e.g., margins, tabs, spacing, columns, page orientation).

LA.6.WS.1.6: English-Language Arts

Revise writing to improve the organization and consistency of ideas within and between paragraphs.

LA.6.W.2.1.a: English-Language Arts

Establish and develop a plot and setting and present a point of view that is appropriate to the stories.

LA.6.W.2.1.b: English-Language Arts

Include sensory details and concrete language to develop plot and character.

LA.6.W.2.1.c: English-Language Arts

Use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, suspense).

LA.6.W.2.2.a: English-Language Arts

State the thesis or purpose.

LA.6.W.2.2.b: English-Language Arts

Explain the situation.

LA.6.W.2.2.c: English-Language Arts

Follow an organizational pattern appropriate to the type of composition.

LA.6.W.2.2.d: English-Language Arts

Offer persuasive evidence to validate arguments and conclusions as needed.

LA.6.W.2.3.a: English-Language Arts

Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered.

LA.6.W.2.3.b: English-Language Arts

Support the main idea or ideas with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches).

LA.6.W.2.3.c: English-Language Arts

Include a bibliography.

LA.6.W.2.4.a: English-Language Arts

Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.

LA.6.W.2.4.b: English-Language Arts

Organize the interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.

LA.6.W.2.4.c: English-Language Arts

Develop and justify the interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.

LA.6.W.2.5.a: English-Language Arts

State a clear position on a proposition or proposal.

LA.6.W.2.5.b: English-Language Arts

Support the position with organized and relevant evidence.

LA.6.W.2.5.c: English-Language Arts

Anticipate and address reader concerns and counterarguments.

LA.6.WC.1.1: English-Language Arts

Use simple, compound, and compound-complex sentences; use effective coordination and subordination of ideas to express complete thoughts.

LA.6.WC.1.2: English-Language Arts

Identify and properly use indefinite pronouns and present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses; ensure that verbs agree with compound subjects.

LA.6.WC.1.3: English-Language Arts

Use colons after the salutation in business letters, semicolons to connect independent clauses, and commas when linking two clauses with a conjunction in compound sentences.

LA.6.WC.1.4: English-Language Arts

Use correct capitalization.

LA.6.WC.1.5: English-Language Arts

Spell frequently misspelled words correctly (e.g., their, they're, there).

LA.6.L.1.1: English-Language Arts

Relate the speaker's verbal communication (e.g., word choice, pitch, feeling, tone) to the nonverbal message (e.g., posture, gesture).

LA.6.L.1.2: English-Language Arts

Identify the tone, mood, and emotion conveyed in the oral communication.

LA.6.L.1.3: English-Language Arts

Restate and execute multiple-step oral instructions and directions.

LA.6.L.1.4: English-Language Arts

Select a focus, an organizational structure, and a point of view, matching the purpose, message, occasion, and vocal modulation to the audience.

LA.6.L.1.5: English-Language Arts

Emphasize salient points to assist the listener in following the main ideas and concepts.

LA.6.L.1.6: English-Language Arts

Support opinions with detailed evidence and with visual or media displays that use appropriate technology.

LA.6.L.1.7: English-Language Arts

Use effective rate, volume, pitch, and tone and align nonverbal elements to sustain audience interest and attention.

LA.6.L.1.8: English-Language Arts

Analyze the use of rhetorical devices (e.g., cadence, repetitive patterns, use of onomatopoeia) for intent and effect.

LA.6.L.1.9: English-Language Arts

Identify persuasive and propaganda techniques used in television and identify false and misleading information.

LA.6.L.2.1.a: English-Language Arts

Establish a context, plot, and point of view.

LA.6.L.2.1.b: English-Language Arts

Include sensory details and concrete language to develop the plot and character.

LA.6.L.2.1.c: English-Language Arts

Use a range of narrative devices (e.g., dialogue, tension, or suspense).

LA.6.L.2.2.a: English-Language Arts

Pose relevant questions sufficiently limited in scope to be completely and thoroughly answered.

LA.6.L.2.2.b: English-Language Arts

Develop the topic with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information).

LA.6.L.2.3.a: English-Language Arts

Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.

LA.6.L.2.3.b: English-Language Arts

Organize the selected interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.

LA.6.L.2.3.c: English-Language Arts

Develop and justify the selected interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.

LA.6.L.2.4.a: English-Language Arts

Provide a clear statement of the position.

LA.6.L.2.4.b: English-Language Arts

Include relevant evidence.

LA.6.L.2.4.c: English-Language Arts

Offer a logical sequence of information.

LA.6.L.2.4.d: English-Language Arts

Engage the listener and foster acceptance of the proposition or proposal.

LA.6.L.2.5.a: English-Language Arts

Theorize on the causes and effects of each problem and establish connections between the defined problem and at least one solution.

LA.6.L.2.5.b: English-Language Arts

Offer persuasive evidence to validate the definition of the problem and the proposed solutions.
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2012-02-22.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 3
Appropriate Pedagogy: 3

Reviewer Comments:

In this excellent resource of Introduction to Memoir Book Circles, 6th grade students read and write memoir. Alignment to core standards is addressed, essential questions are asked, and direct and indirect evidence is required to demonstrate knowledge of memoir. Seven days of lessons are included along with graphic organizers and directions. Students work in groups and independently. A variety of leveled texts are suggested to accommodate reading levels of a variety of students and facilitate differentiation of instruction. While directions for the actual writing of memoir is not explicit, all the background information building to that assignment is provided. Although it is stated that, “Assessments are provided that follow this unit. Students will go through the writing process to produce a published memoir,” it cannot be found in this resource.
Joshua Marks
October 27, 2011

Wonderful. This lesson can be used and adapted for may different texts too!

Thank you!

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