CASE STUDY: THE MOST BEAUTIFUL ROOF IN THE WORLD AND THE WORK OF RAINFOREST SCIENTIST MEG LOWMAN
In this unit students will continue to build new reading skills and learn about the process scientists use to conduct research in the natural world through a close-read of The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy (L1160), by Kathryn Lasky, with photographs by Christopher G. Knight. They will take an in-depth view of how one scientist, Meg Lowman, became interested in her chosen career, created new ways to study the natural world, and communicates her findings to others. Students will compare and contrast Meg Lowman’s work to other rainforest scientists while navigating the terrain of various forms of informational text (articles, interviews, videos). The class also will read the short story “The Wings of a Butterfly,” fiction modeled after an indigenous tribe’s folktale of animal encounters with humans in the Amazon rainforest. This will allow the students further opportunity to practice fluency when reading as well as compare literature to informational text. For the mid-unit assessment, students will demonstrate skills learned for determining the meaning of new vocabulary and the main ideas in informational text through the completion of a textdependent short- answer quiz. In the end of unit assessment students will continue to demonstrate their ability to summarize, use quotes to explain the meaning of text, and determine the meaning of new words in context. In preparation for individual research to be conducted in Unit 3, the members of the class will hone in specifically on the research Meg Lowman did during extended stays in the canopy of the rainforest. Students will write an essay in which they analyze Lowman’s research of biodiversity in the rainforests, providing examples of what and how she researches in order to clarify their analysis.