In this unit of study, the students will examine the basic components of the fiction and nonfiction genres of writing. Among the topics covered in the course of their readings will be the following: determining themes in fiction; determining central ideas in nonfiction; and, analyzing the style and merit of informational writing. By reading select narrative essays, diary excerpts and short stories, the students will also learn the importance of addressing material by first asking questions, examining the writer’s background, and making predictions in an effort to better understand the nature of the material. The students will be encouraged to initiate and participate in a series of small group and class discussions as a means of expressing their own and hearing/considering others’ opinions. Finally, vocabulary knowledge will be addressed. The students will study domain specific words as they appear in the readings and as they are used in their individual writings.