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6-8 Core Literature Themes and Connections

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
This novel is based on the value of the life and death cycle. Tuck family who drank water from a magic spring which put them into the awkward position of eternal life. From that day forward, they found that they couldn't be hurt, grow older, or die. One day, Winnie Foster, discovers their secret spring and they kidnap her in hopes to explain why everlasting life at one age is no blessing.

5th & 6th grade Core Literature

Key Concepts and Vocabulary Words
everlasting, eternal, life cycle, hydrologic, legends, myths, fables, immortality

Immortality, Life Cycles, Legends and Myths


English/Language Arts

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

How do folk tales get started?
What is the difference between a myth and a legend

Score CyberGuide on Tuck Everlasting
This site by Julie Nunes asks students to research different legends, myths and fairy tales, websites on Impressionism and creating their own watercolor, and research on ground water and life cycles.
Myth, Fable, and Traditional Stories
This site is part of Eurotales and PlanetOz and has some examples of myths, fables, and legends.

Students read different folk tales and create their own folk tale.
Compare and contrast legends on a similar theme but from different cultures: e.g. Cinderella.
Students work in groups to start their own legend.

Language Arts Content Standards
Reading Comprehension
2.0 Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
2.3 Connect and clarify main ideas by identifying their relationships to other sources and related topics.

1.0 Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
1.3 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.


History/Social Science

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

What does Dogsong tell you about the effects of the modern-day world on Inuit culture?

Canadian Inuit History dmorrison/page01_e.html
This site is by David Morrison for the Canadian Museum of Civilization and provides a 1,000 year history of the Inuits along with timelines and photographs.

This site provides textual information about Eskimos, their history, culture, and daily life

Research Inuit culture, its past and present. Create a timeline of historical events.

Write a report on how climate and modern day culture affected the growth of the Inuit civilization.

6th Grade History/Social Science Content Standards
6.1 Students describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic era to the agricultural revolution.



Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

What happens to water after it falls as rain?

How much water do you use in a day?

Water Science for School
This site created by the US Geographic Society follows the life of a drip of water, measures ground water, explains where earth water comes from and ways for students to predict information about water. There are charts, definitions, questionnaires, and challenge questions.

Hydrologic/Water Cycle and Hands-On Activities pages/hands.htm
This site provides formulas for you to calculate your water usage, compare fresh and salt water, and give questions for students to investigate.

Ask students to keep track of how much water they use in a day. Then compile data from all students in a graph. Ask them to share the results with their families.
Answer the challenge questions on the USGS site.
Have students create multimedia presentations about their concerns about water in their local area by answering the following questions:

  • How can we keep water clean?
  • How can we save water for future generations?
  • What measures can students take to conserve water today?

What is the advantage or disadvantage of immortality?

The Circle of Life
This site from the Franklin Institute Online provides definition of life, life cycles of seeds, plants, trees, and how all living things go through this cycle.
Have students work in pairs to draw a life cycle of an animal or plant from the Circle of Life website.
Have students list reason why or why not they would drink water from the magic spring. Use the chart from /online/langarts/tuck/procon.html

6th Grade Science

Investigation and Experimentation
7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations, students will
c. Construct appropriate graphs from data and develop qualitative statements about the relationships between variables.
d. Communicate the steps and results from an investigation in written reports and oral presentations.
h. Identify changes in natural phenomena over time without manipulating the phenomena (e.g., a tree limb, a grove of trees, a stream, a hillslope).



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