Beacon Lesson Plan Library
The Land and the Water
Santa Rosa District Schools
Students compare and contrast the tragic event that occurs in a work of fiction to a real-life tragic experience that occurs in a work of non-fiction.
The student uses a variety of strategies to analyze words and text, draw conclusions, use context and word structure clues, and recognize organizational patterns.
The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.
The student writes text, notes, outlines, comments, and observations that demonstrate comprehension of content and experiences from a variety of media.
The student recognizes complex elements of plot, including setting, character development, conflicts, and resolutions.
- The short story “The Land and the Water” by Shirley Ann Grau should be found in a literature book, such as
[Adventures for Readers], Book 2, Publisher: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Austin, Texas, 1996.
- A newspaper, magazine, or Internet article about the July 16, 1999, disappearance of John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, and sister-in-law.
- A Venn diagram
1. Prior to study, read short story. (Summary of “The Land and the Water:- With a storm approaching, the narrator’s father and brother help search for three young neighbors who have not returned from sailing. Hours later, the men return exhausted but without finding the boat or the neighbors.)
2. Research for information on John F. Kennedy’s death.
3. Devise and provide an example of a Venn diagram by drawing one on the board or by giving one as a handout.
1. Students read the short story “The Land and the Water.”
2. Students research for information about the July 16, 1999, disappearance of John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, and his sister-in-law. in the media center. Students select a newspaper, magazine, or Internet article.
3. Students create a Venn diagram and compare and contrast the tragic event in the short story to the real-life JFK, Jr., tragedy. To use a Venn diagram, draw intersecting circles--one for each idea being compared--and list their common characteristics in the intersecting region and their distinguishing traits outside this area. While completing the diagram, students may use specific artwork to illustrate the similarities and differences between both events, such as a sailboat for the story’s event and an airplane for the JFK, Jr. event. Students list at least ten entries on the diagram.
4. Students share Venn diagrams.
5. Students modify their Venn diagrams, adding or deleting ideas, because the Venn diagrams will become notes to use in writing the essay.
6. Review the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. (see Weblinks)
7. Review the two methods of writing a comparison/contrast essay: the subject by subject method or the feature by feature method.
8. Students write a grammatically correct comparison/ contrast essay. The essay must note the similarities and differences of both tragic events using either the subject by subject method or the feature by feature method.
Subject by Subject
Feature by Feature
-Make an informal assessment of the Venn diagrams. Offer corrective feedback and discussion as students share.
-Evaluate the student’s ability to write a grammatically correct essay and to draw similarities and differences in a comparison/contrast essay. Use the rubric scale of the six traits of writing: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions. (See Weblinks for rubric.)
Science link: Students research storms, including hurricanes that occur in coastal regions of the United States.
Geography link: Students locate Louisiana, Timbalier Bay, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean on a map of the United States.
Career link: Students research the functions of the Coast Guard in peacetime and in war.
Web supplement for The Land and the WaterSix Traits of Writing