7th Grade English Curriculum: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian | Common Basic Lessons (2023)

Summary of the unit

In the first session of the year, seventh graders read an autobiographical account of Sherman Alexie's upbringing on a poor Indian reservation. The book is loved by teenagers and adults alike for its uplifting story of the triumph of a child with few benefits, as well as its fresh, heartfelt voice. It is chosen by professors across the country because it appeals to reluctant readers and because it tackles vital issues such as the struggles of youth, the search for personal identity, bullying and poverty.

It's important to remember thatThe absolutely true diary of a part-time Indianit has been banned in several school districts across the country. Teachers are strongly encouraged to send a letter to parents explaining that while there are adult themes, verbal abuse, and sexual innuendo in this book, the novel is intended to be used as a vehicle to introduce topics that will be covered throughout seventh grade become , like disappointment. of the American dream and the search for personal identity. Visit the Handouts section of this unit for a sample letter to parents.

In this unit, students also develop fundamental skills and habits around several key classroom practices: vocabulary building, text annotation, literary conversation, independent reading, and evidence-based writing. As students read, discuss, and write texts, they will explore how an author makes conscious decisions about tone, subject, mood, conflict, and viewpoint to convey deeper meaning to the reader.

texts and materials

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basic materials

supporting materials

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This assessment accompanies Unit 12 and must be completed on the day of the proposed assessment or upon completion of the unit.

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unit preparation

intellectual preparation

Suggestions for preparing to teach this unit

  1. Before reading the novel, read and write down the Unit Summary and Basic Questions sections of the unit plan.
  2. Read and comment on the text, taking into account the key issues.
  3. Take the unit test and write your mastery answer for the written portion of the exam.
  4. Optional: Read all supporting materials.

essential questions

The central thematic issues dealt with in the unit or between the units

  • What factors shape our identity?
    • Is it possible to be yourself and be part of a group even if you don't identify with the parts of that group?
  • What expectations do our communities have of us?
    • How do we exceed the expectations of others to live the life we ​​want?
  • What challenges do Native Americans face in trying to realize the American Hope and Dream?
  • What role does education play in the American Dream?

write priorities

Specific skills to focus on when providing feedback on writing assignments

In this first unit of the year, students focus on reading and analyzing the message to ensure they fully understand the task at hand. Then they will also focus on the writing process of brainstorming, sketching and writing forOn demandPrompts (test-style prompts). Students are not given graphic organizers, but rather instructions on how to create their own sketches from a blank sheet of paper. Finally, an assessment is made of whether they addressed the message themselves, made a structured and concise statement, saw strong reasons in their perspectives, and grouped the information into meaningful paragraphs.

Specialization in writing spiral literature analyses

FCA No. 1 - General:

  • Addressed the warning.
  • Submitted a structured and precise application
  • Provide 1-2 evidence for each reason (can be paraphrased or quoted directly)
  • Each part of the text built its argument and led to a conclusion without redundancies.

FCA No. 2 – Leadership:

  • You have specified your claim and provided your supporting reasons.
  • You've piqued your readers' interest by including an interesting fact or persuasive question on the topic.
  • The introduction corresponds to the structure of the main sections.
  • He involved the readers in his reasoning and helped them to understand the background story through targeted choice of words.

FCA #3 – Organisation:

  • Grouped information and related ideas in paragraphs
  • Arrange the parts of your letter in the order that best serves your purpose and helps you prove your reasons and claims.
  • The order of the sections and the internal structure of each section made sense.
  • They used theme phrases, transitions, and formatting (where applicable) to clarify the structure of the piece and emphasize its main points.


Literary terms, text-based vocabulary, idioms and parts of words to be conveyed through text

literary terms

Tone of voice, subject, internal conflict, point of view (first person), meaning of words in context, humor, tension, textual characteristics, comparison and contrast, imagery, juxtaposition

Roots and Affixes

im, in, il = no, in = inside,re = again

text based

Poverty (11), Orbit (3), Achievement (13), Powwow (17), Struggle (17), Old Age (31), Restraint (3), Burden (43), Contemplation (33), Ambition (47), naive (79), arrogant (107), shallow (127), lustful (127), holy (165)

Idioms and cultural references

"get to the point" (94)

support for all students

To ensure that all students can access the texts and activities in this unit, it is extremely important to prepare yourself intellectually to teach the unit before you begin. Use Intellectual Readiness Protocol and Unit Launch to determine what support students need. For more information, seesupport for all studentsLehrer-Tool.

Content knowledge and connections

Fishtank ELA units related to the content of this unit.

(Video) Teaching in the US vs. the rest of the world
  • Indianerreservate
  • alcoholism
  • Sports mascots depicting Native Americans in a stereotypical or negative manner

lesson card

ATDPTIp. 1 – 15

Identify the humorous and practical toneThe absolutely true diary of a part-time Indianand what this reveals about Junior's identity.

Annotate narrative text and look for character, setting, and suspense using abbreviations and summaries in the margin.


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common basic pattern

basic pattern

The content standards covered in this unit


language pattern

L.7.3— Use knowledge of the language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading or listening.


language pattern

L.7.4— Determine or clarify the meaning of unfamiliar and ambiguous words and phrases based on 7th grade reading and content, choosing flexibly from a variety of strategies.


Reading pattern for information texts

RI.7.1— Cite various textual evidence to support the analysis of what the text explicitly says and the conclusions drawn from the text.


Reading pattern for information texts

RI.7.2— Identify two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development in the text; Give an objective summary of the text.


Reading pattern for information texts

RI.7.3— analyze interactions between people, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas affect people or events, or how people affect ideas or events).


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.1— Cite various textual evidence to support the analysis of what the text explicitly says and the conclusions drawn from the text.


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.2— Identify a theme or central idea of ​​a text and analyze its development throughout the text; Give an objective summary of the text.



Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.3— Analyze how certain elements of a story or drama interact (e.g. how the environment shapes the characters or the plot).


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.4— determining the meaning of words and phrases used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; Analyze the effects of rhyming and other phonetic repetitions (e.g. alliteration) on a specific line or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.5— Analyze how the form or structure of a drama or poem (e.g. monologue, sonnet) contributes to its meaning.


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.6— Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the viewpoints of different characters or narrators in a text.


Literature Reading Patterns

RL.7.10- By the end of the year, be proficient in reading and understanding literary non-fiction in the range of text complexity for grades 6-8, scaffolding as needed at the higher end of the range.


Speech and Listening Patterns

SL.7.1— Participate effectively in a variety of collaborative discussions (individual, group and teacher-led) with diverse partners on 7th grade topics, texts and problems, building on the ideas of others and expressing your own ideas clearly .


Speech and Listening Patterns

SL.7.1.a— Coming to prepared discussions, having read or researched the material to be studied; expressly resort to this preparation by referring to evidence on the subject, text or problem being tested and reflecting on the ideas discussed.


writing pattern

W.7.1— Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.


writing pattern

W.7.1.a— Presenting claims, recognizing alternative or contrary claims, and logically organizing reasons and evidence.


writing pattern

W.7.2— Writing informative/explanatory texts to explore a topic and convey ideas, concepts and information by selecting, organizing and analyzing relevant content


writing pattern

W.7.2.a— Present a topic clearly and anticipate the following; Organize ideas, concepts and information using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast and cause/effect; contain formatting (e.g. headings), graphics (e.g. charts, tables) and multimedia where this is helpful for better understanding.


writing pattern

W.7.4— Write clearly and coherently, with development, organization and style appropriate to the task, purpose and audience.

unit 6

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What is the lesson learned in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? ›

Answer and Explanation: The most important lesson that Junior learns in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is that he must accept himself, define himself, and believe in himself. If he does those things, then he can achieve and become anything.

What grade level is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? ›

This book's Lexile measure is 600L and is frequently taught in the 6th to 8th grade.

What age should read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? ›

So many better books that are age appropriate for middle and high school that deal with social issues. Can't believe this is being categorized as age appropriate for 13 and 14 year olds!

Is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian appropriate for middle school? ›

This book is not appropriate reading for school age kids because of its sexually explicit content, and is designed to stereo type people. I would like to think we can do better and expect more from authors today.

What is the main message of the Part Time Indian? ›

In The Absolutely True Diary in a Part-Time Indian, themes of identity and belonging are important. As he struggles to fit in at his new school, Junior feels like he's split in two: He wakes up as an Indian (Junior) and arrives at Reardan as a nobody (Arnold). He doesn't feel like he belongs on the reservation, either.

Why is The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian controversial? ›

Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author.

What level is a 9 year old? ›

Middle Childhood (9-11 years of age)

What disability does Junior have in part time Indian? ›

On the reservation, Junior is never a stand-out player. The other kids make fun of him because he grew up stuttering and physically awkward because of his hydrocephalus.

What is Junior's personality in part time Indian? ›

Still, for the most part, Junior is sincere, compassionate, resilient, and persistent. When he recognizes them, he is honest about his faults with himself and readers. Throughout the novel, Junior struggles with a sense of double-consciousness or internal contradiction.

What should a 12 year olds reading age be? ›

The expectation is that the range of reading achievement is likely to be two-thirds of the median chronological age of the group. ie. in a mixed-ability class of 12-year-olds, the reading ages would vary from 8 to 16.

Is it the book appropriate for a 12 year old? ›

Overall you should not let a 12 year old watch this unless you're absolutely sure your child will be fine with it but anywhere over 12 you're fine to watch it if you would like, but ask you're parent first, it's not my decision. 3 people found this helpful.

Is Vampire Diaries books appropriate for 12 year olds? ›

It's a pretty good book for older kids(Teens). Not for kids 13 and below.

What age is appropriate for middle school? ›

Elementary school is kindergarten through 5th grade (ages 5-10), middle school is grades 6-8 (ages 11-13), and high school is grades 9-12 (ages 14-18).

What age is middle school suitable for? ›

Middle School or Junior High

Usually middle school begins when students are around 11 years old, and junior high at age 12.

Is 13th appropriate for middle school? ›

Provocative and heartbreakingly real, this documentary is recommended for mature teens and up.

What is the central idea of Alexie's text? ›

Alexie values education and supporting others in fighting against low expectations. The reader knows this because it is part of the central idea that Alexie develops in the text.

What is the main theme in The Absolutely True Diary? ›

Sherman Alexie develops a number of themes in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian including identity, race, loss, poverty, dreams and hope, and isolation.

What is the summary of Part Time Indian? ›

The book is about Junior's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision to go to a nearly all-white public high school away from the reservation. The graphic novel includes 65 comic illustrations that help further the plot.

What is the main conflict in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part time? ›

Protagonist Arnold Spirit, Jr. Major conflict The major conflict of the novel is Junior's struggle to find acceptance and belonging in two vastly different communities, the Spokane reservation and Reardan High.

Who is the villain in The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? ›

Rowdy. Rowdy begins as Arnold's best friend, but when Arnold decides to change schools, Rowdy becomes his greatest enemy.

What is a 12 year old called? ›

While known as preadolescent in psychology, the terms preteen or tween are common in everyday use. A preteen or preteenager is a person ages 12 and under. Generally, the term is restricted to those close to reaching age 13, especially ages 9 to 12.

Is it normal for an 11 year old boy to play with himself? ›

For a child this age, it has to do with him discovering pleasure associated with stimulation of a sensitive part of his body. It also may be a way of relieving tension or stress. If he becomes obsessed with this behaviour, it is problematic and not normal any more.

How tall should a 11 year old be? ›

They're likely to stand somewhere between 4 and 5 feet tall at this age. Their weight will probably be somewhere between 70 and 100 pounds. But at this age, your daughter has likely entered puberty and is at the peak of a growth spurt. They might grow as much as 4 inches a year during this time.

Why does Junior describe his grandmother as tolerant? ›

In The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Junior thinks that his grandmother is tolerant because she is not biased against homosexuals, she talks to homeless people who talk to invisible people, she keeps the family connected to the tribes' traditional ways, she still supports her son despite the fact that he ...

What does the narrator Arnold spirit mean by brain grease? ›

But cerebral spinal fluid is just the doctors' fancy way of saying brain grease. And brain grease works inside the lobes like car grease works inside an engine. It keeps things running smooth and fast.

What are the three most common disabilities in special education? ›

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Learning Disabilities. Mobility Disabilities.

Why does Junior punch Roger in the face? ›

One day at lunchtime, one of the jocks, Roger, tells Arnold a horrible racist joke (8.119). Junior is, of course, infuriated. Since he has been insulted, and since he lives by the "Indian Rules of Fisticuffs," Junior punches Roger dead in the face. Roger is so shocked he can only stare at Junior.

What does junior love the most? ›

Junior keeps up his hope by drawing cartoons, which to him represent both a chance to leave the reservation and a potential for universal understanding. He also loves playing basketball, discovering he has unexpected talent when he joins the Reardan team and receives the support of his coach and teammates.

Why does rowdy blame Junior for Mary's death? ›

Rowdy tells Junior it's all his fault. Mary is dead because Junior left the rez. She only left and got married because Junior left first. Rowdy tells Junior he hates him.

What is the message of Indian education by Sherman Alexie? ›

An important theme that develops throughout Sherman Alexie's “Indian Education” is that people often make wrong accusations about people from a specific race, which often leads to self-pity.

What is the conclusion of The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian? ›

It is shown that Alexie's works accepted by white people and they respect him because of his quality, no matter who is he and what race he was born. The writer can conclude that Alexie through his book gives a good image of white people to change the public perspective towards white people action to Native people.

What is Alexie's message about the role of literacy in society? ›

Alexie expected more of himself than his culture did. Literacy gave him a sense of individuality by separating him from the stereotypes of Indians and he was able to “save his life” through it. Literacy created a divide between him and his peers.

Why is learning to read Alexie important? ›

Reading gave him a lot of knowledge, and this knowledge helped him to be stronger, smart and arrogant. Eventually, in his words, reading saved his life. In the essay “Superman and Me”, an author Alexie begins his childhood story as if he talks about himself in the third person.

What is Junior's dream in part time Indian? ›

Junior has great personal ambition. He wants to become a famous cartoonist and to make money. Becoming rich and famous, Junior reasons, will help him to escape the Spokane Indian Reservation.

What are some of the themes of Sherman Alexie's writing? ›

Themes. Alexie's poetry, short stories and novels explore themes of despair, poverty, violence and alcoholism among the lives of Native American people, both on and off the reservation. They are lightened by wit and humor.

What is the central theme of Sherman Alexie's short story This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix Arizona? ›

In Sherman Alexie's “This Is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona”, the author presents a multitude of themes, such as forgiveness and self identity; however the imperative theme throughout the story was loneliness.

What is the summary of part time Indian? ›

The book is about Junior's life on the Spokane Indian Reservation and his decision to go to a nearly all-white public high school away from the reservation. The graphic novel includes 65 comic illustrations that help further the plot.

What is one of the themes of an Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian? ›

There are many themes in Sherman Alexie's book called “The Absolutely True Diary Of A Part Time Indian”. The three main themes in Sherman Alexie's book is alcoholism, poverty, and racism and discrimination.

What analogy does Alexie use for a paragraph? ›

Alexie's analogies help the reader understand the purpose of a paragraph. He realized that “a paragraph was a fence that held words. The words inside a paragraph worked together for a common purpose.” He compares a paragraph with a fence which brings clarity to his understanding of a paragraph.

How does Alexie describe his Indian childhood? ›

We were Indian children who were expected to be stupid. Most lived up to those expectations inside the classroom but subverted them on the outside. They struggled with basic reading in school but could remember how to sing a few dozen powwow songs.

What was Alexie's purpose in writing this narrative? ›

Alexie's purpose is to force his audience to understand his view of inequality. He adopts an emotional and analytic tone in order to translate to his audience of society as a whole his beliefs surrounding inequality and the power of reading and writing.


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