Sixth Grade Literature

In this course, students will learn the “Seven Loves of Literature” and how to choose good reading material. We will study the author, background, settings, themes, and vocabulary of the following novels: The Children’s Homer, The Bronze Bow, and The Door in the Wall. Students will explore key thematic messages such as:

• The Plan of Salvation: symbols, architypes, parallels, and similarities with Latter-Day Saint theology.
• Personal mission and purpose relating to God’s plan for the individuality of his children.
• Overcoming the natural man through comparing and contrasting internal and external character qualities.

All seven principles of Personal and Civil Liberty will be discovered and discussed in each of these novels through the teacher reading aloud, researching, reasoning, relating, and recording. We will complete word studies, research vocabulary, and complete character charts of the major and supportive characters. In addition to being able to discuss their learning, students will demonstrate their understanding of these topics through daily vocabulary notebook additions, chapter work, reading comprehension assessments, oral presentations, group discussions and individual and group work.

Course Details

Sixth Grade Literature

Unit 1: The Children’s Homer

Essential Questions / Discussion Topics

– Discussion of themes including hospitality, humility, pride, family, etc.

– Use maps and graphic organizers to understand the complexity of the characters and how the story “flashes back” to previous events.

– Character development of Odysseus.

– Why do we call Hector “humble Hector” in chapter 19?

– The meaning of the Trojan Horse and how that applies to our lives.

– The importance obedience and not allowing our appetites to overcome us.

– Internal and External characteristics of characters.

– Greek myths reader’s theater

Unit Project:

– Draw and color your favorite scene and explain in two sentences on the back.


Unit 2: The Bronze Bow

Essential Questions / Discussion Topics

– Elizabeth George Speare – Master of using literature devices in her writing, especially similes and metaphors.

– The Bronze boy begins in medias res and is written in the third person.

– One of the main themes is freedom.

– Daniel loses opportunities when he behaves angrily. Daniel is a slave to his anger.

– How the exposition foreshadows Daniel’s change of heart.

– How does practicing Long-suffering and kindness develop greater charity.

– How does Daniel’s experiences with Jesus symbolize different parts of the Lord’s mission?

– How does Samson’s character contrast or highlight Rosh’s selfishness?

– Because of Daniel’s hatred, he hurts others as much as the Romans do.

Unit Project:

– Write a Compare/Contrast Essay between Rosh and Jesus


Unit 3: A Door in the Wall

Essential Questions / Discussion Topics

– Writing a summary helps us focus on the main characters, events, and ideas in a story.

– How did Robin’s sickness affect his character and relationship with others?

– An archetype is a type of character, theme, or situation that people all over the world can relate to. Discuss Robin’s archetypal journey.

– The way people respond to their challenges tells us a lot about their character.

– How does Robin show he has courage and ingenuity?

– As Robin continues to learn, he comes closer to God and is able to help his fellowmen. He grows in favor with God and man.

– The changes in Robin’s character create doors in his wall.

Unit Project

– Make a poster showing some of the doors that have opened for them in their lives. Present the poster in class.

  1. The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum (ISBN# – 0689868839)
  2. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (ISBN # 0395137195)
  3. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite de Angeli (ISBN # 0440402832)

Mrs. Mary Gilmore

Mary Gilmore received a Master of Education in Elementary Education from Utah State University and her Bachelor of Science from Brigham Young University in Elementary Education with a Minor in Music. Serving a mission to England was a highlight of her life. After teaching Elementary school for seven years (two years in second grade and five years in fifth grade), she stayed home to raise her family. She and her husband Rob have six children, and they love to play games together as well share their love of music with others. Mary has enjoyed teaching piano lessons for over 20 years. She loves the outdoors and watching her children play soccer. She worked at Oakcrest girls camp as a counselor, assistant director, and director and loved it! She has a strong desire to help each student feel successful and loved in a safe learning environment. She is thrilled to be a sixth grade teacher at American Heritage in Salt Lake City and to be able to share her love for learning along with her testimony of Jesus Christ.