Lessons & Units

A Wrinkle in Time 6th Grade Unit

A Wrinkle in Time
Science Fiction
Concepts Taught
Compare and Contrast, Genre, Plot, Setting, Theme, Vocabulary in Context


Genre Lesson Science Fiction Identify scientific, futuristic, and/or out of the ordinary elements of science fiction.
Lesson 1 Determine the Meaning of Unknown Words Determine the meaning of unknown words in a science fiction text.
Lesson 2 The Similarities and Differences of Setting Compare and contrast the setting in a science fiction text with their world.
Lesson 3 Interpreting a Symbol Interpret the meaning of a symbol in a work of science fiction.
Lesson 4 Analyzing a Plot Conflict Explain how a plot conflict is resolved.
Lesson 5 Thinking About Theme Use the plot resolution to explain a theme in a science fiction novel.

Build Background Knowledge

Build background knowledge for this unit by introducing two areas of scientific study to your students—physics and astronomy. Explain that physics is the study of matter and energy. Physicists, or the people who study physics, want to know how the world and the universe behave. Physics is often called "the purest science" because it involves asking questions about the rules of the universe. Astronomy is the study of space and the universe. Both types of science are closely connected. Explain to your students that Madeleine L'Engle, author of The Wrinkle in Time, was very interested in science, particularly physics and astronomy, when she wrote the book. As you read, think about the topics and questions that L'Engle raised about the nature of the universe. For example, is time travel possible? How?

Pacing Guide

Pacing Guide for a Wrinkle in Time

Day 1

Genre Lesson

Begin the Genre Lesson Independent Practice in the Student Packet

Day 2

Begin reading Chapters 1–3

Begin Worksheets for Chapters 1–3 in the Student Packet

Day 3

Finish reading Chapters 1–3

Complete Worksheets for Chapters 1–3 in the Student Packet

Day 4

Begin Lesson 1

Day 5

Lesson 1 (continued)

Complete the Independent Practice for Lesson 1 in the Student Packet

Day 6

Begin reading Chapters 4–6

Begin Worksheets for Chapters 4–6 in the Student Packet

Day 7

Finish reading Chapters 4–6

Complete Worksheets for Chapters 4–6 in the Student Packet

Day 8

Begin Lesson 2

Day 9

Lesson 2 (continued)

Complete the Independent Practice for Lesson 2 in the Student Packet

Day 10

Begin reading Chapters 7–9

Begin Worksheets for Chapters 7– 9 in the Student Packet

Day 11

Finish reading Chapters 7–9

Complete Worksheets for Chapters 7–9 in the Student Packet

Day 12

Begin Lesson 3

Day 13

Lesson 3 (continued)

Complete the Independent Practice for Lesson 3 in the Student Packet

Day 14

Begin reading Chapters 10–12

Begin Worksheets for Chapters 10–12 in the Student Packet

Day 15

Finish reading Chapters 10–12

Complete Worksheets for Chapters 10–12 in the Student Packet

Day 16

Begin Lesson 4

Day 17

Lesson 4 (continued)

Complete the Independent Practice for Lesson 4 in the Student Packet

Day 18

Begin Lesson 5

Day 19

Lesson 5 (continued)

Complete the Independent Practice for Lesson 5 in the Student Packet

Day 20


Day 21

Unit Assessment



User Comments

It is a great book to introduce Einstein's theory of relativity, string theory, and worm holes which definitely are not 4th grade level.

I have used this book as a read aloud for many years. It's a great novel to introduce students to science fiction.

The problem with relying upon an assigned reading level or lexile is that it is based upon a formula, not the content and subject matter of the text. The concepts and structure of A Wrinkle in Time is complex and with a younger reader they would not reach the desired Depth of Knowledge. Fourth graders will not identify with Meg or her awkward teenage issues. I taught this text to gifted 6th graders who loved it and with remedial 8th grade readers. The best option is to use the level as a guide, but then read the novel before matching the students to text.
Submitted by Reading Interventionist on 3/6/14

I could not disagree more. My son is seven, and is currently going through some pretty tough challenges with perfectionism and severe negative self-talk. He is pretty highly gifted and gets what its like to have difficulty socially. He immediately related with Meg because she is so upset and says that she hates herself. We had a great conversation about this. In the novel Meg is somewhat asynchronous. She is brilliant in some areas and stunted emotionally. She is the epitome of the gifted kid. This is a great novel to teach with highly science minded students.

Agreed! The content and concepts are much higher than 6th grade, even! Middle school kids are not quite able to think so abstractly. Hasn't that been proven over and over? It's a great book and I am sure the best parts are lost on kids who don't read at a higher level.

The AR book level for AWIT shows it to be a 4.7...I know content-wise, or concept-wise, the book may be higher. I wonder if that is why it is assigned to sixth grade? This book has been, to my knowledge, one traditionally used in 4-5th grade classrooms.

Thanks for the comment. You are correct that the ATOS (AR) level is 4.7, though it is worth noting that the AR Interest Level for the book is given as grades 4-8.

Furthermore, in their Appendix B, the Common Core lists AWIT as an exemplar text for grades 6-8.

For all these reasons, we have labelled this Unit as 6th Grade, but we agree that it can be used as early as 4th grade, if the students' independent reading level is on track.