This unit engages students in the nonfiction reading work highlighted in every iteration of twenty-first-century standards. Students begin by reading far and wide in nonfiction texts, moving from easy texts to more challenging ones. They'll learn that when expository texts are organized into text structures such as problem/solution or compare-and-contrast, they can use their knowledge of structures to figure out what is and isn’t important, becoming readers who, by distilling the main ideas and important points, are able to summarize. Later, children form research teams to delve into topics about extreme weather and natural disasters. Teachers help teams to research a topic, reading across source material to learn about causes and effects of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other disasters. They will learn to alter their reading when tackling dense scientific texts. Students will learn how to do cross-text synthesis, channeling kids to think about how new information can add to or challenge prior knowledge. Then at the end of the unit, students consolidate and apply all they’ve learned as they explore a related, but different, topic. Students study authorial tone and craft, and practice close reading, comparing and contrasting, and evaluating sources to determine credibility.