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Standards:

English Language Arts CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1c Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion. Social Studies NCSS Standards. Thematic Standard IV. Individual Development and Identity: Learner Expectations: All humans think, behave, and develop cognitively, socially, physically, emotionally, personally, and mentally as well as construct, test, confirm, revise, and apply multiple concepts of and multiple identities as to who they area far greater factor in mental, social, emotional, personal, and identity construction and application is the interaction of the individual with his or her environments and the consequences of these interactions. All individuals should know the factors that contribute to who they are; to what they think feel, and believe; to what they decide and do; to why they are likely to make certain decisions and act in particular ways; and to how they perceive themselves, their abilities, their personality, and the world.

Curriculum Materials:
Literature texts: House on Mango Street, A Farewell to Manzanar, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian Video: Race: The Power of an Illusion; The Great Debaters, YouTube video of black/white doll experiment with children Newspaper photos from Hurricane Katrina; magazines (preferably fashion and sports magazines) Butcher paper, scissors, markers, colored pencils, blank and lined paper, pencils, notebooks Laptops for publishing autobiographies and letters to editor

Knowledge of Students and Context: Pressure on PSSA leads to emphasis on memorization and procedural knowledge Previously expressed interest in exploring racism A talkative group, they often become animated during discussion and love to share their ideas Thrive under pre-existing structure, but have previously shown difficulty in adapting to new types of lessons Tend to be effective, clear writers when given straightforward directions and expectations for the piece of writing Below grade-level reading abilities across the board Neighborhood has rich black historical legacy

What

Lesson How

Why
Theories of Teaching and Learning:
Learning is most powerful when its a natural extension of lived experience (e.g. Dewey, Freire) Children are keenly aware of, and curious about, issues of racial identity (e.g. Tatum) Discussion-based learning can be effective in building conceptual understanding (e.g. Shindelar) Critical media literacy is an important 21st Century skill (e.g. Kellner & Share) Students should be allowed to express their knowledge in different ways, in accordance with their strengths (e.g. Tomlinson, Gardner) Students construct knowledge from their pre-existing ideas and understandings (e.g. National Resarch Council, Piaget)

Educational Philosophy and Beliefs Exploring identity and race can be invigorating for students, and can make their experiences feel valuable and worth studying Such an exploration can lay a foundation for the type of antiracism that we need in our schools Discussion-based lessons can engage middleschool students who might otherwise not be Having someone read aloud to you is rewarding no matter how old you are! As a student teacher, you cannot veer too far from the pre-established norms in your classroom without meeting some resistance Formative assessment should be built into every lesson

Teaching Methods:
Balanced literacy: read alouds, shared readings, independent reading Writers Workshop (Calkins): mini-lessons, independent writing, revision, publishing Class discussion: allowing blocks of time for open discussions about key ideas. Facilitated by teacher with (hopefully) progressing autonomy for students Incorporating art: The unit includes two lessons which incorporate art, allowing students to exercise creativity. Accessing prior knowledge: Nearly each lesson in this unit begins with a brainstorming activity or discussion aimed at uncovering students background knowledge. Multiple media forms: Various lessons include poetry, prose, informational text, and visual media including pictures and film.