The overarching goal of our African American narrative unit is to enhance our students’ abilities to read, write, and think critically by addressing the culturally and linguistically diverse demographics of our class in a manner that engages the interest of low achievement students, while also challenging the high achievement students. We plan to assign students to both heterogeneous and differentiated groupings, and to draw upon multiple schools of critical theory (including, but not limited to reader response, historicism, and social critical) to help accomplish this task.
Rationales for Various Activities and Methods of Instruction
KWL allows us, as teachers, to discover what students already know about slavery and race relations in America, accounts for students’ interests by asking them what they would like to know, and marks what the students have learned throughout the unit.
The timeline not only provides students with historical context from which to approach the texts, but also presents them with opportunities to engage in online research and hands-on learning.
A Word Wall will be posted in the classroom to help students to identify and review difficult new vocabulary that appears in the texts.
DRTA will help the students who struggle with reading by breaking down passages into manageable, comprehensible sections .
Rationales for Various Activities and Methods of Instruction (continued)
Request Reciprocal Teaching allows the teacher to model analytical and critical questioning so that the students can better relate “good questioning” practices to critical writing.
Dialogue Journals use a form of Reader Response criticism that relates significant quotations or passages in the left column to critical interpretations or responses in the right column.
As a mode of writing in a technological context, blogging will decrease students’ resistance to writing while also giving them an opportunity to showcase their work publicly.
The Telegram Writer activity will challenge students to practice comprehension and summarization skills.
The What’s In a Name project is an exercise in both symbolism and character analysis.
Split class into 5 heterogeneous groups. Assign each group a reading from Equiano’s autobiography that deals with one of the 5 locations identified on Day 3.
General questions written on board. Answers will be submitted on blogger.com
Distribute post-it notes to be used to take notes on questions. Instruct students to stick the note on the page where they find the answer to each question. This enables students to reference their readings and ideas while they are typing their homework on blogger.com
Pass out transcripts of “The Ballot or the Bullet” speech and immediately play http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO6Co8v2XjY
Malcolm X poses the question: Can you be an American without an African identity?
What does it mean to be African American? What does it mean to be a minority in America and do you agree with what Malcolm is saying?
Start reading “Satan” (pp. 154-158)
Explain and hand out Dialogue Journals, and read and react as class.
Put unknown vocabulary on Word Wall.
Blog Assignment : pp. 159-167 Malcolm X says that “history had been ‘whitened’ in the white man’s history books, and that the black man had been ‘brainwashed for hundreds of years’” (165). What do you think he means by this?
Review and read several Dialogue Journals aloud in class and make connections between students
Finish “Satan” (pp. 168-171) Teacher read to students
Model fluent oral reading : “read aloud serves as a place for students to hear fluent oral reading. Reading acquisition for students with reading difficulties and some English language learners can be inhibited by their own disfluent reading” (Improving Adolescent Lit p. 80)
Summarizing: Telegram Writer/ Call Phone Message Writer : You are a reporter on the scene who can only communicate through your cell phone message service. You have to get all the important details down with as few words as possible and send them off.
In Class Assignment : Using as few words as possible to convey Malcolm X’s message and point of view increases ability to write meaningfully.
1. Work collaboratively to evaluate four stages in the life of Malcolm X: the periods he was known as Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, and el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz
1. On the board, create a list of the names Malcolm X used. Malcolm X was born in 1925 as Malcolm Little. He was known as Detroit Red in the early 1940s, took the name of Malcolm X in 1952, and finally changed his name to el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz in 1964.
2. Ask students why a person would take a name, either legally or casually, other than his or her birth name? What do names tell us about a person? Are there any students in the class who prefer to use a nickname in place of their birth name? Why?
3. Now separate the class into groups of four, assigning each group a name from a period in Malcolm X’s life: Malcolm Little, Detroit Red, Malcolm X, el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz.
Students will be broken up into five groups of five.
Each group will be responsible for answering one question (given to them by the teacher). One representative from that group will be responsible for reading their written response paper, but all five students will field questions from the rest of the class.
There will be another English class working on the same project, and we will conduct our panel discussions as one large group over the next two days.
As an audience you will be responsible for preparing at least one question to ask any panel, and your participation grade will reflect your involvement in the questioning process.
Interaction and discussion between panelists and audience members is encouraged.
Break up into groups and go into the computer lab.
1B4a : Preview reading materials, clarify meaning, analyze overall themes and coherence, and relate reading with information from other sources.
1C4f : Interpret tables, graphs and maps in conjunction with related text.
2B4a : Critique ideas and impressions generated by oral, visual, written and electronic materials.
3A4a : Use standard English to edit documents for clarity, subject/verb agreement, adverb and adjective agreement and verb tense; proofread for spelling, capitalization and punctuation; and ensure that documents are formatted in final form for submission and/or publication.
3C4b : Using available technology, produce compositions and multimedia works for specified audiences.
4B4a : Deliver planned informative and persuasive oral presentations using visual aids and contemporary technology as individuals and members of a group; demonstrate organization, clarity, vocabulary, credible and accurate supporting evidence.
5C4c : Prepare for and participate in formal debates.