Analyzing the Use of Race to Define Others

Quirky Teachers Unite
Grade Levels
7th - 12th
Formats Included
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Quirky Teachers Unite
Part of the Teach for Justice
This resource is part of a collection of educator-created, expert-vetted resources to help you create learning environments to support every student, challenge biases, and encourage discussions around race and social injustice. Explore the collection.


In 2020, our country experienced a pandemic that caught us by surprise.  Covid-19 swept across the country, and changed life as we know it.  While we were sheltered at home, scared and uncertain, another pandemic reared its ugly head.  This time, we were a bit more familiar with the culprit, but were still uncertain in terms of how to battle it.  Through this resource, I hope to provide clarity in terms of how you can cultivate culturally responsive teaching in your lessons.  Please, do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions about having difficult conversations, or if you want to share the outcomes of your lessons.

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This lesson will allow students to recognize how something that can be narrowed down to the box that we check has historically been given the power to separate communities, create barriers to love, friendship, and humanity.  It is my hope that by engaging with these texts, your students will understand that we truly are more alike than we are unalike.  After reading the short stories, consider having your students reflect on what it means for Kate Chopin, a white woman in the late 1800’s, to write these literary pieces.

Product Description: This 5-day mini-unit has students engage with diverse texts including Kate Chopin’s Desiree’s Baby and A Matter of Prejudice in order to examine themes related to prejudice and social justice.  The activity focuses on theme development and vocabulary in context.  There are links to non-fiction articles and media pieces that allows students to compare real life instances of racial conflict to the conflicts presented in the fiction pieces.  The unit includes five lesson plans that are complete and ready to go.  

Included: 5 day unit plan, anticipation guide, 25 slide presentation, full texts for both short stories, and links to the media pieces, guided reading questions with detailed answer key, and paired text assessment with answer key

Suggested Use for Distance Learning:  Since all files are compatible with Google Classroom, you can assign the lessons to students, link read-aloud versions of the story to benefit struggling readers, and create assessments using Google Forms. 

Content Area: ELA

Grade Level: 6-12


Mother and Infant Photo -

Garden District Photo - By Sharon Mollerus -, CC BY 2.0,

“Desiree’s Baby” and “A Matter of Prejudice” - Public Domain   

Fonts: Ranchers Font is licensed under the Open Font License.

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.


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