This four-week unit uses novels that highlight different world problems (I've included the titles that I use - focusing on clean water, women's rights, genocide, poverty, etc) to encourage student discussion about the challenges our global society faces today. Students will read a book as a small group, simultaneously developing notes on problems within the plot and characters, and will have discussions on the novel.
Toward the end of the novel, as a group, students will develop a persona that could exist within the book they're finishing. They will then embark on a design thinking cycle to determine what would most improve that persona's life. They will brainstorm, plan, and prototype something that will help the persona, and share it out with the class (up to the teacher here - I have them share science-fair style with the school in the media center).
This unit contains a book list, packet for students to have a reading contract and take notes on problem and character development, a work time log, a presentation introducing design thinking, steps to walk through the design thinking process, and a basic grading sheet.
Please feel free to contact me if you have questions after purchase, as the design thinking process can seem daunting at first, but is so rewarding for students to attempt.