Looking for a eye-opening thematic unit on contemporary issues?
This 5-day unit will take students through lessons on youth, teen, and gang violence in Chicago, Boston, and other American cities by getting them to read an in-depth article from The New York Times as well as four opinion pieces from around the country. Additionally, students will watch an engaging TED Talk and listen to two compelling stories from the NPR show This American Life. Finally, they will participate in a student-lead discussion to synthesize all of the information from the unit.
When you teach with this unit you will:
• fulfill common core requirements while still having fun teaching
• challenge your students to question their assumptions and beliefs by engaging them with factual texts
• help your classes to understand some of the causes and potential solutions for urgent national issues
• watch your students strengthen their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills when they work through the questions provided here
• effortlessly prepare memorable and impactful lessons by using the ready-to-go handouts and discussion questions
• get your students excited about contemporary issues
• easily and quickly grade the final product with the provided rubric
Pairings: This mini unit is a great choice for pairing with Romeo and Juliet, The Outsiders, or Monster by Walter Dean Myers, or any other novels or plays that deal with a culture of violence or revenge such as Medea, MacBeth, Othello, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Crime and Punishment, Frankenstein, Things Fall Apart, or The Kite Runner.
There are no lectures or power points here—students will do the work themselves, with guidance from you.
Rather than telling them what the texts mean, you will empower your students with the confidence and skills to tackle resources on their own.