Just Mercy/ Stamped Book Study Unit: Discussion, Reflection, & Project Resources

Schooled Ya
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  • Google Slides™
43 pages
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Part of the Teach for Justice collection
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.

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  1. Included in this bundle is the FULL UNIT for teaching Bryan Stevenson's, Just Mercy (the YA or adult version). These resources work best for high school level but can be used at the middle school level as well. I've successfully used the unit with my own sophomores and seniors. All resources are des
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This unit is designed specifically for Just Mercy and/or Stamped, however, it can be used in conjunction with any social justice unit. Students DO NOT have to read either text to be able to complete these activities, but they DO need to be aware of the social issues presented in order to build an effective Social Justice Public Service Announcement

This unit is all online and is ready for students who are currently distance learning. All worksheets can also be printed if your school is currently in-person.

Suggested Texts:

Just Mercy: The True Story of the Fight for Justice by Bryan Stevenson and/or Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

This unit is made for a minimum of five class periods that are an hour long. That said, I would definitely stretch these lessons out over a two-week period for my Special Education English classes and ELD classes, especially because it is imperative that students see themselves as anti-racists who act, which requires them to have a deeper understanding of anti-racism. 

  • This is perfect for a long-term leave for substitutes as it can be used as a stand alone unit and has everything the substitute and students need to be productive! The detailed instructions allow for your sub to easily follow and present the included lessons.

Lessons Included

-Conversation Starters/Quick Write Prompts on Social Justice and Anti-Racism

-Social Justice Key Terms & Definitions

-The Rhetorical Triangle: Ethos, Pathos, & Logos

-Public Service Announcement

-MLA Format Review for Citing Quotes

Products Included

-Teacher Google Slides w/directions and answer key

-Students Google Slides (to be uploaded to Google Classroom/Canvas, etc. for students to refer to)

-Social Justice Key Terms Worksheet

-Social Justice Key Terms Worksheet pre-loaded w/definitions for SpEd/ELs, or quick reference for students

-Rhetorical Triangle Notes Organizer

-PSA Requirements Checklist

If you’d like to use this unit while your students are reading either text, I recommend using the lessons in conjunction with these chapters:

Lesson One: This would be most helpful at the very beginning of the unit.

Lesson Two: The Rhetorical Triangle could be taught at any point in either text, but would be best coupled with Ch. 2 of Stamped, which points out Aristotle’s racism.

Lessons Three-Five: These lessons address many issues presented in the texts, so it would be helpful for students to have read at least the first four chapters of Just Mercy and/or sections 4 and 5 of Stamped. Ultimately, they need a good understanding of the social issues that plague the U.S.

Unit Goal

The unit goal is for students to think critically about the issues with the justice system in the United States. Students are directly taught about anti-racism so that they can recognize and address the issues that they see in society. Students will also learn about the rhetorical triangle in order to effectively inform their audience. Students will re-examine the criminal justice system and create a PSA campaign to advocate for social justice and anti-racism. Students will use textual evidence (in MLA format) to further drive their call to action for their PSA.

Modifications are included for SpEd and EL students. There is also a more challenging component included for the PSA lesson that could be used for Honors/GATE students.

Total Pages
43 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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