This unit spans 2 months - an entire quarter! It is cross-curricular with an equal focus on reading, writing, and critical evaluation.
The e-book can be purchased on Amazon
and Barnes & Noble
Spite Fences by Trudy Krisher is a moving novel about the Civil Rights era, as seen through the eyes (and camera) of a 13-year-old girl named Maggie. This is an excellent novel for a Social Studies, English Language Arts, and Contemporary Literature class.
For the past 6 years of teaching this unit, my colleague and I have always seen tremendous growth in our students' abilities with symbolism, metaphor, figurative language, and imagery. This novel is rife with challenging language and thought-provoking questions about morals and real-world conflicts. This novel investigates important themes of human rights, dignity, faith, coming of age, and staying true to one's beliefs. It can be used as a cross-curricular unit with Social Studies / U.S. History.
This unit includes a prior knowledge activity - a movie guide for the film "A Time for Justice." This powerful 1994 documentary brings the Civil Rights movement to life and helps set the stage for this historical fiction. The unit also includes a chapter-by-chapter reading guide with questions that range in type and complexity from inference to critical thinking, multiple choice, true/false, fill-in-the-blank, matching, and open-ended short answer questions. This unit is also great for end of the year test prep by providing students with a wide range of possible reading response questions.
This unit also includes an optional reading response project. Students create an Altered Book or Scrapbook that includes 9 'pages' or installations. These pages illicit deep thinking and writing that require students to find evidence and dig deeper into the topics and themes of the novel. Each 'page' has a pre-writing, brainstorming page to help students collect their thoughts. Examples of projects are included for modeling.
This unit includes:
* Welcome letter with lesson plan outline
* Enduring Understandings and Common Core State Standards
* "A Time for Justice" documentary movie guide with answer key to help build prior knowledge
* Reading Guide with answer key
* Altered Book Project with samples, rubric, and planning pages
I do this unit at the end of 8th grade (all of 4th Quarter), but I also feel it would be highly appropriate for the beginning of 9th grade. Please feel free to ask questions - I love teaching this unit!
Thank you, and Happy Teaching!
Kristen Dembroski, NBCT
Common Core State Standards
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