Segregation/Jim Crow Laws & The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson Unit Study

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The Reading and Writing Nook
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Through this two-week unit, students will critically examine and compare themes in The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson to develop an understanding of unjust practices and systemic racism against Black Americans. Students will connect themes in the story to the Jim Crow Laws of segregation and the fight for racial equality for Black Americans in the United States today by analyzing characters, conducting research, and analyzing perspectives.

Activities Included:

Jim Crow Laws Gallery Walk and Reflection - Students will examine pictures to explain how Black Americans were denied the same rights as White Americans from 1865 - mid 1960s.

Jacqueline Woodson Author Study - Students will listen to an NPR interview with Jacqueline Woodson to learn about the social, economic, and political factors that influence her writing.

Root Word Vocabulary Study - Students will study the meaning of segregation, prejudice, discrimination, and racism and apply the roots of these words to new vocabulary.

Read Aloud Guiding Questions & Logic/Argumentation Game - Students will discuss the text and provide evidence and logic to support their ideas about author’s craft and theme.

Historical Context Research - Past - Students will conduct research about the Jim Crow Laws and segregation in the United States.

Historical Context Research - Present - Students will conduct research about the difficulties and limitations Black Americans face in the United States today.

Mapping History - *The history lessons link to nonfiction articles outside of this resource that will need to be printed/prepped by the instructor. One article includes the word “rape” in the explanation of certain Jim Crow Laws. If needed, you can remove these paragraphs without altering the meaning of the assignment. Please be sure to preview the links before your students interact with them. - Students will summarize historical events and apply meaning to life today.

Historical Poem - Students will use research and figurative language to develop reflective poetry.

Social, Economic, and Political Influences on Characters - Lifesize Portrait - Students will study characterization and use symbolism to illustrate influences on a character.

Determining Theme from Character Interactions - Students identify themes in the story by examining character conflicts.

Analyzing Missing Perspectives - Students will examine the text and visual to determine the missing perspectives in the story. Students will then write a diary entry from the missing perspective.

Switch Activity - Students will examine the effect on the theme and mood when specific aspects of the text or characters are “switched” and then create a visual representation of this change.

Interactive Bulletin Board Activity - Students choose one issue of social justice, brainstorm solutions, and create an interactive bulletin board to showcase their collective understanding.

Grammar: Writing Dialogue Notes & Game - Students learn how to write effective dialogue and practice changing the mood of a scene through a game.

Grammar: Compound Adjectives Identity Activity - Students create an identity craft using compound adjectives to describe and appreciate themselves and others.

Mentor Texts and detailed Educator Guides with guiding questions for each activity are included.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

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Total Pages
55 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
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