This unit is designed for an ELA class for gifted learners. It is a focused study on social reform, persuasive writing, and a culminating project. The unit will exceed South Carolina Curriculum Standards by two grade levels, meeting fifth grade standards. The students will be given a pre-assessment on the plight of child labor in factories, and acceleration and pace will be adjusted appropriately. The unit will begin with the presentation and Socratic Seminar of a historical document from 1908, about the conditions that exist in a canning factory concerning child labor. They will develop an understanding of the concept of social reform and the issues of child labor. This will allow students to communicate abstract ideas and relationships. Students will use this as a basis for creating their own persuasive essays on social reform relating to their own lives.
Students will develop their inquiry skills through research. After the completion of their essays, students will compare and contrast their social issue to the child labor issues of the 1900s. As a culminating activity, students will provide a persuasive brochure, poster, PowerPoint, or video public service announcement on their social issue to help bring awareness to their social issue. Students will use their creative thinking skills to create an end unit project in their own artistic medium. In the end unit activity, students will also peer evaluate each other’s projects, allowing them to use analysis and evaluation skills. By the end of the unit, students will understand the abstract concept of social reform and its importance in society.