This unit was designed for a course called Literary Explorations, a senior literature course that focused on coming of age literature. My first unit is focused on the formation of identity and how it is affected by race and culture. I have included some of the literature in this unit. Others can be found by searching on Google. They are nicely formatted into PDF files.
Course Goals: Students focus on coming of age and the formation of identity by examining external factors that play a role in the formation of the self. The first three units are set up as separate categories, and as the course moves along, students examine multiple factors that lead to the formation of identity.
Unit 1: The first unit focuses on race and culture, and how one develops self-esteem, self-value, and a relationship to the world around them based on how they were taught to think of themselves and others in terms of race, culture, and traditions. Short stories, non-fiction articles, and poems are studied in relation to this idea. The unit culminates with a unit essay test that focuses on the course’s central question.
Note: I weight my grades so that homework and classwork are each worth 20% of the overall grade and assessments are worth 60%. The unit test is an assessment. All other work here is either homework or classwork. I use a mixture of think-pair-share, small group, and whole class discussion. I also lead the discussion as a whole class to mix it up each day. I allow students to take the test using their notes and give them the prompt ahead of time.
Literature used in this unit:
The Education of Ruby Nell article
The Flowers by Alice Walker
“a song in the front yard” BY GWENDOLYN BROOKS
Indian Education by Sherman Alexie (note: some parts of this essay contain strong language. As always, preview materials to determine if they are right for your class)
Bi- Racial Hair by Zora Howard (note: the video on YouTube contains strong language. As always, preview materials to determine if they are right for your class)
Good Hair by Sherman Alexie
Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan