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 2: The second unit in the course asks students to relate personally if possible and to analyze the effect of parents and mentors on the characters in the stories. We discuss how good choices and bad choices affect not only the parents themselves, but the family and the children, and how those experiences are carried throughout their lives. Short stories, non-fiction essays, and poems are studied in relation to this idea. We also watch one film and students take notes and write a short analysis on the concepts presented. 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.
Each piece of literature must be annotated to show evidence of close reading. Discussion questions and short answer/essay questions are also included.
Literature used in this unit:
Mother Tongue by Amy Tan
Daughter of Invention by Julia Alvarez
Reunion by John Cheever
The Cub by Lois Dykeman Kleihauer
Smoke Signals (flim) - Screenplay by Sherman Alexie