More readings from a tumultuous time. These stories (two non-fiction articles, an autobiographical essay, and a poem) provide a powerful and uplifting reading experience that will generate some great classroom discussions, plenty of rigorous and relevant reading practice, and hopefully just a bit of soul searching as students grapple with issues of social justice and what it means to stand up for your convictions.
This unit consists of two journalistic-style non-fiction articles (“Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine” and “The Lovings Story”), a memoir-style essay (Eubanks’ “Escaping the Summer Heat in a Bookmobile), and a poem (Walker’s “Women”). The complete texts are included, and certainly, they go a long way toward bolstering the range of reading material and text complexity to which your students need to be exposed under the new Common Core Standards. Each reading is accompanied by a 2-4 page assessment that includes both objective and performance (written) items that go well beyond the usual factual, low-level comprehension questions that are provided by the textbook companies. These assessment items force students to dig deeply into the text for meaning, utilizing inference and close reading skills. The performance items focus students on locating text-based evidence to support their arguments. Other skills addressed include inter-textual comparison, integrating knowledge and ideas, short and extended writing response, and textual analysis. The whole package is provided as a 39-page, zipped .pdf file.
These readings and their attendant assessments will not only help prepare your students for Common Core Standards, high-stakes testing, but broaden their world view and appreciation for those who were willing to risk everything in the fight for social justice.
Common Core Standards
Rigor and relevance
Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Movement