In this module, students will develop their ability to read and understand complex text as they consider the challenges of fictional and real refugees. In the first unit, students will begin Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai, analyzing how critical incidents reveal the dynamic nature of the main character, Ha, a 10-year-old Vietnamese girl whose family is deciding whether to flee during the fall of Saigon. The novel, poignantly told in free verse, will challenge students to consider the impact of specific word choice on tone and meaning. Students will build their ability to infer and analyze text, both in discussion and through writing. They then will read informational text to learn more about the history of war in Vietnam, and the specific historical context of Ha’s family’s struggle during the fall of Saigon. In Unit 2, students will build knowledge about refugees’ search for a place to call home. They will read informational texts that convey universal themes of refugees’
8th Grade Historical Literacy consists of two 43 minute class periods. Writing is one 43 minute block and reading is another. The teacher has picked themes based on social studies standards, and a read-aloud novel based on social studies serves as the mentor text for writing and reading skills. More social studies content is addressed in reading through teaching nonfiction reading skills and discussion.
Standards reflect CCSS ELA, Reading, and Social Studies Standards.
Lesson OverviewThis is a close reading lesson of “Little Things Are Big” by Jesús Colón . This text was featured in a newspaper column written in the 1950s. The essay is an introduction to the concepts of conflict in literature.Lesson FocusHow do the perceptions we have of ourselves and of others create conflicts?Student OutcomesStudents will be able to determine how the conflict in “Little Things Are Big” was influenced by outward (physical) identifiers as well as infer how the conflict may have been different if the main character would have made a different choice. Image source: "Menschen, Offentliche..." by Tim Savage on Pexels.com.
"Homeless," by Anna Quindlen, allows the student to understand homelessness as it affects many people on a broader scale. She emphasizes the individuality of homelessness, the fact that they not only lack possessions but have no place to keep them."The First" (also titled "Eviction") is a short poem by Lucille Clifton that provides the opportunity to compare and contrast the approach to the same issue through another genre.Final Assessment: How do Anna Quindlen and Lucille Clifton use language to convince the reader that their arguments have value? (focus on use of specific language, word choice, mood, tone, etc.)