The students at my school face many challenges on a daily basis, and I do not want lack of materials to be an issue they need to deal with. Due to budgeting issues, access to resources has become difficult. My students deal with poverty, refugee status, and language barriers already. Lack of reading material should not be added to their list of hurdles.
More than half the students in my school are English Language Learners, and over 45 languages are spoken by these students.
While such diversity can be seen as a hurdle, we always try to use it as an advantage to enhance the learning of each student in the school.
Students will explore the idea of adversity of people across time and place through multiple modes of writing. Students begin this module with a research-based unit on the Middle Ages. The text Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village is central to this unit study.
Students will read informational articles about various aspects of medieval life, learning and practicing the skills of summarizing an article, analyzing how ideas are developed across a text, and describing how a part of a text contributes to the whole.
Students will then break into expert groups to read closely about one demographic group. They practice the informational reading skills they have learned and explore the adversities faced by that group.
Students will then move into modern voices of adversity by reading concrete poems provided but the teacher. These concrete poems highlight adversities faced by the speakers of the poems, an adolescent girl and her younger brother.
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