Critical Inquiry, Social Justice Unit Plan

This unit plan should be designed around a specific literary work (novel, play, several short stories, collection of poems, or other genre) that serves as an anchor text in a thematic unit appropriate to secondary teaching. The unit plan should demonstrate your understanding of critical inquiry, social justice approaches to curriculum and instruction.

Identify the anticipated grade level and course in which you would teach this unit. Your unit should be between 3-6 weeks in length.

Your unit plan needs to include:

1) A description of the thematic approach you plan to take to the literary work you have chosen, and how it addresses social justice and facilitates critical inquiry.

  • What is the theme or issue that will be central to the reading and study of this work? What critical questions will students likely be exploring?
  • How does this issue connect to the lives of your students and/or important issues in the world?
  • What are your goals for student learning?
  • What additional pieces might you draw in to help develop student understanding of the topic or their questions? (Might include other literary works, film, non-fiction materials, images, websites, speakers, etc.)
  • How can students examine different perspectives on the topic?
  • How does/might the topic engage controversy? What can you do to "create freedom" to address this topic with secondary students?
  • How does the unit lead to students taking action to address the issue?

2) A clear indication of how your students will engage in critical inquiry.

  • How will you foster their asking of meaningful questions?
  • How can their questions help direct what they are learning?
  • How can you incorporate student research?
  • How will their questions help them better understand important issues and the world around them?

3) A description of how your unit will set high expectations and improve the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills of your students. Describe multiple ways you will monitor and assess student learning. Include a description of a final paper or project or cumulative activity that students will write/engage in and an explanation of this activity addresses the learning goals you established.

4) Describe the grade level and social/cultural background of your students and explain how the age and background of your students factors into the content and methods of the unit. Describe also how you will address a diversity of reading abilities in your class, and how you would support ELL students.

5) An overview or "syllabus" of the sequence of lessons and activities that will comprise your unit.

6) Developed ideas for several specific lessons / activities that address unit goals. Here are my suggestions/ideas about lesson plan formats. You do not need lesson plans for every day of the unit!

7) The unit needs to involve collaboration wtih students, families, teachers, and/or community members. How will this take place?

8) Involve technology and the Internet in meaningful ways.

9) Reference relevant NCTE/IRA and Common Core Standards.

10) Send me an email with a self-evaluation of your unit plan. In your self-evaluation describe how you would evaluate yourself as a teacher while leading this unit with a view to improving your instruction, and talk about what you might need to do before actually teaching the unit to better prepare youself to lead it.

Create a meaningful title for your unit and publish it on line -- we we identify a common site. Make your page attractive, include relevant links and images.

Teachers borrow other teachers work.  However, as a future teacher completing a course assignment, you need to be careful about citation and plagiarism.  For this assignment I expect to see your own work and thinking consistent with what we are learning in this class.  If you do borrow, modify, or use any ideas, bits, or pieces from others cite your sources; in an online document your citiation should include a link to the sources, if possible.

Created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
Revised Date: 1/19