Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

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Unit Plan: AAPI Women Voices: Untold Stories Through Poetry

English Language Arts
Through this unit students will explore Asian American and Pacific Islander (“AAPI”) women’s poetry in order to craft and inspire their own poetry. After analyzing and interpreting poems, students recognize poetry as a vehicle to express their own untold stories about events small and large.

This unit will expose students to voices of AAPI women poets. Their experiences will help facilitate a dialogue of identity, beauty, tradition and activism. Many students face these issues during this pivotal time of their development.

Furthermore, this unit will help students explore their viewpoints as they craft and design their own poems and explore the readings. This unit allows students of all abilities and intersectionalities to make their voices heard and draw from their unique perspectives.

RL (Reading Standards for Literature)
RI (Reading Standards for Informational Texts)
W (Writing Standards)
SL (Speaking and Listening Standards)

Reading Standards for Literature:

RL.7-12.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text…
RL.7-12.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text…
RL.7-12.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings…
RL.7-12.5 Analyze how a drama's or poem's form or structure (e.g., soliloquy, sonnet) contributes to its meaning…
RL.7-12.10 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums, determining which details are emphasized in each account.

Reading Standards for Informational Texts:
W.7-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience…
W.7-12.10 Write routinely over extended time frames… and shorter time frames… for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences

Speaking and Listening Standard:
SL.7-12.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions… with diverse partners… building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly….
The specific skills of the standards the students will learn in this unit.
1. Students will find the central idea of the texts.
2. Students will identify and analyze similes and metaphors as effective devices in discussing everyday details.
3. Students will determine the point of view of the poem and explore alternate points of view.
4. Students will craft a poem, inserting rhyme or repetition observed in mentor poems.
5. Students will adjust word choice to align with a particular mood.
6. Students will revise poems for structure, line breaks, and form to enhance the theme of their poem overall.
7. Students will explore new ways to increase impact via poetic devices
8. Students will review and offer feedback on another student’s poems thus far.
9. Students will group and order their own poems by theme, and select one to perform.
1. Students will learn about retaining culture through poetry.
2. Students will learn about the challenges AAPI women face
3. Students will identify the themes and experiences portrayed in the poems, then compare and contrast them to their own life experiences
1. “AAPI Women Voices: Untold Stories Through Poetry” story
2. “Central Idea Handout”
3. “Compare and Contrast Handout”
4. “Compare and Contrast Handout” teacher version
5. “Connotation Denotation Handout”
6. “Form Review Handout”
7. “Performance Handout”
8. “Repetition Alliteration Rhyme Handout”
9. “Simile Metaphor Handout”
10. “Unit Plan AAPI Women Voices: Untold Stories Through Poetry”
11. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 1 Central Idea”
12. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 2 Compare Contrast”
13. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 3 Simile Metaphor”
14. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 4 Connotation”
15. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 5 Repetition”
16. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 6 Form Review”
17. “Unit Slide Women Poetry 7 Performance”

Videos Available Online:

1. Jetnil-Kijiner, Kathy. Fighting Climate Change with Poems: Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner.United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,, Dec. 3, 2015. Web, accessed Nov 27, 2016. Run time 3:56.
2. Jetnil-Kijiner, Kathy. Marshall Islands Poet to the U.N. Climate Summit: “Tell Them We Are Nothing Without Our Islands.” Democracy Now!,, Dec. 2, 2015. Web, accessed Nov. 27, 2016. Run time 4:01.
3. Mirikitani, Janice. Bad Women, a poem by Janice Mirikitani. The Glide Foundation,, June 2, 2010. Web, accessed Nov. 27, 2016. Run time 2:58.
4. Tsai, Kelly. Spoken Word: “Black White Whatever” Kelly Tsai (Def Poetry). Kelly Tsai,, Oct. 3, 2008. Web, accessed Nov. 27, 2016. Run time 4:30.

Recommended Supplemental Texts:

1. Mirikitani, Janice. Why is Preparing Fish a Political Act? Poetry of Janice Mirikitani. Prod. Russell Leong. Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, 1990., Sept. 8, 2016. Web, accessed Sept. 23, 2016.

Materials Not Included:

1. LCD Projector
2. Screen
3. Speakers
Curriculum Developer:
Megan Roberto
Lesson Plan: AAPI Women Voices: Untold Stories Through Poetry>
Untold Civil Rights Stories Main Page >
Curriculum Contributors:
Prabhneek Heer,
Kristy Phan


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