Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

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Unit Plan: ELA Middle School Essay Writing - Powerful Individuals, Powerful Movements

Essay Writing
6 class periods of instruction
3 additonal days of homework to write this essay
This unit will introduce middle school students to civil rights issues in the Asian American community. It engages students to discuss individuals mobilizing their communities to address important issues.

The assignment culminates in an essay in which the students write about how ordinary individuals, in the course of fighting injustice, can start movements to create change in their communities. We assume that students have experience writing paragraphs, topic sentences, concluding sentences, and other essay structures. The objective is for students to complete an organized, five-paragraph essay.

RI (ELA Reading Standards for Informational Texts Grade 6)
W (ELA Writing Standards Grade 6)
CCSS ELA RI.6.2 Key Ideas and Details. Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
CCSS ELA RI.6.3 Key Ideas and Details Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
CCSS ELA RI.6.6 Craft and Structure Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
CCSS ELA RI.6.7 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
CCSS ELA.W.6.1 Text Types and Purposes Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
CCSS ELA.W.6.2 Text Types and Purposes Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
Establish and maintain a formal style.
Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
CCSS.ELA W.6.4 Production and Distribution of Writing Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 1-3 above.)
CCSS.ELA W.6.5 Production and Distribution of Writing With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 6 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.)
Lesson 1: Students determine the main point of the article on Lily Chin/Vincent Chin and describe how her story relates to an individual mobilizing his or her community to address a problem.
Lesson 2: Students will determine the main idea of the article on Black Lives Matter and describe how its story relates to individuals mobilizing their community to address a problem.
Lesson 3: Students construct a thesis statement including information from their chosen problem or issue in their own communities.
Lesson 4: Students will use the essay template to write the Introduction Paragraph and Body Paragraph 1 of their essay (the minimum).
Lesson 5: Students will use the essay template to finish writing the rough draft of their essay.
Lesson 6: Students peer-review and evaluate at least two other rough drafts and grade them using the standard rubric.
Homework: Students complete the final draft and turn it in as they complete the assignment.
1. Students will learn that individuals can mobilize their communities to address important issues and create change.
2. Students will learn about Vincent Chin, his murder, and how his mother organized her community to protest this hate crime.
3. Students will learn about the founders and the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
1. “Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 1“ handout
2. “Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 2” handout
3. “Black Lives Matter Background” handout
4. “Black Lives Matter” excerpt
5. “Black Lives Matter Exit Slip”
6. “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Peer Review” handout
7. “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Rubric”
8. “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements” template
9. “Essay Project – Thesis Exit Slip” handout
10. “Lily Chin - Vincent Chin Exit Slip”
11. “Lily Chin - Vincent Chin: The Courage to Speak Out” excerpt
12. “Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement Discussion Points” handout
13. “Unit Slide Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement”
14. “Unit Plan Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement”
Each lesson has ideas for extending the assignment for gifted and talented students.
There are also ideas for accommodating students with special needs.



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