Students: Take Charge of Your Reading

byLorena Amos

The purpose of this curriculum unit is to motivate students to become critical thinkers, responsible learners, and lifelong readers. This curriculum unit will explore ways to engage African American high school students from grades nine to twelve to connect to the text. This unit will guide students to interpret, analyze and evaluate their reading as they cross the bridge to independent reading. Students will examine what they themselves bring to the text and then look again through various lenses based on gender, class, race history and ideology. Students will evaluate the literary quality of the text by creating a rubric with which to judge all books. The culminating assessment will be book reviews in a literary newsletter created by the students.

As students feel comfortable reading stories for young children, they will be empowered to critique the stories and study the authors, the history and the background of the writing. After they gain confidence, students will read and use multiple perspectives of history, gender, class, ideology, and race to critique an assigned text, Macbeth alongside the "urban" book, The Coldest Winter Ever, by Sister Souljah, and a recommended book, Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston.

(Developed for English, grades 9 and 12; recommended for English, grades 9-12)

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