Examining the Inequitable Treatment of Asians in the US: A Civics Unit for Newcomer ELs

byBrittany Zezima Dilworth

This unit was written as part of the Yale Teacher Institute, an organization dedicated to writing strong, research-based curriculum for use in diverse K-12 education settings. Written during the summer before 2021-2022 school year, its purpose is to address and explore the concept of minority rights and how various factors affect equality and equity for minority groups in the United States’ democracy. It will intertwine Common Core and state history standards with research-driven pedagogy for English Learners to simultaneously meet the language, content, and culture needs of my students. The unit will focus on excerpts conveying the concept of majority rule and minority rights through the lens of the often overlooked Asian-American experience throughout United States history. Before examining this content directly, the unit will introduce students to the idea of unconscious bias and how it impacts the decision-making skills of individuals. They will apply their knowledge of bias as the unit continues into more direct instruction on major events in Asian-American history spanning from mid-19th century railroad workers to the present discrimination stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as analysis of how related policies and laws influenced their politically-motivated vilification as a minority group.

(Developed for Social Studies, grades 6-8; recommended for Social Studies, grades 6-8, and ELA, grade 8)

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