Unit Title: Reading through a Lens of Social Justice
Grade: 7
Length of Unit: 5 weeks


Why is the work of this unit important to the learners in your class? What do learners look like when they are doing the work of this unit proficiently?
The unit is important because it provides the students the opportunity to explore social issues
in a text; then relate these issues to their own lives and the world around them . At first the
students will be reading shorter commentary and essays. Then they will be reading longer
texts in clubs, most likely realistic fiction. The students will use accountable talk to
explore these issues.


Describe the reading materials and the number of books, on average, you expect students to read during this unit.

The reading material include a variety of short commentary, essays, and short stories. Then the students will read a minimum of two longer texts (fiction and/or nonfiction).


How will students read - independently or collaboratively?

Through a read aloud, the students will have a shared aesthetic experience. They will also read shorter text selected from a constrained library independently. Finally, they will read the longer texts in book clubs.


How will you use time? Across a day? Across a week?

After the launch of the unit, there will be two days of independent reading, two club days, and one day of a shared aesthetic experience and accountable talk per week.


What is the role of writing in this unit?

Students will annotate their texts and write responses in their notebooks. Working in their clubs they will show written evidence of their thinking about the social issue being explored.

What is the role of talk in this unit?

Talk will be an integral piece throughout the unit. The students will talk when participating in the interactive read aloud by exploring how to identify social issues in a text. The work of the book clubs will center around talk


What is the role of the read aloud in this unit?

The read aloud will serve as a model of how a social issue can “hide” in a text. It will show the impact of social issues on those involved.


Is there unit specific vocabulary? How does it fit into the unit?

There is some specific vocabulary the the students will need to learn. In addition to big -ism words like racism, feminism, etc., students should learn words like coercion, harassment, discrimination, and prejudice. These words will be introduced, as the students gain more nuanced, sophisticated ideas about social justice. For example, students will learn the difference between harassment and bullying. The students will be asked to apply this new vocabulary in the accountable talk of their book clubs.


How will you assess students growth in this unit?

Checklists, which will be created/provided, may be used as formative assessments throughout the course of a unit. Summative assessment may be an on-demand short assessment that reflects the unit’s expectations. Summative and formative assessments may include projects that include the use of creative expression, social action, or technological presentations.


What will homework look like in this unit?

Homework will be an extension of the reading work done in class. Students will prepare for their book club discussions by reading, annotating, and generating responses in a reading notebook.


How is writing workshop connected to this unit?

Student will be writing open genre social action pieces in writing workshop. These may include writing editorials, creating blogs, research driven essays, or fictional piece that incorporate social issues.