Reading and Writing for Social Justice

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Information about Reading and Writing for Social Justice

Published on March 15, 2014

Author: ncmsa



This presentation chronicles the conception and journey of an ELA unit focused on social justice. High interest texts and media particularly important to the demographic of students were used. Participants will understand the foundations of the unit, learn ways to incorporate it, and receive a packet of unit planning materials.

Presented by Dr. Dana M. Stachowiak ● Travis Blair ● Dare London ● Liza Palazzi Literacy Coach AL Teacher EC Teacher Gen Ed Teacher Northeast Middle School Guilford County Schools, NC 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 1

2. Unit Section Highlights: ● Pre-assessment ● Engagement with Social Justice ● Generating Topic Ideas ● Non-Fiction Reading Strategies ● Non-Fiction Writing Strategies ● Final Student Products 1. Curriculum Mapping, Lesson Planning, & Instructional Methods 3. Glows & Grows for the Unit 4. Curriculum Mapping for K-8 Reading & Writing for Social Justice 5. Question & Answer 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 2


Parts of the Unit: 1) Pre-assess students in writing 2) Engage students with social justice topics 3) Students explore & generate topics 4) Students learn & use non-fiction reading strategies 5) Students learn & use non-fiction writing strategies 6) Post-assessment/Student Projects 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 4

Skills vs. Strategies What do vs. How do Good writers can_____(skill)_____. They do this by_____(strategy)_____. 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 5




1 – Developing Writer 2 – Thoughtful Writer 3 – Critical Writer No solid claim Clear claim; not solid Makes a clear and solid claim No focus or elaboration Focus noted; elaboration minimal Stays focused; supports and elaborates No alternative view offered Weak alternative view(s) Provides a (few) possible alternative view(s) Not organized Organized, but not logical Organized in a logical manner Several spelling and punctuation mistakes Typical spelling and punctuation mistakes Proper grammar, punctuation, word choice, and voice ● Claim ● Focus & Elaboration ● Alternative View(s) ● Organization ● Editing 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 9

I Am From Soul Food and Harriet Tubman By Lealonni Blake I am from get-togethers and Bar-B-Ques K-Mart special with matching shoes, Baseball bats and BB guns. a violent family is where I'm from. I am from "get it girl" and "shake it to the ground." From a “strict"dad named Lumb sayin' "sit yo' fass self down." I am from the smell of soul food cooking in Lelinna's kitchen. From my Pampa's war stories to my granny's cotton pickin'. I am from Kunta Kinte's strength, Harriet Tubman's escapes. Phyllis Wheatley's poems, and Sojourner Truth's faith. If you did family research, and dug deep into my genes. You'll find Sylvester and Ora, Geneva and Doc, My African Kings and Queens. That's where I'm from. 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 10

I am from chitlings and collard greens Greasy chicken and pinto beans. Softball bats and basketballs Children running down the halls. I am from “She wasn’t ready” And “ooohhh, kill ‘em.” From a dad I don’t know and A mama I love fo sho’. I am from whoopings and block parties. Where the kids are outside and adults are cooking. I am from sleepless nights, endless fights and dreadful six hour flights. Book after book, page after page, and caged after caged emotions. I am from my mom’s heartache and her motherly hugs. I am from pretty brown skin and dark brown eyes I am from my family’s loyalty and grandma’s words I am from women I am from intelligence & respect Complete honesty to everyone I am from wise women, all trustworthy I am from the country To late night bonfires Catching fireflies when it’s dark Learned how to shoot young 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 11

*Key Vocabulary Inference – a conclusion drawn from evidence or reasoning. Passion – a powerful emotion, such as love, joy, anger, hatred, etc. Activism – a policy or action to bring about political or social change. 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 12

Journal Entry What do you think is the biggest social justice issue presented in Akeelah and the Bee? Why? I think it was race. She was the only black kid in the bee. Everyone downgraded her because of her race. They also put stereotypes in there, like how Asians are really smart. Or that white people are better. 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 13

Issue My Feelings (Passion) What I Can Do (Activist) ● Assigned Seats There is no point, there will be talking regardless Behave so we do not have assigned seats ● SMOD ● We cannot express ourselves ● Wear non-SMOD one day ● Bathroom Breaks ● We are human ● Walk outs to bathrooms ● Post-racism? ● USA has learned to look past skin ● Find out how much people actually do this Issue What I Think What Others Think Call to Action ● Birth Control It is good in some way ● They think it works all the time ● Test it 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 14

What the text says What I think it means Why I think this From: Bodies Aren’t Ugly; Bullies Are by Bahadur ● Their 15y/o son had shot himself in the chest. ● Some people just don’t have the strength to overcome the humiliation. ● How someone could be bullied to the point they would shoot themselves. ● Some people take the sadness out on themselves. ● Obviously he couldn’t take the bullying anymore ● Some people try to commit suicide or harm themselves because they just can’t deal with it. ● Cuban had the eating disorder for 27 years ● Guys have more trouble getting help ● Gender stigma for men & body image has lagged way behind 2014|DR.DANAM.STACHOWIAK|GCS 15

● Conclusion Focus ● State your call to action! How can you motivate people to make a change? ● Introduction Focus ● Attention-getter: shocking, fact, personal story ● Topic – prepare your reader ● Middle Focus ● Each body paragraph should focus on a main idea and the information that supports it 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 16

5 Ws, H Questions I have about this topic ● Who is affected? ● Why do people place themselves and others in different social classes based on money when the poverty of others affects them too? ● What can make it better? ● What can we do to make sure everyone who wants to can play a part in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and helping others come out. WHAT is it? WHO is affected? WHY does it happen? WHERE + WHEN does it happen? How can we make a change? 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 17

Main Ideas Supporting Information ● Rumors that aren’t true ● Self-harm is not (usually) a suicide attempt: could lead to if not careful ● Not for attention: would you want to be noticed that way? ● How to help ● Be nice, be a friend, stand up for them, stop bullying them, persuade them to talk/get help How are these ideas going to make people want to make a change? What are the main ideas that you want to present? What info can you find to support your main idea & inform your audience? 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 18

Quote Justify the importance of this quote to your topic: ● “Poverty is a parent of revolution.” ● People won’t do anything about the issue until it affects them. ● “The test of our progress isn’t whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it’s whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ● Instead of adding to our own abundance and make the rich richer, we should be helping other reach the same level. 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 19

STUDENT TOPIC EXAMPLES: Abuse in Sports Leagues Animal Cruelty Suicide Hispanic Rights in the USA Same-Sex Marriage Immigration Rights Abortion Rights Racism Poverty Human Trafficking Bullying 2014 | DR. DANA M. STACHOWIAK | GCS 20

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