Grade 8 ELA Module 2A, Unit 1

Students taking notes in class.

In Unit 1, students will be introduced to the module’s theme of taking a stand by reading several speeches given by real people who stand up for a cause to better others. These speeches include Shirley Chisholm’s “Equal Rights for Women” and Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman?” For both speeches, students will analyze the central idea and supporting details, how the structure contributes to the meaning and style, the speaker’s claims and supporting evidence, and how the speaker addresses counterclaims. The mid-unit assessment centers on excerpts from Lyndon Johnson’s “The Great Society” speech, and addresses NYS CCLS RI.8.2, RI.8.5, and RI.8.6.Following the mid-unit assessment, students will begin reading the module’s central text, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The novel is launched with a highly scaffolded reading of the first chapter and building several strong reading routines (including taking structured notes and an explicit focus on vocabulary work) that will support students in successfully reading this rich text across both Units 1 and 2. As students read Part 1 of the novel, they will gather text evidence related to the theme of taking a stand. They also will consider how the author draws upon the Golden Rule and renders it new. They will analyze several poems related to the Golden Rule, comparing and contrasting the structure of each poem and the narrative arc of chapters of the novel, analyzing how the differing structure of each text contributes to its meaning and style. Finally, students will examine allusions to other texts within the novel. In the end of unit assessment, students will demonstrate their understanding of the Golden Rule theme, allusions to other texts, and how text structure develops meaning.

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