In this unit, students will view nonfiction and fiction as a commentary on an author’s personal life and on society, particularly the life of a migrant worker. Students will also begin to view writing as a process and as a reflection of self. Students will begin the unit by delving into the following questions: How does literature reflect a culture or time period? What can we learn from the past? To what extent can fiction reveal truth? Should a story teach you something? Why write? Why share personal experiences in writing? What makes writing worth reading? Through these questions, students will look at literature and their own writing with a critical eye. While interacting with fiction and nonfiction (Esperanza Rising, “The Circuit,” “The Harvest (Historical context),” “Communication Facts: Special Populations: Migrant Workers in the U.S.-2008 Edition,” Voices from the Fields: Children of Migrant Farmworkers Tell Their Stories, and Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child), this unit also has an emphasis on writing and having the students as writers connect to their own stories. Students will complete a personal narrative, an argument essay/timed writing essay, and a research-based creative story. The culminating assessment for students will be, in groups, to conduct research on migrant workers and create a PowerPoint presentation or webpage detailing the information they find. This research will lead into the students’ individual projects. Using their research on migrant workers and the stories they have read, students will write an additional chapter to “The Circuit.”
Fenske, Kathleen, "Making Writing Personal [6th grade]" (2009). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. Paper 98.
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