This is a 6 week unit over the books The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Students were to choose one of these books for their summer reading, and this unit asks students to re-read (or read for the first time) their book at a closer, deeper level. Students will be assigned to smaller reading/discussion groups for the unit. They will read together and at home, complete close reading assignments in class, ask thought-provoking discussion questions, and record their thoughts and reflections in an online blog. At the end of the unit, students will publish their own story that they worked on throughout the unit using the steps of the writing process.
Even though students will only be reading one of the books, the themes and character struggles are linked in a way that will make managing class discussions about big ideas easy. Students will be able to talk about their ideas in a universal way.
Rasmussen, Alice, "What’s the Story? [9th grade]" (2010). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 123.