In this excerpt from his memoir, Rodriguez provides a stirring recollection from his adolescence: the first time he experienced racism as a result of being an immigrant in America. As he says, the experience "stays with [him] like a foul odor."
With only one wing, the little bird cannot fly to the raspberry patch with her brothers. As luck would have it, she meets a little dog, a chipmunk, and a frog who work together to get them all across the street to the raspberry patch.
During World War II, a young German girl, Rose Blanche, inadvertently discovers a concentration camp not far from her town. She travels there frequently, taking food to the children on the other side of the barbed wire and meets a haunted fate the day she discovers the camp is gone.
In this poem, the speaker sees a man carrying his son across the street and is struck by the tenderness the man displays for the child. The speaker realizes that humanity must cloak itself in this same caring nature.
Although carefully planned at twilight so all animals can attend, things go terribly wrong during this walkabout. The group creates such a terrible hullabaloo that Namarrkun, the lightning man, is forced to show his strength.
This story speaks of the importance of giving. When hard times fall on his land, Buddha reaches out to the wealthy, asking them to help feed the poor. The rich people grumble and refuse until a young, well-to-do girl steps forward and offers to take her bowl from house-to-house to be filled for those less fortunate than herself. Supriya succeeds and many in the land fill her bowl and their own to give to the poor.
Katherine Scholes begins this informative piece by describing the multi-facted nature of the word "peace" and what it can mean to different people at different times. Then she provides concrete ways that each of us can be a peacemaker.
In this excerpt, the reader meets two characters from The Misfits: Addie, a girl who is exceptionally tall and smart for a middle schooler and Joe, who is creative and feminine in a way that makes his peers nervous.
In this excerpt, Betty Friedan explores the feelings of entrapment experienced by American suburban housewives in the 1950s and 1960s. She writes that these feelings magnified the desire to have something more, to have something for themselves that did not orbit around their husbands, children or homes.
Maleeka gets made fun of at school about her clothes, her grades, even the color of her skin. In this chapter, one of her teachers, with white blotches on her face, shows how she's been able to accept the skin she's in.
In her nonfiction book, Abigail Garner demystifies the coming out process for LGBT parents and children using their voices and experiences. This excerpt focuses on the impact of coming out in the school environment with teachers, peers, and other parents.
"Hope, Despair and Memory" is an address given by Elie Wiesel on December 11, 1986, the date Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Wiesel is an author and humanitarian and is known for writing about his experience as a survivor of the Holocaust.
The American Psychological Association (APA) published “Facing the School Dropout Dilemma: The interaction of sexual orientation with school dropout rates” on its website in 2012. The APA is widely regarded as the most prominent professional organization for psychologists in the United States.
In this excerpt, the narrator, a young Chinese girl, poses as a boy with forged papers, trying to gain entry into the United States. When she realizes the American immigration agents are checking identity papers at the dock, she fights past them and runs for her life.
Toby and Clemmie love each other very much. Sometimes Clemmie has to go to the hospital though, and it can be scary. Luckily, Toby and Clemmie know how to make the best out of every situation—even ones that involve a trip to the hospital.
In this excerpt, Virginia Woolf declares that any talented woman born in the 16th, 17th, 18th or even 19th centuries would have been so hindered from sharing her gifts due to her sex--and if she somehow overcame this obstacle, her name would not have been tied to her work.
This short story—an important piece in early American feminist literature—sheds light on 19th century attitudes toward women with physical and mental illness. In this excerpt, the speaker details her bedroom, a place where her husband and doctors come to encourage her to health. Her ailment is vague; the emphasis is on what others—all men—think and say.
Linda Schubert recounts the fear that consumed her Jewish family living in Nazi-Germany in the late 1930s. Each family member endured individual stress and anxiety, but each also contributed to the family's greater good of the family.
After her father's death, Esperanza and her mother are left with few options and forced to flee to America. The immigration officers are only the first obstacle they must face. Beyond them, the Great Depression and an uncertain future awaits.
Rosie's mother and father did not marry out of love, and her mother writes haiku as an escape. After entering a contest, a man comes to deliver her prize—a framed picture. Angered by this intrusion, Rosie's father destroys the picture. In her anguish, Rosie's mother explains her marriage to her daughter.
Although her husband died in the September 11 attack, Arissa is targeted for being Muslim. In this excerpt, she is held up by a group of men who berate her and threaten to kill her until they realize she is pregnant.
This poem's speaker describes being bullied and feeling depressed and skipping school to avoid the harassment. Spiraling downhill emotionally, the speaker ultimately comes to accept and appreciate his/her unique identities.
In this personal narrative, Clare explores multiple facets of the self and questions why gender is still discussed as a binary. She acknowledges the tortured lives that many have lived as a result of their gender ambiguity and declares that all those who "gawk," "gape," and "stare" at those who are different never get it right.
This story tells the tale of how Sarah and Natalie became friends. Sarah, both new to class and in a wheelchair, sits at the desk next to Natalie. At first, Natalie has some trouble getting over Sarah’s appearance and limitations, but with some help from her teacher and Sarah’s aide, she discovers a great, new friend waiting for her.
In her poem, Kelly Norman Ellis brings to life a vivid picture of the kind of women she was surrounded and brought up by during her childhood in Mississippi. The poem's speaker takes you down south and makes you feel like a guest at the kitchen table by way of her descriptions.
This excerpt from the first chapter of The Communist Manifesto establishes the dichotomy between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, which is merely a new relationship of oppressor vs. oppressed in the history of class struggles, as Marx and Engels argue that all societies have had these kinds of contending classes.
In this pourquoi tale, a mother living on one of the islands in the Pacific Islands, is mystified when she bears a round child with no arms and no legs, but she tenderly raises the child until one day he asks to be buried in the sand, where he can grow (into the first coconut tree) and every part of him can be useful.
This excerpt focuses on the lives of African-American students during the civil rights movement. After reading Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in class in 1963, students in main character C.J.'s school are asked to share their dreams at a school assembly.
Mari and her family have been sent to an internment camp in Utah. She does not understand what they have done to deserve their internment and longs for her backyard in California where she used to grow sunflowers.
In this blog post, Houska emphasizes the enduring spirit of the Native American people and their culture, outlines the group’s past and present obstacles and calls to action young Native Americans to carry on the torch of resilience.
In 1830, the government began systematically removing all Native Americans from the Eastern United States. The removal of Cherokees from Georgia in 1838 has become known as the Trail of Tears. But there were, in fact, many such trails, as the Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles and other tribes were forced to abandon their homelands.
An anchor chart is an artifact of classroom learning. Like an anchor, it holds students' and teachers' thoughts, ideas and processes in place. Anchor charts can be displayed as reminders of prior learning and built upon over multiple lessons.
This strategy provides tools to create questions that help students engage critically with Perspectives central texts and examine them for issues of power and social inequity. The activities suggested here also encourage readers to bring their knowledge and experiences to the reading of a text.
Realia are real-life objects that enable children to make connections to their own lives as they try to make sense of new concepts and ideas. This strategy brings the Perspectives central text to life for students by using everyday objects during the read aloud.
This strategy includes text type charts and matching exercises to help students differentiate between Perspectives central text types, increasing their ability to read, comprehend and produce those forms.
Students predict the meanings of vocabulary words before reading and confirm the accuracy of their predictions during and after reading. Students identify context clues from the text and revise their definitions accordingly.
This contextual redefinition strategy encourages students to use the structure and context of words to predict their meanings. Students arrive at the definition through exposure to increasingly rich clues.
A tableau is a representation of a scene or picture by people posing silently without moving. In a vocabulary tableau, a group of students use their bodies to create a frozen picture of a vocabulary word.
Agree/disagree statements challenge students to think critically about their knowledge of a topic, theme or text. The strategy exposes students to the major ideas in a text before reading—engaging their thinking and motivating them to learn more. It also requires them to reconsider their original thinking after reading the text and to use textual evidence to support and explain their thinking.
“Annolighting” (annotating and highlighting) shows students how to identify critical information in a text during close reading. Students learn to annotate text, highlight important facts and summarize what they have read to capture main ideas, concepts and details.
While engaging in DR-TA, students interrupt their reading periodically to predict what developments might logically follow. This strategy works well with texts in which the outcome of the narrative is uncertain (e.g., “cliffhangers”).
Generating Interactions between Schemata and Texts (GIST) is a summarization procedure that helps students digest complex texts by requiring contextual word learning. GIST explicitly combines the most important words with reading and writing to comprehend complex texts.
QAR gives students practice questioning the text and identifying literal and inferential questions. Students learn to find different types of evidence and to rely on their own interpretation when doing close reading.
In reading against the grain students analyze the dominant reading of a text and engage in alternative or "resistant" readings. Resistant readings scrutinize the beliefs and attitudes that typically go unexamined in a text, drawing attention to the gaps, silences and contradictions.
Shared reading combines aspects of guided reading and read-aloud strategies. During shared reading, a teacher or proficient student reads the text aloud, pausing at pre-selected moments to discuss content and analyze the text. This strategy facilitates close reading of a complex text in small or whole group settings.
In shared reading, learners observe experts reading with fluency and expression while following along or otherwise engaging with the text. This strategy should focus on a specific instructional element (or mini-lesson) that improves targeted reading comprehension skills and promotes Common Core readiness.
This strategy exposes students to multiple short pieces of a text before they read it in its entirety. Students read selected quotes out of context and comment on both the selection and the comments of other students. The activity ends with students reflecting on their reactions to and predictions about the text.
Readers must refer back to the central text to answer text-dependent questions and provide evidence from the reading to support their answers. Students provide accurate, relevant and complete evidence. To do this well, students will often need to re-read the text several times. This approach privileges the text over prior knowledge, personal experience and pre-reading activities.
Think Aloud requires readers to stop during their reading to think, reflect and discuss their process. Readers talk about skipping text, rereading, searching back in the text for information, questioning, clarifying, summarizing, making connections, reflecting, predicting and visualizing.
Thinking notes are text annotations (highlights, underlines or symbols made on the text or in the margins) that document student thinking during reading. Depending on how you structure the task, these notes can indicate agreement, objection, confusion or other relevant reactions to the text.
A guide to help students interpret, analyze and evaluate information encountered in a variety of media formats. Use this guide with the spoken and performed texts included in the Perspectives anthology.
Fishbowl is a strategy for organizing medium- to large-group discussions. Students are separated into an inner and outer circle. In the inner circle, or fishbowl, students have a discussion; students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes.
A strategy to introduce the anti-bias framework into group discussion and textual analysis. Students respond to and pose questions from the four anti-bias domains: identity, diversity, justice and action.
Save the Last Word for Me is a comprehension strategy that builds speaking and listening skills by structuring a text-based discussion for students. Students highlight two to three of the most important sentences of the central text, then discuss their text-based responses in small groups.
A strategy for organizing medium- to large-group discussions. Students are separated into an inner and outer circle. In the inner circle, or fishbowl, students have a text-based discussion; students in the outer circle listen to the discussion and take notes.
Students showcase artwork and nonfiction writing that addresses issues they found in the text. The result is a visual, collaborative and creative representation of student learning and ideas. An alternative to the bulletin board is a community newsletter.
Students create a large-scale artistic depiction in a community space. As an alternative to the community mural, students can create a set of informational posters that reflect a diversity topic or social justice theme.
Students create a community puzzle mural, a large-scale artistic depiction, usually displayed in a community space. Puzzle pieces covered in student’s artwork relating to diversity, anti-bias or social justice themes from the central text comprise the mural.
Students work in groups to role-play or tell stories about real life situations related to fairness, community, diversity or social justice themes. Students then perform their skits or stories for others as part of a class-wide “fairness fair.”
Estimated time Two to three weeks Why? One of the ways young students become invested in the democratic process is by become empowered advocates for civic participation in their local communities. When younger students
Students conduct interviews and record personal experiences focused on a specific theme from the central text. They then synthesize and present the information as a an article, pamphlet, poster or other medium of their choice.
Students write to a business, school or community leader to call for action in response to a social justice issue from the central text. Alternatively, students can write open, persuasive letters to their peers or family members.
Students investigate, interview and profile a person working for equity and social change. The person can work on the local, national or international level, with an organization or as an individual. The compiled profiles will form a resource for other students in the future.
Estimated Time One week Why? Sharing a book they love helps students develop empathy. Articulating why the book is meaningful to them challenges students to communicate their thoughts and feelings in writing
Students use online resources to analyze current voter registration and turnout rates in their state and local community. They also explore potential roadblocks to the voting process (e.g., felon disenfranchisement and voter fraud).
Select the parts of your Learning Plan you'd like to print. If your Tasks or Strategies have PDF handouts, they'll need to be printed separately. These are listed on the left side of each Task or Strategy page.