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Debbi Patton - Annotated Lesson Plan Teacher Standards that I will Demonstrate Through this Lesson: NCTE/NCATE Standards for Initial Preparation of Teachers of Secondary English Language Arts, Grades 7-12 I. Candidates demonstrate knowledge of English language arts subject matter content that specifically includes literature and multimedia texts as well as knowledge of the nature of adolescents as readers. III. Candidates plan instruction and design assessments for reading and the study of literature to promote learning for all students. V. Candidates plan, implement, assess, and reflect on research-based instruction that increases motivation and active student engagement, builds sustained learning of English language arts, and responds to diverse students’ context-based needs. VI. Candidates demonstrate knowledge of how theories and research about social justice, diversity, equity, student identities, and schools as institutions can enhance students’ opportunities to learn in English Language Arts.

Class Information: Grade: 11th Lesson Topic: Introduction to African American Literature Unit: Inquiry into the American Experience Time Allotted: 50 minutes Type of Lesson: Introductory Curriculum Standards Addressed:

RL4 Grades Eleven and Twelve: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.) RL9 Grades Eleven and Twelve: Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth, nineteenth, and early twentieth century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics. SL.11-12.1a: Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas. SL.11.12.1b: Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.

Objectives: The student will be able to reflect on their current knowledge of African American history and literature. The student will be able to create a historical context for their chosen piece of literature by participating in the interactive timeline introduction. The student will be able to work in a small group to share their insight/observations on their chosen piece and how it relates to the theme of race/culture/identity. The student will work with their small group to analyze how the historical time period impacted the author’s viewpoint. The student will discuss with their small group how these literary works have shaped their understanding of race relations today and how reading these have changed or reinforced their current viewpoint. Materials: Students will need their homework from the night before which includes a printed copy of their chosen literature piece and their partially filled out graphic organizer (attached). Students will need printed copies of discussion questions (attached) and a mini-whiteboard that they will use to brainstorm, build connections, and share their answers. I will need a whiteboard and markers to draw the timeline. I will need printed exit tickets (question shared below) that I will collect upon the students’ exit. Students should also have a chrome book in each group so they can google definitions if necessary. Students will also need their journal for the warm-up. I will need a computer hooked up to a projector to share a video from YouTube for the conclusion. I will also need my list of key events in African American history easily accessible by the whiteboard for the motivator/bridge.

The literature options are: “A Letter to My Nephew” by James Baldwin, Chapter 1 “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” from The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. DuBois, or the set of poems “I too” by Langston Hughes and “Caged Bird” and “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou. I specifically chose these literature options because they span the 20th century and provide different viewpoints on race relations. Proactive Behavior Management: Prior to breaking up into discussion groups, we will review our class discussion rules that we established at the beginning of the semester. Since race is a difficult subject to discuss (and because I have a very diverse class), I want to ensure that my students have civil and respectful discussions. I will carefully monitor their conversations to ensure that the conversations are constructive and inclusive. I will have pre-printed discussion questions (see attached) that will help to keep students on track and on task. The questions will start off fairly simple and focus on how the author develops the theme and uses literary techniques. The questions will slowly transition into a discussion about current events and how historical African American literature impacts their view on race relations in the USA today. Students will also have a graphic organizer that they are working on where they will have previously identified information (tone, voice, metaphors, descriptive language, etc) that will prepare them to discuss with their classmates. I will also assign groups. This will allow me to control that each group learns about each literary piece, that there are varied personality types, and that there are varied ability levels. Provisions for Student Grouping: I will choose the student groups. Each group will be composed of 4 – 6 students. The groups will incorporate students who have chosen each of the three previously provided literature selections. I will adopt a flexible grouping mentality that will allow for a blending of personality types, ability levels, and cultural viewpoints. Procedures Warm-Up/Opening: I will be at the door to greet students and to hand them a piece of paper with their group number written on it. I will ask them to find the correlating group of desks (arranged in a discussion circle and marked with their number) and take a seat. Once they have found a seat they need to silently get started on the prompt. On the whiteboard, I will have the following prompt written. “In your journal write a paragraph about what you know about African American history and list any key historical events you can think of.” This will take the first 5 minutes of class.

Motivator/Bridge: I will begin by drawing attention to the timeline I have drawn on the other side of the board (it will cover 1800’s – current day). I will then ask students to list off any key historical events they have written down and I will write them down next to the timeline. After reviewing the events provided by the class, I will add any key missing ones to the list (I will develop this list prior to class and have it accessible). With the classes input/guesses, we will place each event under the correct historical decade and very briefly review what made that event (court case, assassination, publication, etc) historic. We will then place each of the three literary selections from last night’s homework in the appropriate decade. I’ll then acknowledge that African American history is full of pain and suffering, but also full of resilience and courage. I’ll stress that we need to be sensitive when discussing race, listen to others, and seek new understanding. I’ll then point to the objectives listed on the board and the agenda items (these items are on the board every day). We will review them together to help set the expectations for the class. We will then discuss that students will be evaluated based on their discussion participation, on their exit tickets, and their homework (which is to fill out the second half of the graphic organizer with a modern day example). This should take the next 8 minutes of class. Procedural Activities: 1. Getting ready for discussion: Since students will already be seated in their groups, I will ask them to take out their graphic organizers and printed literary selection from their homework the night before. I will walk to each group, hand them copies of the discussion questions, a mini whiteboard with markers, and a group chrome book. This should take 3 minutes. 2. Starting discussion: I will instruct each group to start with the first section of the discussion questions which is focused on reflection of last night’s homework. I will encourage them to use their chrome books to google any unfamiliar terms. The discussion will start off with each student sharing a brief summary of their chosen literary piece and how the theme of race/culture/identity is evident in the piece (approximately 30 seconds per student). They will then discuss the tone they identified and what literary technique they found most effective in the theme and tone development. These are all factors that they identified in their graphic organizers the night before. The reflection section will conclude with a question asking them what stood out to them most about the literary piece they chose and how it shaped their view on race relations in American history. Each individual will write their answer to the second part of the question on the mini-white board and a group member will read the answers aloud to the class. This can be as simple as, “It made me realize the hopelessness that African Americans felt in the mid 1900’s” or “It made me realize that I need to listen to other people’s

perspectives.” I will be walking between the groups, asking follow up questions, and making sure they stay at an appropriate pace. I will be monitoring discussion engagement and student participation. If a student seems withdrawn, I might ask for their opinion or if a student is dominating the conversation I might interject and say “Great point. Let’s see how that compares to (name)’s findings.” This should take 8 minutes. 3. Connecting historical context: After each group has shared their responses, I will instruct each group to continue onto the next set of discussion questions which is focused on historical impact. Students will evaluate how the historical time period and events could have played a role in the author’s viewpoint. They will then compare and contrast how the authors’ viewpoints changed and didn’t change as time has progressed. I will continue to walk around the room observing and listening. My goal is to help facilitate the conversation but not dictate it. I will make it a point to use nonverbal cues to help minimize any side conversations that may occur and praise/positively acknowledge any outstanding critical thinking. I will also monitor each group’s progress through the questions and provide time prompts if necessary. This should take 10 minutes. 4. Expanding and applying understanding: At this point in time, I will make a statement about applying our historical takeaways to society today. I will ask the groups to move to the last section of discussion questions that address application. There are three main questions: Have they experienced racism in their personal lives (are they comfortable sharing their experience(s) if they have)? What racial movements are present today? What authors/writers/leaders/musicians/athletes do they see as racial advocates today? During this time frame I will be carefully monitoring my students’ discussions for civility and respect. If no one seems willing to share, I will share a time when I have encountered racism while being in an interracial relationship. By sharing my own personal experience, it may give my students the courage to share. At the end of the discussion, students will be instructed to write the names of modern-day racial advocates on their group white board and one team member will share it with the class. (I will make it a point to privately thank the students who shared their personal stories at the end of class and to commend them for their courage). This should take 10 minutes. Adaptations: In order to provide my students with literary selections to meet their appropriate reading levels and interests, I am allowing them to select from three different options. These options will be given to them in the class before and read through/listened to the night before. I will have each student come sign up with me in the previous class so I know what is being selected and I can plan out the groups for the next day. (I will, however, require that each

literary option has at least four students assigned to it so every group has exposure to all three literary selections). This allows my students with below-level reading skills to have access to a less complex (but still unit relevant) literary option without feeling isolated or overwhelmed. In addition, it also provides my advanced reading level students with a more challenging literary work to analyze. Furthermore, by providing my students with both audio versions (available via YouTube) and printed versions of the literary selections, it provides ample time for review and listening the night before. The audio version in particular, will benefit my student who has a LD as well any student who might need help interpreting the tone or understanding some of the vocabulary. For my hearing impaired student, my LD student, and my ADHD student, I will provide them with the discussion questions ahead of time. This will give them time to review the questions and prepare ahead of time in a stress and distraction free environment. For my student in the wheelchair, I will ensure that her group discussion circle is closest to the door and that there is a designated space for her wheelchair that is facing the board. This avoids her having to rely on anyone else having to move the desks or having to wheel around awkwardly to face the board. I also tried to incorporate my students’ interests in the lesson plan and homework. Since I have a very diverse class and one that is majority African American, I chose to introduce African American literature as our first unit related to our examination of the theme of race/culture/identity (we will later look at Latin American and Jewish literature). This provides a personal connection (for many of them) to the literature and helps to develop meaningful learning that will link historical African American literature to modern day social issues. In addition, the last discussion question and their homework both ask them to focus on a modern day advocate that they admire. This could be an athlete such as Lebron James or Colin Kapernick, a musician such as Kanye West or Macklemore, or even a politician such as President Obama. For their homework they will review a song, speech, or statement by their chosen figure and analyze how the theme of race/culture/identity is developed and how the author develops credibility. I also chose an interactive motivator/bridge and small group discussion to help address the restlessness that can accompany being the last class of the day. These activities will help to keep them more engaged and accountable. It also provides my extroverted students (such as my opinionated leader and class clown) the opportunity to rise to the occasion, lead discussion,

and encourage their classmates. Also by building in two small class sharing activities, it gives students a short break from discussion and a chance to hear from their other classmates. Audio Resource Links for Students: Maya Angelou: & Langston Hughes: W.E.B. DuBois: James Baldwin: (only listen to “A Letter to My Nephew”) Summary/Closure: To wrap up the class I will direct everyone’s attention back to the front and share a video of 21st century African American poet Toi Derricotte reading her poem “Blackbottom”. This will help give my students a taste of post-modern African American literature. I will then hand out exit tickets that students need to fill out and hand to me before they leave. The exit ticket question will ask, “How has today’s discussion changed your initial viewpoint on your selected literature piece and current racial movements in the US.” I will also explain the homework assignment and what we will be focusing on next class. This should take 6 minutes. Assessment: My assessment for this lesson will involve multiple components. Since their homework the night before included a graphic organizer, I will be able to review the organizers to ensure they read the text and are selecting relevant examples. This organizer will be used again for that night’s homework where they will look at a modern example. I will require the organizer to be turned in after it is completed so I can review the examples they selected and do a quality check for selection and understanding. This will function as a formative assessment during the discussion and a summative assessment after it is completed. These organizers are key because they can be used again later in the unit when they will be writing an essay that compares theme development across a variety of texts. I will also be grading students on their discussion participation and contributions. I will take into account not only how much a student is participating, but also the quality of their answers, their attitude, and level of preparedness. I will be taking notes about each student’s participation while I am walking around the room and assisting with discussion facilitation. I

want to ensure that students are engaging and that meaningful connections are being made regarding historical context, race, and historical events. The students will receive their discussion rubrics back during the next class. This grade will be a percentage of their cumulative quarterly participation grade. This will essentially be a formative assessment since it is based on their participation throughout the activity, but also a criterion-referenced objective since it requires them to achieve specific goals prior to and during discussion. Another aspect of assessment that will help me evaluate is the exit ticket. The exit ticket will help me evaluate what key lesson my students took away from today’s lesson and whether they expanded or built new schemas surrounding African American Literature, historical context, author’s deliberate choices, and social movements occurring today. This summative assessment will help me evaluate how well my student’s understood the lesson and if they achieved the objective. Last but not least are my students’ journal entries. This will help me gage what they knew about African American history, movements, and literature and what meaningful learning has occurred after the discussion. The initial entry is a diagnostic assessment tool and the latter entry will act as a summative assessment. Generalization/Extension Activity: The small-group discussions should fill the entire class period. I will, however, provide additional modern day African American literature choices for my students to review outside of class if they are interested in learning more or need help with their homework selection. I can also listen carefully and provide additional discussion questions if necessary. Review/Reinforcement (Homework): The homework assignment will be for my students to select a modern day advocate that we discussed in class and find a piece of their work (song/rap lyrics, speech, poem, article, etc) and complete the second half of their graphic organizer to help connect the theme of race/culture/identity and the author’s tone, word choice, and figurative and literal language choices. If students are struggling to select a piece of work, I will let them know that a list is available on our google classroom for them to explore. To further reinforce/review, their journal paragraph for the next class will be to write an entry on the importance of social justice/movements in historical and modern day literature. Reflection: This assignment was both intriguing and incredibly challenging. As someone who enjoys reading and exploring the intersection of history and literature, I want to share that passion with my

students. When reviewing the curriculum for 11th grade English in Montgomery County, MD, I knew that I wanted my students to explore the theme of race/culture/identity during the required unit on Inquiry into the American Experience. Since the majority of my students come from minority backgrounds, I hoped that the theme of race would connect with them on a deeper level and allow them to explore literature written by prominent authors from the same racial background. This methodology reflects my desire to adhere to a culturally responsive teaching approach and plays off of my students’ interest and everyday life. I chose to start with African American literature since that is the background the majority of my class comes from. In addition, I decided that by offering students the opportunity to choose a literature selection, it would help my students who struggle with reading or read below level feel completely included and not isolated. The poems are short and less daunting for a lower-level reader, but still play a critical role in the lesson. This type of differentiated instruction encourages inclusion and also allows my students to stretch themselves if they think they want to attempt one of the more challenging pieces. In addition, it also provides my advanced students with challenging material to select. Another method of differentiated instruction that I wanted to include was flexible grouping. I initially considered grouping my students based on the literature piece they selected. I realized, however, that this could end up splitting my students by ability level. Instead I would monitor the literary selections of my students (since they are required to sign up with me) and encourage my above-level students to take on the more advanced selections (if necessary). I would then assign groups based on literary selection, personality type, and ability level. In this case, I will also look at the cultural characteristics of my students when grouping so they can share their unique perspectives with their classmates. When contemplating additional accommodations, my goal was to make these as discreet as possible. I wanted to adopt a “student-centric� approach where their needs came first. However, I know that in high school accommodations can be seen as embarrassing. If I can give my students the resources they need in a discreet manner, it can save them embarrassment. For example, by having the tables preset in my classroom, I can eliminate the awkwardness or embarrassment that my student in a wheelchair might feel. Also by providing some of my other students with the discussion questions the night before, it allows them to jot down notes and think through their answers without being pressed for time. Overall, I found myself stretched and challenged when creating this lesson plan. It forced me to think backwards and to focus on the objective and intended results first. This helped me to flesh and plan out every step of the class. One particular challenge for me was timing. Was I

providing enough questions or not enough? I think I settled on an adequate amount of questions that are open-ended and lend themselves to follow-up questions. Perhaps most importantly, I found myself taking a constructivist approach. I want my students to create their own knowledge through discussion and to expand their schemas surrounding African American literature, intentional usage of literary techniques, and the impact that historical events can have on literature. I can provide them with the tools and prompts to logically transition from one aspect of the lesson to the next, but they need to form the conclusions themselves. Last but not least I found myself critically evaluating how to facilitate what could be a tense discussion. I decided that by providing my students with “lighter” questions and then gradually introducing them to “deeper” questions would yield the best results. This allows the group to grow more comfortable with each other and to connect what we are studying with their everyday lives. By using the surface technique of proximity throughout the discussion, I am constantly reminding students of my presence (both for support and accountability). I have built in small “show and tells” into the discussions to allow full class engagement and to provide students with a small mental break. The white board components assist my visual learners and my students who simply need to keep their hands busy. My goal is to guide students to the realization that the theme of race/culture/identity is complex and usually tied to personal experiences, struggles, and historical events/movements. Writers make conscious choices about the literary techniques they use when crafting their tone and developing their theme. When we read and analyze these pieces, it can (and should) help our schemas surrounding African American literature and racism to expand and connect with our knowledge of current events. To ensure meaningful learning I decided I wanted to make their homework lesson an extension of our class discussion. I decided that by giving them option to choose a modern day African American writer or influential figure of their choice and analyze how they approach the theme of race would be most effective. This would then be tied into the graphic organizer to ensure that my students have a consistent and clear framework to work off that also reinforces reading comprehension and acts a visual learning resource. This lesson plan certainly took me longer than expected, but in the end I think it is a lesson that my students will connect with and remember. I found it incredibly value to think of my students first and foremost and put them at the center. Instead of ignoring their differences I actively looked for ways to focus on their unique needs, interests, learning styles, personality types, and ability levels.

References: Discussion rubric examples. (2006). Retrieved from English in high school. (n.d.). Retrieved from NCTE/NCATE standards for initial preparation of teachers of secondary english language arts, grades 7 -12. (2012). Retrieved from Teaching and learning: English language arts. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Discussion Questions Reflection: 1. In your own words, please summarize your literary selection for your group mates and how the author introduces the theme of race. (Each student in the group must answer this question). 2. Describe the tone that the author developed towards the theme of race? 3. What literary technique did you find most effective in the piece? Provide an example from the text of how this technique helped the author establish the tone and theme. 4. What stood out to you most about the literary work you chose and how did it shape your view on race relations in American history? (Write your answer to the second part of the question on the minwhite board. This can be a simple statement such as, “It made me realize that we all experience life through different lenses” or “It made me realize the extent of racism in the early 20 th century.”)

Historical Context: 1. Now that you have additional knowledge of significant historical events/movements happening in African American history, how does that change the way you view your literary piece? 2. How much of an impact do you think current events had on your author? 3. Do you see a change in author tone over time?

Modern-Day Application: 1. Have you experienced racism in your personal life like the authors have (are you comfortable sharing your experience(s))? 2. What racial or social justice movements are present today? 3. What authors/writers/leaders/musicians/athletes do you see as racial advocates today? (Each student in the group must answer this question. Write these names down on your mini-white board). What platforms are they using to spread their message? How is their message similar to the authors we’ve studied today? ****Wait for a verbal cue from your teacher to transition between sections****


Evaluating the theme of race in African American Literature Name: Class Period: (If you have selected the poem set you will need to answer each question for each poem. Your answer should fit into the box for Text/Set One) Question What type of work is this piece(s) (Poem, essay, book, lyrics, etc). What tone do you feel the author is trying to communicate? (Use descriptive words.) What emotions did reading this piece cause you to feel? Could you relate or only sympathize? Identify two literary devices (metaphor, rhyming, pointof-view, simile, descriptive language, etc) that the author uses to convey the theme of race/culture/identity.

Provide at least two examples from the text(s) for the two literary devices you selected above. (This will make four total examples. Use the back of the sheet if necessary)

Text/Set One:_______________

Text Two: _______________

List of Post-Modern Suggestions for Homework •

Run DMC - “Proud to Be Black” o Lyrics: o Audio: Seth & Nirva – “Brother” o Lyrics: o Audio: Logic – “Mixed Feelings” o Lyrics: o Colin Kapernick – Interview about sitting during the national anthem o Transcript: o Video: Ta Nehisi Coates – The Lost Cause Rides Again o Text: Toi Derricotte – Blackbottom o Text: o Audio/Video:

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