I, Me, You, We: Individuality Versus Conformity, ELA Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 6-8
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Winner of the 2016 NAGC Curriculum Studies Award
In I, Me, You, We: Individuality Versus Conformity, students explore essential questions such as “How does our environment shape our identity? What are the consequences of conforming to a group? When does social conformity go too far?” This unit, developed by Vanderbilt University’s Programs for Talented Youth and aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), includes a major emphasis on rigorous evidence-based discourse through the study of common themes across rich, challenging nonfiction and fictional texts.
The unit guides students to examine the fine line of individuality versus conformity through the related concepts of belongingness, community, civil disobedience, questioning the status quo, and self-reliance by engaging in creative activities, Socratic seminars, literary analyses, and debates. Lessons include close-readings with text-dependent questions, choice-based differentiated products, rubrics, formative assessments, and ELA tasks that require students to analyze texts for rhetorical features, literary elements, and themes through argument, explanatory, and prose-constructed writing.
Ideal for pre-AP and honors courses, the unit features short stories from Kurt Vonnegut and Ray Bradbury, poetry from Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou, art by M. C. Escher and Pablo Picasso, and primary source documents from Plato, Eleanor D. Roosevelt, William Bradford, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.