Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

Lesson Plan: ELA Middle School Essay Writing - Powerful Individuals, Powerful Movements

LESSON 1 | LESSON 2 | LESSON 3 | LESSON 4 | LESSON 5 | LESSON 6 | HOMEWORK

Download all unit components [zip]
 

GRADE
6
SUBJECT
English Language Arts
NUMBER OF LESSONS
6 class periods of instruction
3 additonal days of homework to write this essay
LESSON 1
UNIT INTRODUCTION, ACADEMIC VOCABULARY, LILY CHIN ARTICLE
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
ELA Reading Standards for Informational Text:
CCSS ELA RI.6.3
Key Ideas and Details
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
CCSS ELA RI.6.6
Craft and Structure
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
CCSS ELA RI.6.7 Integration of Knowledge and Ideas Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
MATERIALS

“Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 1” handout
“Lily Chin - Vincent Chin Exit Slip”
“Lily Chin - Vincent Chin: The Courage to Speak Out” excerpt
“Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement Discussion Points” handout
“Unit Slide Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement”

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students determine the main point of the article on Lily Chin/Vincent Chin and describe how her story relates to an individual mobilizing his or her community to address a problem.
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (10 minutes)
Introduce this unit to students by connecting the students to their prior knowledge and introducing the theme of the unit:

 
 
In this unit we will be studying how two individuals have responded to problems in their communities. Rather than remaining silent, these brave people have organized their communities to speak out against serious issues. We will be reading two stories on race and justice in the United States. We will discuss how individuals can mobilize others to fight any kind of serious problem affecting their communities.

Activating Prior Knowledge with questions:

 
1.
Pass out the “Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement Discussion Points” handout.
2.
Have students complete the pre-writing activity in the box to the left.
3.
Show the “Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement” slides (until slide 13).
4.
While showing slide 13, have students complete the box to the right in the Discussion Points handout.
5.
Have students think-pair-share with his or her elbow partner after the students write their responses about the issues brought up by the slides.
6.
Share responses with the whole group.
7.
While showing slide 14, take the following poll

     Do you think the two persons who killed Vincent Chin should have gone to prison?

8.
Finish showing the rest of “Powerful Individuals Powerful Movement” slides. By end of slides, students should have a broad knowledge that movements can form to address injustices. However, these movements usually begin from ordinary individuals who in the course of fighting injustice start movements.
ACTIVITY 2: Academic Vocabulary (10 minutes)
1. Pass out “Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 1” handout.
2. Guide the class through completing the sentence frames. Have them try to make their own definition of the word. Correct any misconceptions with the definitions provided in the Teacher Version on page 2 of the handout.
ACTIVITY 3: Lily Chin – Vincent Chin (20 minutes)
1. Pass out “Lily Chin-Vincent Chin: The Courage to Speak Out” excerpt.
2. Read in groups or pairs. Teacher may decide the best strategy.
3. While reading, students fill out note column to the left or text.
4. After reading, ask students the following discussion question:

     Do you think Lily Chin was a powerful person?

Have students share their thoughts with the class.

ACTIVITY 4: Review / Closure (5 minutes)
Ask students the following question:

      What does community mean to you?

ACTIVITY 5: Assessment Based on Objectives (5 minutes)
1. Pass out the “Lily Chin - Vincent Chin Exit Slip.”

The questions on the exit slip ask students to answer:

a)
What is the main idea of the first passage?
b)
How did Lily Chin’s fight for justice for her son start the movement for justice in the Asian American and other communities?
2. Have students complete the Exit Slip. Remind the students to keep their completed Exit Slips for their essay writing.
ADAPTATIONS - STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Visuals, think-pair-share, group discussions, culturally relevant pedagogy
Text may be broken into shorter pieces.
EXTENSIONS - GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
Students will write a newspaper article describing a particular problem that exists in their neighborhood.
Students research local community organizations and present this information to the class.
 
LESSON 2
ACADEMIC VOCABULARY, BLACK LIVES MATTER ARTICLE
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
ELA Reading Standards for Informational Text:
CCSS ELA RI.6.2 Key Ideas and Details Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
CCSS ELA RI.6.6 Craft and Structure Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.
MATERIALS

“Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 2” handout
“Black Lives Matter” excerpt
“Black Lives Matter Exit Slip”
“Black Lives Matter Background” handout

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students will determine the main idea of the article on Black Lives Matter and describe how its story relates to individuals mobilizing their community to address a problem.
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (5 minutes)
1. Pass out “Black Lives Matter Background” handout
2. To have students recall topics from previous lesson, have students fill in the top box of the handout. Ask students to
 
Summarize the killing of Vincent Chin and the effect it had on his mother and community in one paragraph. What were some of the major points we took away from Lesson 1?
3. Have students think-pair-share with his or her elbow partner after the students write their responses.
4. Share responses with the whole group.
5. After students finish reviewing previous lesson, introduce new lesson to students:
 
Today we will be reading about three individuals who mobilized their community to address a problem. The problem is similar—violence and injustice based upon race. However, this takes place within the African American community.
ACTIVITY 2: Academic Vocabulary (10 minutes)
1. Pass out “Academic Vocabulary Organizer Lesson 2” handout.
2. Guide the class through completing the sentence frames. Have them try to make their own definition of the word. Correct any misconceptions with the definitions provided in the Teacher Version on page 2 of the handout.
ACTIVITY 3: Black Lives Matter (25 minutes)
1. Tell students to refer back to the “Black Lives Matter Background” handout.
2. Read the “Black Lives Matter Movement: Background” portion of the handout to the class.
3. Teacher may ask the class to share what they have heard/learned about this movement.
4. Pass out “Black Lives Matter” excerpt.
5. Read in groups or in pairs. Teacher may decide the best strategy.
6. While reading, students fill out note column to the left of text.
7. After reading the excerpt, have students answer the following discussion questions on the next page of the handout.
a.
Do you see any similarities between the Black Lives Matter founders (Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi) and Lily Chin? Explain using at least one example from the text.
b.
What sensitive topics have Garza, Cullors, and Tometi helped create discussions around?

Have students share their thoughts with the class.

ACTIVITY 4: Review / Closure (5 minutes)
Accountability Talk with students
Ask students one or two of the following questions:
Do you think police departments have problems with racism?
How do you think we should judge whether a police officer acted within the law?
Do you think other ethnic groups (Asians, Hispanics) experience the same sort of violence at the hands of the police?
What role does social media play for us today in society?
ACTIVITY 5: Assessment Based on Objectives (5 minutes)
1. Pass out the “Black Lives Matter Exit Slip.”

The questions on the exit slip ask students to answer:

a.
What is the main idea of the first passage?
b.
How did Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi as individuals start a movement with a simple social media post?
2. Have students complete the Exit Slip. Remind the students to keep their completed Exit Slips for their essay writing.
ADAPTATIONS/STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Teacher may pair weak readers with stronger readers.
Text may be broken into shorter pieces.
EXTENSIONS/GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
Research
Students may research the Black Lives Matter movement. They may also research similar movements, such as student activism at the University of Missouri.
LESSON 3
CONSTRUCTING THESIS STATEMENT
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
CCSS ELA.W.6.1 Text Types and Purposes Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
b. Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
CCSS ELA.W.6.2 Text Types and Purposes Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
a. Introduce a topic; organize ideas, concepts, and information, using strategies such as definition, classification, comparison/contrast, and cause/effect; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
b. Develop the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
c. Use appropriate transitions to clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
e. Establish and maintain a formal style.
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the information or explanation presented.
MATERIALS

“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Rubric”
“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements” template
“Essay Project – Thesis Exit Slip” handout
 

Materials not included:
Chart paper for modeling
Paper for a bubble map
(For an example, see http://www.studenthandouts.com/01-Web-Pages/2013-07/bubble-map-graphic-organizer-worksheet.htm)
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students construct a thesis statement including information from their chosen problem or issue in their own communities.
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (5 minutes)
1. Brainstorming: To have students recall topics from the previous two lessons on Lily Chin, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, ask students to summarize in their heads what they have read and learned about these individuals.
2. Have students think-pair-share with his or her elbow partner after brainstorming.
ACTIVITY 2: Essay Instruction and Brainstorming (15 minutes)
1. Pass out
“Essay Project - Individuals and Movements” template
“Essay Project - Individuals and Movements Rubric”
2. Essay Introduction:
Introduce to students that for the rest of the unit they will be working on an essay:

For the next few days, you will be working on an essay. In this essay, you will write about how ordinary individuals, in the course of fighting injustice, can start movements to create change in their communities. In this essay, you will talk about Lily Chi; Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi; and then a third topic of your choice.

Review rubric on “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Rubric” to students. This will be how the students will be graded.
Briefly review the essay outline/scaffolding and sentence questions with students on page 1 and 2 of essay project template.
Assign them a due date. It will most likely take 3 days to complete the essay in class. From there, it may take students another 2-3 days to write their final draft as homework.
Have students complete the self-efficacy rating on page 2.
3. Describe Body Paragraph 3 to students:
 
In this essay you will write about individuals who started movements to create change within their communities. While the first and second body paragraphs will be about the texts we have read, the third will be your own. You will choose a serious problem and describe how an individual who mobilized his or her community to address this issue. Some suggestions of problems include gang violence, bullying, and school safety.
4. Give students time to think about a potential problem. Then, have them create a bubble map graphic organizer to collect their ideas.
ACTIVITY 3: Forming A Thesis (20 minutes)
1. Explain Thesis Modeling to the students:
 
The thesis statement is what gives an essay direction. Knowing how to write a thesis statement — the topic, a claim about that topic, and three points to support it — can help a writer start an essay in the most clear and concise way. Not only does it help you as the writer organize subsequent information in the essay, but a strong thesis statement helps the reader (your peer or your teacher) understand the information that leads to the conclusion. All your statements will be a bit different depending on what problem you choose to write about in paragraph 3.
2. Model how to write a thesis statement on the chart paper.
 
Example:

Lily Chin, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and ________ show how individuals can start movements to create change within their communities.

If talking about an issue such as school newspaper censorship, example thesis statement could be:

Lily Chin, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and San Gabriel High School journalism students show how individuals can start movements to create change within their communities.

3. Have students construct their thesis statement:
Now that students have a general idea of their essay topic and the three ideas to support it, have them fill out their thesis statement in the “The Writing Process” box on page 3 of the Essay Project template.
ACTIVITY 4: Review / Closure (5 minutes)
Accountability Talk:
Have students share their thesis statement with a partner.
ACTIVITY 5: Assessment Based on Objectives (5 minutes)
Students' Thesis Statements
Have students write down their thesis statement in the “Essay Project – Thesis Exit Slip” and turn in their thesis statements for review.
Teacher reviews the students’ Thesis Exit Slips after class.
ADAPTATIONS/STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
SDAIE strategies

Turn and talk to your partner about how Lily Chin and the Black Lives Matter founders effect changes in the community through movement. Teacher uses circle map to record student responses. Visual aid helps students draw inferences and conclusions for their essays.

Guided instruction on writing:

Use sentence frames and starters to show students what writing multi-paragraph essays looks like.

EXTENSIONS/GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
Teacher may also make the decision to take out some of the paragraph scaffolds in the essay-writing template.
LESSON 4
INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH, BODY PARAGRAPH 1
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
CCSS ELA.W.6.1 Text Types and Purposes Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
b. Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
MATERIALS

“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements" template
“Essay Project – Thesis Exit Slip” reviewed by teachers

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students will use their Thesis Exit Slip and the essay template to write the Introduction Paragraph and Body Paragraph 1 of their essay (the minimum).
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (5 minutes)
1. Return the reviewed Thesis Exit Slips to the students.
2. Have students recall yesterday’s lesson:
  Let’s review what we went over yesterday. We started organizing our essay and wrote our thesis statement. How confident do you feel about writing your essay now?
3. Have students think-pair-share with his or her elbow partner.
4. Share with the whole group.
ACTIVITY 2: Essay Modeling (10 minutes)
1. Introduce to students the lesson plan for the day:
  Yesterday, you wrote a thesis statement for your essay. Today you are going to begin writing the essay itself.
2. Modeling: The purpose of this section is review the overall essay scaffolding so that students may better understand the organization of their essay. The breakdown of individual sentences and questions within paragraphs are to help students organize writing each paragraph and help facilitate thoughts for their essay.
Have students bring out their “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements” templates.:
Review each individual question of essay scaffolding to students on page 1 and 2 of the template.
Explain to students that they will be discussing and answering each of the questions in the template individual boxes from page 3 to 7. Students will
Discuss each sentence for Introduction Paragraph using 5 questions that lead to a thesis statement.
Discuss each sentence for Body Paragraph 1 using 7 questions focusing on Lily Chin and hate crimes in the Asian American community.
Discuss Body Paragraph 2 using questions focusing on Black Lives Matter.
Discuss Body Paragraph 3 using questions focusing on the students’ chosen problem. You could demonstrate using the topic of gang violence or bullying.
Discuss Concluding Paragraph by restating thesis using different words.
3. Vocabulary:
Have students take out their Academic Vocabulary Organizer handouts.
Tell students that they must use at least 4 relevant vocabulary words in their body paragraphs.
To keep track of vocabulary terms used, they may write down the vocabulary terms and circle them when filling out the essay project template.
ACTIVITY 3: Essay Writing (30 minutes)
Have students begin writing their essays. Teachers should explain to students that they will receive 15 minutes for Introduction Paragraph and 15 minutes for Body Paragraph 1.
Set timer for 15 minutes and let students work on the Introduction Paragraph. If they finish one paragraph before the timer rings, they may go on to the next paragraph.
When the timer rings, have students begin working on Body Paragraph 1. Reset the timer for 15 minutes.
ACTIVITY 4: Assessment Based on Objectives (5 minutes)
Before students leave, the teacher should check each student’s essay template to make sure they have their Introduction Paragraph and Paragraph 1 complete.
ADAPTATIONS/STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
SDAIE strategies

“Essay Project” template may be given in separate pages to students who are intimidated by the long template or struggle following it.

Think-Pair-Share (oral conversation helps formulate ideas).

EXTENSIONS/GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
Less scaffolding for essay

The “Essay Project” template provides an extremely large amount of scaffolding for writing the essay. Advanced students may take more freedoms while writing. They may not need the guiding questions for each sentence or the “Paragraph Scaffolding” worksheet. These scaffolds may be taken away to present a greater challenge to advanced students.

LESSON 5
BODY PARAGRAPHS 2 AND 3, CONCLUSION PARAGRAPH
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
CCSS ELA.W.6.1 Text Types and Purposes Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
a. Introduce claim(s) and organize the reasons and evidence clearly.
b. Support claim(s) with clear reasons and relevant evidence, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text.
c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to clarify the relationships among claim(s) and reasons.
d. Establish and maintain a formal style.
e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from the argument presented.
MATERIALS

“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Template”

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students will use the essay template to finish writing the rough draft of their essay.
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (5 minutes)
1. Have students recall yesterday’s lesson:
 
Let’s review what we did in Lesson 4. We started writing our essay and completed two body paragraphs. Turn and talk to your partner about your body paragraphs. Do you think you will be successful at writing this essay?
2. Have students think-pair-share with his or her elbow partner.
ACTIVITY 2: Essay Writing (45 minutes)
1. Introduce to students the lesson plan for the day:
Today we are going to finish our rough drafts. Again, you will have 15 minutes for each paragraph. If you finish early on any paragraph, you may go on to the next one. If you have finished everything, proof-read your essay for grammatical mistakes.
2. Essay Writing
Set the timer for 15 minutes and let students work on Body Paragraph 2. If they finish Body Paragraph 2 before the timer rings, they may go on to the next paragraph.
Set the timer for 15 minutes and let students work on Body Paragraph 2. If they finish Body Paragraph 2 before the timer rings, they may go on to the next paragraph.
Repeat for Conclusion Paragraph.
ACTIVITY 3: Assessment Based on Objectives (5 minutes)
At the end of the period, teacher should check all “Essay Project” templates. All paragraphs should be complete.
ADAPTATIONS/STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
SDAIE strategies

“Essay Project” template may be given in separate pages to students who are intimidated by the long template or struggle following it.

Think-Pair-Share (oral conversation helps formulate ideas)

EXTENSIONS/GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
The “Essay Project” template provides an extremely large amount of scaffolding for writing the essay. Advanced students may take more freedoms while writing. They may not need the guiding questions for each sentence or the “Paragraph Scaffolding” worksheet. These scaffolds may be taken away to present a greater challenge to advanced students.
LESSON 6
PEER-REVIEW
Suggested Time:
50 minutes
CCSS ELA.W.6.5 Production and Distribution of Writing With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of language standards 1-3 up to and including grade 6 Vocabulary Acquisition and Use.)
MATERIALS

“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Peer Review” handout
“Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Peer Review” template

Student essay drafts
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Students peer-review and evaluate at least two other rough drafts and grade them using the standard rubric.
ACTIVITY 1: Warm-up (5 minutes)
Activating Prior Knowledge
1. Have students take out their draft essays and “Essay Project” templates.
2. As students will be working with the rubric, have students connect to their prior knowledge and recalling information from the rubric. Activate prior knowledge by asking students:
 
Look at our thesis statements and body paragraphs. Who remembers what constitutes a 4, 3, 2, or 1? Do you remember what it means to edit and revise your paper? You will be doing that with a partner or two.
ACTIVITY 2: Peer Review (40 minutes)
1. Introduce today’s lesson on peer-reviewing to students by explaining what peer-review is.
  We are going to do peer review today, so that’s when our partners are going to look at our work and see what grade the paper will get based on the standard rubric. Let’s take a look at the rubric as a class.
2. Pass out “Essay Project – Individuals and Movements Peer Review” handout.
3. Guided Practice (15 minutes):
As a class, have students do a practice run together.
Have students pair up with a partner. Have students exchange essay drafts.
Explain peer-review directions to students:

Partner A will look at Partner B’s work and vice versa. What kind of grade does the person deserve based on the rubric? Please explain. Talk to your partner about his or her work.

Teacher goes around to listen to student responses.
4. Independent Practice (20 minutes): Now that students have an understanding of peer-review, have students do it on their own.
Have students pair up in groups of three to grade each other’s papers according to the Rubric.
Explain to students that instead of talking to their partners this time, students will write in the Comments column on the right side of Peer-reviewing handout.
Have students exchange essay drafts and begin peer-editing. First peer-edit should take around 10 minutes. Have students exchange again for a second peer-edit. This should also take about 10 minutes.
ACTIVITY 3: Review / Closure (5 minutes)
Accountability Talk
1. To have students brainstorm good writing tips and improvements, ask students the following discussion question:
  What were some of the strengths of your partner’s work? Name some things for improvement as well. What did you learn by reading each other’s work?
ADAPTATIONS/STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS
Partner Work

Students are able to review each other’s work according to rubric before it goes to teacher for final grading. Students will know what needs to be better in order to get a good grade. They will also know each other’s strengths.

Teacher Scaffolds

Teacher walks around during guided practice to help students with peer review issues.)

EXTENSIONS/GIFTED AND TALENTED/ADVANCED
Presentation

Author’s Chair

Students will get a chance to present their essay in different formats, whether it is multimedia, skit, narration, and/or poster-board demonstration.

HOMEWORK
STUDENTS' FINAL ESSAYS GRADED ACCORDING TO RUBRIC
Suggested Time:
3 days of homework
FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OBJECTIVE
Homework: Students complete the final draft and turn it in as they complete the assignment.
ACTIVITY: Homework (3 days)
Students will take their peer-edited work home. They must rewrite their essays and turn in their final drafts by the due date.
ASSESSMENT BASED ON OBJECTIVE
Grade students’ final essays according to rubric.

Curriculum Developer:
Ted Shu
Unit Plan: ELA Middle School Essay Writing
- Powerful Individuals, Powerful Movements >
Curriculum Editor:
Jenny Chhea
Untold Civil Rights Stories Main Page >

 

For Legal Help

Advancing Justice - LA’s hotlines prioritize assistance to low-income persons in the following areas of law: family, immigration, consumer, public benefits, employment, housing, and civil rights.

English: 888.349.9695
需要協助嗎: 800.520.2356

ត្រូវការជំនួយជាភាសាខ្មែរ:

800.867.3126
도움이 필요하십니까?: 800.867.3640
Tagalog: 855.300.2552
ต้องการความช่วยเหลือ: 800.914.9583
Cần sự giúp đỡ: 800.267.7395

 

Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.