Fighting for Change

Students learn about the concepts of fairness and justice and about people who worked to overcome injustice, while developing informational reading strategies for reading narrative nonfiction texts.

Unit Summary

In this unit students begin to explore the concepts of fairness and justice. Over the course of the unit students are exposed to numerous ordinary people who worked together to overcome injustice and fight for a better future for others. Students will grapple with what it means if something is fair and just, particularly in regard to race, class, gender, and ability. Then students will be challenged to think about the different ways in which people showed courage, patience, and perseverance in order to challenge things that were fundamentally unfair. Over the course of the unit it is our hope that students are able to acknowledge and realize that things aren’t always fair in the world around them, but that doesn’t mean that it always has to be that way. It is our hope that students see that identifying the problem is only the first step and that anyone who has the right mindset and beliefs can inspire others to work together to create a more just future for everyone. Essentially, we hope that this unit begins to plant the seed within our students that they can be activists and take charge of their own lives and communities. No one is too young to inspire change. It is important to note that this unit primarily focuses on big-scale changes. Additional projects and lessons should be added to help students understand how what they learned connects to change on a smaller scale. 

In reading, students will continue to work on developing their informational reading strategies, particularly when reading a collection of narrative nonfiction texts. The focus of this unit is on reinforcing and practicing targeted informational strategies in the context of a narrative structure. In particular, students will be pushed to describe the connection between individuals, events, and pieces of information. Students will also be challenged to think about the reasons an author gives to support a point and how those reasons look slightly different in a narrative informational text than in a scientific or history-based informational text. 

In writing, students will continue to work on writing responses to the text that provide relevant and accurate information along with some evidence of inferential or critical thinking.

Texts and Materials

Core Materials

See Text Selection Rationale

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Assessment

This assessment accompanies Unit 5 and should be given on the suggested assessment day or after completing the unit.

Unit Prep

Essential Questions

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  • How can we demonstrate courage when standing up for justice/fairness? 
  • How can we promote justice, fairness, and courage in our daily lives to make a difference in the world? 
  • How can ordinary people work together to fight toward a better future?
  • What makes something fair?

Writing Focus Areas

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  • In unit 4, students began focusing on correctly answering a question by including relevant and accurate information and by including an inference or critical thinking to support their answer. In this unit, students will continue to work on both of these skills. Students should be challenged daily to think about if the evidence they are picking to support their answer is in fact the most relevant and accurate evidence from the text. Students should also be challenged to explain their evidence or thinking by including inferences or critical thinking. Targeted mini-lessons should be planned based on data from unit 4. 
  • Similar to unit 4, all conventions focus correction areas should have been taught at this point. Students should receive individualized targeted feedback to help move at least one row on the rubric. 

Language Focus Areas

  • spiral two or three based on student needs

Writing-About-Reading Focus Areas

  • correctly answers the question with an inference, critical thinking, or facts that show a basic understanding of the question or text 
  • includes relevant and accurate evidence from the text 
  • explains evidence and thinking by including inferences or critical thinking 
  • uses vocabulary from content

Vocabulary

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Roots and Affixes

un-, non-

Text-based

attitude, fair, unfair, justice, segregation, invisible, ignore, refuse, integration, polite, determined, protest, peace, violence, nonviolence, opposed, pride, picketing, march, freedom, unjust, disobey, protestors, detention, inspiring, horrified, preposterous, strong-spirited, unstoppable, outraged, outspoken, daring, adventurous, practical, independence, strike, grit, urges, migrant, powerless, compassionate, stubborn, obstacle, organizer, peacemaker,  mock, dejected, invaluable, confidence, disabilities, insulted, unable

Content Knowledge and Connections

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  • Explain what it means for something to be fair or unfair. 
  • Describe what happened during the Greensboro sit-ins and how the actions of a few courageous individuals inspired others. 
  • Explain how marches were used during the civil rights movement as a way of fighting for change. 
  • Explain the purpose of strikes and how strikes have been used throughout history to encourage change. 
  • Identify Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Explain how they both helped farm workers in California. 
  • Describe how Isatou Ceesay is using recycling to inspire change in the Gambia. 
  • Describe how Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah used bike riding to stand up for the rights of people with disabilities in Ghana and around the world. 
  • Explain how the children of San José de la Urbina in Caracas, Venezuela, were able to work together to build a community playground. 
  • Explain how the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay created and used recycled instruments to create an orchestra. 
  • Describe how a class of students in South Carolina helped a group of sea turtles survive. 
  • Describe how Eleanor Roosevelt, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Amelia Earhart showed that women could influence change. 

Intellectual Prep

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Build Background Knowledge

  • Plan how to navigate conversations about race and discrimination, especially in terms of if it was fair that people were treated differently based on the color of their skin, in a way that maintains a focus on history. Potential resources to build background and teaching strategies: 
  • Research and learn about the different civil rights topics covered in this unit. If students did not participate in the K2 unit on MLK and Rosa Parks, plan an additional remedial lesson to help students develop the necessary background knowledge to understand why people were fighting for fairness and justice. 
  • Prepare for conversations about discrimination based on gender, class, and ability. 
  • Read the Letter to Young Activists in Follow the Moon Home in order to understand the steps for activism. These steps should be posted and then referred to throughout the unit to help students understand that all activists follow a very similar pattern. (Identify, Plan, Take Action, Think Back, Tell Your Story)

Internalize the Text and Standards

  • Read all unit texts, including the author’s notes at the end of the texts, in order to build understanding of unit themes and topics. Do additional research on unit texts or topics if necessary. 
  • Think of a way to track what students learn about how ordinary people are able to influence and create change (i.e., what traits do the people have, what steps do they take, what are their attitudes, etc.). This will be important for students truly connecting with the unit and being able to internalize what it means to fight for change in their own lives. 
  • Write an exemplar response to final letter-writing activity (unit assessment) that shows student understanding and mastery of unit key ideas. 
  • Plan end-of-unit project to help students see that they can be activists in their own communities. Have students brainstorm a problem, propose a solution, and then take action to try and fix the problem. Make sure the project builds on everything they have learned from the entire unit. 
  • Plan purposeful book introductions that provide the necessary background knowledge students need in order to grapple with the content. 
  • Determine a habits of discussion focus that emphasizes targeted speaking and listening strategies.

Lesson Map

1

  • Amazing Grace

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Describe what lesson can be learned from Grace and why, by retelling stories to demonstrate understanding of the central message or lesson.

2

  • Something Beautiful

    RL.1.2

Describe what lesson can be learned from the narrator and why by retelling stories to demonstrate understanding of the central message or lesson.

3

    RI.1.2

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.2

Explain what it means if something is fair and why it is important to be fair, by participating in a class discussion and hands-on activities that develop the concepts of fairness and justice. 

4

  • The Other Side

    RL.1.3

Explain what Clover and Annie realize in the end, by describing characters and major events in a story. 

5

  • Sit-In pg. 1 – 20

    RL.1.3

    RI.1.6

Explain how David, Joseph, Franklin, and Ezell brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words to life and how their actions inspired others by describing the connection between a series of events in a text. 

6

  • Sit-In — pg. 21-end

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.6

Explain how the actions of the four friends inspired and motivated change and what lessons we can learn from their actions, by describing the connection between events in a text. 

7

  • Freedom on the Menu

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Agree or disagree with the statement that even though Connie was young she was able to get involved, by identifying evidence an author uses to support points in a text.

8

  • We March

    RI.1.8

Explain how marching helped people reach their goals of justice, freedom, and their dreams, by identifying reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

9

  • The Youngest Marcher

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.7

    RI.1.8

Explain what words can be used to describe Audrey by using illustrations and details to identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

10

  • Freedom Summer

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Debate and defend if John Henry and the narrator’s actions will lead to meaningful change, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

11

Discussion

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.5

    SL.1.6

    L.1.6

Debate and analyze how ordinary people work together to fight for a better future and what we can learn from the actions of civil rights leaders, by stating a claim and using information from the entire unit to support the claim. 

12

Writing

    W.1.1

Write a thank-you letter to one of the change agents from the unit by stating an opinion and supporting it with facts and details from the unit. 

13

  • Elizabeth Leads the Way

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain why Elizabeth was unstoppable, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

14

2 days

  • Eleanor, Quiet No More

    RL.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain how the belief “we must be able to disagree and to consider new ideas and not be afraid” influences Eleanor, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

15

  • Amelia and Eleanor...

    RI.1.2

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Describe Eleanor and Amelia and the lessons that we can learn from them, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

16

  • Brave GIrl

    RI.1.2

Explain why the author titles the book Brave Girl and if it is the right name for Clara by identifying the main topic of a text and retelling key details.

17

Discussion

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.2

    SL.1.4

    L.1.6

Debate and analyze how ordinary people work together to fight for a better future and what we can learn from them, by stating a claim and using information from the entire unit to support the claim.

18

Writing

    W.1.1

Write a thank-you letter to one of the change agents from the unit by stating an opinion and supporting it with facts and details from the unit. 

19

  • Harvesting Hope

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Analyze and defend if Cesar Chavez was born a leader by using details to retell the connection between key events in a story. 

20

  • Harvesting Hope — pg. 23-end

    RI.1.2

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain how Cesar Chavez was able to motivate others to work together to fight for a better future and what lessons we can learn from him, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

21

  • Dolores Huerta

    RI.1.2

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain what words can be used to describe Dolores and why she was important, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

22

Discussion

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.2

    SL.1.4

    L.1.6

Debate and analyze how ordinary people work together to fight for a better future and what we can learn from them, by stating a claim and using information from the entire unit to support the claim. 

23

Writing

    W.1.1

Write a thank-you letter to one of the change agents from the unit by stating an opinion and supporting it with facts and details from the unit.

24

Project

  • Project materials

    RI.1.2

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.4

Create a living timeline of change-makers by acting out pivotal events and historical figures from throughout the unit.

25

  • One Plastic Bag

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Defend if Isatou was courageous and why or why not by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

26

  • The Streets are Free

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Describe how the kids of San José de la Urbina showed courage and what lesson we can learn from them, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

27

  • Ada's Violin

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Explain how Señor Gómez’s actions transformed the entire community and what we can learn from him and the Recycled Orchestra, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

28

  • Emmanuel's Dream

    RI.1.3

    RI.1.8

Describe how Emmanuel proved that one leg is enough to do great things and that one person can change the world, by identifying the reasons an author gives to support points in a text. 

29

  • A Boy and His Jaguar

    RL.1.2

    RL.1.3

Explain how the narrator showed courage and what lesson we can learn from him, by using key details to describe characters and major events in a text.

30

  • Follow the Moon Home

    RI.1.3

Explain the steps Viv and her class took in order to save the loggerheads and why each step was important, by describing the connection between events and pieces of information.

31

Discussion

    SL.1.1

Debate and analyze how ordinary people work together to fight for a better future and what we can learn from them, by stating a claim and using information from the entire unit to support the claim. 

32

Writing

    W.1.1

Write a thank-you letter to one of the change agents from the unit by stating an opinion and supporting it with facts and details from the unit. 

33

  • All unit vocabulary

    L.1.5

    L.1.6

Demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings by participating in word sorts and activities using target unit vocabulary.

34

Assessment

35

4 days

Project

  • Follow the Moon Home

  • Project materials

    SL.1.1

    SL.1.2

Create a change in the school community by following the steps outlined in Follow the Moon Home.

Common Core Standards

Language Standards
  • L.1.1 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

  • L.1.2 — Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

  • L.1.4 — Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 1 reading and content, choosing flexibly from an array of strategies.

  • L.1.5 — With guidance and support from adults, demonstrate understanding of word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

  • L.1.6 — Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts, including using frequently occurring conjunctions to signal simple relationships (e.g., because).

Reading Standards for Informational Text
  • RI.1.2 — Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  • RI.1.3 — Describe the connection between two individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in a text.

  • RI.1.6 — Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.

  • RI.1.7 — Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.

  • RI.1.8 — Identify the reasons an author gives to support points in a text.

  • RI.1.10 — With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

Reading Standards for Literature
  • RL.1.2 — Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.

  • RL.1.3 — Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Speaking and Listening Standards
  • SL.1.1 — Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups

  • SL.1.2 — Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

  • SL.1.4 — Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

  • SL.1.5 — Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions when appropriate to clarify ideas, thoughts, and feelings.

  • SL.1.6 — Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation.

Writing Standards
  • W.1.1 — Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply a reason for the opinion, and provide some sense of closure.

  • W.1.5 — With guidance and support from adults, focus on a topic, respond to questions and suggestions from peers, and add details to strengthen writing as needed.

  • W.1.8 — With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.