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Jennifer Talarico

Curriculum Design
Meg Goldner Rabinowitz
12 April 2016
Middle School Curriculum: Grades 5-8
Unifying theme: Structural Racism
What is structural racism? How is it different from racism?
How is it evident in Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry?
How does structural racism exist today?
How does art characterize race during different time periods?
Core text: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
Supplementary Texts
The Murder of Emmett Till (Documentary)
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-X4is9jMYk
The KKK (video clip)
o http://www.history.com/topics/ku-klux-klan/videos/the-kkk
Jim Crow Laws (video clip)
o http://classroomclips.org/video/785
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (film)
o https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2ZbrNMQtfo
What is sharecropping? Sharecroppers in American History
o http://quatr.us/northamerica/after1500/economy/sharecroppers.htm
Poem: Let America Be America Again by Langston Hughes
Poem: An Open Letter to the South by Langston Hughes
A Depression Art Gallery
o http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/depression/artgallery.htm

Kerry James Marshall: Challenging racism in art history

o http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20141023-i-show-black-is-beautiful

Essential Questions
Does (or how does) structural racism exist today?
How does Cassies narrative perspective affect the novel?
How does art define a time period?
Objectives and Goals
SWBAT use visual elements to infer meaning
SWBAT characterize characters using their thoughts, words, actions, and relationships/effect on others
SWBAT identify narrative perspectives and analyze their effect in a text
Throughout the unit, students will demonstrate growth on their explanation portion of their RACE responses
through use of daily revisions and peer editing
SWBAT participate in a meaningful 15-minute discussion without disruption
Modes of Assessment
Daily RACE (Restate, Answer, Cite, Explain) responses and journals (grade three per week)
Final Essay: Compare and contrast the novel and the movie. How does the narrative perspective influence the way
the story is told?
Socratic Seminar discussion

Week 1: Schema building/Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry introduction

Day 1: Introduction
Day 2: Schema
Day 3: Sharecropping and
Gallery Walk: A Depression Art
Read What is
Jim Crow Laws video w/ KWL
Analyze Let America Be
What is structural racism?
Journal: Pick two images that
America Again with
strike you and interpret them in
Journal: Predict how structural a journal entry
racism will affect the characters
Journal: Who is the
in Roll of Thunder
narrator of Let America Be
America Again? How does
it affect the readers
Week 2: Who are the Logans?
Day 6: Ch. 2, pgs. 27-31
Day 7: Ch. 2, pg. 32-41
Partner close read of pages
RACE: Compare and
contrast Mama and Ms.
Crocker. How do they
represent different ideas of

Day 8: Ch. 3, 42-50

Day 4: Ch. 1, pgs. 3-15

Day 5: Ch. 1, pgs. 16-27

Group work: Characterize

each of the Logan children.

Discussion: Apply the

textbooks at Great Faith to
structural racism.

Journal: Choose one of

the Logans and describe
him/her based on thoughts,
words, and actions evident
in chapter 1

Day 9: Ch. 3, 50-57

Discussion: Who is Cassie

Journal: Create a character
web of Cassie where you
consider her thoughts,
words, actions, and
relationships with others

RACE: How is structural

racism revealed in this

Day 10: Ch. 3, 57-68
What is the Klu Klux Klan?

RACE: Compare and

contrast Great Faith and
Jefferson Davis.

RACE: How do the Logan

children defy structural

Journal: Choose one of the

Logans. How does he/she
feel in this chapter? How
would you feel?

Week 3:
Day 11: Ch. 4, pgs. 69-77

Day 12: Ch. 4, pgs. 77-88

Day 13: Ch. 4, pgs. 88-95

Day 14: Ch. 4, pgs. 95-101

Day 15: Ch. 5, 110-116

Partner work: how do each

of the Logan children react
to the events with the KKK?

Partner work: create a

character web of Mr.

Close Read: Big Mas story

Activity: Characterization
Jigsaw and Logan Family

Discussion: How does

Cassies narration affect the
way the reader perceives the

RACE: How is owning land

significant to the Logans?

Discussion: What does the

Wallace Store symbolize?

RACE: Choose one of the

Logans and describe how
he/she reacts to the KKK.

Journal: What gender roles

are evident in this chapter?
How do you know?

RACE: How does Mama

defy structural racism at the
end of Chapter 4?

Film Screening: 30 minutes

of The Murder of Emmett Till
Journal HW: Rewrite the
events in Strawberry from
Big Mas point of view.

HW: Read pages 102-110

Week 4:
Day 16:
Film Screening: Finish The
Murder of Emmett Till
Discussion: How does this
compare to the events in
Strawberry? Why?
Journal: Use events from
Roll of Thunder, Hear My
Cry and The Murder of
Emmett Till to characterize
structural racism.
HW: Read pages 117-130

Day 17: Ch. 6, 130-139

Day 18: Ch. 7, pg. 140-150

Day 19: Ch. 7, pg. 150-158

Character development:
How is Cassie beginning to

Partner work: Go back to

your character web of Mr.
Morrison and add to it.

Discussion: How does

generation influence the way
characters perceive racism?

Journal: Make a prediction!

Taylor uses foreshadowing
at the end of this chapter
when Mama says, One day,
well pay. Predict what is
going to happen next.

RACE: What is the effect of

learning about Mr. Morrison
through Cassies eyes? How
would the story be different
with a third person narrator?

RACE: Compare and

contrast Uncle Hammer and
Staceys view of the Simms.

Day 20: Ch. 7, pgs. 158-170
Discussion: How is the
Logans land significant?
What does it symbolize?
As a class, read and
annotate An Open Letter To
The South
Journal: Respond to the
poem. Can black and white
men work man to man as
Hughes describes?

Week 5
Day 21: Ch. 8, pgs. 171-181
Discuss: How do Cassies
actions in this chapter
compare to the beginning of
the novel?
RACE: How does Cassie
seek justice in this chapter?

Day 22: Ch. 8, 181-194
Discussion: Why does
Mama lose her job?
RACE: How does Mama
respond to structural

Day 23: Ch. 9, pgs. 195-201

Day 24: Ch. 9, pgs. 201-208

Day 25: Ch. 9, pgs. 209-217

Partner work: Use a

character web to
characterize Jeremy Simms.

Discussion: What role does

landownership play?

Mini Lesson: static vs.

dynamic characters

Journal: Why is
landownership important to
the Logans?

RACE: How has Stacey

changed throughout the

Day 29: Ch. 12, pgs. 257266

Day 30: Ch. 12, pgs. 266276

Discussion: How has Cassie


Discussion: How do racism

and structural racism play a
role at the conclusion of the

Journal: Describe Jeremy

Simms. What role does he
play in the novel?

Week 6
Day 26: Ch. 10, pgs. 217233
Is Mr. Morrison a static or
dynamic character? How do
you know?
Journal (HW):
Papa is willing to risk his life
for his familys land.
Compare and contrast Papa
to other families weve met
so far.

Day 27: Ch. 10, pgs. 233241
Is Uncle Hammer a static or
dynamic character? How do
you know?
Journal: Describe TJs
relationship with the Simms
and predict its outcome.

Day 28: Ch. 11, pgs. 242256
Discussion: What lesson is
the author trying to teach us
in this chapter?
RACE: Connect the lesson
in this chapter to the theme
of the novel.

Week 7





Day 31: Film screening

Day 32: Finish film

Day: 33

Day 34:

Roll of Thunder, Hear My


In class essay: Compare

and contrast the novel and
the movie. How does the
narrative perspective
influence the way the story
is told?

Gallery Walk: Race in Art


Research Day: Does

structural racism exist

Begin Research for Socratic

Seminar: Does structural
racism still exist?

Day 35: Socratic Seminar