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Should our capabilities define who we are?

A thematic Unit on Disability Awareness

Presented by Jessica R. Williams On December 14th, 2012 for AED 341

Table of Contents Table of Contents2 Overview.....3

Summary...3 Rationale...4 Project-Based Learning.5 Interdisciplinary justification....5 Respect for difference...5 Assessments..5 Text Set...6 Unit Plan Schedule..9 Culminating Project Handout13 Culminating Project Rubric...16


This thematic unit on Disability Awareness will be driven by the essential question, Should our capabilities define who we are? I want students to understand that there is more to people than their physical and mental capabilities. I chose the text, Butterfly Clues because it supports the essential question and understanding by providing students with an interesting text that will support the unit through to the end. By the end of the unit, students will have prepared a Culminating Project where they interviewed an individual with a disability, conducted research on a subtopic relating to disabilities, and created a presentation meant to bring awareness about disabilities to their student body. All three phases of this Culminating project will reflect in their presentation. The Text The anchor text I chose for this unit plan is Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison. The book is about a young female by the name of Penelope who has mental disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Hoarding, and Kleptomania. She learns to utilize her disorders to help her solve a murder of a young female. I chose this text because the main theme of the book is about living with a disability and learning to over come adversity that the disability entails. The main character learns to benefit from such disadvantages to change her life and those around her. Another reason why I chose this book because students can relate to it because of the many ideas that pertain to young adults such as coping with death, risky behavior, difficult family life, fitting in, and homelessness. Essential Understanding (Students will understand that) There is more to people than their physical and mental capabilities. An individuals potential goes beyond what society expects of them. We should look beyond an individuals capability and never underestimate the determination and perseverance of their character. People who are differently abled are limited not by their disability, but by the inequities and discrimination (intentional and unintentional) by people who are unaware of the difficulty they face on a daily basis. Essential Question Should our capabilities define who we are? Performance Task Students will interview people in the community who are differently abled. With the results of their interview and data collected from research, students will create a presentation and present it to the student body, bringing about awareness of the trials and tribulations that differently abled people face throughout their lives.

Administrators This unit is teaching students to implement different types of texts in their understanding of the essential question by fortifying their reading, writing, comprehension, and listening 3

skills. This unit plan incorporates over thirteen different common core standards that cover all the necessary fields of English Language Arts. Students will learn the necessary skills needed to be successful in high stakes assessment. Students who participate in this unit will know how to write for an authentic audience, improve their writing through the development of a presentation, and know to effectively use multiple sources to enhance their persuasive writing. Students This unit appeals to students because it allows them to choose from a wide range of topics that still connect to the main theme of the unit plan. Students have the freedom to create a presentation that is personalized. Most importantly, this unit invites students to express their perspectives on the topic and they have the opportunity to share their opinions with their student body. Students gain a sense of appreciation and value for those who are differently abled and face great difficulty in their lives. Students acquire a sense of voice that they can employ in their future endeavors. Your Colleagues/practitioners of critical pedagogy/empowering education This unit will also allow students to be aware of the power they have and how to effectively articulate that power to bring awareness to others. They will able to explore and discuss the issue of disabilities and have the opportunity to advise people in their community to do the same. This unit empowers students to take what they learn inside the classroom and apply it to real life for a greater purpose. The Culminating Project that students will complete connects what they are learning directly to taking action with the sole purpose of creating change in their community.

Project-Based Learning
Interdisciplinary Justification Students learn a variety of concepts from this unit that they can apply to other subjects and other aspects of their lives. The issue of disabilities crosses into fields like science, 4

history, psychology, and music. The fact that many disabilities are physical can relate to science, specifically biology and why people develop physical disabilities. Mental disabilities can be transferable into psychologically because it has to do with development and the many factors that can influence that. This unit also focuses on music through incorporating songs into lessons and comparing it to the essential questions as well as the other texts included in the unit. This unit also encourages students to apply what they learn in the classroom during this unit outside the classroom to their environment and the people they interact with. Students gain confidence and the ability to discuss serious issues and they are better equipped to have points of view acknowledged as credible and well composed. Respect for difference This unit involves class discussions where students express their opinions and perspectives. Through these discussions, the class as a whole has the opportunity to address any intolerance whether it is intentional or unintentional. The unit offers the opportunity to converse respectfully about differences and how they contribute the knowledge shared in the classroom and the attitude students have throughout the unit. Also, the fact that the theme of the unit is disability awareness requires that the classroom be a space of inclusion and acceptance of all individuals and their perspectives. Assessments The unit offers multiple forms of assessment throughout its durations. Each assessment is included in the unit for a specific purpose. There are quizzes to ensure that students are doing the necessary reading. Their writing journals are an assessment of not only of the application of the writing skills they learn but also a way of determining their understanding of the essential questions of the unit. The Great Debate writing assignment evaluates how well the students grasp the techniques used to write persuasively. Class discussions are an assessment of their comprehension of the main ideas concerning the essential understanding. To assess their Culminating Project, students write assessments for themselves as well as each other. They will also be assessed of the content of their presentation by submitting a written paper containing content.

Text Set
Ellison, Kate. The Butterfly Clues. New York: Egmont USA, 2012. Print. Genre - Book

General Overview The novel is about a young female named Penelope who has multiple anxiety disorders. She goes through life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Hoarding, and Kleptomania. Her disorders draw her to a murder mystery that pushes her into a new world of danger and excitement. She embraces her disorders as they assist Penelope, as she gets closer to the true identity of the killer. She learns how to accept her disabilities and does what no one cared to do, bring a killer to justice. Relation to Essential Question Butterfly Clues is a text that displays the main character as a heroine who also is differently abled. The fact that the novel welcomes the reader into the mind of a teenager who has anxiety disorders and ticks forces the reader to think like the main character. Common criticisms about the book say that it s is annoying and even frustrating to read the constant ticks but the author did this purposefully to best depict what it is like to be annoyed and frustrated having a disability. "Ramones I Wanna Be Sedated Lyrics." I Wanna Be Sedated Lyrics. ELyrics.net, n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.elyrics.net/read/r/ramones-lyrics/i-wanna-be-sedatedlyrics.html>. Genre - Music General Overview The song I Wanna Be Sedated by The Ramones talks about how difficult it is to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how frustrating it is to not have control over ones thoughts or actions. It is a catchy rock song that most people know but few notice the idea of how difficult life is living with a mental disorder. Relation to Essential Question This song relates to the Essential Question because it invites the audience to consider how hard it must be to have a mental disorder that the only relief would be sedation. It is a creative way to encourage students to empathize with the singer and to critically think about how crippling it may feel to have a disability.

Reeves, Christopher D. Still Me. N.p.: Random House, 1998. 259-61. Print. Genre Book Passage General Overview

The book is an autobiography of Christopher Reeves who became a quadriplegic hen he was thrown from his horse during a riding competition. His book, Still Me is about his experiences before and after the accident. Relation to Essential Question His insight on his trials and tribulations relates to the Essential Question that even though he was differently abled, he didnt allow that to be a disadvantage and he used his disability as a way to touch many peoples lives through his writings. His perspective is unique because he once played a superhero is the famous film Superman and then he was confined to a wheelchair where he had to start his life again. "Tamara's Opus" Prod. Whitehouse. Perf. Joshua Bennett. Joshua Bennett Performs at the White House Poetry Jam. YouTube, 02 Nov. 2009. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U5BwD8zOeM>. Genre - Video General Overview The video is of Joshua Bennett who performed Tamaras Opus at the White House Poetry Jam. The poetry he performed is about his sister, Tamara, who is deaf and how he is disappointed in himself for not doing all that he could to connect with her due to the communication barriers between them. He dedicated the poem to his sister as an apology. Relation to Essential Question I chose this video because it is modern, powerful, and emotional. Since the poem is written from the perspective of Joshua Bennett, it adds to the diversity of points of view and invites readers to empathize with him and consider what it would be like to have a sibling who is deaf. It is a unique perspective relating to disability and it is a secondary account of someone who has one. It relates to the essential question in the sense that it shows the beauty that differently abled people experience because they see the world differently they do. They embrace events and sensations that we often take for granted and overlook. "The Who - My Generation Lyrics." The Who - My Generation Lyrics. Lyrics007.com, 07 Oct. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2012. <http://www.lyrics007.com/The%20Who%20Lyrics/My%20Generation%20Lyrics.html >. Genre - Music General Overview

The song, My Generation by The Who has a lyrical element that portrays the singer in the song as having a stuttering problem. This song offers an artistic and lyrical perspective on speech impairments such as stuttering. Relation to Essential Question This song will be used as an example of how to invoke thought about disabilities in a way that will appeal to a large audience. It relates to the essential question because the song is about using ones disability to their advantage artistically instead of letting the disability define who they are as an artist. This song can also be linked to the anchor text due to the main idea of the song. The main character faces discrimination because of her age just like what the song My Generation talks about.

Unit Plan Schedule


Week One Monday What stood out to you about the gallery walk? What emotions did the gallery walk invoke from you? - Introduction of Unit - Have students brainstorm about what they think the word disability means. What ideas come to mind and how they would define the term. Tuesday - Have students share their reflections and discuss the gallery walk as a class. - Introduce the writing journal and its purpose in this unit. Wednesday What stood out to you about this passage? How does Christopher Reeves see himself? - Introduce the passage from Still Me. - Explain context of the passage such as the author and the history behind the topic. - Read the passage aloud and have students listen and take notes in their writing journals. - Have students work silently on a quiz of ten questions. Thursday - Introduction of Culminating Project - Overview and expectations for the project - An example of a possible outcome of the project Friday - Class Collectively brainstorm ideas relating to the Culminating Project Week Two Monday (1-22) - Do an anticipatory Quiz on the anchor text - Introduce the anchor text - Explain the context of the novel such as the author, criticisms of the book, the setting and circumstances surrounding the plot. - Start reading the book aloud in class. Tuesday (23-33) - Quick discussion on Butterfly Clues. - Introduction to research portion of culminating project - What sources are legitimate and applicable to culminating project - Where to find valuable information and what sources are credible - In Class time to begin research Wednesday (34-46) - Quick discussion of Butterfly Clues - Continuation of In Class Research Thursday (47-60) - Continuation of In Class Research - How to credit and cite properly - How to write an Annotated Bibliography Friday (61-80) - Continuation of In Class Research - I Wanna Be Sedated Song

- How does the significance of this song? How does it relate to the anchor text? Quick discussion Week Three Monday (81-92) - Annotated Bibliographies are due. - Quiz on required reading (to ensure that students are reading) Tuesday (93-106) Wednesday (107-122)- Butterfly Clues Discussion - From the responses written the night before, what are some techniques Lo uses to interview people about the dead girl? - What proper preparation is needed for the interview portion of the culminating project. Thursday (123-136) - Tamaras Opus Video - Discussion of Tamaras Opus. What was the importance of the poem being told by Joshua Bennett? How has his perspective contributed to how we view disabilities? - Continuation of interview preparation. - How to maintain professionalism before, during, and after the interview. - How to create a rapport with the individual being interviewed Friday (137-146) - Discussion on Butterfly Clues. - What are the similarities between Butterfly Clues and Tamaras Opus? What are the similarities and differences in how the authors convey their message about disabilities? Week Four Monday (147-158) - Introduction to writing for an authentic audience. The class will be used as the authentic audience for practice. - Students will learn to identify the audience(s) Tuesday (159-174) - Students will write a brief paper persuading their audience to take their side in the argument, Should a disability be seen as a disadvantage? - They will learn to write based on what they think their audience already knows about the topic. Wednesday (175-190) - Discussion on Butterfly Clues. Should a disability be seen as a disadvantage? - The Great Debate! Student will have to persuade their classmates on the question while practicing persuasive techniques. - Students will learn to be conscious on language being used Thursday (191-202) - Quiz on required reading (to ensure that students are reading) - Students will reflect on the techniques used the day before in the debate. - As a class students will brainstorm how to grab the attention of your audience Friday (203-218) - My Generation Song Week Five


Monday (219-226) - Interviews are due - Introduction to the organization of the presentation - What presentation format is suitable for the culminating project - Students will begin working on their presentations in class. Tuesday (227-238) - Quiz on required reading (to ensure that students are reading) - Continuation of working on presentations in class. - How to organize information so that it is effective - How to captivate, motivate, and educate the audience Wednesday (239-248) - Quick discussion on Butterfly Clues - Continuation of working on presentations in class. - How to captivate, motivate, and educate the audience Thursday (249-262) - Continuation of working on presentations in class. Friday (263-278) Week Six Monday (279-296) - Presentations are due. - Introduction to Public Speaking Skills - Students will study body language. What would Los body language look like? D o you have nervous ticks that you do when speaking publically? Tuesday (297-310) - Writing portion of presentation due. - Continuation of public speaking skills - Students will practice techniques on how to keep composure Wednesday (310-acknowledgements) - Students will become familiar with their content by sharing a brief dialogue of their responses from their writing journals assigned the night before. Thursday How do this novel persuade you to think about how society sees people of disabilities? - Wrap of anchor text - Continuation of public speaking skills - Students will learn about Audience Awareness. How should successfully connect and interact with your audience? Friday - Continuation of public speaking skills - Students will learn how to prepare for the unexpected (technology failure) Week 7 Monday - Students will rehearse their presentations for the class - Students who are not presenting will do assessments for their peers. Tuesday


- Students will rehearse their presentations for the class - Students who are not presenting will do assessments for their peers. Wednesday - Students will display their presentations to their student body. Thursday - Self-Assessments on presentations. - Self-Assessments on Writing Journal. Friday Wrap up of Unit


Culminating Project Handout If an individual cannot speak, does that mean they have nothing to say?

WHO ARE YOU? Imagine that you are a social advocate for people with disabilities. It is your mission to bring awareness to your school community about what it is like to have a disability. For this project, you will undertake such roles as interviewer, researcher, and presenter. TASK! Your Task is to construct a presentation where you will share with your audience your findings from research, and an interview with a differently abled community member. WHAT DO YOU NEED? Pick a topic that peaks your interest! You will need to find data so that you are knowledgeable about the topic. (mental disabilities, physical disabilities, accessibility, financial aspect of disabilities, stereotypes of people with disabilities, daily routine, etc.) Do you know someone in your community that is differently abled? You will need to obtain information from a primary source in the form of an interview to get a clear perspective of whom you are speaking on behalf of. (family member, neighbor, friend, coworker, etc.) Practice! Practice! Practice! You will need to develop your presentation skills and how you want to persuade your audience in order to bring awareness about your topic. (speak to your family and friends and ask for feedback, ask yourself who cares? and argue your cause using that prompt, etc.) WHAT SHOULD YOUR PRESENTATION LOOK LIKE? Who are you presenting to? Your Performance needs to be well written, organized, and appropriate for your target audience.


Know your stuff! Your presentation must include factual information that you gathered through research, elements from the person you interviewed, and how well prepared you are to present. Be prepared for some awesome feedback! Your work will be judged by how well you implement the skills you learned in class in your presentation. You and your peers will also judge you by doing personal and peer evaluations. Make this project your OWN! Include your own style in the presentation by using different fonts, backgrounds, and slide transitions. Use pictures, clips, quotes, and other media to enhance your presentation. ASSESSMENT! You will be assessed on your presentation skills as well as the organization and content of your presentation. The first part of the assessment is that your peers will evaluate a rehearsal of your presentation so that you can use the feedback for the actual presentation. The second part of the assessment is a two-page summary of the information used in your presentation. THIS ASSIGNMENT WILL HELP YOU - Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain. a. Develop factual, interpretive, and evaluative questions for further exploration of the topic. - Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence. Explore and inquire into areas of interest to formulate an argument. - Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content. - Adapt voice, awareness of audience, and use of language to accommodate a variety of cultural contexts. - Explore topics dealing with different cultures and world viewpoints. - Seek to understand other perspectives and cultures and communicate effectively with audiences or individuals from varied backgrounds - Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks. - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. - Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating a command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. MOST IMPORTANT OBJECTIVE


Be creative! Use what you know and what you are passionate about in this project. Use your talents, share what you have learned from the texts we have read and have fun with this project!

Culminating Project Rubric




Meaning: the extent to which the response exhibits sound understanding, interpretation, and analysis of the task and text(s)

6 Responses at this level: - The task was fully completed - The presentation was fully developed. - It is clear that the presenter understands the topic and the data used in the presentation.

5 Responses at this level: - The task was completed - The presentation was developed - The presenter understands the topic and data.

4 Responses at this level: - The task was, for the most part, completed - The presentation, for the most part was developed - The presenter understands most of the topic and data used.


Development: the extent to which ideas are elaborated using specific and relevant evidence from the text(s)


Organization: the extent to which the response exhibits direction, shape, and coherence

- The presentation has highly relevant information from literature, research, and the interview conducted. - The ideas and evidence were well chosen and contributed to the success of the presenters proposal. - The presentation flowed very well and it was very easy to follow along. - The presenter carefully assembled their presentation so that it was well organized and the direction was clear.

- The presentation has relevant information from the literature, research, and the interview conducted. - The ideas and evidence were chosen and it helped the presenters proposal. - The presentation flowed well and was easy to follow. - The presenter assembled their presentation so that is was organized and the direction was clear.

- The presentation has relevant information from two out of three available sources. - The ideas and evidence somewhat relate to the presentation.

3 Responses at this level: - The task was completed but needed improvement The presentation was underdevelo ped. - The presenter understands somewhat about the topic and data used. - The presentation was somewhat relevant information from one or two available sources. - The evidence doesnt relate well with the presentation. - The presentation was out of order but for the most part the audience could follow. - The presenter assembled the presentation improperly so it was organized for some of the parts. - The language was poorly chosen and is highly informal. - There is not variety in sentences. - The formatting is somewhat structured.

2 Responses at this level: - The task was not completed. - The presentation was highly underdevelo ped . - The presenter did not know their topic and data well.

1 Responses at this level: - The task was not attempted - There was no presentation. - The presenter did not present because they did not know anything about their topic.

- The presentation was not relevant. - There was no use of sources. - The evidence does not relate to the presentation.

- There was no presentation. - There was no information. - There was no evidence and the presenter did not present.

- The presentation flowed and it was somewhat easy to follow. - The presenter assembled their presentation so that is was somewhat organized and the direction was clear.

- The presentation did not flow and it was difficult to follow. - The presenter did not assemble their presentation properly and the direction was unclear even for the presenter. - The language was not considered in this presentation. - There is no variety in sentences or languages. - There is no format of the structure.


Language Use: the extent to which the response reveals an awareness of audience and purpose through effective use of words, sentence structure, and sentence variety

- The language implemented is sophisticated and highly professional. - Vocabulary is used correctly. - The tone is serious. Sentence variety and formatting is well structured.

- The language implemented is well chosen and professional. - The tone is serious. - Sentence variety is lacking but the formatting is well structured.

- The language implemented was chosen but is not as professional as expected. - Sentence variety is lacking and the formatting is structured.

- There was no presentation - The presenter did not have a cohesive presentation to perform and so there was a complete lack of control, cohesion, and transition. - The presenter did not consider any moves as far as language and how to speak to an audience. -The presentation reflects the lack of consciousnes s concerning language.



Conventions: the extent to which the response exhibits conventional spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, capitalization, grammar, and usage

- The presentation was well edited for errors. - The information is well organized into paragraphs with proper punctuation. - The grammar is correct throughout the whole presentation.

- The presentation was edited for errors. - The information is organized with proper punctuation. - The grammar is correct throughout most of the presentation.

- The presentation was for errors but some were missed. - The information is organized and there is, for the most part, punctuation. - The grammar is mostly correctly through most of the presentation.

- The presentation has a few errors. - The information is not very organized and the paragraphs are not broken down. - Grammar is not correct throughout the presentation.

- There are many errors. - The information is not organized at all. - There are no breaks for paragraphs. - There is no proper grammar in the presentation and it is hard to read what it says.

- The presentation has no sentences and is unorganized without any punctuation, grammar, spelling, and paragraphing .