This unit was created by Comfort Agboola, a 5th grade teacher at Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School in Chicago, IL, as part of the Spring 2021 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program on Journalism and Justice. It is designed for facilitation across approximately six 60 minute class periods.
For more units created by Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellows in this cohort, click here.
- Engage in collaborative discussions about appropriate topics and texts, expressing their ideas clearly while building the ideas of their peers in a variety of group settings.
- Develop and strengthen writing by engaging in a recursive process that includes writing, drafting, revising editing, and publishing.
- Comprehend, evaluate, and synthesize resources to acquire and refine knowledge from Pulitzer stories, interviews, and informational texts.
The pandemic has highlighted major inequalities that existed before, in the "normal.” In the news, there is talk of a return to "normal", but for many in marginalized communities"normal" was not justice. This project outlines three areas of local and global opportunity in our community: education, racial equity, and climate change.Through investigation, students will examine multiple perspectives, ask critical questions, analyze information, and act on what they learn. Their project is not only about the end product, but also the process.
Scope and Sequence
- Lesson 1: Introduction to the project, community discussions, and outcomes. Vocabulary overview. It is important that students have a shared language as they talk about sensitive, underreported topics.
- Lesson 2: Movements and Protests. Although topics are different, movements and protests have stemmed from all (sometimes interconnected movements exist). Students can also view their project pieces (media) as protests and change agents.
- Lessons 3-5: Will look at the 3 main topics: Racial Equity, Education and Climate Change. Students will review Pulitzer stories with each lesson and record any new understandings that will help them research and build their own projects.
- Lesson 6: Student Selection: Teacher confers with students about their project topics and end product ideas.
- Lesson 7-8: Student project creation time provided in class and as homework
Students will create a print or non-print text product that highlights changes happening in their community during the pandemic.
Finding "Better than Normal" at Home
Create a print or non-print product (meme, video, Instagram style post, podcast, 3+ poems, or infographic). This creation
should inform about challenges or problems in education, racial justice, or environmental justice before the pandemic, explain how the
pandemic intensified this issue, and finally highlight a solution that is happening or something you would like to see happen to fix the
problem. This should connect to the community of Chicago. You must include a specific individual, organization, or business. After your
project is complete, please reflect on how this art and journalism project has impacted you as a learner.
Samples of student multimedia projects for performance task (podcast and slideshow)
Common Core Standards
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.