This unit was created by Sarah Rangwala, a middle school social studies teacher in St. Louis, MO, as part of the 2021-2022 Pulitzer Center Teacher Fellowship program. It is designed for facilitation across approximately twelve 45-minute class periods.


Students will be able to…

  1. Identify the important points of a text and summarize it in their own words
  2. Analyze texts for intended audience and bias.
  3. Make a claim, and support it with evidence, using a R.A.C.E. paragraph

Unit Overview:

Students engaging with this unit have spent all year studying ancient civilizations, and exploring and discussing how life has looked for humans over the course of human history.  In this unit, students will think critically about the authors and sources of the information they have explored in their Ancient  Civilizations courses. They will discuss whose stories are left out, or underreported, in the creation of history.

Students will begin this unit by discussing why some stories have been more likely to be passed on throughout history and what those stories have in common.  Students will also discuss whose stories might have been  left out from these narratives, why they may have been  left out, and who they would like to hear from about the events they explored in their Ancient Civilizations course.  

Then, students will spend the bulk of the unit exploring various underreported stories from the present.  They will discuss the effectiveness of the ways in which the stories are shared, and the importance that the sharing of that story holds.

After reading, listening to, and exploring stories from many different individuals from different communities, students will identify a story from their own communities that might be at risk of getting lost or underreported. They will ultimately identify an effective way to share that story with their communities to ensure it becomes part of history. 

Performance Task:

Students will propose a unit of study for teachers based on an underreported topic that they think needs to be studied more. They will use the “Pick Your Project” brainstorm sheet [.pdf] [.docx] to identify a topic. Students will then use the instructions on the document Untold Stories Proposal Project Description and Rubric” [.pdf] [.docx] to summarize the topic using details from their own research and explain why it is important for the community to know. The final form of their project will be a powerpoint presentation to be shared with the class.

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