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…
- Identify the important points of a text and summarize it in their own words
- Analyze texts for intended audience and bias.
- Make a claim, and support it with evidence, using a R.A.C.E. paragraph
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.
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.
Twelve-lesson unit plan for teachers, including pacing, texts and multimedia resources, leveled texts, guiding questions for group discussions, and performance task instructions and grading rubric for the unit. Download below, or scroll down to read the complete unit plan.
|Text||“Sohrai Art: Where Tribal Women Bring Alive Peacocks, Flowers and Lumbering Elephants on the Mud Walls of Their Homes” by Deepanwita Gita Niyogi for GaonConnection
“Images Exploring What It's Like to Be Part of India's Queer Community” by Jake Naughton and Aarti Singh for VICE
“As Mazy grows up, her parents toggle between supporter and protector” by Doug Moore for the St. Louis Post Dispatch
Selection from “I Am Omar'' by Jennifer Berry Hawes and Gavin McIntyre for Post and Courier
|Videos||“Ellen Pleads for Student’s Return to School After Dress Code Controversy” from Ellen
“Life for the Formerly Incarcerated” by Ashley Mahoney for The Charlotte Post
What Are Underreported Stories? from the Pulitzer Center
6-8.WH.1.CC.B Explain connections among historical context and peoples’ perspectives at the time in world history
6-8.WH.1.PC.A Using a world history lens, describe how peoples’ perspectives shaped the sources/artifacts they created.
6-8.WH.1.PC.B Using a world history lens, examine the origins and impact of social structures and stratification on societies and relationships between peoples.
6-8.AH.1.CC.B Explain connections between historical context and peoples’ perspectives at the time in American history.
By the end of this unit, students 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.
Below are examples of presentations created by students at Brittany Woods Middle school in St. Louis, MO, who engaged with this unit plan in spring 2022.
Student example 1: Homophobia [.pdf]
Student example 2: Racism [.pdf]
Student example #3: Depression [.pdf]
Student example #4: Clothing [.pdf]