Telling Stories To Teach Cultural Awareness Essay

SPD- Cross-Curricular Unit Plan

Directions: Select the level you are most interested in teaching and develop a five-day cross-curricular unit plan (math, science, or social studies) for the students in the class based upon grade level literacy standards. The unit plan should include the following:

Reading, writing, and speaking and listening standards appropriate for the selected grade.

Cross-curricular standards (math, science, or social studies) appropriate for the selected grade.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Section 1: Instructional Planning

Grade Level: 8th Grade

Content Area: Social Studies (integration with ELA)

Unit Title: Cultural Narratives: Exploring our Histories and Stories

Lesson Titles: Provide a title of each lesson in the unit.

Lesson Summaries: Write 1-2 sentences that summarize each lesson and identify the central focus based on the content and skills you are teaching.

Lesson 1: "Understanding Our Roots"

Students will explore the diverse backgrounds present in the U.S., reading short stories from various authors.

Lesson 2: "Historical Events and Personal Narratives"

Look into personal narratives from different cultural backgrounds and key historical events related to immigration and civil rights.

Lesson 3: "The Power of Stories in Shaping Societies"

Explore the role of storytelling in preserving history and shaping societal norms.

Lesson 4: "Our Stories, Our Histories"

Reflect on the importance of preserving personal and cultural histories.

Lesson 5: "Our Stories, Our Histories"

Students will present a personal narrative or short story reflecting their own cultural background or a culture they've learned about.

Classroom Factors: In 1-2 sentences, describe the important classroom factors (demographics and environment) and the effect of those factors have on planning, teaching, and assessing students to facilitate learning for all students.

The classroom is diverse with students from various ethnic backgrounds. This diversity, combined with varying socio-economic statuses and academic needs, requires differentiated instruction and a culturally responsive teaching approach.

Student Factors/Grouping: In 1-2 sentences, describe the student factors (IEPs, 504s, ELLs, students with behavior concerns, gifted learners), and the effect of those factors on planning, teaching, and assessing students to facilitate learning for all students. Consider these factors to plan the differentiation components of the lesson.

Several students have IEPs, 504s, are ELLs, or have specific academic challenges. Planning must account for these needs, ensuring that lessons are accessible to all, including those with reading challenges, math challenges, and other exceptionalities.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

State Literacy Standards

List specific grade-level literacy standards that are the focus of the unit.

Reading comprehension of diverse texts, Analyzing author's purpose and perspective, Engaging in group discussions about texts.

State Cross-Curricular Standards

Select one content area standard (math, science, or social studies) as the focus of the unit.

Understanding the diverse histories and cultures present in the U.S.

Learning Objectives

Develop a unique learning objective for each daily lesson.

Objectives should scaffold learning from lesson to lesson and align to the state literacy and cross-curricular standards.

Students will be able to analyze a short story...…needs of students in the class.

Describe how this unit teaches cross-disciplinary knowledge and critical thinking and problem-solving skills to individuals with exceptionalities.

Describe three ways the content of the cross-curricular unit strengthens student literacy skills.

Discuss one strategy you could recommend to families to extend the cross-curricular unit at home.

1. Analysis of Performance Data: The unit plan was developed after a thorough analysis of the class profile. It was developed with an emphasis on recognizing the diverse backgrounds, academic challenges, and unique needs of the students, and the goal of the unit was to get students to focus on cultural narratives, so that they could experience something developmentally meaningful and that catered to all the students.

2. Cross-disciplinary Knowledge: This unit integrates Social Studies with ELA, encouraging students to delve into historical events while honing their literacy skills. The focus on personal narratives supported critical thinking as students analyze texts and relate them to broader historical contexts (Sun, 2017).

3. Strengthening Literacy Skills: The unit enhances literacy by:

a. Encouraging reading comprehension through diverse texts.

b. Promoting critical analysis of texts for cultural context and author's perspective.

c. Facilitating group discussions, enhancing speaking and listening skills (Proctor et al., 2020).

4. Strategy for Families: Recommend families to engage in storytelling sessions at home, where they share personal histories and cultural narratives. This not only extends te unit's learning but also strengthens family bonds (Saydakhmetova,…

Sources Used in Documents:


Proctor, C. P., Silverman, R. D., Harring, J. R., Jones, R. L., & Hartranft, A. M. (2020). Teaching bilingual learners: Effects of a language?based reading intervention on academic language and reading comprehension in grades 4 and 5. Reading Research Quarterly, 55(1), 95-122.

Saydakhmetova, D. (2020). Teaching Russian as a foreign language through stories. European Journal of Research and Reflection in Educational Sciences Vol, 8(5).

Sun, L. (2017). Critical Encounters in a Middle School English Language Arts Classroom: Using Graphic Novels to Teach Critical Thinking & Reading for Peace Education. Multicultural Education, 25(1), 22-28.

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