Hidden Bias: Does It Describe Who We Are?

Jennifer Ladanyi, Language Arts, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

This unit is about using a variety of African American and Hispanic literature in a seventh grade Language Arts class. This unit is for both honors and standard plus students. The focus is on bias and particularly on how a hidden bias can define who we are to outsiders. Students will look at bias and stereotypes to determine who they are, and whether their biases and stereotypes are interfering with attempts to define themselves. We examine poetry, novels, and nonfiction texts set mainly in the urban environments. Students will learn a variety of note taking skills used in the Spring Board program that our school has adapted. They will use RUNNERS, THIEVES and SOAPSTone. Students will have mini lessons and quizzes throughout the unit over poetry and literary terms. Novel choices are The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and The House on Mango Street. Students will have a culminating activity in which they will create a video interpretation of a chapter from their assigned novel. Once the students have completed their video interpretation, they will edit their chapters and combine them together to create a film of the novel. Parents will be invited in for a movie night to view the student made films.