“I, Too, Sing America:” analyzing sex, race, and STEM in 20th Century America.”

Shealynn Womble, Language Arts, Governor’s Village STEM Academy

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This focus of this unit is to explore American social structures historically, primarily in the mid-20th century, through student analysis of literature, informational text, and music. This unit is built around the text Hidden Figures: Young Readers Edition by Margot Lee Shetterly. This book narrates the true story of four African American women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics career fields and their extraordinary additions to our national government programs and American society in general. This curriculum unit is built around English Language Arts standards to compliment social studies standards. Through this unit, students will learn about American society during the 20th century, Jim Crow laws in the southern United States, and the push for civil rights by African/Black Americans, the development and implementation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) nationally, the World War II era, the Cold War era, the Women’s Movement, and the United States federal government agency the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA.) This unit is also centered on music, where students will listen to, analyze, and evaluate songs that align with the major topics and themes inside of the book. The primary goal of this unit is to bride the past and present societies of America and make a connection for students who attend a STEM school. Both 8th Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies North Carolina Standard Course of Study essential state standards will be used in the course of this unit.