African American Poetry and the Idea of Citizenship

Marie Calabro, 4th Grade, Pinewood Elementary

Curriculum Unit (PDF)


In this unit, students will be introduced to the connection between African American Poetry and how it has been written and used by African Americans as both a commentary of and challenge to our society’s view on their roles as citizens in the history of our society. Throughout this 6-week unit, students will be exposed to the poetry of both past and present decorated African Americans poets. They will be able to define what citizenship is, how they, as third graders, are themselves citizens of different groups, the responsibility being a citizen entails, as well as the benefits and consequences of being a citizen of a family, group, school, neighborhood, city, state, nation and world! The poems that have been chosen will follow a progression to relate, developmentally, to where students currently are in their social, emotional, and academic thinking and learning, as we build our classroom community for the school year.