Most adolescent students are living in the midst of community change, whether in the form of urban gentrification or rural development, and they sense how these changes are tied to race, place, power, and belonging.
Yet they don’t always know how or where to talk about what they, their families, and their communities are experiencing. As one high school student puts it: “We see [urban change and gentrification] happening right here. Nobody’s doing anything about it. We’re not talking about gentrification in school, as if it doesn’t affect us. As if we can ignore it ’til school’s out.” ( Kinloch, Valerie. “Literacy, Community, and Youth Acts of Place-Making.” English Education, vol. 41, no. 4, July 2009, pp. 316-336.) Students need a space in which to explore the complex intersection of race, place, power, and belonging that touches each of their lives in different ways.
In these lessons, students will view and study the film “The Numbers” and use it as an entry point for social critique and the exploration of past and present realities of civic life, gentrification, displacement, land, and place.
Standards met through this curriculum
For more information on DOK, see DOK Slide Wheel
Classroom computer and projector to screen short film “The Numbers”
Smartphones or video devices/computers on which students can create and publish creative responses (optional)
Tell students that they will complete a warm-up activity to help them better understand the film they will view.
Present Part I of the warm-up, and ask students to complete a quick write on the questions. Give them time to think about and record their responses, then conduct a think-pair-share to review responses as a class before moving on.
Introduce the Part II background concepts notes chart, then screen W. Kamau Bell’s CNN Gentrification Video (1:30).
Give them time to fill in the notes chart, then conduct a think-pair-share to review responses and informally assess students’ understanding of gentrification.
Before screening the film “The Numbers,” introduce the viewer response graphic organizer and tell students they will use it to track and record the film’s main ideas and supporting details. Use the scaffolded version or give students some examples to demonstrate your expectations.
Screen the film at least twice, asking students to view it first without taking notes so they can focus on the overall structure and visuals. On subsequent viewings, ask students to listen for comments made by the film’s subjects and think about which main idea the comment support. Give students time to record details for each main idea, then ask them to come up with the “Big Takeaway” after considering the information they have seen and heard. Explain that the “Big Takeaway” is a key understanding or lesson the filmmakers want their viewers to walk away thinking about.
Introduce the creative response handout and share your project timeline, length, and formatting requirements. Guide students through the project planning steps, structuring times for them to brainstorm, share ideas, collaborate, and receive feedback and further instruction as needed. Provide necessary instruction in technology options and explain how and when students will share their final products. Consider asking students to share digital final products on online platforms, and/or host a “premiere” during which students screen and celebrate their projects.
ELL and SPED Supports: Scaffolded assignment options
TAG Extensions: SOAPS Text Analysis handout to use during and after viewing, creative response assignment options, optional extensions
W. Kamau Bell’s CNN Gentrification Video (1:30)
Interactive Portland gentrification map (Oregon Live)
POV’s Flag Wars: What is gentrification?
The Air I Breathe Curriculum Guide
Future: Portland and Future: Portland 2 (short films)