Oregon students represent an ever-increasingly diverse array of ethnic, socioeconomic, linguistic, sexual, gender, and immigrant identities; thus, it is crucial that classrooms include alternatives to dominant narratives. U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera notes the urgency of reading and telling historically marginalized stories, which are “small piece[s] of a great migration,” and ultimately, “very big stories, everybody’s stories.” This exploration, including students’ exploration and sharing of their own stories, is a “small way that those in the room can begin to hear each other, to see each other, to become visible in a culture full of stories and images that leave so many out.”
In these lessons, students will read and study the essay “Uncovered,” and use it as an entry point for social critique and the exploration of past and present realities of social identity, immigration, health, family, equity, and civil rights.
Standards met through this curriculum
Learning Outcomes/Essential Questions
- Use textual evidence (including images) to analyze immigrant experiences.
- Explore issues of social identity, immigration, health, family, equity, and civil rights, while demonstrating their ELA and history/social studies skills through reader response, narrative writing, and/or discussion.
- Who benefits and who suffers from particular immigration policies and why?
- Why is it important to share and understand the immigration and identity stories of ourselves and others, and how might these stories shape the ways in which we live and relate to one another?
- What gives our lives meaning that has nothing to do with our social identities, and what do we have in common with others simply as human beings?
- What are the obstacles and opportunities that people experience based on their social identities, and how can we best address these obstacles to create more equal opportunities for all?
- How do we define success and opportunity in our society, and in what ways can we choose to accept and/or reject these definitions?
Depth of Knowledge (DOK)
Levels 1, 2, 3, 4
For more information on DOK, see DOK Slide Wheel
Photographs by Kim Oanh Nguyen from “Uncovered” Essay
Computers/devices with which students may produce and publish their writing (optional)
Writing Scoring Guides
ODE Narrative Writing Scoring Guide (English)
ODE Narrative Writing Scoring Guide (Spanish)
ODE Writing Scoring Guide in Student Language (English)
ODE Writing Scoring Guide in Student Language (Spanish)
- Review all resources and decide which components you will include and how many lessons to allot for this curriculum. (Note: Almost every component can be used as a stand-alone piece or combined with other components.)
- Read and take notes on the “Uncovered” essay.
- Review and prepare your chosen handouts.
- Prepare colored pencils, crayons, or markers for the social identity wheel activity. Complete a social identity wheel for yourself to model expectations and provide students with an exemplar. Review the “Matrix of Oppression” and prepare to use it as a scaffolding reference tool as necessary.
- Decide what formatting and length specifications, and writing process steps, you will require for the narrative writing assessment.
- Decide how you will set norms and expectations for discussion. Some of this material may trigger a range of strong reactions; prepare for possible outcomes and any support or management you may need to provide based on your knowledge of your students. Take extra care to create a safe space in which all viewpoints will be heard and respected. Review the Discussion Guidelines handout for ideas.
- Preview and prepare optional extensions.
- Model and instruct students to use the AVID® Marking the Text: Social Studies strategy as they read the article.
- Before reading, number the paragraphs. (A paragraph begins at any break in the text, even if it is not indented.)
- While reading, circle key vocabulary, dates, names, places, events, and important numbers/statistics.
- After reading, go back and re-read sections, underlining evidence, facts, descriptions, and cause-and-effect relationships.
- While reading, pause at various places and model the think-aloud strategy to demonstrate comprehension/summarization of the text.
- Model and instruct students to use the Learn-Read-Discuss strategy.
- Introduce major concepts of this curriculum using the warm-up. Ask students to use the think-pair-share strategy to discuss and process these concepts using the warm-up questions.
- Students read article (using teacher’s designated strategies).
- Students engage in individual reflection, then small- or large-group discussion, synthesizing information from the warm-up and article.
- You may choose to give advanced readers the SOAPS Text Analysis handout for tracking the author’s argument and purpose during their reading. Students’ observations using this strategy can be incorporated into later lesson steps, such as discussion and writing responses.
Tell students that they will complete a warm-up activity to help them better understand the essay they will read (Listen-Read-Discuss strategy). Lead them through the steps of the Social Identity Analysis warm-up and completion of their own social identity wheels.
Scaffold and discuss the terms “socially marginalized” and “socially valued” as necessary. Model vulnerability and trust in the group by sharing your own social identity wheel first, and discuss the ways in which this can be a sensitive topic for many people. Remind students of your norms and expectations for discussion, taking extra care to create a safe space in which all viewpoints will be heard and respected. Reassure students that any personal information they share with you will remain confidential (barring issues of mandatory reporting, of course) and give them the option to opt out of sharing part(s) of their social identity wheels with the whole class as they see fit.
You may choose to have students conduct a think-pair-share or mini-discussion during/after the warm-up before moving on to further lesson steps.
- Vocabulary (optional differentiation):
Vocabulary words and phrases/concepts:
- Social currency* (¶1)
- Pequeño* (¶2)
- Off-the-books* (¶3)
- Aura (¶3)
- Imbued (¶4)
- Commingle (¶4)
- Under-the-radar* (¶5)
- Consulate (¶12)
- Commiserate (¶12)
- Simulacrum (¶16)
- Frontload vocabulary and concepts from the essay prior to reading. Provide definitions or ask students to look up and record definitions on their vocabulary charts. (Note: The starred* vocabulary terms are concepts, slang terms, or foreign words that may not be found in a traditional English dictionary. You may choose to discuss and provide examples of each of these terms, or ask students to research them online.) As an alternative, delay adding definitions until after reading, and ask students to use context to determine preliminary definitions as they read.
- Ask students to identify and circle vocabulary words in the essay as they read.
- After reading, review and clarify vocabulary words, and ask students to complete a vocabulary chart for each word.
- Present the notes chart in the Social Identity Analysis handout and model how students should take notes as they read. After introducing the reading strategies you will use, read the essay with students or ask them to read silently. If reading aloud, pause to review, synthesize information, and model note-taking at various points during the reading process. After reading, conduct an informal assessment of comprehension by reviewing students’ notes in a think-pair-share or mini-discussion format.
You may choose to give advanced readers the SOAPS Text Analysis handout for tracking the author’s argument and purpose during their reading. Students’ observations using this strategy can be incorporated into later lesson steps, such as discussion and writing responses.
- Social identity analysis:
Lead students through the “Reader response” instructions in the last step of the Social Identity Analysis handout. Give them time to complete a social identity wheel for Estrella and answer the accompanying questions. Consider using a think-pair-share format or conduct a class discussion to review the questions. Use the Discussion Guidelines to set norms and establish expectations, and also consider assigning each student a set number of “speaking tokens” to facilitate balanced participation. You may require that each student use at least one token, and if they use three (or more) tokens, their participation is suspended to make room for other speakers.
- Social identity narrative writing assessment:
Help students break down the narrative writing prompt and discuss the specific requirements you have set for this assessment, along with the timeline and steps of the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, editing, revising, publishing) students will complete. Consider sharing your own story or another example story as a model, or remind students they can look back to the “Uncovered” essay for ideas on content and structure.
Give students time to brainstorm and share their ideas during the pre-writing stage, and use think-pair-shares, exit slips, and/or other methods as informal assessment. If students are concerned that they have not experienced significant marginalization and thus feel they “don’t have anything to write about,” remind them that stories of social value can be just as powerful as stories of social marginalization. Individual students may need some coaching and review of their social identity wheels to prompt ideas.
- “Uncovered” photo analysis (optional extension):
Project or provide handouts of the photographs from the “Uncovered” essay, and give students time to examine each one and answer the analysis questions. You may provide scaffolding into analysis by first asking students to identify the colors and elements of each photograph before moving into higher-level questions. Conduct a think-pair-share or other structured discussion of the questions.
- “Uncovered” post-discussion (optional extension):
Ask students to prepare all of their notes and previous work on the “Uncovered” essay. Communicate your expectations about what kind of discussion format will be used. As with the social identity wheel activity, use the Discussion Guidelines to set norms, and also consider assigning each student a set number of “speaking tokens” to facilitate balanced participation. You may require that each student use at least one token, and if they use three (or more) tokens, their participation is suspended to make room for other speakers
ELL and SPED Supports: Scaffolded assignment options, vocabulary, reading strategies
TAG Extensions: Photo analysis, leadership opportunities during discussion and/or Socratic Seminar, “The Problem with the Immigration Problem,” and “Whose State Is This?”
SOAPS text analysis handout to use during reading
Assessment/Student Performance Tasks
- Social identity wheels/reading notes/reader response and discussion (Formative)
- Narrative writing assessment (Can be used as formative or summative)
- Post-discussion (Can be used as formative or summative)
Additional Resources/Related Reading
The Human Face of the Immigration Debate Reading List
“The Problem with the Immigration Problem”
“Whose State Is This?”