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One primary goal for middle school educators is to prepare children for high school, college and life. This was the main consideration when creating this unit. With the new Common Core Standards in mind, lessons were created that prepare children for the rigors ahead. The Outsiders is the primary text that all children will read, but many other texts from all genres will be introduced. From these texts, children will make a claim about labels and use evidence from these sources to support their ideas. The essential question is “Do we control labels set by society or do labels control us?” Throughout the unit, students will analyze texts, take notes and publish their claim in letter form. Students will learn how to embed evidence into their writing as well as how to site their sources. Most of the instruction follows a consistent format that begins with mini-lessons followed by independent and/or small group practice.
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