The topic of social issues, the lens for reading in this unit, is a topic that matters greatly to the young human beings who enter our classrooms every day. In middle school, many kinds of issues start to weigh more heavily on students: relationship issues, school issues, and a growing awareness of larger societal pressures. There can be serious consequences to the spiraling troubles that surround middle school kids.
A recent Washington Post article titled “Does Reading Make You a Better Person?” concludes that the answer to the title question is “Yes!” Reading literature especially has proven to increase people’s ability to empathise with others, and to be more socially aware. A driving force in this unit is the power of reading to transform how we see others and to show us new ways to be kind, to connect, and to stand up for what’s right.
The Social Issues Book Clubs trade pack bundle includes the following mentor texts, which are recommended as read-aloud texts for this unit.
- "My Side of the Story," First French Kiss
- "Inside Out," The Circuit