In this unit, you’ll introduce your students to nonfiction books and media they will love, and teach them how to make the most of these portals to fascinating times, places, and people—not to escape our world, but to better understand and address its issues. The book-length nonfiction that middle schoolers will read possesses a unique blend of heart-rending storytelling, artful juxtaposition of subtopics, and challenging density.
The skills of this unit are essential for students coming of age in an era of global collaboration and vital in the development of a truly informed, critical electorate. Across the unit readers will cultivate their ability to:
- Glean central ideas that are not stated outright and identify and trace implicit arguments
- Build connections across parts of texts and across multiple texts
- Develop the stamina, patience, and the analytic presence of mind necessary to read longer nonfiction
- Flexibly activate their schema as they read passages that seem more informational and passages that seem more narrative in their literary nonfiction texts
- Transfer their literary nonfiction skills to digital and hybrid media