On Luna by Julie Anne PetersEssential Question: How would you describe your own community in terms of tolerance of differences? A Unit for a 10th Grade English Classroom
Created by Emily Marshall
Rationale for Teaching Unit on Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Throughout our classroom experiences, we will discover that diversity comes in many shapes and sizes. When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers states, “You might need to spend some time making sure students value their differences.” This unit is designed to focus on how we can build a more tolerant community and is built to help the students understand and celebrate diversity. Carol Jago, in With Rigor for All, states, “Students need books that mirror their own experience; books that reassure them they are not the only ones to have been bullied, not the first to lose a friend.” Luna by Julie Anne Peters is an important book for students to read and needs to be told, not just to help transgendered or questioning teens, but to help those in their lives who might not know how to deal with it, even more so to give insight to those who have never and may never encounter or experience anything like it. Sexuality is a huge part of going through puberty and in most cases, it is a difficult thing to deal with. Julie Anne Peters makes this clear by showing the transition of Liam into Luna. Many children struggle with who they are, not just in terms of sexuality, and this book and unit caters to the adolescents who struggle with identity. If the purpose of literature is to share a common existence and provide a broader worldview, then this unit will help us perform that act, but this unit might also help a struggling young person find a sense of self.
In this unit, I stress small group and large group discussion. I feel that learning is a social process and that by actively engaging students in the learning process rather than allowing them to be passive recipients of content, we are promoting deeper thought, reasoning, and interaction with others. Vygotsky’s theory of social development states that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the process of cognitive development (Burton, 27). I stick to this belief by encouraging interaction among my students and encouraging my students to question everything. Humans are social and learning beings, so using classroom discussion permits my students to be social as well as learn at the same time. During this unit, the students will read, listen, and view a variety of texts that illuminate and describe different kinds of tolerance and intolerance, which will be discussed and discovered throughout the unit. Showing the different film clips and reading the articles and novel will give the students an opportunity to think about their own privilege helping them to be well-rounded, educated people. Using adolescent literature to expose the ideas of invisible privilege is an effective tool to give adolescents since it poses questions in ways that are more accessible to the stage of development the adolescent may be in. Our world needs advocates, and by giving students these tools and helping them work through new concepts, guiding them to critically think about the messages received around notions of normal and tolerance, they will be better prepared to continue with their high school careers and journey into adulthood. No matter how different we think one person is, we are all connected and affected by difference, as we will learn by reading Luna and doing the other activities.
Beers, Kylene. When Kids Can’t Read. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2003. Print. Burton, Yanus and Petr Grotewell. Early Childhood Education: Issues and Developments. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2008. Print. Jago, Carol. With Rigor for All. Portsmouth: Heinemann, 2011. Print. Day One Lesson Plan
Objectives: Students will
* Physically demonstrate and observe the similarities and differences among...