Currently, we are in our social issues unit in reading workshop (one of my favorite units!) and students are in book clubs. Last week, to launch the unit, we discussed the purpose of the social issues unit and students brainstormed why they think we have a social issues unit. As students shared their ideas and opinions about the purpose, I jotted them down on the chart below. I always launch units by having this type of conversation with the students because I believe it is so important for students to know and understand the WHY behind our units and lessons.
This is our first book club unit of the year so we also brainstormed and discussed the purpose of book clubs. Students have been participating in book clubs since 3rd grade so they come to 5th grade with book club experience. Below is a chart we created as a class to list students' ideas about preparing for and having a successful book club conversation.
So far in the unit, we have been learning how to use specific lenses to deepen our thinking about the social issues our characters are dealing with in our books. For example, reading with the lens of fairness - what is fair or unfair in this text? Or reading with the lens of acceptance - who is accepted or rejected in this text and why? Or reading with the lens of power - who has power and who doesn't? Whose voice is being heard and whose isn't? Below is a chart listing our mini-lesson teaching points so far for this unit. Students have been applying these teaching points in the social issue books they have chosen to read with their book clubs and we are also applying them as a class in our read alouds.
Stay tuned to hear more about our thinking and learning in our social issues unit! :)